Blue Mermaid Wins Classic Boat Award

Blue Mermaid. Photo by Den PhillipsBlue Mermaid has won the Traditional New  Build Award in the Classic Boat 2020 Awards. This award is sponsored by Simon Winter Marine.

The citation reads, ‘Steel-hulled Thames sailing barge Blue Mermaid is the first of her type to be built for 90 years. This one is a replica of the eponymous original, built by Mistley Shipping Company in 1930 and lost in the war.

She was commissioned b the Sea-Change Sailing Trust, which is using her for sail-training and cargo duties – all without an engine – and to improve the lives of the young and vulnerable who sail upon her.

These range from age 7 to typical dementia age, according to Sea-Change’s Richard Titchener.

Blue Mermaid was built by C Toms and Son and Heritage Marine. She is 86ft (26m) LOD, with sprit yawl rig.’

To quote Patron Tom Cunliffe, ‘The cost in money is minimal by today’s standards. The pay-off in turning lives around will be incalculable.’

By |2020-05-03T12:43:18+01:00April 4th, 2020|


Our fundraising platform has closed down. Until something new is in place please make donations through the excellent facility on our Facebook page.

Thank you. Your financial assistance is required more than ever at present.

By |2020-05-03T12:42:30+01:00March 30th, 2020|

Statement Concerning Covid19

I am writing about the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on our planned activities this year.

As of today Sea-Change will cancel all charters until further notice.

We will continue to fit out the barge and will resume operations as soon as possible, and hope this will enable us to reschedule.

Deposits will be repaid where requested.

This decision has not been taken lightly but in the interests of everyone’s safety there is no other choice.

We wish you all the best during this difficult time and hope to see you all again as soon as is possible.

Hilary Halajko,  Chair of Trustees

By |2020-03-19T11:18:10+01:00March 19th, 2020|

One Last Pull

Photos of our beautiful new sweeps being built by Collars.

Thanks to all our supporters just ONE LAST PULL is needed for £500 to cover the drawing and fabrication of a pair of steel crutches, galvanising and location points welded to Blue Mermaid’s rail and finishing

By |2020-03-16T12:42:00+01:00March 16th, 2020|

Inclusion Ventures Visits Blue Mermaid

Click photo to enlarge

Staff from Clacton based Inclusion Ventures travelled to Maldon today to visit Blue Mermaid, which is currently in dry dock prior to getting underway for the new season.

Regular clients, Inclusion Venture‘s aim is to improve the lives of vulnerable young people from the most disadvantaged areas of Jaywick & West Clacton; supporting them to discover a wider prospective, and positive future that fulfils their potential. They are doing a great job.

By |2020-03-18T14:37:40+01:00March 10th, 2020|

Sailing Opportunities Aboard Blue Mermaid

1. Sailing barge matches
This year we will be entering some of the matches and there are still places available for up to six guests on some of these.This may not happen as much in future years as the priority is charitable work, but the trustees have decided to give the barge a chance this year. If interested please get in touch, the cost will be £100 per head.

2. Training
For some years we have offered a structured sailing course and this year will be no exception. It will take place the week after the Colne Race (ie Monday 14th September) starting at Brightlingsea and ending in Maldon and will be for no more than six students. The idea is to provide structured experience for people working towards a Barge Master ticket or just interested in learning about how a sailing barge works. Items covered in a typical five day course are each sail and the rig, drudging (weather permitting) and main anchor work, multiple coming to and away from anchor in various wind and tide scenarios, picking up a buoy, kedging, use of stoppers, bowsprit jib (fixed stay and traveller) and stemhead rig, use of leeboards, heavy weather scenarios/rolling vangs/sail reduction configurations, man overboard, boat work. Opportunity is taken in the evenings to discuss as much as possible about local knowledge considerations and safe anchorages with an introduction to the exemption scheme and the Barge Master process.

It is assumed people will have a basic knowledge of sailing, but not necessarily in barges. Numbers are kept small to aid participation and every attempt is made to make the week affordable with a heavily reduced fee of £450 per head, with a £50 discount members of SSBR, AOB or SBA. Please contact us here.

By |2020-03-02T12:27:57+01:00March 2nd, 2020|