Devon residents are being invited to get involved with the exciting final touches of Provident’s return to sea.
The 1924 vessel will be back on the water in May, for the first time in nearly two years, after she was stood down amid concerns over the reliability of her elderly Gardner engine. As a small charitable organisation, Trinity needed time to fundraise for the money to cover the necessary work.
While the vital fundraising took place, the gaff-rigger was moored on a buoy in Brixham Harbour, stripped of her masts, sails, spars, soft-furnishings, electronics and furniture. The Trinity team are looking forward to seeing Provident — which forms part of the National Historic Fleet — return to sea after her notable absence.
Operations Manager Ben Wheatley said: “We would like to open up an opportunity for local supporters to get involved in the final week of preparations for Provident’s first voyage in quite some time.
“We need to add the finishing touches to her hull and rig before her inaugural voyage of the 2016 season, ahead of her much anticipated participation in the upcoming Brixham Heritage Regatta.
“If you would like to come down and help on board we would be very grateful for anyone to pick up a paintbrush or a tin of Brasso. Our team will make you very welcome and provide you with tea, biscuits, and a wholesome lunch.”
People are being invited to come down any day between Wednesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 12.
Trinity Sailing’s Marketing & Sales Manager Harry Gottschalk said: “A lot of local people have a history of sailing on Provident, especially from her years in Salcombe. Some I have spoken to have literally grown up sailing on her. We thought some of her admirers would find it rewarding to help get her back to her best and share some anecdotes from her rich history with our current crew.”
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.
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.
Provident’s return begins with an eight-night voyage starting Saturday, May 28, firstly taking part in the Brixham 102-year-old Brixham Heritage Sailing Regatta, then sailing along the Devon and Dorset Coastline before joining around 100 other traditionally rigged vessels for the Yarmouth Gaffers Rally. After which she has a busy sailing season right through to October, sailing to the like of Brittany and the Channel Islands.
If you would like to help get her back to her best, or join Provident for her come back cruise, call Ben or Harry at Trinity Sailing on 01803 88 33 55 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her full voyage programme is available online at www.trinitysailing.org