1904 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
Mascotte was built in 1904 by Thomas Cox & Son in Newport. Thomas Cox was also her owner and a Bristol Channel Pilot. He came from a family of Newport Pilots and he held licences for both Newport and Barry. His son was a Newport Pilot, his nephew a Barry Pilot.
Mascotte is believed to of been the third largest Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter ever to of been built. She was twice as heavy and at 60ft she was 10ft longer than most others. She is the largest surviving Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter and was the largest ever to work out of Newport.
She was built to be seaworthy, sea kindly and fast. She once sailed around Lands End to Dover to pick up a ship bound for Newport. She made Thomas Cox a wealthy man.
The opulence and Edwardian grandeur below deck was reflective of how successful the Pilots were and more importantly how they liked to live at sea.
Length Overall: 18.3m
Air Draft: 23.8m
Crew: 2 to 3
Day Sail Guests: 10
Residential Guests: max 8
Rich’s Boat is a new charitable organisation being set up by Mark Tyndall, owner of Mascotte, in memory of her Skipper of 9 years, Rich Clapham. He took his life on July 30th 2019. Rich was passionate about Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters and somewhat of an oracle.
Mascotte became Rich’s heartbeat. From the moment he first stepped on her as Skipper, she was never out of his thoughts. His knowledge of the Bristol Channel was extraordinary. He was was brought up in Oldbury on Severn, on the banks of the river and, I think it fair to say, her muddy water ran in his veins. Rich was a shipwright at Tommi Nielsen’s Yard for some time. Tommi skippered Olga (another Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter) who belonged to Swansea Museum at the time, for the annual Pilot Cutter races held on the Bristol Channel and Rich, like many in the yard, were crew. That experience never left him.
He left Tommi’s to Skipper Eda Frandsen, a gaff rigged converted Danish fishing boat built in 1939. She was a charter boat on the West Coast of Scotland. In 2010 he became Mascotte’s skipper. Between him and Mark, they formed a loyal band of Mascoteers, a sensational sail locker and a good deal of silverware to boot. Rich always said he sailed Mascotte like a big dingy. He had contempt for her engine (almost), there was always time and opportunity to put another sail up and very little interest in taking them down. What she won’t carry, she’ll drag, he was known for saying.
Rich was clever, funny, irreverent, determined, competitive, kind, stroppy and, in his own words, a very good bodger and a punk. And that’s what made him the unique sailor that he was. As trustees we hope to bring this essence of Mascoteering and Rich’s style of sailing to the benefit of all those who sail with the Trust.
The intention with Rich’s Boat is to bring the essence of Rich’s style of sailing and to ignite his passion, in others, of the beauty, excitement, power, historical importance and the absolute joy that is Mascotte. The Trust wants to provide opportunities for both total beginners and experienced sailors to push the boundaries of what they’re capable of.
It’s all about sharing knowledge, skills and a positive life experience with those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to get out on the water or sail a boat as historically significant as Mascotte.
Charlestown Harbour have teamed up with this exciting new organisation, and are providing management and a home port from which Rich’s Boat can achieve its goals.
Profits from Rich’s Boat’s commercial sailing programme, AirBnB work and events go towards the maintenance of this historic vessel, as well as ensuring accessibility to sailing experiences for all, regardless of economic or social circumstances.
Mascotte’s accommodation below deck is testament to the success she brought to the Pilots who worked aboard. Expanses of varnished mahogany, a beautifully generous and sociable saloon, and little luxuries like instant boiling water for the skipper’s cup of tea. Don’t let all this grandeur fool you though. Mascotte is a racehorse not a superyacht, and you’ll be glad of your lee-cloths when the time comes!
All meals are freshly prepared on board by the crew, with an understanding that great food is vital for great sailing. There are two toilets and a fantastic wet-room shower.
There are a variety of bunk/cabin options, priced according to space and privacy levels, so you can choose a bed that’s right for you and your budget.
Please note that only one or the other of the private single cabin and double cabin can be booked for any given trip, as the other is needed for a member of crew.
The cabin for those who enjoy their privacy, this is the most sought after bed on board. Plenty of storage and a generous amount of floor space, plus easy access to the aft heads. There’s a lee-cloth to keep you safe and secure in bed in any sea-state, and we use only 100% cotton bedlinen on all our bunks.
Fondly dubbed the ‘Cupboard Cabin’ by the crew, this does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a double bed…in a cupboard! Comfy and cosy, with a generous storage shelf for your bags and no chance of falling out of bed in a swell. This bunk might take some getting used to (and there’s a knack to putting your clothes on lying down), but there must be a reason why the Skipper chooses to sleep in an identical cabin opposite!
At the forward end of Mascotte, in front of the galley, is the forepeak, with 4 comfy single bunks. Each bunk has its own lee-cloth and storage cupboard, plus easy access to the wet-room adjacent to the Galley. Delicious cooking smells come free of charge!
These are the best value bunks on board, but please be aware that the cabin may be mixed gender.