Irene’s History

Built in 1907, Irene has many years of sea-faring tales in her sails.

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On 29 May 1907, Irene was launched at the Bridgwater yard of F J Carver & Sons. Bought by a local brick and tile manufacturer, she was named after his daughter, Irene while her hull was framed in oak and planked with pitch pine; the keel and garboard strake were of elm and the keelson of greenheart.

Her first voyage from Brightlingsea to Penzance marked the start of her early life as a cargo vessel and she spent many years sailing British waters carrying tiles, bricks, livestock, corn and scrap metal from port to port.

By 1965, her career as a cargo vessel ended and she was found abandoned in the Hamble before being bought by the current owner, Leslie Morrish who took her to the Thames. Restored to her original ketch rig and converted into a live-aboard for his family, Irene spent the next chapter of her life sailing across the world taking part in classic regattas from the West Country to the Caribbean. While in the Caribbean she suffered a catastrophic fire and sank off the coast of Antigua. Undeterred, her faithful owners towed her charred hull across the Atlantic and back to Cornwall, hauled her out and began the task of rebuilding her over the course of seven years. The bottom part of the hull was largely undamaged and work commenced on rebuilding the upper structure of the hull, deck, interior and rig.

On 22nd April 2009 Irene finally sailed again for the first time in seven years, with new sails made by James Lawrence, of Brightlingsea. Further work below decks continued in 2010 to complete the accommodation to the standard required for chartering and so in 2011 she embarked on her first chartered sailing holiday and continues to operate to this day.

The Sea Sanctuary

For the new sailing season of 2022, Irene has come under the care and running of the Sea Sanctuary. A mental health charity based in Cornwall and one of the world’s leading exponents of blue health, the concept that ‘blue spaces’, such as the sea, that are beneficial for people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

The Sea Sanctuary team has had years of success combining evidence-based therapies and counselling methods with marine-based activities that give people an invigorating sense of adventure along with the help and support they need to lift their spirits, overcome issues and find their sense of wellbeing.

Alongside, their Sea Sanctuary voyages, we are thrilled to be able to offer guests the chance to sail with Irene on some charter voyages to help and support the running of the boat, so that the charity can continue to offer their services to those in need.

Skipper profile

Irene's Crew

Her dedicated and professional crew are always on hand.

Read Irene's Crew's Adventure Logs
Life onboard

Private: Irene

Become part of the crew as you hoist sails and take the helm...

Read Private: Irene's Adventure Logs
The History of

Private: Irene

Built in 1907, Irene has many years of sea-faring tales in her sails.

Read more