SV Tenacious

The SV Tenacious is a modern British wooden sail training ship, specially designed in the 1990s to accommodate anyone over 16 with a disability. When completed in 2000, it was the largest wooden ship to be built in the UK for over 100 years.

STS Tenacious at the starting line for the last leg of the STI Historical Seas Festival 2010 from Istanbul to Lavrion.
United Kingdom
Name: STS Tenacious
Owner: Jubilee Sailing Trust
Builder: Jubilee Yard (Merlin Quay), Southampton
Laid down: 6 June 1996
Launched: 3 February 2000
Commissioned: 1 September 2000
Status: Operational
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 586 tons
Length: 54 m (177 ft) hull, 65 m (213 ft) including bowsprit
Beam: 10.6 m (35 ft)
Draught: 4.58 m (15.0 ft) in summer
  • Sails: 1,217 m2 (13,100 sq ft)
  • Engines: 2x400bph
Sail plan: Barque (three-masted))
Speed: 11 knots (20.37 km/h) under sail, 8 knots (14.82 km/h) under power
  • Permanent crew approx 11 (incl. 3 volunteers)
  • Voyage crew up to 40 (50% of whom may be sensory impaired or physically disabled)

The ship was built by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) and, along with the STS Lord Nelson, the pair are the only tall ships in the world that are wheelchair accessible through. The JST are an international UN accredited charity offering sailing adventures to people of all abilities and backgrounds.


Launched in 2000, SV Tenacious is the largest wooden tall ship built in the United Kingdom in the last 100 years. It is 65 metres (213.25 feet) long including bowsprit, and it is rigged as a (three-masted) barque with two mizzen gaffs. Its deck is 49.85 metres long, its hull is 54.02 metres long, and it has a beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point. A press release from the Belfast Maritime Festival on 22 June 2006 announced that the Tenacious was "the largest wooden ship still afloat".[1]

The Tenacious displaces about 714 tons (summer draft). Its maiden voyage was on 1 September 2000 from Southampton to Southampton calling at Sark, St Helier and Weymouth. The ship is owned by a UK-based charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, which also owns the 42-metre-long tall ship STS Lord Nelson (length including bowsprit is 55 metres and waterline length is 37 metres).[1][2]

The Tenacious featured in the first series of Channel 5's Sea Patrol UK, when one of the crew members had fallen ill and needed to be winched into an RAF Westland Sea King and taken to hospital. Due to the height of the masts and rigging, this posed a challenge to the helicopter's pilot and winch crew but the rescue attempt was successful and the crew member survived a potentially fatal condition.[3]


  1. World’s largest wooden ship berths in Belfast for maritime celebration Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 10 December 2018, press release of Belfast Maritime Festival, organised by Celebrate Belfast and the Port of Belfast, 22 June 2006
  2. Jubilee Sailing Trust official homepage, accessed 10 December 2018
  3. Sea Patrol UK - Season 1, Episode 3 Episode Summary: Andy commences the dangerous 170ft winch down to a casualty..., accessed 10 December 2018
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