The Blue Mermaid has been built by the charity Sea-Change Sailing Trust and will be used for their work with young people as well as carrying cargo.
The UK’s newest Thames Sailing Barge, Blue Mermaid has arrived in Maldon, Essex.
The vessel has been built by the Sea-Change Sailing Trust.
The charity works with disabled and disadvantaged young people, as well as those challenged by traditional educational settings, experiencing social exclusion or at risk of offending.
The barge will be used for its sailing programmes, as well as for carrying cargo.
The 87 foot steel barge was built at the Cornish boatyard, C Toms and Son in Polruan.
It was officially launched at the port on 29 May 2016 before being towed to Maldon.
The barge will now be fitted out and rigged by TS Rigging at Downs Road Boatyard.
Blue Mermaid is a replica of a barge of the same name, which was sunk by a mine during World War II with the loss of her crew.
As a traditional Thames Sailing Barge, the vessel will not have an engine and will be able to transport the equivalent of up to six articulated lorry loads in a low carbon environment.
The Sea-Change Sailing Trust said Blue Mermaid is the first Thames Sailing Barge built for trade since 1930.
The charity’s chair of trustees, Hilary Halajko commented: “This marks a landmark moment in our ambitions to get a new Thames Sailing Barge into operation.”
She continued: “Having already raised £450,000, we now have £150,000 left to raise to get the barge finished in the hope that Blue Mermaid will enter service during 2017”.
Blue Mermaid can be viewed alongside at Hythe Quay in Maldon between 6-8 July.