THE historic tall ship featured in the 1970s hit TV series The Onedin Line will move to Liverpool to run public trips from next spring.
The Kathleen & May, called Charlotte Rhodes in the long-running BBC drama series, was inspired by the celebrated ship-owning Baines family, of Duke Street, Liverpool.
The tall ship, which is Britain’s last three-masted topsail schooner, will be in Canning Dock from late March.
Built of oak and larch, Kathleen & May is on the core list of the UK National Historic Ships Register and was built at Connah’s Quay, on the River Dee, near Chester, in 1900.
Bringing Kathleen & May to a new home in Liverpool will fulfil the dream of tall ship enthusiast Jim Graves, of Woolton.
He wants Liverpool to be the northern centre for tall ship trips for people aged 17 years to 70.
Jim is setting up the Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST) to administer the project.
It is envisaged Kathleen & May will operate a month of day-long and overnight trips until the Liverpool Boat Show starts on April 29, 2011.
For the first time in living memory, the public will be able to book tickets to sail on a tall ship along the Mersey and out to the Bar.
Overnight trips carrying 12 passengers would be to Anglesey, Isle of Man and Ireland.
The schooner will be a static feature at the Boat Show, available for functions onboard.
After the show ends on May 8, she will run several weeks of public sailings from Canning Dock and possibly Liverpool Cruise Terminal.
Kathleen & May is owned by Steve and Marilyn Clarke, of Bideford, Devon, which is currently the schooner’s homeport.