AN HISTORIC sailing barge has undergone major repairs to keep it afloat.

Topsail Charters’ fleet of historic Thames sailing barges requires constant maintenance and each winter the vessels disappear to the various dry docks the Blackwater has to offer.

This year, the sailing barge Hydrogen has received a large amount of planking and new timber to her stern.

A spokesman said: “It’s all part of Topsail Charters’ continued maintenance program which will ultimately see the full renewal of Hydrogen’s timbers underneath the water.

“It’s a huge commitment being custodians of these vintage vessels but Topsail Charters continues to care for them for no additional funding support, simply all the passengers trips, cups of teas and scones sold onboard pay for new planks, bolts and the continued purposeful future of these vessels.”

The barges are still operating through the winter with one-hour roast dinner cruises and new sailing dates for the 2020 season now on the website.

For further information about the barges, visit