Sail on a Traditional Classic Wooden Boat

Experience the creak of the blocks, the warmth of the wood, the power of a gaff rig sail and the motion of a 100 year old traditional classic Gaff Cutter. Golden Vanity is based in the Solent and the West Country and available for charter and RYA Courses

Golden Vanity is a traditional classic wooden gaff cutter and Mumble Bee class Brixham Sailing Trawler. She is a 'fishing smack' - although she was built, in 1908, as a yacht for the renown marine artist Arthur Briscoe, who regularly sailed on board with his close friends and spy novelist Erskine Childers, who wrote Riddle of the Sands. She is very strong and seaworthy with a deep displacement keel.

This kind of boat was built to be a stable working platform from which to trawl a net along the sea bed and then return to port with their catch as quickly as possible and in all kinds of weather. Consequently Golden Vanity makes for a solid, seaworthy and spacious boat to sail on.

On deck Golden Vanity looks as she did over a century ago, while below deck she has been fitted with all the necessary comforts you would expect.

She has wide decks and sturdy high bulwarks (sides). She has a cavernous interior and makes for a fantastic classic sailing cruising boat for family and friends who are keen to get involved in sailing her. There are 10 berths in total. Golden Vanity is well suited to cruising with family and friends (plus skipper and maybe a mate/cook) in cruising grounds such as the West Country where 20/30 mile day sails can be had combined with stopovers in delightful Devon and Cornish anchorages and harbours.

Your help will be needed to sail the boat. A traditional boat, there are no winches – apart from the original 1908 capstan (that can be used to raise the anchor if really necessary) so teamwork is required to raise and lower the sails. That said there will be plenty of time to watch the world go by. She has 5 sails to play with at any one time. The main and topsail plus 3 headsails – staysail, working jib and if conditions allow the flying jib.

Charter Golden Vanity with a Skipper

Golden Vanity is available for charter on the South Coast and in the West Country

Cruises on Golden Vanity

Sail away from it all. This is a hands on sailing holiday.

RYA Courses on a classic boat

You can take a Competent Crew or Day Skipper course on Golden Vanity.

How Golden Vanity is Constructed

To stop the water getting inside the boat, oakum, a loosely twisted rope like material, is jammed tightly in between the planks.


Golden Vanity was built in 1908 for a renowed Marine Artist.

Gaff Rig Sailing Weekends

Novice and experienced alike - come for a weekend sail on an old gaffer

Duke of Edinburgh Award

For those 16-24 year olds wishing to have an adventure for the Residential part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Sailing Experience Days

Classic boat sailing experience from Cowes on the Isle of Wight or Shamrock Quay in Southampton.

Contact us
0203 006 3717
Our Locations

Shamrock Quay

William Street



SO14 5QL


c/o Cruising Association

CA House

1 Northey Street


E14 8BT

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