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The History of Trinovante

To some extent every boat starts with a dream or inspiration. The inspiration for Trinovante came one sparkling September day in Lisbon during 1983. 
John Shores,Trinovante's designer (and current skipper), was walking down the steep city streets towards the river Tejo. Unexpectedly the Portuguese Schooner Creoula came into view, riding to her moorings only a couple of hundred feet from the river bank. John there and then decided he wanted a schooner.

Trinovante was inspired by Creoula that day but is not in any way a copy or a miniature version of her. The design brief was simply for a three masted traditionally rigged schooner of less than 24m long with a maximum draught of seven feet and a cargo hold forward. She needed to be strong, seaworthy and easy to handle by a small crew but with the ability to carry lots of sail with a stronger crew. She also had to be economical to build and maintain.


John spent a year working on the design before the keel was laid in Wivenhoe in Essex, a small village on the banks of the river Colne. Wivenhoe has a long history of shipbuilding, fishing and sailing. The last big sailing vessel built there was the Jubilee Sailing Trust's ship the Lord Nelson launched in 1986 from Cooks shipyard.


Trinovante was launched in 1994 and has now become a familiar sight sailing around her home waters of the Thames estuary and further afield.

Trinovante from bows on sailing off Southend

Design wise Trinovante has exceeded expectations. The only major change has been a conversion of the forward hold into accommodation for the crew.

From 2005 SchoonerSail started offering 'hands on' sailing holidays onboard Trinovante. She has now sailed over 30,000 miles including several round Britain voyages, In the last few years Trinovante has been sailing to the Arctic circle and competing in the Tall Ships races.