Learning the Ropes – FREE SAILING

£10 deposit 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)

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

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 come down to Lower Halstow Dock 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.

All the while, the flood tide will be filling up the dock and when the barge floats, it is time to set sail – putting 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 Lower Halstow and Twinney Creek, 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 the dock and can go home a little bit wiser about the workings of a Thames sailing barge.

Free 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


Tue 12th July – 930-1330, Mon 29th August – 1230-430