The last Cornish fishing lugger of its kind sets sail for repairs around the British Isles

Watch sailors talk to ITV News' Charlotte Gay about the famous lugger

An historic Cornish lugger has sailed out of Newlyn for the start of a 1,000 mile journey to the Scottish Highlands.

Barnabas is the only surviving fishing vessel of her kind in the world and is on a six week round trip to fit out new masts at Ullapool.

30 volunteer sailors from the Cornwall Maritime Trust are taking it in turns to crew Barnabas during different legs of the journey across the Celtic nations of the British Isles.

There's absolutely no standing room in the hull of the 143 year old traditional fishing vessel. Credit: ITV News

Toby Floyer the Chair of the Trustee is the first to be the ship's skipper.

He says sailors will get to experience what it would have been like for generations of people who "got their living from the sea".

He said: "It was a hard living but today it's community sailing, it's keeping skills alive and it's also bringing people together from a really diverse range of backgrounds.

"And one that is not actually open to many people, which is ironic because we live in a county surrounded by sea so the chance to go to sea is pretty special."

Olivia Byass Smithies, 24, is one of the youngest joining the voyage betweeen Mallaig to Oban.

She's one of 12 volunteers who have recently gained RYA theory qualifications through CMT’s partnership and says it's going to be an "amazing" experience.

She said: "It feels like such a privilege to live in Newlyn and be able to sail this boat that is so connected to this coastline.

"The people at Cornish Maritime Trust are so patient and so friendly and welcoming, and it's just been very relaxed, but also super fulfilling to be able to do something so connected with Cornish heritage."

Vicki has been painting Barnabas and the other luggers in the CMT fleet for her residency Credit: Vicki Norman

Today Barnabas is packing Cornish Yarg and sea salt to share Cornwall's exports with the ports she's stopping in, but she was originally built to catch pilchards in St Ives bay in the 1800s.

Rob McDowell is also spending time as a skipper during the route. He says it takes some getting used to the cramped conditions below deck because it can be "quite claustrophobic".

He said: "I feel privileged to to sell her every port we go into, she turns heads!

"She's the only lugger like this left in the world. So everyone who comes aboard is curious to find out how we sail her, how we sleep, how we cook, how we get on."

Vicki Norman is donating up to a quarter of her sales to the 'mast fund' during her year as artist in residence for the trust Credit: ITV News

Vicki Norman is the CMT's artist in residence and has been capturing the lugger whilst it was waiting to set sail from Newlyn Harbour.

She is also a keen sailor and has says being on board the vessel has influenced how she paints the shapes and colours of the traditional lugger.

She said: "I think boats built back then were just more beautiful. The lines are fantastic.

"The proportions are really great, and the colour palette lends itself to a more traditional set of pigments. In fact, I found I capture the character better when I use paints that were around at that time."

The route harks back to when wooden Cornish working boats were regular visitors to ports around the British Isles, following the herring throughout the fishing season.

From Newlyn, the furthest destination is Ullapool, North West of Inverness, where the historic working vessel will be fitted with two new Douglas Fir masts.

After her restoration she will journey on through the Hebrides before returning via Fishguard in Wales, Cork in Ireland, the Isles of Scilly and back to Newlyn by June 22.

The trust has already raised half of the £15,000 needed for the repairs and is hoping some businesses support the community sailing project and share heritage skills at risk of dying out.