The arrival of Mascotte, the largest surviving Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, into her new home in Charlestown Harbour marks the launch of a new sailing trust – Rich’s Boat.
The Rich’s Boat Charitable Trust was founded by Mascotte’s owner in memory of her skipper of 9 years, Richard Clapham – who took his own life on July 30th, 2019.
Mascotte, which is believed to have been the third largest Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter ever built, with the help of the Charlestown Harbour team to be used as an inspirational and educational sailing tool.
It is hoped Mascotte will provide a valuable team building asset and a brilliant way to boost confidence and morale – using sailing to champion positive mental health and wellbeing.
The Trust’s aim is to bring an essence of Rich’s sailing style to others – full of passion and excitement and hopes 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.
Jessie Atkinson, Charlestown Harbour Vessel Manager, says: “Rich was passionate about Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters and incredibly knowledgeable. We had him aboard our own schooner ‘Anny’ last year as unofficial pilot for the Bristol Channel. His understanding of that notorious stretch of water was legendary. I know he’d love to think people are benefitting from Mascotte, taking good care of her, learning and sharing his passion for sailing.”
Rachel Bull, Rich’s Boat Chair of Trustees, says: “Rich was clever, funny, irreverent, determined, competitive, kind, stroppy and, in his own words “…a very good bodger and a punk”. That’s what made him the unique sailor that he was. As Trustees we hope to bring this essence of ‘Mascotteering’ and Rich’s style of sailing to the benefit of all those who sail with the Trust.”
Mascotte was built in 1904 by Thomas Cox & Son in Newport and was designed to be seaworthy, sea-kindly and fast! She made Thomas Cox a wealthy man and the opulence and Edwardian grandeur of the interiors below deck is reflective of how successful the Pilots were.
Today she remains in exceptional condition thanks to her owner, Rich and the phenomenal care of Tommi Nielsen’s yard in Gloucester, where she was fully restored in 1994 and continues to be regularly dry-docked and maintained.
Mascotte will be available for day sailing from Charlestown throughout August. Tickets are available from £50 (adult) for a 3hr sailing trip (full day trips and private charter also available). Mascotte will also be available for exclusive private hire via Airbnb, sleeping up to 10 guests, from £250 per night from September 2020.
Mascotte is also available for corporate away days, team and morale boosting experiences. The specifics of the day sailing experiences can be tailored by the Charlestown Harbour team to suit individual requirements. Private charter, including lunch, for up to 12 people costs £900.
For more information about day sailing or accommodation on Mascotte please visit www.charlestownharbour.com/vessels/mascotte.