Trinovante is a unique three masted gaff schooner built in the UK.

Trinovante was designed and built by John and Su, her current owners, for the purpose of long distance sailing with guest crew. Trinovante is British registered and she is UK Marine and Coast Guard Agency coded for Category 1 and carries all the required safety equipment.

Trinovante is big enough for you to feel the thrill and excitement of sailing on a Tall Ship whilst still being small enough to take you to those out of the way places most larger vessels can only dream of.

With a small crew and experienced owners you get lots of personal attention and before long you will find you are sailing Trinovante as if you had always known how to do it.

The three masted gaff rig is an absolute joy to sail and the rig is easy to get to grips with. Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner this is a boat that simply invites you to get involved.

The possibilities for different sail combinations are many and all the sails are a manageable size. You can view the sail plan here.

Gallery Below

View Voyages

Ship Stats

Length Overall

23.9m 80ft

Length On Deck

21m 70ft

Year Built


Vessel Type / Rig

3 Masted Gaff Rigged Schooner

Guest Berths


Crew Berths


What this vessel does best

Trinovante with Classic Sailing

Learn to Sail on a Schooner: Embark on an Unforgettable Journey

Schooner sailing lessons have long been the gateway to a world of adventure and maritime wonder. Imagine yourself on the deck of a majestic tall ship, the wind in your hair, and the sea stretching out endlessly before you. If this imagery stirs your soul, then you’ve come to the right place. At SchoonerSail, we offer an unparalleled opportunity to learn the art of sailing on a schooner, a vessel steeped in tradition and history.

SchoonerSail: Your School of Seamanship

We understand that sailing is not just a pastime; it’s a passion. Our mission is to introduce you to the world of schooner sailing in a way that’s both educational and incredibly enjoyable. Whether you’re a complete novice or have some sailing experience, our schooner sailing courses cater to all levels of expertise.

Training Aboard the Trinovante with Su and John

At SchoonerSail, we take pride in the quality of our instruction. When you embark on a journey with us, you’ll have the privilege of learning from Su and John, our incredibly skilled and experienced instructors. Su and John have a wealth of knowledge in traditional sailing methods and tall ship operations, making them the ideal guides for your schooner sailing adventure.

An Adventure Awaits

Our focus is on teaching good, solid seamanship skills while providing you with a memorable sailing experience. We believe that learning to sail should be fun, and that’s precisely what you’ll find at SchoonerSail.

Setting Sail on an Adventure

As you step aboard our schooner, the Trinovante, you’re not just signing up for sailing lessons – you’re embarking on an adventure. We pride ourselves on creating a learning environment that’s as informal as it is informative. Every voyage with us is a unique opportunity to learn to sail while discovering some of the world’s best sailing areas.

Tailored Learning for Beginners

If you’re new to sailing, you might wonder which voyage is the best fit for you. Some of our guests prefer to start with our UK Sailing Weekends, providing a taste of the sailing experience before committing to a longer journey. However, many first-time sailors are drawn to more challenging adventures right from the start.

The Essence of Schooner Sailing

Schooner sailing is a distinctive experience. Unlike RYA courses geared toward yacht skippers, our approach focuses on making you an integral part of the crew. You’ll learn to sail not in isolation but as a valuable member of a team.

A Voyage Like No Other

Trinovante embarks on a variety of voyages every year, offering you the opportunity to join for anything from a few days to a couple of weeks. Each voyage promises new challenges and incredible experiences. Whether it’s a taster weekend, coastal cruising, or offshore sailing, you’ll find a voyage that suits your interests and schedule.

Mastering the Helm

One of the highlights of sailing with us is the chance to helm the ship. From the moment you step aboard, you’ll have the opportunity to take the helm and steer a compass course. Learning to steer the ship and adapt to wind conditions is a core skill that you can master during your time with us.

Hoisting the Sails

In your first days onboard, you’ll dive into the basics of sailing. By the end of a week, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to hoist the sails and might even try your hand at handling the fisherman’s topsail. It’s incredible how this small addition can boost Trinovante’s speed.

Offshore Sailing Adventures

Our offshore sailing voyages operate on a watch system, giving everyone a chance to steer, trim the sails, and maintain a lookout. One of the joys of offshore sailing is witnessing the sunrise during the early morning watch – an experience that’s both serene and breathtaking.

Mastery of Ropes and Knots

You’ll also become proficient in handling ropes and knots. Trinovante uses a mix of traditional and modern methods, ensuring that you’ll be well-versed in both. From coiling mooring ropes to tying essential knots like the reef knot, clove hitch, round turn and two half hitches, bowline, and figure of eight, you’ll build a strong foundation of skills.

Sailing with the Wind

Understanding the wind is crucial to successful sailing. At sea, every change in wind direction and speed matters. You’ll learn why we tack or gybe and how to sail the optimal course to windward. The Shipping Forecast, once unfamiliar, may become a regular part of your voyage.

Anchoring Mastery

Anchoring under sail is a unique skill that sets our sailing experiences apart. You’ll learn how to determine the right amount of chain to let out, ensure your anchor holds, and select the perfect anchorage. These skills are invaluable for any sailor.

Join Us on a Schooner Sailing Adventure

In conclusion, SchoonerSail offers a voyage like no other. Whether you’re a beginner eager to learn the ropes or an experienced sailor looking for a new challenge, our schooner sailing lessons are designed to provide both education and adventure.

Discover the world of schooners, embrace the thrill of the sea, and unlock the mysteries of traditional sailing and tall ships.


Join us aboard the Trinovante for a journey that will leave you with a profound sense of achievement and an unforgettable sailing experience.

Trinovante with Classic Sailing
Trinovante truly ‘hands on’

Cosy Interior

Below Decks

Trinovante is comfy and functional, not luxurious but friendly and very well organised. Good sized bunks an interesting library and plenty of opportunities to get to know your fellow crew members.

Trinovante with Classic Sailing
Below decks on trinovante

Trinovante Accommodation Plan

Trinovante Accommodation Plan


Su and John

Su and John are the owners and skippers of Trinovante. Having built the boat and run her since 2005 as a sailing holiday charter vessel.

Classic Sailing has for a long time admired the way they run Trinovante and her hands on sailing style. They are a very outgoing social team and they are incredibly good at making your voyage a successful enjoyable experience.


Trinovante Launching


She has now sailed over 40,000 miles. In the last few years, Trinovante has been sailing ’round Britain Voyages’, exploring the fjords and islands of Norway, competing in the Tall Ships races and visiting countries around the Baltic.

If you are wondering about the name Trinovante, the Trinovantes were the pre-Roman Celtic tribe who lived in Essex where Trinovante was built.

Creoula the inspiration for Trinovante
Back in 1983 John Shores, Trinovante’s designer and skipper, was walking down a steep Lisbon streets towards the river Tejo. When a new vista opened up showing the Portuguese Schooner Creoula on her moorings only a couple of hundred feet from the shore.

That’s John decided he wanted a schooner.
Though the inspiration was Creoula, Trinovante has been designed to be less than 24m long, robust, seaworthy and easy to handle by a small crew but with the ability to carry lots of sail with a stronger crew. Trinovante has been designed and fine tuned over many years to get you actively sailing the ship. It is a highly personalised sailing experience with the emphasis on sailing.
Su and John’s enthusiasm for sailing Trinovante will capture your heart and soul. It is not a luxury sit back and watch other people do the work, it is thoroughly ‘hands on’, a very social experience we all need post covid.
She is simple to sail but with loads of options for sail trim all of which you will accomplish by the end of the voyage.
Trinovante also had to be economical to build and maintain.
It took John about a year working on the design before the keel was laid in Wivenhoe in Essex, a small village on the banks of the River Colne with a long history of shipbuilding, fishing and sailing.

Trinovante’s Photo Gallery

Voyages on Trinovante


Trinovante Tower Bridge to Harwich TR130924


Fri 13-09-2024



Tue 17-09-2024


Sailing Holidays in London Tower Bridge - Trinovante with Classic Sailing




Trinovante Ipswich to Tower Bridge TR020924


Mon 02-09-2024

Ipswich Haven Marina


Fri 06-09-2024


Trinovante approaching the Thames Barrier




Trinovante Whitby to Harwich TR210824


Wed 21-08-2024



Tue 27-08-2024


Trinovante with Classic Sailing