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Nigel Irens 40 ft Pilot Cutter 1997 - Sold



Nigel Irens 40 ft Pilot Cutter 1997

Designer Nigel Irens
Builder Covey Island Boatworks
Date 1997
Length overall 59 ft 1 in / 18 m
Length deck 40 ft 0 in / 12.2 m
Length waterline 37 ft 1 in / 11.3 m
Beam 12 ft 10 in / 3.9 m
Draft 6 ft 7 in / 2 m
Displacement 20 Tonnes
Construction Wood / Epoxy
Engine Lister Alpha 45hp
Location United Kingdom
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended



After many years adventuring and cruising the World in gaff cutters, Tom Cunliffe invited Nigel Irens to create for him such a design. WESTERNMAN - inspired indeed by the original pilot boats of the Bristol Channel and able to cruise 2 or 4 handed for say 3 months on the go but nevertheless comfortable as well at sea as in harbour, has been a resounding success. Exactly as you would expect, she is wonderfully complete from her rig and deck layout to her cleverly worked interior in antique pitch pine. Experience is the best school and it would be difficult to improve upon her or add to her inventory. WESTERNMAN has been tried and tested and is totally ready.



‘Westernman’ was the nickname given to hands on the original Bristol Channel pilot cutters. They sailed the boats far to westward to board their pilots onto ships inbound for Bristol, Barry, Cardiff and other western ports - then kept to sea no matter what the weather, waiting for their pilots to return when bringing their next outbound ships down channel. WESTERNMAN seems to be an honourable and fitting name for a vessel that would surely have been appreciated by these unsung heroes.



This yacht is subject to VAT



- Douglas fir strip planks on laminated frames
- 2 layers bi-axial e-glass epoxy
- Lead keel, bolted
- Pine planked composite deck and superstructure:
- Teak external trim:
- Panelled timber interior in antique pitch pine and mahogany; oiled / varnished and painted;
- Heavy timber cabin sole


Accommodation and domestic equipment

Aft is the self draining lazarette with propane storage etc. The cockpit is a pilot cutter classic; safe, deep and comfortable with seating over 3 large lockers starboard with ample dedicated liferaft / flares and warps etc stowage.

A companionway hatch and large step over the engine housing leads down to the accommodation below summarised as 3 single berths, 2 double berths etc in 3 + cabins. All berths are long and headroom high as current owner is 6 ft 6 in tall.

Aft via a doorway to port is a double quarter berth with storage outboard - with nearby forward an area designed for the hands to mill around, or hang out at sea with places to sit and lean while yarning with cook.

Navigation is to port; a good chart table with full modern electronics as detailed; GPS lead to drive PC plotter; inverter; lamp from World War II MTB in brass.

The galley is opposite to starboard with a fixed cooker and unencumbered stowage, big brass fiddle and pan clamps, plate racks etc. The Spinflo 4- burner hob and grill with separate oven is powered by 3 x 13 kg propane bottles (in lazarette). The cooking range is deliberately massive for foreign cruising. The cold box is readily convertible to simple 12 V fridge.

Beyond semi bulkheads the saloon is panelled in 150-year-old reclaimed pitch pine and has features including:
- Robust mahogany table with proper fiddles extends to seat 10
- Storage – enough for 200 charts; commodious bookshelves, 5 oil lamps etc
- Teak skylight, opening scuttles, and deck prisms
- Wine rack in locker with glass racks above
- Wood / coal cabin heater stove
- 12V stereo music system with CD, tape, radio (LW & FM), Ipod via tuner (not supplied)

The two settees form superb heavy weather sea berths and occasional extra berthing in harbour, featuring removable solid timber leeboards.

The next compartment houses a wash basin to port and large heads (Groco top model US made WC and shower to starboard making a complete athwartships washroom all with full headroom.

The fore-cabin; owners cabin has double berth to starboard, which extends to a very big berth in harbour and is fitted with white painted tongue and groove panelling with varnished mahogany leeboards and trim.

The Fo’c’sle – still with standing headroom contains shelves and open storage.


Rig, spars and sails

Gaff cutter rig
- Wood (mainly hollow) spars by Noble Spars / Covey Island Boatworks
- Galvanised plough steel wire standing rigging; well maintained in excellent condition
- Bobstay tensioning tackle (8:1) Spectra
- Topmast forestay on turning block and 4:1 tackle
- Shrouds tensioned via dead-eyes
- Lanyards set up via throat halyard + jigger = 16:1
- Forestay passed through stemhead tensioned with galvanised bottle screw on deck
- Large diameter lightweight bamboo booming out pole
- Bamboo jackyards
- Working tops’l set without yards
- Mainsheet can lead to aft capstan (for heavy conditions)
- 2 bronze mast winches for reefing and / or topsail sheet

Sails (Tan Dacron by SKB Falmouth 1997 unless shown otherwise; area c 1,450 sq ft)
- Mainsail (3 reefs etc)
- No 1 Jib
- Staysail (1 reef)
- No 3 Jib - as new
- Working topsail
- Jackyarder – as new
- Jib topsail – as new
- No 2 Jib (Crusader Sails) 2006

Winches – all bronze
- 2 x Lewmar 30 ST 2 spd manual staysail sheet
- 2 x Traditional unknown power manual topsail sheet / reef tackle


Deck equipment and ground tackle

- Hand-crafted wrought iron tiller
- Lewmar Sprint (Simpson Lawrence) bronze electric anchor windlass with warping drum
- Simpson Lawrence 1259 bronze electric aft capstan
- 1 x Tepco lightweight GRP stem dinghy
- 1 x Honda 4-stroke, 2.5hp outboard engine (2006)
- 2 x boarding gates in the 12 inch bulwarks
- Removable bronze stanchions with Dyneema guardrails and boarding gates
- 1 x 85 lb Fisherman (main bower) anchor (stows easily on pad outside starboard bulwarks)
- 1 x 40 lb Spade kedge anchor
- 30 fathoms 7/16th inch galvanised tested chain + appropriate kedge warp
- Mosquito netting (companionway and portholes)
- Solid oak cockpit table for 4
- Terracotta mainsail cover
- Terracotta covers for forehatch and skylight
- Terracotta cockpit cover (doubles as a properly supported cockpit sun awning)
- H D teak boathook; bronze grabbit hook for retrieving bower anchor via staysail halyard
- Powerful oil-burning dioptric lens anchor light
- Bosun’s chair etc
- Rope bathing ladder


Mechanical, electrical and tankage

- Lister Alpha 45 hp diesel engine
- Standard mechanical gearbox approx 3:1 reduction
- 3 bladed propeller
- Speed: max 7 knots; cruising 6, economy 5 ½
- Engine hours not known but 12 years of cruising with this unit
- All maintenance according to Lister’s recommendations
- Cruising range circa 550 NM
- Fuel consumption per hour at cruising speed: < 1 GPH.

- 12 V, 250 AH domestic battery 2008
- 12 V, 60 AH engine start battery 2006
- 75 A alternator
- Sterling battery charger

- 12 V and manual water pressure system
- Calorifier – engine heated
- 2 x Rule 12 V and 1 x Whale bilge pumps

- 90 gallon / c 410 litre Fuel in two stainless steel tanks independently switched and filtered
- 220 gallon / 1000 litre fresh water in integral wood epoxy (in-line filtered pump)
- Reserve tank
- 35 gallon / c 160 litre stainless steel holding black water tank (pump out ashore)



- Plastimo bubble steering compass on teak slider in companionway with 12 V light
- Windpilot pendulum / servo wind vane self steering
- Large chart stowage
- Raymarine instruments:
- C-series 120 large bulkhead plotter c 2003
- VHF DSC radio c 2008
- VHF hand-held (little used) c 2003
- Radar c 2006
- Marpa with gyro stabiliser c 2005
- AIS 2007/8
- Echo sounder, speed and log combination
- 4000 Instrument autopilot drives pendulum self-steering if wind vane no op 2008
- Multi-purpose cockpit read-out and control c 2003



- 4 person Seago liferaft (2008) – 3 year warranty
- RORC-style flare pack (2009)
- 406 EPIRB (serviced 2009)
- 4 x lifejackets
- 2 x dry powder extinguishers (large); 1 fire blanket; 1 engine space extinguisher



Items currently on board but excluded from the sale: various pictures, hangings etc., anchor weight, Walker log, 2 forward oil lamps (will be replaced with like), drawer handle, small mirror from aft cabin, half-model, Derby crockery and wooden plates. Crockery etc is personal but can be replaced in moderation by negotiation.


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts