Watchet Boat Museum is located at the top of Swain Street next to the West Somerset Railway and Harbour Road Car Park. It is the first building on the right as you enter the town over the railway bridge. The building that houses the Boat Museum was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It started life as a goods shed built in 1862 as the terminus for the Bristol and Exeter Railway.
The museum is accessed through Watchet Visitor Centre .
Watchet Boat Museum is home of the Flatner, a local boat. The Museum celebrates the history of Flatner boats with photographs, displays and a number of full size local finds and fishing paraphernalia. There is also a collection of scale models on the mezzanine level.
The Flatner was used on the shores of the Bristol Channel, where the tides go out a great distance, exposing mud flats. A flatner is a double ended, flat bottomed boat with no keel designed to navigate such waters. Fishermen would go out when the flats were submerged but try to follow the channels running through the mud to minimise the chance of getting stranded as the tide ebbed.
There are interactive exhibits for children with a flatner play boat, ships wheel and navigation, pulleys and weights and children’s trails and activity sheets.
The Museum is run by the Friends of the Flatner Association.
Admission is free. Donations are gratefully received.