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The Sea School utilises a range of paddle craft, open boats and training ships, to meet a wide range of program aims and expedition purposes.


Currently our small boat fleet consists of:

  • Osprey – 19ft Scruffie Sienna (up to seven crew)
  • Sandpiper – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)
  • Curlew – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)
  • Whimbrel – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)
  • Godwit – 18ft Scruffie Stornaway (up to six crew)
  • Pelican – 19ft Status RL580 (up to six crew)
  • Yaul – 16ft replica of HMS Endeavour’s longboat (up to four crew)

We also have access to:

  • Other open sailing boats
  • Sit on top kayaks
  • Sea kayaks
  • Open canoes  for sheltered water and river expeditions
  • Outrigger ocean canoes (up to 7 crew) with sailing capability
  • Charter yachts – keel boats and catamarans (8-32 crew)
  • Tall ships (up to 25 crew)

The use of small open sailing boats are fundamental to the sequence of many programs, allowing for the “hands on” experience of sailing, tiller steering and deck work, with a crew of 4-7 people. In many ways, this is the perfect size and space for developing a close knit team, and provides for fun interactions between our boats while we on the water.


Most of our training vessels are ballasted “lug rigged yawls” based on centuries-old technology – ideal for carrying heavy loads (crew plus expedition requirements) in most wind and sea conditions.

We also have centreboard vessels which provide additional lessons in sailing skills and allow for easier access to our beach campsites, and also use canoes, sea kayaks and outriggers for similar group work and training objectives.

Our long term plan is to establish a sail training ship that will serve to link the various Sea School fleets and enable extended offshore training passages.

Scruffie Sienna

The Sea School have pioneered the use of these little ships for sail training and expedition use. They were developed and built by Derek Ellard at Scruffie Marine specifically for this purpose. Based on our feedback on the Stornaway, this design has proven to be a winner!

  • a full ballasted keel allowing for stability, ability to dry out at low tide and allowing free movement in the cockpit area
  • her traditional, beamy hull shape is not great to windward but is magnificent off the wind
  • a self draining cockpit, cuddy over the hold and outboard well make it well suited for great adventures
  • able to take a week’s supplies of food and water along with seven crew with her massive carrying capacity and 1.4 tonnes of inbuilt flotation
  • standing lugsail yawl rig with loose footed mainsail, furling jib and lugsail mizzen – a simple, low profile and versatile set up with plenty of jobs for the crew and solid performance
  • sienna-brochure-v4_2

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Scruffie Stornaway 18

Whimbrel, Godwit, Sandpiper and Curlew are great examples of the original kit (homebuilt plywood) open boats designed for by Derek Ellard. We have a long history with the use of the Stornaway for sail training purposes, and love their beautiful lines and traditional rig. They can match the Sienna’s sailing ability and are suitable for up to six people.



IMG_2741Ross Pollard built this longboat based on drawings of the ships boats used on HMS Endeavour. She was named “Yaul” after the dutch name for a ships tender. The English later adopted this word, calling a sailing boat with a mizzen mast stepped aft of the rudder post a “Yawl”.

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RL 580

“Pelican” is our 5.8m  RL580 Status centreboard sailing vessel, donated to us by Keith Slack on Coochie Mudlo Island. She has performed well at the hands of Kieron and his crew on many occasions, including winning the Jollybod Cup!

Sea Kayaks

We have access to various fleets of sit-on-top, estuary and ocean expedition sea kayaks which can be used as the expedition fleet – or to complement our sailing vessels – which can provide groups with a diversity of experience and additional physical challenges.

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Outrigger ocean canoe

Polynesian style, fast and seaworthy dragon boat and OC6 designs with sailing capability are accessible and recommended for cultural and physical extension programs.


Volunteer Marine Rescue

We are associate members of Victoria Point Volunteer Marine Rescue, who provide us with excellent rescue boat coverage throughout Moreton Bay and the Southport Broadwater.

Charter Yachts

A range of suitable vessels for charter (meeting survey requirements) are available to us; large sailing monohulls or catamarans can enable an exciting expedition option or mothership for extended group work. This opportunity can include eating and sleeping on board the ship – or staying overnight at island campsites – depending on your objectives, group numbers and destinations.

Sailing to remote, exciting offshore destinations can also be attainable using charter yachts.

We have established relationships with several charter companies and can advise on the best vessels to meet your needs in a range of fantastic locations such as Moreton, Hervey and Keppel Bays, and of course, the Whitsundays!

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Magic Happens

Our 12.2 metre Hitchiker sailing catamaran is the prototype for our future mothership – and has been used for a range of voluntary Dukes expeditions to remote destinations such as Lady Musgrave Island and Lord Howe Island over the past decade (eg.

Magic Happens is not in survey and therefore not available for paid expedition work.



South Passage

The South Passage is a magnificent 100ft Gaff rigged Schooner based in Moreton Bay and regularly voyaging between Cairns and Sydney.

Check this Blue Peter voyage out… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx_CJQgkmR8

Our little ships can be used to deliver sail training in preparation for, in partnership with, or as an extension to a South Passage voyage.


For more information refer to www.southpassage.org.au



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