'Madeline' sailed with the East Coast OGA during the 1970s and 1980s, but hasn't been seen for a number of years. In mid-December 2018 the Boat Register Editor was asked for informaiton about a boat in St Malo which seemed to have been imported into France around 2003. Supposedly a Morecambe Bay Prawner, built in 1896, her new French owner was hoping to get her classified by the French government. After tireless research, it's now confirmed that 'Madeline' is not a 'Nobby', but was built by James of Brightlingsea in 1898. Members may find the full story in the March 2019 issue of Gaffers Log.
There are several 'For Sale' notices in the Gaffers Log newsletter and some interesting race reports.
1969/2: For Sale notice
7 Ton counter stern gaff cutter; 30 x 8.6 x 3.6; four berths; pitch pine on oak. 1968 Stuart Turner 10 H/P. engine, with alternator and stern gear - 1,650 r.p.m. Electric starter. S/L marine toilet; new Taylor paraffin cooker, gimbelled, on formica stand. New Dunlopillo bunk mattresses, blue with white piping; polythene sink. New pony winch, anchor chain, and two anchors. Whale gusher pump. Compass, echo sounder, log, full suit of sails - roller reefing mainsail and jib. New sheets, halyards, cam cleats etc., Snub winch off mainsheet. New fibreglass dinghy and outboard motor.
This is an extremely attractive boat, and is in the soundest, most seaworthy condition, having had a £1,000 refit in 1968 (excluding the new engine). She is perfectly ballasted, sails well, and takes any weather and sea in her stride. There are many items included in the sale, and a full inventory is available on request. Lying Burnham on Crouch, where moorings have been booked for the coming season. £2,300 o.n.o.
Letter to the Editor in Gaffers Log 1979/1 From Pat Walton of Woodbridge
I am afraid that I know very little of Madeleine’s past. I bought her from Mike Brooks (Bodger) who is an OGA member in July 1979 at Fred Webb’s yard, Pin Mill. He had bought her with the intention of taking her to Holland to sell and was not really interested her history. He did however tell me that he bought her from a man who was moving to the USA and I think his name was Smith, I was also told that she was owned by a group of young men which would tend to tie in with Madeleine No. 84.
The measurements I gave you on the application form are correct as she has been very carefully measured for the East Coast race, and I have enclosed a photo which you may keep. Her condition at present is that although her hull is in fair condition her deck and coachroof is in very poor condition and is at present being repaired by myself, which will include new decks, cabin trunking and several deck beams, trying to keep everything as original as possible.
I will in the next few days contact King’s yard and see if they have any information and would be very much obliged if you could furnish me with the addresses of any of the past owners of Madeleine you may have.
The only other information I have is that in 1970 her hull was rebuilt by Fred Webb’s yard, I spoke to Fred about it and he told me in his opinion the cost of which came to more than the boat was worth and that the then owner died shortly after it was completed and so never gained the benefit of the work.
Extract from Race Report for the Thorn Trophy, Stour Rally, August 1987
Shoal Waters, Robinetta and Madeleine were first round Pye End, finding the lightest of sea breezes to give them steerage way. Madelein, setting a huge jack-yard topsail and balloon jib, rapidly overhauled Robinetta. By Parkeston she was closing the gap with Shoal Waters, but suddenly the wind went to westerly, then north-westerly, catching her unawares. Thus, Shoal Waters, that intrepid ditch crawler, sailed to victory to take the Thorn Trophy. Madeleine took the Coxswain Working Boat Trophy, whilst Robinetta took second.
Extract from Maldon Anniversary Rally Report, September 1988
Despite the vagaries of wind, tide and boat speed, craft closed up on each other as Colne Bar was turned. Noorderzon, going well in such light conditions, was with Madeline and Janty. Considering Madeline had lost the top of her mast at the Stone race, she was going incredibly well too, the ‘stumpy’ rig suiting her. . . . As nightfall came, the gaffers crossed the line, 13 out of the original 23 having stuck it out for nearly 10 hours. But it had ben one of those very rare (for 1988) days when the sun shone from sunrise to sunset, more enjoyment than hardship for once! Madeline took seventh place.