The Topsail Team

Since Topsail Charters was established in 1987 by Stephanie Valentine and Paul Jeffries, our belief has remained true that the best way to preserve sailing barges is to keep them working. Carrying passengers rather than coal, grain or straw, has ushered in a new era for barges and has helped ensure their survival. When they were built, few would have thought they would still be sailing into the 21st century.

Topsail wouldn’t be the business it is, without a wonderful team of people, all working hard to keep our vessels looking beautiful and striving to give you a memorable experience onboard. Over the winter our crews work hard scrubbing and painting, working outside in all weathers.

During the season you are looked after on board by the deck crew of skipper, mate and hostess, with the galley team working hard to prepare delicious fresh food.

In the office

In the office you will speak to Topsail owner Steph or office manager Bev.

So welcome aboard in 2019, leave the modern world behind and as you relax and enjoy your experience onboard, you will be actively helping the barges “sail into the future”


Thank you for hosting a superb day away for our 30th anniversary celebrations. The cream tea on arrival, structured team building tasks, afternoon sail and evening buffet was pitched perfect for all of us. Faultless from start to finish. Thank you to Topsail Charters for a perfect day.

Whirledge & Nott, Company Anniversary Staff Day

I wanted to say a huge personal thank you for the wonderful vegan meal that you prepared for my husband and I. It was absolutely delicious and such a joy for us to be able to eat well given our dietary requirements and awkward allergies ! We had a wonderful day and loved the personal touch of the cruise.

Mr & Mrs Aviss, Public Thames Cruise

I wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of Prettys for the excellent service you provided last week. I have had many emails thanking us and complimenting the whole day. I also wanted to say a special thank you to the caterers. Even though they didn't receive the list of dietary requirements, they did everything they could to cater for those particular guests. It was very much appreciated.

Prettys, Corporate Hospitality Day

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Joanne Doe

Thank you so much for all your support with the "ashes scattering" for my father. I don't think I can thank you enough for your kindness and consideration for what was a really sad moment for us all. I know my father would have been delighted to have spent his last moments on your beautiful barge, on the estuary, with his family.

Christine, Scattering of Ashes

Thank you again for making our team building session with you such an excellent morning. The team haven't sopped talking about how much they all enjoyed it since then - the relaxed, friendly and supportive atmosphere that you created was fantastic and the setting was perfect. Thank you for working with us to make it such a success.

AHDB, Team Building Day

The service has been excellent throughout and we have recommended you to friends. We and our guests were very impressed by all the staff who were very friendly and patient with the children. The food was delicious. A perfect day- thank you !

Sarah, Wedding Reception

Thank you for a wonderful day. Everything was perfect - you even organised the perfect weather for us. The day ran smoothly from start to finish thanks to all your wonderful team effort, including admin, waitresses and the cooks. The chefs produced an excellent meal and all our guests were absolutely delighted with the day as were we.

Mr & Mrs Barnes, Golden Wedding

Just to let you know we had a fantastic time on board Reminder. The crew were so accommodating and we were all looked after extremely well. The food was good and we were constantly fed. All in all a very enjoyable trip.

Don & Sharon, Sailing Weekend Away

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John Doe

Hi Hydrogen

We have just returned home from the most fabulous if squally time in Maldon and we just wanted say thank you!

There were nineteen of celebrating my mothers 80th birthday and the boat trip was her idea. Although the weather was mixed that made things very atmospheric and the welcome was very warm. The sail itself was breathtaking, stunning colours and light made every view a joy.

We all booked lunch, a selection of both the cheese and ham and seafood plates. These were all such generous portions and everything was beautifully presented and very tasty.

So thank you to all the crew.

Mrs WK, Two Island Cruise