Sailing yachts

Luke Powell Pilot Cutter

(REF: 18093)


  • Designer: Powell, Luke
  • Builder: Luke Powell
  • Year: 2004
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Length on deck: 44'
  • Beam: 13'
  • Draft: 7'6"
  • Tonnage: 20 tons disp.

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on this Luke Powell Pilot cutter

In recent years, Luke Powell of Working Sail, has almost single-handedly created the reincarnation of the traditional pilot cutter. Hesper, the forth of eight of his boats is designed for speed, weatherliness and to be handled by a small crew.

Hesper was launched in 2004 for the present owners and is all bronze screw fastened with bronze keel bolts through a lead keel. The original brief was for a comfortable and spacious boat that could be cruised easily by two people but had the capability to carry more when required.  To this end the owners were keen to make the most of modern technologies to make life easier and safer onboard, including electrically powered primary sheet and anchor winches and a strong, dependable  autopilot as the third man. A couple are able to sail this boat very easily on their own, setting sail, taking in reefs and tacking upwind. One man can control the sheets of the mainsail and jib without moving from the helm by using the electric winches, whereas with a good breeze, simply sheeting hard in on the main is a job for two men on a more conventional vessel of this type.

In present ownership she has cruised from the Azores to the Arctic Circle, from the Baltic to Ireland and everywhere in between so any new owner can be well assured of the sailing qualities of this boat.

We are quite certain that this is one the most well presented and best equipped pilot cutters afloat in UK. She is quite simply a stunning yacht in immaculate and absolutely sound, turn-key condition, and probably one of the fastest and finest boats Luke has built!


Length on Deck                      44’

Beam                                       13’

Draft                                       7’6”

Engine                                     Perkins 68hp

Build date                               2004

Berths                                      6 + 2 settee berths.

Displacement                          20 tons






Newly painted and antifouled, carvel construction in 1 5/8” larch planking with 1 3/4” oak used in the top three hull strakes. Seven of the fourteen hull planks on either side run the entire length of the boat, as do all but one of the deck planks, giving immense strength.  Bronze screw fastened to large, closely spaced, grown oak frames.

Grown oak floors across the keel all bronze fastened.  Frame futtocks and knees copper riveted.

Opepe keel with external lead ballast keel of 4 tons fastened up through the floors with bronze keel bolts.  3 tons of internal lead ballast, securely fastened in the bilges.



Decks and cockpit

Straight laid solid Opepe deck, caulked and payed in the conventional manner using Sikaflex paying compound and bronze screw fastened to the deck beams.  Ample space on deck for working the ship with sensible positioning of the bitts to allow the bowsprit to be run in.  The cockpit is a self draining well in the aft deck from which there is a good view forward and has all the navigation instrument repeaters mounted at its forward end.

Bulwarks all round on oak stanchions mounted through the cover board with a heavy capping rail and cavels for mooring warps.  The bulwarks are high enough to give protection from the weather and a fantastic feeling of security when on deck while not being too restrictive.

Tiller steering to a large oak rudder post and keel hung rudder.  The autopilot uses a combination of B&G computer and Whitlock motor to drive the tiller when required.  This has proved to be a faultless and effective system that is able to cope with the power and weight of the boat in all conditions.



Small coachroof with white painted solid wood coamings with bronze opening portholes and a straight laid Opepe coachroof deck. Painted sliding hatch mounted on the coachroof for access below via the companionway.  Louvered washboard and a spare solid bad weather set. Forward of the coachroof is a painted opening skylight providing superb light and ventilation to the main saloon.  There is a conventional fore hatch up forward for access to the fore peak.



Completely refurbished this year, the powerful and impressive gaff cutter rig on a solid douglas fir keel stepped mast with a fidded top mast.  Douglas fir bowsprit, boom and gaff with leathered oak jaws.  The spars were originally varnished and have been painted in order to reduce maintenance.

The well maintained standing rigging is traditional galvanised wire, parcelled and served then painted with Stockholm tar and varnish.  The lower ends are seized around Lignum Vitae dead eyes with lanyards to external galvanised chainplates.  Running backstays on tackles.

All metal mast and deck fittings are in galvanised steel.

The mainsheet comes to a galvanised horse fixed to the horn timbers and the tail is taken to one of the electric sheet winches.

All running rigging in English Braids hemp coloured polyester 3 strand. Ash blocks throughout.



Complete new set of sails delivered to the boat in spring 2015 From James Lawrence sail makers in Brightlingsea.  A stunning sail wardrobe in crisp Clipper Canvas with hand stitched bolt ropes and cringles.  These new sails consist of main, topsail, staysail and jib.  She also carries an unused spitfire jib  and trysail supplied with the boat new 10 years ago, a genneker with snuffer, lug topsail with an 18’ carbon fibre yard, racing jib and staysail, yankee, working jib and staysail and storm staysail. Karver furling jib gear.



All winches are bronze Lewmar self tailing.

2 x Lewmar 58 electric primaries

2 x Lewmar 48 secondaries

2 x Lewmar 50 mast winches mounted on the boom for reefing.





Perkins M65 4 cyl marine diesel with an output of 68hp.  Hurth gearbox with single lever control via an Aquadrive unit and thrust bearing to a centreline stainless steel shaft and a 3 blade bronze propeller set in a rudder aperture.  6 knots cruising speed, 7.5 knots max.



Whispergen silent running generator/heater installed in a sound proof locker in the heads compartment providing up to 85A battery charge and hot water for the central heating.



HP Ultracompact 30LPH



2 x 12V 275ah deep cycle domestic batteries.

1 x 12V 105ah engine start battery.

1 x 12V 175ah electric winch battery.

Charging from three sources; shore power charging via a Victron Pheonix 1600W inverter/60A charger unit, when the main engine is running, a Lucas 90 amp alternator to charge the engine start battery and a Balmar 150A smart regulated alternator charging the domestic and winch battery banks. Battery crossover switches for all circuits.

The Whispergen continually monitors the domestic battery bank and automatically starts as required.

Ship supplied and shore supplied separate 240V circuits with power points throughout the boat.

All wiring in marine grade tinned copper cable.



Stainless steel tanks located outboard either side of the engine with a total capacity of 550 litres.  A diesel polishing system to ensure the fuel in the tanks is absolutely clean before going to the engine.  Three  way valves allow which tank the diesel is pumped from and to giving total control of the fuel system.

Stainless steel water tanks either side in the saloon with a total capacity of approximately 300 litres.  12v electric and manual pumps mean there is a complete back up if any electrics fail.

Whale Gusher manual bilge pump and automatic electric bilge pump.

All the electric pumps on board have manual back ups

All seacocks are Blakes in cast bronze






6 berths plus the saloon settees.  All cushions and mattresses are made by NaturalMat specifically designed for the marine environment, being completely breathable and long lasting and covered in tan Clipper Canvas

Double quarter berth to starboard, pilot berth to port under the deck head, up forward is a small double to port and a single to starboard.



Large and comfortable below with contrasting painted T&G bulkheads and varnished oak trim.  Hesper has just had a complete cosmetic refit down below and is now looking absolutely superb.  Masses of headroom even under the beams between the coachroof and skylight, the saloon has comfortable seating for 6 around the centreline varnished oak drop leaf table and lots of storage lockers, especially behind the uprights of the settee berths.  Taylors paraffin cabin heater mounted on the port bulkhead. Bronze electric light fittings and brass switches throughout.

Steps down over the sound insulated engine box from the companionway straight into the vary spacious and well laid out  galley area to port.  To starboard is a forward facing full sized chart desk with all the electronics and navigation instruments. Red LED night-time sailing interior lights. Generous shelving for books in the saloon and at the nav station.

Forward of the main saloon is a passageway to starboard of the mast with the wet locker to starboard and the heads to port.

Throughout the interior the sole boards are simple yet effective scrubbed larch boards.

There is a hot water central heating system installed, heated by the Whispergen which  heats the towel rail in the heads, a radiator in the wet locker and matrix heaters in the saloon and forepeak, ideal when on a long cruise in northern climates and for extending the cruising season when at home.

Huge lazarette aft to port for storage of all gear.



Separate heads compartment to port forward of the saloon with a Wilcox Crittenden Skipper II sea toilet with solid bronze working parts and a full sized porcelain bowl. Large stainless steel black water holding tank with manual discharge overboard and deck pumpout point. Stainless hand basin with a pull out mixer tap for the shower. Saltwater shower.  GRP shower tray which drains to a grey water sump tank and empties automatically overboard. Built in cupboard and shelving.



L-shape galley with double stainless sinks and a gimballed Taylors 30L stove with crash-bar. Top loading Waeco fridge/freezer and stainless steel worktops. Large cupboards under. The sinks have taps for pressurised hot and cold fresh water, sea water and filtered drinking water, all supplied by 12v electric pressure pumps or a foot pump located in the galley.  Hot water supplied from a calorifier heated by either the main engine, the generator or 240v electric. Large grey water tank with automatic discharge overboard and manual backup. Discreet and effective LED lighting

Good storage behind the galley under the deckhead plus lockers underneath and drawers and open shelving at hand.




Ritchie Globemaster steering compass

B&G sounder

B&G log

B&G windspeed and direction

Icom M501 DSC VHF

Handheld VHF

B&G chart plotter

GeoNav 4C handheld GPS

Furuno A150 AIS

Furuno Navtex

JRC 1000 radar

B&G/Whitlock autopilot

SeeMe active radar reflector

AquaSignal navigation lights all with LED lamps



Lifebuoy and danbouy


Offshore Flare pack


50kg Bruce anchor, 50kg folding fisherman anchor, 15kg folding fisherman light kedge

60m of 13mm chain

Lewmar 3000 electric anchor windlass


Inflatable dinghy with outboard and oars


Mooring warps

Mainsail cover

Skylight cover


These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.


Wooden Ships classic yachts brokers have an extensive database of boats for sale. With a wide range of sailboats, classic yachts, motor yachts and small classic boats, Wooden Ships has one of the largest selections of traditional wooden boats and yachts for sale in the UK.


These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.