The Island Trust

Enabling young people to get out on the water since 1973

Group Sailing Weeks

Youth Groups, Schools and Colleges | Private Groups | Corporate Team Building


See what people have to say about their trips…

Ocean Discoverability

Day sails supporting young people from special needs schools and day centres in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall

The Island Trust Fleet

The Island Trust owns three large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessels

Adventures at Sea

RYA Training and Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Residential experiences for independent teenagers

Sail Training

Skill | Challenge | Adventure | Confidence | Communication

Small Ships Races

An exciting, challenging, and inspiring sailing adventure…

50 years of life-changing sailing adventures!

We are a registered charity providing life-enhancing, residential and day sailing activities for young people with special needs, disabilities, and those experiencing hardship and deprivation.

To support our charitable work we run sail training voyages for independent individuals aged 13 to 19 years during the school holidays, group team building days, and occasional voyages specifically for adults. Our boats are also available to hire for film and television work.

Schools & Groups

We offer sailing expeditions and day sails for youth groups, schools and colleges, tailored specifically to the needs of the group.

Adventure Sailing

Sail training voyages for independent young people during school holidays – have a great time, learn new skills and make new friends!

DofE Gold Residentials

Come on board for your DofE Gold Residential, where you can work towards an RYA qualification at the same time.

Adult Voyages

We occasionally run a small number of adult coastal cruises, expedition voyages, and sailing and wild swimming trips.

Teachers/Youth Leaders

Find out more about what we do on one of our free taster day sails for teachers and youth leaders.


Our traditional vessels are perfectly suited to private and corporate hire for groups seeking a team experience.

Latest News

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer needed! Do you have the time to help us with our digital fundraising? We would love to hear from you if you have the skills…

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Life on the Ocean Wave

Life on the Ocean Wave

Plymouth primary school children from the Stonehouse neighbourhood to be given an awe-inspiring glimpse into the world around them…

read more

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Johanna Lucretia crew making use of the nice weather to do some routine maintenance and finally got round to painting the anchor chain. Does anyone know why we paint the anchor chain in different colours?
#sailtraining #woodenshipsarebest #topsailschooner #painting #anchor


We are recruiting!
We are looking for a Fundraising Manager to help us research and apply for funding opportunities amongst other roles.
For more details about the role follow the link below

#sailtraining #shorestaff #fundraiser

We have just released some new dates for our Adventure Sailing voyages on board this awesome vessel Suitable for DofE Gold residential for ages 13-18. 5 day voyages commencing 30 June, 25 August & 27 October don't miss out.
#dofe #sailtraining #tallship

Last minute places available for our Adventure Sailing voyage departing Sunday 14th April! **Price Reduced to £650** ages 13 to 18 come and sail our topsail schooner at The Island Trust
#dofegold #theislandtrust #sailtraining #newfriends #woodenboatsarebest #RYA #visitplymouth


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7 days ago

The Island Trust
We are very grateful for the support of Plymouth Ladies Charity Club. They have a few Plymouth events at which they raise funds for the Plymouth Community. If you can support their walks or Tea Party let them know and tell them The Island Trust sent you!! Thank you! ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

The Island Trust
We had a wonderful day yesterday sailing with young people from Mount Tamar School. They joined our Ocean Discoverability programme for a day sailing in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park on our tall ship Johanna Lucretia and to learn more about the ocean. ... See MoreSee Less
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Our Fleet

The Island Trust owns three large traditionally rigged sailing boats; Moosk, Pegasus and Johanna Lucretia. In 2024 we will only be operating Johanna Lucretia.


Gaff Yawl


Gaff Rigged Pilot Cutter

Johanna Lucretia

Topsail Schooner

Sail Training

Based in Plymouth, Devon, The Island Trust provides flexible personal development programmes for young people on board its fleet of traditionally rigged sailing vessels. Encouraging independence, team work, communication, self worth and life skills; sailing provides an exciting and challenging adventure.

Courses range from group sailing weeks and day sails, to adventure sailing for independent individuals, DofE Gold Residentials, and the annual ’round-the-cans’ Cowes Small Ships Races youth sailing events.

The Island Trust is a registered charity (no. 1049722) committed to providing sailing for everyone and will accept applications from young people for financial assistance to meet the costs of a voyage.

Click here to read more about us.

What We Do

RYA Recognised Training Centre

Crewed by professional sailing staff, qualified at the highest level, all of our vessels have been coded by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and inspected for seaworthiness and safety.

The Island Trust and its operating company, Island (Cutter) Ltd, have robust policies and procedures in place to guarantee your safety on board including:

  • Health and Safety Policies
  • Child Protection Policies
  • Annual DBS Disclosure for all staff and volunteers

We are members of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

Full time and relief skippers are RYA Yachtmasters and Cruising Instructors or higher, and mates and volunteers are qualified to levels appropriate to the responsibilities they carry in accordance with statutory MCA and RYA regulations and guidelines.

More information about RYA training »

DofE Approved Activity Provider

We are a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Approved Activity Provider and run DofE Gold Residential sailing weeks for individuals. Voyages follow the RYA Cruising syllabus and our experienced and well qualified staff will help participants gain RYA as well as DofE qualifications.

Foe more information visit our DofE Gold Residential page.

What is Sail Training?

Our voyages take you to different places every day, tiny harbours, beautiful rivers and the stunning Cornish and Devon coastlines. On a really good week, we may to sail out to the Isles of Scilly, Brittany or the Channel Islands. We sail where the wind takes us, and regularly spot dolphins, sun fish, basking sharks, seals and even pilot whales! Beach barbecues, fishing and swimming are all part of the fun.

Our sailing weeks mix high quality tuition with a fun, educational environment where everyone works and lives as a crew. RYA (Royal Yachting Association) certificates and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Residential can be attained on board.

Participants learn how to helm, use a compass, use charts and basic navigational skills to plan passages, raise and lower sails, tie knots and cook. Standard voyages start in the afternoon on Sunday and end at lunchtime on Friday. Our full time and relief skippers are RYA Yachtmasters and Cruising Instructors or higher, and mates and volunteers are qualified to levels appropriate to the responsibilities they carry in accordance with statutory MCA and RYA regulations and guidelines, and are subject to annual enhanced DBS disclosure.

As a charity we help the visually and hearing impaired, those with learning difficulties, special educational needs or behavioural difficulties, and any young person for whom the experience of sailing might otherwise be unattainable. We help hundreds of young people every year, from all backgrounds, to get out on the water and experience the adventure and freedom of a voyage at sea.

For more information call us on 01752 823007 or email