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Member Organisations

Steam Tug Portwey

Portwey is one of only two twin screw, coal fired steam tugs now active in UK.  Built by Harland and Wolff on the Clyde in 1927, she was first owned by the Portland and Weymouth Coaling Company and worked along the south coast of England, being based at Portland.

Currently Located is West India Dock (South Quay) London.


Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is a charitable property company responsible for the conservation and re-use of the buildings in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport.

The Trust also has a sizable collection of small historic boats, many of which are on permanent display in Boathouse 4 and afloat at the Heritage Pontoon.


Daniel Adamson Preservation Society

The Danny, as the ship is affectionately known, is a unique 1903 steamship which includes stunning Art Deco saloons which have been restored to exactly as they would have been in 1936, complete with, curved bar, wooden panelling and furniture which are evocative of a past time of shipping and celebration.

Tours whilst static are available as well as cruises along the picturesque River Weaver.


Sea-Change Sailing Trust

Sea-Change provides residential opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults to learn and develop in the unique environment of Blue Mermaid - a traditional Thames sailing barge'

Living onboard her with supervision by experienced staff,  they can fully participate in all the activities onboard, from handling sails and winding the windlass, to climbing the rigging and steering.


Thames Sailing Barge Trust

The Trust preserves two Thames barges - Pudge and Centaur - in sailing condition to pass on the skills required to sail them. 
Trips, which are run on various dates between April and October, are normally weekend or longer trips where there is on-board accommodation.  Occasionally there are also Full Day and Half Day trips.
The barges are un-rigged during the winter for maintenance and working parties meet on Maldon Hythe Quay to work on Centaur, Pudge and the workshop ‘Sailorman’, which is a former Thames lighter.


Steam Tug Brent

Brent is a classic small 'Lighterage' steam tug, a rare survivor of many hundreds which once worked around British and overseas dockyards, ports, coasts and rivers. She is now one of only four of this class left in the U.K. 
Based in Maldon the Trust is building up volunteer crew and supporters to ensure Brent's preservation and intends to provide training to apprentice heritage shipwrights, steam engineers and boiler makers whilst being restored and operated.
Opened to visitors spring and summer on static display


Hermitage Community Moorings

Hermitage Community Moorings (HCM) is a co-operative which built, owns, and operates a mooring on the Thames in Wapping. The mooring provides berths for up to 23 vessels: enabling a mixture of historic live-aboard barges, and visitor vessel use. HCM has created a small, close-knit community of people committed to boat use and the preservation of historic craft.

Part of its ambition is to ensure traditional river craft (e.g. sailing barges, tugs and motor craft) remain part of the Wapping landscape for future generations – and to create a local landmark that promotes Wapping’s historic links with the river.


Historic Narrow Boat Club

The Historic Narrow Boat Club was formed in 1966 and is dedicated to preserving the working heritage of UK canals, from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel.  HNBC is passionate about working boats, traditional skills, the built heritage, and the practices and courtesies of the working boat people.

As an active pressure group for navigational and waterway heritage interests, all who support our aims, whether boat owners or not are welcome.


Steamship Freshspring Society

SS Freshspring is a historic steamship, recognised as being a vessel of National Importance. Built in 1946, she is the last of 14 Fresh Class water carriers.

Currently berthed at Bideford, as a static exhibit, the aim of the Steamship Freshspring Trust is to return the ship to operation, preserving the past to inspire knowledge for the future.

SS Freshspring is open every Sunday from Easter until the end of Octerber from 11am until 4pm.


Nancy Blackett Trust

Arthur Ransome’s Nancy Blackett was his favourite among the various yachts he owned, and provided the inspiration for perhaps his best sailing novel, "We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea."  She was named after the leader of the Amazon Pirates in his "Swallows and Amazons" books.

Nancy Blackett, rediscovered and restored, is now owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust,  Each year many Ransome fans enjoy the experience of sailing her, and many more visit her at maritime festivals.


Waverley Excursions

Waverley – the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer - has operated since 1975 carrying over 6 million passengers.

Waverley offers a wide variety of day, afternoon and evening cruises from over 50 ports and piers in several areas of the UK including Glasgow & the Clyde Coast, Oban & Inner Hebrides, Liverpool & Llandudno, the Bristol Channel, South Coast & Isle of Wight, and London & Thames Estuary.
The sailing programme can be viewed on the website.


Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association

Established in 1990, the WBTA has an growing membership of boatbuilders and allied trades spread throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.

Boatbuilding contains a broad spectrum of materials, methods and skills, and the Association provides a centralised resource to both customers and those in the industry. Enquirers may be assured that whatever their requirements, be it construction, rebuild, repair, maintenance, or any associated service, a WBTA member will be able to provide the solution.


Steamship Shieldhall

Steamship Shieldhall is the largest working steamship in Britain.  Experience the golden age of steam by booking on an excursion or visiting her in Southampton. As part of your Shieldhall experience, see the engine room with its original steam engines and the bridge, with its traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork; admire the ship’s steam assisted steering gear; talk to the Captain and crew and listen to the commentary while passing the sights of Southampton Water and the Solent.

Shieldhall is available for private charter or for hire as a venue alongside in Southampton, and offers a variety of courses for youth groups and steam enthusiasts.


Cambria Trust

Cambria is a wooden Thames sailing barge, built at Greenhithe, Kent in 1906 and as such forms a unique part of our industrial and maritime heritage.

Following restoration, Cambria is again sailing in Thames barge matches and is now preparing for her new career in sail training and educational activities. 

Cambria will also be available for sail charters, for groups – including educational visits, and individuals, and will be using three locations in Kent; Faversham, Gravesend, and Ramsgate.


Paddle Steamer Preservation Society

Through associated charities PSPS operates the only two working paddle steamers in Great Britain; PS Waverley and PS Kingswear Castle.and also supports other paddle steamer projects including PS Maid of the Loch and PS Medway Queen.

The Paddle Steamer Archive Collection is administered by the PSPS and forms the largest and most complete archive of material relating to paddle and pleasure steamers in the UK.

The PSPS has members across the world with five branches covering Great Britain. Each branch organises regular talks, social and special events throughout the year. 


South West Maritime History Society

The Society was founded in 1984. Its aims are to encourage interest in all aspects of our maritime heritage and to promote research in these fields, leading where possible to the publication of the result of such studies.

Members benefit from opportunities to futher their interest in maritime history, through a newsletter, Journal, visits and meetings to historic vessels and sites of interest in the South West.


Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust

Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle, known affectionately by her initials KC, is Britain’s last coal burning river paddle steamer.

She was built by Philip & Son of Dartmouth, Devon in 1924 for the River Dart Steamboat Company Limited for service on the River Dart. After restortion KC  operated from 1985 until 2012 on the rivers Medway and Thames, based at Chatham Historic Dockyard.
In December 2012 Kingswear Castle returned to her home waters on the River Dart after an absence of 45 years.  A year-long major rebuild commenced in winter 2021 it is expected that will see her return to service again in 2023.


Excelsior Trust

Excelsior is one of the last surviving Lowestoft fishing smacks. She was built in 1921 by John Chambers & Co of Lowestoft to trawl the southern North Sea. During the 1930s she was sold to Norway and converted to a motor coaster, removing her topmast and bowsprit and installing a wheelhouse on deck. She was used  around the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish coasts.

Excelsior returned  to her home port just over 50 years after she was built and restoration took 16 years and finally, in 1988, The Princess Royal commissioned Excelsior as a sail training ship. The following year she started a new career. 
Current voyage information is on the website.


Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society

Built in 1913, she was originally named Viking. In April 1913, she was acquired by the Admiralty and re-named Terrier. Based in Chatham she worked in and around the Medway for 35 years, which included the two World Wars. She was sold in 1948, re-named Kerne, and worked on the Mersey, Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver Navigation as a lighterage tug until her retirement in 1971. The Kerne was about to go for scrap but was rescued her from the cutter’s torch and has now been wonderfully preserved for 50+ years.

During the Summer months the vessel can often be found berthed at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool and at other North West Ports.


International 14 Dinghy Class

The Fourteens are one of the oldest dinghy classes in the world with connections back to before WW1.  It became an international class in 1928 and now has fleets around the world.
Fourteens are a development class, built to a basic set of rules that allows for innovation. Over the years designs have evolved from the beautiful wooden hulls of the 1920s to the carbon fibre machines of today which have twin trapezes, assymetric spinnakers and hydrofoils on rudders.
There are vintage and classic wings covering boats dating prior to 1983,