Time till provisional launch

About us

We have owned Growler since August 2018.  Our key objectives are to restore Thames Barge Growler to transport Cargo under sail. We are hugely passionate about keeping our oceans clean and we are hoping to become an ambassador for the ocean cleanup project once Growler is afloat. 


Many boat restorations of this type are undertaken in boat sheds away from view. At Growler we are quite different. We want to involve as many people as we can in the project now, during her restoration and in the future. You will be able to see our progress via weekly video updates from youtube, social media and open days.


Growler was built in 1922 by the famous Barge builders "White and Co" at Conyer Creek on the river Swale. They were famed for building the "Sara" which was the fastest barge ever built. It is said that Growler is a third sized version of her. Her designer was called Ted Hughes and he owned her up until 1944. By this time her rig had been significantly cut down. She spent the war years moored at Benfleet yacht club and was then bought by Eddie Snugg and rerigged as a Bermudian ketch.

Growler was then used from 1945-67 as a club boat and many young people learnt to sail on her. In 1967 she was bought by Mike De la Boltz and he restored her to a much more traditional standing gaff rig. He enjoyed many years with his family onboard before selling her in 1972.We know very little of what happened next until she was rescued by Gus Curtis and moved to a barn in Dedham in 1996. Here she was slowly restored until august 2018 when we became the new owners.