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Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
The buyer was Frank Carr, who went on to be a notable maritime historian and director
of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Born in 1903, Carr says at the start
of his wonderful book, "A Yachtsman's Log", that "My nautical career began in my
bath and at a very early age." He had Cariad for over 30 years, and a big part of
his book covers her up to 1935. Cariad also appears in many articles in yachting
magazines in the 1920's and 1930's, as well as the Cruising Association Bulletin.
Together, they give a supremely evocative picture of sailing an ex-
Thanks to the generosity of the executors of the estate of Ruth Carr, Frank's wife,
and to the help of Miss Geraldine Charles of the National Maritime Museum, it has
been possible to look at the logs covering the earlier part of Frank Carr's ownership.
They comprise: a large-
Carr first saw Cariad in early 1926 on Newman's slip at Hamworthy in Poole Harbour,
and on March 18th he offered £350 for her, jointly with Nigel Warrington-
This was the year of the general strike, and Cariad's first voyage was a delivery
of 20 tons of potatoes from Portsmouth to Poole, for the starving burghers of Bournemouth.
It was done, Carr wrote, in the cause of country. On the boat for this trip were
Yet Cariad's longer-
In August a trial cruise to Brittany took Carr's Cariad to L'Aberwrach, Brest and
Benodet. On their return, the crew gathered at Warrington-
The Last Working Cutter Part 2 by Tim Pratt
In November 1926 Carr bought some new sails from Cranfields, for 140 pounds and thruppence less a discount of eight pounds 11 shillings for promoting the sailmaker during the proposed world cruise the following year: This cruise never happened, and Carr paid Cranfields back on the last day of 1929.
In 1927, however Carr was still bent on the world cruise, With Dennis McCutcheon and Bob McKee as crew. Fitting out at Pin Mill took the best part of three months, although contrary to what Carr says in his book, there are 29 pages of log devoted to fitting out rather than 40.
Carr had recently been elected a member of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, and one day during the fitting out, a cutter flying the club commodore's burgee anchored close by. Carr was frightfully exercised about whether he should call upon the commodore, but felt he could not do so, dressed as he was in, as he put it, passe shoes, flannel trousers, ancient jersey and grimy top with three days' growth of beard and a head full of varnish shavings. Carr stayed up the mast until dark.
By June Cariad was ready and she sailed to Erith and back, followed by what was billed
as a training cruise around Britain. In Belfast in August, Cariad acted as the committee
boat for the Belfast Motor Boat and Sailing Club regatta. The local press was clearly
intrigued by the proposed round-
In 1928 fitting out did not take long, and Carr set off on a cruise along the south coast of England to the Solent. By then, his father was much better, and a relaxed crew included his parents, brother and Binks the cocker spaniel.
The following year, 1929, was one of Carr's most satisfactory. He found a sailing
partner in one Augustine Courtauld, and an Easter trip to Holland was followed by
a Whitsun voyage to Mallaig. Cariad was left in Scotland, and a later cruise took
her to Ireland before returning to the Solent. In late September there followed an
interesting trip up channel, single-