Previous names

  • 1926 - 1926 BX
Certificate no 236
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Maylandsea
Vessel type Spritsail Barge
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Horlock, F W, Mistley
Built in 1926
Hull material Steel
Rig Spritsail
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
18.49 feet (5.64 m)
2.98 feet (0.91 m)
Length: Overall
86.95 feet (26.52 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


XYLONITE was launched as BX, after the British Xylonite Plastics Co. but was immediately renamed after the company objected. She carried acid for plastic manufacture from London to Brantham on the River Stour and general cargo mainly between London, Ipswich and Mistley. She came second in the 1935 Coronation Barge Match. Sold by Horlocks in 1958, she was cut down to a motor barge but re-rigged in the 1970s by Tim Eliff and she has been used for sail training since 1983. A new bottom was fitted as part of a major renovation in 1982-83.



Carr, Frank, Sailing Barges, 1971
Hugh Perks, Richard, Sprts'l: A Portrait of Sailing Barges and Sailormen, Conway Maritime Press, 1975
The Last Berth of the Sailorman, Society for Spritsail Barge Research, 1987
Wood, D G, Barges Sailing Today: Sailing Barge Information Pamplet No: 1, Society for Spritsail Barge Research, 1995
Classic Boat: Thames Barge Match, September 2005
Classic Boat: Thames barging, September 1998

Key dates

  • 1926

    Built by F W Horlock, Mistley

  • 1958

    Cut down to a motor barge

  • 1970s

    Vessel re-rigged

  • 1982/83

    New bottom fitted, vessel used for sail training

  • 2012

    Vessel selected for Avenue of Sail, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012

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