adventure, Bristol Channel Cutter, condensation, cutting the dock lines, debt free, falmouth cutter 22, freedom, independent travel, Lyle Hess, maximalist, minimalist, photography, sailing, sailing blog, sailing the San Juans, San juan Sailing
Back in my advertising days one of my favorite slogans was, “you can’t fit a 10 pound parcel into a 2 pound sac.” It was my number one way to upgrade sales and what made me the all time highest salesman for the magazine.
While all the other guys were out banging their heads against the wall trying to sell full page spreads, I focused on selling just an eighth of a page which was very affordable. Once the ad came out they were hooked but never happy with the size of the ad. I would simply reply, “well you can’t fit a 10 pound parcel into a 2 pound sac,” and viola: I would land yet another huge contract.
Boats are very much the same way; they come in all manner of shapes and sizes but try as you might you can’t over-stuff them without completely ruining their ability so sail in the manner designed. As I unload case after case of gear and food I am absolutely amazed at all the stuff I have in this boat, and quite frankly a little embarrassed by my food and booze hording.
Lyle Hess was a genius and every inch of this boat shows it. He under-ballasted the boat by 700 lbs, knowing most people who would buy or build such a boat would have long-term cruising plans for her and easily find a way to stuff another 700 pounds into her. After 50 years of designing boats Lyle designed the Falmouth Cutter to be the perfect boat to carry him and a crew of one safely and in comfort anywhere the wind would blow.
Poor little Sookie is worked and over the next month I will completely unload her, paint and varnish her interior, perfect her ventilation and launch her full to the brim. To date I have stuffed her with everything I own in the world and literally tons of Serena’s crap. Thirty gallons of sweet water, 4 months of canned food and 3 months worth of dried food, 6 months of dog food, and 8 cases of wine and assorted other booze. I almost always have the smallest boat in the harbor yet we always have enough to entertain even on our very modest budget. To date I have never been able to fill her lockers full and at her most loaded state still have well over an inch of waterline left to sink her to her DWL. She never feels overloaded and actually seems to sail better the more we stuff into her.
We have secretly been looking at Bristol Channel Cutters but the truth is they can’t offer much more than we already have, maybe 10-20% more storage, which we don’t need, 4 extra linear feet of living space and a lot of extra empty unusable space to stare at, all for only 100 grand more than we could get for this little yacht. Then there is the fact that a new boat would cost 3-4 times more annually to maintain and upgrade. Then there is the fact that everything on this little boat is new; she has never had a single spec of osmosis; her decks are bone dry, and she is paid for.
The number one search I get for this blog is Falmouth Cutter 22 for sale. I wonder who all these people are and why they have yet to purchase any of the three that are currently on the market. When I found Sookie I made a full price offer sight unseen spent every cent I had and have never regretted it.
Everything I had was a small price to pay for everything the world has to offer. From the log of Sookie, Wasp Island September 2013
“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”