TS Playfair

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The T.S. Playfair

The TS (Training Ship) Playfair is a traditionally-rigged brigantine operated by [1] Toronto Brigantine Inc., a sail-training Canadian registered charity based in Toronto, Canada. The Playfair, along with her sister ship the S.T.V. Pathfinder, operate a youth sail training program on the Great Lakes during the summer months. This program is one of the very few sail training programs where all of the crew except for the captain are in high school (13–19 years old). The summer training is followed by winter program where youth work through higher levels of training syllabus to become accredited members of the crew the following year.


Year Built - 1973

Designer - Francis A. MacLachlan

Location Built - Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Builder - Canada Dredge and Dock Co.

Hull - Welded steel, 1/4" hull plating, 1/2" keel plating, frames every 2'

Length Overall - 22m (72')

Length On Deck - 20m (66')

Length Waterline - 14m (45')

Beam - 4.5m (15')

Freeboard - 1.3m (4.3')

Draft - 2.5m (8')

Gross Registered Tonnage - 32.98 tons

Displacement - 50 tons

Ballast - 10 tons

Foremast Height - 16m (52')

Mainmast Height - 16.5m (54')

Sail Area - Over 250m2 (2,600 sq. ft.)

Sails - Jiptop, Jib, Forestays'l, Forecourse, Foretops'l, Fore Lower Stuns'ls, Foretopm'st Stuns'ls, Fisherman Stays'l, Main Stays'l, Mains'l, Main Gaff Tops'l

Hull Speed - 8.2 knots (15.3 km/h or 9.4 mi/hr)

Cruising Speed (under sail) - 4-8 knots (7.5-14.9 km/h or 4.6-9.2 mi/hr)

Cruising Speed (under power) - 7 knots (13.1 km/h or 8.1 mi/hr)

Water Tank - 2000 litre (450 gal US)

Waste Tank - 1000 litre (250 gal US)

Fuel Tank - 1800 litre (450 gal US)

Engine - Detroit Diesel 3-71

Engine Power - 81 kW (110 hp) at 1800 rpm

Complement - Total 28:

  • 1 First Mate
  • 3 Watch Officers
  • 1 Bosun
  • 1 Cook
  • 3 Petty Officers
  • 18 Trainees

Note-"Can also include Lead-Hands or a Chief Petty Officer"


The T.S. Playfair was constructed for Toronto Brigantine Inc. in 1973 as an addition to an already established sail training organization. She was commissioned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1974, and remains the only Canadian ship to be commissioned by a reigning monarch. Although very similar to sister ships S.T.V. Pathfinder and St. Lawrence II, there are several minor structural differences such as a wider transom and a slightly larger freeboard. Since 1974 Playfair has conducted sail training on the Great Lakes punctuated by occasional summer voyages down the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic, most recently in 2007 for Tall Ships Halifax.

Interior Layout

The T.S. Playfair is divided into six watertight compartments from fore to aft the: Forepeak (general bosun stores, anchor chain bins); Petty Officer's Mess (sleeping space for 4 petty officers); Seamen's Mess (sleeping and living space for up to 18 trainees, also includes the galley); Engine Room (area for engine, generator and batteries); Wardroom (sleeping and living space for 6 wardroom officers, also includes the captains cabin, a separate but not watertight compartment)and the Afterpeak (mooring line and fender storage and steering gear).