Latitude 50° 20.050 N
Longitude 004° 08.917 W
Depth 12m
Accuracy 5m
Reference None
Location Description Breakwater Fort, Plymouth
Craft type Pilot cutter
Date built 1959 ?
Year of loss 1995
Manner of loss Scuttled
Outcome Abandoned
Construction Wood
Propulsion Diesel
Nationality United Kingdom
Departure port Plymouth
Destination port None
Hull length 7m
Hull beam 2m
Built ?
Owners Trinity House


The ex-Trinity House pilot cutter Tavy lies on the seabed next to the Breakwater Fort in Plymouth Sound.

In 1995, PMARIG decided to set up an artificial test site to be used for research into methods for recording shipwrecks underwater. The Tavy was donated to the project by Boston Shipping, it lay in the boatyard in Oreston so it was easy to remove cabin and most fittings then record it in detail before it was scuttled. On 23rd December 1995 the Tavy was then placed on the seabed using the dive support vessel Terschelling, between two concrete blocks close to the fort wall on the north-east side (1).

The hull on the seabed was recorded by divers using a number of different methods and the results of the surveys were compared. The hull was also used as part of a long-running experiment to determine the accuracy of tape measures when used for surveying ships underwater (2).

Diving the Tavy

Within the last few years the stern deck of the Tavy was damaged which has led to the stern itself collapsing and the hull flattening out. The remains of this vessel still lie between the blocks next to the Breakwater Fort.

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The pilot cutter Tavy at the Mayflower steps


Tavy being prepared for scuttling in Boston's yard

Tavy 2

Sinking Tavy using the DSV Terschelling


Tavy on the seabed by the Breakwater Fort shortly after scuttling

Breakwater Fort

Site plan of the Breakwater Fort showing the location of Tavy


(1) Dart P., 1996, Trinity House Pilot Cutter 'Tavy', NAS Part II survey report
(2) Holt P., 2003, An assessment of quality in underwater archaeological surveys using tape measurements, IJNA 32.2, p246-251
(3) Breakwater Fort by Kayak on DiverNet