A GROUP of nudists stripped off for a boat trip down an Essex river.

A 116-year-old Thames barge was hired by 39 members of British Naturism for a cruise from Maldon.

British Naturism supports about ten thousand registered naturists in the UK, and many have said that it has helped their own body image issues.

The barge, named Hydrogen, took the passengers for a trip down the estuary of the River Blackwater.

The Hydrogen is a well-preserved vessel that finished as a trading ship in 1976 and is the oldest surviving wooden Thames barge and is now used for entertainment and cruises.

Thurrock Gazette:

Thurrock Gazette:

The group enjoyed taking a turn at the wheel and hauling down the sail, as well as a buffet meal as well as the bar, as part of their jubilee celebrations.

British Naturism member Andy Wyman said: ‘It was a great afternoon, especially when the sun came out.

“We have done all sorts of events before such as pub and restaurant naked dining.

“We’ve even visited museums, had a canal barge trip, and hired out a fabulous steam railway for the afternoon but this was our first sea voyage.

Thurrock Gazette:

Thurrock Gazette:

“It’s great that we enjoy these events and it’s worth mentioning that we always get invited back wherever we visit.

“Some of our group have been on naturist cruises around the Caribbean and we could have done with some of that warmth but it was still exciting to be on such a historic craft.”