Small Ships



F. Wilkinson of Charlton, London built Leila in 1892 as a racing yacht for a rich businessman who kept her for 21 years. She is the fifth oldest sailing yacht in the UK. In 1904 she won the Round Britain yacht race. The Alison’s of Great Yarmouth bought Leila in 1962, but after Mr Alison’s death his widow donated the ship to The Leila Sailing Trust, who restored her at a cost of £170k.


In 125 years of Leila’s existence she has had multiple owners. They’ve been using her both as a sailing yacht and as a home. These days she is a Sail Training vessel, operated by the Leila Sailing Trust. The Trust focuses on providing opportunities for young people who might not otherwise obtain them. People with economic and social disadvantages get to learn about the maritime heritage and develop practical sailing skills. At the same time, the Trust uses traditional sail training to foster the growth of social and personal skills.

During the off season you can find Leila in her homeport in Lowestoft, at the Heritage Quay, where she remains open to the public. Board the vessel for a sailing experience with a touch of history.


On board Leila you sleep in bunks. Amidships, in the saloon, are four bunks for trainees and another two in the forepeak. The bunks are big enough to stretch out and to keep your belongings off the floor. The skipper, first mate and maybe a second mate are sleeping in the aft cabin. There is not so much space below deck since Leila is built for sail racing.


Shipping type: Gaff cutter with extensive sail wardrobe
Homeport: Lowestoft (UK)
Date built: 1892
Restored: 1968, 2008
Capacity: 9
Length: 13m
Beam: 2,5m
Draught: 2,4m
Sail: 90 m2
Height of mast: 13m
Engine capacity: 35hp