Tectona, sailing ketch, youth training vessel, further reading.

Tectona off Bolt Head, Devon.

By Gordon Frickers 40 x 61 cm (16″ x 24″), available £ 850.

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This painting was one of only 35 chosen for exhibition at the European Parliament.

Many distinguished people and renowned companies have chosen Frickers paintings as you can discover by reading my illustrated résumée.

The only marine artist whose paintings have been honoured by invitation to exhibit in the European Parliament is Gordon Frickers.

A debt in part repaid :

 today it is possible to sail on Tectona, see below for details.

From some of the last Britons to work cargo under sail, I learnt much, seamanship, many attitudes, which have become for me, intuitive, part of my soul.

We shall not see their like again, or mine.

As an artist, sailor and boat builder I have  a long experience of working with professional sea people.

I am delighted to have played a small but significant part in the story of and saving for posterity of Tectona the ketch, the sail training vessel.

I am able to report, via this web site constructed by me with much technical help from my good friend Dr. Michael Baker I was able to bring together several people interested in the whereabouts of Tectona.

Tectona off Bolt Head, a detail

That in turn, by their vision and determination lead directly to Tectona being saved from dereliction, made good and returned to sail training, based at Cremyll, Plymouth

This splendid 80 ton ketch “Tectona” built in Calicut, India in 1929 served as a training vessel with “Moyana” for cadets of the School of Maritime Studies Plymouth, between 1964 and 1980.

Not all Plymouth people and ex Tectona students forgot her.


Stories circulated as they do :

Tectona, sailing ketch, was reported in many places, many owners and several times as written off, wrecked…

One of the very very few places she was mentioned was on this web site.
That in turn helped a group of interested people to focus on tracking her true course through time and across many seas.

Peter Adams wrote to www.frickers.co.uk, after searching the web for Tectona:
“Maybe half a dozen so far, after intense searching.
There are passing references to her in a number of places.
There are your pictures.
But these are buried in a vast ocean of hits for tectona-the tree. 160 thousand pages in fact”.

Tectona, after a long absence and a hard search into her history, has returned to British ownership (Dec 07).


Tectona off Bolt Head, a detail

5,000 references :

Peter Adams was being typically British, far to modest.

The fact was, he searched over 5,000 references to ‘Tectona’.

Why so many yet only my web site recorded with thanks due to Captain / Professor Roger Motte, the ketch Tectona?

Tectona is a type of tree, the tree wood being a type of teak, a wood hard to handle, the dust is poisonous, but near ideal for boat and ship construction.


was built 1928 Calicut India length 85ft Beam 18.5ft Draft 10.9 ft, 35 Tonnes Gross Guest berths 12 Crew berths 3.

Between 1964 and 1980. the ‘Tectona’ was owned by the ‘Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of Plymouth’.

During this period she served as the training ship of the Plymouth School of Navigation.In 1980 she was sold to a French owner, and later to a Swiss Charity for sail training based in Barcelona. In 2007 ‘Tectona’ was purchased by Dr Roger Crabtree and sailed back to Plymouth to be used for to help people in Recovery and for sail training.

The ‘Tectona’ was operated by the Island Trust until 2018.

Today Tectona is owned by the Tectona Trust and chartered to Sailing Tectona CIC.

©2020 Tectona Trust Ltd, Registered Charity No. 1127573 Company No. 6788607

Registered Office:, 2 The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LR

Contact: info@nulltectonatrust.com

I’m ready to commission a painting of my yacht, take me to how to order


Contact Gordon Frickers

Email: infoatfrickers.co.uk

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Blog power : 

“P B got in touch recently however, having seen a post of mine somewhere, and to my astonishment that photo has been hanging on the back of the bandsaw in the shipwrights’ workshop in Coxside (a district of Plymouth) for the last 32 years.

It was provisionally planned that the “Tectona” would be made sea worthy, returned to England “on her own bottom” to be based at Plymouth from spring 2008 with her refurbishment to have been completed by April 2009.

The aim was to get Tectona back to sail training in Plymouth with Cremyll Sailing repairs to be made at Mashford’s Yard.

Once that was established,  to set up a sail training project for people with mental health and drug miss-use problems, all based in Plymouth.
See tectona.org.uk after 01.02.2008.


Tectona” remains the focus of discussion threads on the forum pages of the South West Maritime Historical Society website.


Tectona has returned to Plymouth, returned to the work of providing opportunities for people to improve their lives.

I’m ready to commission a painting of my ship, take me to how to order


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Gordon Frickers © updated 10.06.2022

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