Revenue Cutter Brochure

2014 Revenue Cutter pictures

The Revenue Cutter was designed in 1981-2 to provide a fun family dayboat which would outperform the only other dayboats available at the time, primarily the Drascombe lugger. It was named the Revenue Cutter as it was an approximation to a small scale reproduction of an 18th Century revenue cutter operated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs service to catch the many smugglers working around the coasts of Great Britain at the time, often using local luggers. To ensure the Revenue Cutters had better performance than the other boats, a law was passed banning boats, except the revenue cutters, from having bowsprits longer than 25% of their length. The new Revenue Cutter does not actually have such an extreme bowsprit, as it is only 4ft long compared to and 18ft hull length, but it could do if needed! Some of the boats were painted with gunports to reflect the business and character of the revenue cutters.

The boat was designed to be as light as possible, again to enhance performance, and so epoxy ply construction was used, and the experienced boatbuilder Bob Hatcher of Fareham, who had trained and worked with famous dinghy builders Chippendale Boats, was employed to build them. He did a marvellous job with beautiful mahogany faced ply, solid mahogany frames and gunwales, and solid spruce spars. The light weight makes her very easy to trail behind an ordinary family car, and to launch and retrieve from beaches and slipways. She has been trailed as far afield as Scotland and Brittany. The gaff cutter rig, with topsail, was designed so that the spars would all fit inside the boat for trailing, and be easy to erect before launching. The mast is stepped in a small tabernacle and a single person can lift it into position.

Buoyancy compartments are built in so that if the boat should capsize it will stay afloat, while other compartments were built in to take portable ballast which could be lead shot, steel shot, or gravel. Adding ballast reduces the performance off the wind, but increases the stability, especially when only a few people are aboard. By using portable ballast in bags, the performance can be adjusted to suit the conditions and the number and experience of the crew. We have found that an experienced crew with two or more adults does not need to carry ballast, but adding ballast will make sailing the boat a bit less "exciting".

Other features include a sailcloth spray cover that fits over the bow to protect the forward cockpit from spray and rain, and an overall cover for when the rig is stowed in the hull. The trailer has a piggy back launching trolley so that the road wheels do not need to go in the water. Rowlocks are fitted with lines to secure them to the boat but allow quick deployment, and a pair of oars are stowed under the side benches. Removable bungs allow the boat to drain freely when on the trolley, and hatches to the buoyancy and ballast compartments allow access for storage etc.