Had fantastic trip on the X-Pilot today with my Son.Captain and Crew were great with him. Had unhurried visit to the Redsands Forts and double bonus. First was stop Flo's input and second was stop near SSMontgomery.
Alex Graham's review on Facebook and his accompanying picture of the Redsand Towers
Something you must see in person!
Such a wonderful experience! The crew is passionate and informed! My husband and I were on board with 10 other guests. There was plenty of room to move about the boat. The interior space was small but adequate. There is a toilet and tea making facilities.You are wanting to be outside where you can see everything anyway!
The captain's mate and captain both came on deck to speak with us and explain what we were looking at.
It was one of the best adventures I've been on!
Julie S's review on Tripadvisor of her trip in September 2021
great crew, very knowledgeable and unintrusive, nothing is to much trouble...
Alfie Hewitt's review on Facebook and his accompanying picture of the Grain Tower Battery from our Grand Forts Tour
Brilliant day out exploring some little known bits of mostly WW2 history.
I was very lucky to have good weather for the trip. From the introductory talk before we went on board to the end of the day it was a professional operation. The guys know the subject, the knowledge that they share is backed up with lot of reference material on board.
Shortly after setting sail we were near to the Grain Tower, on the way to the wreckage of the”Richard Montgomery”. The X-Pilot did several circuits of the site before heading out to the Knock John Fort several hours sailing away. Fascinating experience to be able to get so close to the structure. As the sea conditions were good the skipper actually sailed between the two towers. After checking that we had all of the photos we wanted we headed towards the Trinity House vessel “Patricia” that was checking the condition of the various bouys in the area.
Next we sailed to the “Shivering Sands” forts. One of the two remaining sets of army forts in the Thames. Originally 7 towers made up the complex, today only 6 towers remain. None of the walkways remain. It was clear to see that 80 years in the Thames is taking a toll on the concrete and steel used in the construction of the towers. After a couple of circuits we moved on towards the “Red Sands” fort.
All seven towers remain standing. The guys sailing the X-Pilot are involved in the group that has started to restore one of the forts. A new landing platform and ladders have been installed. Some windows and doors have been replaced. Apparently they have also restored one of the rooms in the tower. A walkway between 2 of the towers has started to be reinstated. Maybe one day it might be possible to get onto the fort to see the inside. Time will tell.
All too soon we were heading back to shore. The 7 1/2 hours had been thoroughly enjoyable and informative. Well worth the cost of the ticket.
If you’re interested in the history of WW2, in particular a less well known aspect of it, this trip is highly recommended. Remember to take some warm clothes (despite the sunshine it gets rather chilly out in the estuary) together with food and drink for your day out.
Candifa's review on Tripadvisor of a Grand Forts Tour in September 2021
Photographic opportunities at the Guy Maunsell designed Naval Knock John Fort and the Kentish Flats Wind Farm.
Both photographs, and this page header, courtesy of Margaret Flo McEwan, founder of The Maunsell Seaforts Appreciation Group on Facebook.
Awesome... We were fortunate to take this trip on 4th August with the most amazing crew. We were welcomed aboard and invited to explore all areas of the boat.
All the crew were willing and eager to share their knowledge of the surrounding area.
We took the Grand Fort tour. For many years we have observed the forts from the shore and taking the trip was the absolute dream. We anticipated being close but had not expected to be able to touch the forts! Our amazing crew patiently answered all our enquiring questions and we learned so much.
We even had the opportunity to steer the Xpilot!
We have been fortunate to take boat trips around the world but this trip is certainly the best we have ever taken.
Thank you Xpilot. You are truly AMAZING!
Judy and Ron
The-Stewarts17's review of their Grand Forts Tour in August 2021 on Tripadvisor