Previous names

  • 1908 Laura
Certificate no 3621
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Port Penrhyn
Vessel type Morecambe Bay Prawner
Current use Sailing
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Crossfield, William & Sons, Arnside
Built in 1908
Hull material Wood
Rig Gaff Cutter
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
9.50 feet (2.90 m)
4.50 feet (1.37 m)
Air Draft
To be confirmed
Length: Overall
36.00 feet (10.97 m)
Tonnage: Gross



LAURA was built in 1908 by William Crossfield & Son in Arnside, Cumbria, for John Atherford of Morecambe. The Crossfield boat yard was the pre-eminent yard in the region for designing and building boats. Most were fishing boats, but some yachts were also built. Whilst LAURA is clearly built along the lines of the local fishing boat type - Morecambe Bay Prawners or 'Nobbies' - she was clearly not built with the intention of working as a fishing vessel. She is narrower in the beam, and has a slightly deeper draft, to improve her sailing performance. Despite this LAURA was registered for fishing on 21 November 1918 in Fleetwood (as FD319), before being sold and transferred to Douglas, Isle of Man on 9 December 1922. She was registered for fishing there on 27 February 1923 (as D85). She remained there until being sold again on 4 May 1927. 

Edward Delmar-Morgan RN discovered and bought LAURA in 1950 or 1951, refitted her in 1952, and converted her to a Bermuda rig. He wrote a book about her entitled  'I bought a Prawning Boat' which was published 1954. She was later bought by Bill Sissons in 1980, and then by Gayle Heard, a sailmaker from Tollesbury, in 1985, who converted her back to her original rig. The rebuild took 5 years and was completed in 1990. LAURA was then entered very successfully in the classic east coast regattas. She was later bought by Charles Hantom, a descendant  of William Crossfield, who brought LAURA back to her original waters in the north west of England, where she continued to compete successfully in Nobby races at the Conwy and Mersey festivals. She was laid up in 2010, and bought by her current owner in 2018.


Nick Miller, The Lancashire Nobby
Edward Delmar-Morgan, I bought a Prawning Boat


Key dates

  • 1908

    Designed and built by William Crossfield & Son in Arnside, Cumbria

  • 1918

    Registered for fishing in Fleetwood as FD 319 

  • 1923

    Registered for fishing in Douglas, Isle of Man as D 85 

  • 1952

    Refitted and converted to Bermuda rig by Edward Delmar-Morgan RN

  • 1980

    Bought by Bill Sissons 

  • 1985

    Bought by Gayle Heard, sailmaker in Tollesbury  

  • 1990

    Rebuild completed having been converted back to original rig

  • 2000s

    Bought by Charles Hantom, returned to north west and participated in Nobby Races

  • 2018

    Laid up before being bought by current owner

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