Waterfest Weymouth – looking back at 2014 to 2016

Weymouth Waterfest – filmed by Aaran House and donated to WHGLA.org.uk

Waterfest Weymouth – held in 2014, 2015 and 2016

Waterfest Weymouth took place in September, for 3 years, running from 2014 to 2016. Weymouth Bid sponsored the event, which included tall ships, gig racing and numerous demonstrations. There were exhibits of seaman crafts as well as rope and knots and how to identify them. Captain Jack Sparrow wandered about, chatting to visitors. Small yachts tacked back and forth across the Harbour. Gracing the waters were a number of historic vessels. These included Tall Ship Le Marite, the 1921 LT472 fishing smack Excelsior from Lowestoft, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gypsy Moth IV and TS Jack Petchey, among others.

gig rowing

gig rowing

Highlights of the event included “water-boarding”, but not like the CIA version. Here, water jets from a Jet-ski powered a hover board, propelling the rider 20 feet into the air in aerial acrobatics. There were also food and memento stalls dotted along the Harbour side.

Tall Ships in Weymouth Harbour

TS Royalist and TS Pelican of London

TS Royalist

TS Royalist is a training ship, She is a two-mast Brig, built in Spain at the at the Astilleros Gondan yards. The sailing ship honours the name of her sponsor, the Priness Royal and is the flaghip of the Sea Cadets. The ship boards up to 24 cadets and 10 staff and has her home port in Gosport, near Portsmouth. This present incarnation of the Royalist is a faster, sleeker design than previously, which permits better use of space and improved handling. Royalist is 32m long and 28m tall. Her IMO number is  9717369 and IMSI number is 235107983. Royalist's call sign is 2HZW6. Your author has sailed on the Pelican , around Weymouth Bay, an unforgettable experience.

TS Pelican of London

Pelican is another training ship, managed by "Advertures Under Sail". Built in 1948 as a steel-hulled recreation of French Clippers of the 19th Century. The ship is a square-rigger with an extra poop deck and is capable of ocean-wide voyages. Technically, she is a "Barquantine 3" rig, 35m long and 21m tall. Pelican can accommodate up to 32 trainees and 7 crew. IMO number is 5273329. Her IMSI number is 235057336. Call sign is MWAQ. Her builders, Chantiers et AteliersAugustin Normand, Le Havre, Normandy can be very proud of their work in this fine vessel.


Kaskelot and Bristolian


In 1948, J Ring-Anderson at the Svendborg shipyard in Denmark built Kaskelot as a 3 masted Barque for the Greenland Trading Company. Kaskelot is one of the largest wooden vessels still sailing. She is 47m long and 32m tall. Passengers can enjoy any of 8 cabins and there are several showers and facilities in addition. The ship has featured in a number of significant films, including Shackleton, Treasure and The Three Musketeers as well as Poldark. However, it was TS Pelican of London which attempted the recreation of Shackleton's ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic in 2014. Kaskelot details are: IMO - 5183120, IMSI - 235000132, Call sign - GDQK.

The Bristolian

The Bristolian is a modern super-yacht, built by Yachting Developments, Auckland, New Zealand. She has an epoxy-binded kevlar/carbon fibre composite laminate hull and grp superstructure.  The superyacht dates from 2008 and is 37m long and over 20m tall.  Bristolian accommodates 6 passengers and 6 crew. MMSI number is 235096432 and call sign is 2GDJ5. Cruising speed is 13 knots and the yacht is truly a breath of ocean-going luxury. The International Superyacht Society awarded Bristolian "Best in 24 - 40m class" in 2009. Overheard in conversation when moored in Weymouth, the recent refit may have cost as much as £8.4million!

Queen Galadriel and Liara

Queen Galadriel

Queen Galadriel is a converted trading vessel, built at Svendborg in Denmark in 1937. Originally the "Else", she was sympathetically restored and re-rigged as a Gaff Ketch in 1983 by the Cirdan Trust, for use as a youth sailing training vessel. She houses up to 16 trainees and 4 crew. She is 24m long and 28m tall. MMSI number is - 235015328 and call sign is - MCZD6. Galadriel often competes in the Tall Ships races to overseas ports. We think Queen Galadriel was one of the historic vessels present during the filming of "Dunkirk" in Weymouth Harbour (please accept our apologies if we are wrong).


The Liara was built in 2009 as a super yacht by Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand. More recently, she has figured in sales listings at Boat International (2015) by Tim Langmead for Camper and Nicholsons at about €5.5million. Liara is a 9 berth, 3 cabin luxury super yacht fit for ocean racing, constructed in advanced composites, She is RINA Classified (Royal Institute of Naval Architects) and MCA Compiant (Maritime and Coastguard Agency).  The Liara is 30m long and cruises comfortably at 13 knots. Having seen the interior at close range, your author can vouch for the stunning decor and abundance of luxury trappings. MMSI is 376355000 and call sign is J8Y3915.

Nao Victoria and the four "Challengers"

Nao Victoria

Nao Victoria is a replica of the Sanish Carrack or "Nao", which Magellan used to sail around the World in 1522. In 1992, Fundacion Nao Victoria built the replica as a self-contained floating museum and demonstration of Elizabethan sailing practices and conditions. The replica has also toured around the World and served as an exhibition of "exploration" vessels in many countries. Nao Victoria is 25m long, with MMSI number 224123770 and call sign ECHH. She sailed into Weymouth Harbour in April last year and featured on-board tours and "pirates" singing shanties up till mid-May.

Tall Ships Challenge (numbers 1 to 4)

The Tall Ships Challenger yachts belong to a fleet of racing craft, intended to race globally in what is regarded as the "wrong direction". The vessels serve as training craft, operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Each of the four yachts can accommodate up to 18 crew members and, here in Weymouth, we often see the whole fleet right behind Aaran House. Challenger details are: length - 22m, 27.5m tall, beam cutter rigging, steel hulls, laid down 2000,

Stavros S Niarchos and TS Royalist by night

Stavros S Niarchos

In 2000, the Sail Training Association built the Stavros S Niarchos as a 50m long, 37m tall brig with square rigging. Mr Niarchos was a Greek businessman and philanthropist who donated his yachts in the 1950's to take part in the first Tall Ships Races. Maximum crew complement is 67 (48 passengers/trainees). The ship was auctioned under Berthon/ later Eggar Forrester, management in 2017 and now sails under the name "Sunset". We do not know who are the new owners. Under the name Sunset, her details are: IMO - 9222314, MMSI - 248868000, call sign - 9HA4838, Maltese flag, home port London, currently believed to be in the Piraeus area.

TS Royalist by night

We see the TS Royalist quite often in Weymouth Harbour. Sometimes we are lucky enough to observe cadets in the rigging, furling the sails as she enters port. Sometimes, as in the above photograph, the mast lights illuminate the rigging at night, a beautiful sight.

TS Royalist in Weymouth Harbour – 27th August 2018 – 4:30pm

TS Royalist

TS Royalist is a Tall Ship, built in 2015 by Astilleros Gondan, designed by Acubens as a brig and is now the Flagship of the Sea Cadets, Named by the Princess Royal, she boards up to 24 Cadets ans 10 staff, typically on 6-day "missions". She is currently bound for Plymouth. Her identification details are : IMO = 9717369, MMSI = 235107983, length = 32m, beam = 8m, draught = 3m, Call Sign = 2HZW6

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Dunkirk filmed in Weymouth Harbour – 27th/28th July 2016

Dunkirk, the wartime evacuation, heavily involved Weymouth Harbour and the armada of small boats. Therefore, it was appropriate that Dunkirk, the 2017 movie, also featured the port. Today is the second anniversary since filming. The crew were present for a week, during which time they transformed Custom House Quay into a wartime scene, as if by magic.

Dunkirk props

Dunkirk props

The cast included Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh. Naturally, there were hundreds of young ladies watching the proceedings in the hope of catching a glimpse of Mr Styles! Christopher Nolan directed the movie, which depicted this pivotal moment of the War via 3 perspective stories. The evacuation sequences included several short scenes from the area directly behind Aaran House. In the war, up to 450,000 troops were to use the Harbour again as they set off for the D-Day Landings.

Evacuated troops – film scene

Weymouth Harbour – some of the sights

Fishing and crabbing boats returning in the afternoon

Fishing and crabbing boats returning in the afternoon

Weymouth Harbour is one of the prettiest in the UK and it is easy to see why. There are colourful cottages, fine restaurants and inviting pubs dotted amongst Georgian architecture and interesting alleyways, leading to quaint shops (and more pubs!) All this and Tall Ships as well!

Seafood Festival viewed from the Town Bridge (July)

Seafood Festival viewed from the Town Bridge (July)

Because of its peace and picturesque charms, thousands of visitors enjoy strolling along the harbour side and watching the many pleasure craft and fishing vessels coming and going. Read More

HMS Vigilant in Weymouth Harbour

HMS Vigilant manouvreing in Weymouth Harbour

Coastal Patrol Vessels

HMS Vigilant last visited Weymouth Harbour in March, this year. Because she is a fairly large ship, Vigilant moors behind Aaran House, where the water is deeper. The ship is named a few different ways, including prefixes of - PV, HMRC, HMCC and HMC (Her Majesty;s Cutter). She is a coastal patrol ship, operating to protect the UK's customs perimeter. Built in 2003, her MMSI number is 235521000: her IMO is 9276353: her call sign is ZITI4. Vigilant is 43m long, with gross tonnage of 238 Tonnes. Crew conditions are relatively good, with "double-box" quarters to minimise noise fatigue.

Her Majestys Cutter Vigilant in 2017

Her Majestys Cutter Vigilant in 2017

Sea Cadet Training Ships

Another visitor to Weymouth Harbour has been TS Jack Petchey (mentioned in other posts). She is a training ship for Sea Cadets. The first time we observed her, right behond Aaran House, we overheard an interesting "conversation". A training Officer was calling out "Nigel!, Nigel!". It transpired that "Nigel" had been ordered to empty the slops over the side but had instead emptied several general waste bins plus some important training videos. The next hour or so was spent by cadets attempting to fish the bedraggled videos out of the Harbour from a small dinghy, under the especially stern gaze of the Officers!

TS Jack Petchey by night

TS Jack Petchey by night

HMS Puncher is another Sea Cadet training vessel, sometimes visiting Weymouth Harbour. She is a fast patrol vessel, MMSI - 232002940, call sign GAAW, length - 20m, believed to have taken part in Nato Execrises in 2017 and supporting the Olympics in 2012.

HMS Puncher in 2018

HMS Puncher in 2018

Navy Hydrographic Survey

We briefly glimpsed HMS Magpie as she entered Weymouth Harbour in April, this year. Magpie is the newest addition (at the time of writing) to the Royal Navy's hydrographic survey fleet. She began sea trials just 1 month after launch, in Spring.

HMS Magpie

HMS Magpie

Coastguard Helicopter Rescue Team

Finally, although this list of Navy vessels is far from complete, we felt it appropriate to add a brief film clip of our Coastguard Helicopter Rescue Team in training action, before closure of the Portland base. We want to thank the rescue crews for all their brave and tireless work in savings souls at sea for many years.


Coastguard Rescue Helicopter on training exercise