Falmouth Pilot Cutters, 1800 – 1900

By Frank Argall and Ralph Bird, published February 1978


The Western approaches to the English Channel have always been dangerous and local unofficial pilots were often available from the Scilly Isles inwards by private arrangement but in 1808 the Board of Trade made the area from Black Head to The Dolmans subject to compulsory pilotage. The authors describe the pilots and their families with details of the individual cutters and their builders in tabulated form. They mention the Falmouth based fleet of similar vessels owned by local tradesmen, the so called ‘Outfitters’ Cutters’, who ranged far out to sea to sell their wares to passing ships.

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Filed under: English Channel | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

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