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Agnes - Pilot Cutter

Agnes – Pilot Cutter

Agnes is a 46’ pilot cutter built in 2003 on the lines of a historic pilot cutter from the Isles of Scilly. On deck she is a traditional vessel and as such invites all aboard to get involved with all aspects of sailing, alike all of the Classic Sailing fleet. Below decks she has all the comforts expected of a modern yacht with hot and cold running water, shower, large galley and comfortable sleeping arrangements for six plus working crew.

Working Sail- A Life in Wooden Boats

Agnes is the much-admired flagship of Luke Powell's boat building company, Working Sail. After building 8 pilot cutters Luke and his wife and business partner Joanna are keen to spend more time on the water enjoying the fruits of their labours, and introducing guest crews to their favourite sailing grounds on Agnes. Luke Powell's influence on the renaissance of wooden boatbuilding in this country cannot be under estimated and it would be hard to find a more passionate spokesperson for working wooden boats and traditional boat building.

In 1997 Classic Sailing founders Adam and Debbie Purser came to Exeter waterfront to look at his first pilot cutter replica 'Eve of St Mawes' as our first charter vessel. We fell in love with the boat and are proud to count Luke as a friend through 'thick and thin' over the last 20 years. We are delighted Joanna and Luke will be sharing Agnes with Classic Sailing customers and sailing her with their usual flair and sense of adventure.

"Hard to say what was best. The boat was beautiful and comfortable. The Cornish coast was stunning. The food was plentiful and excellent. The crew could not have been more friendly, helpful or knowledgeable - or hard working. A very different style of sailing to that which I have been used to - it adds a new dimension." David 

The Original Agnes - 1841 Scillonian Pilot Cutter

After extensive research, the modern day Agnes was built from new to the lines of Agnes of 1841, the top pilot cutter from the Isles of Scilly. The original Agnes had a long working life as the last pilot cutter to work out of the Isles of Scilly under Captain Jenkins.  His Grandson's Alf and Barry launched Agnes in May 2003. She has proven to be extremely fast and light on the helm for her 26 tons.

She was originally built for an American who planned to use her for sail training and she made an Atlantic Crossing just after her first sea trials. Luke bought Agnes back from her owner when he had to change his plans and she sailed back via the Azores to become his home for a while.  She has featured at many festivals and taken many prospective boat buyers out for a demonstration sails, as well as summer expeditions to Ireland, Scotland and France.

Sailing Style - 'very hands on'

Agnes carries a lot of sail with no winches. Even the anchor windlass is an authentic barrel windlass with spokes to turn.  Agnes' crew like to travel under sail as much as possible, so if you are looking for a real hands on sailing holiday on a very powerful cutter then Agnes is one to try.  Her wide decks and high bulwarks (wooden walls around the deck) give a sense of security so she is equally a great choice for those new to sailing.

Agnes' cruising style is adapted to give guests a wonderful chance to visit natural environments far from the madding crowd, and after a good day spent out in the elements you will be able to retreat to the warm and cosy saloon to enjoy a freshly prepared meal cooked with local produce.

Sailing plans for Agnes in 2017 include cruising the Celtic coasts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to Brittany festivals and Scotland, view the full schedule here. Agnes' specialises in searching out unspoilt and quiet anchorages and coves. 

Gourmet Cooking & Story Telling

Joanna has a great love of cooking but is also an experienced traditional boat sailor and co-ran a historic Lowerstoft Trawler as a charter boat for many years.  The ambience of sharing a freshly cooked meal with locally sourced ingredients on board Agnes is an important part of the experience and style that is the Powell family trademark. Lookout for the special gourmet voyages featured in Agnes' voyage schedule. 

Scilly Island Hopping & Wildlife Adventures

Her historic links with Scilly Pilot cutter history means Agnes is well loved in the islands. She also often visits on the way to Ireland, Pembrokshire and Scotland. 

Seals play in the swirling kelp forests, flowers flourish in walled fields and the locals go about their daily business by boat. This is a paradise governed by the wind, waves and tide. Exploring the islands on any classic boat offers an intensive lesson in practical seamanship, navigation for adventurous beginners and experienced sailors alike. The passage from Falmouth, around the Lizard, past the lonely sentinel of Wolf Rock and way out west beyond Lands End, can be challenging or totally benign. The Atlantic Ocean frequently rewards you with sightings of dolphins, pilot whales, sunfish and basking sharks, revealing your destination in tantalising stages as each island becomes distinctive on the horizon.

Once nestled in an anchorage, our landing stage is usually a beach so bare feet and sandals are the order of the day. The pace of life is so relaxed it can take a few days to adjust to this small scale world. At first our crews stride out to circumnavigate an island, but after a few hours you will be happy beachcombing, sketching or snoozing amongst the sea pinks. With over a dozen anchorages in the archipelago to choose from and the ever changing Atlantic Ocean all around, no Scillies trip is ever the same.

"I enjoyed our trip to the Scillies so much. We had great weather, an exciting fast sail to St Agnes. The Cove was just beautiful." - Sarah

Short Cornish Breaks -So where do we go in two or three days?

Falmouth is one of the biggest natural harbours in the world with easy deep water access to the open sea. We might go south west past the Manacles to small fishing villages like Cadgwith or Coverack, or further afield around the Lizard to Penzance, Newlyn and St Michaels Mount. The Helford estuary is great for an evening row to a pub and a return in the dark with stars above and phosphorescence in the water below.

Eastwards, Agnes can blast between famous headlands like The Dodman and Gribben, anchor off National Trust beaches or make a dramatic entrance into Fowey. In wilder weather there are plenty more sheltered options within the deep water inlets of the Fal.

Day Sails 

Agnes will also be running a few day sails so if you have always admired Luke's boats, why not come and sail on one. Classic Sailing sells gift vouchers which can be used on all the vessels we promote, or you can book a friend or relative on a specific day sail or short break.

Paimpol Festival

The festival certainly has plenty of shanty singing, but there is also an amazing range of music from Morrocan singers to Brazillian drum bands or ancient Breton dancing. This 6 day summer voyage allows you to enjoy the contrast between a cross channel passage and some celtic coastal hopping in Brittany. Apart from the great live traditional and world music it is also a lovely little port with a proud nautical tradition. 

Accommodation Below Decks

Below decks she has all the comforts expected of a modern yacht with hot and cold running water, shower, large galley and comfortable sleeping arrangements for six plus skipper and cook. Her accommodation is light and airy with full headroom, fresh linen and lovely oil lamps in the saloon at night. 

What's Included

  • Sailing Instruction                                                                                             
  • Safety Equipment (Life Jackets and harnesses) 
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers if required.
  • All Meals, Cooked Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Refreshments throughout the day. 
  • Bed Linen, Duvet, Pillows etc

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from the start and end port. 
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore
  • Meals ashore
  • Alcholic Beverages

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