Canadian boats

Hi all,

My BCC is a Canadian one. Having had a chance to see a Sam L Morse boat almost alongside its obvious there are some differences. I have four smaller portholes in my cabin, Zygote has three larger ones. There are also differences in the boomkin and bowsprit. Some of these may just be evolution, Zygote is almost 29 years younger than Takayna.

Does anyone know the full history of the Canadian built boats? I have heard bits and bobs. Some say they were unlicensed, some that several boats had the same hull numbers to avoid royalties. Is any of that even true? Is the build quality to the same standard? I think I read something from Roger Olsen indicating it was.

Any facts or history of the Canadian side of the family tree would be wonderful to have.


I don’t know the history of the Canadian BCC enterprise. I believe the quality and many details vary as there were several different independent shipwrights doing the finishing.

We lived in Seattle and Sam offered to let us buy our BCC from the Vancouver folks. We decided to go with Sam.

Our BCC, hull 59 built in 1981, is probably about the age of your Canadian BCC. Any boat that age will probably need some catching up on major maintenance. What are you working on?
Dan. Shaula

Hi Dan,

Geez, where do I start? You are right there are many many things that are requiring attention and many of them will take many hours and many dollars to complete.

I have decided to just do the easy ones first and work up to the more complex as I am thinking that many of those complex jobs will require some period of time out of the water, Time I neither have nor can afford right now.

So this winter it will be, a re-rig standing and running rigging, fairing and painting the topsides and cabin trunk, renewing the deck non skid, the normal stripping and varnishing, a possible replacement of all or part of the boomkin, refinishing all of the paint and varnish work down below, replacing the stove (not sure what with yet but the existing stove I suspect Noah had onboard the arc), the cutlass bearing probably

In the middle future are rebidding all the deck hardware, stanchions, cleats, grab rails etc, sealing and rebidding around the Bitts, pulling the mast and chain plates, rebuilding the cabin layout (a four and a half foot wide chart table might have been a luxury in a 28 foot boat in 1981- these days I reckon I can reclaim some of that space) and rebuilding the galley which has water damage to the base of all the plywood, and old and mouldy ice box which I don’t use at present and a plumbing system that will require me to dismantle the sink to fix it.

And so it goes, but you know that already.



That’s an amazing list! You certainly have a lot of work ahead of you! Can you work on it in your back yard? I guess you won’t be doing much cruising for a while?

On the subject of the Canadian BCCs, have your read the article in Cruising World about the shipwright Bryon Gittens who is building the Hess 35’ cutters on Vancouver Island? He was involved in the Canadian BCC project in its early days.

Good luck with the restoration. Please use the forum to keep us updated and we will do our best to help you. Most of us haven’t done all your projects, but between us all, hopefully we can help.
Dan Shaula

The current edition of Pacific Yachting lists a 34’ BCC built by Bryon Gittens for sale. Only US $475,000

There was a Hess 34 in the commercial section of Port Townsend’s Boat Haven. No one on board, but Alaska registered. I wonder if that’s the one for sale? It had dyneema standing rigging. The 34 is such a massive vessel compared to the BCC. A real beauty, of course!

Dan, I was at Brion Toss’s rigging seminar in PT last fall and they had just finished rigging a 34’ Hess Falmouth Cutter that was made by Channel Cutter Yachts in Canada. They used a special Vectran rope for the standing rigging. Folks I talked with said she was stunning. Oh, and she was gaff rigged too.