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Long Weekend away with Pilot Cutter Mascotte and schooner Anny

We can't claim they are sister ships as pilot cutter Mascotte and topsail schooner Anny are very different, but they are both run by the Charlestown Harbour team and we think they look rather good together. The skippers know each other and the surrounding coast like a pair of smugglers. Let them show you a different side to the Cornwall and nearby Devon coast. Where you go depends on the wind but you might be at anchor in a bustling historic port like Fowey or anchored off a cove that the tourists ashore cannot reach. This is a good taster voyage to check out both vessels for future adventures and affordable enough to buy as a gift or coax a friend into sailing.

Embark
Thu, 18-06-2020 - 10:00
Charlestown, Cornwall
Disembark
Sun, 21-06-2020 - 10:00
Charlestown, Cornwall
Duration
3 Nights
Vessel
Mascotte
Voyage No.
MT20/06

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 4 Berth Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 375 GBP. BOOK NOW
TYPE: Single Berth Cabin - sole occupant. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 525 GBP. BOOK NOW
TYPE: Whole boat price for upto 8 people. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 2,100 GBP. BOOK NOW

Mascotte - short breaks in Cornwall

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Beginners keen to try a new activity on a famous classic boat with wooden decks. Pilot cutter enthusiasts who want to try an original 1904 Bristol channel pilot cutter. Keen sailors who can't wait for Spring and summer to arrive and love outdoor adventures in Cornwall.

The crew on Mascotte are happy to teach you as much sailing skills or marlinspike seamanship as you want, or be your guide to the unspoilt and rugged coastline of Cornwall or even Devon. Mascotte even has small sailing dinghy kept on deck which you may be able to try if weather and time permits. All along the South Coast of Cornwall are tiny coves, beaches that are generally without the surf you get on the North Coast. Wooded creeks and deep water ports offer shelter for the night.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • coastal hopping along the Devon and Cornish coast
  • ideal gift for a friend or treat for yourself
  • impressive 60ft pilot cutter plus bowsprit to manoeurvre.
  • Good for solo travellers - make new friends when doing activities together
  • Affordable for groups - 5-8 guests
  • Perfect dettox from modern life
  • NO FLY HOLIDAY - Round trip - green travel under sail
  • nearby train station (St Austell) on London Penzance main line.
original pilot cutter Mascotte in Fowey
original pilot cutter Mascotte in Fowey

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

You may recognise Charlestown Harbour from countless film and TV productions. It is still used today for filming and you can imagine the characters striding down the quay or joining a ship in UK programmes like Poldark, Taboo and the Three Musketeers. This Georgian Harbour has been kept as original as possible with cobbled wharves and a small fleet of resident tall ships clustered in the wet dock. 

If you are simply looking for a few days escape then this really is a unique way to explore Cornwall and its coast and rivers from the sea. If you love secret Cornwall - the places that most the tourists don't get to see - then exploring by sailing boat should be your perfect weekend choice.an all inclusive weekend break with lots of outdoor time, great food, timeless scenery with empty anchorages. 

The voyage is adapted to give guests a wonderful chance to visit natural environments far from the madding crowd. After a good day spent out in the elements you will be able to retreat to the elegant saloon to enjoy a freshly prepared meal in Mascottes mahogany panelled saloon, or on deck in the sun. 

Pilot Cutter Mascotte's new home port - Charlestown Harbour
Pilot Cutter Mascotte's new home port - Charlestown Harbour

 

Join by Ships Boat

Mascotte is likely to be at anchor for most short trips, rather than inside the lock basin. This gives her the versatility to set off as soon as everyone has been introduced to the ship and safety briefings - whatever the state of tide. Guest crew and baggage will be taken out to the ship by boat, so you can admire your ships design lines as you approach. Anny is the flagship of Charlestown and owned by the harbour, so if you want to drop off your bags early or have a query, the Harbour office can help.

Once aboard, enjoy rereshments on deck whilst the crew give you a safety briefing and introduce to to the concept of helping sail a schooner from day 1.

In the event of bad weather in the wide Bay off Charlestown, the more sheltered Fowey Harbour is a short car ride away, and you will be informed of the arrangements in advance, or given a lift on the day.

short sailing breaks from £250 on the largest Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Mascotte in Cornwall
Mascotte - plenty of sail - are you up for it?

Where will we go in 3 days?

The skipper is a local and knows how to get the best out of the different wind directions and how the coastline of bays, headlands and drowned river valleys can be used to create the most enjoyable sailing and overnight stops. in the Spring and Autumn you might squeeze in a bit of night sailing, but generally you are tucked up at anchor in time to relax and watch the sun set. In summer the days are long and with all that fresh air and lovely supper to send you to sleep you might not even see the dark. 

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

On the first day you will probably be so focused on learning to steer a big pilot cutter, set and trim sails and adjusting to your floating home, you may lose track of where you have sailed. It might not be far, but you will have been 'in the flow' of a busy day that is totally different from life ashore. You might anchor for lunch but it is more likely you will enjoy it on deck whilst sailing along when the weather and winds are fair.

See Cornwall from the decks of a pilot cutter and explore ashore
See Cornwall from the decks of a pilot cutter and explore ashore

Exploring Cornwall Under Sail -Westwards

Charlestown is tucked in a valley mouth under the distinctive China Clay hills of St Austell. The wide Bay that is on her backdoor stretches from the stripey daymark on Gribben Head to the reassuring bulk of the Dodman. Mevagissey, Porthmellon and Gorran Haven Polkerris are all little fishing ports or quays you can anchor off in different wind directions as well as hideaways without habitation like Silver Mine Cove or Vault Beach.

Around Dodman Point is Gerrans Bay, punctuated in the middle by Nare Head, Gull Rock and the Whelps. Inshore fishing boats are nearly aways present here, and can sail inside Gull Rock with a bit of care. Portscatho, Portholland, and Portloe all look very different from the water. There are many beautiful beaches here in summer that are fine to anchor off for a swim or a run ashore in offshore winds.

The next big sailing area Westwards is into Falmouth Bay, Carrick Roads and St Mawes Bay. the river entrances to Falmouth & Flushing, Helford River and the extensive Fal River network.

The Lizard Peninsula stretches 14 miles out to sea and offers up a barrier of Serpentine Rock to shelter the coast from Westerlies and Atlantic Swell.

Western Grey seals are common
Western Grey seals are common

Exploring Cornwall Eastwards

We can't imagine you will spend 3 days on Mascotte and not go to lovely Fowey and Polruan. The harbour entrance between cliffs is dramatic but its deep water so you can sail in between the forts when the wind is right. This bustling port has China Clay cargo ships to surprise you but is a perfect evening venue for pubs, restaurants or local walks in the woods and clifftops. In summer colourful Troy dinghies race amongst the moorings with great daring and gig boats train.

Beyond Fowey is Lantic Bay where wild orchids grow and kestrels hover over the beautiful cliff backed beach. The rugged coastline from her has few ports that Anny can enter until you get to Cawsand or Plymouth itself. It doesn't stop you anchoring off Looe Island and watching 70-80 fishing boats head into the shallow port. Polperro is also too tiny for Anny but you could still visit by ships boat, or remain at anchor, aloof from the tourists ashore.

Smugglers hiding spots in south Cornwall
Smugglers hiding spots in south Cornwall

Wildlife at Sea & Ashore

The remoteness of the Cornish coast in the far west brings its own special reward to those who sail with us. Cornwall has some amazing starry nights and with no street lights causing light pollution, it can be so clear that you can see the Milky Way. Ocean sunsets to die for, isolated lighthouses with their unique sequence of flashing times, tiny fishing harbours that are still in use today by inshore fishermen and women. Some of the biggest cliffs on the south coast of Cornwall have been sculptured by pounding winter gales and wild wind. Almost tropical white sands with sparkling mica sticking to your toes; woodlands stunted by the wind, but with trees adorned with lichen (a sure sign of unpolluted air), lush ferns and springs along the many coastal footpaths make Cornwall a magical place to explore from the sea.

The Gulf Stream provides unexpected sightings of turtles, sunfish and more regular visits by dolphins (common, bottlenose and risso’s dolphin), porpoises, whales and giant basking sharks. Gales often bring in wheeling gannets, tiny storm petrels, guillemots, razorbills and even puffins. 

The Fal and Helford Estuaries are designated as Special Areas of Marine Interest, and Fowey River has much unspoilt woodland on either bank. Breeding seals hide in sea caves and deep "zawns", a Cornish word for a deep cleft in the cliffs probably caused by the collapse of a cave. The drowned river valleys (called rias) have dense oak woodlands with branches sweeping down to deep green waters. At low tide the mudflats are home to egrets, curlews, oystercatchers and leggy herons—all the birds that go screech. At night you hear owls hooting in the moonlight, and a few guests have seen elusive otters in the early morning mists.

short sailing breaks from £250 on the largest Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Mascotte in Cornwall

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

The beauty of coastal wandering in local waters over a couple of days is the skipper can find the best sailing angles for the most enjoyable sailing. Mevagissey Bay, , Falmouth Bay, St Mawes Bay, Gerrans Bay, all can offer sheltered waters in certain wind directions and the vast Plymouth other Harbour behind its breakwater offers options to the East. Not so easy to sail up unless you like a challenge, but equally fascinating are the drowned river valleys of Cornwall. The wooded tidal Rivers of Fowey, Fal and Helford, offer still waters and places to moor up and shelter from wild weather. Surrounded by nature it's not a bad place to ever be storm bound.

In fine weather you can head as far offshore as you want for more wind, ocean swell and a good blast.  

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

Mascotte with Classic Sailing - hands on sailing holiday ethos
hands on sailing holiday ethos

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Free Parking in Charlestown
  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Waterproofs (or you are welcome to bring your own)
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments on board
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • waterproof shoes or boots

 

 

Charlestown, Cornwall

Latest port updates

Charlestown Harbour, Cornwall

This historic private harbour is the home port of Anny and Mascotte, but there are often several tall ships in the dock and you never quite know what you will find.

Charlestown Harbour is set on the rugged South Cornish Coast. The last open 18th Century Georgian harbour in the UK, Charlestown is proud to be a UNESCO world heritage site, with a unique history and geography. Charlestown is still a vibrant working port, with classic sailing vessels, beautiful beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Charlestown Harbour has also made a name for itself in the film and TV industries, featuring in Poldark, Taboo, Hornblower and many other productions.

A natural amphitheatre and great setting for your friends or relatives to come and wave goodbye from. Charlestown is tidal, so access both in and out is determined by high tide times. We will advise you nearer to departure of the exact joining times.

How to get here

Rail & transfers

Charlestown is very near St Austell Railway station on the main London - Penzance Intercity rail line.

St Austell to Charlestown Harbour is 10 minute taxi ride or you can take a bus (number 24 or 25 towards Fowey).

If you have a small rucksack you might prefer to stretch your legs with a 25 minute walk (downhill).

Parking

If you are coming cruising on one of Charlestown Harbour’s vessels (Anny or Mascotte) free parking will be available for you- details of this will be sent to you in advance.

If you are joining any other vessel or just popping in or dropping of, then free parking is available along Charlestown Road and Church Road. If you don’t have prearranged parking we recommend arriving in good time as Charlestown can get very busy in the high season!

Location of pre arranged free parking for Anny or Mascotte guest crew - see yellow dots.
pre arranged free parking for Anny or Mascotte guest crew - see yellow dots.
Anny coming into Charlestown. Normally she will be anchored off 7 you arrive by boat.
Anny coming into Charlestown. Normally she will be anchored off 7 you arrive by boat.
Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Charlestown, Cornwall

Latest port updates

Charlestown Harbour, Cornwall

This historic private harbour is the home port of Anny and Mascotte, but there are often several tall ships in the dock and you never quite know what you will find.

Charlestown Harbour is set on the rugged South Cornish Coast. The last open 18th Century Georgian harbour in the UK, Charlestown is proud to be a UNESCO world heritage site, with a unique history and geography. Charlestown is still a vibrant working port, with classic sailing vessels, beautiful beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Charlestown Harbour has also made a name for itself in the film and TV industries, featuring in Poldark, Taboo, Hornblower and many other productions.

A natural amphitheatre and great setting for your friends or relatives to come and wave goodbye from. Charlestown is tidal, so access both in and out is determined by high tide times. We will advise you nearer to departure of the exact joining times.

How to get here

Rail & transfers

Charlestown is very near St Austell Railway station on the main London - Penzance Intercity rail line.

St Austell to Charlestown Harbour is 10 minute taxi ride or you can take a bus (number 24 or 25 towards Fowey).

If you have a small rucksack you might prefer to stretch your legs with a 25 minute walk (downhill).

Parking

If you are coming cruising on one of Charlestown Harbour’s vessels (Anny or Mascotte) free parking will be available for you- details of this will be sent to you in advance.

If you are joining any other vessel or just popping in or dropping of, then free parking is available along Charlestown Road and Church Road. If you don’t have prearranged parking we recommend arriving in good time as Charlestown can get very busy in the high season!

Location of pre arranged free parking for Anny or Mascotte guest crew - see yellow dots.
pre arranged free parking for Anny or Mascotte guest crew - see yellow dots.
Anny coming into Charlestown. Normally she will be anchored off 7 you arrive by boat.
Anny coming into Charlestown. Normally she will be anchored off 7 you arrive by boat.
Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Mascotte

1904 Mascotte needs little introduction to pilot cutter fans. At 60ft she is the largest surviving Bristol Channel pilot cutter, and with her beautiful cream sails and sheer elegance she cannot help grab all the attention of the whole fleet at events like the Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review. The Edwardian pilots certainly knew how to live when they were on board. The saloon is plush, good sleep was important and the sailing performance had to win their pilot trade for them. It was important to be seaworthy, fast and impressive. All the right ingredients for an amazing charter holiday experience too. From Spring 2020 we are thrilled Mascotte will be offering voyages from Cornwall with Charlestown Harbour and Classic Sailing.

If you want to pay homage to these incredible working vessels, built to withstand some of the wildest seas around our coast, then a few days sailing Mascotte would be a perfect pilgrimage.

Statistics
  • Length overall :    75 ft (22.8m)
  • Length on deck : 60ft
  • Year built : 1904
  • Vessel type/rig : Gaff Cutter
  • Guest berths : 5-7
  • Crew berths : 2-3

 

Mascotte under full sail off St Mawes Castle
Mascotte under full sail off St Mawes Castle

Sail an Original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Classic Sailing has been promoting pilot cutters - originals and some stunning replicas - for over two decades. We launched Classic Sailing by buying Luke Powell's first wooden pilot cutter replica 'Eve of St Mawes.' Since 1997 we have have offered voyages for adult guest crew on original pilot cutter Alpha and traditionally rigged replicas Eve,  Lizzie May, Ezra, Annabel J, Amelie Rose, Morwenna, and currently the 46ft Scillonian pilot cutter Agnes.

The number of original pilot cutters out there offering the public a chance to sail is shrinking. Mascotte is currently the only original pilot cutter offering a season of voyages for adult charter guests. Mascotte was restored by Tony Winter at the Tommi Neilsen & Co shipyard in Gloucester. Whilst many timbers are new, every item above and below decks was carefully restored or replaced as authentically as possible. She still has an Edwardian style interior with mahogany panelling, pilot cabin berths and a big saloon for memorable crew evenings.

Mascotte and Cornubia - both restored by Tony Winter
Mascotte and Cornubia - both restored by Tony Winter

Turns Heads & Steals the Show

Mascotte manages to achieve what millionaires with modern super-yachts can only dream of - she effortlessly turns heads wherever she goes. Not in a showy way, but just with her sheer presence, perfectly proportional cutter rig and hull shape. If you sail on board her wide wooden decks you can feel like a king and it is sometimes hard to think that Mascotte was built in 1904 to work for living. It was a lucrative trade but Mascotte was still out in all weathers, winter and summer,  roving the Western Approaches to the English Channel and Irish Sea for tall ships that needed a pilot.

No historic vessel over 115 years old survives without a lot of love and restoration. We owe it to past and current owners that she is still here and looking good. Her current owner is happy for you to come and experience the magic that is Mascotte, with a professional skipper and mate to help you all set sail and make it look easy with teamwork. All Classic Sailing voyages are about participating in the sailing. Mascotte's gaff mainsail is a big sail to hoist, but this is a 'sailing 'ship' with one mast only. When the main gaff is up, its up it's up....and gravity is your friend when it comes down. Don't get too comfy though. We haven't talked about gybing yet...

crew action on Mascotte. Photo by Debbie Purser
crew action on Mascotte. Photo by Debbie Purser

Quietly and quickly get ahead of the fleet

Waterline length and hull shape plus a sail area extended by bowsprits, jackyards and over-hanging booms gives you speed. Pilot cutters this size were the racing greyhounds of their day. Mascotte has a 2.43m so she can hold a lot of sail when others are reefing. Her job historically was to quietly and quickly get ahead of her other pilot cutter rivals and win the pilot job with a Europe bound cargo ship.

This design combination gives you a thrilling sensation as her 55 tones of oak and larch cuts through the sea. She once sailed al the way from Lands End to Dover to gain a lucrative pilot contract, so if you chose a passage making offshore voyage she will be in her element.

The deep waters of the West Country offer her a perfect cruising ground for more leisurely pastimes or a spot of summer racing.

Mascotte gliding under St Mawes castle.
Mascotte gliding under St Mawes castle. Photo Debbie Purser

 

Mascotte in all weathers

Style of Sailing

No experience is needed but even if you have done some sailing on other vessels, Mascotte only has the one mast so she looks quite simple, but she has quite a sail wardrobe to try with several types of headsail. The gaff mainsail has peak and throat halliards to hoist the sail and the big wooden gaff that gives it the distinctive shape. The skills you learn to handle these sails are easily transferable to all the gaff rigged vessels in the Classic Sailing fleet.

Mascotte voyages are all about immersive, hands-on experience with plenty of helming, sail handling and learning. The crew are happy to cover basic navigation skills and get guests involved taking bearings and reading the chart. Basic ropework also covered, including knots and splicing practice, line handling etc. 

If you just want a bit of fresh air and a digital dettox then you can let the technical stuff wash over you and just enjoy each challenge as it comes and soak up the scenery of the rugged Cornwall coast.

The deep harbours of Cornwall and Devon are ideal for Mascotte
The deep harbours of Cornwall and Devon are ideal for Mascotte

Mascotte is tiller steered from a classic Bristol Channel pilot cutter cockpit. It is a big tiller so it makes you feel quite important and it is also rather thrilling. In the open bays of Cornwall and Devon, there is plenty of sea room to get the hang of steering to different angles to the wind. If you are one putting the tiller hard to leeward to tack, then you can rest your body on the tiller and watch the whole manoeurvre unfold. It takes a while to take a 60ft cutter to swing around into the wind and onto the other tack, so revel in the glory whilst the rest of the crew rush around with backstays and sheets.

Lookout duty is important in peak season. Mascotte is sailed with only a small professional crew, so it is very hands-on compared to some of our charter fleet. If there are a lot of other yachts or fishing boats about during day sailing you might not get much chance to read a book, but there is plenty of time to enjoy the unspoilt coastal scenery of Cornwall, whilst you are waiting on the next sailing manoeurvre.

At anchor there is plenty of time to go for a swim in the sea, explore a beach or find the coast path route to the nearest headland.

The cockpit and long tiller on Mascotte
The cockpit and long tiller on Mascotte

Life on Board

When Mascotte is day sailing it is unlikely you will be in a formal watch system. If you feel tired or cold there is usually enough keen people to keep Mascotte sailing whilst you warm up below.

On long passages or overnight Channel crossings the guest crew will be split into watches with the skipper or mate in charge. This way half the crew sails the boat whilst the other sleeps / relaxes to a watch rota schedule.

Below Decks on Mascotte

We will be doing a photoshoot for the interior of Mascotte before her season starts, so we apologise for the lack of photos. 

As you come down the main companionway steps there is a corridor to the saloon with varnished wood panelling and a series of intriguing doors with brass knobs. Pilot cutters were typically built for a number of pilots, operating as a syndicate. The cutter has to accommodate them all on board until a ship requiring a pilot could be found. There is full standing headroom below decks. The companionways are steps but quite steep, as in most boats.

Captain & Mates Cabins - sometimes available for a couple.

The first cabins port and starboard cabins on original pilot cutters in Mascotte's era were more like a bed tucked into a large double bed sized cupboard space. You crawled into a cosy space and shut the doors. As charter guests might find these a bit of an aquired taste, these 2 'doubles' will be used each for the skipper and the mate.

If you are a couple booking and you want to book a 'cupboard cabin ' ask us for the double cabin price, which is a bit cheaper than the forepeak bunks. The mate would swop for you and go into the single private cabin (as long as that place is not booked).

Single Owners Cabin

If you book early enough, then this is a proper cabin with a single berth, floorspace, desk, storage cupboards and bookshelf. It is just off the main companionway to starboard with a WC on the other side of the corridor. There is another WC and shower up in the forward part of the boat.

Forward Cabin - 4 berths

There are 2 bunks on either side in the forward cabin. There are storage lockers, a small amount of floor space, and shelving right up in the forepeak area. The main WC and shower just outside this cabin, forward of the main saloon. There is another WC near the aft main companionway.

Whilst the large saloon is the heart of the ship, the remaining space for cabins and bunks is not massive. The forward cabin is standard yacht style communal accommodation with bunks on either side. This will be mixed gender. Please let us know if this is a problem for you when booking.

Edwardian Mahogany Panelled Saloon

Describing the ambience of a space is not always easy. Think polished wood tables, drinks cabinets and the sort of upholstery that really shouldn't be on a boat. Oilskins off and enjoy the opulence and the fact that you don't have to cook for the week / weekend. There is a small coal stove for keeping warm in Spring and Autumn.

EXTRA Berths for a Group Booking - Max 8 guests

The built in and upholstered seating either side of the saloon are good enough to sleep on but will not be used as berths on a normal voyage. They can be used for extra berths if a group wants to charter the whole boat and maximise the number of people for the whole boat price.  This would give a maximum of 8 guests for a whole boat price. (2 in a double cabin, 2 on saloon seat berth and 4 in the forward cabin plus 2 crew.

Mascotte's saloon is a great place to hide from the weather and as the saloon is so far down, it is very cosy and quiet if sheltering from a gale.

When the sun shines there is all that lovely deck space to enjoy a summer evening meal, lunch or breakfast outdoors. 

Galley & Forward of the Mast

Strange by modern yacht layouts, but pilot cutter galleys were forward of the mast. As you go past the mighty keel stepped main mast there is a galley to starboard and the WC /shower to port.

 

Mascotte in Falmouth
Mascotte in Falmouth. Photo Adam Purser

Mascotte Ship Specification

 

Designer Thomas Cox Beam 15ft (4.57m)
Builder William Stacey Draft 2.43m
Date  1904 Displacement 55 tonnes
Length overall   Construction larch on oak
Length on deck 60ft (18.28m) Engine 140hp Ford
Waterline length   crew / guests 2 crew 5-8 guests

Mascotte does have a big sail collection. There is no furling jib, so there are different size jibs for different wind strengths.

The engine has twin feathering propellers so when sailing there is no drag which is why this very heavy cutter sometimes surprises other yachts in light winds.

There are 2 generators and a hot water system heated by engine or an immersion heater.

24 hour electricity and hot water (including a boiling water tap for instant cups of tea!) all make Mascotte a very comfortable ship for adventuring on.

Ships Boat

Mascotte has so much deck space she has a copy of a punt (rowing boat) from the 1900's.  The punt is called Hilda and has oars and a lug sail. 

Depending on conditions and passage plan, you may well get the opportunity for sailing Hilda whilst Mascotte is moored or anchored.

Mascotte in the Cove, St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly
Mascotte in the Cove, St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly

Mascotte Ships History

MASCOTTE was built in 1904 by pilot Thomas Cox of Newport, Wales and boat builder William Stacey.

Thomas Cox had a Barry & Newport Pilot Licence. He also had a Newport Pilot son and a nephew who was a Barry Pilot. The N on the mainsail denotes a Newport licence and By on the staysail is for Barry. MASCOTTE accommodated all three of them and was therefore built 60 ft overall (10 ft longer than most pilot cutters!). The service and flexibility that MASCOTTE could offer made her owners wealthy men.

An example of the distances sailed to find a ‘profitable ship’ – MASCOTTE once sailed around Land’s End and on to Dover to meet a ship from London bound for Newport.

Mascotte was a working pilot cutter for 11 years until 1915 when the advent of the steam cutters put her and many others out of business and she was sold out of the pilotage service. 

In the 1920's and 1930's she acquired a few yachty modifications and mixed with other classic yachts of the day. During World War II, MASCOTTE was laid up at Hamble.

In 1957, she narrowly escaped the breaker’s yard, and was turned into a houseboat. But in 1980 she was discovered languishing in the River Medina by Paul Kennard who, recognising the quality of design, bought her and towed her to his home port of Rye. He undertook her first restoration, replacing much of her planking.

She was then bought by a Cardiff brewery and suffered a short period of neglect. In 1994, her new owner Tony Winter commissioned Tommi Nielsen to bring MASCOTTE back to her former glory as a working Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter. Her final restoration, completed in April 1995, won her work in film and television.

Her current owner enjoyed sailing Mascotte himself, taking part in festivals and pilot cutter racing when he could. The rest of the time Mascotte was also a charter vessel exploring Scotland and the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. Her professional skipper died tragically last year and her owner has set up the Richard Clapham Sailing Trust in his memory. Profits from Mascotte’s charter voyages will all go to the RCST and be used to promote sailing skills: teaching those who may not otherwise have the opportunity or funds to go to sea, and encouraging an interest in traditional sailing among young people for fun, education and mental wellbeing.

In memory of Skipper Richard
In memory of Mascotte's former skipper Richard

Mascotte Skipper - Huw Jackson

Hugh was Mate on Mascotte for several seasons and skipper of Mascotte last year on her summer cruising in Norway. He has also previously skippered Queen Galadriel, been Bosun on three masted barque Kaskelot.  He lives on his own boat, the Looe lugger ‘Three Brothers’. 

 

Relief Skipper: Ed Chun

Ed has been sailing and skippering professionally for over a decade and has 120,000 nautical miles under his keel. He works as a skipper for all sorts of vessels, but his heart is with traditionally rigged ships. His main job is skipper of Anny of Charlestown, the other tall ship we are working with from Charlestown, but he will be Huw Jackson's relief skipper on Mascotte for the shorter trips.  Teaching traditional sailing is a real passion of Ed’s, and whether it’s a short day-sail or a longer cruise, guests can expect an immersive and hands-on experience. If he’s not on board during your trip he’ll be spending time with the other love of his life: his new baby daughter!

Anny's skipper Ed Chun
Anny's skipper Ed Chun

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Original pilot cutters Mascotte & Cornubia
Original pilot cutters Mascotte & Cornubia
Current sailing grounds

Mascotte - Kit List

Mascotte crew

Included

  • Sailing Instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses) 
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows 
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers - but you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer

What is not included 

  • towels
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels
  • wellie boots

What to Bring

Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please! 

Anny does have waterproof jacket and trousers you can borrow in a variety of sizes. if you have your own outdoor waterproof of any type you might want to bring your own so you know you can get a good fit.


 If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022

  • warm, windproof jacket for days when you don't want to wear a heavy waterproof jacket
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes.
  • Sailing boots or wellies as the sea can come over deck if rough*.
  • (An alternative to boots in summer is to bring another pair of flat shoes with a good grip in case the first pair get wet).
  • All terrain type sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Scillies trips – Walking boots are useful and can be these can be worn on Pilgrims deck too
  • A small rucksack is useful for going ashore 
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Passport for French Voyages, Reciprocal Free Health Care card in Europe.
  • Please bring a passport on French trips 
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasick tablets - check with your Doctor, which brand if you suffer asthma or are on medication.
  • RYA Cruising Logbook or similar if you want to log your sailing experience e.g. sea miles, night hours
  • Musical instruments are always welcome.

Anny does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.

 

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Mascotte - Reviews

Mascotte in the Scillies, The Cove, St Agnes.

Mascotte is a totally new vessel for Classic Sailing to promote, but she has been sailing with charter guests and as a private yacht for many years - mostly in Scotland but also in the Scillies and Norway.

Skippers from many of the other boats we have worked with have sailed in company with Mascotte and we have never personally heard a bad word about her voyages.

The many photos we have of Mascotte were taken by the co-founders of Classic Sailing Debbie and Adam when they have been out on Eve of St Mawes as skippers.We have raced against Mascotte and although she was 4 times the weight of our little pilot cutter Eve Mascotte was always sailed with perfect manners and courtesy and her guests always looked like they were having fun with former skipper Richard Clapman.

We are thrilled the former mate with Richard and Mascottes relief skipper Huw has taken over the the main skipper of this big pilot cutter and historic heirloom.

You won't have to take our word for much longer.

As soon as we have the first guest feedback we will update this page.

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Itinerary

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.

Visas and Vaccinations

Classic sailing is unable to be an expert for advice on visas and vaccinations for customers traveling outside their own country.

Please seek advice relating to your nationality traveling to the countries of your voyage from the country you will be setting off from and returning to.

Passports

In most instances, you will need a passport that expires six months or more after your return to your home country.

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