Esther The last Grimsby Sail Trawler


On this page there are links to videos and film which I have found that offer something by the way of a feeling of how life must have been in the days of the Sail Trawler. I have only found one piece of film of actual Sail Trawlers at sea and I dare say it is the only one. Perhaps one day other clips of these ships might surface.

Some of these videos are hosted directly on the Esther website and if you click on them you might be asked to down load them first before watching. Others are as links to sources on the internet and as such the links might from time to time become broken such is the way of the internet. I shall at some point try to provide a "cloud" solution to prevent this from happening.

I make no bones about the fact that I will grab information from what ever source is required to tell the Esther story. Telling the Esther story is an important first step of the effort to save her for the future. Without the information out in the public domain no one will know about Esther and no one will care. Whilst I will endeavour to establish ownership and acknowledgement of any material found on the Esther web site this is not always an easy matter so if you see something here that requires removal or the source credited please get in touch.

Contact details can be found on the links above.


The dangers of getting men and supplies from ship to ship on the open sea are apparent in this video. It might be that one of these trawlers is returning to port so it is taking fish from the other one but this was not common practice then as it was in the latter half of the 1800's.

In the days of sail trawling it was done every day in the summer. When fleet owners tried to introduce winter fleeting it brought the fishermen out on strike because "boxing" as it was known killed enough men and boys in the summer. No one wanted to do this in the winter.

sail trawler towed

Very old moving pictures of Sail Trawler from Great Yarmouth getting a tow out to sea as was normal practice in those days. Before the days of steam all sailing vessels relied on being towed out of the shelter of the inner harbor by oarsman in small boats.


The Brixham sail trawler Leader is adrift and helpless having lost her main mast. One could only imagine the terror in the hearts of men, who might have faced this fate, far out in the North Sea in the depths of a winters night, a hundred ago.

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