Created: 28 Mar 2016 19:51
Updated: 23 Aug 2017 10:29

*UPDATE* only a few places left available: book now!

Waiting List Now Open.

There are 12 places. The barge is booked and a deposit of half the cost has been paid. We need those who expressed interest to pay by the cost of the barge ASAP and would like up to TWO more people to complete the crew. Any others interested should let the office know and can replace anyone who drops out by not committing with payment of £58 online. Any further queries please contact Drummond Robson or 0778 732 6019

Sail with experienced owner of a Thames Stack Barge from The Swale near Faversham, Kent. 12 places. Saturday 4 th June at 9.30 from Harty Ferry. Local B and B’s are available for the night of 3rd June.

Cost £58/person. Bring a packed lunch. + B and B and Evening Meal. Coffee/Tea and Croissants provided on board. 

Sailing Barge Mirosa

The only remaining spritsail barge never to have had an engine fitted, MIROSA claims to be the most original of the barges still afloat, with a full set of flax sails, manilla running rigging, and a full set of sweeps (oars), and is one of the very few still with wooden masts. She was built with a bowsprit, and this was reinstated in 1976. Her keel and chine planks are of elm, with pitch pine planks on the bottom and two-inch oak sides. This was doubled over with pitch pine, which happened when a barge was 30 or 40 years old. The hull is distinguished by the shapely shallow shape perfected by her builder, John Howard, of Maldon. Launched on 28 June 1892 as the READY for John Gutteridge, of Vauxhall, London, she was a stackie – carrying hay and straw from Essex and Suffolk to London for the city’s horses, and often returning with horse manure for the farms. After the First World War this trade declined and she probably went into timber, which was stacked high on deck like the hay had been. Her ownership passed to W W Keeble and then in the 1930s to Francis and Gilders, of Colchester, for whom she carried general cargoes, working from Maldon and Colchester, skippered by ‘Billy’ Bunter. After the Second World War the Brightlingsea sailmaker Jim Lawrence was her skipper. In 1947 the owners sold her original name to Trinity House for use on a new lightship tender and she was renamed Mirosa. In 1954 she won the Thames and Medway barge matches, in the staysail class, possibly the first races she had ever entered. She continued trading until 1955 when he was sold to Brown and Son, of Chelmsford, and de-rigged for use as a timber lighter in the Heybridge Basin, near Maldon – carrying timber to there from ships anchored off Osea Island. In 1964 Clarence Deval had MIROSA rigged by Dilberry Clark and Bill Percy to go racing. He kept her for three years and then sold her to Alan Walker when she came to Kent as a ‘live-aboard’. Then Carrie Spencer bought her and started racing her again in 1970. Jimmy Diddams, a legendary barge skipper, rigged her out and sailed her. In 1976 her present owner, Peter Dodds, bought her and based her at Iron Wharf, Faversham, where he lives aboard the vessel. She has been extensively rebuilt and is maintained in excellent condition by the owner at the Iron Wharf Boatyard. Her adventurous itinerary has taken her on regular trips down the Channel to the Isle of Wight, to the Humber, and through Tower Bridge, all without the help of an engine. MIROSA continues to engage in leisure and corporate charter work (taking 12 passengers and three crew) and is a regular and successful racer in barge matches. 


Date and time

Sat, 04 Jun 2016 09:00
 Non-members welcome