The Maldon District has a rich maritime heritage which is recognised both nationally and across the world. From boat trips, barge cruises, regattas, watersports, gig racing and river festivals, there's so much to do on the water. Experience a trip out on the historic Thames Sailing Barges and discover how cargo was transported over a century ago. Enjoy a cruise down the Blackwater Estuary and experience the panoramic views of Osea Island, Northey Island and beyond. Take a relaxing trip along the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, a waterway nearly fourteen miles long. Discover seals and wildlife on the Crouch & Roach Estuaries, and get up close with nature.



Thistle, Thames Sailing Barge
Take a trip on the iconic Thames Sailing Barges with Topsail Charters from the Hythe Quay in Maldon. Topsail Charters has four historic Thames Sailing Barges, including Hydrogen (1906), Reminder (1929), Thistle (1895) and Kitty (1895). They offer a variety of trips, including afternoon tea sails, brunch and lunch sails, as well as weekend trips away and birdwatching cruises. The barges are also available for private hire for clubs and groups, wedding receptions, birthday and anniversary parties as well as corporate hospitality.

You can also visit the Barge Tearooms on board S.B Resourceful for a unique tearoom experience and it's open all year round. Moored on Maldon’s Hythe Quay, you can enjoy breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea with fresh ingredients supplied from the High Street.
Viking Saga
The Viking Saga is a traditional pleasure boat which offers trips along the Blackwater Estuary with full commentary from a knowledgeable skipper. You can enjoy a forty minute cruise or a longer two island cruise, which offers extensive views of the estuary and its creeks. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere awaits you on the Viking Saga and there is also a licensed bar.
Marigold Charter
Marigold Charters offers a variety of adventures on the River Blackwater where you can decide how you'd like to spend your time aboard, whether it's sailing, sight-seeing, trawling and net fishing or birdwatching. Enjoy a sail from Maldon where you are invited to get involved with the sailing and handling of the boat as much or as little as you would like.


The Thames Barge Sailing Trust also offer trips aboard their two historic Thames Sailing Barges, Centaur and Pudge. Sail with others as part of a group of twelve, or charter the barge for your own party of twelve. The trust is a registered charity that exists to preserve Centaur and Pudge in sailing condition for the benefit of the public and to pass on the skills required to sail them.

The barge Pudge was built in 1922 and took part in the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940. The barge Centaur was launched in 1895 and traded all around the British coast and to the near continent as well. Taking a trip aboard either of these barges offers you the opportunity to sail to various locations around the Thames Estuary, and also to take part in various barge matches.

Sailing Barge Pudge
Seals in the Maldon District


Experience the wildlife of the Maldon District by going on a trip along the River Crouch, where you'll be able to see seals, wildfowl, numerous species of bird such as Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Merlin and even Short-eared Owls. This is a perfect opportunity to get out onto the water and see these animals in their natural environment.

Spend time with Common Seals who are often as interested in you as you are in them. On these seal and wildlife trips, you also might catch a glimpse of Atlantic Grey Seals and Harbour Porpoise. These trips go from the quay at Burnham-on-Crouch and will certainly make for an excellent day out with family and friends.


From the quay at Burnham-on-Crouch, you can take a short trip over on the Burnham Ferry to Essex Marina, where you can then walk to RSPB's Wallasea Island. The Burnham Ferry runs from Easter to the end of September, six days a week excluding Wednesdays. It is the sole authorised ferry between Essex Marina at Wallasea Island and the Burnham-on-Crouch Town Quay.

Both foot passengers and cyclists can cross over to Wallasea Island aboard the Burnham Ferry, and is perfect for nature lovers, walkers and birdwatchers. The Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is the largest of its type in Europe and will recreate the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh. It will provide a haven for nationally and internationally important wildlife.

Burnham Ferry


Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
You can enjoy a wide range of watersports in the Maldon District, from sailing, stand up paddle, rafting, kayaking, rowing, canoeing and more. Explore the Blackwater and the Crouch Estuaries, and enjoy the tranquillity of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Canal. You can explore this canal by hiring a rowing boat from Basin Pleasure Boats.

Kids can try out a variety of watersports with Essex Outdoors: Bradwell, and you can also take technical courses, which include RYA Sailing, Paddlesport courses, RYA Powerboating and First Aid courses.

Frangipani SUP (stand up paddle) is based in Maldon and offers beginner courses so you can learn how to stand up paddle for the first time. It is one of the fastest growing watersports in the UK and Frangipani SUP teaches in Woodham Walter, Boreham and Benfleet.

The Fellowship Afloat in Tollesbury offers groups, schools and individuals activities such as sailing, rafting, powerboating, kayaking and rowing. Fellowship Afloat also offers numerous RYA sailing courses.


With the River Crouch to the south and the River Blackwater to the north, sailing has been popular in the Maldon District for decades. There are numerous sailing and yacht clubs throughout the district which offer a wide range of facilities.

From leisure and competitive sailing, to beginners and experts, regardless of experience level you'll be able to find a club to suit you. Many clubs also hold open days and taster sessions throughout the year, so that you get an idea of what they have to offer.

Burnham Sailing Club

Our club offers a friendly atmosphere, a varied social programme and good facilities. We provide excellent training for our strong junior section. There is competitive Wednesday evening racing for cruisers, day boats and dinghies.

Maldon Little Ship Club

The Club offers a variety of summer sailing programme and winter socials, RYA training courses and moorings. Both novice and experienced boat owners are welcome.

Stone Sailing Club

Sailing Club on the south side of the Blackwater River offering full dinghy racing programme and cruiser sailing with full social activities plus canoeing. Equipment HIre: No

Royal Burnham Yacht Club

This prestigious yacht club overlooks the River Crouch and is open all year 7 days a week. It has an active junior section, an affiliated rowing club and visiting yachtsmen are always welcome.

Blackwater Sailing Club

Private members club but open to public for taster sessions. Phone number only manned during the day. Please leave a message.

Crouch Yacht Club

Situated in a waterfront building, facilities include two fully licensed bar areas, two restaurants and a number of bedrooms, all available for hire. The club organises regular open cruiser races as well as having a motor boat section.

Royal Corinthian Yacht Club

Architecturally listed yacht club offering magnificent views of the River Crouch. Racing for day boats and dinghies, training for cadets and optimists - strong Junior Club. Large restaurant and bar with terrace. Visiting yachtsmen welcome.

The Cirdan Sailing Trust

Residential sailing voyages abroad traditional vessels. Groups of 7 to 16 people, ages 12 years and upwards. No experience necessary.

River Baliff


The position of the River Bailiff on the River Blackwater is one of the oldest jobs in the country, and the 850th anniversary of the position was celebrated in 2005. The earliest recorded evidence of a 'Water Bailiff' on the River Blackwater dates back to the charter Henry II granted to Maldon in 1155. The role of the River Bailiff today has changed considerably from previous centuries and the position is mainly concerned with the enforcement of Byelaws throughout the River Blackwater.

The River Bailiff is also responsible for various licenses and leases issued to sailing clubs, boatyards, caravan parks and other waterside businesses with a need of access to the river. During the warmer months, the River Bailiff spends some time patrolling the River Blackwater and enforcing the Speed Limit and Safe Navigation Byelaws. The speed of vessels along the River Blackwater is restricted to 8 knots (10mph) within 250 metres of the beach. You can view more information about Fast Craft in the Blackwater Estuary.

If you are planning a voyage, day trip, overnight trip or longer and need any help or advice, please contact the River Bailiff on 01621 875837 or 07818 013723 or email river.bailiff@maldon.gov.uk.


The Maldon District has always been a popular destination for sailors from around the UK and Europe. With the River Crouch to the south and the River Blackwater to the north, you could find yourself spoilt for choice between which of these East Coast gems to visit and the many varied locations they offer.

The Crouch Harbour Authority (CHA) is the statutory harbour and navigation authority for the River Crouch and the River Roach. It has all the traditional powers of a harbour and navigational authority which also includes the right to make byelaws and to manage navigational activities within its district. The Crouch Harbour Authority also produce an annual Crouch Harbour Guide with local tide timetables.

The Maldon Harbour Improvement Commissioners (MHIC) is the statutory harbour authority for the Port of Maldon, more information and navigation advice is available on their website. MHIC have also produced the Maldon Port Guide.

More information, including mooring fees and also personal watercraft registration, is available from the Maldon District Council. You can also view the River Blackwater Mooring Chart.
Sailing on the Blackwater Estuary
Burnham-on-Crouch RNLI Lifeboat Station


Burnham-on-Crouch has had a RNLI Lifeboat Station for over forty years and it is one of only three stations in the country to have both boats kept in floating boathouses. The RNLI Lifeboat Station provides an on call, 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service for the area surrounding, and including the River Crouch.

The station has two boats, one is an Atlantic 85 B849, the ‘Tony & Robert Britt’, which arrived in August 2011. There is also an IB1, the ‘Ernest & Rose Chapman II’, which arrived in February 2007.