Maritime Heritage
Associations, Societies.

Associations and Societies which are deeply involved with our maritime heritage., Many of them breathe life into old vessels so that once again they can be seen around our coasts and on our rivers and canals. Do please add to them. Email to


Some topics have sections of their own:
Restored and Replica ships at:   Maritime Museums
Naval & Military craft at: Naval & Military Craft

One Designs, Keelboats and Vintage Dinghy Classes at:  Dinghies & Keelboats.
Cruiser Class Associations - including post war classes at:    Cruiser Classes  


The Norfolk Wherry Trust
Contact: Hon. Sec. 108 Norwich Road, North Walsham, Norfolk
Membership Sec: Trevor Hipperson, Forsythe Wherry Boatyard, 
                             Horsefen Road, Ludham, Norfolk NR29 5QG
Web site:

The Albion (built at Oulton Broad in 1898)  is the last survivor of hundreds of trading wherrys that plied the Norfolk and Suffolk waterways.  They were barges of a very special type and their origins go back to the seventeenth century, perhaps earlier.  A few were still active in 1939.  The trust was formed in 1949, bought the Albion, restored and re-rigged her.  With the Trust she traded for about three years.  She is very active but not trading now. Members of the Trust meet for day cruises and at social functions and Albion is also available for charter, for larger parties or corporate entertainment (with Skipper and crew of course).
Membership of the Trust  costs £18.00 and includes a twice yearly Journal

(To find Albion gliding silently down on you in the evening mist, vast black sail drawing gently, is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Ed)

The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships
Contact:  Margaret Cormack, Secretary,
35 Finians Close, Honey Hill
Middx UB10 9NW

Sagitta (and butty Carina)

Sagitta is an historic working narrowboat now fully refurbished with her (unpowered) butty boat Carina.  This Staffordshire pair will link up with town festival and waterways events throughout the region.  
British Waterways Project Officer, Norbury Junction
Stafford ST20 0PN
Tel: (01785) 284253

Sailing Smack Association
Marion Dines
12 Downs Road
Maldon, Essex 
Tel: (01621) 8550 7030 0872

The SSA was formed in 1991 to "represent and protect the interests of owners and users of smacks - defined as ex-working sailing fishing boats"   SSA is affiliated to the RYA and is a founder member of Heritage Afloat and maintains strong links with The Old Gaffers Association and others.

SSA compiles a register of surviving sailing smacks and bawleys throughout the country and abroad and runs a free advertisement section within their magazine especially for vessels in need of restoration and good homes!  

SSA publishes its own newsletter/broadsheet and magazine quarterly which carries reports of festivals and races and an annual events list..  Membership costs £10.00 pa. (No, you don't have to own a smack to be a member, Ed.) The Association has its own SSA handicap system for East Coast Smack Races.

Slocum Spray Society
Hon Sec: Andrew Bishop
120 High Street
Isle of Wight PO31 7AX
Tel: T01983 291292
Commodore: David Sinnett-Jones, Fax 01545 57071 
Maglona, 11 Albert St, Aberaeron, Dyfed SA46 0DQ 

Plans are available through
Bruce Roberts International
PO Box 9045
Burnett Heads
Australia 4670



TSMV.Southsea 1948

A project has been launched to save this former Isle of Wight Ferry built by WM.Denny & Bros of Dumbarton 
For an information pack please write to:
TSMV.Southsea Project
MV.Southsea Society
39 Ranelagh Road
Stamshaw,  Portsmouth
Hampshire  PO 2 8EZ 

Stella Class Assoc
For more details see: Cruiser Classes  

Thames Sailing Barge Trust
(Formerly 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. During the winter members get together for talks by visiting speakers, a photographic competition, to organise open days and to have a good chinwag.  (There is a journal for historical research and a bi-monthly bulletin)

For model makers a number of plans sets are available - see our Model Makers pages.  

See also:  our barge pages at Thames Sailing Barges

Thames Vintage Boat Club
One of the principal jobs of the Thames Vintage Boat Club is to record traditionally built craft on and around the River Thames.   The club encourages members in restoration projects, and provides a meeting point for everyone who owns or is interested in these craft.  The Club also runs the annual Thames Traditional Boat Rally at Henley - for details click here.


Vintage Wooden Boat Association

Contact: Stephen Duke, Membership Secretary
Eastwood Marina, Riverside, Brundall
Norwich NR13 5PT 
Tel: 07770 628278

The Association is open to all types and ages of wooden boats from
dinghies to seagoing vessels, from canoes to canal boats.  Around 870
boats are registered with the Association and once on the Register always
on the Register - it is an historical record of our boats. 
( It is divided into Veteran (pre 1915), Vintage (pre 1940), Classic (over 25 years old) and Modern. Ed.)  Many members are based around the Norfolk Broads where are two sections which hold
social events, both afloat and ashore. There is also a Fens section. 
Each year the Association holds a National Rally, usually in the Broads

Associate membership is available for people who do not own a wooden boat
but are interested in the aims of the Association.

Our newsletter "The Log" is published four times a year, edited by Ann
Sanders and is concerned with all types of wooden boats.  Ann is
delighted to hear from members and welcomes articles on all wooden boat
topics.  E-mail her at


The Working Boats Project

Contact:  Richard Lacy, Historic Working Boats Project Coordinator
West Midlands and Central Shires waterways
British Waterways, Albert House, Quay Place
92-93 Edward Street, Birmingham B1 2RA  Tel: 0121 200 7421

Swift on the Birmingham Old Main Line 
near Smethwick
Scorpio and Malus at Hatton on the Grand Union Canal

The Project is currently responsible for maintenance and operation of the following ex-working narrowboats and narrow tugs:

Atlas, Leo, Swift, Sagitta, Carina, Scorpio, Malus, Nansen, Birmingham as well as the Piling Rig and the BCN Joey. 

You can become involved by Joining the Project as a Friend 
- more details from Richard Lacy   

TradBoat © Charles Smith Publications 
Last updated: 16 October, 2017