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The Cirdan Trust

The Cirdan Trust Logo sailing vessel sailing vessel

"We help young people broaden their horizons through the challenge and adventure of life on large traditional sailing vessels"

The Cirdan Sailing Trust was started in 1983 and based in Maldon, Essex. A registered educational charity, it is one of the largest sail training organisations in Britain.

Service to Youth Leaders

The Cirdan Sailing Trust works principally with whole groups of young people from youth organisations across the spectrum and is especially concerned to support those who work with the socially or physically disadvantaged.

The aim is to provide an opportunity for the group, with their leaders, to experience together the adventure of sailing by taking an active part in running and sailing the vessel. It is through this involvement that leaders can build on their work with the group.

The development of relationships and the growth of teamwork proves invaluable to both the group and the individual once back home. It also provides leaders with a firm group experience in a safe, positive and challenging environment on which to build in the future.

We cater for young people of 10 years old upwards and include both the disabled and able, those with limited incomes and those whose lives are restricted by circumstance. All sailing trips are tailor-made to suit the requirements of each group.

Challenge to Young People

" of the most exciting moments was when we sailed at night. I couldn't see anything, and all I could hear was the sound of the ship going through the water. The atmosphere was just electric."

Few other environments can match a large sailing vessel for providing young people with the opportunity to broaden their understanding of themselves and their group.

Sailing fosters teamwork, motivation, discipline, self-esteem and increases self confidence.

Groups are treated as crew members they play a full part in the operation of the vessel, including hoisting sails, plotting a course, steering and acting as look out. Keeping the vessel clean, preparing meals, and washing up is all part of shipboard life.

Every individual has his or her part to play in the success of the sailing trip and even though it can be quite hard work it is also exhilarating, exciting and tremendous fun.

Reduced Fees for Disadvantaged and/or Individuals

We would not like anyone who wishes to sail with us to miss out because of lack of funds. The Cirdan Sailing Trust is able to help both groups and individual members of groups to obtain SUBSTANTIAL financial assistance with meeting the charter fees.



Xylonite was built in 1926 by the Mistely Building Company for Horlocks, a well known barge firm in North Essex. Xylonite was one of the last barges to be built without provision for an auxiliary engine, and she traded under sail until 1958.

Among her cargoes were grain and malt for brewing. After 1958 she was unrigged and traded as a motor Barge. In 1984 she was bought by the Cirdan Sailing Trust and after a complete rebuild entered service in 1985.

Queen Galadriel

Built in 1937 at Svenborg in Denmark, Galadriel was originally called Else after the first Captains daughter. She traded as a cargo vessel around the coasts of Denmark and Norway, first as a motor sailer but after 1956 under motor alone. In 1983 she was bought by the Cirdan Sailing Trust, extensively restored and re-rigged and in 1984 she entered service as "Queen Galadriel". Galadriel is officered by a skipper and two or three mates.


Duet is a fine example of a gaff rigged yawl retaining all the features of an Edwardian classic yacht. She is built of wood with beautiful teak decks and retains most of her original high quality fittings including the original rig. The only noticeable change is the addition of a deckhouse over the after cabin removed from Bloodhound during modifications in the sixties.

She was designed by Linton Hope and built at White's Yard on the River Itchen (Southampton) and launched in 1912 as "Gaviota". In the early 1930's she was bought by Mr Augustine Courtauld, a famous explorer, who renamed her "Duet". When he died in 1959 ownership passed to his son, the Revd. Christopher Courtauld who joined with Mr Christopher Ellis in founding the Ocean Youth Club in 1960. She was used by the Club in an adventure sail training role for young people from then until 1994. In 1996 she embarked on a similar role with the Cirdan Sailing Trust. Duet regularly takes part in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race.

Charter Fees and Duration

Charter vessels for weekends and longer. Daily rate of £28 per person

For further information and a full colour brochure please apply to:

The Cirdan Sailing Trust
Fullbridge Wharf
Telephone: 01621 851433
Fax: 01621 840045
Registered Educational Charity No:288366