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Sea-Change Sailing Trust


Sea-Change provides residential opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults to learn and develop in a unique environment; by living and working together aboard a traditional sailing vessel they participate in a wide range of life skills and are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their contribution and group decisions.

Sailing the coastal waters of the Thames Estuary, usually from the base in Maldon, Essex, the nature of working on the water is one of variety, whether the result of the changing tidal pattern each day, the weather or destination. But, the ship has a routine which runs throughout each day with the crew usually working a watch system ensuring everyone gets an opportunity to learn each job whilst on passage.

The Trust's approach concentrates on high quality personal support and training with ongoing mentoring, entrenching the development of small groups of students for the long term rather than limiting the experience to time spent aboard.

The Trust runs a Youth Sailing Scheme the object of which is to work with small groups of young people residentially at sea for extended periods, enabling them to embed the knowledge gained. Members have an important say in each programme and have also introduced new people to the scheme. Leadership training and sailing accreditation is available as well as the opportunity to develop life skills and build self-confidence.

Structured sail training ranges from the Royal Yachting Association’s Competent Crew Certificate to our own Thames Sailing Barge Training Course, which is aimed at those considering maritime careers and wishing to obtain sufficient experience to sail as mate aboard the fleet of Thames barges, which still ply the Thames estuary today. For those working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award we offer the Gold Residential section.

The Trust has built Blue Mermaid, commissioned in 2019, the first full-sized barge built for trade since the original of 1930 upon which it is based. Blue Mermaid was built at C.Toms and Son Ltd at Polruan in Cornwall and fitted out by T S Rigging at Maldon in Essex.



  • Richard Titchener
  • Executive Officer
  • Downs Road Boatyard,
  • Maldon
  • CM9 5HG
  • Essex