Types of Experience

Explore Day: Day out on our motor launch the Judy Ann, where you will navigate to a lovely location, such as Wivenhoe or Rowhedge for lunch. On the way back to Brightlingsea, there will be a chance to do a spot of dredging in to discover what lies beneath the water and learn a bit about the sea life.
Gig rowing in our four oar Harker’s Yard rowing gigs. You will be split into two teams and inducted in the use of the four oar rowing gig, designed for use on coastal waters. This team challenge is a chance to put communication and synchronisation skills into practice!! It is also an opportunity to explore the River Colne, with the possibility of visiting nearby St Osyth or East Mersea for a look around.
Sail Pioneer for a day on the beautiful river Colne, you and your team will learn a range of skills that will enable you to grasp some of the essential skills needed when sailing on a traditional vessel. Your team will be involved in everything from rigging, trimming sails, boat manoeuvres and of course, making tea! The unique design of Pioneer means there is a job for everyone and plenty to get involved in.
Whilst on board, emphasis will be placed on having fun and learning new things along with encouragement to take on the responsibility of steering and being in charge of changing sails at the right times.
The experienced and relaxed crew on Pioneer give a friendly and supportive environment, which enables people to feel comfortable and encouraged to try something new.
There will also be a picnic lunch and a chance to explore the sea life with some dredging.
For those wishing for a more challenging experience, a residential trip on Pioneer is for you!! Your team will learn what is required to navigate and explore new territory on the east coast in the only remaining Skillinger Smack in the world! Only from being on the water, will you be able to open your eyes to this unique viewpoint.
A plan and brief of each day will be explained by the Skipper and Pioneer will the set out on the journey, arriving at a new destination every night. Some places that are visited will be very remote and peaceful, with the chance to play games on the beach, have a BBQ, or even go for a swim. Other destinations will have a bit more to see and do, such as the Pier at Harwich or the West Mersea Island.

There might also be the opportunity to go seal watching out in the dinghy at dusk – have some water fights with other boats, a crabbing competition, beach scavenging, or rowing competitions.
Even if it rains, there is plenty to do on board to keep everyone entertained, such as quizzes , funny games, card games; there will always be something to do – some people even like to bake cakes. Yum Yum, lovely!

Everyone has to be involved with the daily running of Pioneer, making meals, washing up, scrubbing the decks, it’s all part of the fun!!
The three professional crew will make sure you have a great time away from the land. As well as having as much fun as possible, they will make sure it happens in a safe environment. Pioneer has an exceptional safety track record and uphold a high level of safety culture.
We are also able to run Royal Yachting Association qualifications on board Pioneer, which are 3 day residential courses. 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.
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!!