Our boats
Our Festival wouldn’t be the same without the spectacular boats who visit. We invite scores of historic vessels to fill the harbour, re-creating the sights, smells and flavour of what was once an important, vibrant fishing port. Traditional wooden vessels, (from Brittany to Falmouth) are rigged with spars and tan sails and line the harbour wall. They then set out for an impressive parade of sail over the three days, a sight that stirs the heart of even the most hardened land lubber.

Boat Owners – if you would like to visit us in 2018 please send us your details using this form. Please give us details of your boat including dimensions and the type of berthing required. Please let us know about any special requirements your boat may have and preferably include a phone number we can get you on too.

Select to see if you want to see the boats who have confirmed for this year, or last year’s vessels.

Previous years' boats

Elizabeth Mary

The Elizabeth Mary was built by Pearce of Looe in1908, for the Oliver family. She measures 26ft on the waterline. She fished out of Polperro for years, registered as FY28. She carries the traditional Polperro Gaff Rig with a loose footed main. She had various owners and was used for dredging oysters in the Fal for 10 years. Trevor Vincett, from Dartmouth, bought her and sailed her in local regattas, where she gained a reputation as a fast boat. Boat builder, Julian Burns owned her for a while before she passed to John Moody who partially restored her in his Salcombe boat yard. The present owner, George Dart, first saw her in Moody’s woodyard and persuaded John to part with her. He took her to Peter Williams’ Boddinick boatyard for re-planking and spent two years completing the restoration himself. She appears on the front cover of Ian Heard’s ‘Classic Boats of the West Country’, and also mentioned in ‘The History of The Falmouth Working Boat’.

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Eve of St Mawes

Eve owes her heritage to the Pilot Cutters of the Isles of Scilly. She’s a rugged, versatile craft, built to withstand the rigours of the Western Approaches in comfort and safety. These little ships were meant to be fast, weatherly and immensely strong. Traditionally constructed in 1997 by Luke Powell, she has a sense of history within her solid timbers and certainly built to last. She’s been admired, photographed and written about countless times. Under full canvas from overhanging boom to bowsprit cap, she becomes a 51ft Cutter, able to set five sails, keeping experienced sailors on their toes. Eve creates quite a spectacle around the small ports and harbours of Cornwall, Brittany and the Scillies and is owned by Classic Sailing, St Mawes, Cornwall.

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Freya

Freya is 15m long with a beam of 4.5m and draws 2.5m. She was built during the Second World War on the Baltic Sea in East Germany and worked as a fishing boat for most of her working life. Once retired from fishing, she was converted to Gaff Rigged and coded for chartering around Netherlands and the North Sea. She is now a cruising liveaboard, owned by Andrew Mccloud and kept at Millbrook, Cornwall.

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Grace

Grace is a 1925 wooden Danish top-masted Gaff Ketch, 77ft in length and originally built for fishing. She is owned by the pioneering Falmouth based mental health charity, Sea Sanctuary. The first of their kind in UK waters (and possibly the world!), Sea Sanctuary delivers programmes designed to improve people’s mental health whilst sailing amidst Cornwall’s stunning coastal environment.

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Ibis

Ibis is an East Coast Oyster Smack built in 1888 and used for fishing until the 1930s. Afterwards, she was used as a yacht and found in a very neglected state in 1980, on the Hamble River. The Davies family set about rebuilding her; a task which has continued till now. She has been at most of the Brittany and Cornish festivals since 1988 and even across the Atlantic in 2004, skippered by Helen’s son, Spike aged 20! Here, she won the Spirit of Antigua Classics (2005).

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Katla

Katla, owned by Aidan Begbie, is a 26ft Gaff Cutter. She was built in 2006 in Portugal by Martin Lund and is of the Wynfall design by Mark Smaaklers. She has made two Atlantic crossings to and from the Caribbean and has recently been brought back to life in Penryn.

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Keewaydin

Built in 1913 by G and T Smith in Rye, Keewaydin is a Lowestoft Sailing Smack. She is oak on oak, 23.5m in length, 6m beam, 3m draught and is gaff rigged. She fished out of Padstow from 1919 to 21, with the early years mainly trawling the banks of the North Sea. In 1937, she became a cargo vessel sailing the Baltic Sea. During the Second World War, Keewaydin ferried refugees from Denmark to neutral Sweden and in one particular trip, transported 420 commandos to their destination. She was converted into a yacht in 1963 and had the distinction of entering the very first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1972. After being used for many years as a charter ship in the Mediterranean, she was bought in Malta during 1998 by Paul Welch, who’s still her present owner. She has now moved home ports from Cardigan to Falmouth. Keewaydin means the home wind, the North West wind. This is from the Longfellows epic1855 poem ‘the song of Hiawatha’. Paul wants to promote a more sustainable way of travel and carrying cargo. Last year, she brought a cargo full of onions complete with onion johnnies to the Cornish shores.

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Lady Blue

Lady Blue is a 16ft Jolly Boat, with 6ft beam plus a 6ft bow sprit. She was built in 1996 under license from Giles Laurent classic boats no 109. She is Gaff Rigged with all classic bronze fittings and in a lovely condition. Owned by Phil and Zoe Manley of Lamorna.

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Lizzie May

A well-known writer on traditional sail and a former owner of pilot cutters, Tom Cunliffe, wrote of Lizzie May “To lay amongst these timbers listening to the sea rushing past is to feel seafaring’s lost heartbeat”. At 42′ long, she’s a beautiful replica of a pilot cutter of the mid to late 19th century, with her design inspired by the historic craft of the Isles of Scilly.

Lizzie May was the second creation from the acclaimed boat builder Luke Powell, originally taking 20 months to build her in 1998, then refurbished in 2001. Working pilot boats in the age of trading sailing ships had to have a reasonable degree of comfort below deck, so that the pilot would be fresh to take over a ship after spending perhaps several days aboard his pilot cutter ‘seeking’ a seagoing trading ship to see safely to its destination. Lizzie May’s accommodation, deck and rig are true to pilot cutters in the golden age of trading sail and her ambiance is widely regarded as authentic. She is a little gem, a lovely boat to sail, handles like a dingy, proving very smart in confined waters and easy to manoeuvre being so well balanced.

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Moose

Moose was built in 1925 by Pearns and Son of Looe. She was originally known as Moby Dick, owned by Looe Harbour master and used for Shark fishing. She’s pitch pine on oak, 32ft long and a classic Looe Lugger. During WW2, she was one of many vessels commissioned by the MOD, to repatriate troops from Dunkirk. But only a handful of Cornish boats went in the end. She was converted to a Gaff Cutter in 1990 and from then, sailed extensively the West Coast of Ireland, Scotland and the South West of England. We’re very excited to see her now owned by a Mousehole resident.

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Pettifox

Pettifox was built in 1992 by Peter Martin and Alfie Hicks and is the last sailing boat to be built on the Isles of Scilly and is still registered (SC 139). With 1,000 sq feet of sail, she’s a 36ft Gaff Cutter with a good turn of speed. Owned and skippered by the very likable Johnny Barley, she’s used for day sails and chartering from the Fowey area.

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Rebecca Kate

Rebecca Kate is a 16ft Port Isaac lugger, built by students in Lowestoft in 2001 for the boat’s designer Martin Castle. She is based on the lines of a vessel sailed and fished out of Port Isaac by his grandfather, over a hundred years ago. She has a typical two masted lug rig with a bowsprit and boomkin. She is owned by Jonny Mills.

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Seascan

Seascan was built by the famous Scottish yard Alexander Nobles and sons in 1962. She was a research vessel and finished her working life as a fishing boat. She is larch planking on oak frames and is powered by a 6lxb Gardner. Owned by Rob Greenway.

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Sea Salts and Sail