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May 2014

Paul McCartney sells his trawler, the Barnaby Rudge

Last updated on December 22, 2023


Paul McCartney put his trawker, named the Barnaby Rudge, on sale. From PassageMaker, May 27, 2014:

Unable to enjoy cruising in the years since his wife Linda passed, Sir Paul McCartney has put his trawler, a converted 48-foot Groves and Gutteridge Dickens Class MK2 GSL Motoryacht named the Barnaby Rudge, up for sale. The listing is available through Essex BoatYard in the UKand is listed at £ 99,950 or approximately $167,396 (as of 6/2/2014).

From PassageMaker:

The new owner of Paul McCartney’s trawler had a couple of corrections for our coverage of the sale in the July/August issue. Adrian Pegler says that although Barnaby Rudge was a Groves and Gutteridge design, she was actually built and commissioned in April 1946 by the British Power Boat Company based in Hythe.

Pegler says the selling price was set for an anonymous sale at £60,000 but once McCartney’s ownership was revealed the price went up, and Pegler paid it.

Pegler was asked about his motivations and his plans to use the classic vessel. Here’s what he says:

To begin with, I’m a Beatles fan. I read the original article in the Daily Mail that mentioned Paul was selling the boat anonymously! I knew about the boat after watching the Beatles Anthology DVD’s, Paul is interviewed by Jules Holland aboard Barnaby Rudge. I searched the web but couldn’t find it!

About a month later I visited Essex Boatyards to sign off on a new Fairline Targa 48 I had purchased in January at the London boat show, and through a series of coincidences I happened upon Barnaby Rudge! James Barke, the managing director of Essex Boatyards who sold the Fairline to me, was in charge of Barnaby’s sale!

He runs a great company and is passionate about his trade! Paul had tried to sell Barnaby Rudge through another major boat broker but after a few months of no interest decided to ask Essex Boatyards, the rest is now history. With no survey, and a lot of faith in Paul McCartney and James Barke, I signed the check and the boat was mine.

After speaking to the man who has looked after Barnaby Rudge for the past 26 years, it was clear to me that she is the best a boat of that construction and years can be. She’s well maintained, simple and full of character. It is a testament to Paul and Linda’s private and simple style during that period of his life.

I intend to keep it in character, in London and use it as a weekend bolthole. Lots to do and see in London! After a couple of years when I’m fully engaged with the boat’s idiosyncrasies, I may take it on an adventure. ‘The Adventures of Barnaby Rudge’— that has a nice ring to it. Maybe Paul could write a song about it!

—Adrian Pegler, Barnt Green, United Kingdom

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.”

From medberths.com:

[…] As many will know, Barnaby Rudge was a character in Victorian author Charles Dicken’s novel of the same name, which is very appropriate as the trawler was one of a number of ‘Dickens Class’ vessels used by the British Army. McCartney bought the boat in 1987 and spent much of the time aboard with his late wife, Linda, who died from cancer in 1998. […]

From McCartney’s Barnaby Rudge Gallery (WEB EXTRA) – PassageMaker
Paul McCartney writing

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