Until now, Sea-Change Sailing Trust has been using an existing Thames sailing barge from where they are based in Maldon, Essex, to offer disadvantaged and disabled people the opportunity to live and work aboard an operational cargo vessel as part of a residential ‘life-learning’ programme.
In May this year, this custom-built Thames sailing barge was launched in Polruan, Cornwall, ready for fitting out in her home port of Maldon. Named ‘Blue Mermaid’, after the last boat of its kind, the vessel has been commissioned largely thanks to fundraising efforts over the past 4 years.
The new barge has no engine and will rely entirely upon manpower to sail her, providing the best conditions to encourage and develop important team building skills of those on-board.
Sea-Change hopes to use the programme and new boat to reignite the old tradition of shipping real cargo to real destinations.
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