Provident has not sailed since September 2014 because of problems with the trawler's engine. The vessel is now back out at sea with the rest of the Trinity Sailing fleet.

Since 1999, Brixham trawler, Provident has been part of the Trinity Sailing Foundation fleet, providing sail training to hundreds of young people, as well as cruising holidays.

Built in 1924 by John Sanders at W. A. Gibbs’ yard at Galmpton on the River Dart in Devon, the vessel is one of the medium-sized ‘Mule’ class of sailing trawler.

Brixham trawler Provident

Provident is now back out at sea following repairs. Credit Trinity Sailing Foundation.


Harry Gottschalk, from Trinity Sailing, said Provident hasn’t been sailing since September 2014, but following the repairs, the wooden vessel will now “resume her normal activities doing sail training and running holiday cruises”.

“She has been out of action as her ageing Gardner engine’s gearbox was playing up, which meant the sensible thing was to replace the engine itself at the same time,” he explained.

“That was something we could not finance and organise in the time available before the start of the season so we took her out of service and did the work this winter. She was afloat on her mooring while out of service, except when the new engine was being fitted,” said Gottschalk.

He said Provident’s first voyage was “with a London school”, and added that the vessel “has a busy year ahead”.

Brixham trawler Provident

Provident is used for sail training and holidays. Credit Hypersonic Photo.


Provident is 95 foot and carries 2,750 square feet of sail on a gaff ketch rig. Down below, there are 16 berths – 12 for guests and four for crew – as well as a saloon and galley.

According to the foundation’s website, the trawler was built as a replacement for an earlier vessel of the same name, which was sunk by a German U-boat during the First World War.

Provident fished out of Brixham for 10 years before being sold to a wealthy American and converted to a private yacht.

After being laid up in Cornwall during the Second World War, the trawler arrived in Salcombe in South Devon, in 1951, as the founding vessel of the Island Cruising Club.

In the late 1980s, Provident underwent a major refit, and was re-launched in 1991.

The vessel continued to sail with the club until 1999, when Provident started working from Brixham as part of the newly-formed Trinity Sailing Foundation, which is a registered charity.