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Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Possible next project

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Malcolm Frary11/02/2021 11:16:23
1010 forum posts

Reducing the size of a sail model usually results in severely restricting sailing opportunities (wind forces scale the wrong way) and/or reducing performance expectations.

Both can be got back to an extent by fitting a weighted keel under the hull. See the square rigger article in his months MBM.

Dave Cooper 611/02/2021 11:20:37
290 forum posts
29 photos

Just had a reply from Sarik and they will sell just the plan for the "Margueritte" pilot cutter. This size definitely fits my car.

However, with a bit of juggling diagonal spaces etc, I think I can carry a larger hull. Say, a 1/12 scale may be possible. Full-size of the photo above is 52 feet.

The Sarik 'plan' is more deck detail and side profile but could form the basis of a full design. Hence, more research required...

Looking at various videos, it does seem that the larger sailing boats are better able to cope when the wind gets up.

Will give another update soon.

Dave

Ray Wood 211/02/2021 11:49:48
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2418 forum posts
849 photos

Hi Dave,

Which ever you choose find one with drawings which include the sail plan/v&a ambo finals sept 17 039.jpgrig, Margueritte is 3/4" to the foot so will be around 40" long and will weigh around 30 lbs.

Why don't you consider a Thames Sailing Barge ? say Veronica, excellent 7 sheets of drawings and when your finished worth circa £400.00

Regards Ray

Dave Cooper 611/02/2021 14:54:10
290 forum posts
29 photos

Wise words Ray - I thought you've been keeping your powder dry !

Yes, Thames barges, Cobles, Norfolk Wherries and more on the list. Sail plan is a must as are good constructional details....ballast requirements etc.

Several experts have also mentioned 'over-scale' rudders to assist with tacking and the stronger wind days. Just how much larger I'm not sure - could be a case of making two or three then, trial and error.

What are you up to ? Building ?

Regards,

Dave

Ray Wood 211/02/2021 15:19:19
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2418 forum posts
849 photos

Hi Dave,

Yes all long keel boats like going straight, and need extra rudder area, I had the Billings Colin Archer for a while which needed the motor on to tack cleanly , Well I'm just finishing Eventide & doing the deck furniture for MS Oldenburg, so busy with work also but working from home is great, keep us posted

Regards Ray

Dave Cooper 612/02/2021 16:44:57
290 forum posts
29 photos

Just found out that Tom Cunliffe has written a book about pilot cutters.

There is also a Youtube video of him sailing in "Jolie Brise" a French-built pilot cutter now owned by Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire.

56 tons and no winches ! Just one anchor windlass and everything else is done with pulley blocks and manpower (sometimes girl power too).

The boat has a history of fast racing including the Fastnet. Must try and get a copy of his book.

Tim Rowe12/02/2021 17:36:38
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564 forum posts
562 photos

Hi Dave

Jolie Brise won the very first Fastnet Race and came back to do it another time later.

There is a great book on Jolie Brise by Robin Bryer ISBN 0-436-07181-9 a fascinating read with photos and plenty of sketches.

I have a hankering to build a Thames Barge from drawings Ray kindly sent me. I might treat it as a long term project to plod along while I do other things.

These cutters have very distinct hull lines and will be quite a challenge but no sharp changes of section at the bow or stern so you should be able to plank the whole hull without resorting to carving blocks to shape.

You have to remember those were the days when a sack of coal weighed 1 cwt.!!

Tim R

Edited By Tim Rowe on 12/02/2021 17:37:30

Dave Cooper 612/02/2021 18:59:15
290 forum posts
29 photos

20 cwt = 1 ton, those were the days Tim ! I vaguely remember, from schooldays, "Rods, Poles and Perches" as well. I wonder if they were ever nautical terms...or, agricultural perhaps ?

I think I've found Tom Cunliffe's book on Amazon - seems to have v.good reviews. I'll look out for Robin Bryer's as well.

Got a feeling I may have to work up a design of sorts from drawings in books etc. I think this would be good fun - especially the research side. A bit of a risky approach, but, I may make a part-size card model first to see how the hull shapes up.

Regards,

Dave C

Tim Rowe12/02/2021 19:33:41
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564 forum posts
562 photos

Dave

There is a lines plan in Robin's book. You would have to scale it up and that would probably produce some errors that would have to be faired in.

For a model it would suffice to cut the frame stations out in card. Set them up at the correct spacing and cut back any high spots using a thin batten wrapped around the frames. You could then sort out any gross errors before cutting out the bulkheads and frames in ply.

I am talking about Jolie Brise though and not a Bristol Pilot Cutter.

Tim R

Dave Cooper 617/02/2021 11:00:10
290 forum posts
29 photos

Slowly working my way through Tom Cunliffe's excellent book "Pilot Cutters Under Sail". There are several lines drawings including the Jolie Brise.

There is also mention of a very fast Bristol Channel cutter "Kindly Light", commissioned and operated by an enterprising fellow from Barry, South Wales. This rumoured to be the fastest of its era...(just before WW1, and no drawings found as yet).

I have also found other lines drawings on-line. These seem to have variations on the classic 'wineglass' hull sections. Pro's and con's are alluded to but all feature deep 'dead drops' at the stern.

As Tom's book covers Northern Europe as well as Britain, there may well be other gems to discover. The research continues....

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