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News, views and discussions on Lyle Hess Yachts, focussed primarily on the Bristol Channel Cutter
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BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: Jazzbox111 (IP Logged)
Date: April 24, 2012 01:57AM

Performance Comparison

Bristol Channel Cutter 28.083
Falmouth Cutter 22 22

Bristol Channel Cutter 26.25
Falmouth Cutter 22 20.833

Bristol Channel Cutter 10.083
Falmouth Cutter 22 8

Bristol Channel Cutter 14000
Falmouth Cutter 22 7400

Sail Area
Bristol Channel Cutter 673
Falmouth Cutter 22 403

Capsize Ratio
Bristol Channel Cutter 1.67
Falmouth Cutter 22 1.64

Speed Bristol Channel Cutter 6.87
Falmouth Cutter 22 6.12

Sail Area to Displacement
Bristol Channel Cutter 18.54
Falmouth Cutter 22 16.98

Displacement to LWL
Bristol Channel Cutter 346
Falmouth Cutter 22 365

LWL to Beam
Bristol Channel Cutter 2.6
Falmouth Cutter 22 2.6

Motion Comfort
Bristol Channel Cutter 36.89
Falmouth Cutter 22 33.59

Bristol Channel Cutter 946
Falmouth Cutter 22 596

Safety, comfort, speed, In that order, is what I look for in a boat. According to these stats (generated by SAIL CALCULATOR) the FC is only about 10% less comfortable and fast, but just as safe.

Looking forward to seeing a good discussion here. Hoping for comments by people who have sailed or owned both boats

(PS I have just bought an FC22: LOVELY!)

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: Dioscouri (IP Logged)
Date: April 24, 2012 02:43AM

Both are amazing boats (although, I have never sailed on a FC - I have owned a BCC for 13 years, and love it!). I was in the final stages of closing a deal on an FC, but the vendors "did a dirty on me" and sold it to someone else for a few dollars more. As a result, I ended up being a proud owner of a BCC.

In retrospect, the one significant advantage (in my opinion) of the BCC is its greater load-carrying capacity and storage space. It amazes me how much "stuff" accumulates on a boat (except for the very well-organized owners), so for that reason alone, I am happy to be a BCC owner.

However, I do not mean in any way to denigrate the FC - it is a great boat (the numbers you posted confirm that)!

Congratulations on your new acquisition!

Dioscouri (hull #064)

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: dwkayaks (IP Logged)
Date: April 26, 2012 02:25PM

Well , Jazzbox , welcome to our forum .

We have another owner that traded up to a BCC from a FC , and he has a blog site ,,, try a search for BCC Shanti , Gary . He can give you the perspective you require !

There is no doubt in my mind that a light F C , is faster than a heavy loaded BCC ,,, Ron Walton proved that to me in San Francisco Bay circa 1996 .

It seems a shame to me that you are concerned about stastistics of the differences between the two boats .

Being onboard a new FC during first launch in Newport Beach , I found the FC a bit tender , but not slow !

The performance of these boats can be altered,,, but most of us like our creature comforts and over load them in the begining ,,,, good luck,,,, if you don't do the same !

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: dwkayaks (IP Logged)
Date: April 26, 2012 02:30PM

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 04/26/12 02:33PM by dwkayaks.

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: svshaula (IP Logged)
Date: April 26, 2012 05:17PM

Hello Lovely,
Although the comparison of the numbers is interesting, I think there are many important personal factors to consider, other than the numbers. My first thought was: what is the FC or BCC going to be used for--offshore passage making, or coastal cruising, or weekends/2 or 3 week summer sailing?? Extended, multiple year, live-aboard cruising, or shorter term? Single-handed cruising, or a couple (or family with children!?)? How tall is the crew?

Extended cruising that includes offshore passages seems to result in a lot of gear that the BCC is better able to handle--dinghy, anchor gear, tools, sails, saftey gear, spare parts, not to mention food, water, and fuel. Adding it all to the 7000 lb displacement FC will certainly reduce its sailing ability, compared to adding it all to the 14,000 lb displacement BCC. We all know of FC's (and other small cruisers,such as the Dana) that have been cruised successfully offshore, so with discipline, it can certainly be done. I've never sailed on a FC but can imagine that if lightly loaded, they are great sailers (as are BCC's!).

Fair winds, Dan Shaula BCC 59 (1981)

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: IDUNA (IP Logged)
Date: April 26, 2012 06:44PM

The FC is a better sailing boat than the BCC. It was one of Lyle's favorite designs.

Forget all the damn sailing parameters and just go chase your dreams. Regardless of the boat's size, we all have a tendency to jam pack it with too much crap. We have so many fastenings and fitting aboard IDUNA, We could become a floating store at a remote anchorage. Most of fastenings are left over from rebuilting African Moon, our aft-cabin Flicka. Fastenings were cheap in the late 80s' and early 90's, hence we bought boxes of bronze and stainless steel screws, washers, nuts, bolts, etc.

This academic argument about which is better reminds me of bike chain lubricants and tires. Both of these items take on religious status.

We waited too long and now must decide when to sell the boat. Time marches on and bodies age. WE are very pleased with the performance of the BCC but were equally pleased with our beloved African Moon. I could be just has happy on a FC in the bay on making a passage to Bermuda, the Bahamas or the Caribbean Islands.


Attachments: DSC04199_Backwater_Great_Falls_Area.jpg (96kB)  
Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: seacap (IP Logged)
Date: April 27, 2012 11:03AM

Hi Jazz,

I have been the owner of both a BCC and a FC.

In my younger days I sailed a FC with no engine. Now in my later years I am sailing a BCC with an engine.

It is really hard for me to compare the two actually. When I first purchased my FC she had an engine. I removed the engine and filled in the aperture. That made a HUGE difference in the performance. My BCC has an engine and the attending drag.

For most of the 16 years I had the FC my record top speed was 6.25 kts. On my final voyage with a new full batten main and spinnaker she hit 7.25 (no I wasn't surfing).

So far with my BCC has only hit 6.5.

I find both of the vessels a little tender. The FC was probably more so. But she actually sailed better loaded (I know it seems counter intuitive). My BCC is not as tender now since I went to the light weight synthetic rigging. I was carrying full main (new full batten sail) and jib in 17-20 kts of wind the other day.

The FC is more fun to sail since it is so small and easily handled. I could have my main up in less than 20 seconds. It also took me on a number of ocean passages.

The BCC is great for me now because my wife and I are moving on board with 2 dogs a cat and bird. I could have never done that in the FC.

Both boats are touchy about to much weight in the ends (as are most boats). But the bow is very sensitive to weight. The FC soared once I removed 300lbs from her bow!

All in all they are similar in sailing characteristics. The most obvious difference is size and what you need the size for.

Enjoy your boat!

Gary Felton
S/V Angelsea
US Virgin Islands

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: ross8350 (IP Logged)
Date: April 27, 2012 12:41PM

never sailed a bcc so i have no comparision for you

i sailed an island packet 38 for ten years. gotta say it had all the comfort of home right down to the generator and air conditioning.lots of storage, space for four kids.it took me to bermuda in dreadful weather. it did however need 2 strong arms(preferable a pair belonging to one of my sons), a Strong track and a winch to raise the main.

now i sail a falmouth 26. each time i hoist the main on little pearl my heart pounds happiness. 20 seconds, and i'm off. with crew, without crew, it matters not. there is enough room for food, water, life raft a little this a little that. just let me go sailing. and fwiw - this boat. my last boat. she sails like a dream. a sweet, sweet dream.

jo anne ross
s/v little pearl
falmouth cutter 26-7

Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: IDUNA (IP Logged)
Date: April 27, 2012 01:41PM

Jo Anne:

Such beautiful feelings toward a little boat :-). My thought about boat size is, if I cannot carry the folded main off the boat or onto it, the boat is two big. Your point about hoisting the mainsail is well made. If you can hoist the sail easily, you will sail more than you will motor. We have seen too many big boats either motoring or sailing under roller furling jib with no mainsail set.

Fair Winds,


P.S. The attached photo is the late A.O.'s Falmouth 26, Polaris Jack, full and by before the wind. A.O. was an excellent sailor and seaman. I miss him but have good memories of our conversations in the cockpit and of him, sailing before the mast. He was bigger than life and born to the sea.

Attachments: DSC01065 Polaris Jack SLMF.jpg (99kB)  
Re: BCC Vs FC ... please comment
Posted by: Jazzbox111 (IP Logged)
Date: April 28, 2012 02:52AM

Hello to all,

Really nice to get some responses and to find that there is a lot of overlap.

People really seem to think in terms of utility.

I'm not sure where my little Falmouth will take me. But I won't be crossing oceans anytime soon. Although that may very well happen if I get cocky enough.

The thing that amazes me is that the FC does have those stats. The choice for me was very much a financial one. I was worried that in buying the Falmouth, however, I was getting a 'toy' version of the BCC. I realise how wrong I was thinking that way.

My approach to sailing (and life) leans toward the minimalistic. I am 30 and fairly adventurous, having travelled quite a lot I guess. I once travelled to South East Asia with just a plastic bag with my toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a spare t-shirt and some spare underpants. The people at customs were pretty impressed.

I would much rather prefer a little boat that I can 'handle' in all ways. I really like the space inside the FC, it feels just right to me. Although I'd like to make some minor changes too.

I can tell that both boats are a bit tender from watching them sail. Its amazing that the FC goes as fast as it does, it looks like a fat little puppy.

I look forward to really making my boat tidy and simple.

I also look forward to experiecing her motion when things get a bit rough. I really want to see how she behaves. I really am amazed at the statistics.

I also look forward to further communication with the Hess fraternity.



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