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Matthew Rhys sets sail on new role as owner of his own ‘Welsh Rarebit’

06 Aug 2021 3 minute read
Matthew Rhys with the Rarebit (and a bottle of Talisker whisky) Credit: @moveablefeastny

Whether it was fated in the stars or whether it was the whisky talking, actor Matthew Rhys is loving his most challenging role to date – as the owner of an antique boat.

The cruiser boat from the 1930’s – one of only four Wheeler Playmates in the world – is the same class of boat that the acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway owned.

And now the multi-award winning star of The Americans and Perry Mason is offering people the opportunity to charter the historical American gem, called ‘Rarebit’ around New York harbour where they can experience a ‘30s themed cruise in sight of famed Big Apple landmarks the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.

Inebriated lunacy

“The idea literally came about when I saw the boat advertised on eBay,” Rhys told Time Out New York. “Having been a lifelong Hemingway fan, I was shocked to find a Wheeler Playmate for sale on eBay, as I knew how rare they are.

“In an inebriated moment of lunacy, I bought her and set about a very long road of renovation. Thankfully, I had an incredible captain (Kelli Farwell) who oversaw the whole thing and practically renovated it all herself.”

The Matthew Rhys-owned ‘Rarebit’ Wheeler Playmate cruiser boat Credit: @moveablefeastny

As for that name, he says he couldn’t not purchase it.

“Being Welsh, naturally I believed that it was fated in the stars,” he added, of the (Welsh) Rarebit moniker of the vessel. “Though he added: “It could also have been the whisky.”

Transporting the boat from the West Coast to Brooklyn he came up with the idea of charter cruises around New York harbour under the banner of ‘Moveable Feast’, where small groups of people could have a Jazz Age-era experience including music from gramophone records, picnics, oysters, and more.

“Listening to gramophone records and clinking cocktails while pooling past the Statue of Liberty,” said the actor of his attractive proposition. “I wanted people to enjoy her once again.”

See the sights on a Rarebit harbour cruise Credit: @moveablefeastny

And you never know you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Welshman making an appearance onboard

“When we’ve been short on crew I’ve crewed quite a few charters and I’ve enjoyed them,” he said. “I mix a mean cocktail. I certainly can read some Hemingway, be it ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ or whichever. So, who knows? I could be aboard or I could not be!”

Find out more about the actor’s nautical adventure via the Moveable Feast NY website

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 years ago

Nice boat and well done you for keeping her afloat, I did my bit for the ketch Garlandstone fifty odd years ago. Zane Grey was another famous sports fisherman who poured his earnings into a hole in the water and wrote about it. Tales from a Fisherman’s Log is still in my bookcase. There is a recent publication available online about the saving of Garlandstone by its then owner David Williams that tells an amusing tale about this old slate carrier…

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