Author Archives: Nobby

Find below some photographs from the first phase of the Associations 2019 Summer Cruise.  The cruise started at the end of the Liverpool River Festival (Tues 4 June 2019) when seven boats attended the event in the Royal Albert Dock, including Jean the Hearts of Oak and Anna Elldi. Some five boats, Comrades, Sara Ann, Phyllis, Spray and Anna Elldi departed the River Mersey on the first leg to Conwy, with Anna Elldi returning to the Menai Straits.  At this point due to the weather and other circumstances, new departure date was arranged for Tuesday 18 June. Comrades and Sara Ann could not make the revised timescales and remained in Conwy.

Phyllis and Spray continued to the IOM, Port St Mary before departing to Peel via Calf Sound. After a couple of days a departure, to Northern Ireland ensued with landfall close to Portavogie before sailing along the coast past Donaghadee to transverse Belfast Loch to Carrickfergus Marina.

Our next departure took us along the cliffs of the Antrim coast, hosting a multitude of different nesting sea birds before our arrival in Glenarm.  With the Mull of Kintyre insight, we then journeyed north to arrive in Campbeltown after passing Sanda Island to port and Alisa Craig well off to starboard. Lots of Gannets were seen en route following feeding, to their breeding ground on Alisa Craig, also famous for the granite used for making curling stones.

Campbeltown refuelled and refreshed, we enjoyed a visit to the local distillery 'Springbank'.  We then crossed Killbrannan Sound towards the Isle of Arran passing Lochranza to starboard before crossing Bute Sound to enter the Firth of Clyde towards Largs Marina.

Once again refuelled, both with diesel and a good meal we set-off up the Clyde with the incoming tide passing Inverkip, Cloch Point lighthouse and Greenock.  We were met by Douglas to show us the way into Sandpoint Marina (a very little know spot to locals) in his powerful RIB. Just on the cusp of the tide, Phyllis touched bottom on the soft sand before lifting again to continue down the short channel to Dumbarton the final destination on the first phase.   Then treated to a fast RIB ride to get some supper in Holy Loch then catching up with some old friends before returning to Dumbarton. We left the marina the following morning to catch the train from Glasgow to home.

Click any Image to View Full Size



Interested in Nobbies?  Why not come along to the Royal Albert Dock over the weekend of 1st & 2nd June 2019.  Some ten traditional wooden boats will be on display, several over 100 years old. Introduce yourself and enjoy the company of these fine boats and crew.

The boats expected are;
Anna Ellidi - a large classic wooden gentlemen's yacht. Built-in 1912.
Bridgette - a beautifully converted lifeboat.
Comrades - a 1908 boat from Conwy with an interesting history.
Hearts of Oak - built at Ulverston in 1912 by Dan Mc Lester at Barrow.
Jean - a unique grp replica taken from the mould by Eric Bergquvist.
Phyllis - a Royal Mersey Restricted Class. Built 1913 by on the Mersey.
Polly - a classic large fishing Nobby from Fleetwood.
Ruby - one of the smaller boats based at Widnes.
Sara Ann - a Heard 28. The hull is glass fibre but cabin deck and spars are all wood
Spray - the oldest vessel on display, built-in 1896 by Crossfields of Arnside.

Polly at Conwy River Festival 2017

The weekend of Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April was the Scarborough trip to the East Coast. Although the numbers were down, due to several unforeseen circumstances, an enjoyable weekend was had by all. The celebration of two birthdays too made the event special.

It's fair to say however that the hotel was disappointing in as much it was a very grand hotel which had lost a great deal of its lustre. Notwithstanding the accommodation, everyone made the best of the weekend trips and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.  One of our birthday guests also looked seriously at buying a boat and is currently at the serious consideration stage.

A stop on Friday took us all to Oswaldtwistle Mill, for an interesting look around two small museums contained inside the mill alongside the various cafes and sales outlets.  One about the workings of the old mill with the second one a memorial to the Accrington Old Pals who suffered very badly in the first world war.

Saturday brought us to Whitby and for some, at last as it was open, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Housed in the home of Captain John Walker, that James Cook lodged with while apprenticed to him.  The rear of the house has a yard and slipway to the harbourside from which the ships were built and serviced.

A prompt return to Scarborough to catch up on some of the sightseeing not to be missed. A trip up and down the cliff face on the tramway, a visit to the castle overlooking both north and south bays and reflection, for some, at the graveside of the famous writer and poet Anne Brontë who passed away in the town in 1849.  Suitable liquid refreshment was also enjoyed by all.

On the return coach trip home a stop at Ripon provided lunch and visits to the Cathedral and several museums including the Prison & Police Station, the Courthouse and the Workhouse.

The Association is pleased to have received from Alasdair Simpson of the Arnside Sailing Club. The information is from that put together for their Maritime Heritage Exhibition on Sir William Priestley and the different replicas taken from her mould. The history of the boat provides the justification for preserving her.

To view, please click on the first image and then click through each page to read and view the photographs.

Some photos from last weekends racing in Conwy.  Well hardly racing really!   Following a delay of more than an hour and then a course which meant we could not return back to our marinas resulted in our race event being cancelled.   Not to worry though everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in the very warm sunshine.  These pictures, show the milling around of the boats prior to a late start.

The first six (6) pictures are from our new member Tanya, who was enjoying her first race with our association.

The cheap period for signing up to the Conwy River Festival expires on Saturday, including £10/night marina berthing during the festival. The easy way to sign up is on the home page of the website There is a racing weekend of the 14/15th July and a cruising weekend 21/22 July called the LaLa Rally. Generous prizes to be handed out to placed boats in the racing weekend.

Nobby & Classics on Sat 14th July.

The following NOA / OGA gaff rigged boats have committed to the Liverpool Tall Ships Regatta this weekend and will be in the Albert Dock on Sunday 27th May 2018.
Anna Ellidi
Tir na n'Og of Howth
Naoma Cronan
Hellen 111
Hearts of Oak
Master Frank
Should be some party. Be there or be square!

Saturday 19 May 2018

Just before the closure of the sill at Deganwy Marina [05:00 hrs], an early morning start, on the last of the ebb to catch the flood shortly after passing the Gt. Orme. Two nobbies, ourselves, Phyllis from Deganwy and Comrades from Conwy, en-route to Liverpool to rendezvous with the Tall Ships over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

We managed a little sailing until we got to the Orme and we had to motor sail most of the way. Rhyl Flats and we crossed a massive algae bloom brought on no doubt by the nice warm weather. Not a single turbine blade turned on any of the windmills as we passed them by. A leisurely cruise to lose some passage time so we could enter the Mersey via Rock Channel which is only navigable typically a few hours either side of HW. New Brighton, as expected, was full of families enjoying the sunny day.

Finally on a berth at 14:20 hrs, after our lock-in. Then to catch up with other Nobby owners and share a few jars of liquid refreshment.

Bryan helms PHYLLIS while I take some pics & get breakfast on.
Bob & Clive - COMRADES - Time for a Brew..!
COMRADES cruising towards the early morning sunrise.

JULY 2016
Conwy River Festival - Sun 17th - Sat 23rd July.

Saturday 23 July 2016 and the Conwy River Festival saw five boats compete for honours in the ‘Nobbies, Gaffers and Classics’ race. ‘Comrades’ and ‘Anna Ellidi’ the local boats were joined by ‘Spray’ from Liverpool, ’Master Frank’ and ‘Phyllis’ who voyaged over from Ramsey and Peel IOM respectively.

Comrades: 27ft fishing Nobby built at Crossfields of Arnside in 1908, owned by Bob Angell.
Anna Ellidi: 39ft Morecambe Bay Yacht built by William Anderson's of Millom in 1912, owned by Cole Manson.
Spray: 32ft built in 1908 by Crossfields of Arnside, she fished Morecambe Bay until the early 1960's then on the River Dee, finally renovated in 1992, owned by Tom Middlebrook. Spray is a regular competitor in the Liverpool and Conway Nobby races.
Phyllis: 26ft Royal Mersey Restricted Class yacht built 1913 and fully restored. Phyllis is the last remaining example of this class afloat using the Lancashire Nobby hull design, owned by Kevin Goulding.
Master Frank: 40ft Isle of Man longliner once used to fish for cod. Launched in 1896 and continued to fish commercially until 1978. Following an extensive restoration by her current owner she is still found sailing off the Isle of Man coast, renovated and owned by Jo Pennington.

The small fleet assembled, after motor sailing against the ebb out of the river into Conwy Bay. The day’s OOD Pam MacDonald’s dilemma was that there was hardly a breath of wind to be found from the bridge of the committee boat appropriately named ‘Rest A While’. The flat calm day was to present a particular challenge to the large heavy work boats in the race as they struggled to make any way. A fresh breeze ensures that once these giants start to move they take some stopping and their inertia can master the idiosyncrasies of any fickle wind. But alas not today.

Comrades was spotted reverting to her heritage, a crew member fishing from the beam, such was the pace of the race. Phyllis chose to try a different strategy and headed in an opposite direction. As the afternoon’s ebb turned to flood the OOD had no option other than to shorten the course. This resulted in Phyllis being treated to a ‘jibe’ which resulted in her turned to face the fleet. Another little pirouette and then she was being closely chased albeit in slow motion action towards the finishing line. High drama at 1 1/2 knots!