Vessel News

Announcing the 18th Annual Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review for 2024

Pilot Cutter Review Sailing in Fowey and St Mawes Cornwall 

30th May to 2nd June 2024

We are excited to announce that the 18th Annual Pilot Cutter Review will be running from Thursday 30th May to Sunday 2nd June 2024

One of Cornwall’s best kept sailing secrets, the annual Pilot Cutter Championships are a real spectacle, as historic and replica Pilot Cutters gather for a passage race from Fowey to St Mawes followed by a weekend of racing in Carrick Roads.

See the Spectacle from the Shore

Friday 31st May: See the start of the Review with the Passage Race from Fowey to St Mawes. Watch as the Pilot Cutters Race out of Fowey Harbour. The start line is the Royal Fowey Yacht Club and you can also get a great photo from either Fowey or Polruan Castle.

Weekend Racing can be best viewed from St Mawes Castle.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the latest updates.


We are delighted to announce that local estate agents H Tiddy are our sponsors for the 2024 Pilot Cutter Review! Established for over 100 years and based in St Mawes, with local staff and directors, they are the first choice for property sales right round the Fal Estuary and Roseland Peninsula.

What’s a Pilot Cutter?!

In the 1800’s world trade was growing with the industrialisation of Europe and North America. The British Empire spanned the world and goods came from and went back to the colonies. 

There was a lot value on these ships and through institutions like Lloyds of London they obtained insurance for these cargos. Then and now insurers don’t like paying out so they required captains coming to certain ports to take on a local pilot who was certified by Trinity House of London.

The pilots had to find their own trade and this was done by being the first to get to the ship. So to get your pilot onboard first and make a profit you need to consider the following –

  • Fast sailing
  • Sailing well to windward
  • Capable of sailing in rough weather
  • Small crew to keep the costs down.

The result is a pilot cutter, simple to sail and small crew, weatherly and pointing well to windward. The conditions of economic competition meant these boats evolved to be some of fastest and most efficient sailing vessels around.

We are lucky enough to have some dedicated boat owners and crews who maintain a handful of original Pilot Cutters, as well as fantastic more recent builds by the likes of Luke Powell.

Watching these vessels race, whatever the conditions, is a spectacle not to be missed!


Colourblind sailor and jumped-up cook

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