About the SHTP project: this Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership (SHTP) project is managed by NHS-UK and funded by a £261,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future programme. It provides ten 12-month training placements at five partner sites offering on-board specialist training to ensure the significance of the various historic vessels and the ability to operate them safely and effectively is kept alive. The trainees will also undertake a tailored course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College and an interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum. A skills mapping exercise will provide template training models for the wider sector and an assessment framework for seamanship skills will be developed as a project legacy.


Shipshape South West hosts one of the partner vessel organisations in the form of Trinity Sailing Foundation, Brixham. Trinity assists the growth of young people through sail training on traditional vessels, conserving historic vessels and increasing appreciation of that heritage by enabling people to experience life under traditional sail and learn about the vessels’ history. http://www.trinitysailing.org/.  Whilst on placement with Trinity, the trainees will undertake the following:

  • Sailing on board Leader and other vessels within the Trinity collection
  • Learning traditional seamanship and deck work on board gaff-rigged vessels including: handling the rig safely and setting sails for optimum performance, understanding the physics of the rig, boatwork, steering, ropework, and safety on traditional vessels
  • Undertaking specialist maintenance tasks on the Trinity vessels such as rigging repairs, ropework, painting, varnishing, basic sail repairs or joinery, engine maintenance etc.
  • Evening and weekend sailing with members of the local Old Gaffers Association
  • Working with parties of young people from youth development programmes to private chartered programmes, welcoming them on board, introducing them to safety and vessel handling procedures
  • Learning desk-based and business skills associated with managing historic vessels at the Foundation’s office in Brixham

Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership film

The documentary has been produced to celebrate the end of the SHTP project after two amazing years.

Watch "Learning the ropes"


November 2015: Update

November saw Martin and the other trainees at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft attending a 6 weeks-long course. They began the month with a week-long course on diesel engine maintenance. Then, came few short courses on plumbing, electrics, wire splicing, decking and a masterclass on sailmaking. Finally he moved onto woodwork which he carried on until the end of the working year in mid-December.


October 2015: Update

The October began with Martin going back to Brixham on Leader where he achieved the STCW certification. This was followed by a week of self-managed maintenance including woodwork and metalwork.

After that Martin had a very enjoyable trip with a local Sea Cadet troupe duringin which they had an evacuation drill with a real naval rescue helicopter. Another week of maintenance was followed by Leader final trip of the season with a school from near Liverpool before heading off to Lowestoft for the second IBTC session.


September 2015: Update

In September things for Martin wound down after a very busy summer on Leader at the Tall Ship's races. The month began with a sail training group from Grangemouth doing a circumnavigation of Mull. After this trip they started their journey back to Brixham. The first stage took Martin from Oban to Holyhead by way of the Isle of Jura, Northern Ireland and The Isle of Man; sadly they had foul winds for most of the voyage so was no possible to get much sailing done. The next trip from Holyhead to Brixham turned up being a hard one. The sea conditions at Land's End were thoroughly unpleasant but they had a fantastic stargazing on the second night passage. After rounding the Land Leader headed to Falmouth and then sailed all the way up the river Fal to a little berth near Malpas. The next day they had a good sail to Fowey cruising along at a good eight knots, all the way into Fowey. During a short break Martin also re-oiled the whole crew cabin hatch. From there they left to Salcombe, Dartmouth and then back into Brixham.

Martin also undertook his STCW qualifications in Bristol alongside Leader’s first mate.


August 2015: Update

August began with a sail up the Limfjord into Aalborg. After few days in Aalborg, Leader started her journey back to Scotland. The first days in the Limfjord were affected by a heavy rain but after getting out into the North Sea the ship had a nice easy crossing, motorsailing in light Westerlies until within sight of Peterhead and then siled round Rattray heading into Fraserbrugh. They cruised along into the Cromarty Firth before entering the Caledonian Canal in a pelting lightning storm.

Since then began a rather more peaceful period. Martin finished the Ratlines on the port side of the mainmast, one of his main projects for the year. He also reserved the jib traveller inhaul and outhaul over few days of maintenance. They had a cruise through the Caledonian Canal which showed off the Great Glen at its finest before arriving in Oban. He progressed a lot with regards to his skills passport thanks to the busy period and the several sailing experiences.


July 2015: Update

July was for Martin the highest point of the year so far. He started the month on Excelsior with a quick sail to the Netherlands with a school group as part of his Rotation 2. They had the chance to use full main, mizzen, tow foresail and number one jib doing eight knots over the ground most of the way. The crew spent few days in Den Helder and Texel before a good sail back. Martin worked on the rigging and received some training on wire splicing, receiving compliments by the bosun for his knowledge.

Back on Leader, Martin headed to Aalesund for the Tall Ships Races. Arriving in Aalesund he had a few days alongside doing maintenance and crew activities (they were also voted as the best crew during the festival’s crew parade). The first part of the sail was the Cruise in Company down to Kristiansand with other classic vessels and replicas. They left Kristiansand in the company of Jolie Brise for the second race. He developed further his sailing skill navigating a vessel under sail round Skagen point.


 June 2015: Update

Martin did the first voyage of the month on Leader which was very enjoyable and with a good load of maintenance to be done. Martin then headed to the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther for his first rotation of the training. The challenge for Martin in this placement was to adapt to the diverse environment of a Museum after being on a ship.  He produced a rigging presentation for the Museum’s new boatbuilding course and had a few sessions working with the Boats Club, clinkering planks and bending on a new set of sails for Reaper.


May 2015: Update

Martin had his fifth sail training voyage of the season. He sailed with a group of kids from central Birmingham, as he did last year, and the work with children brought new challenges to be met. They had a grand week hopping around South Devon and Fowey in Cornwall for the first time this season.

That voyage finished in Brixham and they had a very busy turnaround getting Leader ready to take off to the foreign climes of Scotland and Norway. Martin undertook maintenance on the grid, loading of oilskins and supplies, working also by night due to awkward tide timings. He headed off for his second charter voyage of the year from Brixham to Falmouth. The weather made the voyage rather interesting: a day spent motoring into the aftermath of a full Southwesterly gale and then a day of gentle Northwesterlies led to some cracking sails around Mevagissey and Charlestown to have a look at the historic dock facilities there before another trip to Fowey. Later on he had a maintenance day in Fowey.

The turnaround in Falmouth was very pleasant before heading off to Oban. Leader faced a range of different weather conditions on the voyage - thick, low fog on the way to the Scilly Isles, a flat calm in St George’s Channel, a beautiful broad reach North of the Isle of Man and a Northwesterly 7 in the North Channel before a day ashore in Port Ellen, Islay. After this, Leader sailed up towards Oban, stopping in anchorages and allowing Martin the chance to do a good amount of rigging work along the way. Martin spliced and served a new Mizzen sheet and both jib lizards and managed to make a start on a new set of ratlines for the main shrouds on the port side. 


April 2015: Update

Martin arrived at his host placement with Trinity Sailing to find that they were in the last throes of a successful and organised refit.  He was able to help with some joinery and cleaning before it was time for the first day sail to make sure everything was seaworthy.  This was followed by the first adult charter of the season which was an Easter weekend two day voyage and started with a nice evening sail to an anchorage just off Torquay, followed by a slightly longer hop down to Dartmouth and finally a leisurely cruise back to Brixham the next morning in company with Pilgrim BM45.

Martin then worked with the first sail training group of the year, a charity that looks after adopted children in the Devon area. The trainees were mostly novice sailors and the trip saw them sail from Brixham to Salcombe, then Salcombe to an anchorage off Burgh Island, followed by a sail in the fog towards Dartmouth. The second sail training group was from a local private school wanting to experience sail training for the first time. They had a fantastic sail to Dartmouth in four metre swells doing upwards of nine knots under double-reefed main and storm jib. You can view Leader underway in this Youtube clip and see Martin working on the foredeck in bright yellow oilskins. Arriving at Dartmouth, the trip concluded with a leisurely cruise up to Dittisham.   The third group of the month was a youth group from Cornwall who spent two days in Salcombe, followed by a sail up to Torquay and back to Brixham.  Finally, Martin and the crew worked with a group from a school specialising in helping young people with severe learning difficulties integrate into society.


March 2015: Update

After completing the conservation and interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, the Year Two SHTP trainees went to a practical hands-on maintenance course at the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) Lowestoft. For this month, Martin lived with the other trainees on board the historic vessel 'Excelsior' based at the yard adjacent to the College.  The first week involved two induction days, a Sea Survival Course at Lowestoft College and a short mini-course on painting and varnishing. The second week finished the painting and varnishing course and gave the trainees a little bit of ropework and explanation of technical terms for the various timbers that make up a traditional sailing vessel, with a half-day of joinery to round out the week. The third week was all joinery and the fourth week was mostly based at Southwold Sea Training doing a RYA first aid course, Powerboat Level 2 and Professional Practices and Responsibilities before a big clean-up of Excelsior and a barbeque as a leaving event.


February 2015: Update

The trainee selected for the SHTP South West region in year two was Martin Hendry.  Before taking up the position, Martin had volunteered with the Trinity Sailing Foundation since 2013 helping with the re-fit of the vessels and sailing as watch leader or bosun when the opportunity arose.  His original interest in the sea came from reading the novels of Patrick O'Brian, CS Forester and Alexander Kent.  From his enthusiasm for sailing, he had developed a basic knowledge of woodwork, ropework and an interest in sailmaking.  He completed a woodworking SVQ at College and went on to complete his RYA Start Yachting, Competent Crew and Watch Leader tickets.

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