Leader Brixham Sailing Trawler
Brixham Sailing Trawler Leader - sail part of our maritime heritage
Leader is a former Brixham sailing trawler, one of the largest of her type ever built in 1892 at the boatyard of A. W. Gibbs in Galmpton on the river Dart. She fished in UK waters until 1907, when she was sold to new owners in Scandinavia. She remained there as a working vessel until the 1960's, when she became a sail training vessel under the flag of the Swedish Cruising Club. In 1985, she was taken to the West coast of Scotland, where she was used for sailing charter holidays.
In 1996 she was brought home to South Devon, and operated from Dartmouth until 1999, when she returned to Brixham.
Leader is rigged as she would have been when first built, as a gaff ketch to haul a fishing beam trawl. She is 80' long on deck, and 105' overall. She displaces about 110 tonnes in sailing trim. She has a beam of 19'6" and a draft of 10'.
Down below, Leader has been fitted out for her modern role. She has accommodation for twelve guests and five crew, a large saloon area, a galley with a large, gas cooker, two heads, two hot showers, and a generator that supplies a ring main with 240v electricity. She has a well equipped nav. station with modern navigation equipment including Radar, GPS and DSC VHF Radio.
Leader was one of the largest of the sailing trawlers, known, despite their ketch rig, as the 'Big Sloops'.
Leader is rigged now just as she was when she fished under sail, over 100 years ago. She has a 'Gaff Rig', indicating that the Main and Mizzen sails are hoisted using a 'gaff', a spar attached to their upper side. The Ketch rig (two masts) was used to divide up the sail area, making each sail easier to handle by a small crew. The large number of sails (up to eight) makes it easy to 'change gear' by hoisting or lowering sails as required, depending upon the strength of the wind.
The Ketch rig is very versatile; good in light winds, when extra sails can be set (such as flying jib and mizzen staysail), good in heavy winds (she can sail under mizzen and staysail alone) and good for manoeuvring (the mizzen can be used to help to balance and turn the boat).
Leader has good headroom below decks with bunks grouped into cabin areas of 4 bunks with curtains for each bunk - plus some curtains when you need them to divide up space into smaller sleeping / changing areas. There is a huge dining table to seat about 18 crew and guests. Leader takes a maximum of 12 guest crew plus skipper, mate, cook and deckhand.
Adventure charter voyages for adults on Leader
Leader has a major role as a sail training ship for youth development, so her adult charter voyages for individuals are few, so don't leave it too late to book her summer voyages. Please ring us for availability if you would like to charter the whole vessel outside these adult charter weeks.
Leader at the Brixham Trawler Race - St Georges Cup
In winter 2011-2012 Leader received a major restoration grant to replace her deck, deck beams and bulwarks. Over the last 15 years a substantial amount of her hull planks have been completely replaced and the whole hull planking refastened. In a previous ownership the rig was overtightened which distorted her fine hull lines. The major shipwright work last winter has enabled the sheer and wooden decks to be restored to thier former glory.
Be the first to race Leader against rivals like Vigilance or the almost totally re built Brixham Trawler Pilgrim in May.
Brixham Trawler in the Isles of Scilly
Leader has 2 Isles of Scilly Voyages in 2013. These start and finish in Falmouth so you have two 65 mile passages to notch up. Find your sealegs with an evening sail to the Helford River. You may have an early moring start coastal sailing down the Lizard where you might spot basking sharks. Once around the Lizard there is an offshore passage accross Mounts Bay and past Wolf Rock lighthouse and beyond the yellow granite cliffs of West Penwith and Longships Light. On a clear day you can often see the Scillies and Lands End, but it still feels like you are in the Atlantic. The strong tides off Lands End are a good place to spot dolphins, basking shark and sun fish, as well as ocean seabirds.
The beauty of working historic ships is they look so 'right' anchored in timeless places like St Mary's Sound or New Grimsby. Sailing ships and fishing boats like Leader have been dropping their 'hook' here for over 100 years. Leader carrys a large zodiac on her main deck, so even in remote deep water anchorages like St Helens Pool, you can get ashore to Tresco or maybe St Martin. She can't tuck as far in as our smaller boats but Leader can anchor in The Cove or Porth Cressa.
Offering some great voyages in Northern Ireland and South West Scotland in 2013, join Leader exploring these celtic coastlines. with some special additions including a music week or a sailing and climbing adventure week, why not experience the best of these areas by sea and by land.
Pick your Voyage
Being 'free', being able to see the sun, stars, waves and the moon! Feeling like I was 'at home'. A mesmerizing and...
"I enjoyed our trip to the Scillies so much. We had great weather an exciting fast sail to St Agnes. The Cove was ju...
Yes the adventure is now completed for both Janet & myself. According to Janet the sailing from Ascension to Ber...