The Poole Pilot Design


Poole Pilot
The rule shown is 20 feet in length, the same as the waterline length

The Poole Pilot in Perspective
   The Poole Pilot is one of Harrison Butler's earliest designs, published in Yachting Monthly, March 1910. It was his reworking of a design of Ashton & Kilner published two years earlier. No boats are known to have been built to this specific design and a higher resolution copy of the drawings is not available from the Association.
   In fact, very little is known about any of the Poole Pilot boats from this period, although one key drawing, published in Yachting Monthly, gives a flavour of the sea conditions in which they routinely worked.
   A new build of this design would most likely be done for historical reasons, and because few of the Poole Pilot boats have survived the passage of time. The only known two are Iseult and Reprieve. The excellent book “Pilot Cutters Under Sail: Pilots and Pilotage in Britain and Northern Europe” by Tom Cunliffe is worth consulting and is written in an accessable and engaging manner. A photocopy of the Yachting Monthly article on Harrison Butler's Poole Pilot is available from the Association and includes some technical details omitted from the reproduction of the article presented here.

Poole Pilot
The key Yachting Monthly drawing, giving insight into the look and feel of a Poole Pilot boat

From Yachting Monthly, 1910
THE IDEAL CRUISER by T Harrison Butler
   The correspondence upon this interesting subject has now reached a practical stage; at last yachtsmen are giving the lines of boats which appear to fulfil the conditions of seaworthiness, speed, comfort, and handiness.
   I therefore venture to send you the lines of a little ship which I have designed, taking the sketch lines of a Poole pilot-boat by Ashton & Kilner, which you published in May 1908, as a basis.

Sketch lines
The sketch lines from which Harrison Butler started his Poole Pilot design

   When I came to lay off this boat to scale I found that the run was rather lean, so I filled it out a little, and even now the curve of sectional areas is not too full aft.
The stem has been drawn out to admit of the 'ideal rig' and the sternpost raked more than in the pilot-boat. Freeboard has been added to.
   With these slight alterations the design is substantially that of the Poole Pilot you published. The boat is of 4.3 tons measurement, but the dimensions could, without alteration, be increased to any size up to 30 feet waterline without any alteration in the lines or sail plan.

Poole Pilot

  The cabin plan would be exactly similar to that of my Hong Kong design which you published June 1909, except that the Seal motor is to be placed at the foot of the ladder, and is to be of 3 hp. This would give a speed of 4 to 4.5 knots in smooth water.
   The sail plan may be open to objection, but to me it seems ideal. The whole sail area is inboard and the spars are short. My idea is to shift to a second foresail, and then, if further reduction of head sail becomes necessary, to reef this sail; but a roller foresail could be fitted and a roller boom.
   The boat would be cheap to build, and should make a comfortable, dry week-end cruiser for two. The cabin headroom is 4 foot 6 inches, under the coach-roof. The waterways are 1 foot on each side of the hatch. Cockpit to be 3 feet deep.

Poole Pilot Specifications
LOA : 23' 6"
LWL : 20' 0"
Beam : 7' 0"
Draught : 4' 0"
Displacement : 4.3 tons TM
Keel : Lead 1.5 tons
Sail Area : 300 square feet

The Poole Pilot was to have the same Cabin Plan as the Hong Kong design

Page last updated : September 2016


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