About Bessie Ellen

Bessie Ellen is one of Britain’s last wooden coasting ketches still under sail and offers the chance for you to experience a Tall Ship sailing adventure.

Below decks, the former cargo-hold has been transformed to provide a large saloon and dining area. The bunks are comfortable and each equipped with a bunk light. A well equipped galley, combined heads and shower room with hot and cold running water completes the main living area.


Total number of berths: 20
Guest berths: 12
Day trips in sheltered waters: 60 (maximum)
Day trips offshore: 12
Reception/party on deck: 90
Luxury dinner in saloon: 32
Buffet in saloon: 40 (maximum)

Bessie Ellen Tall Ship Adventures

Safety and Classification

Bessie Ellen sails under British flag and is equipped for worldwide operation. The vessel meets MCA and MECAL safety requirements and is fitted with modern navigation and communication equipment.  Bessie Ellen carries a Class V & VI certificate for sheltered waters and MECAL Category O worldwide trading certificate.  The professional crew hold STCW ’95 certificates.  Safety and maintenance procedures are carried out in accordance with an ISM code approved by the MCA.

Guests say

“Brilliant experience to be on the water under sail of a tall ship. Aspects I enjoyed the most were getting away from normal life on an adventure for a few days, sailing such a wonderful ship. learning to sail the boat, taking the helm and being fed with great food and no washing up!”

Claire J.



Builder: W.S. Kelly, Plymouth
Year Built: 1904
Displacement: 98 tons
Length Overall: 35m / 115′
Draft: 3m / 9’6″
Air Draft: 24m / 80′
Beam: 6m / 20′
Rig: Gaff Ketch
Sail Area: 330m ² / 3550′ ²
Number of Sails: 8
Engine: 310hp Volvo Penta
Crew: 4 (+2)
Charter Berths: 12

View our schedule

We have an exciting schedule including Cornwall and Scotland.

View schedule »