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 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”

Best Small Attraction

Steph, Paul, Lorna and Louise at the Visit Essex Awards

Paul and guy setting sails
Paul & Guy, crew on Hydrogen

Thistle skipper Rob Salvidge introduces Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP and David Newberry from National Historic Ships
Rob, skipper of Thistle (centre) at her 120th birthday party.

staff photo
Some of our wonderful catering team.



Cooks Yard
The Hythe

Tel: 01621 857 567
Fax: 01621 840 567