Team Building

We have designed a themed team building day, using the barge as a floating venue for exercises that are related to a nautical environment but are non-macho and not too physically demanding.  This team event should suit staff whatever their sailing experience, fitness and enthusiasm.

Sailors prided themselves on their bulging tattooed muscles – your crew however will stretch their grey matter and develop their communication skills – more Ho! Then Heave !

barge sailing trips and weekends away on the East Coast

Available from :-

Ipswich on the River Orwell in Suffolk,

Maldon in Essex on the Blackwater Estuary

Lower  Thames from Gravesend

London from Tower Bridge.

TEAM BUILDING – Why on a Thames Sailing Barge ?

The barges offer an ideal venue for corporate events for large or small groups to participate in team building activities.

  • By taking people out of a familiar environment, staff feel they all start from a level playing field, this helps to break down barriers and build relationships.
  • The activities are very varied and involve working in teams to sail the barge using its equipment in addition to non-physical exercises.
  • Even people with some sailing experience will find themselves in a strange environment as barges are rigged very differently from a sailing yacht.
  • Large groups can all participate on the one vessel, bringing the group together as a whole. We can accommodate up to 30 people for team building on one barge or larger numbers on two.
  • There is ample room down below and on deck so weather conditions are not a restriction.
  • The barges are a far more stable environment than a cruising yacht and in our 19 years we have not encountered any problems with seasickness, or injury.
  • Team building and corporate events of a longer duration can also be organised for both large and small groups, for smaller groups of up to 12 we can offer accommodation on board.
  • We can also provide an intimate and unique venue for a evening meal. Ideal for a positive end to the day, you can celebrate and relax without having to organise additional venues and transport.
  • Unusual and memorable venue with ever changing scenery and a captive audience

Example One Day Event

All the corporate activities result in points being issued to the teams and extra points are given for the team that gels well.

Clients meet at the instructed meeting point on the Quay or the pier and will be met by the Topsail charter representative. You will be taken on board, shown around and given refreshments.
Everyone on deck for a safety briefing. The Topsail Representative will give a brief outline of the day.
Cast off. We then start the first of many team building exercise, some, such as learning and communicating knots will run through the whole of the day.
Time for lunch, relax a little and keep learning those knots.
Back to team building exercises.
Approaching home port. We add up the final scores and review the day.
With the review over, teams depart. Options to extend time on board are available.

The A to B challenge

The teams will be dropped at a location ashore where they will be given instructions to collect a number of clues; the last clue will give them the location of where they need to get to for lunch. They will have to use additional information given to them in a pack to get there.

Taking the wheel

All the teams will have an opportunity to steer the barge with supervision from the Barge Master.

Ready steady cook

Almost like the TV version but without Ainsley!!! You will be given a bag of food, and in your teams come up with an idea of something to cook for lunch. Washing up to be done by the losing team !

Excellent transport links via train from London Liverpool Street, by road via the A12, able to sail at any state of the tide on the River Orwell, places of historic interest and pretty scenery. Plenty of accommodation options if guests need to stay the night.  A quiet and picturesque river with plenty of sea room for the exercises.

Get the tube or train from home or your office, see London from the Thames, with its historical and new buildings including a Tower Bridge lift. – Please bear in mind there are sailing restrictions on the Thames so most of event will be under engine and we also adapt our exercises to suit the busy river, so the day will be less intensive than at other locations.

Get the train to Gravesend from London Bridge or Victoria. The lower Thames offers plenty of sea room for our exercises and for setting sails.    The passenger ferry from Tilbury to Gravesend also makes this an easily accessible location for Essex based companies.

This location is better suited to teambuilding events of two days or more as it is tidally dependant which can mean a long day out on the water. Transport from London Liverpool Street to Chelmsford then taxi to Maldon. Maldon is a quaint little Blackwater town. By road, take A12 then B1104.

“Thistle” or “Hydrogen” from 12 up to 30 participants

Barge Hire for the Day   Ipswich  £1400  Maldon  £1400  Gravesend £2500  London £3250

Facilitator – £300 each – the number you require will depend on your guest numbers and how intensive a day you would like.

“Reminder” Up to 12 participants and with option of overnight accommodation.

Barge Hire for the Day (usually Maldon)  £1200

One Facilitator @ £300

Team Building charters of more than 1 days duration
Price are available on request.

Add food to the above prices – visit the Food section on our website (n.b. there is a £3 per head staff surcharge for “all day” charters)


Branded clothing, Prizes, Extended hire for meal or party