Boat Builders

Our Philosophy

Working Sail was set up in 1993 with the aim of keeping alive the art and craftmanship of traditional boatbuilding and is dedicated to reviving the rich heritage of our maritime past. We believe in recreating working boats from the 19th century that have been lost over the years and have chosen the best of this period in the Scillonian pilot cutter.

Renowned for their seaworthiness and speed and form the pinnacle of boat design. As one of the last traditional builders of wooden sailing vessels in England we offer a unique combination of design and craftsmanship that has nearly been lost to the modern world and now lives on the boats we have built.

Traditional Boat construction

All of our vessels are built using traditional materials and methods of construction to a exceedingly high standard.

Each vessel is solidly built with double sawn grown oak frames, oak planking and bronze fastened throughout, giving great strength and longevity. The straight-laid decks are scrubbed hardwood complementing the beautiful varnished companionway and skylight. The solid oak bulwarks are capped in a stout varnished rail giving the whole deck area a great sense of security, strength and craftsmanship. The hand carved features such as the bow boards, counter and oak tiller complete the elegance of yesteryear. 

The Shipwrights

Working Sail builds classic wooden sailing vessels for the connoisseur who wants to stand out from the crowd and own a piece of craftsmanship that is rarely rivalled in the new boat market of today. Recreating vessels from our rich maritime heritage Working Sail are bringing to life the lost traditions and beautiful craft of the past. Based on the lines of the pilot cutters from the Isles of Scilly, which were renowned for their seaworthiness and performance, each vessel is individually designed by designer/shipwright Luke Powell.


Our current build,

a recreation of the Vincent Falmouth Pilot cutter no.8.

Our 8 Scillonian Pilot Cutters

1. Eve of St Mawes

Launched in 1997, 38’ Eve was the first pilot cutter built by Working Sail. She worked as a successful charter boat up until 2016 for Classic Sailing before she was sold into private ownership.


Eve was Voted a favourite in Classic Boat magazine’s Top 100 Classic Boats.

2. Lizzie May

Built in 1998, at 42’ long she has gained many admirers over the years; some say that she is the prettiest creation to come out of our yard. 

 She is a lovely boat to sail, handles like a dingy, proving very smart in confined waters, easy to manoeuvre being well balanced. Having spent an extended period of her life as a charter boat in the west coast of Scotland she is now for sale and is lying in Penryn


Luke Powell Gaff Cutter

3. Agnes

After extensive research, the 46’ pilot cutter Agnes was built to lines of the original Agnes of Scilly of 1841.

In her heyday, the original Agnes was the top pilot cutter from the Isles of Scilly and ended being the last to work out of the islands under Captain Stephen Jenkins whose grandsons Alf and Barry helped launch the new boat in May 2003.

Agnes has proven herself to be an extremely sea-worthy vessel during the harshest of north Atlantic storms,yet also sails beautifully in the lightest of airs.

Originally built for an American owner and sailed across the Atlantic for her first few years of life. However Luke and Jo Powell bought her back and launched as a charter vessel in 2006.


4. Hesper

Commisioned by the original owner of Lizzie May. She was built to be extensively cruised by two people and is well equipped to cover many miles comfortably and in a gentlemanly fashion. Renowned for heaving too at meal time to enjoy lavish meals. For many years she her home port was Fowey in Cornwall. However she is now based in Maine USA.

5. Ezra

44’ pilot cutter Ezra was launched in April 2006. Following the lines of her slightly larger sister ship Agnes, she was built to be a tough ship for the wilds of West Scotland’s waters where she has to work in all weathers. Her more recent adventures took her to Greenland fjords. With an elegant lute stern and deep forefoot – powerful yet graceful – and she is perfectly suited for sailing all year round.

With her wide flush deck, high bulwarks and hand spiked barrel windlass she has the traditional feel of a much larger vessel. After her springtime launch Ezrawent to work immediately heading north as a charter vessel offering sailing/climbing voyages in the Western Isles of Scotland. 

6. Tallulah

44’ Tallulah was launched in April 2008 and took to the water like a greyhound. She flew on her maiden voyage at 9.6 knots with no effort.

Her design takes the best from Lizzie May and Ezra. Slim with a relatively light hull displacement of 20 tons, and a long fan-tail counter, slightly raked stem, a lean underwater body, she is the most elegant cutter to date. With a smaller rig than usual, making her very handy and easily driven.


Designed for two, she has more emphasis on comfort with a large saloon and galley. On deck she remains as traditional as ever, with tiller, thwart and barrel windlass. She is owned by a couple who keep her on the south coast of England near Chichester, from where they cruise to the Channel Isles, Brittany, and beyond. She is now for sale.

7. Amelie Rose

Amelie Rose was launched in May 2009 and is 44′. Her construction is traditional as ever with sawn oak frames, oak topside planking, larch below, bronze and copper fastened throughout.

Her design is sister to Ezra, and has the same old-fashioned look with her lute stern, a type of hull shape that fell out of fashion back in the mid 19th century.

Amelie Rose often takes part in races and regattas between the Solent and the West Country. She was built for a life in charter with a large saloon and sleeps 9. Sailing from her home of Beaulieu she cruises to the Channel isles and Normandy. If you wish to experience this part of the world on a beautiful boat then contact

8. Freya

Freja, was started in September 2010 and was launched on 7 April 2012. She is 42’ long, 12’2” beam and 7’ draught. Her owners are a Swedish couple that wish to keep her here in wonderful Cornwall so as to take advantage of cruising the West Country as well as our Celtic neighbours.

They are keen and well experienced sailors that have owned many wooden boats over the years. For Freja they have asked that she is capable of sailing for extended periods to remote places in the world with just the two of them. She is to be kept simple and easy to maintain; everything must be capable of being looked after by them when voyaging. Below decks she is equipped with a paraffin cooker and hand pumps – no hot and cold pressurised water system in this vessel. A good stove to keep the cabin warm and snug; with oil lamps to read by she will be as she should be – the real thing!

History of the Pilot Cutters

Learn More

 Get In touch


(Jo) +44 (0)7790 638 084


28 St Thomas Street 


TR10 8JN