A TradBoat Source Page

Thames Sailing Barges

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
: http://www.sailingbargeassociation.co.uk/


Building a Model of James Piper - building a model Thames Barge at inch scale

Photo Source Page- photographs for assistance with detailing. 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.

Barges in commission and under restoration

For details of active vessels and their histories there are two excellent web sites:

Thames Barge Sailing  - Dave Renouf's Web Site

Excellent site for all barge matters, real world and model. The site  includes photographs of a range of model barges, and a list of sources.  This probably the most comprehensive Thames barge site on the net.  David has included a round-up of available plans for model builders and is one of the most comprehensive lists available.

Web: www.thamesbarge.org.uk

Society for Sailing Barge Research

For listings of active barges and their histories go here:

Web: https://www.sailingbargeresearch.org.uk/

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
he 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: https://www.bargetrust.org/

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.)

Other Sailing Barge Plans

The following lines/drawings are available through the Thames Sailing Barge Trust (Formerly the Thames Barge Sailing Club) which at one time owned several of the barges. The sheets usually include hull lines, deck, sail plan and rigging. 

    "Asphodel" (1900),  "Arrow" (1897), "Westmorland" (1900),
    "James Piper" (1894), "Lady of Lea" (1931) and "Verona" (1905).

Web: https://www.bargetrust.org/


Charles Smith Publications 04 Jan 2023