Skip to main content

Directory - Pilot Cutters of Europe

Pegasus at the Pilot Cutter Review

How to Identify Pilot Cutters


Classic Sailing has created this European Pilot Cutter Directory becuase we have a strong affinity with pilot cutters. Our first charter boat was pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes and we have many happy customers who have sailed on a handful of pilot cutters who have been licensed for skippered charter charter.

The legend lives on and Classic Sailing help to celebrate this iconic working boat through Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review. This World Championships for original and replica pilot cutters is held in Cornwall every year.

More About the Pilot Cutter Review

If you want some tips on how to identify the 37 pilot cutters (originals, restorations and replicas) that you are likely to see sailing around Europe, then check out the list below.  Apart from photos of some of the pilot cutters, 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 on or in private ownership.

Current Sailing Opportunities on Pilot Cutters

 

Cornubia - original pilot cutter by Debbie Purser
Cornubia - original pilot cutter by Debbie Purser

Pilot Cutter Revival

Classic 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

Length on deck 38’
Built 1997 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Eve on the main sail. Light blue hull.
Who owns her: formerly Classic Sailing- but now in private ownership
 

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Eve of St Mawes
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Eve of St Mawes

 
Lizzie May

Length on deck 42’
Built 1998 by Luke Powell
Recognisable features: Very raked fan tail counter stern
Who owns her now: Owned by one of our past customers Jerry Headley. Previously a charter vessel but for sale
Where does she sail: West Coast of Scotland was her charter ground but now in Penryn.
 
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
 
Agnes Sailing Programme
 

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Agnes
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Agnes

 
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: 
 
Can I sail on her ? Private owners

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Hesper
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Hesper

 
 
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
 
Ezra
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: . Private owners who may use her commercially for diving and arctic adventures.
 
Amelie 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 - Amelie Rose
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Amelie Rose

 
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

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Freja launch day
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Freja launch day

Pellew

In Construction at Rhoda Mary Historic Quay, Newham Road, Truro

launch date will be Sept 2019 length on deck 68ft Design based on Falmouth Pilot Cutter Vincent F8 Owned by Cornwall Pilot Cutter CIC Being built by Luke Powell and apprentices

If you are interested in commissioning a new pilot cutter or wooden traditional vessel of any size then contact Luke and Jo at www.workingsail.co.uk

 Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Pellew
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Pellew

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
 
Merlin

Launched 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


 
Westernman
Length on deck 40’
Built 19987? Westerman design by Nigel Irens. Built by Covey Island Boatyard, Nova Scotia.
Recognisable features: tan sails
Where? Based in Scotland and up for sale. (As of 3-1-18)
Who owns her now:  Lloyd Cromwell Griffiths 


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 -for sale
 
 
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.

Pegasus Voyages with Classic Sailing

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Pegasus
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Pegasus

 
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 Grey Length on deck 38ft 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

Edith Gray is for Sale in 2015

 

La Cale 2 Lile - French Association

 

Saint Michel II

Built 2005-2011

Replica based on Jules Verne's second yacht. Lines of a Le Harve pilot cutter

Black hull with red/white topsides

cream sails

based in Pornic near Loire Estuary

you can sail her as a member of the association

See website www.lacale2lile.fr

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Saint Michel II
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Saint Michel II

 

Restored original pilot cutters - out there sailing

Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Polly Agatha, Jolie Brise and Agnes
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Directory - Polly Agatha, Jolie Brise and Agnes

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
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 (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.

For Sale 2018
 
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 (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
 
Frolic -
needs rescuing. In a bad way 2018
 
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: Private owners

Not chartering
 

Marie Claude
Martin Heard GRP replica of St Malo Pilot Cutter
Recently sold to UK owner

Relevant voyages

Vessel Start Date End Date Start Port End Port Price
Off

What others say about us

CURRENT AVERAGE   4.6 STARS
249 REVIEWS

Facebook reviews

"A life changing experience with talented crew who gave us hope for mankind ...and biscuits"

Customer comments

Read what the press say about our holidays
 

Magazine articles

 

Why book with Classic Sailing?

The call of the sea

Destinations for sailors & explorers

Over 300 voyages a year

11, 051 customers introduced to

traditional boats and tall ships.

Tell us your sailing dreams

Experts

Office Team of 4 Skippers

6 Times Around the World between Us

Selling Holidays for 22 Years

3 Dogs to make us laugh

Contact Us

How to Book

Voyage Applications Online 24 /7

How to book a voyage

Terms & Conditions   Travel Insurance

Office open Mon - Fri, 9 - 5

Frequently Asked Questions