Tall Ship takeover: the historic ships coming to Sutton Harbour Marina this month
Throughout the year Sutton Harbour Marina welcomes a number of historic tall ships which open to the public so people can enjoy exploring them. The ships moor in the marina alongside Quay Road, providing the perfect location for visitors to climb aboard. Having these amazing vessels in Sutton Harbour Marina also brings our maritime history to life and transports us back to how the harbour once looked.
As Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth has an extensive marine history, with Sutton Harbour being the site where the legendary Mayflower set sail for the New World in 1620 – an occasion which will be marked next year for the 400th year anniversary and the Mayflower 2020 celebrations. The Mayflower Steps commemorate the voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers, as well as the Mayflower Museum, which explores the historic journey across three floors, so you can easily find out more.
This month two historic ships are visiting Sutton Harbour – The Tectona and The Grayhound.
The Tectona will be moored along Quay Road in Sutton Harbour until Sunday 14th April. The vessel was built in 1928 on the beach of Calcutta in India – with the help of a few elephants it is believed. She measures 23 metres in length and weighs 75 tonnes.
The Tectona has some links to Plymouth, as throughout the 1960s, the vessel was used by the University of Plymouth to train students on their navigational courses. The ship was bought by Dr Robert Crabtree in 2009 with the vision of providing sail training for those in recovery from addiction. Today, the crew continues his legacy.
Sailing Tectona CIC is a non-profit organisation that provides sail training for people from all backgrounds, including youth groups, disadvantaged young people and adults in recovery from mental health problems and substance misuse. Sailing Tectona is supported by The Tectona Trust which provides funding for Recovery and Mental Health Voyages.
Sail training can help people develop life skills such as working as part of a team, self-confidence and leadership skills. Studies show that psychological wellbeing is also linked to physical health, with sea air and exposure to sun helping to induce a relaxed state and reduce the feelings of stress.
For more information on Tectona and their sail training, visit their website www.sailingtectona.co.uk.
The Grayhound is a replica of an 18th century Customs Lugger and is sailing into Sutton Harbour Marina on Easter Sunday (21st April) for a week-long visit.
The three-masted ship was built by husband and wife, Marcus and Freya, between 2010 and 2012. She measures 180 feet in length, a slightly smaller replica of the original which was built only a few nautical miles west of Plymouth, in the village of Cawsand in 1776. The vessel worked as a Revenue Lugger patrolling harbours in a bid to catch smugglers.
The historic ship is a regular visitor to Sutton Harbour Marina, as she has berthed in the marina during the last two Plymouth Pirate Weekend celebrations – and is returning for this year’s Pirate Weekend – and has previously delivered goods by sail to restaurant venues in Sutton Harbour, as part of eco-friendly initiatives.
The Grayhound hosts voyage experiences for members of the public who want to see what life was like on board an 18th century ship. Visitors can try their hand at being part of a cargo crew, transporting organic French wine and West Country ale across the Channel.
For more information in the Grayhound and their voyage experiences, visit their website https://www.grayhoundluggersailing.co.uk/.
We very much enjoy having beautiful ships like The Tectona and The Grayhound moored in Sutton Harbour Marina and welcome interest from other tall ships who may like to visit. The ships are always a crowd pleaser, making everyone’s day out along the harbour that extra special. Historic ships remind us of the importance of our maritime history and shows us how 18th century Sutton Harbour would have looked.