Grayhound has new exciting owners Wille and Oskar from Sweden. They have been running a variety of entertainment ventures in Scandinavia and further afield and with considerable sailing experience between them they have taken on Grayhound.

In 2012 Grayhound was launched by Marcus and Freya Rowden. She was the first three masted lugger to have been built in Britain for 200 years and based on a revenue vessel that became a fast privateer. 

Grayhound quickly became known as a ground breaking vessel at the forefront of green transport and a sail cargo revolution. She set up regular cargo runs with guest crew helping transport organic wine and beer between Britain and France, as well as adventure voyages.

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Ship Stats

Length Overall


Length On Deck


Year Built


Vessel Type / Rig

Three Masted Lugger

Guest Berths


Crew Berths


What this vessel does best

What Grayhound Voyages

Day Sail

We weigh anchor in the morning, see where the winds take us, have a delicious meal at sea, and are back in harbour in the evening. These trips are perfect try-outs if you are curious to join longer voyages with Grayhound but are unsure if it is for you.

Join the Grayhound crew for a day of hands-on sailing where you will take part in the ship’s daily routines. You will learn about how to sail a traditional 18th century tall ship while enjoying beautiful archipelagos. Depending on the winds we will visit some of the historical landmarks on the islands.

Canal Cruise

On these voyages we pass through a famous shipping canal. Usually partly man-built they are rigged with history and amazing nature. As we slowly glide along either by sail or motor we visit historic sites, cosy pubs and admire beautiful scenery. We have a tasty dinner by anchor and a drink or two at the local pubs in the evenings.

Fjord Discovery

Discovering fjords and deep waterways. Usually these trips are about 3-5 days. We hoist sails when ever possible. Breath taking landscapes and dramatic nature surround us on all sides. We make overnight stays by anchor and visit smaller towns on our way.

Grayhound Ocean voyages
Grayhound voyages

Coastal Exploration

On Coastal Explorations we sail along beautiful coastlines seeing natural wonders and famous local sites. Some days we sail through the nights and some nights are spent at anchor in a beautiful calm bay. You will be involved in most aspects of navigating and servicing the ship as well as exploring inlets and fjords in our rowing gigs.

Island Hopping

Islands are by their nature historically part of traditional sail routes. Filled with history and stories and fascinating nature. Cruising from island to island we will go ashore to learn more about the local history. Sailing between them is hands-on and you will be part of the watch teams helping to navigate from island to island.

Cargo Delivery

deck cargo - whisky and rum maturing in casks
deck cargo – whisky and rum maturing in casks

You will not get closer than this to experiencing the life of traditional sailing. You will be part of an eco-cargo delivery of wine, beer, clothes or other dry merchandise. We load and unload the ship by hand. This is full, hands-on sailing as we go from one port to another. You need to be physically fit and in good health. If we deliver beer or wine you will of course have a chance to taste the goods!

Adventure Sail

These voyages are usually even more physically demanding. We sail for at least a week across larger open seas (Atlantic, North Sea, Bay of Biscay and more). You will be part of a watch team and involved in every aspect of handling, maintaining and navigating a tall ship. Hands-on and challenging.

On board your 18th Century Privateer the experience feels quite smuggler like in spirit and connects you with the local community. Often the whole village turns out to help you unload the cargo (small boxes). Grayhound does have an engine, but she also has a lean, fast hull shape and 3500 square feet of sail to take full advantage of mother nature. Beginners and sailing enthusiasts alike can immerse themselves in ‘hands on’ sailing skills, whether it be ghosting along with the tide in the moonlight, or blasting along with topsails and t’gallants set. 

Wander lonely as a cloud on the Isles de Cies
Wander lonely as a cloud

Inspires you to Tread Lightly on the Planet

A holiday should refresh you and fill you with energy and enthusiasm for the future.  Classic Sailing believe the Grayhound crew and this incredible three masted lugger will be that tonic, refresh the way you think, and possibly change the way you live your life. You don’t have to sign up for 6 months on a Greenpeace ship to meet eco-warriors.  The Sail Cargo movement is a growing fleet, with great opportunities for GAP year students or career break professionals to meet passionate supporters around the world.

If you doubt us, read the customer comments from her cargo and holiday voyages. 

La Cancalaise and Grayhound racing.  Both ships are historic replicas.
Vessels of the past….or the future? La Cancalaise and Grayhound by Virginia Spencer

What to expect

What to Expect on Grayhound

Sailing Style

Grayhound has a huge bowsprit and outrigger so her total sparred length is 108 feet. Her 3500 square foot of sail can drive her fast hull at speeds up to 14 knots. The main and foremast carry large lug sails and above topsails and t’gallants can be hoisted. Unlike a square rigger this lugger is no slouch to windward. She is a thrill to race and frequently steals the show at festivals from Looe to Antigua.

The beauty of this lug rig is its versatility. There are no booms at deck level. Her lug sails can be reefed. Her sail balance allows her to sail without a jib on the bowsprit. Grayhound has high bulwarks (ships sides) and the deck has room for two ships boats and still loads of space to stride about or tuck into a sheltered spot. Some seasons she carries a barrel of rum on deck to ‘age’.

Grayhound Crew love to Teach Novice Sailors

There is a good staff to guest crew ratio on Grayhound so you will get plenty of individual attention. As an introduction to sailing she would be great choice for complete beginners. There are plenty of day sails in the West Country and there is nothing to stop an adventurous family, or mum and daughter, grandfather and grandson combinations coming on a charter voyage with no sailing experience. Cargo voyages are offshore, so you need to be up for a bit of bouncing around and living life on the angle, but beginners are welcome on these too…and the sense of achievement is great.

There is a spacious pilot house with big windows so you can dip out of the rough weather or sun and not miss the scenery. On cargo voyages the saloon area becomes the cargo hold, so after the first night, meals are generally taken on deck or in the light and airy pilot house.

sail handling on sailing lugger Grayhound
no booms on sailing lugger Grayhound

The sails are no heavier to hoist than our other gaffers but hoisting the topsail and t’gallant yards requires well co-ordinated teamwork. Grayhound has a big tiller but small block and tackles on each side make it easy to steer whilst standing a couple of feet from the tiller. This enables the helm to look down the deck and check the sail trim or get a better view ahead.

The deck has room for two ships boats and still loads of space to stride about or tuck into a sheltered spot. 

Lugger Grayhound in Douarnenez with topsails and t'gallants up
Photo by Debbie Purser Lugger Grayhound in Douarnenez with topsails and t’gallants up

The Difference between Cargo Runs and Holiday Voyages

Cargo carrying voyages are still a sailing holiday, but the emphasis is more on active and adventurous voyage crew who take part in all aspects of the sailing and delivering of cargo under sail. It is particularly popular with young professionals from a wide range of careers who want an active holiday, doing something worthwhile. Its also a great way of touching base with other people who care about the planet. The central cabin becomes the cargo hold with boxes filling in the floor up to table level.  The crew always try to have a full crew meal around this lovely wooden table of contorted oak before the cargo is taken on board (and a celebratory meal after the cargo has been unloaded, but during the delivery run, meals are taken in the light and sunny pilot house or on deck. The pilot house has enough seating for everybody …and you can still see the view.. For meals at anchor there is a table that can be hung down the centre of the doghouse.

On cargo voyages Grayhound only takes 8 guest crew as there is less room below.  Charter voyages take up to 10 guest crew and day sails can take 12.

These voyages are an amazing experience and are deliberately a little bit cheaper than the usual seven day holiday voyages, with the intention of attracting the next generation of young sailors to get energetically involved the green transport movement.

Ask Us About the Ship

All of us at Classic Sailing Office watched her being built, and helped with the launch event. Adam and Debbie sailed on her maiden charter voyage,  Adam joined Grayhound as crew on the first Trans Atlantic Crossing from Cape Verde to Barbados.

Call us on 01326 53 1234

unloading cargo on Grayhound
Everyone helps as best they can to unload cargo on Grayhound


Accommodation on Grayhound 

The interior of Grayhound is like a home that expects to have guests. Not cluttered, but relaxed and welcoming. It has featured in Coast Magazine so that is a good hint that the interior is a bit special. The internal spaces are very well thought out, with a great deal of flexibility to accommodate all sorts of guest crew mixes, family life and a professional crew.

“Below decks is a work of art in wood and reminds me of a fantasy tree house with curved wooden steps and giant sizes bunks.”  Debbie’s first impressions 

Grayhound lugger floorplan 2022 3


The Grayhound usually accommodates up to 10 people on a holiday voyage, 8 persons on a cargo run and up to twelve people for a day sail. If the Grayhound is hosting an event alongside she can take many more people on board. Bunks are dormitory style with a shower and two toilets. There is a communal eating area down below with a wide opening hatch so we can star gaze while eating. In hot climates we will be eating alfresco. We have a pilot house at deck level which is a chill out area and where the crew navigate.  Grayhound provides bed linen and heavy wet weather and safety gear.  The ship has a solar powered ventilation system to keep the cabins fresh and airy in tropical climates, or when the hatches are shut for rough seas.

Forward cabin and main cabin on Grayhound
Grayhound bunk

Skippers and crew


saiing on Grayhound with Classic Sailing

The crew

Matching the strength and swiftness of the Grayhound we have an international regular crew of dedicated and experienced sailors who are eager to make your voyage a memory for a lifetime. As the guest crew you will learn to sail, handle and maintain a privateer lugger from 1776, and you will always feel safe and most welcome. Every year we take on five full-time crew: a skipper, a cook, two watch-leaders and a deck-hand. We carefully select the team for each voyage to ensure we have the right mix to provide an amazing experience – both for our guests and our crew.



Owner and watch-leader

Wille has been sailing all his life and has been the driving force behind countless enormous projects. Wille is a circus artist, rigger, producer and writer. There is not much he cannot fix with his stubbornness and a bent screwdriver


Owner, deck-hand and guide

Oskar is a puppeteer and a performer. He is also a playwright and a published writer. On his travels he gathers forgotten myths, magical artefacts and new stories about strange sea creatures. 



Guillaume is one of our skippers. He is a Grayhound veteran, and has a lot of love for the ship. Since he wasn’t very comfortable with job interviews, but had all the necessary diplomas, we hired him and hoped for the best.   

More Crew…



Elias is one of our skippers. An experienced sailor with a Capitaine 500 Validé… He was on a three year round-the-world sail when we saved him from Corona boredom and made him skipper on Grayhound.



Noémie is one of our cooks. She specialises in vegetarian cooking. She is the kind of cook that can serve up home-made burgers with newly-baked bread, followed by a fantastic tiramisu, after almost two weeks at sea. 


Watch Leader

Nick is one of our watch-leaders. He has spent his entire life on the sea. Being a descendant of the Isle of Wight he is actually the only British citizen on this UK flagged ship.   

…and some more crew!


Watch leader

Ewan is one of our watch-leaders and a veteran on board Grayhound. He is an experienced and devoted sailor who is willing to go anywhere in the world… As long as you tell him you’re going to Cape Verde. 


Deck hand

Constanze is one of our deck-hands and a skilled and enthusiastic rigger. So far we haven’t found anything that could dampen her good mood. Except from making her wear shoes.   


Deck hand

Jonne is one of our deck-hands. She has sailed some of the most respected tall ships in the business. She has a background as an elite sprinter, a skill she uses occasionally when it’s time to get out of her bunk for night watches.

Voyages on Grayhound


Transatlantic Crossing on Grayhound! - GR201224


Fri 20-12-2024

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria


Fri 17-01-2025

Castara Bay, Tobago




Sail to Sunnier Climes this Winter! - GR031224


Tue 03-12-2024

Portimão, Portugal


Mon 16-12-2024

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Grayhound with Classic Sailing




Explore the Iberian Coast - GR251024


Fri 25-10-2024

Cascais, Portugal


Thu 31-10-2024

Portimão, Portugal