50 Ft Bristol Pilot Cutter (Ex Hirta, Ex Troubadour, Ex Cornubi — History — For Sale, Spain, United Kingdom, Sunseeker

31 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Windy 37 Grand Mistral

Sandeman Yacht Company

50 ft Bristol Pilot Cutter (Ex Hirta, Ex Troubadour, Ex Cornubi — History

50 ft Bristol Pilot Cutter (Ex Hirta, Ex Troubadour, Ex Cornubi — History

CORNUBIA was built by J. Slade and Son at Polruan, Fowey in 1911. She was an unusual order for them as they built mainly cargo sailing vessels, ketches and schooners. The vessel was ordered by pilot George Morrice, who in 1911 was still only a young man in his mid 30s. The name CORNUBIA is an ancient one, for Cornwall and her badge represents the Cornish Crest – a bare copper shield to be re-mounted on her bulkhead when her inferior fit out is complete.

The original build included planking of pitch-pine, oak frames and a keel of elm, with fastenings of pure iron. CORNUBIA’s hull configuration was quite traditional sacrificing none of the overall balance and sea kindliness unlike some of the radical cutter designs of the period – and as all her former owners would confirm, she is no slouch either!

The sailing pilot service was officially wound up shortly before World War I, but the more successful vessels, including CORNUBIA, worked with the replacement steam vessels, finally being sold off as a private yacht in 1920.

CORNUBIA was bought by a civil engineer from the West end of London, the boat must have please him, as he kept her for 10 years, resisting the temptation to fiddle with her rig, or add a deck house! The next owner installed a small auxiliary motor, presumably allowing the boat to be now used for coastal work which otherwise may have been too ambitious with limited wind, or time.

Windy 37 Grand Mistral

The vessel then sold to Lord Churston who took her to the America. At the beginning of World War II, CORNUBIA sold to the Earl of Dumfries, later the Marquis of Bute – the Earl’s estate included the islands of St Kilda, and the boat was re-named HIRTA after the largest island in the group. During the War, HIRTA’s luck held and she was used as a sailing school for Sea Cadets on the Isle of Bute.

In the 1950s the vessel changed hands two more times, being sold to the author and long-distance sailor, Tom Cunliffe in 1982 from the Bergius family and partner John Denholm who between them had owned HIRTA for 24 years.

Cunliffe and family’s adventure on the cutter are well documented, spending over a decade living on the boat; she carried them to the Greenland ice, up the Eastern seaboard of the US and through the Caribbean. Twice they circumnavigated Britain, several times they ventured far up the West Norwegian Coast – there was even a visit to a then, Soviet Russia. The author writes “…with her spectacular ease of motion, her original easy-to-handle rig and her simple snug living quarters, the only boat that could have ever equalled her for us would have been another pilot cutter…”


HIRTA is certainly worthy of the restoration that is now in progress, under her current owner, who purchased her 2004 — she will soon be ready for another 100 years of real sailing.

Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral
Windy 37 Grand Mistral

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