Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Replica

Alexander T

Alexander T

Alexander T

Alexander T

LOA:51ft 4in (15.64m), including bowsprit 66ft (20.00m)
LWL:44ft 11in (13.70m)
Beam:14ft (4.27m)
Draft:7ft 9in (2.38m)
Displacement:66,500 lbs (32.2 tonnes)
Ballast:28,500 lbs (14.0 tonnes)
Year built:1998
Hull Material:Douglas fir and Epoxy
Engine: Yanmar 4JH2 HTE 89 hp
Diesel: 200 gallons (900 litres)
Water: 250 gallons (1130 litres)
Berths: 8
Designer: Nigel Irens and Ed Burnett
Builder: Covey Island Boatworks
Location: Port Leucate, South of France
Contact:Michael Chapman by email at or
telephone +33 6 85 73 26 88

Many consider the Bristol Channel pilot cutter to be the finest sailing boat design ever. Fast, seaworthy and beautiful to behold, the pilot cutter is the perfect combination of form and function - a thoroughbred perfectly adapted to a life in one of the Britain's most treacherous stretches of water.

Alexander T (previously named Eleanor Mary), is a large gaff cutter designed along the lines of the Bristol Channel Pilot cutters of the late 19th century. In common with other Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters she can be sailed effectively by a crew of just two which is just what we usually do.

Her design was inspired by the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Marguerite T which was built in 1893 by Edwin Rowles at Pill for pilot Frank Trott. Marguerite T was owned by John Steele, the president of Covey Island Boatworks, at the time Alexander T was being designed and built. She is built using a mixture of old and modern materials and methods to combine the best of both worlds to yield a hull which is immensely strong and requires relatively little maintenance. She is constructed of Douglas Fir using composite wood/epoxy methods. The planking is edge fastened with 3 inch stailess nails and fastened to frames with 3 inch stainless screws as well as being glued with marine epoxy. The hull is further sheathed with 3 layers of 10oz woven E-glass.

The hull has watertight bulkheads providing 5 compartments arranged such that the flooding of any one will not cause the vessel to float with the waterline less than 77mm below the weather deck at any point. This enables the vessel to satifsy the requirements of the UK MCA for the Safety of Commercial Sailing Vessels in Category 0 - unlimited distance from a safe haven. She could easily be put to use as a charter or sail training ship.

She has participated in various tall ship races and has been used by us exclusively as a family cruising boat. She gets noticed where ever she goes - more so than those oversized white gin palaces which are so common in the upmarket South of France Ports. She is the subject of many holiday snaps!

If you like sailing, as opposed to motoring about in a floating caravan with sails for decoration, then you will love this boat. She will take you anywhere, and keep you safe and confortable in the most violent of storms and thrill you with her performance whatever the weather.

More information:-

In the photo gallery below, you can click on the photo for a larger version.

Alexander T

Under Way

Plenty of space on the wide decks

In the Marina

You always look back at her as your leave!


Just feel the power - not at all the same as a plastic fantastic!

Underwater shape

Just slips through the water

Saloon Looking Aft

Note the diesel stove on the left

Saloon Pilot Berth

The bench underneath pulls out to make another berth

Saloon Table

Folds out to give space for 8

Aft cabin

Aft cabin on starboard side with double berth on the right

Aft cabin berth

Aft cabin berth - my mother in law's favourite!

Forward cabin berth

Forward cabin berth on port side

Navigation Station

Radar, MF, VHF, autopilot, etc

Workshop in forepeak

Plenty of space for tools, sails etc

Accomodation Plan

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