A Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter off Ilfracombe. 'Down Channel.'
A limited edition giclee print of 495. 22 x 14.5 inches approximately.
A Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter off Ilfracombe heads down channel. The pilot cutters were fast and seaworthy boats that could be handled by a crew of two in all weathers. They sailed into the Atlantic to seek incoming ships to guide them to ports on the Bristol Channel. Each cutter had a 12 foot punt that they would launch under the lea of the incoming ship so that the crew could row the pilot to the rope ladder where he would scramble aboard. Having recovered the punt the crew would then sail the cutter back to port. Later, in the days of steam a line could be thrown across so that the cutter could be towed behind the ship, there was the occasional accident when the speed of the steam ship pulled the pilot boat under water.
The cutters were often raced and because of their sturdy build many remain to this day.