Home - Museums - Themes - Exhibitions - News - Contribute - Search -

Current Museum

The Pioneer Sailing Trust

The Pioneer Sailing Trust

About Us

Originally built in 1864, the 70ft Essex smack Pioneer fell into decay after a life spent dredging oysters in the North Sea. An audacious restoration project by the Pioneer Sailing Trust recovered the wreck in 1998 and restored her. 

Pioneer’s new life as a sail training vessel can take up to 16 people and is used as a vehicle to facilitate learning skills and exploring new and adventurous territory whilst in a unique environment. 
The Trust has also maintained the boat building ethos by developing a specialist training facility at Harker’s Yard, Brightlingsea where young Apprentices learn boat-building skills and develop essential values needed to seek future employment. 

Hundreds of young people benefit from their time at Pioneer Sailing Trust each year, whether on a sailing adventure, work experience in the boat yard, or an Apprenticeship. 

The Trust is passionate about developing and supporting young people through education and new experiences.

Admission Costs

Come Sailing

Sailing out of Brightlingsea, Essex at the entrance to the river Colne, Pioneer will have a very busy season, April-Octobeer 2016. She is usually crewed by 3 professional crew 2 leaders and 10 young people.

Registered with the Maritime Coastguard Agency category 2, she is free to sail most of the North Sea and English Channel. Alternatively a pleasant days sailing may be undertaken on the river Colne and Blackwater estuaries.

Pioneer is also available for private hire for groups of up to 12 people. We offer day sails and residentials for adult groups and will tailor it to suit the needs of the group. 

It is quite a popular birthday treat with the family, or a day out with friends with a picnic lunch. Prices a very reasonable, call now for a quote.

For more information  and costs please call Pioneer Sailing Trust on 01206 303373.


Opening Hours

The Pioneer Sailing Trust is open by appointment. Please contact us for more infomation about sailing with us. 


Postal Enquiries:

Harker's Yard
Shipyard Estate

Latitude: 51.80627852° 52' 41.1° N Longitude: 1.0269111 ° 26' 15.9° E


Other Information

For more information about the Pioneer Sailing Trust please visit 


or call 01206 303373

or email admin@pioneersailingtrust.org.uk

RYA Start Yachting (3 days)
We also offer Royal Yachting Association qualifications on board Pioneer, which is a 3 day course. The course provides a short introduction to sail cruising for beginners. By the end of the course, participants will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, rope work and be aware of safety on board. These trips have proven to be very successful and a good introduction into a sailing career. The Start Yachting course can be integrated into a residential week, or taken over 3 separate day sails. 

Duke of Edinburgh Award 
Pioneer Sailing Trust is an approved activity provider for the Duke of Edinburgh Residential section. If you would like to complete the residential section of your award, then we can discuss a programme with you that would meet all criteria needed.
We would need 6 people minimum, if you think you are up for the challenge, then get in touch!!

How to Find Us

Tel: ( 44) 01206 303373

Harker's Yard
Shipyard Estate


Some Photos of Our Museum

Boat building tools
Boat building
Working with Young People
Developing Young People through Practical experience
Pioneer Sailing Trust

Add a Comment

In order to defeat spam we require javascript to be enabled in your browser before you can comment on this site.