The Call of the Sea 01872 580022

Learn to Sail a Lugger

Maiden Voyage on Grayhound Topsails finally upPhoto: Spirit of Mystery chasing Grayhound and 3500 sq ft of canvas.

Learn to Sail a Lugger

How many people in the street know what a sailing lugger is ?

How many yachtsmen know what a lug rig looks like ?

How many traditional boat sailors can explain how to tack a lugger ?

If you want to learn - we know a very nice couple who can teach you.

Preserve Our Maritime Skills

This lack of knowledge about sailing luggers is ridiculous for a maritime nation like Britain. Luggers are such an integral part of our working boat history and have so many links with working craft throughout the world. With Grayhound's help we want to make the term as well recognised as tea clipper, tall ship, or dare we say it....pilot cutter.

In 1997 about the only pilot cutters known to the average classic boat lover was Jolie Brise, and from books Tilman's Mischief and Tom Cunliffe's Hirta. Today there are over 30 restored originals or replica pilot cutters out on the water sailing (see Our Pilot Cutter Directory).

IToday know there are luggers out there, but most are in private ownership, trusts or clubs. Grayhound is the first UK lugger with a worldwide sailing licence that you can sail on as charter crew.

Learn to Sail a Lugger in the West Countryclassic sailing holiday on Grayhound

Any of Grayhound's week long summer voyages would be an ideal oportunity to learn to sail a lugger. If you are looking for more advanced skills then the Grayhound has topsails and t'gallants to get to grips with and crew have years of racing experience to pass on. 

Week long voyages on Grayhound with coastal and offshore sailing

Day Sails on Grayhound

Why not buy a loved one a day sail on this impressive lugger for a present. Grayhound has day sails for you to try out a lugger from Dartmouth - a scenic historic port with a great coastline to explore.

Day sail dates on Grayhound - the ultimate Lugger Taster Experience


Learn to Sail from the Experts

Marcus has already built a 30ft dipping lugger 'Veracity' back in 2003 and has since sailed her 22 000 miles including an Atlantic circumnavigation. He particularly loves taking part in friendly racing and surprising other sailors by showing the sheer pace of luggers. Marcus, and his purple lugger Veracity, are well known characters at classic boat festivals in Britain, France, and as far afield as Antigua Classics in the Caribbean. Boat builder, welder, sailing instructor, and experienced skipper, Marcus is now ready to take the tiller of this new, larger vessel. 

Marcus's partner Freya is a bespoke canvas and sail maker. She is also a passionate cook and boat mum to their young son Malachi.  After some years working on traditional sail training vessels she is an Ocean Yachtmaster and has recently completed an Atlantic circumnavigation.

Why Sail 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.'

Advanced Lugger Skills Voyages

There are many ways to gain experience, but racing is good for intensive boat handing and great fun.

La Cancalaise 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 now have a British 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.

Grayhound Cross Channel Adventures - Meet the French

Cross Oceans and Island Hop whilst you Learn

You can learn sailing and navigation skills on a 34ft yacht in the Solent, but just think how much more exciting it would be to do something a bit more, well Midshipman Hornblower mixed with Jack Sparrow.  Grayhound has already sailed the ocean blue and taken charter guests on a Classic Trade Winds circuit. We think we might repeat the Atlantic Circuit or similar ocean voyage in 2017 so please let us know if it interests you.

On Grayhound you can explore the rias of Northern Spain, learn about remote Atlantic islands like Madeira or Cape Verde Archipelago, have a go at Astro navigation, compare lug sails with Caribbean fishermen and get involved (if you wish) in the maintenance that keeps this wooden boat safe and self sufficent.... and learn much more than the seamanship and lugger sailing skills that you are absorbing.

Classic sailing holiday on Grayhound

photo by Kathy Mansfield. La Grandvillaise

Brush up your rowing skills too.

Grayhound will carry an 18 ft gig boat as a stylish means of getting ashore.  Shorter than a pilot gig boat, this traditional ships boat has been designed and built by Grayhound's shipwright Chris Rees - specifically for her charter voyages. Four people can row plus a cox, so wherever you anchor you will be able to mess around in small boats, explore up rivers or impress the locals on the way to the pub.



Marcus sailing into Dartmouth with new sails for the first time.




Pick your Sailing Holiday

E.g., 23/04/2018

Search the web site.

Search form

Customer Comments

"I enjoyed our trip to the Scillies so much. We had great weather an exciting fast sail to St Agnes. The Cove was jus...

Follow us

RSS Feeds

Latest Offers & New Voyages

First name

Last name