Replica Isles of Scilly pilot cutter Amelie Rose was
launched in 2009 by her owners Nick Beck and Melisa Collett, who
quit their city jobs to start Topsail Adventures, their traditional
boat charter business.
Originally, these stunning boats were built in the 19th Century
to take pilots out to incoming square riggers. Pilotage was a
lucrative trade and the pilots, who were mainly freelancers, would
compete with each other to build the fastest cutters in order to
get to the incoming ships first. This combination of speed and
sea-worthiness was exactly what appealed to Nick and Melisa when
they decided that they'd had enough of working in London. Having
not found a boat that they thought would work, they decided to
build the perfect boat instead and started work on Amelie Rose in
September 2007 at Gweek Quay Boatyard in Cornwall.
The couple commissioned well-known traditional boat builder Luke
Powell (of Working Sail) to undertake the design and build and then
worked with him closely to ensure that she'd be an ideal charter
boat. With a core team of just four and using traditional methods,
Luke took 18 months to complete Amelie Rose - the seventh vessel
he's built - and she was finally launched in April 2009.
Amelie Rose is 44 feet long (not counting the 16 foot bowsprit
at the front), 13 feet wide and draws 7 feet when afloat. Weighing
in at 24 tons she is driven along by anywhere up to five sails set
from her 55 foot main mast and 22 foot topmast.
Last year the couple were approached by Denham Productions to
get Amelie Rose involved in the filming of a brand new series for
ITV. "The Hungry Sailors" followed Amelie Rose, her Skipper Nick
and Steve the First Mate on a trip along the South Coast with TV
personalities Dick & James Strawbridge. Starting in Fowey,
Cornwall and ending by passing through Tower Bridge into the heart
of London the Amelie Rose stopped off at almost every major harbour
on the way for the TV Chefs to explore ashore, find wonderful
ingredients and then bring them back to cook up a lovely meal for
the people they'd met.
When not filming for ITV, Amelie Rose takes charter guests and
RYA trainees on trips to the Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands and
Brittany Coast, or, more locally, along the Jurassic Coast to the
West Country and Solent from her base in Poole, Dorset.
Did you know?
- These Pilot Cutters were sometimes out to sea for days
with just a skipper and apprentice
- She can sleep up to 9 crew and takes just 2
professional sailors when on charter
Come along and see the Amelie Rose from the
20th to 23rd September on berth M534