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Pilot Cutters under Sail

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Pilots and Pilotage in Britain and Northern Europe       

‘Jolie Brise’ ~ one of the most famous pilot cutters ever

The pilot cutters that operated around the coasts of northern Europe until the First World War were among the most seaworthy and beautiful craft of their size ever built, while the small number that have survived have inspired yacht designers, sailors and traditional craft enthusiasts over the last hundred years.

Even in their day they possessed a charisma unlike any other working craft. Their speed, close-windedness, strength and seaworthiness fused together into a hull and rig of particular elegance  – all in order to guide the mariner through the rough and tortuous waters of the European seaboard, bringing them an enviable reputation.

‘Jolie Brise’ Le Havre pilot cutter. One of only two remaining.

This book is both a tribute to, and a minutely researched history of, these remarkable vessels. The ships, their master and crews are described, in addition to the skills they needed for the competitive and dangerous work of pilotage. From the wild coastline of Norway to the rocks of northern France and the tides of the Bristol Channel, the differences between the craft are explained and interwoven with the history of their development and the stories of the men who sailed them.

Also included is a chapter on pilot cutter seamanship.

The author’s own boat ‘Saari’, now proved to be a true Colin Archer

224 stunningly illustrated pages with old b/w images, up-to-date colour photographs and paintings by modern artists, such as Martyn Mackrill, Colin Moore and Dominique Perotin.

Chapters on The Isles of Scilly, Falmouth, Plymouth, Isle of Wight, London, Norway and France

 

 

 

 

Pilot Horatio Davies on board the ‘Wave’

Pilot John Morgan of the cutter ‘Cardiffian’ sporting his silver medal awarded by the RNLI for saving 6 men

A hand-tinted image from an original magic lantern slide showing Cardiff cutter No 65

Barry Dock Harbour. Pilot cutters from here had the prefix ‘By’ on their mainsail

Pilot cutter ‘Hirta’ ex ‘Cornubia’ on the piles in the author’s ownership at Howth

‘Hirta’, ex Barry pilot cutter, at one of the early Douarnenez festivals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information

Weight 1300 g