The Idea

The „Rot & Rust” festival is organised every year on the waters of Bay of Gdańsk during the second weekend of October. It’s a meeting opportunity for all fans of classic yacts – those of wooden or steel construction. These yachts differ so much from modern fiberglass designs – they are less spacious and comfortable, slower and mor difficult to manouver, and they are oft ridiculed as floting rott or rust. Thus when met with the rough seas, will easily outstand their hotel-like counterparts.
There were times when steel „J-80s” and maghony „Opals” were dominating in Polish ports. These days are long over, but still several dozens of them are actively sailing under Polish flag. Late autum is the only moment during the season, when they all can meet in the same port, producing a jouful crowd. Among them those most fanous in the history of Polish sailing. Wind and sea-worn hulls and sails have marvelous stories to tell. And the people who sail them are equaly interesting!

Bit of History

Our first raly took place in October 2009. The spontanous idea was to bring together to the same port all Polish „J-80” yachts and those sailors, who are both bold and crazy enough to sail them. Only seven has managed to arrive, most of them fighting with bigger or smaller issues on the way. Fixing the yachts together proved to be as much fun as sailing in company and partying in the evenings.
Year later in 2010 also maghony „Opals” were invited to join the company – as to sail wooden clasic constructions requires similar strength of character. This time nine yachts and 102 crew members met in the port of Hel. All them clad in blue T-shirts easily conquered the small sea-facing town.
2011 there were already 16 yachts participating and for the first time festival flags – red this timie – were flying on our yachts. Colors become emblems distinguishing each edition: 2021 there were again 16 yachts participating in the „black” festival. 2013 we were already 24 yachts and 248 participants. 2014 we had a real problem to fit 27 yachts into the tiny marina in Gdańsk…

Luckily this moment we were supported by Pomeranian Yaching Association and the City of Gdynia: In 2015, Mr. Wojciech Szczurek, the president of Gdynia has invited all wooden and steel yachts to the Marina of Gdynia. More than 250 meters of the main pier were to become our meeting point. In this spacious environment we easily exceeded 30 participating yachts (and counting!). To present to general public the beauty of our yachts we introduced a parade under sails along the sea-shore. We have also invited the visitors on board of our yachts while in the port.
Opening the second decade of our festival, 2019 we realised, that we’re running out of colors – so eleventh edition was marked blue again… That year 40 yachts have arrived to the festival and 340 sailors were participating.
Over 12 years almost 90 different yachts were our guests to the Rott & Rust festival. Tehre’s only a single yacht that participated in all of them – the steel „Mestwin” of „J-80” type. Some of our yachts will never return: they have found their fate on the sea bed or were decommissioned due to poor technical condition. Others were purchasedby new owners and undergo general refurbrishing. Some have already returned to our family – in a blooming beauty. This is the sign of the good hope for all the Rott and Rust yachts we love so much!

Our Yachts

As part of our mission to popularise classic wooden and steel yacht we have prepared an almanac of all yachts that took part in our festival. Descriptions are unfortunately onlu in Polish, but still everybody can admire their beauty!

Join the Festival

Whoever owns or charter a wooden or steel boat is always welcome to join the Rott & Rust” festival. Traditionally the date is set each year Thursday till Sunday on the second weekend of October. The exact dates are anounced usually beginning of June. This is also the moment when we call for participants.
Those who want to join onboard their own yacht, are welcome to send by mail information on the name, size and hull material of the yacht and the number of crew planning to participate (captain included). Participation fee is set based on the number of crew – 2020 was set at 100 PLN / person.
SEKSTANT – Sailing School
kpt. Maciej Sodkiewicz
ul.Żwirki 60
83-110 TCZEW
biuro ( @ )

Phone Contact
+48 602 177 220
+48 791 167 981