Trishna (yacht)

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A single-masted yacht under sail, with crew on deck and waving.
Yacht Trishna begins its epic circumnavigation.
Name: Trishna
Owner: Sapper Adventure Foundation
Operator: Indian Army Corps of Engineers
Port of registry: Mumbai, India
Builder: Nautor's Swan
Launched: 1970
Christened: Guinevere of Sussex
Acquired: 1984
In service: Yes
Renamed: Trishna
Homeport: Mumbai
Identification: BOM 109
General characteristics
Class and type: Swan 37
Type: Yacht
Tonnage: 10.5 tonnes
Length: 36 ft 6 in
Beam: 10 ft 9 in
Draught: 6 ft 1 in
Sail plan: Sloop
Crew: 6

Trishna is a Swan 37 yacht belonging to the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. The 1970-vintage boat, earlier known as Guinevere of Sussex, was purchased in 1984 from the United Kingdom. The yacht has since been used for long distance ocean sailing and training. The first of the yachts' journeys after it was acquired was its voyage from Gosport to Mumbai, India. Subsequently the yacht embarked on its most notable voyage, the circumnavigation of the globe from 1985 to 1987. This was the first such achievement by an Indian crew.[1] In subsequent years, the yacht has been used for international cruises primarily in the Indian Ocean region and is currently still operational.


The Sapper Adventure Foundation had sponsored a sailing expedition from Bombay to Bandar Abbas, Iran in 1977[2][3] in an 18-foot 1921-vintage wooden Seabird[4] Class sailboat Albatross. This was an exercise to test the sailing capabilities of the sailors of the Corps of Engineers and a precursor to the circumnavigation of the globe by the Sappers on Trishna.

Sailing in the Solent - October 1984

Purchase of boat and sail Gosport, England to Bombay, India[edit]

[5][6] The planning for the circumnavigation commenced in early 1980s and finally took off in 1984 when a team of officers from the Corps of Engineers flew to the U.K. to buy a boat and sail it back to India. Limited funds dictated the Sapper Adventure Foundation to purchase a second-hand sailboat for the venture. After an extensive survey of the second-hand boat market in the U.K., the crew shortlisted the 1970-vintage Swan 37 boat, Guinevere of Sussex based at Brighton.[7][8] After purchase of the yacht, it was sailed by the crew to the Joint Services Sailing Center, Gosport, U.K., where it underwent minor repairs and partial essential re-fit to make it sail-worthy for the voyage back to India. The crew also underwent sail training, which was organised under the aegis of the Royal Engineers. Major Ron Gravels, ex-RE, was engaged and he undertook a month-long sail training program for the crew on the Solent, English Channel crossings to [[Cherbourg]] culminating in a sail to the ports of Guernsey and Alderney in the Channel Islands[9][10]

Trishna - The First Indian Circumnavigation 23

Trishna set off on her first long distance voyage from the Joint Services Sailing Center, Gosport, U.K. on 12 October 1984. With the onset of winter, the crew had a rough passage, especially in the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. With halts at Alderney (14 October), A Coruña (20 October), Lisbon (26 October), Gibraltar (1 November), Ibiza (7 November), Malta (17 November), Iraklion (24 November), Port Said (1 December) through the Suez Canal, Port Sudan (15 December), Aden (30 December), Salalah (10 January 1985), Muscat, Oman (19 January) and Bombay (1 February 1985)[11][12][13]


The team consisted of ten members, with six on the boat at any one time. These were:[7][14]

  • Maj K. S. Rao, SC, SM, - the Skipper
  • Maj A. Bhattacharya, S. M.
  • Maj Amreshwar Pratap Singh, SM (Bar), VSM
  • Maj A. K. Singh, KC, SM
  • Capt Sanjeev Shekhar, SC
  • Capt Chandrahas Bharti, SC
  • Col T. P. S. Chowdhary, AVSM, the Team Manager - sailed from Gosport to Port Said
  • Capt M.S. Pillai, SM - sailed from Port Said to Mumbai
  • Maj S.N. Mathur, SM
  • Maj Rakesh Bassi
  • Lt Navin Ahuja, SM sailed from Trinidad to Auckland;

Maj A. K. Singh, a permanent member of the Expedition, was handicapped. His leg had been amputated above the knee after a hang gliding accident in 1981.[15][16]

Crew of Trishna on its sail from UK to Bombay - October 1984 – February 1985

Voyages by Trishna[edit]

Silver jubilee anniversary[edit]

The Indian Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the silver jubilee of the historic completion of the First Indian circumnavigation on 10 January 2012 by again sailing Trishna across Mumbai harbour to the Naval Sailing Club, Colaba, Mumbai, the place from where she had set off on its journey in 1985.[26]


  1. ^ Banerjee-Bey, Yana (29 October 2005). "An epic voyage". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  2. ^ "35 days in an open boat". Tehran Journal. Tehran. 1 December 1977.
  3. ^ "Tehran Journal 01 Dec 1977". 1977-12-01. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  4. ^ "Bombay Sailing Association". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  5. ^ "'Sappers' cruise round-the-world". The Patriot. New Delhi. 21 February 1985.
  6. ^ "Patriot New Delhi 21 Feb 1985". 1985-02-21. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  7. ^ a b "Sappers to go on world cruise". Maharashtra Herald. Bombay. 7 February 1985.
  8. ^ "Maharashtra Herald 07 Feb 1985". 1985-02-07. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  9. ^ "Indian Army team sails around the world". India Weekly. London. 11 October 1984.
  10. ^ "India Weekly London 11 Oct 1984". 1984-10-11. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  11. ^ "Unique sailing experience". Blitz. Bombay. 9 February 1985.
  12. ^ "A big yachting adventure". Evening News. New Delhi. 15 February 1985.
  13. ^ "Rousing reception to yacht Trishna". Free Press Journal. Bombay. 2 February 1985.
  14. ^ "Maharashtra Herald 07 Feb 1985". 1985-02-07. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  15. ^ "On a global feat". The Sun. Bombay. March 1985.
  16. ^ "Sun Mumbai Mar 1985". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  17. ^ "The Call of the Sea". Delhi Recorder. New Delhi. March 1985. p. 43.
  18. ^ "Delhi Recorder Mar 1985". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  19. ^ ""Trishna" is back". The Daily. Bombay. 23 April 1985.
  20. ^ "DailyMumbai23Apr1985". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  21. ^ "Delhi Recorder Mar 1985". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  22. ^ ""Trishna" to sail on Goodwill Mission". The Times of India. Mumbai. 20 October 1994.
  23. ^ "Times Of India 20 Oct 1994". 1994-10-20. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  24. ^ a b "Trishna millennium expedition – VSNL sponsors sailing expedition". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  25. ^ "sappers adventure foundation". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  26. ^ "Army men relive historic moment". Retrieved 2013-08-24.