Life on Board Pilgrim of Brixham

Find out what you can expect from a holiday on board Pilgrim of Brixham, our 1895 traditional Brixham trawler.

View Pilgrim of Brixham's sailing schedule   Read more about Pilgrim of Brixham

Every sailing holiday is different – that is the beauty of them. Even on the same trip on board the same boat, your experiences with the weather, the wind and the wildlife will be totally different. However, the one thing that stays the same is the high level of hospitality on board – and here’s what you can expect from your voyage, long or short, on board Pilgrim of Brixham.

Once you’ve arrived at the ship, the skipper will run through an essential safety briefing including the use of equipment such as lifejackets, life rafts etc. to ensure that everything is clearly understood. The crew will then discuss with you the proposed itinerary for your voyage. This will always depend on the prevailing weather and the port we are sailing from. Whilst half the crew are discussing your trip with you, the other half will be preparing to slip lines to set sail.

Getting involved

Pilgrim of Brixham is rigged to sail with up to seven red sails, and previous sailing experience is not necessary. All our guests are very welcome to join the crew including novices who can quite literally learn the ropes! Those with experience will especially enjoy and appreciate the scale of Pilgrim of Brixham’s rig and seeing how these big old vessels perform under sail. You can even take the helm – but don’t panic, you’ll always be doing things under the watchful eye of your skipper.

If you’re after a relaxed cruise on board a classic vessel, then we, of course, cater to that too. Bring your book and binoculars and 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. The crew are very happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your time aboard.

Traditional Sailing

You will notice straight away that the crew do like to involve you in making decisions about passage plans and destinations. It is your holiday, and where the wind allows the skipper will try and cater for your requests of anchorages. The old adage about the enjoying the journey not just the destination is applied to sailing aboard Pilgrim of Brixham so the aim is not to rush 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 of Brixham can do! With her seven sails (occasionally more) used for best effect depending on the wind. As with most of our vessels, Pilgrim of Brixham tries to only use the engines when absolutely necessary, usually for exit and entry into port.

Pilgrim of Brixham represents a great example of a “working boat” with her 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. There are no covered areas on deck so wind and waterproof clothing are recommended – we’ll send you out a kit list once you’ve booked, but Pilgrim of Brixham does have some nice warm throws if you feel a bit chilly.

Once the ship has anchored for the evening, you will dine below deck in the comfortably furnished saloon where you can enjoy a home cooked, locally sourced meal and get to know your fellow shipmates before retiring for the night in your comfortable berth.

Food and drink

A big part of your on board experience with Pilgrim of Brixham will be mealtimes – with all that fresh air you will get hungry, and we’ll do our utmost to serve delicious, nutritious food!

Refreshments (excluding alcohol) are included during your time aboard. Food can be taken on deck (weather permitting) or eaten in the comfort of the main saloon. Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits are served throughout the day, with a two or three-course meal every evening, breakfast to get you started for the day, and a lunch that will be more than enough to see you through to mealtimes!

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). Pilgrim of Brixham allows you to bring your own beer and/or wine (in moderation please, as storage is limited), and a small supply may be available to purchase on board.


After introductions, you’ll be shown around and allocated your berth (unless you make a specific request when booking). Pilgrim of Brixham’s main saloon is comfortably furnished to provide cushioned seating around a large extendable oak table. This is where the crew set out breakfast, lunch and usually gather for evening meals, but food can always be taken on deck, weather permitting.

Eight of Pilgrim of Brixham’s berths are in the main saloon area, and all exceed six feet in length, are single bunks with a dedicated reading light and small storage 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 lazarette. 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).

Berths are comfortably upholstered, have lee cloths, and are provided with a sheet, duvet and pillow. If you need a towel, just let us know before you join Pilgrim of Brixham and one can be provided.  There is mains power on board, so you’re 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 the crew will give you instructions on how to use them (they’ll be a little different to the ones at home!).

There is a wet locker for hanging and drying any outerwear (waterproofs and boots and anything else that gets wet!) that is heated and has a fan so they won’t be smelling damp.

Stowage of personal belongings is very limited so we do ask that only one soft bag per person is brought on board. When you book your voyage on Pilgrim of Brixham, we will send you a kit list with lots of useful bits to bring along – life on board is simple but relaxed and rewarding. The Pilgrim crew will be thrilled to welcome you on board this wonderful ship.

Skipper profile

Pilgrim's Crew

All of the crew love nothing more than sharing their knowledge with guests and making sure they feel most welcome!

Read Pilgrim's Crew's Adventure Logs
Life onboard

Pilgrim of Brixham

Fresh, local food, exhilarating sailing and a cosy saloon for taking shelter after a day in the elements - Pilgrim has it all.

Read Pilgrim of Brixham's Adventure Logs
The History of

Pilgrim of Brixham

Out of all of our fleet, Pilgrim is the richest in history. Discover how she has spent her life since being built in Brixham in 1895.

Read more