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Smugglers Run – Sail Cargo from Douarnenez to Falmouth

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Sun 02-04-2023, 14:00Douarnenez, Brittany Tue 04-04-2023, 11:00Falmouth, Cornwall Grayhound 2 NightsGR020423

An epic channel crossing delivering cargo the old fashioned way: under sail! A hands-on sailing holiday with purpose aboard one of the most striking ships, and in the company of Grayhound’s multi-talented, hospitable and entertaining crew.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage for . . .

Anyone interested in either the history of cargo shipping or the burgeoning revival of the Sail Cargo industry.

Anyone who wants to spend a few days in great company on a stunning lug-rigged ship.

Anyone who wants a holiday with a purpose: helping to transport goods in an environmentally friendly (and fun) way.


  • Unique three masted lugger.
  • Enjoy the beautiful Breton port of Douarnenez before departure
  • Finish in the bustling harbour of Falmouth
  • Sail across the English Channel
  • Night sailing
  • Deliver cargo by sail
  • Let out your inner smuggler!


Vessel type / Rig Three Masted Lugger
Guest Berths 8-10
Beam 19ft
Draft 10.75ft
Deck Length 64ft
Overall Length 108ft
Tonnage 56 tons
Year Built 2012
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


An Introduction to Grayhound

GRAYHOUND is one of the largest sailing luggers in the world today. She was built in Cornwall in 2012 and has a 20m long hull, is 33m overall and a canvas area of 470 square meters. The original plans were those of a three masted lugger from 1776. Luggers from that time were built for speed and swiftness ideal for privateering, smuggling…or for hunting the latter! “Pirate hand-break turns” and cannon firing is always on the menu on Grayhound!

As voyage crew you do not have to have any prior sailing experience or knowledge to join on Grayhound. A positive attitude and a wish for adventure is all! Our experienced crew will make sure that you comfortably and eagerly hoist the sails, make fast the ropes, participate in the manoeuvres, steer the ship and ready the anchor. It is all hands-on and you will be a crucial part of getting to our desired destination. You will learn fast while enjoying the feeling of freedom the ship offers as you get humbled by the sea. 

Some of the trips are more demanding than others. If you feel unsure please contact us and ask for further information. Classic Sailing +44 1326 53 1234


Sail along on this epic channel crossing delivering cargo to France/UK in the most ecological way possible. All hands on deck!

You will not get closer than this to experiencing the life of traditional sailing. A unique chance to partake in an eco-cargo delivery of wine, beer, clothes or other dry merchandise. Just like the luggers 250 years ago Grayhound will deliver high quality goods from one country to another across the Channel. Only difference is that the Grayhound of today carries a cargo license!

This is a full hands-on sailing voyage as we sail from Douarnenez to Falmouth crossing the channel with many names; ‘La Manche’, ‘Mor Breizh’, ‘Mor Kurnow’. We will sail over one of the busiest sailing and shipping routes in the world. Whether we sail through the day or night we need to keep a good lookout on our watches. We load and unload the ship by hand. 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 once they are delivered and the mission is complete!

Grayhound with Classic Sailing
Grayhound under full sail


Sailors are always at the mercy of the weather, and as such we never hold strict itineraries. This is especially true on a sail cargo journey, where the priority is to sail for every inch of the way if we can! The Skipper will make the call on the best route and timing for the crossing within the voyage period to make the most of what nature provides, and will keep you updated on the latest forecasts and plans while you’re on board. The channel can sometimes get a bit choppy, as wind and waves are funnelled in from the Atlantic, so take precautions if you are prone to seasickness.


Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.


We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

Start & End Port

Douarnenez, Brittany

Grayhound has her own berth at Port Rhu and the port is small enough for you to be able to easily spot her distinctive wooden masts.

Falmouth, Cornwall

We now have several vessels that use Falmouth as a joining or leaving port. As every vessel is different, and we do not have our own pontoon there, all joining instructions are slightly different. Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date.

This is a list of the likely joining locations, but sometimes the ship can also be at anchor. Read the vessel’s joining instructions carefully for full details.

Click on the two Blue Pins for more information on the joining locations on the map below:

Port Pendennis is the small marina behind the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the nearest rail station is ‘Falmouth Town’ (3 mins walk). The Maritime Museum has a big tower like a lighthouse so aim for that and at the entrance, turn right and walk down the side of the museum. The gate to the marina is behind the museum building.

Custom House Quay is a stone quay enclosing a small wet dock in the Centre of Falmouth Town. It is used for some of the foot ferries to St Mawes in the peak summer. Only 5 minutes walk from Falmouth Town Station if you head towards the town centre. Situated at the Maritime Museum end of the high street and has its own short stay car park between Trago Mills Store and the Chain Locker Pub if you are driving (see long term parking below) and want to drop your bags first.

Falmouth Visitors Yacht Haven is about 100 yards beyond Custom House Quay but if walking from the rail station towards town it is best if you walk accross Custom House Quay short term car park and nip through the alley tunnel through the Chain Locker Pub. The yacht haven is a small marina only yards from Falmouth main shopping street (Arwenack St), tucked away down the bottom of Quay Street.

Falmouth Port Map and Details PDF


Joining Mascotte in Falmouth 2022 pdf

Kit List

Grayhound Kit list

What is included

  • Duvets, linen, pillows
  • Sailing instruction
  • All meals on board (professional chef)
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits, fruit and day time snacks. 
  • Night watch snacks (if applicable)
  • You don't have to do the cleaning, but help with the washing up is always appreciated.
  • Waterproof and insulated jackets and trousers
  • Life Jacket and safety equipment, we also have child automatic life jackets. 
  • Charging facilities for phones, cameras and tablets etc. 

What is not included

  • Towels
  • Travel to joining port
  • Tours, shore expeditions with any hire vehicle or local guide (optional & shared costs)
  • Personal travel insurance See Topsail Insurance LINK
  • There is no bar on board so you might like to bring a bottle or two of wine to enjoy with meals. You can also buy organic sailed cargo wine, red, white and rose onboard. 

What to Bring

Don't forget, Grayhound is 108ft overall so she will not always fit into small yacht marinas and she will often have to anchor off in the bay or port. Be prepared to get into a small boat with your luggage and pack sensibly protecting any vulnerable items like cameras.

Grayhound has waterproof and insulated flotation jackets and trousers on board which are very warm. In summer or hot locations you may wish to bring some lightweight waterproofs. Even in the Caribbean you can get tropical downpours or spray on deck when sailing in strong winds.

A mobile phone so you can ring the ship in an emergency or if you are running late on joining day. Also it means we can contact you if we have to change the joining port for any reason.

Grayhound's phone number will always be supplied with your balance confirmation e-mail.

Shoes with a good grip for deck & aloft

Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies

Swim suit & beach towel. You are welcome to bring snorkel and mask - especially worth it in the Caribbean or Cape Verde.

Suntan lotion & sunglasses - consider sunblock and lip salve protection in Canaries, Cape Verde, Trans Altantic, Caribbean.

Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves

Clothes that dry quickly. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers

Small rucksack for going ashore

Travel insurance documents/tickets

Personal medicines/ spectacles

Spending money/passport

Camera/binoculars etc

Phone chargers. 240 generator on board UK three pin sockets.

We welcome musical instruments and you can plug in ipods or CDs into ships stereo.

There are storage areas for each bunk . Please pack in a soft rucksack or bag. A torch is useful as a few baggage spaces are at the foot of bunks with reading light at other end.

There is no alcohol to buy on board, so you are welcome to bring a bottle or two to drink with meals. If you decide to buy some on arrival

 You can also buy Grayhound t shirts, mugs and Breton tops from our ship's shop we accept pounds or euros. 


Grayhound Sailing Lugger - First Atlantic Circuit

"We’ve had two idyllic sailing trips, so far and one fantastic day scrambling over big volcanic rocks down a deep, craggy valley to a black sand beach with dramatically-high cliffs where Grayhound was waiting, attracting attention because she’s so beautiful and unique. Swimming out to her in the clear waters of the Atlantic rates as one of life’s highlights." 

Grayhound in Brittany and the UK

Fantastic, exhillarating, and an honour to be on such a ship. Aspects I enjoyed most ? - "All of it. Sailing in a force 8 and on shore activities. The whole experience was superb." Next voyage ? Douranenez or Brest. Which vessel ? "Any but Grayhound on top of my list." 5 stars for website, booking arrangements, welcome, accommodation on board, safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time. Des, on Grayhound May 2013, 6 day West Country Voyage:

Best aspects - "Recapturing a brief view of sailing in the peice of 'living history' that Grayhound represents and the chance to add to my megre knowledge thereof. The excellent company of genuine all round sailors and the discussions about the minutiae on board, from the conception to the fact that brought this wonderful vessel into being. Discovering some small aspects that were becoming common to me from pevious experience. Skipper Marcus's friendly instruction to a tyro, Freya's lasagne and Malachi's company. The wind in my face and the swell beneath." To sum up the day - "A wonderful collection to add to my new collection of sail and sea." 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew.  amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time. Barry on Grayhound in May 2013. 6 day West Country Voyage:

" I am in awe of Marcus and Freya and what they have achieved. Best bit - "sailing a unique vessel"   5 stars for welcome, safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. , amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time. Bob on Grayhound May 2013, French Voyage to Binic -

 "Outstanding and unforgettable experience.  Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests; playing an active role on board." Charlie on Grayhound May 2013. Charlie is an experienced skipper and RYA Yachtmaster offshore. He went on to be a first mate on Grayhound.

"Top notch." Enjoyed the overall ambience, great company, very clear instruction." 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, felt safe all the time. What vessel next time ? Grayhound longer trip or pilot cutter. Tony on Grayhound in May 2013

below decks meals on Grayhound
below decks meals on Grayhound

5 Star Reviews on Customer Feedback Survey Forms

Our best bits were: 1. Miriam climbing the mast on her 12th birthday, full of the cake that Freya had baked on board, fresh from blowing out the candles and hearing everyone sing; 2. taking part in exciting and fun sailing - from sweating and tailing sheets, to navigation and helming; 3. rowing ashore to explore a variety of otherwise hard-to-reach islands. Penfret super for wildlife and beaches. Houat particularly good for the museum, village and the seafood creperie (didn't have chance to try all the other restaurants!). Not to mention a unique history, genuine "green" cargo and being the most beautiful boat in the sea! B. Sellick- Grayhound- 27th May 2018

"A superb experience, unlike any other sailing I have experienced in 50 years or so.The captain, Marcus was very knowledgeable and capable, his wife, Freya an excellent cook and the crew Pierre and Jasper, not forgetting Georgia, were great company, very patient and added to the joy of it all.Highly recommended." - Grayhound 4th June 2018 Nantes to Douarnenez

‘Life changing in the best way possible. Forget climbing the Everest, diving with whales or becoming a Buddhist monk for a month. Sail on the Grayhound Lugger with Freya and Marcus and you'll get as close to your true and possible self as you could ever be.’ Brad Florescu - 06/04/16

Best bits ? "Active involvement in sailing and rowing: learning how the boat was made and works: shore visits, wonderful meals: evening discussions: being with the skipper and crew: nice guests. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about historical sailing: experience teamwork and being with individuals: experience working with and being part of nature." 5 stars for welcome, food quality, skipper and crew.  felt safe all the time.  Will T, on Grayhound 

"Exceeded expectations. Loved Under sail moving along, rigging the sails." 5 stars for website, booking arrangements, welcome,safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time. Jim on West Country Voyage

 "Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgable people. Best bits - sailing in the sunshine to start with but also sailing in stronger winds later" Customer Questionaire: ***** 5 stars for quality of sailing, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time.Steve, Cornish Voyage 

"I feel privileged to be present on this unique boat on its maiden voyage. Aspects enjoyed most - Sharing in trying aspects of this boats rig which had not been attempted before. " What aspect of our holidays persuaded you to book with classic sailing ? "I luv you guys." Maiden Voyage. John, on Grayhound 

Sailing in West Penwith, Cornwall  on Grayhound
Sailing in West Penwith, Cornwall on Grayhound

Day Sails Feedback

"This was a one day trip that was a fantastic experience. My previous sailing has been in yachts and it was awesome to sail with wood and canvas. A truely fantastic and privileged experience to sail as they did 200 years and more ago." 5 stars for welcome, safety briefing, quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time.Where next ? Azores Dartmouth Day Sailor Stephen

"It was a superb experience to be onboard such a lovely vessel especially as we had been allowed into Marcus' and Freya's home. Working the ship and being taught how to make it all come together was a unique and very special experience. I would love to do it again for much longer than just one day in Start Bay." Phillip- Day Sail

"A grand day out. It was all very hands on. We were complete novices and we learned lots." 5 stars for welcome,  quality of sailing, food quality, skipper and crew. personal attention – a lot, amount of sailing-just right, felt safe all the time. Amy, Grayhound day sailor June 2013

"I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for a day made of sparkling, dancing light. It has been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to learn from a crew so passionate and skilled on a living piece of living maritime history." Amy S. 

learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound
learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound

"We got very lucky with the weather on the day I sailed on Grayhound. The sun was out the wind was up and we were racing in the Falmouth Classics. What more could you ask for?! The best bit was jockying for position with our arch rivals on other boats.

Marcus, Freya, Jasper and Pierre, were brilliant. They treated the day like a proper race and drilled us to run as tight a ship as possible when tacking, etc. Great experience!

Lunch and the cream teas were spot on too, Freya!"

"The whole experience (for a non-sailor) was absolutely amazing. I brought the day sailing trip as a Christmas present for my partner. I also brought myself a ticket to join him and I wasn't overly keen to go but how wrong was I! I loved it and so did my partner. Highly recommend."

"My friend Alfie and I had a 7 hour trip on the Grayhound out of Plymouth on 29th June 2018. From the moment we arrived at the mooring point, we were taken care of and made to feel welcome. The crew were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful at all times and the food was excellent. Although you are encouraged to join in with rigging the sails and steering the ship, you can do as much or as little as you want without any pressure. A thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day out with an outstanding crew - even the weather was perfect." - Dave H. 

Lowering lug sails at the end of the day on Grayhound
Lowering lug sails at the end of the day on Grayhound

Vessel Gallery

Three masted lugger Grayhound is a unique sight and a joy to take photos of. Not only does she look very unusual as it is a rig not seen much now, she has a mission to deliver cargoes under sail, so she is the darling of the press. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.

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Smugglers Run – Sail Cargo from Douarnenez to Falmouth GR020423


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the crew of grayhound loading barrels of rum onto the ship's deck. sail cargo voyages and adventure holidays with classic sailing