Agnes is a 46ft wooden pilot cutter, owned and built by Luke Powell in 2003 and flagship of his boat-building company. Traditionally rigged from her lofty topmast to her barrel windlass Agnes is sailed with a certain panache as she explores the stunning coasts of the West Country and Celtic shores from Galicia to Scotland. Shipwright Luke and his wife Jo are thoughtful hosts effortlessly sharing their passion for sailing and the good life promising beautiful anchorages, amazing sunsets, delicious wine and feasting on freshly prepared meals.
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- Length overall : 64ft
- Length on deck : 46ft
- Year built : 2003
- Vessel type/rig : Gaff Cutter
- Guest berths : 6
- Crew berths : 2
The Experts View: What Agnes Does Best
Summer Cruising with Style
If you have ever fantasised about living on a wooden boat and sailing under canvas to wherever the winds take you, then a voyage on Agnes comes close to that dream. This comfortable and spacious vessel is a joy to live on as she boasts full standing headroom below decks with large skylights which fill her with sunlight. The beautifully crafted interior has the modern additions of a fridge, freezer, wood-burner and a washroom with shower. Her accommodation is light and airy and with a maximum of 8 people on board there is room for all to socialise in comfort or find your own little bolt hole. The uncluttered wooden decks provide enough space to stride confidently to a task at the mast or sunbathe under the bulwarks. Many of us would love to steal her.....but you can pretend she is yours for the voyage.
Sharing a Life Under Working Sail
After building eight new wooden pilot cutters, shipwright Luke Powell was determined to enjoy the fruits of his labours; In 2014 he adeptly swapped professions from boat-builder to entertaining charter skipper. Together Luke and his wife Jo make an amazing team and over the last few years have introduced hundreds of guest crews to Agnes and their favourite sailing grounds. Luke is now building a 9th pilot cutter called 'Pellew' but will still be skippering Agnes on some trips. When Luke is not aboard, Jo Powell helps keep Agnes true to her ethos and cooks delicious meals whilst guest skippers like Melissa or Jelte carry on the tradition of sailing Agnes with panache. You cannot help be drawn into their life of linseed oil, perfect sail trim, rowing tenders and oil lamps.
Had the best sail ever on Agnes...with Luke as Captain. he's a great artist, sailor and fun guy to be with and Joanna's tasty fish stew and homemade scones and jam made it perfect...and Agnes - her spirit so strong and powerful, yet graceful and gentle - a true goddess of sail. I would trust Agnes in any sea and any weather - Shes Cosmic ! Jeanette, Tuscon, Arizona.
Showcasing Wooden Ship Building
If you respect craftmanship and have an interest in maritime history then sailing on Agnes will the place to learn more. Concerned by the lack of sailing examples of the working sail boats that once graced Britain's shores, Luke has been trying to re-dress the balance by researching and building historic replicas. The original Agnes was built in 1841 and was the last pilot cutter to work out the Isles of Scilly. In building new wooden beauties like Agnes, Eve, Lizzie May, Hesper, Tallulah, Amelie Rose, Ezra, Freja and now Pellew he has created a future for British wooden boat-building which has spread beyond one company.....and it also means there are a lot more traditional charter boats out there for us to sail.
What to Expect
Style of Sailing
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. You will learn a lot of old fashioned seamanship, simply by sailing the Agnes way.
If you are sailing overnight on a longer passage, you will be part of a watch rota with the skipper or mate, but many of the trips make the most of daylight hours for sailing and aim to relax in an anchorage over night.
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. The skippers and crew specialise in searching out unspoilt and quiet coves for anchorage, where Agnes can create a scene from another century.
Life on Board
Onboard Agnes, you will never go hungry as the food supplied will be delicious, fresh and if possible locally sourced. As well as being an experienced traditional boat sailor, the chef, Joanna Powell has a great love of cooking and and is clearly evident in the food she prepares on each voyage. Guest cooks like Diana also effortlessly whistle up meals below, whilst the guest crew gather with anticipation around the helmsman's long thwart seat, enjoying tea and cake or when anchored pre supper tapas with a glass of wine.The ambience of sharing freshly cooked meals on board with locally sourced ingredients 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.
Agnes sleeps 6 guests with 2 crew. Below deck there is spacious headroom for most guest crews with 4 bunks in a forward cabin, two bunks opposite the washroom, and a comfortable saloon and galley area for socialising in. Please see the accommodation page for photos and full details.
Beautifully crafted Agnes is a homely and spacious vessel with full standing headroom below decks. The unusually large skylights maximise the feeling of space as the sunlight streams below into the comfortable saloon. For chillier or more inclement days the wood-burner will provide a warming backdrop to enjoy your evening glass of wine. With a maximum of 8 people on board there is plenty of room to socialise together or if you wish to have a moment to yourself there is always a little nook to retire too.
Agnes sleeps 6 guests with 2 crew. For guests, there are 4 bunks in a forward cabin and 2 bunks opposite the good sized washroom complete with shower. There is plenty of hot water and the bunks are all made up with linen, duvets and pillows!
Many of us would love to steal her.....but you can pretend she is yours for the voyage.
Agnes was built by Luke Powell in 2003 to the lines of the original Agnes of 1841, a top pilot cutter from the Isles of Scilly. Originally 46' on deck by 13' 3' beam by 8'6 draft and weighs 26 tons Agnes is a gaff rigged vessel where her main port is Falmouth in Cornwall.
Meet the Skipper & Crew
Skipper, Business Partner, Mate and Chef - Joanna
Joanna Powell creates a classic Agnes sailing holiday more than anyone else. Since Agnes became a charter boat, Jo has shaped the style of voyages, and been your host, creator of feasts for gourmet voyages and a vastly experienced ships mate.
In 2018 Jo steps into her role as skipper. Some would say she has been doing that for years!
Jo may modestly introduce herself as the ships cook if Luke or Jelte are on board as skipper, but she is also the boss! Luke and Jo make a great team when sailing together, but Luke is now building a 68ft pilot cutter at the Rhoda Mary Shipyard, so he is only on a few voyages as skipper this year.
Jo Powell will be on board for the majority of voyages to keep Agnes 'running true' - either as skipper or your host. Jelte from The Netherlands is the Agnes other regular skipper, when he is not working on barque Europa as 1st mate. Jelte has already successfully carried on Luke's tradition of flamboyant sailing and comfortable cruising last season and raced Agnes at the pilot cutter World Championships in 2017.
Skipper - Luke Powell
To some, Luke has had an unconventional life or has he been lucky enough to be able to follow his passions and build upon his dreams. Luke's influence on the renaissance of wooden boat building in this country cannot be under estimated and it would be hard to find a more passionate and experienced skipper for working wooden boats. Luke has built 8 pilot cutters with Agnes being one of the largest so far and the care and love that has been given to this beautiful boat ensures that overall maintenance is maintained to a high standard. With many voyages under his belt, Luke will ensure that any trip will be full of adventure; happily passing his passion and knowledge to all crew members with flair.
Skipper - Jelte Hibma
Jelte Hibma is a passionate skipper with the love of traditional sailing craft. Jelte is very much at home on any boat and is currently first mate on the wonderful Tall Ship Europa.
Guest Skipper - Melissa
Melissa is now working ashore full time in Classic Sailing HQ but you may find her back as relief skipper, mate....or just any excuse to sail the lovely Agnes.
Many years ago, Melissa decided that a career in sailing was for her and left her gallery assistant position in London for the shores of the West Country and has not looked back since. Melissa started teaching sailing in Scotland and now has numerous crewing and skippering adventures to boast about. From the shores of Cornwall to Spain Melissa is a very experienced and passionate skipper for traditional sailing boats.