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And nothing you don’t. I spent the night studying everything I could find on construction methods used by the Sam L Morse company. There are two very in-depth videos on both the Falmouth cutter and her larger sibling the Bristol Channel Cutter one thing I noticed was that the purchasers in the videos were far closer to their death beds than the days they once owned of youth and vitality. There is nothing wrong with growing old, god willing we all will. I just don’t want to be one of those old cutes that waited my entire life to follow my heart.


My evolving love for traditionally designed boats has been lifelong. As I set out to build the new boat she will have everything I need and nothing I don’t. I guess I’m a bit of a hearty soul because I truly don’t mind not having refrigeration, a toilet, electronics, hot shower, these things can always be added later… in the worst case I won’t actually start work on the new boat until September but that is still a very large unknown. I’d like to take Sookie north in the spring but money and time are starting to get a little tight with so much going on. As I suspected the buyer backed out and that is good. I’m starting to think I might keep both just to be sure the new boat actually sails as well as Sookie, there is a magic in her I’ve never experienced on any other boat.

The big boat is being planned in stages. First she will be launched as an empty hull with only her structural bulkheads in. I don’t want to spend my life in a boathouse so she will be made sail ready with all plain sail, one anchor and yes a brand new Diesel engine. I’ll get into this one later. As an engineless sailor the transition to electric drive would be an easy one but I’m just not sold on it so I’ll stick with what I know.

The interior design has really been fun but also frustrating. I have always loved sleeping in the v-berth but I’m leaning towards a double Pullman berth in the main cabin leaving the foreword part for a fixed bucket and work space with room for my bike and a New Brompton. I plan on spending as much time living in the empty hull as need be to learn where every piece fits. I’ve bought both big and little Sookie a nice thinking bottle. As I’m still here, I’m still working on Sookie everyday and if the big boat doesn’t sail like Sookie I’ll downsize back to what I know and love.

I’ve been going absolutely crazy trying to decide if I install her new old wind vane or move on to more fun projects. Thank god I’m bit polar because having two boats would drive the average person insane. If I’m not installing the new vane I can pretty much launch Sookie at anytime but I’m trying to be smart on this one. I’ve already decided Big Sookie will get a Mike Anderson vane, well I’m buying the vane and one of my girls will.

Just in case your wondering… yes this entire process is absolutely freighting. While both boats were designed by Lyle Hess beyond the first glance they have very little in common and to be totally honest little Sookie has much prettier lines both above and below the belt. Big Sookie on the other hand can carry a full year of provisions, twice the water, has room for a heater and can carry a hard dink on deck. Like I’ve said, if she doesn’t out do little Sookie she will become my second boat and not visa versa. Winter has finally arrived in the islands and my hours have been cut back to 15 a week leaving me an insane amouth of time to think about getting the hell out of here sooner rather than later.

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