Lizzie May

A well-known writer on traditional sail and a former owner of pilot cutters, Tom Cunliffe, wrote of Lizzie May “To lay amongst these timbers listening to the sea rushing past is to feel seafaring’s lost heartbeat”. At 42′ long, she’s a beautiful replica of a pilot cutter of the mid to late 19th century, with her design inspired by the historic craft of the Isles of Scilly.

Lizzie May was the second creation from the acclaimed boat builder Luke Powell, originally taking 20 months to build her in 1998, then refurbished in 2001. Working pilot boats in the age of trading sailing ships had to have a reasonable degree of comfort below deck, so that the pilot would be fresh to take over a ship after spending perhaps several days aboard his pilot cutter ‘seeking’ a seagoing trading ship to see safely to its destination. Lizzie May’s accommodation, deck and rig are true to pilot cutters in the golden age of trading sail and her ambiance is widely regarded as authentic. She is a little gem, a lovely boat to sail, handles like a dingy, proving very smart in confined waters and easy to manoeuvre being so well balanced.

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