In 1900 the majority of British shipping was still under sail. Today in Europe the sailing cargo boat is a thing of the past. However, the River Thames spritsail sailing barge, as a cargo carrier, survived until the very end of the age of sail, and these vessels are still to be seen sailing under charter for sail training and leisure activities. More than two thousand of these barges were trading at the commencement of the First World War. They still survive in some numbers today, cared for by enthusiasts. This book is intended as a general introduction to sailing barges - it tells a little of their history, shows the main parts of the modern sailing barge and summarises the activities of the barges and those who sail them today. The south-east coast of England is the barge's traditional home and mention is made of the barge centres and races. A number of quite rare historical pictures are included.