dot Return to list
dot Boat Insurance
dot Boat Transport
dot Boat Loans
dot Boat Surveys
dot Trade-in Values

Bookmark This Ad

1889 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter - 50'

Year 1889
Length 50ft.
Price Pounds £385,000
Type: Pre-owned
Location United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Hull Material Roplene
Engine type Other
Contact Information
Builder: Hambley Cardiff, rebuilt David Walkey Gweek
Designer: Hambley Cardiff
Beam: 12 ft 0 in
Length on Deck: 50 ft 0 in
Max Draft: 7 ft 6 in
Displacement: 62000 lbs Half Load
Keel Type: Full

Additional Specs, Equipment and Information:

Boat Name
Builder: Hambley Cardiff, rebuilt David Walkey Gweek
Designer: Hambley Cardiff
Keel: Full
LOA: 65 ft 6 in
Beam: 12 ft 0 in
LWL: 44 ft 0 in
Length on Deck: 50 ft 0 in
Minimum Draft: 7 ft 6 in
Maximum Draft: 7 ft 6 in
Displacement: 62000 lbs Half Load

Brokers Comments

One of only two survivors from the great Cardiff yard of Hambly, known for producing famously elegant working cutters, MARIAN is the 2nd oldest of only 18 remaining Bristol Channel pilot cutters. In 1999 master shipwright David Walkey, notable surveyor David Cox and designer Ed Burnett were all involved in the rebuild that has left MARIAN immensely strong. The qualities that served her during her working life contribute now to an incredibly seaworthy, comfortable vessel with long legs - and she is one of the fastest pilot cutters afloat. The beauty, simplicity and almost humble presence of this boat will take your breath away.

Restorations can sometimes struggle to restore the simplicity of the original – and hence the spirit of such a vessel. The current owner was adamant that MARIAN should be as she had been – a working pilot cutter and has therefore succeeded on all counts – not least that she can be sailed as hard as originally intended too!


MARIAN’s pilot was John Morse, and at her launch in 1889 the boat was named after his daughter. Yet it was not many decades before the First World War ended the era of competing sailing pilot cutters in the Bristol Channel that had produced at its evolutionary peak some of the fastest, most seaworthy and most appealing working craft in the history of sail. Like all pilot cutters MARIAN was thrown up on the mud at this time. Later, she was rescued and converted into a yacht and renamed COLABA. In the 1930s she was bought by a pioneer of aircraft design, Johnny Aherne-Heron. He, inspired by Erling Tambs and “The Voyage with Teddy”, had plans to sail her with his wife and daughter to New Zealand, but the Second World War intervened. COLABA lay during the war in a mud berth on the Hamble. By the late 1950s she was filling with the tide against the King’s Quay in Brixham where a young man of adventurous spirit, William Taylor, found her and fixed her up. When the current owner caught up with MARIAN in 1997, she was at Gweek near the top of the Helford River. It was apparent that before long she would need a thorough rebuild - but her beauty shone through. Soon, the timber for the rebuild was piling up on the quay (the larch from 160-year-old trees blown down on a Scottish estate in the October 1987 storm, and much of the oak from the same Herefordshire forest that supplied the rebuilding of the Great Hall of Windsor after its fire). Meanwhile, MARIAN provided some delightful seasons of cruising, racing and festivals in the Bristol Channel and in Brittany. In late 1999 the master shipwright David Walkey and team with the notable surveyor David Cox as project manager and designer, Edward Burnett as consultant on sail plan and ballasting, took her in hand and at Gweek began the rebuild that has brought MARIAN back to full glory and an immensely strong state.


- Larch planking on oak frames bronze fastened throughout
- Bullet-proof Ekki for stem, keel and sternpost
- Douglas fir laid deck
- Teak fore hatch, companionway and cockpit
- Douglas fir and spruce spars

Accommodation and Domestic Equipment

- Accommodation for seven in five dedicated sea berths and two settee berths
- From cockpit step up forward and through sliding hatchway and companionway steps down
- Lobby white boarded and chart table with nav instruments to port
- Access through bulkheads either side forward to main saloon
- Main saloon in white and pale blue décor with contrasting joinery
- Lighting from above by deck prisms and oil lamps
- 2 x Settee berths; 1 each side with stowage outboard
- 2 x Pilot berths above and outboard with lee boards
- Fine oak hinged drop leaf table seats up to 10
- Faversham wood burner against bulkhead fwd to port
- Access fwd stbd of mast to well designed galley stbd
- Stainless steel sink set in joinery worktop and bronze pump tap
- Stowage in cupboards below and lockers out board with shelf above
- Gimballed Taylor’s 030L paraffin 2 burner hob and oven
- Head compartment to port with Lavac manual WC
- Stainless steel sink with bronze pump tap
- Stowage in lockers outboard above and below basin
- Open access fwd to fore cabin
- Stowage to port and forward including chain locker
- 1 x Berth to stbd
- Companionway ladder to fore deck
- Coming aft through saloon
- Bookshelves abaft saloon pilot berths and on port bulkhead to right
- Lobby with steps up to companionway over engine compartment
- 2 x Quarter berths

Rig Spars and Sails

- Gaff cutter rig with built Douglas fir pole mast
- Douglas fir boom
- Hollow Douglas fir gaff
- Hollow Douglas fir topsail yard
- Pine booming-out pole
- Spruce bowsprit
- Original “Appledore” roller-reefing gear and mainsheet horse
- Galvanised standing rigging by Traditional Rigging of Bristol
- Halyards and sheets by English Braids - all in near-new condition

All sails by Patrick Selman

- Main
- Staysail; one set reefing points
- No 1 jib
- Working jib
- Spitfire jib
- Main topsail
- Jib topsail
- Water sails

Deck Equipment and Ground Tackle

From aft
- Teak cap rail over high bulwarks all round
- Bronze fairleads
- Main sheet horse
- Tiller steering
- Lazarette with vent in hatch cover
- 4 x Sampson posts
- Deep cockpit with helmsman’s seat, access to accommodation forward
- Wide side decks offering good stowage for the tender and fisherman’s anchor
- 2 x rows of prism lights set in side decks
- Vent in dorade box abaft mast
- Deep fore hatch with hinged lid
- Bowsprit bitts
- Original Simpson-Lawrence anchor winch
- 2 x 75 lb CQR anchors
- 1 x 70 lb Fisherman’s anchor by Nevins Yard, NY to Sparkman and Stephens specification
- 1 x 35 lb kedge anchor
- Gun tackles for staysail sheets
- Ash blocks all round
- Traditional leathered galvanised deck hoops to hold yards, sculls, etc
- Ten foot Chaisson semi-dory as punt, stowed abaft the mast (2012)

Mechanical Electrical and Tankage

- Perkins 65 HP Diesel; less than 1300 hours
- 105 Gallon fuel tank under cockpit
- 2 x Sets parallel filters to switch in case of blockage
- 2 x Water tanks under each settee berth; total capacity 130 gallons

Navigation Communication and Electronics

- Garmin GPS
- Depth sounder
- Cobra DSC VHF- Garmin GPS
- Depth sounder
- Cobra DSC VHF


- New Waypoint Ocean Elite 8-man valise life raft
- New Kannad EPIRB
- Danbuoy
- Life belts and more

Restoration Refit and Owners Comments

MARIAN’s was a total rebuild by one of the country’s most respected shipwrights, ensuring total strength and integrity. On the way back from Ireland this summer 2014, we found a cobweb in the bilges. The philosophy of the rebuild was to bring MARIAN back as far as practicable to her origins as a pilot cutter. Down below, the pilot cutter spirit is maintained with the passage way to starboard, saloon table to port and pilot bunks to each side; and the whole layout speaks to MARIAN’s great sea keeping qualities. On deck, the only winch is the anchor winch. For headsail sheet purchases we use blocks and tackles. She is a powerful boat, but with a stable platform to work on and with her original - and brilliant - roller-reefing gear, she is amazingly fit for sailing short-handed - as the craft used to be in their working days.


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.

Home | Directories | My Profile | My Bookmarks | Login

Copyright ©2006-2018. All Rights Reserved.

Contact us