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Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter - SOLD

  • Designer: Traditional
  • Builder: Hambly, J.
  • Year: 1902
  • Location Sweden
  • Length on deck: 50'2"
  • Beam: 13'6"
  • Draft: 8'6"
  • Tonnage(TM): 32TM


REF: 6802

Full Specification

Wooden ships comments on this Bristol channel pilot cutter

One of 18 surviving known Bristol channel Pilot Cutters, Baroque is one of the more well known boats because of the time she spent in the ownership of Bill Tilman, author, explorer and mountaineer, who used pilot cutters to take him to far flung parts of the world, otherwise inaccessible, so he could conquer mountains which had never been climbed before.

Baroque was built in 1902 by J. Hambly of Cardiff and worked as a pilot boat until 1922 when she was sold off.  In the 1930’s she was converted to a yacht and had a varied career of charter and also military service during WWII when she was sunk.

Eventually she was bought by Tilman and sailed on several expeditions to the frozen Arctic, exploring Greenland and Iceland, until he sold her off at the age of 80.

Baroque has been in the present Swedish ownership for many years, and after sailing the boat it was decided that she needed some major work and she was put ashore.  Work commenced on the hull and as had been expected, this became a major job, the end result being a virtually new hull.  The following is a list of all works completed:

  1. All new hull planking in larch
  2. 95% new framing in sawn oak
  3. Complete re-fastening with galvanised boat nails
  4. New keel, stem and stern posts, knees and deadwoods
  5. New beamshelf, deck beams and straight laid deck in Douglas Fir.

Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Length on Deck                                 50’2”

Beam                                                    13’6”

Draft                                                      8’6”

Thames Tonnage                             32TM





The hull can now be considered totally rebuilt and after inspection it appears the work has been done to a high standard.  Traditionally planked in pine, all galvanised fastened to sawn oak frames bolted in pairs.  The construction of this boat, as with most of the pilot cutters, is massive, designed to cope with sailing in terrible sea conditions.

Double stringer spans nearly the length of the hull at the turn of the bilge. Grown oak floors across the centreline.



Straight laid pine deck screw fastened to new deck beams, caulked and payed in the traditional manor.  Deck beams laid on a new heavy beamshelf.

New low bulwarks with new stanchions through the coverboards.

Carlings have been fitted for two skylights forward of the main hatch, however the skylights have not yet been made.  The main companionway hatch and cockpit has been constructed and fitted.



Before the refit started the complete rig was removed from the boat and is currently being stored ashore waiting to go back in.  The rig is complete with spars (except for the bowsprit) standing rigging, all metal work, all running rigging as well as a lot of spare cordage and blocks.  There is no bowsprit with the existing rig.

Chainplates have been fitted to the hull ready for the stepping of the mast.

There is a full sail wardrobe of good quality useable sails with the boat, plus some older sails.



A 40hp turbo charged 4cyl Volvo Penta diesel has been installed but has not yet been commissioned.  The engine beds and shaft are in place and the engine is in situ, however there are no electrical or fuel systems for the machinery.


This is a rare opportunity to purchase an original pilot cutter with a fantastic history, and because of the great work which has been done so far by the present owners, she now has a completely rebuilt hull and decks which is a very good basis for getting a pilot cutter in sea going condition.  The hard work has been done, the boat has been saved, now she needs a new custodian to finish her off and get her back on the water so she can go sailing for the next 110 years.





Mainsail, almost new in very good condition

2 jibs, good condition

2 staysails, good condition

Yankee, good condition

Topsail, good condition

A few older heavy weight sails from the period Tilman owned the boat.


1 heavy CQR anchor

2 x Fishermans anchors

Long length of heavy weight chain

Manual anchor windlass


Taylors galley stove

Dickinson diesel cabin heater

Sea toilet (New)

The complete interior was removed for the boat prior to work commencing so everything from that time goes with the boat including some nice joinery and a lot of technical parts.


These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.


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