Trainee Skippers & Mates Scheme
Training barge crews since 1948
The Thames Sailing Barge Trust has been sailing Thames Barges and training barge crews since 1948.
Trainees will need to be available to volunteer approximately one weekend a month, Friday evening to Sunday. It normally takes between three and five years to reach competent Mate, and approximately ten years to become a Skipper. As you can see this is a long-term commitment, but you will quickly find the rewards are endless.
What We Are Offering
- Around 20 sailing days free of charge per year
- A personal development plan, customised to your availability, previous sailing experience, (if any) and ambitions
- A personal mentor to assist in your development
- Training in a complete range of traditional seafaring skills, including ropework, gear and rigging, sail setting and trim, rules of the road, navigation, meteorology, small boat work, maintenance, leadership skills and much more.
- Access to Thames barges sailing in Essex, Kent, Suffolk and London
In volunteering, you will not only be helping to preserve Thames Sailing Barges themselves but also the skills and knowledge required to sail them. Hopefully you will in turn be able to pass these skills on to future generations.
You will get the chance to meet lots of interesting people from different backgrounds as you enjoy the wonders of Thames Barge sailing
Personal Development Plan
A good crew member is someone who can turn their hand to many tasks, and be alert and proactive. They must be friendly and fit enough for tasks such as climbing up the ratlines and winding the anchor.
We have created a Personal Development Plan, with over seven hundred key learning points, to help trainee barge crew monitor their learning progress. It is designed to allow the volunteer crew members to learn at a pace that suits their individual needs.
The TSBT are committed to providing you with all the support and guidance you need to help you fulfil your plan and will endeavour to find you sailing vacancies to suit your needs. The scheme is supported by barge owners, operators and Trusts up and down the East Coast and we encourage you to sail with as many different skippers as possible.
How To Apply
If you’re interested in finding out more, send an email towith your name, contact details and a few words explaining why you would like to be considered for this opportunity, and we will send you an application form to complete.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Some of the requirements
Be willing to give up one weekend a month, Friday evening to Sunday, including through the winter months
Be passionate about learning to sail a Thames Sailing Barge
Be willing to learn and apply yourself
Be reliable and flexible (hours depend on tide and weather etc)
Be reasonably fit, and capable of climbing up the mast and winding up the heavy anchor
Be willing to share knowledge with others and pass on your skills
Be proactive and a good team player.
Be sociable with good communication skills
Be able to lead and motivate others
Be able to interact with our passengers and provide exceptional customer service