News in March 2017

Latest Press Release — Historic Vessel to Celebrate its 125th Year Posted on


A historic sailing vessel will be celebrating a major milestone this spring with a special celebratory anniversary voyage across Devon and Cornwall.

Brixham Trawler Leader is turning 125 this year and her current owners — the Trinity Sailing Foundation — are putting on a special trip to mark the occasion.

The 1892-built vessel — which forms part of UK National Historic Fleet, a status which ranks her alongside the likes of HMS Victory and the Cutty Sark — will be heading up the River Dart to sail past the site where she built at W. A. Gibbs’ yard, Galmpton.

Those on board will be having a champagne toast to the iconic vessel; there will be a talk about her history and a special birthday cake. After which Leader will spend several days sailing along the Devon and Cornwall coast calling in at a host of ports where she is well known.

Harry Gottschalk, Trinity Sailing’s Marketing & Sales Manager, said: “We thought it would be criminal if we didn’t celebrate the old girl’s birthday milestone in style.

“We will be joined by her regular crew, our Operations’ Director Ben, plus many guests who have a special place in their hearts for Leader as we look at her history through the decades during what is shaping up to be a memorable evening.

“Over the course of the week she will sailing along the Devon and Cornwall coast, stopping off at host of ports along the way where the vessel has regularly called in over the years. We will also be handing everyone on board a special limited-edition T-shirt for guests to take home as a memento from the week.”

Leader fished in UK waters until 1907, when she was sold to new owners in Sweden. She operated on the west coast there until 1970, when she became a sail training vessel for the Swedish Cruising Club. At the time she was one of the largest of the Brixham sailing trawlers, known, despite their Ketch rig, as the ‘Big Sloops’.

In 1985 she moved to the west coast of Scotland where, as ‘Lorne Leader’, she was used for sailing holidays and charter for 10 years. In 1996 she was brought home to South Devon, and operated from Dartmouth until 1999, when she became part of the Trinity fleet, based in Brixham.

There are a small handful of berths remaining for Leader’s 125th Anniversary Cruise which will be sailing from Brixham to Falmouth between Saturday, May 13 and Friday, May 19. For more information call 01803 88 33 55, email, or visit


Notes to editors

Trinity Sailing Foundation is a registered charity (No: 1137405) dedicated to supporting the personal development of disadvantaged young people through offshore sail training and to conserve the nationally important historic sailing vessels in its care. Based in Brixham, its fleet of historic sailing vessels also provide opportunities for traditional sailing holidays around the UK and Europe. Website:


For further information, images and interviews, please contact

Harry Gottschalk, Marketing & Sales Manager

Trinity Sailing Foundation, The Sail Loft, Pump Street Brixham, and Devon, TQ5 8ED Tel: 01803 883355 Email:


Paimpol Festival 2017 – Two New Berths Available Posted on

Two more spaces have gone on general sale for Leader’s voyage to the Paimpol ‘Chant du Marin’ Festival 2017.

The Paimpol Festival is in mid-August and is always one of our first cruises to sell-out. Today we are pleased to be able offer two additional berths due to a cancellation.

Both Leader and Provident (which is now sold-out) will be taking part this year. The attractive harbour will be packed with boats from all around the world. On shore there is much in the way of music, sea shanties, maritime crafts, food, and drink. Invited vessels line the harbour walls and are encouraged to leave their sails up to be admired. This is the highlight of a 10-day voyage to Brittany, providing extra time to explore some of the stunning destinations dotted along the north-west coast of France.

If you like traditional vessels and lively ports, this is a voyage which will appeal to you. Paimpol is a historic fishing town built around a central dock which can house over 200 boats, including tall ships.

We expect these two berths to be snapped up VERY fast so, if you are interested, do not delay and give Harry in the office a call on 01803 88 33 55.

Event Start Finish Start Port End Port Nights Vessel Cost
Paimpol & Extended Brittany Cruise Wed, Aug 9 Fri, Aug 18 Brixham Brixham 9 Provident FULL
Paimpol & Extended Brittany Cruise Wed, Aug 9 Fri, Aug 18 Falmouth Falmouth 9 Leader £1,095


Paimpol 2017

Meet the Team — Paul Lawton Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we have been introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with the final member of our sea staff — Paul Lawton.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am the skipper on board Golden Vanity, though I will also be spending some of the season skippering Provident. I am also Trinity Sailing’s RYA Chief Instructor and am a new member of the team.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

Immediately prior to joining Trinity I was working as a secondary school maths and science teacher at the Steiner Academy, in Exeter. I have worked in sailing for 14 years as well, and before that I worked in banking.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being able to introduce people to the joys of traditional boat sailing. It is a real pleasure to be with them as they learn new skills and share with them the natural beauty of the surrounding coastline.
Where is your favourite sailing destination?

I have been lucky enough to have sailed in many parts of the world and I have found that the south west of England, the areas around the Dart and Fal rivers are my favourites.  I also have a soft spot for the Scillies, which are very calming.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy all types of travel, including whistle-stop weekend trips and longer expeditions. I love sea kayaking around the Devon and Cornwall coast, and I also often go touring with my wife on a Vespa.

Paul Lawton

Meet the Team — Bethany Gay Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Bethany Gay.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I’m the newest member as I joined Trinity a couple months ago, on a chilly January morning, on the basis of helping out with winter refit for three days and haven’t left since. My role this season is the relief cook and deckhand, predominantly on the oldest vessel in the fleet — Leader.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

During college I managed to wangle a schools residential and my Gold Duke of Edinburgh on board Golden Vanity, but then life got in the way and I went off to study at university. Since then I’ve spent the last five years cooking in five-star chalets and snowboarding in the French Alps, during the winter months, followed by hospitality jobs at sea for the summer.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It’s the perfect job as I… 1.) Get to go sailing 2.) Get to see some of the most beautiful parts of the country and further afield 3.) Get to go meet a plethora of people from all walks of life, while eating some of the finest local produce. Besides, not many people can say that their home is a 125-year-old traditional wooden sailing trawler.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

The Isles of Scilly archipelago – its like the Caribbean (thought not quite that hot) but it really is a hidden gem and as it’s only 28 miles from Lan’ds End. There’s an amazing ice cream parlour on St Agnes and the wildlife is phenomenal, especially from viewing up on deck.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I really love winter and water sports but when I’m in the west country I do have a soft spot for Cornish Pilot Gigs. These are marvellous 32ft long, clinker built, elm rowing boats which weigh a hefty 355kg, but then I am slightly biased as I have been rowing them on and off since I was 13. If I am not in, or on, the water I can also be found tinkering in the shed as I was bought up on fixing classic cars and going to motorsport competitions at weekends — although my mother was slightly unimpressed when I rebuilt my carburettor in her living room the other day. I am also trying to learn British sign language and bad jokes so, anybody on board with me this summer, I would love a hand!

Bethany Gay

Extensive Project Gathers Pace for Historic Vessel Posted on

One of South Devon’s most recognisable and historic boats is undertaking an essential and major renovation.

The 1924-built sailing vessel Provident — which is owned and operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation — will be heading back out to sea this May after having her entire aft deck removed and replaced.

Throughout the winter the gaff-rigged trawler has been a major focal point of Brixham Harbour, sitting alongside the harbour wall, while a team of shipwrights and her crew get her ready for the new season which will see her sailing to Brittany, the Channel Islands, and the Scillies.

The work was part-funded by The Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material (PRISM) Fund, through the Arts Council, along with support from other generous individuals and organisations.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to support the restoration of this historically significant vessel through our PRISM fund. The fund aims to conserve items or collections that are important in the history and development of science, technology, industry and related fields. The ‘Provident’ has a rich heritage and this conservation project supports its legacy.”

Ben Wheatley, Trinity Sailing’s Operations Director, said: “By far the most significant and most challenging refit task for Trinity Sailing this winter is the renewal of the aft half of Provident’s main deck; the forward section was completed in 2013, and it is now time for the old deck planks, knees and beams in the aft half of the vessel to be replaced with new.

“We have been working over several years to make improvements to her: new bulwarks and stanchions, a new foredeck and a new engine. This is the final phase. We also invested £200,000 on re-decking our biggest vessel Leader. Golden Vanity, the third of our vessels, is busier than ever with her successful Duke of Edinburgh Residentials and Expeditions.

“This current project began in January; a waterproof cover was erected to enclose the vessel before the work started; since then all the old deck planks and beams have been removed, the new beams are in place and the new deck planks will be going back in soon.

“We are very pleased that Bob Cann and his team of shipwrights, have been able to utilise high quality, seasoned, English oak to make up the beams and knees, whilst Douglas fir will be used for the deck planks. We are also taking this opportunity to do some repairs to the transom and make some improvements to the crew accommodation and lazarette areas.

“It is great to see so much good, new, timber going in to the vessel.   Once complete this project will ensure she is in an excellent condition to meet the challenges of a busy sail training and charter programme for years to come.”

The vessel forms part of UK National Historic Fleet, a status which ranks her alongside the likes of HMS Victory and the Cutty Sark.

After the Second World War, Provident arrived in Salcombe, in 1951, as the founding vessel of the Island Cruising Club where she remained until 1999 when she started working from Brixham as part of the newly-formed Trinity Sailing Foundation. Provident was built in 1924, in the same yard on the River Dart as Leader. She was a replacement for an earlier vessel of the same name, sunk during the First World War by a German U-boat. She fished out of Brixham for 10 years before being sold to a wealthy American and converted to a private yacht.

If you would like to join Provident for a cruise this year, you can call Trinity Sailing on 01803 88 33 55 or email Her full voyage programme is available online at



Meet the Team — Neil Wilson Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Neil Wilson.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am Trinity’s substitute team member. Part-time mate, part-time cook, part-time deckie. I help to cover the main crew members when they are away on leave and have spent time working on all three vessels. I’m a volunteer and am often around in the winter months getting the vessels ready for sea.

How long have your worked for Trinity?

I have been coming down for the past two-and-a-half years.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

Before I retired I drove trucks around Europe for around 20 years, prior to that I was transporting containers to and from various parts of the UK for 15 years. I have done a wide range of everything though, I was a butcher once.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being involved with the other members of the Trinity team, who are a lot younger than me. I find the things many of them have done and the goals they have achieved very inspiring in many ways.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

I am particularly fond of the Devon and Cornwall area, but I also like it in Oban and around the Scottish Isles.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I volunteer at an urban community farm, in Southampton, where I work mainly in the gardens with groups of people with special needs. I also hold a world record for the most sighs within a five minute period.

Neil Wilson

Meet the Team – Enya Williams Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Enya Williams.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am the the cook on Provident, it’s my job to provide three freshly cooked meals a day plus, most importantly, afternoon cake.

How long have your worked for Trinity?

This is going to be my second season with Trinity as cook, though I have been sailing with trinity for five years as a charter guest.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

Before I joined the Trinity team I was a student at Plymouth City College studying catering and hospitality. At the same time I was a cook/barista at my local pub.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

This is my dream job and the best thing about it is seeing everyone around the table enjoying them self, eating my food and discussing the fun day they had above deck.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

I haven’t been very far as yet but my favourite place up till now has got to be St Malo, in France.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy sailing my little dingy, spending time with my family and friends and going to the local pub for a game of pool and a pint. I’m also partial to a bit of rum.

Enya Williams

National Historic Ships UK Secures HLF support Posted on

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) has received initial support for a £424,900 scheme from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme, it was announced today.

The grant was applied for to assist in funding a second phase of the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project – an initiative that aims to prevent the loss of the traditional skills and techniques involved in conserving, handling and maintaining historic vessels.   Development funding of £15,900 has been awarded to help NHS-UK progress its plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.

The project will host 16 training placements of 12-month duration each at eight partner sites across the UK.  Trainees will be working with a variety of historic vessels in both operational and museum settings, receiving specialist training in traditional seamanship and maritime curatorial skills. They will also undertake a tailored induction at Cremyll Sea School, a unique course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft and a range of modules in historic vessel conservation.

This scheme is based on an earlier HLF-funded project which successfully hosted ten training placements with partners operating historic vessels at sites ranging from Scotland to the West Country.  Nine of those ten trainees went on to secure paid or voluntary employment within the maritime sector.

Hannah Cunliffe, Policy & Projects Manager at NHS-UK, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this further support.  The funding will help young people learn the practical skills which are necessary to interpret, operate and maintain historic vessels within a museum collection or on the water to a standard in keeping with their significance.  The project includes the development of a series of short films to document skills in action, ensuring a lasting legacy which will also benefit the wider sector.”

 Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its work force and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve.

“We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47m to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10m. Why? Because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”

SHTP was formed to deliver this Skills for the Future project and comprises the following organisations:

National Historic Ships UK (lead partner) –

Royal Museums Greenwich –

HMS Warrior 1860 –

Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust –

Dauntseys School Sailing Club –

Sea-Change Sailing Trust –

Excelsior Sailing Trust –

Trinity Sailing Foundation –

Pioneer Sailing Trust –

Hugh Langworthy

Meet the Team — Emma Broadhurst Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Emma Broadhurst.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I have been with Trinity since the start of 2016 when I joined as mate on Leader. I will be doing the same again this coming season. Right now I am busy helping to get her ready for her first trip in April.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I have worked on a number of other traditional sailing vessels, most recently as bosun on a square-rigged vessel doing long ocean trips.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy meeting a wide-range of people, and seeing so many new spaces over a short space of time. I generally just love everything about sailing.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

It has to be the west coast of Scotland, visiting all the different islands. The scenery is always very dramatic, there’s so much wildlife and there is always somewhere new to explore. I am looking forward to Leader’s long stint up there this summer.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Sailing, sailing, and more sailing. It’s pretty much all I like to do. When I am not doing that I like travelling to and exploring the places I have sailed to.

Emma Broadhurst

The Trinity Experience – An American Perspective… Posted on

A former Trinity Sailing crew member who sailed on board our vessels last year has documented her time at sea and her experience of the sailing season.

Briana Partridge (pictured left), who lives in Key West, Florida, hopes to start a career in the British sailing industry having fallen in love with the UK coastline during her year on board both Leader and Provident. She wanted to share her experience in the hope it will inspire others to spend time on a Brixham Trawler.

Here is her blog, explaining her love affair with traditional gaff-rigged vessels and sailing in her favourite part of the world — Scotland.

If you would like to experience the west coast for yourself, please check out of dates for this coming season here.


Brianna Partridge