Certificate no 2070
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location St Osyth
Vessel type Spritsail Barge
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Cann, John & Herbert, Harwich
Built in 1898
Hull material Wood
Rig Spritsail
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
17.25 feet (5.26 m)
2.80 feet (0.85 m)
Length: Overall
80.00 feet (24.40 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Built in 1898 by Canns of Harwich for the Horlock family of Mistley, EDME is a spritsail barge of wooden construction with a bulb iron keelson. She has never had an engine. Named after the Maltings company (English Diastatic Malt Extract) she was a relatively small barge and was known as the "boys barge" within the Horlock fleet. In addition to her malt work she also carried acid to and from Brantham.

EDME ceased trading during the Second World War and was used as an anchor point for a barrage balloon in Harwich Harbour. Following the war she was used as a timber lighter in Heybridge Basin eventually becoming a houseboat. In 1971 she was bought by Ian Danskin who spent 18 years rebuilding her in Maldon.

Her present owners bought her in 1989 and, following extensive restoration, she was ready to go racing in 1992 and she has won prizes in East Coast barge races. Following a four year break from sailing,. a group of enthusiasts made up from previous owners and crew decided to get EDME up and running again and she was taking part in races in 2001. She is now based in St Osyth.


Classic Boat: Barges & Smacks from the air, March 2019
Classic Boat: Pin Mill barge 50 years match, July 2011  

Key dates

  • 1898

    Built by John and Herbert Cann of Bathside, Gashouse Creek, Harwich as a Thames Sailing Barge for the Malting’s Co and named after English Diastatic Malt Extract (EDME)

  • 1898-1939

    Worked as a small barge carrying malt within the Horlock Fleet and also carried an acid cargo

  • 1939-1945

    Used in Harwich Harbour as an anchor point for a barrage balloon

  • 1946

    She was struck off being considered too small and uneconomical and used as Timber Lighter in Heybridge Basin before becoming a Houseboat

  • 1971

    Bought by Ian Danskin who spent 18 years rebuilding her in Maldon

  • 1989

    Bought by the present owners and taken to St Osyth where she was given planking on the starboard side, doubled the bottom, replaced the starboard chine  rigged and ready to go racing in 1992

  • 2013

    She received a grant of £1500 from the National Historic Ship’s sustainability fund for restoration

  • 2015

    Vessel is believed to be in good condition in St Osyth and used as a Private Leisure Craft


  • July 2020

    A Sustainability Grant of £750 towards the cost of remedial work was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

  • January 2013:

    A Sustainability Grant of £1000 towards the costs of replacing the chine from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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