Owner Kim Hartley says:

"There are some pockets of artisans left practising proper craft and Dave Cockwell is one of them"


Owner Kim Hartley says:

“Everybody who sets foot on Polly Agatha says she feels completely different. I think a pilot cutter is for people who want to stand out from the crowd.

"They like the romance of being out on the water the way people used to do it – they possibly even like a little showmanship. I love it when we arrive in port and people want to come over, talk to us and see the boat. She’s a real celebrity."

 “They’re big boats that will plough on through anything and yet a pilot cutter offers relatively easy handling. I often sail Polly Agatha with just two of us aboard and she is very well-behaved. She is upto going out in heavy weather – that can be quite exciting at times and you have to keep your wits about you. I do notice that people who get seasick don’t get as badly affected on Polly Agatha because the motion is less harsh.

“A pilot cutter is the Range Rover of boats – she’s comfortable and fast and will go anywhere and do anything. We’re not quite as nimble as a racing boat but she’s a really solid bit of kit. This sort of boat appeals to someone who wants something a little different. She is very noticeable. If you want to enjoy sailing a boat that looks very special, and stands out, then a pilot cutter could well be the boat for you.

“There is maintenance to keep up with but, you’d be surprised, they don’t take an outrageous amount of upkeep. With modern paints and varnishes you can achieve a very high standard of finish with less maintenance than you might imagine. We use high quality products with a good duration of UV protection and they are astonishingly good.

With a Cockwells boat, you get attention to detail, old-fashioned workmanship and skill in spade-loads. I sometimes think we’ve become a nation of fitters and installers with little real, true engineering left – but there are some pockets of artisans left practising proper craft and Dave Cockwell is one of them.”

“Anyone considering a pilot cutter is in a very fortunate position because they can try several of these bespoke boats before they buy. There are enough pilot cutters out in the charter market that they can research what they like and get the inside track. I can’t image that someone who chartered one of these boats for a long weekend would not simply want to buy it.”

Kim Hartley, owner of Polly Agatha, 2011 www.polly-agatha.co.uk

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Polly Agatha specification

Bristol Channel pilot cutter Polly Agatha

Boat name: Polly Agatha

Type: 45ft pilot cutter

Designer: replica

Polly Agatha was built by Cockwells as a faithful replica of a pilot cutter named Peggy. The scantlings are the same as the original boat and the method of construction is similar with two exceptions.

Bronze was chosen over iron for fixings in the centre-line and other structural applications while the deck is formed of two layers of marine plywood sheathed in epoxy and glass overlaid with 10mm teak, breaking with tradition for this type of boat. The deck innovation was decided upon specifically to add strength, stiffness and durability, effectively creating a modern deck system on a traditional hull.

Polly Agatha is a spectacular mix of the traditional lines of a pilot cutter fitted out with a modern interior and equipped with up-to-date technology. Internally she has a light and luxurious interior hewn from solid English oak with a layout that has a large luxurious master cabin with an ensuite head and shower.

The accommodation includes a traditional head in the bow and a forward cabin with two berths and two extra occasional berths. The saloon has a further four berths including two occasional on the saloon seats, providing a total of 10 berths. There is a large galley and navigation area including the modern conveniences required to license the boat as a sea school.

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