“MASCOTTE” THE MOVIE-STAR SAILS PAST PENARTH

The classic Bristol Channel pilot cutter "Mascotte" passing Penarth Head today

The classic Bristol Channel pilot cutter “Mascotte” passing Penarth Head today

There was a nostalgic glimpse of the past to be seen from Penarth Esplanade and from Penarth Head this morning as the famous vintage Bristol Channel pilot-cutter “Mascotte” sailed past – heading for Swansea.

“Mascotte” is now 112 years old but is still able to show most modern yachts a clean pair of heels and is reputed to have been the largest cutter that ever operated in the Bristol Channel .

The N indicates Mascotte's original home port - Newport

The N indicates Mascotte’s original home port – Newport

Despite her immense traditional  gaff-rig, she could be handled by just one man and a boy whose job it was to get her pilot alongside incoming ships before other pilots competing for the business. The big letter “N” on her sail indicates that her home port is Newport

Mascotte is tough and immensely strong . Instead of steamed and curved timber stringers in her bilges Mascotte has solid-iron railway lines – heated, bent and beaten to follow the graceful curves of her hull .

Despite her speed and size Mascotte still only needs a relatively small crew

Despite her speed and size Mascotte still only needs a relatively small crew

After passing through several owners she was bought by the Cardiff Brewer’s Brains to be berthed in the disused West Dock alongside a new pub called the Schooner – but her draught was too great for the dock and the idea was scrubbed.

Mascotte was then based for a while in  Penarth Marina but later laid up in Swansea where Brains put her on the market  After years of haggling she was eventually bought by the Winters family who embarked on a huge and very expensive renovation of the classic vessel.

Passing Penarth - heading for Swansea - Mascotte gathers speed in the sunshine

Passing Penarth – heading for Swansea – Mascotte gathers speed in the sunshine

One non-traditional innovation was the installation of a new twin-screw hydraulic propulsion system –  with feathering props – which helped in freeing up space below and made her easier to handle under power.

She also now has a mahogany finished main saloon with space for seven people to eat together,  a traditional coal-fired stove and now regularly takes part in cutter races in the Bristol Channel and numerous bookings for film and tv work.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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5 Responses to “MASCOTTE” THE MOVIE-STAR SAILS PAST PENARTH

  1. Christopher David says:

    Magnificent,

  2. Ivor Bagman says:

    My grandfather’s aunt Sarah would not let
    him go on the pilot cutters in 1896 because
    her two nephews and their father
    were drowned in the channel.
    They have a grave – but were never found.

  3. Jtr69 says:

    What a stunning boat. Thank God it is being well preserved and is in safe hands after Brains allowed the boat in East Bute Dock to deteriorate and finally sink last year.

  4. whatsoccurin says:

    great report PDN-we used to see “The Mathew”-apparently it was based in Bristol but was frequently seen in the Channel around Cardiff and Penarth-I think it was actually able to get into the Bay through the Locks-I have not seen it recently.

  5. Christopher David says:

    Brains allowed her to rot? That’s disgusting- wrecking pubs is one thing.
    Interesting thought.
    The draught was too big for Brains hah hah.

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