An Invited Friend of The Harrison Butler Association
The Gaff Rigged Cutter built in 1903


Ziska : Sailing by moonlight, December 2014
Photograph by Jaisril

Ziska : Atlantic Crossing
Ziska is one of the larger Morecambe Bay Prawners or Nobbys as they are nicknamed, that word meaning 'rough wood'. Although designed as a fishing boat she was finished as a yacht; getting her catch to market whilst still fresh meant she could move fast. Storm damage in 1973 resulted in the uninsured Ziska being sold as a 'project'. Alas, the restoration in Cowes stalled. Aspiring boatbuilder, Ashley Butler, then aged 19, took her on in 1997. After a two year restoration he sailed her across the Atlantic, there exploring the West Indies before selling her in 2003. Since returning Ashley has managed the Gweek Boatyard in Cornwall before setting up his own, mostly wooden, boat building and restoration business, Butler & Co, on the banks of Penpol creek, off Restronguet creek, on the Fal estuary in Cornwall.

Ashley Butler
Ashley Butler
Photograph from Classic Boat, July 2013

Meanwhile, in America, Ziska again needed a restoration following a period with an owner in failing heath. A new interior was designed and installed along with an engine. In 2019, newly launched, she competed in the 750 mile Race2Alaska along America's Western seaboard. Ziska is now a nominee in Classic Boat's award for Restoration of the Year 2020.
Other Nobby and Nobby related boats on this website include Anna Ellidi, Peggy, Harbringer, May, Juanita, Ploughboy, Naiad and Ethel.

Ziska Statistics
Built : 1903 by William Crossfield & Sons in Arnside, Cumbria, England
LOA : 38' 0" (+ 14' bowspit)
LWL : 33' 6"
Beam : 11' 6"
Draught : 5' 0"
Displacement : 15 tons TM
Lloyd's Register : N° 118602
National Historic Ship : N° ----
SSR : N° -----
OGA : N° 717
Fishing Boat : N° ----
Sail N°
Signal Letters : MGSG
MMSI : ---------

Ziska Custodians & Home Ports
Stanford Siler (2017-2020...) Port Townsend, Washington, USA
Clint Thompson (2005-2013) Port Townsend, Washington, USA
Charter Company (2003-2005) East Coast, USA
Ashley Butler (1997-2003) Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
CW Rutherford (?-1966-1970-?) Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Graham Sherratt (1951-1957-?) Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Major William McAlpine Jackson (?-1947-1950) Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Frederick C Smart (1939-?) Liverpool, England
NB Newall (1935-1938) Liverpool, England
Arthur Holt (initially with partners) (1907-1935) Hoylake, Wirra, Merseyside, England
WJ Ellis (1905-1907) Kingstown (Dun Laogharie), Ireland
Arthur Earle Hunt (1904-1905) Douglas, Isle of Man
John Aspden (1903-1904) Lytham, Lancashire, England

Ziska Links
Ziska's FaceBook page

Page last updated : January 2020


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