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Plymouth welcomes back historic boats for Classic Boat Rally 2016

PUBLISHED: 16:58 13 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:58 13 July 2016

Boats berthed in Sutton Harbour from previous Classic Boat Rallies. Photo: Mary O'Leary

Boats berthed in Sutton Harbour from previous Classic Boat Rallies. Photo: Mary O'Leary


Historic boats, many that are over 100 years old, will enter Plymouth’s waters for the Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally this year.

Classic Boat Rally 2013, Sutton Harbour Marina, Plymouth. Deborah Clark Associates/Guy ChanningClassic Boat Rally 2013, Sutton Harbour Marina, Plymouth. Deborah Clark Associates/Guy Channing

More than 70 boats are expected to take to the waters as part of the Sutton Harbour Plymouth Classic Boat Rally this year. The hugely popular event running from July 29 to August 1 will focus on maritime history and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the historic harbour. Family-friendly activities and entertainment will accompany the multitude of boats which will include fairground rides, live music, stalls and street theatre.

The star attraction will be the Nao Victoria, an exact replica of the first vessel to sail around the world. It will arrive in Plymouth on July 28 and stay until August 21. Built in 1992, the 27 metre long, three-masted duplicate is the only exact copy of the original which famously circumnavigated the globe in 1522 as part of the Magellan’s expedition. It has four decks and 290 square metres of sail, so it will be hard to miss sitting in Sutton Harbour.

Commercial marketing manager for Sutton Harbour, Charlotte Malcolm, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the famous Nao Victoria for her first visit to the UK, as she arrives at our invitation for a three-week long stay in Sutton Harbour, just in time to be the star attraction at this year’s rally, alongside many other famous and historic vessels, and a wealth of shoreside entertainments.”

Other special boats that will feature in the Classic Boat Rally include three grand Island Trust vessels named Tectona, made of teak in South India, Pegasus, a replica of the Bristol Channel pilot cutter, and Moosk, a refitted gentleman’s cruiser built 100 years ago. A recent restoration of Vigilance, the glorious Brixham trawler which once formed part of the Brixham fishing fleet, will also make an appearance.

John Gallagher from Plymouth Classic Boat Rally Ltd said: “With so many of the vessels visiting Plymouth in 2016 being over 100 years old and featured on the National Register of Historic Ships, the Classic Boat Rally has a strong heritage focus for 2016, and will enable visitors to see some living maritime heritage in Plymouth’s famous harbour.

“We are very grateful for the great support from our sponsors and hosts, Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc, and are looking forward to welcoming all of the vessels attending the 2016 rally, which will no doubt once again prove a hugely popular attraction for Plymouth.”

All of the vessels will be stationed in the marina at Sutton Harbour and the public will have access to them on July 30 and July 31 between 10am – 5pm.

Visitors will be able to board the Nao Victoria from 10am until 7pm everyday whilst she is in Sutton Harbour. Tickets will cost £5 for adults, £2 for children under 11 and free to children under five. Advanced tickets can be purchased from:

For more information about the event visit: and


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