"Golden Vanity" Courtesy of Trinity Sailing Foundation

Golden Vanity

Specifications of Golden Vanity
Operations: Charter, Holiday Travel, Sail Training
Class: B
Rig: Gaff Rigged Cutter
Year Launched: 1908
Length Overall (LOA): 53 Feet
Home Port: Brixham, UK
Permanent Crew: 2
Trainee / Passenger Berths: 7

Golden Vanity is a 53ft class B gaff rigged cutter launched in 1908.

Golden Vanity is thought to be the last surviving ‘Mumble Bee’, the smallest class of the Brixham trawlers.

Despite her potential as a working boat, this particular trawler actually began her life (in 1908) in the hands of Arthur Briscoe, a marine artist who used her to help in his sketching and painting of the Brixham fishing fleet out at sea. Up until the First World War, Arthur regularly sailed Golden Vanity (who’s name derives from a 17th century Century shanty) to many ports across the North sea with his friends, one of which was Erskine Childers, writer of the novel ’Riddle of the Sands’.

From there, little is known about her history until the 1970s when she came under the ownership of a Dartmouth man named Peter Crowther. He subsequently entered her in three editions of the early singlehanded transatlantic races before she unfortunately ran aground in the West Indies. Golden Vanity was then sold, but remained in poor condition until once again finding herself aground, this time in Brixham.

While many would have dismissed her as a write off, a group of locals decided she still had potential, thus forming the Golden Vanity Trust who’s aim was to restore the boat as a Sail Training vessel for local disadvantaged youth. Predictably this took time, but progress continued to be made and by 1988 Golden Vanity was ready to sail once again.

Since then Golden Vanity has taken hundreds of young people to sea whilst taking part in many key events and races along the way. In 1999 she joined the Trinity Sailing Foundation fleet, alongside Leader and Provident. Her annual programme now sees her offer anything from charter to RYA courses, Sail Training and even DofE Gold Residential voyages with no prior experience required to get on board. You’ll also see her attending many key tall ships events across the UK.

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