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Sailing & Exploring the River Tamar

  • Vessel: Lynher
  • Where: Plymouth, Devon
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Embark: Plymouth - 2 July 2022, 11:00
  • Disembark: Plymouth - 4 July 2022, 11:00

Explore the tranquil waterways and riverbanks of the Tamar between Devon & Cornwall with a whole boat charter holiday on classic barge Lynher.

Join Lynher in the bustling port town of Plymouth, home to a rich maritime heritage  – the perfect location to join such a historic vessel for a sailing holiday in Devon.

After a good tour of the boat and once you’re all settled in, it’s time to help the crew prepare her sails, ready to hoist them when Lynher is clear of the iconic Tamar Bridge. Depending on the wind direction, you may be able to sail her through the Plymouth Sound and around Drake Island before heading to explore upriver.

Meandering Waterways

The beauty of Lynher’s hull shape means that she is able to creep up the winding rivers and creeks, elegantly manoeuvring for that prime anchorage. The tides will dictate the itinerary of your voyage but rest assured, skippers Barbara and Dom know these waterways well and will discuss the route planning with you once you board.

Once Lynher has worked her way upriver, it’s time to anchor for the night. With long summer evenings, there are plenty of opportunities to make use of Lynher’s water toys; kayaks, SUP’s and even a little mirror dinghy are available for guests to further explore the nooks of the river. Take a dip and clamber ashore off the beaten track to inhale the tranquillity as you watch the local wildlife in their most natural habitats.

Reading the water…

And navigating the rivers in this stunning part of the Devon and Cornwall is something that will leave you fascinated and is surprisingly different from high seas sailing. The tidal patterns and cross breezes rolling through the river valleys makes for interesting sailing. Dom’s knowledge and passion for sailing Lynher through these very waterways where her working life began, is truly inspiring.

As long as the route and weather permits, you may even jump ashore to enjoy a good old-fashioned campfire and dinner on the riverbanks before settling down for the night back on board. Another day could see another location for anchorage as you move with the tides.

Walking through time

Guided by the skipper and crew, you can walk into the river valleys and discover the vast local history from the Roman fort excavations at Calstock to the Medieval Motte Castle at Trematon. Perhaps visit Cotehele Quay and its working watermill or explore the 2000 acres of the Pentillie Castle and Estate. You may just want to relax on deck with a book and chat with Barbara and Dom about their fascinating tales of historic vessel restoration and offshore sailing experiences!

Under the Stars

An eco sailing holiday with Lynher is certainly for those wanting to embrace a slower pace of life. Take a break to relax and soak up the off-grid lifestyle aboard a historic vessel with great eco tourism values. Enjoy dinner on the spacious deck under the stars and perhaps even take a hammock for the night, inhaling the fresh country air. Anchorages on the River Tamar are a spectacular opportunity for stargazers with little light and sound pollution.

A sailing weekend aboard historic barge Lynher certainly makes for a  perfect getaway for families or small groups who want to immerse themselves in a river sailing glamping experience.


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Guest berths: 6 Rig: Smack Rig Gaff Cutter

Lynher was built to serve the river Tiddy, a small tributary of the River Lynher in Cornwall, so her size is typical of an inland barge, measuring just over 50 ft overall.

Lynher’s hull shape has no frills. She is exactly as when James Goss built her in 1896, a functional hull that can move 60 tonnes of cargo through the waterways. Built without an engine, her mast is well forward to allow for an ample mainsail area, her boom protruding off the transom  The mainsail acted as an engine and had to be powerful enough to operate in calm areas upriver and versatile in all-weather options. A gaff rig provides these features which we still use today, although she does have an engine now!

Built-in 1896 her history is quite a story and Lynher’s historic value is recognised by National Historic Ships UK which categorises Lynher as one of only 200 historic boats part of the National Historic Fleet.

Her deck is flush and remains open so there’s plenty of space to sit back and watch the world go by.

To ensure an authentic experience, below decks, has remained extremely simple, the cargo hold is just as it was over a hundred years ago. The only difference now is that there is no cargo thus allowing for ample space to sail together as a group. Pipe cots have been strung either side of the hold and a galley is set in a recess by the mast.

She spends her summers offering short breaks and river sailing holidays along the river Tamar, the border between Devon and Cornwall.

More about Lynher


  • Are all meals included?

    Yes, all meals on board are included in the price. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and hot drinks) Alcohol is not included.

  • Can you cater for dietary needs?

    Yes, please let us know when making your booking.

  • What language is spoken onboard?


  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

    Open saloon with pipe cot bunks OR hammocks under the stars!

  • Are bedding and towels provided?

    Yes, all bedding and blankets are provided but swimming towels are not so please bring your own.

  • How many toilet/showers does she have?

    She has two toilets. There is no shower below decks, just a solar shower above decks if needed.

  • Do I need to tip the crew?

    Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!

  • Is there an age limit?

    Minimum 6 years

  • Is there WIFI?

    No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.

  • Can I charge my phone/Camera?

    Yes, with 12V adaptors

  • Are there life jackets provided?


  • Are Waterproofs provided?


  • Do I need sailing experience?

    No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure and sunshine

  • Will I be sea sick?

    Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.


From: Plymouth

To: Plymouth


You can try the Mayflower Marina carpark; £5 for 24 hours, spaces permitting. It’s advised to ring ahead to check availability. Alternatively there is a free 24 hour car park, Mutton Cove, which is a 10 minute walk to the Marina – Devonport, Plymouth PL1 4LB


Plymouth is the most convenient train stop for the Marina. There are direct trains with Great Western Railway to Plymouth from Penzance, Exeter St Davids, Cardiff Central and London Paddington, and Edinburgh with CrossCountry trains. From their the quickest route to/from the Marina is a 5-10 minute taxi ride.


You can travel by coach directly with National Express from route starting points of Birmingham, London Victoria, Bristol or Penzance. Or you can travel direct to Plymouth Coach Station with megabus and then get a taxi to your accommodation or the Marina.


There are plenty of places to stay in Plymouth. Try Bistrot Pierre, Duke of Cornwall Hotel or The Imperial.

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