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Lizzie May - Based in Western Scotland

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Lizzie May - Our Pilot Cutter based in Scotland 

Pilot Cutter Short Breaks on the Clyde

The Firth of Clyde is one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in the British Isles. As a result it has been a major centre for recreational boating for over a century. Lizzie May is based on the Island of Bute during the start and end of the season to take advantage of this wonderful scenic cruising ground. Close enough to Glasgow and Edinburgh for a long weekend away on a real working wooden boat but wild enough to get a real taste of sailing in Scotland.

The Clyde’s long lochs penetrate far into the highlands, whilst its outer reaches comprise of a scattering of islands, each different in size and character. The jagged mountain ridge skyline of Arran dominates the outer approaches and provides a classic brooding backdrop to Lizzie May’s cream sails. There are several spectacular anchorages like Brodick Bay.  Bute is smaller and more pastoral, whilst the islands of Great and Little Cumbrae can be circumnavigated in an afternoon. Jump off the wooden quay in Millport with the local boys and girls if you dare. A longer sail in the lee of the Mull of Kintyre peninsula reaches the unique Isle of Sanda. Its pub the Byron Darnton is busy with visiting sailors in summer, even though the island has no permanent population. Another offshore foray is to the distinctive lump of Ailsa Craig and home to a huge Gannet colony.

Lizzie May Vessel Brochure

 

Longer Adventures in the Western Isles & Hebrides

Beautiful working boats like Lizzie May compliment the mountain scenery. If you have a bit of the artist in you, nothing can be more satisfying than taking the ships dinghy out at the end of a perfect day to take a few photos or sketch her anchored under a heather covered hillside with mountain skylines filling the horizon.

North West Scotland has incredibly long days in June and July so you can really make the most of the unique experience of sailing a pilot cutter around the deep lochs and sounds between the isles. Lizzie May will head North for some longer voyages to some of the best scenery and unspoilt wild nature in Europe.

Ocean Deep - Mountain High

Beautiful working boats like Lizzie May compliment the mountain scenery. If you have a bit of the artist in you, nothing can be more satisfying than taking the ships dinghy out at the end of a perfect day to take a few photos or sketch her anchored under a heather covered hillside with mountain skylines filling the horizon.

North West Scotland has incredibly long days in June and July so you can really make the most of the unique experience of sailing a pilot cutter around the deep lochs and sounds between the isles. Lizzie May will head North for some longer voyages to some of the best scenery and unspoilt wild nature in Europe.

Often departing from Oban try sailing the whole length of the Sound of Mull—where winds shift and frequently switch through 180 degrees and the wind funnels between high mountains, perhaps stopping in colourful Tobermory with its seaplane and multicoloured houses and the famous Mish Nish Inn with hundreds of whiskies to sample. If the weather is benign Lizzie might sail around the west of Mull with a quick pilgrimage to Iona. Staffa and Fingals cave is only possible in very calm conditions but there are plenty of remote anchorages amongst the wild west side of Mull. Keep you eyes open for seals, and otters close inshore, and dolphins, basking sharks and whales in the deeper waters. Loch Sunart provides sheltered nooks to anchor just north east of Mull. Lizzie must sail around Ardnamuchan Point—the most westerly point on the UK mainland—with its sparkling white beaches made famous in the film ‘Local Hero.’

The volcanic plug on Eigg (see photo above) now dominates the horizon, and if its clear the Cullins of Skye lure you northwards. Eigg local community has bought the island off the laird so its well worth meeting the locals and asking them about their lives and hopes for the future. Rhum has a castle, high cliffs and sea eagles to spot. Canna features a stone roofed chapel. Close to Arisaig is Loch Nevis and the Knoydart Peninsula, which might be your last stop. The pub sits at the end of a huge area of wilderness, with no road access, so it is very welcoming to its visitors from the sea.

More pages on Scotland as a sailing destination

Full Sailing Schedule - All of Lizzie May Voyages, dates & prices

Boat Specifications

Lizzie May was built new in 1999 by Luke Powell of Working Sail using traditional construction techniques to create a wooden pilot cutter with real character. Her frames are oak with larch planking and hardwood deck. Lizzie is 42ft on deck with a long 13ft bowsprit and lofty topmast. Her beam of 12ft gives her plenty of flat deck space and her low profile coach house is barely visible so all onlookers see is a traditional boat with lovely sheer lines.

The coach house also provides outward facing seating so you wont miss the scenery. All the rigging is ash blocks and tackles so you wont be sitting down for long.

There are no winches on board so everybody keeps warm and active pulling together. Sailing in Scotland requires a good anchor and true to her working boat origins Lizzie May has a barrel windlass to raise the anchor.

The vessel weighs 18 ton with a long deep keel—ideal for open sea sailing. The large mainsail can be slab reefed and even the staysail can be reefed in strong winds, so with a storm jib too she can make the most of the wilder days.. On light wind days she can glide up the lochs and narrows with a large flying jib and gaff topsail. 

Below DecksLizzie May Saloon

Below decks is very light with loads of character and varnished wood. There are two single berths in the forepeak, three berths in the saloon and a double berth in the starboard quarter with limited headroom (back of the boat). Please remember this is only a 42ft boat with an elegant raked stern so spaces are communal, there are a few low beams and limited storage.

Lizzie has a lovely oak table, a small heater in the saloon, hot and cold water and WC, galley and modern navigational equipment. She carries all safety equipment required for her commercial coding under the MCA (Marine Coastguard Agency) and licensed to sail offshore up to 60 miles from a safe haven.

Lizzie May Skipper Jerry 

Jerry Headley bought Lizzie May in 2007- with the intention of setting up his own charter company, after a rather life changing voyage to Paimpol Shanty Festival on 'Eve of St Mawes.' He was not the only Eve crew on that voyage to find themselves owning a classic wooden boat. (Classical Guitarist James Boyd bought classic yacht Concord - currently nominated for Classic Boat Magazine Restoration of the Year)
 

Jerry's enthusiasm for pilot cutters shone through and it was evident he would make a sociable and relaxed charter skipper. Classic Sailing were thrilled to work with Jerry to establish Eve's  'sister ship' on the West Coast of Scotland, near Jerry's home. 

 

Lizzie May Mini Brochure & More details

Full Sailing Schedule - All of Lizzie May Voyages, dates & prices

 

 

 

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