Boat Park Working Party – Progress Report

Saturday 16th November saw a large group of club members embark on the first working party of the winter. A team suitably armed with an impressive array of heavy duty garden tools, mainly concentrated on cutting back the hedge and small trees to open up the view of the river.

The effect has been quite dramatic and the whole of the river from Cargreen to Holes Hole can now be seen from the BBQ area alongside the boatshed. Next year’s “Pop Up Barbeques” should be even more impressive in the late evening sun!

Eschewing the big boys’ tools of hedge trimmers and chainsaws, our commodore bends his back into the daunting task of doing the dishes…..

A big thank you to everyone that took part. Its amazing what a motivated team can achieve in a short period of time.

First Cadets Bag Pack – “A Great Success!”

This Saturday saw the start of the Cadets’ fundraising activities aimed at raising the money for next years trip aboard the Johanna Lucretia.

“The cadets did a great job today and there were many comments from members of the public, saying how helpful, how sensible they were and what a great thing to be doing.  said Katherine Duncan. “Several cadets came back to Alan’s house to do the count and we raised just over £281, which is great, considering it was very quiet at times.”

Well done to all the Cadets. They all seemed to have a good time!  Thank you also to Sue Coomber for coming along to help and to the staff at Tesco’s that were very encouraging to the cadets, but most of all, thank you to all of the customers that supported us.”

Cadets’ Tall Ships Trip Is Back On Track!

We are delighted to announce that we have now agreed a new 2020 tall ships adventure for WQSC Cadets aboard the Island Sailing Trust’s Johanna Lucretia. And now the fundraising begins in earnest!

This Saturday (16th November), the cadets will be running a sponsored bag pack at the Tavistock Tesco supermarket from 10:00am to 2:00pm. If you are tied up with the club’s Boat Park working party this Saturday, then you will get a second chance when the team do another sponsored bag pack at Morrisons on Sunday 8th December.

The Plymouth based Island Trust, has been supporting deserving young people for over 40 years and provides life-enhancing, residential and day-sailing activities for young people. They have a special focus on those with special needs, disabilities, and those experiencing hardship and deprivation.

The Trust operates three large traditionally rigged sailing boats – Moosk, Pegasus and Johanna Lucretia, each with her own distinctive style and character, and all of them perfect for sail training.

Katherine Duncan takes up the story of our search for a new tall ships adventure for the club’s cadets; “The Tall Ships team were very disappointed when we realised that Trinity were no longer taking bookings.  It seems a great loss to the tall ship sailing community. 

As soon as we found out, Alan set-to looking for other Tall Ship sailing experiences we could offer our very keen cadets.

After many discussions, phone calls and emails, we settled on a voyage with The Island Sailing Trust on board the Johanna Lucretia.  I think you will agree it looks like a beautiful boat.

Johanna Lucretia is the latest addition to The Island Trust fleet and is the largest of their vessels. As it is currently the only UK flagged topsail schooner in sail training, it draws attention wherever it goes.  The boat is 96ft long, has a beam of 18.1ft and a draught of 9.3ft.  It will sleep 12 guests as well as crew.  It was built in Belgium in 1945, and has quite a history.  The Island Trust bought it in 2018.  The Johanna Lucretia has had a few appearances on the silver screen – most notable the 1978 spy thriller The Riddle of the Sands and the 2006 film, Amazing Grace, a drama about William Wilberforce’s campaign to end the slave trade. 

The Island Trust is based in Plymouth and were incredibly flexible, basically creating and planning a voyage just for our cadets.  The hope is that the cadets will be able to sail further afield that on Leader – maybe making it to the Isles of Scilly or across The Channel and definitely some night sailing is planned.

The voyage is more expensive than last years but we have lots of fundraising already booked and more ideas in the pipeline.  If you are available to show a friendly face when the cadets are bag packing it makes a huge difference in their moral!  We are also planning another cake sale at the Bere Ferrers Community Shop – watch out for info about dates. The cadets from last year’s voyage have given several talks to organisations in the community that donated funds to help with the cost with the Trinity voyage, and have approached these with gusto!  As WQSC were so supportive they have arranged to do a talk as part of your winter talk series, if anyone would like to ask the cadets any questions or find out more about their experiences please come along on the 16th March 2020.”

You can learn more about the Island Sailing Trust’s work at the website;

Annual Bulletin and WQSC Annual General Meeting

The 2019 edition of the WQSC Annual Bulletin has now been published ahead of next Monday’s (11th November) Annual General Meeting.

The Bulletin includes the annual reports of each of the club’s officers, along with the annual accounts, the summary results of this year’s Members Opinion Survey and several narrative accounts of this year’s sailing exploits from some of our members.

You can access the Members’ Pages by clicking the link on the menu bar above this artticle and by using the club password that was sent to you previously.

This years AGM will be held at Bere Alston Bowling Club on Monday 11th November at 7.30pm with the bar opening at 7.00pm. The agenda for the AGM and the draft minutes of last year’s AGM can also be found in the Members’ Pages of this website.

Once again we are indebted to Granville Starkie for doing a fine job of compiling and editing this year’s Annual Bulletin.

Annual Mooring Inspection Schedule now available

Our club Moorings Officer, Dick Brown, has now released the Annual Mooring Inspection Schedule.

Due to the shortage of suitable tides this autumn, the moorings servicing is starting early.

Mooring holders are requested to view the schedule at the earliest opportunity and are reminded that any boats remaining on their moorings during the winter must be moved from their mooring before the inspection session.

Members of Weir Quay Sailing Club can view the full Terms and Conditions for Mooring Holders and the latest Mooring Barge Inspection Schedule by clicking this link. This page is password protected and can be accessed using the annual membership password.

WQSC Annual End Of Season Dinner 2019

The Annual End Of Season Dinner of Weir Quay Sailing Club will be held at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock on Saturday 23rd November 2019.

We will gather for drinks in the bar at 7.00pm and sit down to dinner at 7.30pm.

The dinner is open to members of WQSC and their guests and a formal invitation and menu for the event can be found by clicking the following link.

Tickets are £27 per person and are payable to Weir Quay Sailing Club by either;
BACS to sort code 40-44-05, account no. 00853569, reference: Ann Dinn19
Cheque to Martin Hunter, Treasurer, Weir Quay Sailing Club, Denham Farm, Bere Alston, PL20 7EF

Please contact Rosie Hinge (club secretary) with your menu choices – The menu is reproduced below.
Tel        01822 841734
By 4th November at the latest!

Don’t forget to bring your best sailing photos of the year for the photo competition 
and your misadventure story for the ‘Minnow’ trophy
and your best sailing painting from this year for the art competition

If you hold any club trophies can you please return them to any committee member now.

The Trinity Foundation’s Brixham Trawlers for WQSC Cadets in 2020 – Important Update

The Brixham Trawler “Leader”

Important Update

Unfortunately the Trinity Foundation have announced that they will be ceasing operations at the end of this year. As a result we will not be able to offer the Cadet trips detailed below.

However the Cadet team are looking for suitable alternatives as this year’s event was a particular success and the highlight of the year for many of our Cadet members. Details will be announced as soon as possible.

The text of Trinity’s announcement is as follows;

Dear Friends and Associates of Trinity Sailing Foundation (TSF),
I am writing to you today with the news that, after 20 years of a very successful venture providing invaluable and often life-changing experiences to thousands of disadvantaged young people and, at the same time, maintaining and operating some of the most important heritage sailing vessels in the UK, we have decided to cease the Foundation’s operations at the end of this year’s sailing season .
While this decision is regrettable, the Trustees of TSF have determined that changing circumstances over recent years have led to the model, that was so successful in the past, being no longer viable.
In recent years, our ability to raise funds has been affected because grant-making charitable trusts, faced with the recent economic situation and increasing demand, have had to reduce the number and scale of the grants they can offer. Also, various organisations who send their young people to take part in our personal development courses based on sail training have had their budgets for this cut or eliminated, increasing the level of bursaries that TSF has traditionally offered to cover the difference between actual cost and what client organisations can afford. At the same time, the costs to maintain our vessels — which are near or over 100 years old —remains high or is even increasing given their hard-working sailing season.
The consequence of these changes has been that TSF has in recent years had negative financial results from normal operations and has only been kept going financially by some extraordinary, one-off and unexpected income that cannot be relied upon to repeat.
Therefore, in order not to allow the Charity to risk developing a critical financial situation, the Trustees have determined that the necessary responsible decision is to stop the ongoing activities and find new homes for the vessels. With the expected surplus funds remaining, the Charity intends to continue to provide support in one way or another to disadvantaged young people.
The Trustees would like to thank all Trusts and other Benefactors who have made contributions over the years. Thanks also go to all past and present staff and crew members who have performed so professionally over the years, who have made Trinity Sailing what it is and whose enthusiasm has helped so many young disadvantaged people over the last two decades. The Trustees would also like to thank the organisations who have entrusted their young people to TSF and who have consistently let us know about both the short — and longer-term — benefits to those young people.
There are many other people, organisations and volunteers who have provided support in many different ways who deserve thanks. All of the above should feel proud of the results they have helped to achieve. We also appreciate the support and interest shown by those who have been on cruises, charters, RYA courses and Duke of Edinburgh adventures with us over the years.
Personally, I would like to thank the Trustees, most of whom have been in place for many years, and who have given their time, experience and professionalism to steer the Charity in the right direction. In particular, a special thanks for the outstanding contribution made by the Founder of TSF, Struan Coupar, who remains a Trustee, for his unstinting perseverance and belief.
For any future communication, please email
Yours sincerely,
Nick Reilly, Chair of Trustees

Original Blog Post Below :-

Voyage 1  –  4-10 April 2020

Voyage 2  –  4-7 May 2020

After the success of the trip on Leader earlier this year, we are keen to organise our voyage(s) for next year.

At the moment we are looking at two trips.  A longer one during Easter and a shorter one in May.

This is a chance to take part in an amazing adventure on-board these beautifully restored and well-equipped traditional sailing vessels, with lots of other cadets. During the voyage you will be fully involved with the running of the vessel, get to learn more about sailing and seamanship, explore new places, develop new skills and have lots of fun! 

The trips will ephasise the value of teamwork as well as the adventure of a first voyage at sea

We have provisionally booked these two voyages for next year as the only two that fit most of our requirements.

The voyages start and finish in Brixham and the exact itinerary will be determined by wind and weather, with safety always being paramount. The crews of Trinity’s vessels are immensely experienced, plus our group will be accompanied by two leaders (names to be confirmed) from WQSC.

Do take a look at Trinity’s website for lots more info and pictures:

The Details

The longer trip:-   4 – 10 April

The number of places will depend on the vessel allocated by Trinity. Cadets must be a minimum of 14 years old and a maximum of 25 years and a club member at the time of sailing.  

This will be an exciting and challenging trip, with the aim of crossing the channel and should involve night sailing.  If there are more applicants than places, priority will be given to older cadets as they may not have another opportunity in future.  

We appreciate that this trip is during the run up to the exam period but feel that a break like this can be quite motivating.

The shorter trip:-   4 – 7 May

The number of places will depend on the vessel allocated by Trinity. Cadets must be a minimum of 12 years old and a maximum of 25 years and a club member at the time of sailing.  

This is a super chance to experience the challenges of sailing a tall ship; working together as a team, to hoist the sails, clean the decks and navigate.  

You will notice that although the first day is a bank holiday, the cadets would miss 3 days of school.  We would hope that the school would look favourably on students taking part in such a life changing and educational experience.  WQSC would support an application to the school for time off.


Included is all food for the trip and loan of sailing gear (waterproofs and lifejacket). The only thing not included is transport to/from Brixham (start & finish point) but lift shares can no doubt be arranged if this is a problem.

The Trinity Sailing Foundation provide a bursary which we apply for as a group. In addition there are plans for all participants to be involved in fundraising activities to further reduce the cost.  We do not know the full cost of the trip, mainly because of the uncertainty of which vessel will be used for each sailing.  Going on our experience from the last trip, the final amount you need to pay should be substantially reduced.

There is also a small residue, in club funds, from the trip earlier this year.  We will not expect you to “sign up” and pay a deposit until we have a clearer idea of costs.

DO NOT let cost put you off – please speak to us first, in confidence. Additional funding is available from various sources and we can help with applications.

What next?

And in case you thought that these trips were an escape from schoolwork and revising for exams, there’s plenty of practical geography, mathematics and phsyics involved in navigating a sailing vessel safely!

If you want to go, let us know no later than WEDNESDAY 25th SEPTEMBER.

Please email Katherine and Alan Duncan who have offered to be the trip organisers. Contact them at

We’ll aim to confirm your place as soon as possible and then will ask for a booking form and non-refundable deposit of £90 by FRIDAY 25th  OCTOBER.

Any questions about the trip before you reserve a place?

Please email

Sue’s daughter Jo (one-time WQSC cadet and instructor) now works as mate on Trinity’s vessels and Sue sailed with the cadets on Leader in April this year.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of life on a traditional sailing vessel.

Chances like this don’t come up very often, when they do: grab them!

The Tankard 19. Can anybody help?

The club has been contacted by Lisa Graves regarding a Tankard 19 which she has recently purchased.

The boat is believed to have been built in GRP by Tankard Yachts at Weir Quay in the 1970’s and may have been a continuation of a wooden design based on the Blackwater Sloop.

The Tankard 19 currently named “Prudence” was known as “Bali Hai” until 2002 and Lisa is keen to trace any previous owners or anyone with information about the class, the builder or the boat’s history. 

Prudence is now at Ron Cradick’s yard at St German’s and looks likely to be the subject of a major refit project.

For those unacquainted with Tankard Yachts and in particular its founder Brian Tankard, there is an interesting article on the Weir Quay Boatyard website by their shipwright Saul Thomas remembering Brian, the original founder of the boatyard. The article can be found here;

If any of this has jogged your memory and you can help Lisa in her quest to learn more about her boat, you can email her directly at or and we will pass your information on to her.

The Wanderers Return!

After 3 years of wandering the Atlantic Ocean in their Pan Oceanic 43, Dandelion, WQSC members John and Sue Chadwick have returned to their home mooring at Holes Hole.

After a voyage that included Brazil, Argentina, the Beagle Channel, the West Indies and most recently a 10 day passage from the Azores, Dandelion took Sunday’s flood tide up the Tamar to complete their voyage.

John takes up the story, “After we left Holes Hole in July 2016 we headed pretty much south to call in at a number of harbour’s in NW Spain and Portugal before we pushed off for Madeira, Salvegens, Canaries, Cape Verdes, Salvador (Brazil) and on to Uruguay.  Then a sort of pit-stop in Buenos Aires for storm repairs and then on down the Argentine coast to Patagonia and the Beagle Channel.  A quick loop round the Horn (as you do) and slowly home via Isla del Estados, the Falklands, Brazil, Suriname, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Cuba and the Azores.”

Isla del Estados, just of the southern ‘hook’ of South America is one of the most remote islands in the Southern Hemisphere.  
“Other than a two-man outpost of the Argentinian Navy it is completely uninhabited. 
The best shelter  – Puerto Hoppner – is on the north coast and almost completely enclosed within a horseshoe of sharp-edged, steep-sided mountains. It has an inner basin which, in my opinion, is one of the world’s best anchorages, a special place, a haven; a gorgeous, pristine lagoon overlooked by forest and greenery and rocky cliffs and peaks and waterfalls.  
In the SE corner are a couple of tiny islands. We nudge in behind one and find there a space of maybe twice our length. The Mate and M jump down into the RIB, take a bow line to the island and make fast to a stout tree. I hold us in place whilst the two stern lines are attached to trees on the ‘mainland’ and we’re secure in the centre of a rope ‘Y’.”
The Turks and Caicos 
” What really puts these islands on the map (at least as far as DDLis concerned) are their proximity to the serious ocean deeps.   
DDL is attached to one of the handy moorings laid for commercial dive boats off West  Caicos The mooring is smack bang over the lip of a serious drop-off.  Looking down from the front of the boat we can clearly make out the details of the seabed, 15 or 16 metres down.  Over the stern there’s just a blue void.  The Mate and I kit up and use the barnacle-and-mussel-encrusted mooring line to descend slowly to the sand-and-coral seabed directly below Dandelion.  
Finning off towards  the edge we find coral formations becoming increasingly fantastic.  Shapes like huge Roman vases, giant tubes, massive brains, branches, fans – corals of every shape and colour imaginable and then, beyond the edge, a blue infinity falling away to Gawd-knows where.  About 20 metres below us, an eight or nine-foot reef shark is cruising effortlessly along the cliff, as far as we can tell, not in the least curious about the two bubble-emitting intruders.  Let’s hope it’s been well-fed…”

John and Sue have kindly agreed to give us a talk about their adventures during the coming series of Winter Talks, so further tales of their journey will have to wait until then. Or until you buy them a sundowner or two at The Plough……