Skippers of the Future?

We are delighted to announce a very exciting project for Blue Mermaid in 2024. Thanks to the support of the Lottery Heritage Fund we will be taking Blue Mermaid on tour next year to ten ports between Lowestoft and Ramsgate, opening the barge to members of the public in each port and screening the film ‘Wind, Tide & Oar’ in the hold of the barge. The aim of the project is to introduce more people to Thames sailing barges and inform people about their heritage and the work they do today.

Blue MermaidĀ  doesn’t have an engine so her tour will be undertaken using just wind and tide. Each voyage will be crewed by trainees learning about maritime heritage. There is a recognised skills shortage in the industry and we have teamed up with National Historic Ships-UK to produce a new training course that will launch on this tour. Watch out for more news on this very soon.

Thames sailing barges are a huge commitment for their owners to keep in operation. We hope to meet lots of new faces on our tour and many more people will know about Thames sailing barges and we hope that the whole sailing barge industry will benefit as a result. Some people may want to book charters with their friends, some will have practical skills that could help with maintenance, others will be fundraisers or marketers, and some of them may be inspired to become the barge skippers of the future!

Keep an eye out for details of our tour and please come and visit us in one of the ports!