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Eda Frandsen

Eda Frandsen is an incredibly popular adventure charter vessel with many repeat customers. Her professional crew to guest ratio is one of the best in the business. With only 8 guest crew on board and the tight knit team of skipper, mate and chef to look after you, they have everything covered from cakes and freshly caught crabs to where to land for the best walks ashore.

Eda Frandsen specialises in sailing in north west of Scotland and Cornwall. Combine the good company and relaxed sailing instruction with some of the finest sailing grounds in Britain and you can see why Eda Frandsen was voted one of the 100 Greatest Holidays on the Planet’ in the Sunday Times and why this 1915 gaff cutter featured in the Independent’s guide to the ‘Best European Sailing Holidays'

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  • Length overall:73 ft 
  • Length on deck:56 ft


  • Year built:1938/1995
  • Vessel type/rig: Gaff Cutter


  • Guest berths: 8
  • Crew berths:  2


What Eda Frandsen Does Best

Exceptional Customer Care

Eda Frandsen offers authentic hands on sailing experience with a team well used to helping people get the most out of the sailing. Skippers James and Gabriel, the mate James Steveenson and Chloe the cook are passionate about your adventure, enjoyment and meeting your expectations of a sailing voyage.  You can expect to explore some amazing places and sail to the fullest extent that the weather allows. The care and attention you get on Eda Frandsen and a happy crew atmosphere, is a culmination of that experience.

James and Chloe welcome you on Eda Frandsen

A Different Anchorage Every Night

Eda Frandsen has spent decades exploring Scotland and her current owners are still revelling in the fact that they can still find new places to anchor, almost every week of the year.  With over 450 miles of coast around Skye alone, plus the Inner and Outer Hebrides within easy reach of a week voyage from Mallaig, you are really spoilt for choice.

Originally built as a Danish fishing boat Eda Frandsen has a tough oak hull with high bows which shrug off big seas. Equally at home sailing in the Western Approaches around Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly, or making passage up and down the Irish Sea, there will always be a very special spot to anchor over night to relax and enjoy the wonderful food prepared for you.  

Eda Frandsen settles into a remote anchorage.
Eda Frandsen credit Georgia Witchell

Seafood, Local Produce and Wild Foraging

The combination of James and Gabriel's enthusiasm for catching crabs and lobster with the ships own creels (pots) with ships cook Chloe creating amazing puddings and home baking means the food is definitely going to be a highlight of your voyage. At Classic Sailing we are lucky that many of the vessels we work with cook exceptionally good food. On Eda Frandsen really everyone pulls out the stops to impress those taste buds on every voyage.  Most voyages start and finish in Mallaig, so the crew have established excellent sources of meat, cheeses and fresh vegetables. You really are getting a taste of the best that the Highlands and Islands can offer.  Eda Frandsen has run several whisky tasting voyages so the crew can tell you about the different drams you can taste on board.

Mallaig is a busy fishing port and the local fishermen respect that Eda Frandsen crews are out daily in all weathers just like them and this respect comes in handy when bartering for the fresh catches of scallops, langoustines or prawns from local fishing boats in out the way places.

Seafood is very popular on Eda Frandsen.
Seafood is very popular on Eda Frandsen.

Sailing Style on Eda

On Eda Frandsen the crew of three look after you well working hard to create stimulating itineraries around their favourite sailing ground that vary from week to week.  Memorable adventures under sail and opportunities to explore ashore are all based on their pioneering spirit to see what is around the next cove and over that wave ahead! 

Fundamental to your sailing holiday is the sailing action: Whether you are a newcomer, or already hooked on sailing, you will receive plenty of calmly given instruction on sailing how to sail this big gaff cutter. With no winches aboard, everyone is encouraged to join in as this is a truly hands on sailing experience. Don't worry if you are not built like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. It is all teamwork to use block and tackles to hoist up to 2210 sq ft of  glorious sail. Eda Frandsen is an incredibly seaworthy and stable stronger winds, yet with all 5 sails set in lighter airs is still quick and graceful through the water.

Owner and skipper James seamlessly creates a fun and friendly crew, with a relaxed and sociable atmosphere onboard. He describes a typical day in the Hebrides: "Each morning we will set sail to a new destination, find a secluded anchorage or bay for the night. Our plan for the week is flexible, we go with the weather rather than fight it, meaning every trip is different. If you have any places you would like to visit we will do our best to include requests where possible."

In the Hebrides you are usually day sailing and on any longer passages you may be sailing through the night. At night the guest crew will be part of a watch keeping system with the skipper or mate as your watch leader. Usually this is only for four hours and when you are off watch Eda Frandsen and the other watch team will keep you sailing whilst you are tucked up in your bunk.


2210 square foot of sail and a big bow wave on Eda frandsen

Life on Board

Eda has lovely wide decks, plenty of seating areas and a quirky saddle to sit astride when steering. The gleaming varnished woodwork and beautiful original features are hard to miss. 

Dinners are very sociable around Eda’s beautiful saloon where everyone can enjoy great food and discuss the events of the day in good company. In fine weather, lunch will be on deck, either sailing or in a beautiful anchorage. The kettle is always on with plenty of tea, coffee and home baking available. 

Eda Frandsen's ships wheel and saddle in Loch Huron


Accommodation on Eda Frandsen

The Saloon

The companionway steps are quite steep and have a descent of about 7 feet. Down in the depths of Eda is a cosy saloon and is the heart of the ship where there is full standing headroom. 

The cabins are tucked away from the main social area with a door, so you can use the upholstered seating around the table to relax any time of day.  The galley area is visible so you can chat to the cook from the saloon table and glean some cooking tips! 

As you look forward beyond the mast there is a bulkhead with the galley to starboard and a companionway to port which leads to two toilets - one with a shower and one with just a basin.   Beyond another door you can access the deck an alternative way via the fore hatch steps. Beyond are two more twin cabins and a small workshop.

Eda Fransden Saloon



Eda Frandsen has 8 guest berths in 4 twin cabins. Two cabins are tucked either side of the main companionway, and two cabins are located forward. Any cabin can suit couples or individuals (bunks). There are two WC - one with a hand basin and a second WC with a shower. The water is heated by the engine or an immersion heater, so there should be hot water for a shower when you need it.

There is a separate crew quarters below the chart room accessed by a different companionway. The engine room is completely separate from the guest living area and well soundproofed.

Layout Plan showing cabins on Eda Frandsen


The galley looks too small to produce the amazing creations that the chef produces. As Chloe is from the Isles of Scilly she has grown up around boats, sand, sea and excellent sea food! 

Cooking on Eda Frandsen with Chloe Gillat

Plenty of Deck Space

On deck Eda Frandsen has a big ships wheel and an unusual saddle to sit astride when steering. Around the helm there is plenty of seating  and meals are often served up on deck when the weather permits. Many a lunch time buffet or afternoon tea has been consumed with 360 degrees of sea, mountain or cove as a jaw dropping backdrop.

Eda is15ft wide with wooden decks and high bulwarks, so you feel like you are on a proper ship when sailing in rougher weather, and at anchor you can usually drop down out of the wind behind the ships sides for a sunbathe or to tuck into a fresh crab salad.

Home made birthday cake!
Gaff Cutter Eda Frandsen -Ship Specification

Eda Frandsen - Ship Specification

Eda Frandsen History

Eda Frandsen was built in Grenna, Denmark in 1938 and started life fishing for lobsters and seine netting out of Lemvig.  Between 1990 and 1995 she was restored, however, these 5 years hide a story of amazing determination. Her past owners watched in horror one night as their painstaking restoration went up in flames.  A huge effort from volunteers and shipwrights saw the ship substantially rebuilt although many areas retain the original undamaged wood. In 1995 she rose like a phoenix to the admiration of the wooden boating world as an incredibly strong ‘new’ wooden charter boat and soon gained a loyal following of supporters who came to sail her.

She has sailed extensively in Spain,  Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Denmark and in 2002 she crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean  winning the Concourse D’Elegance prize in Antigua Classics.

Ship Specification

Year Built 1938  
Year Restored as Sailing Vessel 1995  
Length overall 73ft 22m
Length on deck 56ft 17m
Beam 15ft 4.6m
Draft 8ft 2.4m
Sail Area 2210 sq ft 205 sq m
Guest Crew Overnight 8  
Professional crew 3  

Facilities on Eda Frandsen

Eda has a large tender (ships boat) with outboard for getting ashore in remote places.  The ship is usually anchored most nights in stunning surroundings, as there are few places in NW Scotland where you can moor alongside.  Your landing stage is usually a beach or rocky shoreline.  There is a boom and capstan to hoist the ships boat aboard.  Eda a hydraulic anchor windlass so the guest crew don't have to haul up her long anchor chain.  The powerful engine is brand new - installed in 2016 and there is also a generator tucked away in the engine room, so there are 240V electricity to charge phones and cameras (UK 3 pin plugs) when the generator is on.

Safety Equipment and Emergency Proceedures

Eda Frandsen is a UK Maritime Coastguard Agency Coded Vessel with an operational area upto 60 miles from a safe haven.  She is equipped to this standard and beyond, and her Standard Operating Procedures and manning levels all conform to MCA requirements for commercial charter.

Communications and Navigation

Eda Frandsen has VHF DSC radio, Radar, Chart Plotter, AIS and an EPIRB

Hull design: Original lines of Eda Frandsen

Eda Frandsen - Meet the Skippers & Crew

Skipper James with Guest and a proud crab catch
The dream team will look after you, and protect you from fierce crabs

Skipper Profile - James MacKenzie

James owns Eda Frandsen and has skippered her full time for 5 years. In 2018 he is handing the full time skipper job to former mate Gabriel for most of the season, but James will still be skippering some voyages.

An experienced skipper, shipwright and furniture maker, James has been working at sea in one form or another since becoming the ‘boy’ in a small boatyard on Lake Windemere. James now has over 100,000 miles as skipper under his belt! James learnt the ropes of gaff rig sailing craft while working for 6 years for a sail training charity as mate and then skipper of Provident a 90ft ketch rigged Brixham Trawler. After a spell in the Caribbean on his own boat, working as a boat builder and yacht furniture maker, James returned to the UK in 2012. Classic Sailing whisked him literally off the pontoon to work for us as full time skipper of pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes. James revelled in the chance to throw a small traditional gaff cutter around, after the bigger vessels he had commanded. He introduced some great new voyages for us including 'The Wind Power Challenge' where crews tried to do everything under sail and oar, and well respected RYA Yachtmaster Exam Prep Courses on Eve.

James is the best instructor we have ever employed" Adam Purser, Managing Director of Classic Sailing

With 5 Atlantic crossings, one single-handed and numerous offshore races James has a wealth of experience. Although he enjoys the fast pace of modern race boats, the gaff rig has always drawn him back. His real passion lies in the beauty and peace of sailing a traditional boat, as it should be sailed. In 2013 James found the perfect charter vessel to set up his own business, and bought the impressive 56ft gaff cutter Eda Frandsen. Eda was already well known in Scotland as an adventure charter vessel for many years and James could envisage lengthening the season by sailing in and around Cornwall in the Spring and Autumn returning to the wild and beautiful Hebrides for the summer. Whilst James does not run RYA courses on Eda Frandsen, he is a patient and humorous RYA Yachtmaster Instructor who loves to teach guests everything from Matthew Walker knots to navigation or the finer points of crab creel placement.

James MacKenzie is a very calm RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and was Classic Sailing's instructor of choice for our Yachtmaster exam preparation courses on long keeled boats for many years.  He has worked on everything from Brixham Trawlers like Provident, sail training yachts to super yachts, and spent years thinking about how he would do things better with his own boat and sailing business.

Gabriel - Skipper

Gabriel has been the mate on Eda Frandsen for several years and is back again on Eda for another season, but this time as skipper. He has been relief skipper when James has taken time off, but this time Gabriel will be the full time skipper and James will be the relief. Well practised at running the guests ashore into rocky and beach landings in the ships dinghy, Gabriel is also a fanatical fisherman and will encourage one and all to join him in catching something for the pot.  

Eda Frandsen mate Gabriel is a keen fisherman
Eda Frandsen mate Gabriel is a keen fisherman

The New Mate - James Steevenson

Filling the yellow wellies left by Gabriel as he steps up to full time skipper in 2018 will be a challenge James Steevenson will be delighted to fill. A life outdoors as commercial fisherman, skier and sailor is just the energetic proving ground a new member of crew needs for Eda Frandsen adventure voyages. James spent several seasons working on West Country Trading ketch Bessie Ellen and passed his RYA Yachtmaster offshore on pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes.

The Chef - Chloe

Chloe comes from the Isles of Scilly so she is well used to boats and island life. Chloe's culinary creations are legendary even in Scotland and this popularity has been been instrumental in developing Eda Frandsen's special brand of sailing holiday and a major reason why guests return year after year. Her 'restaurant' is a 56 ft Danish sailing cutter, with panoramic views. Rhubarb pudding, fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast, crab salad with flat bread, haggis, roasts are all on the menu and Chloe is forever finding new ways to serve the fresh fish and seafood that the bountiful sea and local fishing boats provide. James and Chloe like to support Scottish butchers too and local vegetable suppliers. As James and Chloe live in Cornwall in the winter they know good local food suppliers locally so your voyages in Cornwall will have a distinct local flavour!   Please note that Chloe will bake pasties in Scotland or Cornwall so don't worry about missing out. 


Chloe is a passionate cook and enjoys using local produce.





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