Dutch yacht, c 1680.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This contemporary model (scale 1:12) is reputed to have belonged to the artist Van der Velde the younger (1633-1707) who featured 17th century yachts in many of his paintings. The model represents a 31 ft long carvel-built vesel. Charles II became familiar with them while in exile in Holland and, shortly after the Restoration, he was presented with two yachts by the Dutch East India Company. The King and his brother, the Duke of York, encouraged sailing contests, laying the foundations of yacht racing.