Pilgrim requires many hours of regular maintenance every single year to keep her in good working order. During the winter all safety equipment is inspected, serviced and replaced if necessary. Sails and ropes are removed for checking and repair or replacement.
Everything is given a deep clean and we repaint and refresh the interior too. All systems are overhauled.
Tender Loving Care
Externally the hull is given TLC out of the water with a good scrub, pressure washed and all seams checked before reapplying antifoul. Sacrificial anodes on both hull and props are replaced and the external hull is repainted.
Marine Coastguard Agency
Pilgrim operates under MCA Small Commercial Sailing Vessel Category 2 coding and certification. An annual survey by an MCA surveyor ensures we are fully compliant with current regulations including periodic “out of water” checks.
Winter in Polruan near Fowey
This winter she will be lifted out at Toms Yard in Polruan and after disconnecting all the standing rigging the masts will be removed for inspection and overhaul. They were last lifted out in Brixham and the masts were worked on under the old Fish Market, that’s not an easy job and we have many passers by stopping to ask questions!
This year we have to replace the sacrificial oak battens on the main mast. They become damaged over time with the actions of the gaff ‘throat’, but that’s their purpose. They reduce wear and tear on the masts themselves. We’ll repair any damage to the masts, cross trees and any other components as well as overhauling all the metal work, blocks, sheaths etc. This is much easier with everything at waist level in the shed at the yard!
A wooden ship is never finished!
Our Skipper and crew, the majority of whom are volunteers, carry out most of the work we do annually. Once the work is complete, we re-rig and sail back to Brixham. Then it’s sail training and final preparations for our sailing season that starts at Easter and we’ll be ready for our 127th birthday in June and over 50 sailings this season.
Then it all starts over again!
Pilgrim is the leader
Pilgrim is a registered vessel of the National Historic Fleet and working with the National Historic Ships she has become the leader in maintenance procedures for historic working vessels.All Pilgrims Voyages