About the SHTP Project: This Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership (SHTP) project is managed by NHS-UK and funded by a £261,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future programme. It provides ten 12-month training placements at five partner sites offering on-board specialist training to ensure the significance of the various historic vessels and the ability to operate them safely and effectively is kept alive. The trainees will also undertake a tailored course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College and an interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum. A skills mapping exercise will provide template training models for the wider sector and an assessment framework for seamanship skills will be developed as a project legacy.

Shipshape Thames Estuary hosts one of the five vessel partner organisations in the form of the Sea-change Sailing Trust, EssexThe Trust provides residential opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults to learn and develop in a unique environment. Operating principally from the Thames Estuary and working intensively with disadvantaged young people, young offenders, those experiencing social exclusion, with special needs, challenged by traditional educational settings or considering a maritime career.

Working from a historic Thames barge, the trainees will undertake the following:

  • Sail on board two ships chartered by the Trust - Reminder is one of the last steel-hulled Thames spritsail barges and Cambria is a wooden Thames sailing barge
  • Learn traditional seamanship and deck work on board sprit-rigged vessels including: handling the rig safely and setting sails for optimum performance; understanding the physics of the rig, boatwork, steering, ropework; and safety on traditional vessels
  • Undertake specialist maintenance tasks on the two barges such as rigging repairs, ropework, painting, varnishing, basic sail repairs or joinery, engine maintenance etc.
  • Undertake evening and weekend sailing with members of the local Old Gaffers Association
  • Work with charter groups including disadvantaged young people, young offenders, those experiencing social exclusion or those with special needs, learning how to communicate effectively with them and ensure their safety on board.

Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership film

The documentary has been produced to celebrate the end of the SHTP project after two amazing years.

Watch "Learning the ropes"

November 2015: Update

 The start of November was an exceptionally busy period for Daniel and all of the trainees. First they attended the MCA engine maintenance course at the East Anglian sea school, followed by a weekend sail back on Daniel's host vessel Reminder. The group sail saw the Trainees joined by a film crew to document them in action on the barge. After that started the second period at the International Boatbuiliding Training College where Daniel attended several courses. He learnt how to traditionally wire splice, make basic sail repairs and a deck planking.

October 2015: Update

In the first part of October Daniel had the opportunity to re-join the pilot cutter Jolie Brise for a week long charter. He also was selected for an ASTO bursary that will help him to finance next professional qualifications. In his saying, without having had the relative experience on the SHTP and references by NHS he wouldn't had been eligible. When he returned to Reminder, we had the final 2 charters of the season with the Clacton College and the Sea Changes youth sailing scheme.

September 2015: Update

In September Daniel had his second rotation on the pilot cutter Jolie Brise, which he had been saught to sail all season. The experience didn't disappoint him. He enjoyed the general maintenance on the boat, and was shown new skills. The sailing was fundamental for him to understand how the vessel works and how to get the best out of her under sail. During the later part of the month he went back on Reminder at Sea Change Sailing trust where he had two long weekend charters.

August 2015:

At the start of August Daniel re-joined Reminder to Walton on the Naze, where Sea Change was having the second week of YSS. The charter was really enjoyed particularly thanks to the relaxed and warm atmosphere. The ship competed in the Thames Barge Match with the Port of London Authority in Gravesend. It was another unique sailing experience and a superb race, finishing 2nd overall. After this Daniel had a 2 day charter with a sailability group where they had very windy weather, but everyone still enjoyed themselves despite the challenging conditions. At the end of the month they had another charter to the Gravesend match and once again they finished second.


July 2015:

At the start of the month Daniel sailed at the Heybridge regatta on the Colchester Smack, Sallie, finishing 3rd in the overall event. He thoroughly enjoyed sailing on Sallie, including the chance to helm her, after some of the work that he had done on her earlier in the year. After this, Daniel came back to Reminder and sailed a charter with the Plume School's alternative education group. Later in the month Daniel had his DofE charter which was ran by Sea Change Sailing Trust, as pose to having group leaders on board of the ship.

June 2015: Update

Dan spent part of this month on rotation with one of the partner vessels in the SHTP training scheme, the Lowestoft smack ExcelsiorHe sent the following report on his time there:

“I arrived on Excelsior and was greeted by the entire crew, before setting sail for Norway. This was my longest ever stint on a boat, sailing non-stop. The conditions at times were challenging, especially in the midst of a force 8 where the boat was doing over 10 knots at one point. But we had a steady hand in Gavin our skipper, and I ended up relishing the entire sail through the strong winds. Norway was a beautiful country that my words will not do justice to. It was a truly amazing experience, and one that I'm very grateful to have been part of. It was a pleasure to walk people around the boats and talk their nuances. After a good sail back, I arrived in Excelsior's home port of Lowestoft".

May 2015: Update

Dan reported that he spent the first week of the month working on Sallie, a Colchester oyster smack, which Sea Change is getting commercially coded so they can use the vessel within the trust. Then he worked on back to back charters with St Joseph’s School and Inclusion Venture - two differing groups in terms of ages and advantages/disadvantages. At the start of June Sallie is due out of the water briefly for a survey and anti-foul, before being launched again and taken back to her mooring. Dan will help with this and then go on to do a work prep group charter which he will leave prematurely to catch forward travel arrangements for his first rotation.

April 2015: Update

Dan reported a busy month working with the Sea-Change Trust and settling into life in Maldon.  He began by sailing on Thames barge Reminder with the youth sailing scheme then, following maintenance on the smack Sallie, he had 14 days of back to back charters. He also found time to meet the trustee of steam tug Brent, which he has chosen as the subject of his personal project - to write a conservation management plan.

March 2015: Update

After completing the introductory maintenance course at IBTC, Dan went to join his host vessel 'Reminder' with the Sea-Change Sailing Trust in Maldon.  His first month included putting his new vessel maintenance skills to the test painting the mast of registered historic smack Sallie with a traditional Sadolin exterior Woodstain.

February 2015: Update

After interviews held on the Thames barge 'Lady Daphne' in St Katharines Dock, the SHTP trainee chosen for the Thames Estuary region in Year Two was Daniel Taylor.  Daniel previously worked at the Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre as an Instructor where he taught a wide range of sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and power boating skills to a variety of clients including schools, disability groups, community groups, apprentices and professionals.  He joined the other trainees at the beginning of this month for a conservation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, followed by a four-week introductory maintenance course at the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC), Lowestoft.

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