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Directory: Pilot Cutters of Europe

How to Identify Pilot Cutters

Download our handy pilot cutter identification guide, with tips how to identify 28 pilot cutters that you are likely to see sailing around Europe. It lists distinguishing features like hull colours, sail marks, hull or rig shapes. The guide will tell you at a glance whether the boat is a charter vessel you can sail or in private ownership.

Handy Pilot Cutter ID Card

Pilot Cutter Revival
 

Latest additions: 1909 original pilot cutter Olga - recently restored by Swansea Museum, Freja - New build, launched in 2012, Edith Grey - New Build, launched in 2011. Alpha - latest restoration completed in 2010. Letty - restoration started at Mylor Bridge in 2011.

 
Grown oak frames on Luke Powell built pilot cutterClassic Boat magazine readers regularly chose pilot cutters – both originals and replicas - in their choice of favourite Classics amongst the vast choice of historic ships and elegant yachts, so what is their appeal and why have so many new wooden pilot cutters been built in the last 15 years ?
 
When Adam and Debbie Purser went to look at ‘Eve of St Mawes’ whilst it was being built speculatively by Luke Powell of Working Sail, we fell in love with the chunky purposefulness of the hull. Here was a boat that could work hard for a living, and had stunning simple lines which had evolved from decades of seafarers experience working their trade(fishermen and pilots) in the rough Western Approaches. In 1996 apart from similar pilot cutters being built in Canada using laminated construction, we were not aware of anyone building wooden working replicas using traditional construction methods in the UK. Luke’s second pilot cutter – again built speculatively – took a long time to sell, and we could not understand why nobody seemed to want to buy such a practical work of art and craftsmanship.
 
Refitting at Gweek we also saw a few committed people restoring original pilot cutters – Kindly Light, Marianne, and a new keel for Marguerite. If was fascinating to see the differences in hull shape, as the pilots strived to find the right balance between speed and seaworthiness.
 
Now we are pleased to see a revival of interest in wooden boat ownership, and in particular it seems pilot cutters are the design of choice for those with a boat building project in mind. In 2008 a record four new pilot cutters have been launched by different boat builders – Polly Agatha, Tallulah, Pegasus and Mischief. Original French pilot cutter Marie Fernand is also due to be re launched at Brest 08 festival.
 
Some of the photos below might explain why.
 
Owners Please update us if any of the information is out of date.
 

New Wooden Pilot Cutter Replicas

 

Working Sail Ltd. Luke Powell shipwright

 

Eve of St Mawes

List of Pilot Cutters Eve of St MawesLength on deck 38’
Built 1997 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Eve on the main sail. Light blue hull.
Who owns her: Classic Sailing-Eve is our own charter boat and RYA teaching vessel
Where does she sail: Based in St Mawes - Cornwall, Brittany and the Isles of Scilly
 
Eve runs a huge variety of short breaks, themed voyages like marine photography, painting and sketching voyages, Health and Fitness breaks, Sailing, Walking and Rowing Weekends, Women Go Wild, Wildlife and Beach Clean Ups.
You can take the full range of RYA courses on this 38ft pilot cutter from RYA Competent Crew right upto RYA Yachtmaster Prep and exam.
Longer voyages include forays to France, or island hopping in the Scillies.
 
Can I sail on her ? Yes through Classic Sailing.
Tel: 01872 580022 or on line www.classic-sailing.co.uk
 
 
Eve is also for SALE but not available until after her 2014 sailing season. Eve of Sale details
 
 

Lizzie May

list of pilot cutters Lizzie MayLength on deck 42’
Built 1998 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Very raked fan tail counter stern
Who owns her now: Clyde Classic Sailing – working with Cornwall based Classic Sailing to bring you sailing holidays in Scotland. Now run by one of our past customers Jerry Headley.
Where does she sail: West Coast of Scotland as home base.
 
Can I sail on her ? Yes through Classic Sailing. Tel: 01872 580022 or on line www.classic-sailing.co.uk
 
 
 
 

Agnes

 
Length on deck 46’
Built 2003 by Luke Powell
Based on the lines of the last pilot cutter under sail working out of the Isles of Scilly 'Agnes'
Recognisable features: Large barrel windlass on foredepilot cutter directory Agnesck.  Lute stern. Flys outrageous flags. Hull currently green and black.
Who owns her now: Boatbuilder Luke Powell and his wife Joanna. Since 2012 they sail Agnes as a charter boat  and flagship to demo his pilot cutter designs from March to October.
Where does she sail: home base in Cornwall. Summer forays further afield Isles of Scilly, Ireland, Pembrokeshire, Brittany. Womens voyages possible.
Can I sail on her ? Yes through Classic Sailing. Tel: 01872 580022 or on line www.classic-sailing.co.uk
 
 
If you are interested in commissioning a new pilot cutter or wooden traditional vessel of any size then contact Luke and Jo at www.workingspilot cutter Hesperail.co.uk
 
 
 
 

Hesper

Length on deck 44 ’
Built 2006 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Black hull with white stripe.
Sometimes flies a large lug topsail
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail: Based in Fowey, Cornwall.
 
Can I sail on her ? Private owners
 

Tallulah

Length on deck 44 ’
Built 2008 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: White hull
Who owns her now: private owners
Where does she sail:
Can I sail on her ? private owners
 

EClassic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Ezrazra

Length on deck 44 ’
Built 2006 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Powerful beamy hull with lots of deck space and elegant lute stern.
Who owns her now: Sold in 2013 to a swiss couple. Previously owned by Sam and Ingrid of Sail Ezra Charter
Can I sail on her ? Not yet. Private owners who may use her commercially for diving and arctic adventures.
 

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory Amelie RoseAmelie Rose launched in 2009

Length on deck 
Built 2009 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: Nick & Melissa
Where does she sail: charter boat based on South Coast and famous for BBC Hungry Sailor programme with Dick Strawbridge.

Can I sail on her ? Yes– give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information

 

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory FrejaNEW Freja - launched in 2012

Runner up in Classic Boat Award for New Build for over 30ft Catagory 2012

Length on deck 42'
Built 2012 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: light sea green hull and lovely little clinker tender, barrel windlass, Swedish ensign.
Who owns her: Anders & Marion
Where does she sail: Europe - Cornwall to Sweden

Can I sail on her ? No - private owners

 

Polly Agatha
 

Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding

 
Polly Agatha
Length on deck 45’
Built 2008 Cockwells, Penryn
Recognisable features: white hull and PA on the main sail
Who owns her now: charter company
Where does she sail: based on Solent
Can I sail on her ? Yes – give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
Can I buy her ? YES currently for sale
 
Two more wooden pilot cutter commissions in the pipeline at Cockwells.
 

 

 

Merlin in 2009

Length on deck

Merlin and Peggy

Built Nov 2009 Cockwells, Penryn
Recognisable features: light blue hull
Who owns her now: 
Where does she sail:
Can I sail on her ? Investigating – give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 

 

 

Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia

 

Iris

Length on deck 40 ’
Built 1997 Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia
Recognisable features: laminated wood construction.
Who owns her now: Private owners in UK
Where does she sail:
Can I sail on her ? Private owners
 

Westermann

Length on deck 40’
Built 1998 ? Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia.
Recognisable features: tan sails
Who owns her now: famous yachting journalist and writer many sailing books like Hand Reef & Steer – Tom Cunliffe
Where does she sail: Based on Isle of Wight.
Can I sail on her ? Private owners - think she is currently for sale.
 

Eleanor Mary

Length on deck 54 ’
Built 1998 ? Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail:
Can I sail on her ? Has been a charter boat. Current status unknown
 

Chance

Length on deck 40 ’
Built 2000 Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail: Bermuda based
Can I sail on her ? private owners
 

Alice Wragg

Length on deck 40 ’
Built 1999 Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail: based in Bristol
Can I sail on her ? private owners
 
 

Bristol Classic Boat Company

 

Pegasus

Length on deck 56 ’
Built 2008 by Bristol Classic Boat Company. Designed by Ed Burnett
Recognisable features: Green Hull. Letter B for Bristol on the sail
Who owns her now: Island Trust
Where does she sail: Based in Salcombe, Devon.
Can I sail on her ? Yes. Youth Sail Training Boat & charter. Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 

 

 

RB Boatbuilding, Bristol

 

Mischief

Length on deck 45 ’
Built 2008 by RB Boatbuilding, Bristol
Recognisable features: yellow hull
Who owns her now: Mischief Expeditions
Where does she sail: Scotland
Can I sail on her ? Not currently chartering. Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 

Morwenna

Length on deck 
Built 2009 by RB Boatbuilding, Bristol
Recognisable features: black hull. M of Morwenna on the sail
Who owns her now: charter company
Where does she sail: Based in the Med
Can I sail on her ? Yes. Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 

Edith GrayNEW Edith Grey

Length on deck 38ft

Built by RB Boatbuilding in 2011.

Won Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review in 2011 and 2012

Recognisable features, 

Who owns her ? Wild Sailing 

Can I sail on her ? Yes. Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information

 

Restored original pilot cutters - out there sailing

 
 

Jolie Brise

Length on deck 56 ’
Le Harve Pilot Cutter built 1913
Recognisable features: Tan Sails with DS 2 on mainsail
Who owns her now: Dauntsey School
Where does she sail: Sail training vessel. Based on south Coast
Can I sail on her ? Owned by Private school
 

Baroque

Length on deck 50’
Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Built 1902 in Cardiff
Recognisable features: black hull – no engine
Who owns her now: Swedish owners
Where does she sail: Charter boat based near Stockholm
Can I sail on her ? Yes. Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 

Marguerite in Pilot Cutter Review Race 2013Marguerite

Length on deck 53 ’
Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Built 1893  Restored by Covey Island and current owners.
Recognisable features: Light and dark grey hull.  Cf on mainsail
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail: Based in Flushing, Falmouth.
Can I sail on her ? Private owners
 

Mascotte

Length on deck 60 ’
One of the largest Bristol channel Pilot Cutters Built in 1904.
Restored by Tony Winter
Recognisable features: Black hull. N on the mainsail.
Who owns her now: private owner leased to Sail training & Charter company
Where does she sail: Based in Scotland
Can I sail on her ? available for group charter Give us a ring on 01872 580022 for further information
 
 

Peggy and Eve of St MawesPeggy (ex Wave)

Length on deck @@ ’
Built@@ by .
Recognisable features: Light Blue hull with high sweep to bows.
Who owns her now: Private owners
Where does she sail: Based in Bristol Channel area
Can I sail on her ? Private owner.
 

Dolphin

Length on deck @@ ’
Built@@ by
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: Private owner
Where does she sail: has been to Svalbard recently see Classic Boat Magazine Article
Can I sail on her ? Private owner.
 

Marie Fernand

Length on deck 54 ’
Built 1894 in Le Harvre. Restored and launched at Brest 08 Festival
Recognisable features: Cream sails – pilot cutter number H23
Who owns her now: Association L’Hirondelle de la Manche ?
Where does she sail: France
Can I see her ? Sail on Eve at St Malo Pilot Cutter Rally & race with Marie Fernand.
 

Alpha

Built in Fleetwood 1904
Recognisable features: open decks and no doghouse. N on the main sail
Who owns her now: private dutch owner
Recently Restored at Gweek Quay Boatyard & relaunched in 2010.
Can I sail on her ? No. Private owner but Wilhem often sails in Cornwall
 

Cornubia Passage Race to St Mawes by Debbie PurserCornubia (was also called Hirta)

Length on deck 51 ’
Restored by current owner Tony Winter. Relaunched in 2010. Won Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review in 2010.
Recognisable features: BY on mainsail.
Who owns her now: Private owner and also sails with young people.
Contact owner or Neilsens boatyard Gloucester Docks
 

Olga

Original 1909 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter that has been restored by Swansea Museum
Recognisable features - black hull, cream sails.
Owners: Swansea Museum - Charity
Can I sail her ? Yes. Olga offers day sails out of Swansea - see Olga Facebook site. Olga raced at Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter World Championships for first time in 2013.

 

Kindly Light

Length on deck @@ ’
Original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter built in @@. Was used for many years by Ocean Youth Club as Theodora. Restoration at Gweek Quay Boatyard. Re launched in 2013
Recognisable features: Black hull
Who owns her now: Private owner
 

Cariad

Length on deck @@ ’
Original Built@@ by .
Recognisable features: 
Who owns her now: John Briggs
Restored at Neilsens boatyard Gloucester Docks
Can I sail her - No private owner.
 

Carlotta

Original pilot cutter that was recently used as charter vessel on the West Coast of America.Currently for sale.

http://www.pilotcutter.ca 

Letty

Currently undergoing restoration by owner at Mylor Bridge, Falmouth.

Possible to buy shares in the project.

 

Surviving Originals but Status Unknown

 
Breeze
 
Dolphin
 
Frolic
 
Madcap
 
Raider
 

Steel and Full size GRP Pilot Cutter Replicas

 

Annabel J

Length on deck 54 ’
Steel Hull based on Marguerite T. Built
Recognisable features: Cream sails with AJ on mainsail
Who owns her now: Phil Cogdell and partners
Where does she sail: Charter boat based on the Hamble. Sails south coast, France, Channel Isles
Can I sail on her ? Yes through Classic Sailing. Tel: 01872 580022 or on line www.classic-sailing.co.uk
CURRENTLY FOR SALE but still sailing as a charter boat. 
 
 

Marie Claude

Martin Heard GRP replica of St Malo Pilot Cutter

Recently sold to UK owner

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