We are the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity. Together with 110,000-plus trainees we have sailed more than two million nautical miles over the last 60 years.

We were founded in 1956 as the Sail Training Association (STA). Ten years later our first ship, the Sir Winston Churchill was launched, followed by the Malcolm Miller a year later. For the next two decades, the Schooners sailed around the world supporting more than 40,000 young people.

Due to the success of the Schooners, two new Brigs were commissioned and, at the turn of the millennium, we became Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Since then, we have bought four BT Challenger yachts, a Catamaran and a Ketch and broadened our capability into supporting disabled young people too.

We're now making plans to raise funds to add further vessels to increase our sea-going capacity and help even more young people. 

We continue to dedicate our work to enabling young people, aged 12 to 25 years, to 'sea beyond their horizon' through life-changing adventures at sea.


It all began!

Tall Ships Youth Trust (then the Sail Training Association) was founded to run the Tall Ships Races.


The Sir Winston Churchill, a 37 meter schooner, was launched after a group of young people sailed across the Atlantic as part of the Tall Ships Race and were determined Great Britain should have its own Tall Ship.


The Sir Winston Churchill’s sister ship, the Malcolm Miller, was launched after the Daily Express led a huge national campaign to raise the funds needed to build her.

1968 - 2000

The two Schooners sailed the globe offering thousands of young people the experience of a lifetime and attracting admiring glances from ports near and far.


We said goodbye to the Sir Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller as they completed their final voyage with the Trust and made way for a new 72 meter Brig, Stavros S. Niarchos.


Having waved goodbye to the Schooners the year before, we celebrated their long and valuable service at a huge ‘Farewell to the Schooners’ party. Later in the year,  a second Brig was commissioned and the name ‘Prince William’ was announced as she sailed up the Thames on St George’s day before arriving in London for her first reception.


At our AGM on 1st August 2003, members of the Sail Training Association voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new name for the charity - Tall Ships Youth Trust. It was felt that the new name would better describe the charity’s work to external audiences and help to raise more funds as a result.


We said a fond farewell to Prince William and welcomed four 72ft round the world racing yachts to the fleet. This enabled up to diversify, attract a new audience and expand our work with young people.


A very generous benefactor donated the Tall Ships Cat, a 62ft Catamaran. This allowed us to reduce the lower age limit to 12 years and offer more opportunities for disabled people to come along.


Tenacity of Bolton, a 60ft Ketch, was built by Bolton School and gifted to us to provide the perfect sail training environment for young people.


We waved goodbye to the Brig, Stavros S. Niarchos to improve our financial stability and focus on supporting as many young people as possible with our fleet.


Our aims remain the same as they always have been - to support the personal development of young people from all walks of life through the crewing of ocean-going vessels. All the yachts in our fleet sail all year round offering a broad range of voyages from day sails to transatlantic crossings, there’s something for everyone.