The Onboard Experience

What To Expect On Your Day On Pilgrim

Whether you join us for a day, a weekend break or extended sailing holiday, you’ll be welcomed aboard our beautifully restored 1895 Brixham wooden sailing trawler by the crew.


Over refreshments the skipper will run through an essential safety briefing including the use of equipment such as lifejackets, liferafts etc to ensure that everything is clearly understood.

We’ll discuss with you the proposed itinerary for your sail with us. This will always depend on the prevailing weather and the port we are sailing from. Don’t forget your camera and sunblock (even on cloudy days).  Meanwhile the crew will be preparing to slip lines to set sail. Pilgrim is rigged to sail with up to 7 red sails. Previous sailing experience is not necessary. All our guests are very welcome to join the crew including novices who can learn new skills. Those with experience will especially enjoy and appreciate the scale of our rig and to see how these big old vessels perform under sail. You can even take the helm – don’t worry we won’t leave you unsupervised!  However, if you prefer you are more than welcome to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

The crew and skipper will be on hand to cover all the important things you need to be aware of to make your experience as safe, enjoyable and comfortable as possible throughout your trip. We’ll be very happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your time aboard.

Traditional Sailing

You will notice straight away that we like to involve you in making decisions about passage plans and destinations – after all it is your holiday!  The old adage about the enjoying the journey not just the destination is applied to sailing aboard Pilgrim so our aim is not to rush our guests into reaching a destination by a certain time (unless they need to disembark of course!) but to enjoy the sailing the scenery and the overall experience of classic sailing.

You will see breath-taking coastlines and waterways which, will hopefully include exhilarating fully rigged sailing, to really show you what Pilgrim can do!! With our 7 sails (occasionally more) used for best effect depending on the wind. Our two engines are normally only used for exit and entry into port.

Pilgrim represents a great example of a “working boat” with our top deck having been authentically restored to the traditional gaff rigged, sailing trawler layout.  You will find various places to sit, from the oak “transom” (the stern of the boat behind the smaller (mizzen) mast) and on deck lockers around the main hatchway. Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye on you to make sure you are safe and if necessary ask you to move to other areas to allow for hauling or trimming of sails etc. There are no covered areas on deck so wind and waterproof clothing is recommended. (We do have some nice warm “throws” if you feel a bit chilly).


Summer Morning Sailing Adventure

By late afternoon we will aim to arrive in port or anchor up to give you time to relax, ready for dinner or for day sailors to disembark.  Guests sleeping board will then be invited to dine below deck in the comfortably furnished saloon where you can enjoy a scrumptious meal and convivial conversation with new friends before retiring for the night in your comfortable berth.  Note: For longer cruises to such places as the Channel Islands, French Coast, Scillies Isles, (perhaps even the Isle of Wight), long passages are unavoidable, therefore sometimes, overnight sailing with “watches” may be necessary and food offered during these passages may be more basic than normal. No destination can be guaranteed as all sailing is subject to favourable winds and tides.

Sail Dip and Dine

Food and Drink

A big part of your on board experience will be mealtimes! With all that fresh air you will get hungry and we offer scrumptious food!

Refreshments (excluding alcohol) are included during your time aboard. Food can be taken on deck (weather permitting) or in the comfort of the main salon. Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits etc. are served throughout the day.  For a half day sail you will be served a light afternoon tea mid-way through your cruise.

Guests with us for the whole day will be served mid morning tea and coffee, lunch and light afternoon tea. When you are sleeping on-board, we also provide a two/three course dinner and of course breakfast for the duration of your cruise.

Time for tea up on deck in the Devon sunshine!

Alcohol is not included in the price charged for your holiday and should not be consumed under sail (and always at the discretion of the skipper). We ask you to bring your own beer/wine etc , (in moderation please, as stowage is limited). A small supply may be available to purchase on board.


After introductions you’ll be shown around (and allocated your berth if you are sleeping onboard).

Our main salon is comfortably furnished to provide cushioned seating around a large extendable oak table. This is where we set out breakfast, lunch and usually gather for evening meals, but food can always be taken on deck, weather permitting.

The Welcoming Interior

Eight of our berths are in the main saloon area, (see Tour) all exceed 6 feet in length, are single bunks with a dedicated reading light and small stowage area. Two of these bunks can be curtained off to offer a degree of privacy. A further four bunks are situated in a separate cabin in the forepeak (front of the boat) and another four in the “lazerette”. This offers a small degree of privacy. (Skipper and crew are normally, but not exclusively, berthed in the lazarette and one or two may occasionally occupy berths in the main accommodation areas especially during “watches”). We do ask you to please wear some form of nightwear.

Berths are comfortably upholstered have “lee” cloths and are provided

Bunks made up and ready for guests with sheet, duvet and pillow. Note: Only ten of the available twelve guest berths will normally be bookable for extended cruising.  We have mains power on board, so you are able to recharge phones or cameras.

There are two heads (nautical term for toilet) with integral showers. These are adjacent to the forward cabin and at the foot of the companionway (staircase) in the main saloon area. Heads are electric and we will be pleased to give instructions on their use.

We also have a wet locker for hanging and drying any outerwear, boots etc, this is heated and has a fan. (You need to bring your own clothing etc)

Stowage of personal effects is very limited so only one soft bag per person please. (This may have to be stowed on your bunk during sailing).

Welcome Aboard and Happy sailing!