Learning the Ropes – PUBLIC SAILING


There is no charge for this experience, but a £10 deposit is required to confirm each person on your booking, refunded following the trip or with at least 48hrs notice of cancellation.

Learn the ropes of a Thames sailing barge under the tuition of the Skipper and Mate

How to book –

  • Read the trip description below and the general information page
  • Choose a date from the list below, the sailing times are tidal so cannot be changed!
  • Add to cart how many people you’re booking for (maximum of 2 people per booking)
  • There is additional availability for our patrons – https://tillerandwheel.com/product/learning-the-ropes-patrons-only/
SKU: N/A Categories: ,


If you have ever wondered how a barge could be handled by just two people, or looked at the miles of rope and rigging hanging off the mast and struggled to make sense of it all, then join us aboard and learn the ropes.

The Skipper welcomes you aboard with a cup of tea before walking you around the deck, explaining some of the basics of the Thames sailing barge, how to set the sails and operate the winches safely.

Then it is time to set sail and put theory into practice!

Guests are asked to take turns on the helm under the supervision of the skipper, whilst the mate oversees the setting of the sails. You’ll then spend a couple of hours underway sailing around the Medway, practicing manoeuvres.

You’ll need to be reasonably fit and we advise bringing a pack up lunch to keep you fuelled up.

You then return to port and can go home a little bit wiser about the workings of a Thames sailing barge.

Public Sailing Experiences – Booking guidance

  • Please only book one experience at a time. Once you have completed your sail, you are welcome to book another date.
  • We hope that you choose to support us by becoming a Patron, but there is no obligation.
  • A bar selling refreshments will be available on the day.
  • We request a £10 deposit per space to confirm your attendance, this is refunded after the trip. If you fail to notify that you no longer wish to sail aboard having booked a place, we will retain the deposit (cancellation must be at least 48 hours before the date of sail).
  • You are invited aboard as a guest of Tiller & Wheel – we reserve the right to cancel bookings for any reason.

Additional information

Embarkation Point

Sun Pier, Chatham, Lower Halstow


Thu 10th Aug 1800-2100, Fri 11th Aug 1800-2100, Sun 13th Aug 1800-2100, Thu 31st Aug – 1000-1300, Sat 30th Sept – 1015-1415, Sun 1st Oct – 1100-1500