Below is part of a correspondence I received from Sookies previous owner. After sailing her for 13 years and truly taking magnificent care of her, he set off and sailed half way around the world on his Bristol Channel Cutter. He probably has more mixed experience between the two boats than any other person, although some day I hope to top that list.
Offshore, huh, in a Falmouth. I have had your boat in some pretty festive conditions and there was never any question of survivability in my mind. That said, here are some thoughts.
• Space. Space is a big issue with the Falmouth both for provisions and essential equipment. On the plus side you have all the space that the engine would normally occupy. I wouldn’t go offshore again, especially single handed, without a good quality life raft. Even on the BCC it is difficult to stow something that bulky. I carried a Honda 200i generator, which is a very handy item in many ways – where would you fit that, for example?
• Fuel bladder. Would rig a bladder to free up cockpit space of gas tank. Maybe you already have this set up.
• Rig. You must have a roller furling headsail IMO. Too dangerous to be up on the sprite dealing with the Jibtop or Yankee. And you need to be able to reef that headsail incrementally and quickly.
• Boat motion. Consider a 15 foot swell in decent wind. That means the top three to four feet is potentially cresting and breaking. When that hits the BCC off the aft quarter or abeam the boat launches so to speak. Not comfy. Often that motion will momentarily and drastically effect the boats coarse and hence sail trim. Problematic to auto-correct using the windvane or tiller pilot.
• Refrigeration. Not a issue, I guess, in northern climate. But Mexico or the tropics forget about it. That would be a serious drawback in my opinion. Obviously there are some good, affordable, electric coolers that could work.
• Electricity. Even keeping it very simple you need juice. I didn’t have the cash to set up a good solar panel array so we used the motor to charge which is a waste of engine hours. Also the Honda generator helped big time in this regard. I could get a half assed charge on the batteries as well as charge the iPad, phone, InReach, etc.
• Get a InReach. Worth it’s weight in gold. Seriously.
• Dodger. Even though the Falmouth is a dry boat a Dodger is necessary to keep water out of the cabin and to shelter the crew. Allows for bimini to be rigged on the gallows.
When we were in Mex we ran into these “kids” on the Falmouth Coconutz. It was completely set up. Sweet. And I thought to myself at the time; What a waste. So much cash for so many compromises. They just looked so cramped all the time. Keep in mind I love these boats.
I realize you have reservations about trailering the boat. But in my mind that is how a Falmouth really shines. With a trailer you can easily move the boat anywhere opening up sailing options that most people would never experience. As in tow it home from Mex. Or sail on Lake Tahoe. Or go to Maine for the Summer. You name it.
You know all of this shit, Bro. I know you do.
Wise words, every one of them from a guy
Who has slipped 20 years under his keel sailing these boats, but still… Sookie is my baby and I know how much she loves me. Ahh sigh, it must be winter when all I can so is contemplate this size and scope of the universe.
PS add dodger to the list