‘Hope Floats’ Exhibition

Sat, 12 February 2022 - Sun, 1 May 2022 10am - 5pm Daily

Scottish Maritime Museum, Harbour Road, Irvine, Ayrshire

March & April 2022


Our new exhibition ‘Hope Floats’ reveals the twisting story of Skylark IX, which is believed to be one of only two ‘Dunkirk Little Ships’ from the World War 2 Operation Dynamo surviving in Scotland.

Visitors to the exhibition can follow Skylark’s story from launching as a pleasure boat in 1934, her wartime service and final sinking in 2010 up to her new role inspiring and changing the lives of people recovering from addictions.

The exhibition also celebrates the achievements of the Skylark IX Recovery Project over the last two years made possible by a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) award in 2018.

The NLHF award has enabled us to plan vital work to help stabilise Skylark’s condition and deliver boatbuilding training for Alternatives Community-based Drug Recovery Service clients and therapeutic arts and heritage projects for people facing social isolation.

Visitors to the Hope Floats exhibition can also see the Skylark IX Lockdown Community Patchwork Quilt which remembers Skylark’s role in times of war and peace and celebrates hope. The quilt was created by 50 community members connecting with the Project during the first Lockdown.

The exhibition also features an Echo Bay Dory model skiff. The 50cm long rowing boat was crafted by a Skylark Volunteer Trainee when the Skylark IX Boatbuilding Workshop at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Dumbarton had to close during both Lockdowns and training moved onto Zoom.


Cost: Included in Museum Admission. FREE entry for up to three Children with each Adult/Concession