Daystar, 1894

Long narrow wooden boat

Daystar is a shrimp fishing craft often known as a 'Nobby' or Morecambe Bay prawner. This kind of boat was once common around the coast of North-West England and large fleets operated out of towns like Fleetwood and Southport. Southport alone had around 70 of these boats in 1904. Daystar was built in 1894 at Arneside in Cumbria and is one of the oldest surviving boats of this kind.

Nobbies typically had a crew of two and would fish in the shallow channels between the sandbanks that became dry at low tide. Shrimps were boiled in a copper tub below deck and crews could catch 23 - 28 litres on a good day. Fishing boats that operated in these conditions needed to be stable and fast, and nobbies began to incorporate features from contemporary racing yachts around the end of the 1800s.

While shrimp fishing under sail prospered before the First World War, afterwards the industry declined and many of the fishing boats were converted to yachts and used for leisure rather than work.

Nobbies were used for other activities apart from fishing and many prawn fishermen used their boats to give pleasure trips during the summer. Nobbies were often raced, and the 1906 regatta at the Royal Mersey Yacht Club included three events for the boats. There is still an annual Liverpool Nobby race held on the Mersey, organised by the Nobby Owners Association.

Accession number 1972.8.1


This boat is currently in store.

Sailing boats in the Mersey

Nobbies racing on the Mersey