Sutton Harbour hosts Old Gaffers Association’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Sutton Harbour in Plymouth is gearing up to host the south coast stage of the Round Britain Cruise to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Old Gaffers Association (OGA), as it turns sixty this year.

Members of the association will be heading to Sutton Harbour from 10th May until 12th May 2023. The gathering of enthusiasts will see classic boats, both large and small, sail into Plymouth and visitors to Sutton Harbour will be able to see around 20 vessels from the quayside.

Mark Brimacombe, Sutton Harbour Marina Manager, said: “We’re really excited to welcome members of the Old Gaffers Association to Sutton Harbour in May. They’re going to be berthed at Guy’s Quay, in the heart of the old Barbican area and these boats are all based on traditional designs – most of which have evolved from the working craft of Great Britain. The boats are going to provide a wonderful backdrop to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for the OGA60 and we’re delighted to host them at our first-class facilities at Sutton Harbour.”

The attraction to Sutton Harbour comes from its easy access to a wide variety of amenities that both the marina and surrounding Barbican area have to offer. Visiting crews will be able to support local businesses and make the most of the sightseeing opportunities too. That includes some organised local tours among other activities.

The Old Gaffers Association has previously centred these gatherings around Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour because of the importance of the area to boat enthusiasts. Not only does it boast great facilities, but it is also because of its position in the heart of Plymouth’s historic city centre. Sutton Harbour is one of the finest places on the south coast for heritage craft to visit, so both the boats and the wonderful historic backdrop complement each other.

All the boats are gaff rigged, which is 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 OGA60 participants are thrilled to be able to stop over at such a prime location after several days at sea and enjoy their first celebration of their voyage around the UK,” says Jonathan Brice, local consultant for the OGA60 Plymouth stopover.

“The OGA and the participants are most grateful to Sutton Harbour for their generous support of the gatherings by making available the berths and supporting facilities.”

Evocative of a bygone era when such boats were a common sight in and around Plymouth’s waters, this is an exciting time for local boat enthusiasts to enjoy the traditional vessels gracing Sutton Harbour.

Locals will be able to both welcome and send off the vessels upon their arrival and departure from Sutton Harbour and the waters of Plymouth Sound. Be sure to visit Guy’s Quay from the 10th May until 12th May to join the Old Gaffers Association in celebrating their 60th Diamond Jubilee.