Sutton Harbour

Classic boat fleet ‘parade of sail’ cancelled due to extreme weather conditions

**UPDATE – 12 MAY 2023**


Please be aware that unfortunately due to forthcoming severe weather warnings and previous delays due to unfavourable sailing conditions, the parade of sail into Plymouth Sound due to take place tomorrow (Saturday 13 May) around midday has had to be cancelled.

While this is extremely regrettable, organisers are having to make alternative arrangements for the classic boat fleet to leave Sutton Harbour earlier than planned and, as a result, this event will now not go ahead.

This will enable the fleet to take account of the weather ‘windows of opportunity’ to leave and head to Cornwall (Fowey, Falmouth, and Helford) and onwards to their next destination in South Wales.

Thank you for your understanding and support of the OGA’s Round Britain event.




A parade of sail of around 20 classic boats leaving Sutton Harbour for Plymouth Sound will be delayed by 24 hours, after extreme weather conditions hampered efforts to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Old Gaffers Association (OGA).

Several vessels taking part in the Round Britain Cruise (RBC60) event have been affected by storm-force winds and had to take shelter in Weymouth before heading into Sutton Harbour in Plymouth earlier this morning.

Around twelve classic boats are expected to arrive at Guy’s Quay today before being joined by a further eight tomorrow (Thursday 11 May). They had been due to leave Sutton Harbour on Friday morning and sail out into Plymouth Sound as part of the display, before heading towards Fowey in Cornwall.

These plans have now been pushed back and the fleet will leave on Saturday 13 May around midday instead. People will be able to watch the parade of sail from Plymouth Hoe.

Jonathan Brice, local organiser for the RBC60 Plymouth stopover, said: “The last 24 hours have been particularly challenging for the crews sailing towards Sutton Harbour in Plymouth. Storm force winds and extreme weather conditions have forced some of the classic boats to seek shelter in Weymouth and others have been delayed as a result. Some have experienced gear failure and technical issues as well.

“Unfortunately, this has meant that we have had to push back the sail out into Plymouth Sound and parade to Saturday now, until the bad weather subsides, and conditions become more favourable for leaving Sutton Harbour and onwards towards Cornwall.”

The event marks the 60th anniversary of the Old Gaffers Association and Sutton Harbour in Plymouth is hosting the south coast stage.

Tim Price, skipper of Picotee II, arrived in Plymouth earlier today after a 12-hour journey sailing from Helford in Cornwall yesterday. He left Helford at 5.45am and arrived in Cawsand around 6pm last night.

Tim’s square sail gaff cutter, built in 1949 and constructed of solid wood, is 28 feet in length and weighs 6.5 tonnes.

Tim Price said: “It was the worst onset of weather I have ever faced. Having to battle 70 mile an hour winds was incredibly challenging, and physically exhausting, particularly having to sail single-handedly the whole way. Now we’ve safely arrived in Plymouth, it’s time for a bit of repair and rest, taking shelter in Sutton Harbour for a couple of days before heading back to Cornwall later this week.”

Visitors to Sutton Harbour will be able to see the classic boats from Guy’s Quay between now and Saturday before they set off towards Fowey in Cornwall, then onwards to their next destination in South Wales. The fleet started its journey from Ramsgate in April and will finish at the River Orwell in Suffolk at the beginning of August.

All the boats are gaff rigged; the same rig used by many working craft over 100 years ago. Some of the vessels are built traditionally and made from wood. Others will be contemporary replicas built from modern materials, while still retaining the traditional gaff rig.

The progress of the Round Britain Cruise fleet can be followed by visiting the Old Gaffer’s website – smaller boats are encouraged to attend the area celebrations as the cruise fleet passes through. More information about the Old Gaffers Association (OGA) can be found at

To find out more about Sutton Harbour Group, this event, and future events, visit