Thames Sailing Barges
A TradBoat Source Page

On these pages:   Elsewhere on TradBoat:

Asscn of Model Barge Owners

Cambria Trust
Dolphin Museum & Trust
Society for Sailing Barge Research
Sailing Barge Association
Thames Sailing Barge Heritage Centre
Thames Sailing Barge Trust
Thames Barge Charter
Thames Barges for Model Makers
Building a Model Barge
Thames Sailing Barge Photo Collection

Barge Matches

About the Matches

Each year restored Thames Sailing Barges take part in a series of races or barge matches sponsored by the Sailing Barge Association  As many as thirty barges may compete in the various classes, including Champion Bowsprit barges, Fast Staysail (no bowsprit) and Slow Staysail classes. There are opportunities to sail in one of these races on board a charter barge, either with the Thames Sailing Barge Trust, or with one of several charter companies. Races are held on Saturdays throughout the summer. 

Sailing Barge Association

Much useful information about barge matches including a section called 'Where to See Sailing Barge Matches.'
Organisers of the Barge Matches and the Championship.

For more details go here:


Thames Sailing Barge Special Photo Collection

A collections of detail photographs for use by model makers. Click here

You are welcome to download any of these for your own use, but please do not use them for publication without first contacting TradBoat.  Additional photographs are always welcome.

Association of Model Barge Owners  -  AMBO
Model Thames Barge Sailing Championships - (MTBSC)

Contact:     Richard Chesney

For more details of the Association, and a list of Classes sailed together with sources of plans for model makers click here



Sailing Barge Cambria

Cambria was of course the last of the Thames Barges to trade actively under sail, and many of us remember her skipper Bob Roberts, who wrote a book about his life aboard and took part in  a BBC programme.  Now restored by the Cambria Trust, she is undergoing sea trials (2011) and hopes soon to be taking part in work to support local schools and outreach programmes.


For details of the Trust and accessibility go here:  

Society for Sailing Barge Research

Contact: John White, Honorary Secretary
5 Cox Road
Alresford, Colchester
Essex CO7 8EJ
Tel: 01206 825317

A Society dedicated to researching all aspects of the Thames Sailing Barge including the vessels, the the men who manned them and the ports from which they sailed.  The Society publishes regular newsletters.  The magazine "Topsail" is published annually and various books on Sailing Barge Research are published through the auspices of the Society. For further details and membership information please visit their website.

Thames Sailing Barge Heritage Centre

SB "Glenway" was at Dunkirk
The Centre is based at Maldon Quay aboard SB "Glenway", famous for her exploits at Dunkirk where she was abandoned on the beach, subsequently re-floated and sailed home by a band of soldiers.  The Centre tells the story of the Sailing Barge from the early 1800s. There are some pictures in our Photo Collection

Cooks Barge Yard, The Hythe, Maldon, Essex CM9 5HN

Thames Sailing Barge Trust.

(Formerly the Thames Barge Sailing Club
Web site:

New members with an interest in Thames Barges are always welcome. The club owns two barges, "Centaur",  launched in 1895 and "Pudge", built in 1922.  The barges are sailed and kept shipshape by the members who have the opportunity to learn traditional boat building and sailing skills.  Normally Centaur sails every weekend whereas Pudge is available to members for charter.  Barges sail with qualified crew of skipper and mate,
generally on the East coast, say Lowestoft - Deal. 


Winter programme
During the winter members get together for talks, a photographic competition, to organise open days and to exchange research into the history of sailing barges.  (There is a journal for historical research and a bi-monthly bulletin.)

SB "Centaur" on the blocks.

Charles Smith Publications 21 Apr 2012