"Audrey" was originally built in 1915 as a lightship for the Humber Estuary and when she was eventually taken out of service she was converted into a "Billy Boy" - a Humber ketch-rigged sailing barge. (All that means is she has two masts, the aft (back) one shorter than the fore (front) mast. Although primarily a sailing vessel, she does have an engine, which has to be used if the wind is in the wrong direction!

In 1998 Audrey was completely refitted and now has comfortable accommodation for 12 passengers and two crew (sometimes with an additional volunteer crew member too.) Each passenger cabin has six bunks in two tiers with proper mattresses, although you have to provide your own sleeping bags, blankets, pillows etc. (just like at campů)

She also has flush toilets, a shower with constant hot water, an excellent galley with a six-burner gas hob and large oven, fridge/freezer etc., and a very comfy dining saloon/sitting area. Part of the deal is that we feed the crew as well - they like sailing with Guides and Guiders, they reckon we feed them better than school groups do! Apparently the staple diet of most schools and youth groups is pizza and oven chips......

"Audrey" is available for use by charities and youth groups (including Guides) : most bookings are for five days (early and late season) or a week (high season) and itineraries for each particular week are available around November. Although registered in Goole, Audrey usually over-winters in Hull Marina and starts her season of sailing from there. I personally would not recommend taking primary school - age children on seagoing trips on the Audrey, but it is ideal for teenagers and presents them with a challenge which is both unusual and very enjoyable. All trips have two professional crew, sometimes three, so it is suitable for absolute novices.

For details of available dates, cost etc., contact the Waterways Museum at Goole.

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