Spring is almost upon us and already it’s beginning to feel like summer. The break in the weather has put a smile on everyone’s face including our skippers in Cornwall, the finishing touches and last coats of paint are applied and final preparations for the season ahead are being made. Each piece of wood has been sanded, varnished and painted whilst every shackle, block, rope, bolt and chain has been removed, cleaned, greased, tightened or replaced. It is no wonder that these majestic boats have managed to stay so beautiful over the years with an expert and talented team who are masters of their craft working tirelessly to ensure perfection.
The Pilot Cutters, Eve of St Mawes and Agnes are just two out of the sixteen different boats Classic Sailing offers voyages on. They have both spent their winter refit in Ponsharden and Jubilee Wharf in Falmouth. As the season start date approaches and coats of paint are added, the two of them are beginning to look as new and fresh as when they were first built. Both were designed and constructed by Luke Powell who is a champion for reviving Pilot Cutters and for classic boat building, each piece of wood crafted to create elegant vessels with a form steeped in history. (You can learn more about Luke Powell and Pilot Cutters here).
If you have booked a trip on board Agnes, you are in for a treat. Luke will be your skipper and his wife Jo is an infallible cook, this humble and fascinating couple have a lust for life and a thousand stories to share whilst you explore Cornwall, the Scillies or head to France for the long awaited Brest Festival. Remaining availability for Agnes can be found here.
Eve of St Mawes was Luke Powell’s first ever project, as one of the smaller boats in our fleet she is incredibly versatile making it easy for beginners to handle, but still with the option to have five sails flying. Debbie and Melissa will be sharing the skippering on Eve this year, exploring the Cornish
coast and the Isles of Scilly often in the company of Agnes before heading to Brest Festival in France to join the hundreds of other classic boats. As Eve is owned by Classic Sailing it has been all hands on deck to prepare her for the season and although my boat building and maintenance knowledge is limited, Adam and I launched Eve’s tender together and rowed her across the harbour to her mooring ready for the first guests.
It’s an exciting time for those itching to get back on the water and for each boat to head off on their own adventure, taking with them new and seasoned sailors. They will all deliver unforgettable experiences and holidays to everyone who is lucky enough to have booked a berth on board. Some of the Cornish fleet will run holidays from the South West over the summer, whilst others will head further afield to Scotland and to France. A select few will sail across oceans, between continents and explore tropical islands and so consequently there will always be a trip on offer to suit everyone throughout the year, regardless of any previous knowledge or experience.
My first voyage begins with Eve leaving out of St Mawes on the 29th March and I cannot wait! Make sure you come back to find out how I got on and hear all about my first Pilot Cutter sailing experience. You can book yourself onto your own Eve of St Mawes adventure by checking the availability here.