Pete Goss’s Spirit of Mystery is for sale


Photos by Mark Lloyd

Spirit of Mystery, the 37ft Mounts Bay lugger that sailing racer and adventurer Pete Goss had built to sail to Australia is for sale.

Pete used the boat to recreate the famous voyage of the fishing lugger Mystery, in which a group of seven Cornishmen led by Captain Richard Nicholls sailed to the distant colony to find work and prosperity in 1854/5. They were all related and had shares in the boat, and the legend is that Captain Nicholls agreed to make the voyage after a few drinks…

Back then, the Mystery became the smallest migrant vessel ever to make the journey.

Apart from successfully recreating the Mystery voyage, the Spirit of Mystery has history built into her – Goss sourced a piece of oak from Nelson’s Victory to make up the chart table, teak from the Cutty Sark forms part of the saloon table and an original rivet from the SS Great Britain is a cupboard handle.

Built in Cornish oak and larch by Cornish boat builder Chris Rees, Spirit of Mystery has four main berths, a pilot berth, toilet, gas cooker and wood-burning stove, and is a comfortable cruiser. She has also shown she can take some very heavy weather – following a knock-down in the Southern Ocean she rolled back up and carried on sailing.

Goss says he is sad to see her go, but is moving on to a  new adventure. ‘I always thought that Spirit would be the boat I grew old with when I gave up major adventures – one that Tracey and I would take cruising when we retire.

‘But with a new adventure in the pipeline and no time to use her, it is time for her to go to a new home. Hopefully it will be to an owner that loves and cherishes her as I have done and if it is also one that keeps the story alive then so much the better.’

Spirit of Mystery is lying in Plymouth and is for sale for £80,000 (tax paid). There is more information about her at the website

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