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A 1922 MORECAMBE BAY PRAWNER built by William Crossfield & Sons of Hoylake, Cheshire


Boat Details

Overall Length: 32ft on deck
Waterline: 28ft
Beam: 9ft
Draught: 3ft 6ins
Displacement: 10 Tons TM
Engine: 35hp BMC 'Captain' Diesel
Berths: 3
Sail: Gaff Cutter Rig, about 650sq. ft
Designer: Traditional
Builder: Crossfields of Arnside
Year Built: 1922
Location: Cheshire


‘May’ was built in 1922 to a Lancashire Nobby / Morecambe Bay Prawner design for shrimping in the Dee Estuary.  Named after May Crossfield the owner and builders wife.  William Crossfied & Sons were a well established boatbuilders in Cheshire.  ‘May’ continued to fish off North Wales under the registered number of CH11 until in the early 1940’s she was sunk in Dukes Dock during a German bombing raid of Liverpool.  In 1986 David Wilson, Secretary of the Nobby Owners Association commissioned a professional re-build of the vessel, after the restoration winning the Liverpool Nobby Race.  An account of the restoration was featured in Classic Boat Magazine issue number 10.

The 1986 / 87 professional re-build by Fred Turner included re-planking using reclaimed dockside pitch-pine and replacement grown oak frames from Lord Derby’s Knowsley Estate.  New 19mm marine ply decks with 12mm swept teak laid deck over.  Iroko cabin and cockpit coamings.  New keel bolts and a new rig.

Straight plumb stem, long keel, elliptical counter stern.

Purchased by the current owners in 1995 ‘May’ continues to sail in home waters in Cheshire and has been a visitors attraction at the National Waterways Museum.

Gaff Cutter Rig setting about 650 sq. ft.  20′ Scottish Pine mast and spars with stainless steel standing rigging and hemp running rigging about 5/6 years old.  Wykeham-Martin jib furling gear.  15′ bowsprit and 20′ boom. 1996 sails with Ratsey tan mainsail, Ratsey tan jib, Ratsey tan headsail, Egyptian Cotton genoa, spinnaker, stormsail and other assorted sails. Pair of sheet winches.

35hp BMC ‘Captain’ diesel engine installed in 1979, driving a 19″” wing propeller giving 8 knots approximately. Cooled by direct heat exchanger.  Engine completely rebuild with only about 10 hours since. 15 gallon fuel tank, two 80amp hrs batteries (2008)  Ammeter, oil pressure gauge and temperature gauge.

Accommodation, traditionally fitted in two separate cabins. Twin cabin foreward with berths to port and starboard.  Saloon with brass port-lights, settee berth having blue Moquette cover to starboard and galley to port with Taylors paraffin cooker, stainless steel sink and pantry and crockery lockers.  Heads Compartment with Baby Blake WC. Aft cockpit with tiller steering, locker seats, depth sounder, VHF radio, navigation and anchor lights.

Danforth bower anchor with chain and warp, windlass, mooring warps, fenders, fire extinguisher, electric and manual bilge pumps, lifejackets.

Brokers Note:

The sale of ‘May’ offers a buyer the opportunity to own a fully restored Crossfield Lancashire Nobby, a traditional and historic vessel ideally suited for coastal cruising and for taking part in the Old Gaffers and Nobby Association events around the UK.  A no nonsense rugged vessel with much character and appeal.

Guide: £25,000 / Offers Considered
Lying afloat: Cheshire
Viewing: Through the agents Classic Yacht Brokerage Tel: 01905-356482