Provident is an original Brixham Trawler built in Devon in 1924 and was one of the last sailing trawlers to be commissioned. She is one of the medium-sized trawlers, with sleek lines and lighter sails and spars than her bigger sister ship Leader. The ships wheel is a great vantage point to soak up views of the wooden decks and savour helming 85 tons of British working history, with the tan sails powering you along the coast. Provident has been a charter vessels for decades so there always seems to be a former sailor saying hello on every quayside.
|Vessel||Start Date||End Date||Start Port||End Port||Price|
- Length overall: 90ft (27.56)
- Length on deck: 70ft (21.51m)
- Year built: 1924
- Vessel type/rig:Brixham Trawler
- Guest berths: 12
- Crew berths: 4
The Experts View: What Provident Does Best
Adventure Cruising and Exploration Ashore
Provident adventure cruises are a mixture of activity afloat, exploration ashore and pure relaxation. On most cruises fixed itineraries are avoided, allowing us the maximum freedom to go with the weather, not fight it, and to yield to the mood of the moment: to press on to a new destination that lies over the horizon, visit the local market or just ramble ashore, swim and enjoy a barbeque on a quiet beach.
Sailing Provident is done the traditional way and does require a team effort. As with all Classic Sailing vessels, there are no winches, only blocks and tackles to hoist sails. Technique is more important than strength, so everyone can join in and learn to sail this magnificent vessel. Alternatively, you can tuck yourself up in a corner with a good book. How much or how little you do is entirely up to you.
Proving Historic Ships are Best at Sea - Not in a Museum.
1924 Provident is part of the core collection of the British Historic Ships Register. Provident has been a skippered charter vessel for over 65 years. Setting sail every day each season means she has introduced thousands of sailors to cruising and communal life aboard a traditionally rigged ship. Having a purpose helps her gain restoration grants and stay sailing in good condition. In 2017 she had new decks and work is always on-going. Willing volunteers have given her a lot of love and attention.
If you want to experience living history, help keep our maritime skills alive, or simply enjoy a long weekend doing something completely different, then Provident offers a few short breaks and day sails each year. These 1-4 day voyages include all accommodation on board, sailing instruction and great meals, freshly prepared by the ships cook.
Why not buy a Provident Taster Voyage for a present for a friend or relative ? She was the founding vessel of the Island Trust in Salcombe in the 1950's so many sailors of that era still remember their first voyage on her.If you sailed Provident many years ago, why not come back for a blast around the bay.
An amazing experience! To also sail and live on a piece of history is fantastic. The crew, skipper, and fellow passengers made the trip truly memorable". Roger 2013
Crossing the English Channel
Brixham offers one of the best setting off ports to cross the Channel under sail. In prevailing South West or West winds you can go for a spirited fast reach to Brittany or the Channel Islands. The wind angle for this route is a much better point of sailing and shorter distance than crossing from the Solent or Cornwall.
If you have done a bit of coastal sailing and a Channel crossing with night hours is your next goal, then signing up as crew on a deep keeled Brixham Trawler is a wonderful way to gain a taste of offshore sailing. On a yacht crossing the channel at night, everyone typically stays clipped in and seated in the cockpit. On a proper sailing ship the high bulwarks and flat decks make it possible to walk to a job rather than crawl. Standing at the wheel, steering by the stars is a wonderful feeling.
What to Expect on Provident
Sailing Provident is done the traditional way and does require a team effort. As with all Classic Sailing vessels, there are no winches, only blocks and tackles to hoist sails. Technique is more important than strength, so everyone can join in and learn to sail this magnificent vessel. Alternatively, you can tuck yourself up in a corner with a good book. How much or how little you do is entirely up to you. The ships wheel is a great vantage point to soak up views of the wooden decks and savour helming 85 tons of British working history, with the tan sails powering you along the coast.
Provident is rigged now just as she was when she fished under sail early last century. 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, mizzen topsail 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).
Life on Board
The big saloon and oak table on Provident is so perfect for meals, that she is often the vessel of choice for social gatherings and parties if you are rafted up with other ships at festivals. On a charter voyage you have your 'floating restaurant' to yourselves, but if the weather is nice then there are some great places to sit and eat on the 90 ft long deck.
Provident carries a dedicated ships cook (as well as a skipper, mate and bosun) and you can buy bottles of wine on board, on charter voyages. Three meals a day, BBQ's ashore you don't have to pack for, and possibly the smell of cake or bread baking are all the advantages on sailing on a ketch with 4 professional crew.
Apart from a team effort with washing up, domestic chores are generally done by the ships crew too, but you might like to help scrub the decks for exercise (good for the core muscles and keeps the deck seams tight)
Accommodation on Provident
Down below, Provident has been fitted out for her modern role, but you can easily see her massive oak timbers and gain an appreciation of her hull strength, whilst being safely 'cocooned' in varnished wood.
She has accommodation for twelve guests and four crew, a large saloon area, a galley with a large, gas cooker, two toilets, a hot shower, and a generator that supplies a ring main with 240v electricity. She has a well equipped navigation station with modern navigation equipment including Radar, GPS and DSC VHF Radio.
Provident has relatively easy steps to negotiate to go below. Firstly you step down about 3 steps to the doghouse with has large windows to the deck. there there is a second set of steps down into the main saloon.
There is a huge wooden saloon table with cushioned seating and two pilot berths on the other side of the room. There is a door to two separate 2 berth cabins on either side of the doghouse. Forward of the main mast is a two person cabin and a 4 person cabin.
There is separate crew quarters for 4 behind a bulkhead with its own hatch aft.
Provident Layout Below Decks
Provident Ships Specification
|length overall including spars||90ft 5"||27.56|
|Length of Hull||70ft 6"||21.51|
|Max Sail area||3010 sq ft||280 sq m|
|GRT Gross registered Tonnage||41.62 sq m|
|Displacement tons||93 ton||85 tonnes|
|Port of registry||Brixham||Devon|
|original fishing number||BM28|
|Builder: J Sanders||Galmpton||Devon|
Sail Plan - Gaff Ketch
Provident - Skippers & Crew
Ben Wheatley - Operations Manager/Relief Skipper
Ben started his maritime career sailing on square riggers, working his way up through the ranks to First Mate. He first joined the Brixham Trawler fleet in 2013 as skipper. After 12 years of working on tall ships and sailing to a number of beautiful destinations, Ben decided he wanted to find a place to base himself and start a family.
Today, Ben is based in Brixham where he oversees the operational side of the organisation, supporting the skippers and crew on board the vessels during the sailing season and coordinating the refit plans during the winter months. He enjoys spending time with his family, and gets to have his “tall ship fix” when he fills in as skipper for the fleet of vessels. He is a very knowledgeable skipper and loves to teach others. If you are one of the lucky ones that gets to sail with Ben this season and you are interested in traditional rigged vessels, he is the best person to ask!