Weir Quay Cadets set sail on Leader

Our cadets’ Tall Ships trip got off to a flying start yesterday afternoon as the crew set sail from Brixham under sail.

Leader alongside in Brixham Harbour.

Leader was one of the largest of the Brixham sailing trawlers, known, despite their Ketch rig, as the ‘Big Sloops’.

Leader, at 105 feet in length overall (LOA) including bowsprit, and displacing 110 tonnes, is the largest and oldest of the three Trinity boats. She carries 3,150 sq ft of sail on a gaff ketch rig, measures 80 ft on deck, has a beam of 19 ft and a draught of 10 ft. She is one of the largest class of sailing trawler. She was built in 1892 at W. A. Gibbs’ yard at Galmpton on the River Dart in Devon.

Leader is owned and operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation out of Brixham Harbour and you can find more information on her and Trinity’s other vessels at

Alan Duncan takes up the story; “The send off went well.  All arrived for the 14.00 appointed time and we were invited aboard; parents, siblings, etc.  The cadets soon found their bunks and the adults were allowed to walk around the vessel and speak to the crew; all very compact but well organised.  Soon the cadets assembled at the stern and were introduced to the crew, then the briefing started and the “extras” were expected to leave.  We had been told that they would take the “Leader” out into the bay and do a little sailing, before mooring to a buoy for the night.  Due to the wind, we were told that the following day they would sail east!  We had a good view of them, from the breakwater, hoisting the sails and setting off about 15.30.Katherine heard from Daisy that by 2230 they were settled in their bunks and a second at 0340, she had just finished her watch and was back in bed.”

Leader heads east toward her first overnight anchorage in Seaton Bay.

With easterly winds forecast for the week, Leader set a course tacking to the east and the cadets spent their first night afloat anchored in Seaton Bay. You can follow the progress of Leader and the WQSC Cadets on the Marine Traffic app available from the Apple App Store fo £4.99, from which these screen grabs were taken. Of course other marine tracking apps and plaforms are available…..

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