Traditional Wooden Boat Builder’s

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 faithful recreation of the Vincent, Falmouth Pilot cutter no.8.

History of the Scillonian Pilot Cutter’s

Our Yard 

R.M Shipyard
Newham Rd
Truro, TR1 2SU

Since September 2016 we have been building Pellew in Truro at our yard. During the working week there should always be people working on Pellew so come in and say hello and have a look around.

On launching Pellew at the end of February 2020 we will be working hard to get her ready for sailing in May. However we also have plans to develop the yard to ensure that it continues in its role to preserve maritime history and skills.

Get in touch if you want to discuss the option of boat restorations and boat building from February 2020.


Your Plan's

Working Sail has built and launched eight pilot cutter’s to date. Pellew, number nine is due to be launched in February 2020.


It is what we do and we love doing it.


If you have a plan in your head to build a wooden sailing boat or similarly to restore one that is already in existance then get in touch. We are always happy to discuss options and see how it could work out.

Tell us more

Luke Powell

Founder of Working Sail, Master boat builder, Charter skipper, Renowned advocate for traditional wooden boats and well praticed event speaker. 

Luke has spent his whole life dedicated to building, researching and advocating the importance of traditional working boats.

He has become a well seasoned public speaker spreading the word about his work thus far. If you would like him to come and talk at a gathering of like minded people then get in touch,

Get In touch

(Jo) +44 (0)7790 638 084


28 St Thomas Street 


TR10 8JN