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Brest Festival of the Sea 2020 & Douarnenez Temp Fete 2020 - Be part of the Best Sailing Event in Europe

It's the big one again - Brest International Festival of the Sea 2020 combined with Douarnenez Wooden Boat Festival. Pilot Cutter Agnes always cuts a dash at these French Festivals where creating a moving spectacle in port and getting out on the water is all part of the event. You can be out there as Agnes crew with several thousand boats from around the world - ranging from tall ships to open keel boats or outrigger canoes - manouvering out of Brest harbour to sail in the sheltered inland sea, or reaching across 6 miles of Douarnenez Bay with some of the most beautiful traditional craft.

The Parade of Sail between the two ports will be one of the most memorable sights of your life, but this 2 week voyage also has 200 miles of offshore sailing, plus coastal passages with fast tides, lighthouses and Atlantic wildlife.

Embark
Wed, 08-07-2020 - 11:00
Newlyn
Disembark
Wed, 22-07-2020 - 11:00
Falmouth
Duration
14 Nights
Vessel
Agnes
Voyage No.
AG2020/14

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Limited places. PRICE: 2,295 GBP. BOOK NOW

Agnes - Brest and Douarnenez 2020

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Anyone wanting to meet the rest of our worldwide tribe of traditional sailing enthusiasts and wants to be part of probably the biggest gathering of wooden boats on the planet. The beauty of these festivals is the route across the Western Approaches and down through the Chanel du Four tidal race is close to the Atlantic and full of wild beauty. The festivals both have good opportunities to go out sailing each day with a colourful fleet. Brest has an inland sea with several deep winding rivers if you want a bit of tranquility one evening and DZ has a wide bay that can accommodate everything from tall ships to small wooden dinghies in the afternoon sea breezes. This voyage has something for everyone - sailors, artists, photographers, wooden boat fans.....and Agnes is always sailed boldly so the French love her.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Plenty of sailing - even at the festivals
  • Sailing ships and small boats creating a scene
  • Parade of Sail from Brest to Douarnenez
  • Participate in Brest Festival of the Sea 2020
  • Douarnenez Festival 2020 - also an epic event
  • Romps about the Bay in DZ and the Rade De Brest
French flagship Le Recouverance  at Douarnenez and Brest
French flagship Le Recouverance at Douarnenez and Brest

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Brest Festival is only held every 4 years and it always combines with Douarnenez Festival down the coast. This creates a great excuse for thousands of traditional boats, working boats and tall ships to sail together in a spectacular fleet of tan and cream sails down the limestone coast to the smaller venue of DZ.

French Festivals are not as frenetic as you think. Firstly you have some great sailing to get there. Both Douarnenez and Brest have fine summer sailing grounds on their doorstep ....and they encourage boats and tall ships to go out sailing each day. Actually we don't need much encouragement. The real action is always out on the water in an afternoon sea breeze.

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

enjoying time in harbour too on pilot cutter Agnes
enjoying time in harbour too on pilot cutter Agnes

Who Else Is Off to the Festival ?

Falmouth in Cornwall has many wooden boats and links with the Bretons, so when you join and the boat makes its preparations to cross the English Channel, you are unlikely to be alone. Other classic boats will be heading for the festival too, so you may find yourself sailing down the Lizard Coast with a few friends. Agnes sister ship Pellew is highly likely to be making a grand entrance to the festival - the first visit since she was launched in the Spring 2019. You are bound to have a chance to spend some time on board her, but Agnes will not want to be totally upstaged so be prepared to pile on the sail and look great together in France.

Agnes and french frigate la Hermoine at Brest 2016
Agnes and french frigate la Hermoine at Brest 2016

Western Approaches & Chanel Du Four

The Channel is nearly 100 miles wide at the Western Approaches to Europe. The weather is predominantly from the South west and waves are straight off the Atlantic Ocean. If you want to be at the biggest sailors party in Europe this summer, you need to be an adventurous spirit and willingness to be part of a watch system sailing day and a night to reach the French coast. The seas are rich in marine life and you may see dolphins or pilot whales and birds of the ocean like gannets diving. Agnes has give her guest crew plenty of time to get to these French festivals so you can possible stop in a French port or two on the way there or back.

The most likely place to start to see other sailing vessels again is as you approach Ushant on the corner of Brittany. This lonely sentinel has tall lighthouses and you are likely to sail inside its rocky shores and down through the Chanel du Four. The tide runs fast through the rock plateaux here with many beacons to guide you. It is wider than most think so you can tack or gybe through it, and achieve very fast speeds over the seabed.

dolphins love the fast tides of North Brittany
dolphins love the fast tides of North Brittany

Performance Sailing at Brest International Festival

If you have read your Hornblower you can sail the entrance to Brest with many thoughts in your head of how easy to defend this Naval harbour is. A long narrow channel with high land on either side marks the entrance. Beyond is the port and a large inland sea. Brest is perfect for absorbing a huge fleet. The outer breakwater has 2 entrances and during the festival there are many comings and goings of vessels. Every time you go sailing your are creating a performance for the crowds.

Out in the Bay the seas are flat but there are are bowsprits everywhere and plenty of cut and thrust sailing. Its a photographers dream but you do need to lend a hand with the sails as there will be a lot of manoeurving. James is a Yachtmaster Instructor and old hand at this sort of close quarters sailing. Its going to be fun.

There are more tranquil spots to escape to by boat and chill if it all gets a bit too much. Big rivers stretch deep inland and small villages line the Rade de Brest.

In Brest Port in the evenings there is plenty to do ashore, with music and illuminated parades of sail. Fireworks feature at all French Festivals.

french bisquine and grayhound
french bisquine and grayhound

Parade of Sail to Douarnenez 

When the whole fleet leaves Brest to sail together to Douarnenez you will be amazed if you have never participated in this fleet before. Small luggers, rowing gigs with sails, schooners with raked masts, arab dhows, tall ships, historic sailing trawlers and tuna fishing boats, replica men of war, and tall ships of all rig types. This is much more spectacular than a tall ships race because many of the vessels are wood and the range of boat is infinately more interesting. You are not racing so you can sail closer to each other in the spirit of friendship, and the bigger ships look after the little ones. Considering you can sometimes nearly jump between decks, there are surprisingly few bumps.

There are some rocky sea stacks call the Tais de Pois (pile of peas) that create a pinch point on the route down to Douarnenez as many vessels decide to shoot the narrow gap. Its no compulsory but a bit of a rite of passage to do.

The famous rocky gap that many of the fleet squeeze through on the way to DZ 2020
crowds on the clifftop await the fleet at Tas de Pois gap

Douarnenez Temp Fetes 2020

Douarnenez itself has two ports: The old fishing port, on one side of the town and the river basin, Port de Rhu, with its wooden wharves and waterside bars on the other. The town is medieval in origin and has fascinating architecture and narrow streets. We love Douarnenez Festival because the setting has a more historic feel that compliments the traditional wooden boats at the festival.  DZ hosts a festival every two years with a bigger one combined with the Brest event every 4 years.

Agnes is likely to be rafted up with other cutters of a similar size, but that does'nt stop you going sailing in the big West facing DZ bay. Reaching across the 7 miles in company with other beautiful ships is just about the nicest sailing you can do during a maritime festival. (in our view) 

Relaxing on deck in Port with the sound of music from shore, sipping a glass of wine whilst watching others messing about in boats is just divine....and then there is supper al fresco with wooden masts all around.

Douarnenez quayside during the Temp Fete festival
Douarnenez quayside during the Temp Fete festival

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

The Channel crossing is 95 miles wide if you head South from Falmouth so expect it to take a night and a bit of day before you see land and the corner of France around Portsall or Ushant. The tides run fast around this corner so if wind and tide are running in opposite directions the sea can be quite rough. Brest is tucked away with its own inland sea to sail on so the swell disappears and the harbour has a big breakwater to protect the port even more.

Sailing down the limestone coast between Brest and Douarnenez is a full days sailing with the whole fleet. Douarnenez bay faces West so it can also get quite wild if the wind blows right in. The medieval port of DZ has two sheltered ports so you can always hide ashore with seafood, cheese and wine.

We love the port of DZ at any time of year
We love the port of DZ at any time of year

 

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Newlyn, Cornwall

Latest port updates

The address for the Strand in Newlyn is; Strand, Newlyn, TR18 5HW. Take a note of the ship's phone number sent in your confirmation in case you cannot see your vessel. 

How to get here

By Road & Parking

The car park on in the harbour is only available for a month and costs around £35. You can book and pay for for the month before your arrival, even if you only use it for a week. The number to call to arrange this is 01736 362 523. Just explain that you are joining the sailing vessel Irene. 

There is also a long stay car park called St Peter's Hill, you can view the location of the car park on the map here and read more about the cost on the council website here. 

If you cannot find parking in Newlyn, then Penzance is not far away and is serviced with many long stay car parks. It is about a 30 minute walk from Penzance to Newlyn, but you can also catch the train or bus. 

Rail & transfers

Penzance is the last stop if you are heading to the South West by train, and it is on the mainline to/from London Euston. From the station, you can either take a taxi or take a public bus from the station. Exeter has good rail links to most major towns. From Exeter St David's Rail Station, there are direct trains to Penzance which takes around 3 hours. The train station is 1.5 miles away from Newlyn harbour (or a 30 minute walk.) 

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Newlyn Harbour is a proper working fishing port with over 40 acres of harbour, and is an interesting place to start or finish any voyage. The industry is one of the most important in the county, contributing millions of pounds to the Cornish economy each year. All kinds of fishing vessels can be seen in the harbour- beam trawlers, long liners, crabbers and even small open boats used for hand-lining for mackerel in the Bay. 

The Newlyn Fish Festival is held on August Bank Holiday Monday each year, when stalls and cafés take over the quays for  the day.    

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Falmouth, Cornwall

Latest port updates

We now have several vessels that use Falmouth as a joining or leaving port. As every vessel is different, and we do not have our own pontoon there, all joining instructions are slightly different. Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. 

This is a list of the likely joining locations for each vessel, but sometimes they can also be at anchor. It is always best to call the ship's phone on the day. 

Custom House Quay next to the Chain Locker is the usual place for joining Grayhound, Irene and Eda Frandsen. 

Pendennis Marina behind the Maritime museum is the usual place for joining Agnes, Leader, Provident and Pilgrim. 

Click on the two Blue Pins for more information on the joining locations on the map below:

Port Pendennis is the small marina behind the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the nearest rail station is 'Falmouth Town' (3 mins walk). The Maritime Museum has a big tower like a lighthouse so aim for that and at the entrance, turn right and walk down the side of the museum. The gate to the marina is behind the museum building.

Custom House Quay is a stone quay enclosing a small wet dock in the Centre of Falmouth Town. It is used for some of the foot ferries to St Mawes in the peak summer. Only 5 minutes walk from Falmouth Town Station if you head towards the town centre. Situated at the Maritime Museum end of the high street and has its own short stay car park between Trago Mills Store and the Chain Locker Pub if you are driving (see long term parking below) and want to drop your bags first. 

Falmouth Visitors Yacht Haven is about 100 yards beyond Custom House Quay but if walking from the rail station towards town it is best if you walk accross Custom House Quay short term car park  and nip through the alley tunnel through the Chain Locker Pub. The yacht haven is a small marina only yards from Falmouth main shopping street (Arwenack St),  tucked away down the bottom of Quay Street.

How to get here

By Road & Parking

The A30 is the best route into Cornwall for Falmouth.

There are short stay car parks at Custom House Quay for the Yacht Haven to drop your bags.

Likewise for Port Pendennis there is a short stay car park by the Maritime Museum event square.

Once you have dropped your bags you can normally find free parking within ten minutes walk of any harbour point in Falmouth by just parking in local residential streets.

Long stay parking

There is a small, private, car park owned by Port Pendennis Marina, off Tinners Walk (TR11 3YL). You can pay for a week, using change at the pay and display ticket machine, for £35 approx. (No credit card facility YOU MUST HAVE CHANGE)

There is a long stay car park with a daily fee of £3 or a weekly fee of £18 (pay and display machine so bring change) off Tinner Walk close to the Falmouth Docks entrance and the RNLI station.  This is a private car park owned by Port Pendennis Marina but you will still be expected to pay - even if the vessel is in the marina.  Please do not risk the free berth holders car park next to the tennis courts.  

Rail & transfers

Train to the Falmouth Town Station which is on the branch line from Truro (or next halt is Falmouth Docks if joining a vessel in the docks). Trains come into Cornwall to Truro from many parts of the UK. http://www.raileasy.co.uk

Air & transfers

Newquay Airport (NQY) is about 40 miles away and about £55 taxi fare, or you could get a taxi to Truro for about £30 and jump on the train to Falmouth from there. 

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

The Chain Locker

The Chain Locker pub in Falmouth is right on the water's edge and a perfect place to stay for joining your vessel, no matter which pontoon.

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Agnes

Sail as guest crew onboard the Pilot Cutter Agnes, the flagship of Luke Powell's fleet. Short taster voyages are perfect for exploring the Cornish coastline, whilst longer voyages can see you explore the Scillies and the Brittany coast. 

Agnes is a 46ft wooden pilot cutter, owned and built by Luke Powell in 2003 and flagship of his boat-building company. Traditionally rigged from her lofty topmast to her barrel windlass Agnes is sailed with a certain panache as she explores the stunning coasts of the West Country, the Isles of Scilly and Brittany. The professional and friendly crew of two are always thoughtful hosts, effortlessly sharing a passion for sailing and the good life, promising beautiful anchorages, amazing sunsets, delicious wine and feasting on freshly prepared meals. 

Statistics
  • Length overall : 64ft
  • Length on deck : 46ft
  • Year built : 2003
  • Vessel type/rig : Gaff Cutter
  • Guest berths : 6
  • Crew berths : 2

 

The Experts View: What Agnes Does Best

Agnes is a powerful 46ft pilot cutter offering adventure holidays in Cornwall and beyond
Agnes in full flow. photo by Nic Compton

Summer Cruising with Style

If you have ever fantasised about living on a wooden boat and sailing under canvas to wherever the winds take you, then a voyage on Agnes comes close to that dream. This comfortable and spacious vessel is a joy to live on as she boasts full standing headroom below decks with large skylights which fill her with sunlight. The beautifully crafted interior has the modern additions of a fridge, freezer, wood-burner and a washroom with shower. Her accommodation is light and airy and with a maximum of 8 people on board there is room for all to socialise in comfort or find your own little bolt hole. The uncluttered wooden decks provide enough space to stride confidently to a task at the mast or sunbathe under the bulwarks. Many of us would love to steal her.....but you can pretend she is yours for the voyage.

Sharing a Life Under Working Sail

After building eight new wooden pilot cutters, shipwright Luke Powell was determined to enjoy the fruits of his labours; In 2014 he adeptly swapped professions from boat-builder to entertaining charter skipper. Together Luke and his wife Jo make an amazing team and over the last few years have introduced hundreds of guest crews to Agnes and their favourite sailing grounds. Luke is now building a 9th pilot cutter called 'Pellew' but will still be skippering Agnes on some trips. When Luke is not aboard, Jo Powell helps keep Agnes true to her ethos and cooks delicious meals whilst guest skippers like Melissa or Jelte carry on the tradition of sailing Agnes with panache. You cannot help be drawn into their life of linseed oil, perfect sail trim, rowing tenders and oil lamps. 

Had the best sail ever on Agnes...with Luke as Captain. he's a great artist, sailor and fun guy to be with and Joanna's tasty fish stew and homemade scones and jam made it perfect...and Agnes - her spirit so strong and powerful, yet graceful and gentle - a true goddess of sail. I would trust Agnes in any sea and any weather - Shes Cosmic ! Jeanette, Tuscon, Arizona.

 

Agnes on her 'summer holidays' in Galicia, Northern Spain
Agnes on her 'summer holidays' in Galicia, Northern Spain

Showcasing Wooden Ship Building

If you respect craftmanship and have an interest in maritime history then sailing on Agnes will the place to learn more. Concerned by the lack of sailing examples of the working sail boats that once graced Britain's shores, Luke has been trying to re-dress the balance by researching and building historic replicas. The original Agnes was built in 1841 and was the last pilot cutter to work out the Isles of Scilly.  In building new wooden beauties like Agnes, Eve, Lizzie May, Hesper, Tallulah, Amelie Rose, Ezra, Freja and now Pellew he has created a future for British wooden boat-building which has spread beyond one company.....and it also means there are a lot more traditional charter boats out there for us to sail.

Agnes under sail in Cornwall

What to Expect

Style of Sailing

Agnes carries a lot of sail with no winches. Even the anchor windlass is an authentic barrel windlass with spokes to turn. Agnes' crew like to travel under sail as much as possible, so if you are looking for a real hands on sailing holiday on a very powerful cutter then Agnes is one to try. Her wide decks and high bulwarks (wooden walls around the deck) give a sense of security so she is equally a great choice for those new to sailing. You will learn a lot of old fashioned seamanship, simply by sailing the Agnes way.

If you are sailing overnight on a longer passage, you will be part of a watch rota with the skipper or mate, but many of the trips make the most of daylight hours for sailing and aim to relax in an anchorage over night.

Agnes' cruising style is adapted to give guests a wonderful chance to visit natural environments far from the madding crowd, and after a good day spent out in the elements you will be able to retreat to the warm and cosy saloon to enjoy a freshly prepared meal cooked with local produce. The skippers and crew specialise in searching out unspoilt and quiet coves for anchorage, where Agnes can create a scene from another century. 

Barrel windlass, female crews and learning to steer on Agnes
Barrel windlass, female crews and learning to steer on Agnes

Life on Board

Onboard Agnes, you will never go hungry as the food supplied will be delicious, fresh and if possible locally sourced. As well as being an experienced traditional boat sailor, the chef, Joanna Powell has a great love of cooking and and is clearly evident in the food she prepares on each voyage. Guest cooks like Diana also effortlessly whistle up meals below, whilst the guest crew gather with anticipation around the helmsman's long thwart seat, enjoying tea and cake or when anchored pre supper tapas with a glass of wine.The ambience of sharing freshly cooked meals on board with locally sourced ingredients is an important part of the experience and style that is the Powell family trademark. Lookout for the special gourmet voyages featured in Agnes' voyage schedule.

Agnes sleeps 6 guests with 2 crew. Below deck there is spacious headroom for most guest crews with 4 bunks in a forward cabin, two bunks opposite the washroom, and a comfortable saloon and galley area for socialising in.  Please see the accommodation page for photos and full details. 

Luke and Jo Powell share their passion for good food and wine on board.
Luke and Jo Powell share their passion for good food and wine on board.

Accommodation

Pilot Cutter Agnes has a light interior with big skylights and hatches for a 46ft vessel
Forward hatch: Agnes has a light interior with big skylights and hatches for a 46ft vessel

 

Below Decks 

Beautifully crafted Agnes is a homely and spacious vessel with full standing headroom below decks. The unusually large skylights maximise the feeling of space as the sunlight streams below into the comfortable saloon. For chillier or more inclement days the wood-burner will provide a warming backdrop to enjoy your evening glass of wine. With a maximum of 8 people on board there is plenty of room to socialise together or if you wish to have a moment to yourself there is always a little nook to retire too. 

Agnes sleeps 6 guests with 2 crew. For guests, there are 4 bunks in a forward cabin and 2 bunks opposite the good sized washroom complete with shower. There is plenty of hot water and the bunks are all made up with linen, duvets and pillows! 

Many of us would love to steal her.....but you can pretend she is yours for the voyage.

 

Agnes - interior. Saloon looking forward
The saloon is free of sleeping berths (except an upper pilot berth used occasionally).

 

Agnes interior - Saloon looking aft towards companionway and skippers cabin
Saloon looking aft towards companionway and skippers cabin beyond
Agnes being built at Gweek, Cornwall.
Agnes being built at Gweek, Cornwall.

Agnes was built by Luke Powell in 2003 to the lines of the original Agnes of 1841, a top pilot cutter from the Isles of Scilly. Originally 46' on deck by 13' 3' beam by 8'6 draft and weighs 26 tons Agnes is a gaff rigged vessel where her main port is Falmouth in Cornwall. 

 

Meet the Skipper & Crew

Jo and Luke Powell are great hosts On Agnes Pilot cutter.
Luke and Jo Powell are great hosts on Agnes.

Skipper, Business Partner, Mate and Chef - Joanna

Joanna Powell creates a classic Agnes sailing holiday more than anyone else. Since Agnes became a charter boat, Jo has shaped the style of voyages, and been your host, creator of feasts for gourmet voyages and a vastly experienced ships mate. 

Jo may modestly introduce herself as the ships cook if Brendan or Luke are on board as skipper, but she is also the boss! Luke and Jo make a great team when sailing together, but Luke is now building a 68ft pilot cutter at the Rhoda Mary Shipyard, so he is only on a few voyages as skipper this year.

Jo will only be sailing a small selection of voyages this summer but will continue to be a strong influence on the way that Agnes is run under the experience charter skipper Brendan who has joined Agnes from Pilgrim of Brixham. 

Skipper- Brendan Stewart

Brendan Stewart the new skipper from Agnes in 2019

 Brendan is excited to have joined the Agnes team this summer. Having grown up on the Northumbrian coast and been at sea all his adult life working on Sail training boats, traditional charter sailing boats, tug boats and offshore fishing boats he is more than excited to take over the tiller of Agnes and explore Cornwall, Brittany and the Isles of Scilly.

Sailing is in his blood and his love and pride for the boats he is in charge of is obvious for all to see. Since starting in January he has been working tirelessly to refit Agnes in readiness for their summer of exploration together. Formerly the skipper of the Brixham trawler Pilgrim he is renowned for his larger than life character and passion for sailing. He is looking forward to getting out on the water and getting to know Agnes and the sailing grounds around Falmouth.

 

Guest Skipper - Luke Powell

Luke Powell helming the 7th pilot cutter he built - Freja
Luke Powell helming the 7th pilot cutter he built - Freja

To some, Luke has had an unconventional life or has he been lucky enough to be able to follow his passions and build upon his dreams. Luke's influence on the renaissance of wooden boat building in this country cannot be under estimated and it would be hard to find a more passionate and experienced skipper for working wooden boats. Luke has built 8 pilot cutters with Agnes being one of the largest so far and the care and love that has been given to this beautiful boat ensures that overall maintenance is maintained to a high standard. With many voyages under his belt, Luke will ensure that any trip will be full of adventure; happily passing his passion and knowledge to all crew members with flair.   

 Mate - Melissa

Many years ago, Melissa decided that a career in sailing was for her and left her gallery assistant position in London for the shores of the West Country and has not looked back since. Melissa started teaching sailing in Scotland and now has numerous crewing and skippering adventures to boast about. From the shores of Cornwall to Spain Melissa is a very experienced and passionate skipper for traditional sailing boats. 

former skipper on Agnes and occasional relief skipper Melissa Williams
former skipper on Agnes and occasional relief skipper Melissa Williams
Current sailing grounds
Explore the Coast on a local boat, wooded creeks, smugglers quays, secret coves & waterside inns

Agnes - Kit List

Pilot Cutter Agnes - see our kit list on what to wear

Kit List for Agnes 

Included

  • Sailing instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows.

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from the start and end port. 
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore
  • Waterproof jacket/trousers
  • Meals ashore
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Towels

What to bring

There is limited storage space on Agnes so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.

Footwear: Shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. (Sandals are great for beaches but you do need toe protection for sailing). Agnes has solid wood decks so waterproof walking boots are fine at sea in moderate winds and dry conditions and great for voyages where you might do some rough terrain walking like Scillies or Scotland voyages.

Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies. 

Swim suit & beach towel if you like!

Suntan lotion & sunglasses

Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves

Clothes that dry quickly like fleeces and thermals. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers. Wool jumpers are warm, even when wet, but can take a while to dry. Merino wool type shirts are good for under layers.

Small rucksack for going ashore

Travel insurance documents/any travel tickets

Passport for French Voyages, Ireland or any 6 day voyage like Scillies where Brittany might be an alternative option. On French voyages Reciprocal Free Health Care Card for Europe.

Personal medicines/ spectacles/ seasick tablets –check which brand if you suffer from asthma or are on regular medication.

Camera/binoculars etc

Modest quantity of alcohol for evening meals

You are welcome to bring musical instruments

Sailing kit for rough and calm weather on Agnes
Sailing kit for rough and calm weather on Agnes
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Agnes - Reviews

Happy crew on an early season voyage on Agnes

What did you enjoy the most?

Sailing between islands in the Isles of Scilly

The worst bits? - Having to come home.

Why do your sail?

Escape. New destination. New vessel. Change from office life.

Voyage Summary

Great trip. Good company. Great weather (bar a little rain). I had never been to the Scillies before and this was the perfect way to experience them.

Ian M June 2019

Reviews Online
Loved Agnes!

Really nice crew and fellow passengers who all got on really well together and mucked in with anything that needed to be done. Also seeing dolphins swimming beside the boat and red squirrels at Tresco gardens.
Loved Agnes." - Jenny and Geoff - Summer 2019

A New Experience

A whole new experience for me. Found the Skipper, Brendan’s passion for traditional sailing absolutely contagious. Honor, the ‘co pilot’, also had an amazing knowledge of traditional sailing coupled with being a creative cook who was continually dishing up tasty and wholesome food."

Worst bits - A few bumpy seas for a beginner but soon got into it.

Why did I sail?

Never have before and wanted my first experience to be on a beautiful traditional sail boat. I wasn’t disappointed.

Summary

Brendan and Honor were so supportive and knowledgeable. Their professional attitude gave someone like me great confidence that I was totally in safe hands. Thank you for a eye opening experience!

Carolyn P June 2019

Dolphins beside Agnes - June 2019 - Barney S.
I liked "Making it to the Scillies"

I sail because - It puts you in places where few people reach - either out at sea, or visiting remote coastlines and islands. 

Summary - If you can, please pass on my thanks for Brendan and Melissa for running a superb trip, and taking good care of me as I recovering from a broken foot, and wasn't quite as active as I should have been. (and yes, I shouldn't have walked round St Martins in my sea boots....!)

Barney S June 2019. (Brendan and Melissa duly thanked.)

Sailing and Art

Enjoy the most

There was lots that was good. Sailing, Claudia's art instruction, racing with the working boats around Mousehole, the Sea Salts and Sail Festival. I couldn't possibly choose a "best bit".

Worst Bit

Nothing at all about the voyage.
The rail journey down was a disaster.

Why do you sail?

I enjoy just about all aspects of sailing other than that occasional struggle to windward in a chop that one sometimes has to do. I unwind quicker sailing than with just about anything else.

Voyage Summary

Joanna Powell was absolutely brilliant as skipper, cook, host, friend and more. Claudia Myatt was a great inspiration with art, giving many great tips and ideas that suited us all very well. Full marks all round!

Gordon S on Agnes July 2018

Agnes - Sailing in Cornwall
Authentic

What was the best bit?

Authentic experience of sailing on this remarkable boat and seeing the other Pilot Cutters racing in such lovely surroundings, quite magical! It was a very pleasurable sailing with this group and we were looked after with incredible care, fantastic catering, hosts Luke and Joanna made a very entertaining duo in the racing, I was delighted to be part of it!

What was the worst bit?

Getting to Falmouth from Holland, with a bike, 5 busses, two planes a train and very long walk!

Why do you sail?

I've just turned 50 so I was looking for an excuse not to have a party, so I had a holiday, was a good choice now looking forward to my 51st!!

Any other comments

I was quite amazed at the investment and quality of the work that went in to building these craft, It is fantastic in this world of light weight cheap materials and very expensive stuff that would break with in a few years to see a craft built at great cost from good materials that is working for a living, although I doubt whether the money is the driving force! It is great that there is a revival in appreciation of a very much more romantic time of sea craft!" - Thank you Ben D. We quite agree! (Pilot Cutter Review 2018) 

Agnes at the Pilot Cutter Review - Guest Feedback Photo - Ben. D.
Agnes at the Pilot Cutter Review - Guest Feedback Photo - Ben. D.
The trip surpassed all my expectations

What was the best bit?

This was one of the best experiences I have had. The exhilaration of moving under sail power. Such a majestic boat, the privilege of entering and leaving port under sail is immense. The crew, Jelta and Nilla were magnificent, very calm and truly professional. Food and company top class. Lunch on deck 26 degrees of heel, sun on your back, amazing !

What was the worst bit?

Having to go back ashore !

Why do you sail? 

I read an article in a Sunday newspaper on classic boats and was intrigued. I was not disappointed

Any other comments

I intend to repeat the experience .
The trip surpassed all my expectations.
The crew were totally committed to classic boats and a very sound knowledge of Agnes we all had complete confidence in them. They made the whole trip."

Thanks Bart M for a fantastic review on Agnes to the Isles of Scilly this year in May 2018!

Beautiful and Comfortable

Best Bits! - "Sailing across to and back from gull rock with the deck at a tilt - felt like proper sailing." 

Why do you sail? "I do not sail much, it is an occasional treat, but I love the sea (do a lot of sea kayaking) and I love the history of the old style wooden sailing ships."

Any other comments? "Food was amazing over the whole weekend. Was lovely to see the small Cornish villages as well, especially as it felt quite quiet that weekend, no madding crowds. And crew were great, very nice people." - Anon April Voyage 2018

 

"Hard to say what was best. The boat was beautiful and comfortable. The Cornish coast was stunning. The food was plentiful and excellent. Luke and Joanna could not have been more friendly, helpful or knowledgeable - or hard working. A very different style of sailing to that which I have been used to - it adds a new dimension." David 

"Luke and Jo were fabulous hosts and excellent skippers.Very Enjoyable all round." Brendan, on Agnes 

Cornish coast

"Hard to say what was best. The boat was beautiful and comfortable. The Cornish coast was stunning. The food was plentiful and excellent. Luke and Joanna could not have been more friendly, helpful or knowledgeable - or hard working. A very different style of sailing to that which I have been used to - it adds a new dimension." David 

Fabulous Hosts

"Luke and Jo were fabulous hosts and excellent skippers.Very Enjoyable all round." Brendan, on Agnes 

A Rare Privilege 

"A rare privillege to be able to share a few days another time and world in which I felt totally at ease and safe in the care of Luke, Jo and the lovely Agnes." Best bits? "Sharing the boaty converation with skipper and crew and having the opportunity to sail a boat similar to those of my Bristol Channel Pilot ancestors." Pre voyage arrangements 5 star. Good mix of sailing and ashore. Felt safe all the time." Alison, on Agnes 

Enjoyed Every Minute

 "enjoyed every minute of it, especially when at the tiller. Worst bit ? "There was nothing I didnt enjoy". Summing up the voyage - "Brilliant experience" 5 stars for welcome arrival, accommodation on board, safety briefing, safety, sailing, personal attention, skipper and food. Sandra, on Agnes

Very Special

"A special sailing experience. Delighted to have the opportunity to sail with Luke and hear all about his boat building/ sailing history. Added bonus of sailing to the Scillies and if the weather had been ok we would have fitted in a trip to Ireland as well." 5 stars for Classic Sailing website, pre voyage arrangements, arrival welcome, the sailing, the mix of sailing and ashore, accomodation, safety briefing, sailing, personal attention, skipper and paid crew food. Delia, on Agnes

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RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR 7 DAYS WITHOUT FINANCIAL COMMITMENT

As long as the voyage is not about to start, Classic Sailing can reserve your place for 7 days without payment or financial commitment, whilst you talk to your boss, find a home to look after your dog, or check flight prices.

All Classic Sailing need from you is a completed booking form to start the process: We check availability, approve your booking form, and provisionally reserve a berth.  You place is confirmed and booking terms apply, only when you have paid the deposit. We strongly recommend you do not purchase flights or travel tickets until your voyage is fully confirmed.

Solo Sailors and Solo Occupancy

The majority of our sailors sail on their own. The boats will always ensure that solo sailors sharing the same cabin are the same sex. Sole occupancy is available on some vessels which will have an extra % charge which varies by vessel.

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