The norfolk wherry dates back to the early 17th century and today its distinctive gaff rig with single, high-peaked sail is an iconic sight in East Anglia. Their boat, Albion, with its immense black sail, was built over a century ago. It is available for skippered charter by up to 12 passengers on the broads at £335 a day on weekdays and £390 per day on weekends and bank holidays.
The flat bottomed Thames sailing barge was a common sight in London in the 19th century. It was adapted to easily navigate the shallow waters of the Thames Estury and was the largest sailing trading vessel ever to be worked rehularly by just a two-man crew. You can take trips on Repertor, a traditional Thames sailing barge, all round the South-East coast. Prices range from £80 per person for a day trip, to £400 for five days.
Twee Gebroeders is a restored Dutch sailing barge that you can rent as moored luxery self-catering accommodation on the River Orwell in Suffolk. Or, if you’re in the mood for adventure, a skipper and crew can take you out to explore. From £495 per week in low season to £1,050 in summer.
Canal Voyagers runs a pair of hotel narrowboats on English canals; the motorboat is new, but the engineless butty that is towed behind is a converted working boat. Prices range from £550 per person for five nights, to £695 for seven nights. See the website for the cruising schedule.
Trinity Sailing, in Brixham, Devon, runs a fleet of four traditional, crewed, gaff-rigged sailing vessels, and offers voyages to destinations from northern Europe to the Outer Hebrides. Holidays can be booked as individuals or as charters, and as such prices vary.