Beeleigh – 1913 Fred Shepherd gaffer

Beeleigh-1Beeleigh, a Fred Shepherd-designed gaffer, was built in 1913 for a Bernard Durkin who apparently kept the boat for many years. She then passed through many hands before she was acquired by a Geoffrey Pannell of Huddersfield, Yorkshire sometime in the 1980s or 90s in a rather sorry state. She was extensively restored at Staniland Marina, in Yorkshire during which the coach roof was modified and and a Bermudian rig was put in.

The boat was acquired by a Michael Hedger of Christchuch in 2001 when she was changed back to a gaffer. Possibly due to ill health the boat was only sailed a few times after the rig changed until it was acquired by a group from Lymington in 2011. Some work was necessary to get the boat back in full working order, with some new sails and fitting of rigging to take a large topsail. Beeleigh took part in a number events in 2012 and is expecting to have a full season in 2013 for her centenary .

Beeleigh is 36ft 4in on the deck with a 10ft bowsprit and is 47 ft  from the deck to the topsail.  The photograph above is being used on the cover of a book being published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Old Gaffers Association.

With thanks to Tim Redburn, one of the current owners, who got in touch via the contact page and provided this information and photograph.