Tall ship and a Gentlemen’s Motor Yacht enter the Falmouth Classics

With entries already over 100 and more expected, the 2023 Falmouth Classics is set to welcome the brig Phoenix, launched in 1929, and Lilian, described as a gentlemen’s motor yacht, built in 1916.

Both vessels will be joining the local RNLI lifeboats and a Classic French life boat form Portsall, Brittany, in leading the fleets of sailing, motor and rowed vessels in what will be a spectacular Parade of Sail to be held on Sunday 18th June from 10.30 – 12.00.

The Phoenix, at 111’ overall, with her two masts, both with squares sails and fore and aft mizzen, will stand out in the harbour and provide a reminder of scenes from the past in the port and of the tall ships event to come in August. The Phoenix was built by Hjorne & Jakobsen at Frederikshavn, Denmark in 1929, originally as a Baltic log trading vessel, but traded from launch for 20 years as an Evangelical Mission Schooner and later carried a variety of cargoes. She was recovered in a very poor state in Miami, USA, and then refitted as a brigantine but in 1996 she was rerigged as an 18th century two masted brig for the film industry and spent many years in Charlestown, Cornwall.

She will be recognised from her many film performances including: the Horn Blower series, In the Heart of the Sea, Poldark and Taboo. The vessel is now under new management and her home port is Belfast, Northern Ireland. She will be pleased to welcome paying guests during the Classics which runs from 16th – 18th June and provide them with a unique opportunity to view the racing and participate in the parade of sail on board a tall ship. Find out more here.

Captain Joel Edward Foote said: “We are thrilled to participate and as one of the most highly anticipated sailing events of the year, Falmouth Classics offers a unique opportunity to showcase our beautiful tall ship to a wide audience”. 

Lilian - participating boat 2023
Lilian is thought to be one of the first yachts to use twin screw diesel propulsion

Lilian, described as a gentlemen’s a motor yacht, she does however carry sails and is rigged as a gaff schooner. She did have sails when built but just a single mast She was designed and built by Carl Gustave Petterson in Stockholm in 1916 for a well-known Danish banker as the support boat for his racing yachts in the Baltic. She is thought to be one of the first yachts to use twin screw diesel propulsion and the only one remaining in the world. Not surprisingly she is listed on the National Historic Ships Register. The original engines have been renovated but are no longer installed.

The banker made considerable losses and She later moved to French ownership, then English, and has been based on the Thames since 1938. From 1968 she served for a while as the Windsor Sea Scouts base ship. The current owners purchased her in 1980 and restoration to a seagoing standard followed, which was completed in 1988. The owners live aboard and have cruised her widely and participated in many classic events. Like the Phoenix, this is her first time at the Falmouth Classics.

Keith Tullett, the Chairman of the Falmouth Classics Association said “The Association is very pleased to welcome these two wonderful historic vessels to Falmouth Classics. They will both add much interest to the event and add considerably to the spectacle of the Sunday parade”.

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