What is a Community Vessel?

The Silvery Light was built in 1884 as a deep sea herring sailing drifter. Over the years she has undergone changes to her original role and was latterly in use as a youth sail training vessel with Ocean Youth Trust Ireland.

As a fully functional sea going vessel Silvery Light is capable of undertaking long sea voyages. She is rigged as a twin masted ketch with an easily manageable gaff rig that makes her an ideal vessel to teach and engage a crew in the art of sailing a medium sized traditional wooden ship.

But there is much more that Silvery Light can offer a wider audience.

With a deck length of 76 feet overall ,a beam of 18 ft and a useful interior hold space measuring 30 ft x 18 ft, she provides a spacious and accommodating educational and exhibition platform with which to directly engage with coastal communities in their own surroundings. With a draft of 10 ft and the capability to enter drying ports, Silvery Light is a versatile craft capable of visiting the smallest local Northern Irish ports,


When at sea the vessel is licenced to carry a maximum of 16 persons, (4 x crew, 12 x Guests/Trainees)

When alongside in port she can be configured to an exhibition and meeting space capable of comfortably accommodating 30 persons seated in the exhibition area with a further 50 persons on deck


When used as a sailing vessel, the former cargo hold is designed to accommodate 12 persons in custom made bunks (berths).

The berths can quickly and readily be converted to exhibition and display panels transforming the accommodation to a useful exhibition space. Tables and seating can be arranged in a lecture, classroom or work group configuration.

Display Panels

The configuration provides a total of 12 exhibition panels or display spaces (or a combination of both). Additional on deck space is available for larger displays or skills demonstrations

Audio Visual and Public Address

A permanent Audio Visual projector, wide screen monitors and Public Address Sound System provides for the showing of informative videos, heritage film footage lecture and skills presentations.

The system can be used to address larger audiences when configured as a ‘live screen’ monitor connected to additional screens on deck or ashore.

Tall Ship and Maritime Festivals

These increasingly popular events draw large spectator crowds. Silvery Light will appear annually at Local and ROI Maritime Festivals.

The ships dual configuration as both traditional rigged sailing vessel and unique exhibition space provides the opportunity to act in an ambassadorial role showcasing maritime heritage to large, varied and interested public audiences.

Community Out Reach Programme

Uniquely, Silvery Light brings Heritage directly to the community in contrast with other heritage offerings that require visitors to come to them.

The programme divides into two distinct offerings:

a. In port Exhibition and Lecture Facilities

b. At Sea Local Sailing Experience Voyages


Prior to visiting a port, project volunteers will visit the community to explore and assit in the preparation of an agreed visit theme and itinerary..

A permanently dedicated Silvery Light volunteer will act in a liaison role between the ship and the community offering advice on how best to maximise the vessel facilities and to coordinate community activities, including the organising of sailing voyages.

The community will be encouraged to research photographs, digital inputs, artefacts, oral history and other suitable material to mount an onboard display of a topic of their choice, preferably with a strong local connection.

Local schools will benefit from the opportunity for pupils to research, design and present an exhibition, play or other presentation in the unique surroundings of a traditional sailing ship moored in their own port.

.Community Support .

A list of possible topics is attached at Annex A.

Sailing Voyages

Trainees and guests taking part in voyages will be invited to participate in the sailing routine of watch keeping, sail changing, steering and navigation.

Sailing and Outreach Visit Schedule 2020 – Participating Numbers and Potential Revenue

The initial project is scheduled to operate for a period of three years.

Typical Visit Programme

An example of a typical visit programme is as at Annex B,

Annexure A - Communities and Local Heritage Exhibition Subject

Newry Canal Albert Basin

History of the Canal

The Fisher Cargo Fleet

Newry as a Working Port


The Town Dock in the 1800’s

The Railway, Holidays and Visitors

Victorian Warrenpoint


Rostrevor Pier & Kilbroney Park


The Granite Export Trade

Annalong Schooners


Boat Building - William Paynter

History of the Port

WWII American Forces – Cranfield


The Herring Fleet and Industry

Strangford and Lecale

The Strangford Ferry

Boat building in Portaferry

This programme is illustrative of the varied range of topics with a County Down influence. The project will undertake research into heritage projects and connect with the coastal communities and ports in all counties along the coast from Newry to Derry

Annexure B

Silvery Light Community Outreach Project – Port Visit Programme


AM Vessel arrives on Berth

PM Community arrange onboard Exhibition

Evening Opening of Exhibition


1000 – 1230 School Children Visit

1400 – 1630 Public access to Exhibition and ship

1900 – 2200 Local Event


1000 – 1230 School Children Visit

1400 – 1700 Public Access to Exhibition and Ship


0900 – 1800 Coastal Day Sail - 12 Passengers

Friday 1500 -Sunday 1600 Traditional Sailing Voyage – 12 passengers

Sunday Even ing - Vessel Departs

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Registered Office: 7 Linenhall House, WIN Business Park , Newry, Co  Down  BT35 6PH

Company Registration No:  NI 636535   

Northern Ireland Registered Charity  No:    NIC 106339 

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