Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log

What is a “Bristol Channel Cutter”?

Marketing doublespeak…….We’ll build a fat little boat and call it a “Bristol Channel Cutter”, that’ll bring in the rubes……And it did and still does. The Hess designs are in reality pretty much the exact opposite of the original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter’s, in that they are wide with lot’s of form stability and minimal outside ballast. The originals were narrow and deep, with the internal volume to carry huge inside ballast as the boats were dependent on that low CG for their tremendous seakeeping ability.

The lines of the true Bristol Channel Cutter Letty (built 1905) are above while the Lyle Hess designed Channel Cutter 28 are below.