The Impact of Extended Sailing Expeditions on Young People

In a world buzzing with instant gratification and fleeting experiences, there exists a realm where time slows, and self-discovery takes over, where waves and horizons become the catalyst upon which transformative journeys unfold.

The Impact of Extended Sailing Expeditions on Young People

  • 8 min read

In a world buzzing with instant gratification and fleeting experiences, there exists a realm where time slows, and self-discovery takes over, where waves and horizons become the catalyst upon which transformative journeys unfold.

Imagine yourself on a month-plus adventure navigating the rugged coasts of Britain, a challenging traverse through the picturesque waterways of the Netherlands, or a two-month voyage to the fjords of Norway. These are not your standard Sail Training voyages but life-changing opportunities.

Sailing expeditions encapsulate the essence of Sail Training and amplify its transformative potential over an extended duration. By immersing young people in the life lessons learned aboard for an extended period, these voyages go beyond mere training; they become incubators for habits that shape character and resilience. The extended exposure to challenges, failures and triumphs at sea fosters proficiency in sailing and, most importantly, the development of skills and virtues that last a lifetime.

Our #ASPIRE360 Round Britain Challenge and #sailNL Expedition Netherlands are not just expeditions; they are transformative chapters in the lives of those who dare to embark on this extraordinary journey.

The Transformative Nature of Prolonged Voyages

Expeditions are more than just an extended Sail Training voyage. The prolonged duration of our expeditions allows participants to peel back layers, revealing strengths they never knew they possessed and addressing weaknesses with the resilience only the open sea can inspire.

When young people get the time to stop, pause, and be disconnected from their online lives, this is where the magic happens. In these moments of solitude and camaraderie, you find the depths of your character. Every day, from facing the uncertainty of weather to finding solutions to unexpected challenges, gives personal growth opportunities.

Life aboard a sailing vessel is a rhythm; it's not just about learning the ropes (quite literally) but about ingraining habits that extend beyond the voyage. The structured routine of watch shifts – 4 hours working, 4 hours off for up to two days at a time, sail handling, and communal living fosters discipline, responsibility, and teamwork habits.

We talk a lot about resilience, but you truly understand it when you've battled through a head-sail change in the middle of the night with the deck at a strange angle, the waves crashing, and the sail flapping above you. Extended voyages are a masterclass in resilience. It's not just about weathering the storms; it's about facing the unexpected head-on, adapting to change, and finding strength in moments of challenge.

Extended voyages aren't just about sailing; they're about sailing into the heart of different cultures. Spending more than a fleeting moment in a new port allows a genuine connection with local communities. It's not about ticking off destinations; it's about understanding the stories behind each harbour and realising that the sea connects us all.

There's something about sharing a confined space, overcoming challenges, and witnessing the beauty of nature together that forges bonds like no other. The friendships made on an extended voyage aren't just surface-level but deep, genuine connections. It's the person you trust to keep watch at midnight and the one you share the sunrise with after a night of navigating stormy seas.

ASPIRE360 Round Britain Challenge

The ASPIRE360 Round Britain Challenge was an exceptional and transformative opportunity for young people participating in the voyage. They experience the British Isles like few others ever do – by sea.

Many memories are made on a trip like ASPIRE360, where you spend 49 days together, from silly shared jokes to memories of sunsets, sunrises and dolphins. And the achievements are massive! We sailed 1758 nautical miles or 2023 land miles – how did that work out!! We ran the expedition this year (2023) and in 2017.

We Visited 16 unique locations (Neyland, Caernarfon, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Oban, Tobermory, Loch a' Choire, Corpach, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, London, Portsmouth, Salcombe) sailing for up to 40hrs at a time and getting to know each other over long nights (it's incredible what conversations you have at 4 am!) and sunny days.

Our 2017 expedition took eight adventurous souls, covered 1777 miles, visited 17 ports, and created a saga across 44 days. Both voyages were epic tales of resilience, camaraderie, and discovery. We are proud to say that six of the eight young adventurers who took part in 2017 are now in maritime careers, proving that the sea isn't just a journey; it's a pathway to futures we might not have imagined.

#sailNL Expedition Netherlands

Our next extraordinary adventure is #sailNL Expedition Netherlands, a 37-day, 1200-mile voyage visiting the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and France for young people aged 14+.

Canals crisscross the landscape, connecting historic towns and modern cities. #sailNL Expedition Netherlands isn't just a journey; it's a voyage through the heart of a nation defined by its relationship with the sea.

Unlike other expeditions, #sailNL offers more than just open water. Expect to moor in tiny harbours, where the rich history and vibrant culture of the Netherlands unfold at every turn. Each port of call is a new chapter in this story, from tulip fields to historic windmills.

#sailNL Expedition Netherlands will depart on the 30th of March 2024 and visit 17 amazing, unique ports and locations in the UK and Europe. From the maritime heritage of Cowes to the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, young people will be immersed in history and natural beauty. Sailing both on inland waterways (lots of locks and bridges!), along the English Channel and in the North Sea, young people will experience all that sailing has to offer. We’ll meander through picturesque canals, see historic architecture, and witness modern innovation and cityscapes in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Further inland, we’ll visit the world-famous cheese market in Gouda, experience the charm of Medemblik on the Ijsselmeer, and enjoy the beauty of Makkum in Friesland. Going back offshore, we’ll visit the Friesian Islands, Scheveningen, and Breskens before leaving Dutch waters for Belgium, France and home!

The shared challenges and triumphs aboard #sailNL Expedition Netherlands forge connections beyond the voyage. Expect to gain friends who have weathered the same storms and shared the same starlit nights, creating bonds that extend beyond the water.

How to Get Involved: #sailNL Expedition Netherlands

To embark on the #sailNL Expedition Netherlands, visit our dedicated page all about the adventure! Here, you'll find detailed information about the voyage, including dates, itinerary, and what to expect during this unique exploration of the Dutch waterways.

With the anticipation of Expedition Netherlands being oversubscribed, we've implemented a fair and transparent application process to select the nine young people who will have the opportunity to participate.

Apply here Applications close on the 22nd of January 2024

The impact that expeditions bring

Our expeditions continue to make a difference in young people's lives, directly to those who took part and to brothers, sisters, parents, and the wider community. The extended and inspirational nature of this and our other expedition-class voyages ensure that the benefits of Sail Training are embedded over a month+ timeframe. One quote stands out as a testament to the outcomes of the voyage:

"Going on this Aspire 360 sailing around Britain Challenge has indeed challenged me, inspired me in many different ways, and given me and many others, the confidence that we can do anything, it has enabled me to have the life that I want, and I now know that I have a second family, that will always be there for me when I need them. They enabled me to overcome a phobia. Not everyone can say that.”

Why choose Morvargh Sailing Project

Morvargh Sailing Project isn't just a sailing organisation; We've always believed that one of the successes in running Morvargh lies in the strength of our 'boat family.' This unique approach is reflected in every aspect of our operations. We are not just a crew; we are a tight-knit community bound by a shared love for sailing and an unwavering commitment to helping young people achieve their potential!

Safety First, Always:

We understand that the sea demands respect, and safety is paramount. We prioritise the well-being of every participant, implementing stringent safety measures, regular vessel maintenance, and adherence to industry standards. You can read more here.

At our core, we're passionate about sailing, adventure, and sharing unforgettable experiences with young people. While we're serious about safety and seamanship, we're also known for our fun-loving spirit and love for the sea. Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a first-time explorer, we're thrilled to welcome you aboard and share the magic of sailing.

Apply Now; Applications are open! 

To apply for a place aboard, visit Applications close on the 22nd of January 2024


Morvargh Sailing Project is a Community Interest Company registered in England No: 07132688. Registered address: Willow Barn, Lower Bodwen, Redmoor, PL30 5AT


Fowey, Cornwall



+44 (0)7481 546577

Vessel Location:

50°20'00.8"N 4°37'46.9"W

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