Golden Vanity


Golden Vanity is thought to be the sole surviving Mumble Bee, the smallest of the Brixham trawlers. She was restored in the 1980s by a local trust and is now used for RYA courses and youth adventure sailing.

She was built by Sanders at Galmpton in 1908. Although built as a working boat, she was used as a base by marine artist Arthur Briscoe to paint the Brixham fishing fleet.

One of the friends who sailed with Briscoe was Erskine Childers – who had already written his famous yachting spy novel ‘Riddle of the Sands’. Before the First World War they sailed Golden Vanity extensively in the southern North Sea, regularly visiting Holland and Belgium, the ‘lowlands, low’ mentioned in the shanty.

Her name was taken from a ship in the sea shanty ‘The Golden Vanity’ which dates back to from the 17th century.

The vessel is supported by The Golden Vanity Trust, who have their own website here.

The Rig

Golden Vanity is rigged now just as she was when she was launched early last century. She has a ‘Gaff Cutter’ rig.  It is a very versatile and powerful rig, easy to handle in light airs and strong winds, making her an ideal vessel to learn about traditional sailing methods.

Client Testimonials

No previous experience is necessary.  Everything is done the traditional way, so sailing them is a team effort, in which technique matters more than strength.

“The week was fantastic — so many great experiences. The whole trip on Golden Vanity was incredible. Thank you very much!” Hannah, RYA Voyage Golden Vanity, August 2014.

“In my 17 years of having a bright, enthusiastic and diligent daughter never have I seen her so animated as from the moment she stepped back ashore after the week’s trip on Golden Vanity.” Father of Connie, Golden Vanity, Duke of Edinburgh Voyage, August 2014

Where does she sail?

Golden Vanity’s home port is based in Brixham where she spends her sailing season exploring Devon, Cornwall, The Channel Islands, and Brittany.


Below deck Golden Vanity has been fitted out for her modern role. She has accommodation for seven guests and two crew members, has a saloon area, a galley, and a toilet (the heads).

Included in Your Voyage Cost

All meals and refreshments, life jackets, bedding, are included and waterproofs can be hired by the day (although oilskins are provided for free on D of E voyages).


Golden Vanity is available for whole boat charter during the sailing season for up to seven guests.

Vessel details

Official Number 125111
Port of Registry Brixham
Builder J Sanders, Galmpton, Devon
Date Launched 1908
Radio Call Sign MCVY
Gross Registered Tonnage 15.03
Net Registered Tonnage 9.13
Length Overall including spars 16.16 m 53′ 0″
Length of Hull 11.84 m 38′ 9″
Length of Waterline 11.00 m 36′ 1″
Maximum Beam 3.68 m 12′ 1″
Maximum Draft 2.00 m 6′ 7″
Maximum Sail Area 116 sq m 1250 sq ft
Displacement 22 tonnes 24 tons
Engine — Beta Marine, BV3300 4 Cylinder 65 kW 75 Hp
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