Wooden Ships Comments on this Pilot Cutter Replica Yacht
Inspired by the lines of a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter called Hilda, the builder and owner employed a naval architect to slightly alter the lines in order to get more internal volume and therefore more accommodation than the original working boat. The underwater lines are barely altered, however the topsides have been increased by one plank and the exaggerated sheer flattened a little which has created a cavernous interior space making her a very comfortable boat.
Built by the owner over a period of time, the keel was laid down in April 2006 and the hull was launched in summer 2012, however she was officially commissioned and finished in 2014. The owner trained as a shipwright with Hillyards from an early age and went on to run a very successful large scale carpentry business so has a wealth of knowledge and skills which he employed to build this very fine yacht. Every tree was carefully chosen to ensure the timber that went into her was just right, the larch was all felled on an estate in southern England specially for this boat, and the choice of materials for fastenings and fixings is such that she is built to last.
The design strays away from the traditional pilot cutter in a very effective way, taking the best features of those seaworthy work boats that have been tested over time, but adding to them to make an excellent boat for modern cruising and sailing. The most notable addition is the doghouse which provides an excellent sheltered area and still allows the occupants to be on deck where they can enjoy the passing scenery. It also allows easy and safe access below decks without having to scramble in and out of a narrow sliding hatch and gives two extra sea berths if necessary. The hydraulic wheel steering is set on a box on the aft deck with the wheel facing forward so the helmsman can sit astride the box in a safe, secure and comfortable manner with the wheel forward of him. The hydraulics have been carefully balanced so as to make the feedback as good as possible but they still allow for easy control of the big rudder even when handling in close quarters under power.
This yacht had a season of shake down cruising with several local day trips and an extended passage around the English Channel in order to ensure the systems and rig are working correctly. Numerous changes have been made to running rigging to improve the leads of various lines and make deck work easier and simpler. She set off on a 6 week cruise around Britain in July ’17, sailing up the East Coast to Inverness and transitted the Caledonian Canal to Corpac on the West Coast. From Corpac she carried on North to the Isle of Mull and then down to Northern & Southern Ireland crossing the Irish Sea from Arklow to Cornwall and round Land’s End to carry on home along the South Coast. She performed perfectly all the way with no problems whatsoever despite some challenging weather in places proving herself once more to be a safe and very comfortable cruising boat for the modern sailing world. She has now been thoroughly tried and tested and the owner is absolutely delighted with his yacht.
Length on Deck 45’7″
Length Waterline 40′
Planked in 1 ¾” larch all bronze screw fastened to heavy sawn oak frames of 3 ¼” siding and tapering from 6″ thick at the keel down to 4″ at deck level, all at 18″ centres. All futtock bolts are bronze. The hull is caulked and payed in the traditional manner.
Oak keel, stern post, stem and deadwoods all through fastened with bronze bolts. Internal floors mainly of grown oak with bronze bolts, however there are a few bronze floors in the ends of the hull.
External lead ballast keel of 3 tonnes with bronze keel bolts, these pass right through the oak floors in order to tie the whole back bone together. 3 ¼ tonnes of internal ballast which is mostly lead ingots.
Decks and cockpit
Straight laid pine deck bronze screw fastened to the deck beams, caulked with cotton and the seams payed with Sikaflex.
Heavy section grown oak hanging knees and lodging knees to support the deck and hull, all fastened through with large copper rivets.
A relatively high bulwark all round is set on stanchions which are bolted alongside the frame heads with an oiled oak capping rail. A single guard wire on bronze stanchions runs aft from the shrouds.
Cavel bars fore and aft for mooring lines give reliable strong points.
There is no cockpit, the wheel steering is mounted on a pedestal with a wooden structure aft of it which houses the hydraulic steering gear and acts as a seat for the helmsman in a very successful manner.
The doghouse has been designed in such a way that it does not detract from the aesthetics of the hull. With a significant camber on the roof and a curve to the top of the windows there is a certain softness about its design which makes it decidedly unobtrusive yet eminently practical. The companionway from the deck is extremely wide with double folding doors and a sliding hatch, and with only a short step down into the doghouse it is very easy to access even when the ship is moving in a seaway. Once in the doghouse there are comfortable bench seats either side which double as berths when on passage but more importantly give sheltered seating in a position where it is still possible to see the world passing by. This is superb when sailing in colder climates to ensure the entire crew do not freeze, but also for family sailing, those not wishing to be out in the elements can still be part of the sailing and enjoy the scenery while staying warm and dry without having to go below decks.
At the forward end of the doghouse is a large box set athwart ships which is an excellent seat but also gives a large amount of secure deck storage.
A butterfly skylight is set over the main saloon just aft of the mast with double glazed toughened glass. Over this is a teak deck table on galvanised legs which serves several purposes, firstly it makes an excellent table when entertaining on deck and secondly it gives a flat and stable platform on which to stand when packing the mainsail, otherwise the crew would constantly be clambering over the skylight and damaging the varnish.
Slightly offset to starboard on the foredeck is a very traditionally designed forehatch with double doors and a sliding curved top.
Gaff cutter rig on a solid keel stepped mast with a fidded topmast. Mast and topmast both finished in oil.
Slab reefing boom with wooden jaws. Wooden gaff yard with oak jaws. Both boom and gaff are varnished.
Bowsprit is set through the bulwark to the port side of the stem with a galvanised gammon iron bolted to the side of the stem. The heel is held between the large oak bitts with a securing pin. The bowsprit can be run in and out using a heel rope round a pulley in the heel of the bowsprit and the oak rollers set top and bottom of the bowsprit in the bitts. This is not a job the crew would wish to do on a daily basis but the task has been made as easy as possible.
Galvanised wire standing rigging which has been parcelled and served in the traditional way and coated with black varnish. Standing rigging is tensioned with dead eyes and lanyards to external galvanised chainplates, these are virtually the only galvanised bolts in the entire hull. The oak deadeyes were all specially made by the builder for this rig. Galvanised rigging screw attached to the channel boards takes the top mast cap shroud.
All sails new in 2014 by Crusader Sails.
No.1 Jib 258sqft
Jib headed topsail 216sqft
No.2 Jib 150sqft Second hand sail from 2003, good condition.
A single pair of large sheet winches have been placed on the deck amidships in order to make handling the headsail sheets an easier task. This has proved successful and does not detract unduly from her traditional design.
Yanmar 4-LH-TE 10hp 4cyl diesel engine installed as a reconditioned unit. Single lever control with a centreline stainless steel shaft through the sternpost to a fixed 3 blade bronze propellor. Gives 8 knots max speed, 7 knots cruising at 5 litres per hour consumption.
Engine removed in late 2017 for a thorough service and check
Welded aluminium fuel tank on the centreline aft of the engine. 210 litre capacity with twin fuel filters.
Stainless steel water tank located in the forepeak.
Stainless steel grey water tank with electric pump out under the cabin sole at the aft end of the saloon. All grey water from the heads and galley drains into this and is pumped overboard.
4 large capacity 12 volt batteries under the companionway steps give dedicated engine starting and a separate domestic bank. Charging is from engine alternator and through a 240v charger when connected to shore power.
10 berths total. Quarter cabin each side with a generous single which pulls out to a double. Pilot berth in the saloon with a saloon settee berth each side. Forepeak has 3 single berths with the potential to be easily changed to suit the requirements of a new owner.
The saloon has been purposely kept very open and light and because of the extra height of freeboard there is a vast amount of space with a very wide cabin sole making it feel like the saloon of a much larger boat.
Access to the quarter cabins in either corner of the saloon through panelled doors. Single berths which pull out to make comfortable doubles. Glazing in the sides of the companionway allows light into the quarter cabins.
The companionway down from the doghouse is exceptionally wide with brass handrails with 2 sets of steps down over the engine box. The galley is to port and the chart area is to starboard.
The wide cabin sole is made of laid oak boards with a centre line table. The table has been cleverly built with leaves that fold over from the top rather than lift up from underneath which means that the people seated around the table do not have to move in order to fold the leaves up.
The settee berths are very long giving space for 8 to sit comfortably at the table. Pilot berth to port behind the settee.
The bulkhead at the forward end of the saloon has been carefully designed as a curve in order to allow passage around the forward side of the mast. The panels have all been exquisitely hand made to create the curve which increases the feeling of space in the saloon enormously.
New cast iron wood burner fitted in 2016.
The L-shaped galley has oak work tops with cupboards below and above under the deckhead. Double stainless sink outboard with hot and cold pressurised water, drains into the grey water sump tank.
Gas oven with 3 burners, oven and grill mounted athwart ships and uses fiddle rails rather than being gimballed.
Heads compartment is forward of the saloon to port. Jabsco sea toilet pumps directly overboard. Provision has been made for a shower tray if required. The panelling in the heads is in keeping with the rest of the boat.
Sestrel steering compass
Garmin 128 GPS
Autohelm 7000 hydraulic autopilot
4 x lifejackets
Life buoys with lights
34kg CQR anchor
90m of 1/2″ chain
100m 1.5″ warp
Seago 2.9m inflatable dinghy
Deck hatch covers
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.