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A cutter is a variant of a small, fast, single-masted marine craft that was originally developed in the 18th century and was known as a "cutter". It was characterized by a slim hull shape with a fairly steep bow, sharp transitions, a V-shaped midship at the front and a deep and sharp underwater hull with a protruding stern. At that time, these ships usually had a flat transom.
Because of their high speed, these "cutters" were popular with smugglers and pirates as well as with the authorities. The cutter was a maneuverable ship that carried a mainsail with gaff and boom, together with a staysail jib, a flying jib and often an outside jib. Two ra topsails were mounted on the backstay.
This type of ship had a deep water position and because of the sharp bow it was a "wet" ship, but it had good sailing characteristics in rough water. A disadvantage of the sharp bow was that the ship could easily dive underwater. For that reason, the cutters were later equipped with a brig sail and later with a ketch rig. The ships that crossed the ocean often had a yawl rig.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, this type of ship has slowly evolved into the fishing cutter, the most commonly used motor vessel for coastal fishing, beam trawling, pair fishing and trawler fishing. Cutters are generally between 30 and 45.99 meters long and have an engine power of not more than 2000 hp. If fishing is done aft of the deck, the ship is called a stern cutter.
The motor yachts that we know today in pleasure craft as cutters usually refer to the fishing cutters. In the sailing world, the term "cutter" has been adopted for narrow, deep draft sailing yachts with a cutter rig and later for any yacht carrying a mainsail with several foresails.
In the United States, the term "cutter" has passed to vessels that still perform the original function of the cutter, namely the Coast Guard Cutters or coast guard cutters. These are usually large motor vessels for patrol and buoyage services, equipped with heavy deck cranes, a helicopter deck, ice reinforcement and an enormous range.
DOEVE Brokers and Valuers is your dedicated Yacht Broker and Ship Broker for Cutters. For further information about the sale of your Cutter or if you wish to purchase a Cutter, please contact us.