Grayhound 2012 - Three masted lugger & privateer
3 masted lugger Grayhound - Launched 4th Aug 2012
“Traditional seafaring reveals people to themselves in a way today’s technically orientated sailing never can. Grayhound seems to me the epitome of looking life full in the face. She represents an enterprise of shocking boldness. The nation should be proud of young people with a vision on this scale and the fortitude to see it through.” Tom Cunliffe
This is more than a paper project or a dream. If you have been following the build, you will have been amazed how quickly this major replica has taken shape. See our Big Build Pages for photos of the build.
Grayhound was launched on 'Super Saturday' 4th August 2012, on the day that Britain won 6 gold medals.
She is real. She is big.... and now she is afloat and raring to go !
About 2000 people ignored the Olympics and came to Grayhound's launch. The day was filled with sunshine, drama, sword fighting, singing and friendship. If you missed the UK wooden boat building event of the summer, then read Debbie's account of the Grayhound Launch Party and see the photos.
The Vision - Marcus, Freya and Malachi
Marcus Rowden and Freya Hart are the visionaries behind the project, and Classic Sailing team are extremely proud to have the chance to promote their incredibly bold project to build and sail a replica of the 1776 three masted Cornish Lugger "Grayhound." They are looking forward to showing you their favourite sailing destinations and they are keen on exploring ashore with you too.
Read more about Marcus, Freya and the youngest sailor on board - Malachi and why they want you to join them exploring the planet aboard their home of wooden walls.
Sail an ocean going lugger
Classic Sailing directors Adam and Debbie know from first hand experience how tough it is to find any kind of financial support for building large scale historic replicas in the UK, even when they have a real end use as an ocean going charter vessel, and help people understand about our rich maritime heritage. We tried to do something similar in 2007 with our own 'privateer project' and failed, so we have a huge respect for the determination and courage ofMarcus and Freya to get this project off the ground and build a great team around them.
Our role will be to help them fill the boat with enthusiastic crew in their first season in 2013. In 2004 Classic Sailing helped the new owners of Ezra to achieve 100% capacity bookings for their newly built 44' pilot cutter replica in Scotland. In addition to our regular fleet of sailing vessels that provide charter voyages, in 2011 we took on the whole marketing and booking for historic sailing cargo ship Bessie Ellen, and expanded her sailing programme to an 11 month operation.
We hope to do the same for Sailing Lugger Grayhound. She can take upto 8 guests and will have 2 volunteer crew berths. Grayhound will be licenced for worldwide charter and after good bit of showing off around the UK coast, she will be going on some big ocean adventures.
2013-2014 Grayhound Sailing Programme Announced - Cornwall, Cape Verde, Caribbean & more
You can now find Grayhound's sailing programme on the Classic Sailing website and we are already taking bookings. The first summer has a great mix of summer maritime festivals and coastal hopping in Devon and Cornwall - along the very shores that Revenue cutters and Privateers used to patrol. She will also be regularly crossing the Channel to explore North Brittany and the Gulf of St Malo with some crew changes in France to maximise the time exploring over there. In the late summer she heads South to Northern Spain, Portugal and the Atlantic islands groups of Madeira, Canaries, and Cape Verde. If you have always wanted to sail accross the Atlantic with the warm North East Trade winds to the Caribbean and doing it on a tall ship feels a bit like cheating, then a 2000 mile ocean passage on a three mast lugger is quite a different experience.
The Caribbean sailing is mostly island hopping but a few voyages include taking part in world famous racing events at St Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta and Antigua Classics. Grayhound will return via the Azores - one of her crew favourite destinations.
Why Sail or Build a Lugger ?
As a sailing rig it is beautiful, efficient, fast, simple and it works. It was the choice rig of both the revenue and smuggling vessels of the 18th Century. Yachtsman Pete Goss proved a 37ft lugger could still hold its head high in the modern sailing world by sailing 'Spirit of Mystery' from Newlyn to Australia in 2008. The shipwright for 'Spirit of Mystery' was Chris Rees and he is now the chief shipwright for the much larger lugger 'Grayhound.'
The lugsail is an evolved version of the classical square sail. As you can see in the photo opposite of the French Lugger, the sails have a tiered appearance, a stunning spectacle in any port. In both rigs, the upper side of the sail is attached to a spar, the yard .The great advantage of the Lug rig is that when the sails are up there are no spars at deck level, just sail cloth. The lugsail was the earliest of the fore and aft rigs. There are different types of Lug Rig. The Grayhound will use the standing lug, in which the yard remains on one side of the mast and the tack is set close to the mast. On long tacks we will use the dipping lug on the fore mast.
La Granvillaise has similar dimensions to the completed Grayhound...but is obviously a few feet shorter ! Vive le Cornish
The French have Three Masted Lugger Replicas
La Cancillaise and La Granvillaise are stunning historic replicas built with EU money in the early 1990s by the French. They steal the show at every major festival. They are about to get a rival. Whilst there is a revival of interest in luggers in Mounts Bay, Britain does not have any three masted luggers surviving or any replicas currently sailing , despite historic evidence that they were characteristic working craft of Britain.
photo by Kathy Mansfield. La Grandvillaise
History of Grayhound 1776 - Revenue Cutter & Privateer
The lugger Grayhound was built by the celebrated builder of fast coastal craft - John Parkin. He build cutters and luggers for both the revenue authorities and for the smugglers. It seems likely that the original Grayhound was built in Cawsand in Cornwall. She seems to have been built to the order of John Knill, Collector of Customs in St Ives. He hired her to act as an anti smuggling customs vessel.
Her terms of duty as a revenue cruiser was quite short due to the Declaration of Independance by our North American colonists. The ensuing war with America and France, gave attractive opportunities for privateers. John Krill bought the vessel out of customs service and had her fitted out as a privateer. In 1778 she recieved her letters of marque allowing her to take enemy ships as prizes for profit.
She carried 14 carrige guns, 3 pounders and 8 swivel guns. Under the command of Richard John she was manned by a crew of 47 !
Support the Build - Interior Refit & Sails to complete winter 2012-13
The best way to be part of this great project now, is to book a sailing voyage on Grayhound in 2013-2014. The three masted lugger rig will keep 8 charter crew very busy, or if you want a gentler introduction, why not book a day sail where there will be 12 guest crew to share the work.
4000 wooden trenails will outlast any metal fastening, but they all have to be made by hand. Thank you to everybody who sponsored a trenail for £5 with a message on your nail. Over 1000 personal messages have now been built into the ship from as far afield as the Falklands and South Georgia.
You can still buy some beautiful Grayhound merchandise.
Freya is a sailmaker and has made some beautiful canvas bags.
There are slate coasters and large delabole slate plaques with the ships design lines drawn on and slabs of wood with an oil painting of Grayhound on the timber.
Also great mugs for sale with a sketch by Toni Knights - an artist, skipper, fisherman ex lifeboat man from Brixham, who we all know in the Classic sailing office as he gave us so much support during Eve of St Mawes sea trials and first season.
Buy those souvenirs or sponsor a trenail at the on line shop on Grayhound's new website.
Grayhound is now on the water and not in the boatshed. We can keep you upto date with the Build Project as it becomes a fitting out stage....and next spring will be sea trials for a May 2013 start for charter voyages.
- Three masted lug rig sailing vessel
- length on deck will be 63’6”
- length overall 108 ‘
- Beam 19’5”
- Draught 10’9”
- 56 tonnes
- SQ feet canvas 3500
- Crew 5
- Engine Beta 90 HP
On board there will be Marcus , Freya and Malachi and three crew. Marcus 43, grew up on the River Dart and has been sailing and surfing all his life. Marcus has been a yacht delivery skipper for many years, a marine engineer and boat builder. He has built and sailed his smaller dipping lugger single handed across the Atlantic. Freya , 29 is the cook on board. She is an Ocean Yacht Master and has sailed on her own boat around the Atlantic. She is also into her art and makes canvas bags as well as maintaining the sails. She has worked in youth sail training on the South Coast.
The Grayhound will be able to accommodate up to eight people on a voyage and up to twelve people for a day sail. If we are hosting an event alongside we can take many more people on board. Bunks are dormitory style with a shower and toilet. There is a communal eating area down below with a wide opening hatch so we can star gaze while eating. In hot climates we will be eating alfresco. We have a deck house which is a chill out area and where the crew navigate. We will provide bed linen and heavy wet weather and safety gear. Being a new build, Grayhound has that amazing brand new feel to her. She smells of dry wood and pine forests. The ship will have a solar powered ventilation system to keep the cabins fresh and airy in tropical climates, or when the hatches are shut for rough seas.
We think Grayhound would be one of the best vessels in our fleet for family holidays. Her accommodation is designed with flexibility in mind and there are two seperate cabins which could take family groups of 4-5 members. Two families could sail together with a cabin each, or one family could have the privacy of their own cabin whilst sailing with 4-5 individuals in the other cabin. Without a family on board she can take 8 individuals in two cabins.
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