Gaff Rig Weekends on a Classic

Have you ever fancied sailing on an historic boat with red sails? Experience the fun of sailing with a gaff rig. Aimed at novice and experienced sailors alike these gaff rig weekends are aimed at introducing people to gaff rig sailing. It is also for experienced gaff rig sailors who just fancy a weekend sailing!

The weekend is about sailing with a gaff rig. It will be tailored according to your experience. Whatever experience you may have - whether you are a complete novice or are a seasoned sailor this weekend will introduce you to sailing with a gaff rig. The weekend is also for experienced gaff rig sailors who want to learn more, brush up, or just come for a fun sail!

Golden Vanity was built in 1908 for a marine artist. On deck she is as she was over a century ago. Below decks she is has all the modcons that you would associate with a modern yacht.

There are no winches. Traditional methods are used to raise and lower the sails, of which there are 5 that can be flown at any one time. None of the ropes are colour co-ordinated, none of them are labelled! Our experienced skipper and mate will quickly help you to get the hang of things though.

If you are keen to do a Day Skipper course on Golden Vanity and have not sailed with a gaff rig before then we recommed you come on a gaff sailing weekend. These weekends can be treated like a conversion course and will help lay the foundations for you to go on to do your Day Skipper.

More Photos
More Photos

We find it is better if you arrive on the Friday evening of the weekend. This way you can enjoy extra time on board and start to get to know the boat, the skipper and your crew mates before the weekend really gets under way. If this is not possible then you need to be at the boat by 8.00am on Saturday.

You can expect to get away by 5/5.30pm on the Sunday. If you are catching a train we recommend you do not book a ticket in advance as we can’t guarantee you will get away at 5pm on the dot. It may be a bit earlier it may be a bit later.

After an introduction to the boat and a chat about what all the different lines do you will head off for a weekend of sailing. Where you stop on the Saturday evening will depend on the wind and tide. If the weekend is in the Solent possible stop overs are Beaulieu, Cowes, Yarmouth, Newtown Creek.

Depending on how much gaff sailing you have done we will cover the differences in sailing with a gaff and with a Bermudan rig.

Below decks Golden Vanity has a lovely warm woody feel to her. She has a large saloon with a galley on the starboard side and a spacious heads.

Golden Vanity can take 12 people. There would generally only be a maximum of 4 or 5 plus skipper and maybe a mate on board the boat. There are 6 bunks up forward, a berth in the saloon and two berths aft.

Golden Vanity has hot water and heating (due to be installed in Autumn/Winter 2021).

More Photos
More Photos

Except for supper on the evening you join the boat, we cater on board for all meals. We provide food that is healthy and nutritious, including salads, vegetables, white and wholemeal bread, chicken, lean minced beef, salmon, museli and cereal. In fact, just the kind of food that you might buy yourself. For snacks there is plenty of fruit, but also a supply of chocolate and biscuits.

If you have any special dietary requirements, be it vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten free, or allergies, we can normally accommodate these. Just let us know when you fill out your booking form.


Our boats are based in Shamrock Quay, Southampton. Getting to Shamrock Quay is very easy. It's about an 8 minute taxi ride from Southampton Central Station, or 15 minutes from Southampton Airport if you are coming from abroad. If you arrive by car there is plenty of free parking and there is security 24/7.

Gaff Sailing Weekends - Dates


Gaff Sailing Weekend 29 April - 1 May (Bank Holiday)
£ 550

Gaff Sailing Weekend 2/3 September
£ 497
Gaff Sailing Weekend 16/17 September
£ 497
Contact us
0203 006 3717
Our Locations

Shamrock Quay

William Street



SO14 5QL


c/o Cruising Association

CA House

1 Northey Street


E14 8BT

Partnerships with the best
accepted cards sage pay
© 2018 First Class Sailing Ltd. All Rights Reserved