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martin schulz
04-25-2001, 02:04 PM
Everyone knows about the famous Bristol Channel Cutter. I am looking for Informations about other english Pilot Cutters (Falmouth e.c.) especially the ones that were built in Brixham. I do know that Uphams built Pilot Cutters as well as the well known Trawler, but I have no further Informations.

Stephen
04-25-2001, 04:35 PM
I have some pictures of Gladimaris. She was built in the late 1800's and was believed working out of Tiegnmouth(forgive the spelling). She's currently on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where she is very well taken care of. I'll try to find those pics for you.
Also - try a search on the forum under "Linton Hope" , the designer. I believe I saw a post in the past of a boat out of San Fran with an ex-pilot boat pedigree.
I'll look into my personal files as well for you and see what else I can manage to scrape up. What kind of stuff are you looking for?

martin schulz
04-26-2001, 02:15 AM
Actually I am the proud owner of a small Upham built Gaff Cutter. It is a kind of mixture between a Pilot Cutter and a yacht. The Lines look like a Harrison Butler Design, but it has a Gaff Rigg and is too small for a Harrison Butler yacht. So my guess is that Upham tried to sell traditional looking small (24') yachts with the sail plan of their own Pilot Cutter designs. so I am looking for english Pilot Cutter designs especially those for the Channel.

ACB
04-28-2001, 04:42 AM
I have posted remarks to this effect before here, but will repeat myself. You will not find any other British "Pilot Cutter" types, apart from the Bristol Channel ones. The reason is very simple.

In the nineteenth century and up to 1914, the world's fleet of steamships ran on coal which was mined in South Wales and exported to the "coaling stations" around the world in tramp steamers. This was by far the biggest bulk cargo trade by volume of those days. Almost every tramp steamer which had discharged at a port in North Europe would load coal from South Wales as an outward freight. The Welsh ports along the Bristol Channel were packed with steamers, the Bristol Channel is a very difficult adn dangerous stretch of water, with huge tides, lee shores all round, and no ports of refuge. Therefore there was a huge demand for pilots, and ships wanted to take their pilots whilst still well out to sea.

Competition between these pilots caused them to build, and keep building, new and better pilot cutters.

This situation did not occur anywhere else in Britain. The only other port in Western Europe where the same circumstances arose was le Havfre where similar or even better pilot cutters were developed. Other ports did not need so many Pilots boarding so far out to sea.

Falmouth for example is a very easy port to reach; that is why the Falmouth Quay Punt developed to serve the big square riggers which made "Falmouth for orders" in order to learn where to make for to discharge their cargoes. No ned for Pilots to enter Falmouth Roads.

Thames Pilots boarded from smacks in the Estuary, or often with the steam tug in the das of sail. In many small ports the pilots boarded from rowing skiffs.

In most ports, the pilots used whatever small sailing craft came to hand; for example in Harwich until the 1920's they used an old Fife racing yacht!

For more on this, look at http://www.thewave.org

Michael Crick
02-14-2010, 08:02 AM
Actually I am the proud owner of a small Upham built Gaff Cutter. It is a kind of mixture between a Pilot Cutter and a yacht. The Lines look like a Harrison Butler Design, but it has a Gaff Rigg and is too small for a Harrison Butler yacht. So my guess is that Upham tried to sell traditional looking small (24') yachts with the sail plan of their own Pilot Cutter designs. so I am looking for english Pilot Cutter designs especially those for the Channel.

I owned Sionnachan for a few years after 1974. I converted her from sloop to gaff cutter working from Ted Leather's book on Gaff Rig. I also did a lot of work including splining the hull (she had at some stage dried out and been over-caulked) and rebuilding the cockpit, transom and rudder. I have found some pictures of her on the web, and one of them is now my screen-saver.

I still remember her with great affection, and would like to know what has happened to her, Do you still own her?

keyhavenpotterer
02-14-2010, 09:18 AM
I guess you have seen the Cockwell's site?

http://www.cockwells.co.uk/pilotcutter45.html

http://www.cockwells.co.uk/images/galleries/pilotcutter45/4.jpg

Brian

Peerie Maa
02-14-2010, 09:35 AM
Martin,
See if you can get hold of a copy of this: http://www.woodenboatstore.com/Pilots-II/productinfo/325-127/
There are some cutters discussed although there are mostly schooners.

StevenBauer
02-14-2010, 10:08 AM
It's funny when people don't seem to realize a thread is almost ten years old. Martin still has Sionnachan, Michael. He just doesn't post here enough about her. ;)
If you look for Martin's threads you'll find some gems like this one from his wedding thread:

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/sionnachan/Hochzeit/sionnachen-slip-2.jpg


Here's a video, too:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z437CJdIxg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z437CJdIxg)

I think that's Martin and Sionnachan at about the 6 1/2 minute mark. :)

Steven

Jeremy Burnett
02-14-2010, 12:04 PM
Martin, if you look up www.classic-sailing.co.uk there is on their home page a photo of the "Falmouth" pilot cutter, Vincent, from 1900.It looks very like a Brixham boat maybe a "Mumblebee" as in Edgar March's book.
Percy Dalton always said that the "Chloe May" a 42' cutter he designed was based on the "Falmouth" Pilot cutters.She has a transom stern.Luke Powell,s boats are based on Scilly Isles cutters. I think the boats swapped around, thus a boat built for one place might eventually end up in another.Uphams did have a design they built ,I think called a "Waterbug", which looks like yours.

Peerie Maa
02-14-2010, 01:09 PM
Luke Powell,s boats are based on Scilly Isles cutters.

I've always found this strange. The Scillonians are on record as using rowing gigs. I have not seen any published record of big pilot cutters.
Has any one else come across such a reference?

Jeremy Burnett
02-14-2010, 01:36 PM
Have a look at www.workingsail.co.uk

Michael Crick
02-14-2010, 02:35 PM
I don't think there was ever a Scillies pilot cutter. They did indeed use rowing gigs which could be rigged with a lug sail. The sail was used when speed was not an issue, rowing being much faster. I think that the nearest usual port for pilot cutters would be Falmouth on the mainland.

StevenBauer
02-14-2010, 06:59 PM
Here's another Sionnachan video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjR6zFwm_w

john welsford
02-15-2010, 01:52 AM
ABCs posting is right on the button, but boats of somewhat similar style were used in other areas of the UK for other purposes, and the two volume book
"Inshore Craft of Britain in the days of sail and oar" by Edgar J March with forward by John Leather, publisher Chatham Publishing, ISBN 1 86176 254 2 ( thats the 2 volume set) is a particularly useful reference for these and other coastal vessels from Britain.

John Welsford


Everyone knows about the famous Bristol Channel Cutter. I am looking for Informations about other english Pilot Cutters (Falmouth e.c.) especially the ones that were built in Brixham. I do know that Uphams built Pilot Cutters as well as the well known Trawler, but I have no further Informations.

PeterSibley
02-15-2010, 05:11 PM
I don't think there was ever a Scillies pilot cutter. They did indeed use rowing gigs which could be rigged with a lug sail. The sail was used when speed was not an issue, rowing being much faster. I think that the nearest usual port for pilot cutters would be Falmouth on the mainland.


http://www.workingsail.co.uk/Hist.html
http://www.workingsail.co.uk/1x1.gif http://www.workingsail.co.uk/1x1.gif
A Treacherous Place
The Isles of Scilly are a group of five inhabited islands, and over one hundred small islands and rocks, twenty eight miles south west of Land’s End in Cornwall, England. Being the first landfall for vessels bound for the English, Bristol and St George’s channels, ships would put into St Mary’s for orders, victualling, repairs, exchange of letters and waiting for a fair wind up channel. Although Scilly was a dangerous place to enter, particularly in bad weather when one’s exact position was unknown, the assistance of a local pilot with intimate knowledge of the rocks, reefs and tides turned this treacherous place into a safe haven that could provide many of the much needed services required after a long voyage.

The Finest Cutters in all of England
Forty six pilot cutters worked from the Isles of Scilly during the nineteenth century, with an average of three or four cutters stationed at each of the five main islands at any one time. The pilot cutters had to be fast, strong and seaworthy as they sailed the open seas all year round, going far out into the Atlantic in search of ships. Speed was essential in order to compete with other vessels to get their pilot aboard ship first in order to secure the job. The worse the weather the more their assistance was required which meant they not only had to cope with bad conditions but successfully operate in them. The Scillonian cutters developed a reputation as some of the finest pilot cutters in England having evolved to successfully ply their trade in some of the worst sea conditions in the British Isles.

Designed for Speed, Power and Seaworthiness
The pilot cutters from these Isles had powerful hulls, broad of beam to support a large rig, deep v-shaped sections with a square fore-foot and upright stern post giving them exceptional grip and stability in the water. With lean bows and a fine lute stern (the forerunner to the counter stern), they were able to cut through the seas with ease when fighting to windward. They were tiller steered with a flush deck and high bulwarks designed more for heavy seas than for light airs. Unlike later pilot cutters from around the coast they had a cargo hatch aft of the main mast, the hold being used for carrying supplies out to ships before they arrived in port. For extra revenue the cutters ran early potatoes to Wales, and to Southampton for transportation to Covent Garden.

Ship builders on St Mary’s
All but two of the pilot cutters to work from the Islands during the nineteenth century were built in the shipyards on St Mary’s. These yards had developed from humble beginnings at the end of the eighteenth century, when the first pilot cutter was built in 1793, to an industry supporting four shipyards by 1838. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the pilot cutters being built on the Islands were modest vessels, ranging from 36’ to 40’ in length. By the 1850’s the average size of vessels being built had increased to just over 50’ and by 1870 four cutters were over 60’, two of which were built this size and two which had been lengthened. Lengthening vessels was common practice throughout the period as a more economical way of remaining competitive with the new larger cutters. Presto became the largest cutter in the Isles of Scilly after being lengthened in 1866 to 69’ although Gem 2, the last cutter built on the Islands in 1875, was the largest new build at 63’.

End of an Era
By the late 1870’s pilotage in the Isles of Scilly was in decline due to the increased use of steam and the increasing size of ships which were now being built of iron. This new breed of ship steamed past the Isles preferring the services of Falmouth with its new dock and railway facilities. The Scillonian pilots aboard their proud vessels were now being shunned in preference of the Falmouth pilots who by the early 1880’s were sailing beyond Scilly looking for incoming ships to guide into their home port. The demise of the Scillonian pilot cutters was swift, by 1885 A.Z. and Rapid were broken up and used for fencing on Bryher, the following year Presto and Atlantic from St Mary’s and Gem from St Agnes were sold to pilots on the mainland. Tresco’s New Prosperous was lost at sea, while on St Martins Queen and Argus were put ashore to rot. Leaving only the Agnes, the last remaining cutter working alone and becoming known as the rosta as pilots from all the islands took turns to go out on her seeking what ships they could. When she finally finished with pilotage in 1896 the remaining pilots carried on their trade using the gigs, but pilotage could no longer support them as a full time occupation and soon they turned to the new economy of the Islands, growing flowers.

martin schulz
02-16-2010, 05:51 AM
Well...this thread is definitely 9 years old.
I didn't even realise that I own SIONNACHAN since 2001 - wow.

Of course back then I lacked a lot of informations about SIONNACHAN and the type of boat she is. Also back then I was desperate to have her categorize as some sort of Pilot Cutter, to be able to have her lying in the Museumharbour (who only accepts ex-working boats). So sometimes the need defines the truth ;)

But after I became CEO of the Museumharbour nobody "dared" to kick SIONNACHAN out and she became an "endured" guest. And now we also have the harbour for Classic Yachts in Flensburg where she has finally found a most fitting place to stay.

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/sionnachan/rumregatta/Sionnachan4.jpg

Larks
02-16-2010, 07:31 AM
Just lovely!!!!

Paul Pless
02-16-2010, 09:25 AM
But after I became CEO of the Museumharbour nobody "dared" to kick SIONNACHAN out and she became an "endured" guest. rofl :D

She's a beautiful boat Martin.:)

StevenBauer
02-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Just lovely!!!!


Yes, she's stunning. :)


Steven

PeterSibley
02-16-2010, 06:02 PM
Agreed !:)

martin schulz
02-17-2010, 06:52 AM
Yes, she's stunning. :)
Steven

Thanks, but lets stay realistic.

She is a comely boat, a bit too stubby to be elegant, not very fast of a practical not visionary design.

This (1886 WILLOW WREN) is a stunning boat:
http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/sionnachan/Willow%20Wren/sissi-2.jpg

Sayla
02-18-2010, 05:41 AM
Have a look at the Morecambe Bay Prawner form that helped mould the William Stoba designed, very successful pilot cutter 'Kindly Light' (and 'Alpha')

http://www.barbsweb.co.uk/history/boats.htm

http://www.researchthepast.com/kindly_light.htm

http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/ships_register.php?action=ship&id=472


And 'Jolie Brise' the le Harve pilot cutter

http://www.dauntseys.org/page.aspx?id=272

This site may help too
http://www.pilotcutter.ca/Significance.htm

I'm also quite taken with similar gaff cutters from the same era such as William Ferris' designs, and the G.F. Wanhill (of Poole) designed gaff cutter Thalia (originally with centreboard).

Started me dreaming again.............................

Sayla