Who knew? Paul McCartney is not just a music legend but he’s a trawler guy, too. There’s something truly refreshing about a man who amasses great wealth but resists the impulse to show off with a gleaming megayacht and instead goes cruising aboard a refurbished 1956 British army launch called Barnaby Rudge.
As befits a vessel of the Dickens Class, Barnaby Rudge was a character in Victorian author Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. And the only reason we even know Sir Paul owns this fine old character boat is that she is for sale. McCartney bought the boat in 1987 and spent much of the time aboard with his late wife, Linda, who died from cancer in 1998.
According to Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper, McCartney made the decision to sell the vessel after meeting with their children Stella, Heather and Mary. “He has decided to make the break with the past and move on,” family friend Eric Green was quoted as saying. “Paul no longer uses the boat because it has memories he does not want to dwell on because of the cruel way Linda was taken from him.”
The Rudge was built by Groves & Gutteridge in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Listed by the Essex Boatyards, she is for sale for £60,000, or about $101,000 in U.S. dollars. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Oxfam charity.
She is deep draft, ruggedly built and powered by twin diesels. The vessel has a salty demeanor but, according to one old soldier, boats of the Dickens Class quickly become uncomfortable in seas. “They were great boats but were known to ‘roll on a damp lawn.’ I had one in my troop in 1968, and left my breakfast in the Solent more than once,” he says.
The main saloon consists of a portside dining area with seating for six around a mahogany table with lockers under the seating. Starboard side has upholstered seating with lockers under. Forward cabin has four single berths, ample stowage and an en-suite head. The aft cabin is the master with large double bunk and a second en-suite head. The woodwork is mahogany throughout with teak cabin soles and decks.