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Sail Lizzie May

Step back in time and join us for a nautical adventure on board the elegant Lizzie May. Stepping aboard this traditional wooden pilot cutter is like stepping back in time, freeing you of the shackles of modern life and giving a strong sense of the golden age of seafaring. Whether you simply hear the call of the sea with no previous experience or are a skilled sailor, we look forward to welcoming you aboard. One of our trusted and knowledgeable skippers will be responsible for the sailing and navigation of the vessel, although hands-on guest participation is fully encouraged and always welcomed to ensure the crew experience the great satisfaction of arriving at a destination having worked the boat during the day’s sail.

We sail in the picturesque, unspoilt waters of the West Coast of Scotland where the freedom of sailing the boat into places inaccessible by land showcases the natural grandeur of the Scottish West Coast, with its unsurpassable blend of mountain and seascape… Read More

 

“To lay amongst these timbers listening to the sea rushing past is to feel seafaring’s lost heartbeat”

Lizzie May’s History

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”. Lizzie May, at 42’ long, is a beautiful replica of a sailing 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.

“She is a little gem, a lovely boat to sail, handles like a dingy, proving very smart in confined waters”

A Little Gem

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.

“When balanced the boat is easy on the helm and an absolute joy to sail”

A Joy To Sail

Pilot cutters carry a versatile gaff rig, which is designed to give the vessel power and speed whilst easily handled by a small crew. This rig has proven to be extremely adaptable for both racing and long distance voyages.

When carrying all their sails, these elegant vessels are most exhilarating to sail, while in their working rig they are able to maintain a steady cruising speed with an easy motion. When balanced the boat is easy on the helm and an absolute joy to sail.