Welcome to Tiller & Wheel

Operational managers for two historic vessels – Thames Sailing Barge Edith May and Whitstable Oyster Smack Thistle F86

We’re a small family business, dedicated to promoting the historic East Coast fleet of smacks and barges and providing high quality experiences and events aboard these historic vessels.

Sailing Experiences

What better way to explore the South East Coastline, than by craft developed over centuries to be perfectly adapted to these waters?

We offer trips from several locations across the Kent coast, only 40 minutes from central London.

Whether it be a 1hr River Trip, 3hr Afternoon Tea Cruise or Full Day Excursion, the skipper and crew will ensure that the maximum time possible is spent under sail and that you can be as involved as you like when it comes to setting sails and steering the ship.

Unique events space

The characterful hold of a wooden sail boat provides a unique warmth and a great atmosphere, perfect for celebration events, private dining, meetings, or music nights.

Our sailing barge, Edith May, can hold up to 60 people for a static event, or up to 30 for a sit down meal. We are available to hire and welcome enquiries for this beautiful historic vessel.

Heritage & Education

As the custodians of two historic vessels – the Sailing Barge Edith May and the Whitstable Oyster Smack Thistle F86 – we are passionate about developing an arts & cultural programme to support the unique history and opportunities these boats offer.

We are at the early stages of exploring this aspect of the business and are keen to form new partnerships as part of this development. If you have a proposal for us or would like to know more, please contact us.

About us

We aspire to create a sustainable business model to ensure the ongoing preservation and heritage of East Coast smacks and barges.

Tiller & Wheel Ltd was formed in 2019 by husband and wife team, Ed Gransden and Heather Burgess. Learn more…