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A Traditional SCILLY ISLES PILOT CUTTER built in 2006 by Luke Powell of Working Sail, Gweek Quay, Helston, Cornwall


Boat Details

Overall Length:
Year Built:

Pilot Cutter Ezra Specification:  November 2011

Ezra was commissioned by Sam Brooke and Ingrid Bruce early in 2004.  Luke Powell of Working Sail started the build in the Spring of 2004 having drawn her lines and built a half model. Ezra was launched at Gweek Quay in March 2006 (see Classic Boat article) and, after a week of commissioning, sailed north to Ardfern to start her life as a skippered charter vessel.  In 2009 she was moved to Portnalong,  Isle of Skye.  In our six years of ownership, Ezra, true to her provenance, has proved to be an exceptionally seaworthy, safe and successful charter boat operating in the harsh conditions off the NW Coast of Scotland, the Northern Isles, Norway and the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Ezra Specification
LOA: 18.2m                         Beam: 4.0m
LOD: 13.4m                         Tonnage: 24.7tons
Draft: 2.3m                           O/N: 911609
Air draft: 18.8m                   c/s: MLHR8         MMSI:235032793

Ezra is registered in Lerwick.
Ezra is of deep displacement with good form stability, V shaped sections and fine runs.  This gives an extremely seaworthy vessel which is fast in light airs and powerful to windward.  To conform with today’s safety code of practice Ezra has a substantial lead ballast keel adding to her stability. Ezra is traditionally built using methods of construction that have stood the test of time.
(See lines drawings and build pictures of Ezra ).
Centre Line
The keel, stem and stem post are of Opepe (West African hardwood) 7 ½” wide x 14″ deep giving enormous strength to the vessel’s backbone.  The deadwood assembly in the bow and stern is through fastened with 7/8″ diameter copper bar.
The framing of the vessel is of English Oak.  The sawn frames are from grown Oak limbs that are chosen for their shape so that the grain runs true.  They are double sawn assembly of 3″ x 5″ pinned together with ½” copper dumps giving a frame section of 6″ x 5″, these are spaced at 18″ centres forming an incredibly robust hull.
The lower hull planking is of Scottish Larch 1 5/8″ thick.  The garboard, second and third strakes are full length Larch 1 ¾” thick.  The top three strakes are of Oak and thicker at 2″ to give the vessel extra longitudinal strength and durability.  Plank fastenings are bronze screws, three per frame and wooden plugged.
Ezra has a full length lead ballast keel giving 60% of the vessel’s ballast.  This is fastened every 18″ through the keel and Oak floors with 7/8″ bronze keel bolts.  The remaining 40% is trimming ballast in the form of lead ingots fastened in the bilges across the keel.  The ballast ratio is 45% of the vessel’s displacement.
Ezra’s topsides have high bulwarks on Oak stanchions giving a great sense of security on deck and the feel of a real “”little ship’.  The Oak cavil rails and belaying pins give ample space for fastening halyards and mooring ropes.  There is also a three-sided fife rail around the mast with added belaying pins.  The vessel’s name and port of registry is carved in the transom.
Deck Planking
The deck planking is of 1 ½” x 3 ¾” straight laid hardwood in the traditional fashion, payed with Sikaflex and left bare.
Windlass & anchor
Ezra has a hand spike barrel windlass on the foredeck.  This consists of an Oak barrel thwart-ships with a double pawl on the central bowsprit bit operated by Oak bars placed in the slots on the port side, pulling in the chain to starboard.  This is easily operated by one or two people.  The windlass is also used for operating the rig i.e. raising the topmast, shipping and setting the bowsprit and also tensioning the bobstay. Ezra has a 75lb CQR anchor with 110 metres of 5/8″ chain.
Coach roof and hatches
These are strongly built in opepe to a traditional.  The main hatch has panelled sides and bronze opening portholes.  The skylight has two lifting leaves with 8mm laminated glass and brass protective bars.  The forward hatch opens forward giving easy access to the sail locker and fore cabin.
Ezra is steered with a carved Oak tiller with her name vessel carved on each side.  Ezra has an Oak thwart that extends the full beam of the vessel giving the helmsman seated position on a flush deck.  A compass binnacle is mounted on deck on a wooden plinth forward of the tiller.  The engine controls are mounted beneath the thwart.
Ezra has a gaff cutter rig which over the centuries has proven to be the most powerful and efficient rig for fast, heavy displacement vessels.  The thrill of sailing these vessels is that they handle like a dinghy spinning around the one mast when tacking but have the immense sense of power when driving forward under a press of canvas.
The solid mast is hewn from a Douglas Fir tree grown north of Ashburton, Devon.  The bowsprit is also solid Douglas Fir.  The boom, gaff and topmast are laminated from 3″” thick Canadian Fir to give them more rigidity and strength in their smaller sections.  The mast bands and iron work for the rig are galvanised.
The wire standing rigging is 16mm galvanised for the lowers and 10mm for the uppers.  All traditionally spliced and served in the time honoured way finished with wooden deadeyes and lanyards.  The running rigging is of three strand hemp style polyester rove through ash pulley blocks ranging between 5″ and 7″, some fifty in all.
The suit of sails are in cream clipper canvas (a synthetic flax) traditionally made by Patrick Selman and beautifully  finished with hand sewn bolt rope and reefing points.  The working rig comprises of main, topsail, stay and foresail.  Additionally for lighter wind sailing there is a large jib and jib topsail both made by Patrick.
Boat cover
A full boat cover also made by Patrick Selman protects the boat from the worst of the winter weather.
The interior is fitted out to a high standard with varnished Oak structure and painted pine panelling.  The doors are fielded panels and the general air is spacious and light with ample headroom. At the bottom of the companionway a barometer and clock from William Forbes, Liverpool are mounted on the deck beam.  (See Interior pictures).
Aft of the companionway there are two double quarter berths, one each side.
The galley has a large Oak work surface with stainless double sink and mixer tap.  A range of deep panelled cupboards behind for food storage and cupboards underneath for pots and pans.  There is a Force 10 large gas cooker on gimbals and a top loading refrigerator.  Gas is stowed on deck and comprises two 3.9kg or 6kg propane bottles.
Chart table
The Oak chart table is to starboard, facing forward, and is large enough for an admiralty chart.  There is ample shelving for pilot books, wall space for electronics and drawers beneath.
The saloon is spacious with plenty of headroom and well lit from a large skylight.  There is seating on both sides around a solid Oak table with folding leaves and drinks locker within.  Seating to starboard is deep and forms a snug by the wood burning stove also to starboard. To port there is an enclosed pilot berth and there is a floor standing Little Cod made by Navigator Works solid fuel stove to starboard.  To starboard there is a full length Oak bookshelf and plenty of stowage behind and beneath the seating.  The general feel of the saloon is open plan with substantial Oak posts dividing it from the galley/chart table area and Oak trim around cream panelling.
Fore Cabin
Passing forward of the mast on the starboard side a small corridor leads into the fore cabin.  There are two berths on each side sleeping up to four people and including plenty of stowage and wet locker space.  There are bronze prism deck lights to port and starboard illuminating this area.  A fore hatch gives easy access and provides extra light through a bronze deadlight.
To port there is an enclosed shower/toilet with draining shower tray and grating, hand basin with mirror, cupboard and Jabsco regular sea toilet.  This area is also illuminated with a deck prism.
A pressurised hot and cold water system, heated by the engine, gives ample hot water to the shower and galley.  600 litres of drinking water is held in stainless steel tanks abreast of the engine.  Bronze sea-cocks are used for all the hull fittings and are easily accessible internally.  Bronze fillers are fitted for the diesel and water on deck.
Ezra is fitted with a robust hand bilge pump located by the helm and an automatic electric bilge pump with float switch.
Grey water from the sinks and shower is contained in a holding tank below the saloon floor and pumped out using a Jabsco whale pump located under the aft seat on the port side in the saloon.
Electrical System
Ezra has a complete electrical system including brass cabin lights, chart light, brass bunk reading lights, comprehensive fuse panel and navigation lights.  There are two heavy duty deep cycle batteries: one for domestic use and one heavy for engine start.
at chart table:
Furuno GPS GP-32
Furuno Navtex NX-300
Raymarine Depth ST-50
Icom VHF IC-M421

On deck
Raymarine ST50 Repeater (with wooden cover)
shore power socket
x2 12v. sockets – one at mast & one at thwart
Below deck
Sterling Inverter
shore power
immersion heater
240 v. outlets at chart table and in engine bay
x2 12v. cigar lighter sockets at chart table
A Beta 62.5hp 5 cylinder marine diesel engine is fitted with bronze stern tube and bronze three bladed fixed propeller.  A PRM260 hydraulic gearbox is installed.  Engine hours are 2080 at September 2011. Two stainless steel tanks with a 175 litre capacity each are situated either side of the engine and fitted with dipsticks.  The engine compartment is insulated with removable panels for easy access to engine.  There is a key start, oil pressure warning and rpm counter mounted in chart table area.  Three sacrificial anodes are fitted for the engine, stern tube and rudder pintles.  The engine has been maintained since new with the BETA service schedule strictly adhered to.

Ezra has been maintained since new by Sam Brooke.  She lies year round on a deepwater mooring.  In winter the spars are removed to deck and a full boat cover protects the decks from the worst of the weather.  Hatches are left open beneath the cover and air constantly circulates below allowing all books, cushions and charts to be left on board throughout the year with no damp or mildew.
Ezra is slipped each year for anti-fouling and has also been slipped twice (Crinan and Corpach) to come under cover for two weeks for full painting and rig overhaul.
Ezra is in very good working order and is maintained throughout the season whilst on board and in the close season whilst under cover. Halyards and sheets have been replaced as required, ash blocks maintained, and all paintwork kept up.  Above deck there is no varnish and all the bright work is treated with Danish oil mixed with Stockholm tar.

Ezra MCA Code
Ezra has been certified for the MCA SCV Code 2 (60 nm from a safe haven) since build and was supervised through the build by surveyor Tony Head of Plymouth.  Ezra underwent her 5 year survey in March 2011 by Donald Ortchison of Tobermory. She is coded for 8 passengers (including crew) for overnight voyages and 10 passengers for day voyages.

She carries a full set of safety equipment all compliant with or exceeding the requirements of the code.  This includes:
SOLAS B’ 10 man liferaft
x2 lifebouoys – both with lights and one with throw rope and one with inflatable danbuoy
full length jackstays
x12 lifejackets
fire extinguishers x4 dry powder
smoke alarms; gas alarm; bilge alarm

Viewing: Through the brokers CLASSIC YACHT BROKERAGE
Ezra is lying at her deepwater mooring at Portnalong, Isle of Skye and will be kept in commission until the end of October 2011 for viewing and possibly sailing.  The nearest options for slipping are Mallaig (spring tide dependent) or Fort William.  For hoisting an option is at Kerrera, opposite Oban.
Guide: £265,000