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Buying a FC?
Posted by: Swanny (IP Logged)
Date: July 13, 2010 05:24AM

Hi to all!

I have the opportunity to buy a FC. I currently sail a Contest 36k in Northern Europe where the season begins and ends pretty chilly. I love the FC and would love to buy one but I have some questions which I hope can be answered here.

1. Fitted Cockpit Tent - In the Baltic we all have fitted cockpit tents to help extend the season and provide an additional room. I have never seen a FC with one and wondered if anyone out there know of any pictures of any. The cockpit and cabin top don't appear to be condusive to an attractive and functional fitting of one in my opinion.

2. Wet cockpit - It looks to me that any water landing on the side decks will inevitably give you a wet bum! Is this the case? There seems nothing to stop the cockpit seats from getting wet. Small point maybe but when the water is icey....?

3. How does the FC handle under power? - My boat handles poorly under power so I am used to this but how does the FC handle in tight Marina situations? Going astern? Is it possible? I assume there is not much prop wash on the rudder for tight turns?

4. Boarding - With such a bow sprit boarding from the front of the boat may prove difficult. In the Baltic all berths are bows too with no side pontoons to speak of. The stern is attached to two posts by lines. Does anyone know of boarding methods in this way? Can the bow sprit take a say a 100kilo man standing on it? Any pictures of boarding planks fitted?

5. Heating - I currently have a Refleks Diesel Heater fitted which is a stove fed by gravity I love it!! Anyone have this type of heater fitted and where? Typical cruising temps here are 1 to 5 degrees in the night and say 10 to 12 during the day in spring and autumn!

6. On deck storage - There seems little cockpit locker and deck storage space. How do people cope with this? Dinghy stowage etc

7. Any particular things to look for when buying a FC

I think thats it. Please reply with whatever opinions you have and please do it now by email if you would be so kind as I may miss the oportunity to buy up here!!!

Thanks. jeffswanwick@aol.com

Re: Buying a FC?
Posted by: luke78 (IP Logged)
Date: July 30, 2010 02:11AM

1. Difficult to even find a falmouth with a dodger. I do have a tent set up for when in harbor. it is part of a full boat cover.

2. Yes the cockpit can be a little wetter than other boats due to no cockpit combing.

3.She powers well enough, but is relatively useless in astern gear. About 4.5 - 5 kts at 2500 rpm; I however have one of the older GM yanmars.

4. Bow sprit can easily handle the weight. She is ultimately supported by bob, whisker and head stays. Also depends on condition of sprit and material.

5. no real input on this, sorry

6. Roll up dinghy. Space is always an issue in smaller boats, usually handled by good planning.

7. A good deal.

These are just quick responses and others may have different or greater insight into your questions. Good luck.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 07/30/10 02:42AM by luke78.

Re: Buying a FC?
Posted by: John Cole (IP Logged)
Date: July 30, 2010 03:36AM

My responses:

1. It is vey easy to construct a cockpit tent and the "exaggerated" height of the cabin house (All things are relative) facilitated this process to make a snug waterproof environment.

2. It is absolutely correct that the lack of coamings in the cockpit allows for a "wet bum" experience, but having sailed on BCCs, Ables, Cape Doreys, Wet Snails and a host of other blue water boats,all of which do have coamings, I don't think this makes much difference - if you are pounding into a sea, you are going to get a wet bum. Enjoy! At my time of life it might be the only sensuous feeling I get!

3. Like any full keel vessel, the FC won't back up the way you want it to. Some, and the FC and BCC are among the best, will react to prop walk, so you have to know your boat and what RPM is needed to start to move the stern. Some boats, mine included, won't react until I max out the RPM when I shift into reverse. When I first had my boat I spent a few hours reversing the boat to moor up against a tethered barge. It might be more interesting if you try to do this up against a US warship, using that as your dock!

4. Adapt the bowsprit and make it retractable. This is fairly easy to do once you know your boat - just use a halyard in place of your forestay, pull the pin on the foestay and pull it back into the deck. (Some BCC owners do this so that the can save money in a marina, but heck! they are cheap!, there is a lot of difference between a 28' and a 37' boat!)

5 and 6; I would suggest that you look for responses from FC owners, I believe that many vessels have Force 10 heaters, and regarding stowage, for dinghys or anything else, it is a 24' boat. The dinghy is best stored collapsed on the deck, Locker space - it doesn't exist.

Possibilities: There are a few FCs without engines, which therefore have much more storage capacity which needs to be used to give the vessel balance. If you are a good sailor and can sail into you slip, this isn't a problem. To create power, put a notch in the aft rail and use a sculling oar. If you are not happy with this, consider an outboard. (Neither of these solutions give you GOOD reversing power.)

There are FC's and Norseas; I am not even going to go near that debate; there are many hundreds of postings wihin the forum discussing this. Ultimately the Sam L Morse built FCC in good codition will look after your body and soul!

John Cole

Re: Buying a FC?
Posted by: AlaskaJoe (IP Logged)
Date: February 16, 2011 05:52AM

This response may be a moot point as late as it is but, for the first time I can intelligently respond to a FC-22 question :-)
I have only sailed my FC Jolly Dolphin for about 10 weeks, but it was 10 weeks living on and sailing the boat every day (weather permitting) from deep in a marina. That was this past summer on the Chesapeake. With that caveat...

1) I agree it is easy to John that it is easy to form an aft tent. More difficult if you want 6' headroom, but certainly plenty of sitting and crouching room. I have a boom tent I use and spent many an hour sitting with a glass of wine imagining how to construct an enclose tent. It can be down with a good canvas person.
2) Again I agree with John. But the FC does, in my opinion ride the chop pretty well. So yes if water comes over the coaming you will get a wet butt, but again your sailing in an open cockpit...
3) I have a Max-Pro prop that feathers when in neutral and the blades rotate in reverse so that you get a leading edge. So I have maybe 50%-75% more thrust in reverse. But again, I have found you have to put the bow where it needs to be, which should be 180 degrees to the way you want to reverse. But too remember she only weighs 7,500 pounds, so she is easy to man-handle from stern, should you have problems. Not very seaman like but the wind and waves do not always act as you wish in a marina. In forward gear, because of my larger prop (again that feathers in neutral) I get a large amount of prop wash so turning takes some effort when at speed. First couple times out I thought the rudder was stuck, but under a light load she will turn on a time and I found to be rather spritely in close quarters (again in forward)
4) I weigh 220 pounds and have waltzed out on the sprit, past the stay-sail and leaned on the jib stay and taken many a picture. As all have said she has plenty of support.
5) I have a heater but is not hooked up, but I have seen pictures of several FC
with heaters.
6) I don't have a dingy but Russ the previous owner who did such remarkable job of bringing Jolly Dolphin back to a fine looking lady, put on two teak storage boxes port and starboard. I think the thing to remember if you aren't at least something of a minimalist, a FC-22 might not be your boat. That is with a FC-22 you just don't bring as much sh....stuff.
7) I don't think the FC-22 has any inherent faults that must be checked out. Look at any boat closely. But do sail one. This summer every 30-40 sailboat captain the sailed with me, simply marveled at how polite she was. And most BCC owners (at least in private conversations) will admit the FC-22 sails, just a bit better.

Re: Buying a FC?
Posted by: Swanny (IP Logged)
Date: February 16, 2011 12:58PM

Hi AlaskaJoe,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. You are correct is assuming it may be a moot point as I did not buy the FC, somebody else did! It was not a case of dithering, the boat took more than a year to sell here in the UK. I couldn't believe it really. I thought it would be snapped up. But I guess the following for these boats is pretty select over here. There are quite a few alternatives to be had. I didn't pursue it because my criteria changed somewhat. I decided that transportability was a priority for me to enable more varied use. I hated being tied to cranes, boatyards and storage facilities with my last boat. I know you can trailer the FC but over here in Euroland the vehicles that can do it are very thin on the ground and what the hell do you do with the vehicle when not trailering? Daily transport on our particular highways would get tiresome with such a large, heavy not to mention thirsty motor.

Our season here in the Danish/German area where I sail is quite short. A good heater is a must but a power hungry one isn't. A drip feed diesel heater like my old Refleks was superb but fitting one in the space available would be tight and probably result in too many burnt shins! Your right about fitting a 'Fitted' cockpit tent but the challenge would probably end up not sooo aesthetically pleasing. I don't need standing headroom for sure, I hate these oxygen tents that some boats have stuck up on their boats. But, it would have to blend in and I simply couldn't visualise how this could be done without spoiling the lines of the boat. The wet bum question was really about at what point does water begin to trickle/pour into the cockpit. I know only too well that we all get wet at some point as the weather deteriorates but each boat wets you either earlier in the game or later. I just wondered what kind of weather or sailing are you in when your ass starts to get wet. With no coamings I just guessed it would be much earlier than other boats.

I'm a bit confused with answer no.3. You mention you have a lot of prop wash but that turning takes some effort. I'm probably not understanding you correctly but a lot of prop wash means that when you turn the rudder the force of the water from the prop gets redirected from straight aft to one side or the other therefore helping to turn the boat in a tighter circle. I'm not trying to be clever here, please believe me when I say that, but can you also explain what you mean by your bow must be at 180 degrees from the direction you wish to revers to? Do you mean that before you reverse you should say turn to stbd in forward gear before you go astern so that the 'Prop Kick' (the force of the water from the astern prop being biased to either port or stbd dependent upon which way your prop rotates) merely corrects what the direction you want to go. It's complicated to explain I see now!

I'm really sad that I couldn't bring myself to buy the FC22, I fell in love with it from the first moment. But the mistakes I made in buying my first boat (too old, too much to do, to large, too cumbersome, too difficult to manoeuvre etc) I am determined to get as much right for me as I can. In short, I'm desperately trying to use my head more than my heart. But boy the FC had a firm grip of my heart for sure!!

I havn't rule it out completely but my next boat is to be a trailer sailer or a trailerable boat. If I don't use it, as my work can often make impossible, then it can sit at my home and I don't feel guilty that I am spending a fortune to keep and expensive ornament. Ok, not the most convincing argument but it's all I've got.

I appreciate all replies I have received and it could be that when my work allows more time and perhaps a slightly warmer location, the FC is the boat for me. I will hunt one down!


Jeff Swanwick

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