Learn to Sail on a traditional classic wooden boat

Take an RYA Competent Crew Crew or Day Skipper course on board a traditonal gaff rigged wooden classic sailing boat.

Golden Vanity provides a hands-on classic sailing experience and a fantastic 'platform' to learn how to sail.

The principles of sailing any boat are the same and Golden Vanity is no different. Due to her spacious wooden decks there is plenty of space in which to learn how to do things. Also, due to her classic shape (deep keeled) and that she has alot of ballast she doesn't tip around and heal as much as many modern boats.

The main sail is the gaff sail. It has 4 sides with a piece of wood, the gaff, on the uppermost side.The cutter element of her is that she has more than one headsail and in Golden Vanity’s case she has 3.The interaction of the headsails caused by having more than one, combined with the bellied 4 sided shape of the mainsail, make for an extremely powerful rig yet because each individual sail is relatively small it is all very manageable.

Golden Vanity has spacious decks and high sides (bulwalks). She is very stable and wonderfully seaworthy. Apart from a capstan (winch for the anchor) that is rarely needed, there are no winches on board unlike a modern yacht. Traditional rope handling techniques are used.

Below decks is cavernous. She sleeps 10 in total. On a Competent Crew or Day Skipper course there would only be a maximum of 5 students on board, plus the skipper (instructor) and mate. Up forward on deck is a forehatch that has steps that lead down to 6 cosy bunks and a spacious heads (loo). Coming aft into the saloon is a good sized galley (kitchen) on the starboard side and a table and seating area to port. There is a comfy ‘shelf’ bunk above and outboard of the seating area. The seating area can also be used as a bunk if need be. Aft of the saloon is the chart table and 2 single bunks which is where the skipper and mate usually sleep.

She has hot water and for the cooler months heating.

Built for renowned marine artist Arthur Briscoe in 1908 Golden Vanity is a Mumble Bee class of Brixham Sailing Trawler. You can read more about her history here.

Competent Crew

This course is for complete beginners or those that have done a bit of sailing before.

Day Skipper

This course is for aspiring skippers. You need to be at least competent crew level and done a bit of gaff sailing before.

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0203 006 3717
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Shamrock Quay

William Street



SO14 5QL


c/o Cruising Association

CA House

1 Northey Street


E14 8BT

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