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Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Cariad by John Gardner

N.B. Jacob of Bexleyheath brought Cariad from  Frank Carr and she lay in the canal basin by Gravesend Sailing Club. Jacob's son, Graham, recalls sailing as a young boy in the Thames and Medway and the Walton Backwaters. There was a trip to Boulogne in 1970. Soon after the old boat was sold to David Morgan of Gravesend. At some point, a dog house was added. By 1972 she was in the arms of the Exeter Maritime Museum. Frank Carr was among the crew that sailed her there.

For a number of years, Cariad was in the Exeter Quay basin. A  fundraising appeal for her restoration was launched in 1978, and she was taken out of the water. Her years ashore and open to the elements took a grave toll on Cariad.

By January 1997 the museum was in deep financial trouble, and the Cariad's good fortune was that Ken Briggs- who had owned Dolphin, a Bowden of Porthleven pilot cutter- stepped in to buy her. By then, Cariad was in an appalling condition. She had completely dried out, most of her fittings were missing, and even the ship's papers had been lost. All the restoration work that had been done, including deck beams, deck, dog house and skylight, needed replacing.

In July 1997 Ken moved Cariad to a barn near his home in the Welsh Marches, and work began on keel and frames. In August 1999 the boat was taken to a shed on the quay in Portishead, and work restarted in earnest three years later.

Cariad in the old power station at Exeter

The Last Working Cutter Part 3 by Tim Pratt

Boxes of Hardware at Exeter

Cariad 1958 -1999