Devon Maid

Devon Maid was built as a dayboat in 1914. She was one of the many boats sunk on purpose in either the Beaulieu River or the entrance to Lymington during the 2nd World War. She was owned by OGA Member Mrs Fiona Beale from 1959-2009 and before that by C.S.A. Simey. She took part in the first Old Gaffers race in the Solent in 1959 and Fiona was one of the founder members of the Solent Area of the OGA. David and Cecilia Bisson took her over shortly before Fiona died in September 2009.

The cabin was added in 1928 and an engine with a port-side wing propeller in 1934. Fiona Beale added cockpit lockers in the ’70s. A chart table and electrics were added in 2008. In 2010 the cabin was refitted with 2 berths, a galley and heads, and main and mizzen topsails added. A Beta 20 was fitted in 2014. She is still yawl rigged, gaff on both masts, with 2 headsails.

She has had two names before becoming Devon Maid: Winkle and Bingle, according to the 1952 Lloyds Register. David’s father (a Guernsey pilot) found her off Alderney quite happily sailing along with no-one aboard in 1958. The owner had left Southampton and presumably had been lost overboard sometime during the night or early morning; Devon Maid had come down between Alderney and the French peninsular on the west-flowing ebb.

A Beken photograph from 1928 shows that there have not been many changes since then apart from a reduction in the size of the mainsail.

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