fatty knees dinghy

Fellow forum members: i currently stow the 8 foot montgomery dinghy which came with my BCC upon purchase in 2004 on deck, in front of the mast. Reviewing the archived comments I note at least one owner stows their 7 ft fatty knees above the house. First question: if I replace my current dinghy with a fatty knees and keep it up front on chocks do I purchase a 7ft or 8 ft dinghy?. Second question: any opinions as to wisdom of replacing the montgomery with a fatty knees?


Richard Smith
Sentient #63

Hi Richard, my BCC came with factory installed chocks and a 7’ Fatty Knees, that stows on top of the cabin.

Some plusses that I can think of are: It is above the level of green water that I get on deck , sometimes.

It acts like an awning over the skylight, so rain doesn’t get in.

I have rigged it as a lifeboat with the inflatable tube around the gunnel, and can keep the tube inflated when on long passages, and it is still out of the way.

One of the big minuses being stowed on the cabin top, is the reduced visability looking forward.

After hearing of the rogue wave incident of Mike Pearson, just north of San Francisco, I am still happy to keep the fore deck clear on my boat.

I like my 7’ Fatty Knees, and am not willing to change it, but if I were, I would go to an inflatable Tinker Tramp.

My ideal dinghy would be a 14’ take apart, and nesting 3 piece, sea kayak.

Roger set the standard for a hard shell F/G fore deck stowed dinghy, with the Cherub, he has his reasons for the effort, and it was designed to fit the BCC foredeck.

Be sure to look at the FC Forum for more ideas and solutions.

Douglas , BCC Calliste 072

HI Richard, The placement of the dinghy is a personal thing and I agree with everything that Doug said above. However, I would like to add that Mike Pearson lost his dinghy forward because it was not tied down while off shore. I have sailed with a Montgomery and several other types of hard dinghies. I tried the dinghy on top of the cabin and found it was too obstructive of my view and more difficult to deploy and get aboard. If you intend to put the dinghy forward, you should have a dinghy with removable seats so it will set low as possible over the scuttle hatch. This is a problem with the Fatty Knees and the Montgomery, they both have the floatation in the seats. If you intend to use a floatation collar, this will act as your floatation. You could remove the fiberglass seats and leave just a shelf to set removable wood boards for seats. This would only be necessary for the back seat and possibly the middle, depending on the dinghy.

I would like to explain what I use and love. I have my 7’ Cherub set on the foredeck. It sets flat on the deck and is only a few inches taller than the scuttle hatch. On deck on either side of the dinghy, I have flush, through bolted eyes to lash the dinghy down when in open waters. This dinghy WILL NOT COME OFF THE FOREDECK. In order to make the dinghy set flat or as low as possible, I had to cut the end of the bowsprit off flush with the aft end of the bitts. When the weather is really bad and I have to go forward, I find there is plenty of working space on the side of the dinghy. Also the dinghy provides some protection from breaking waves. At anchor, I raise the forward end of the dinghy so I can open my scuttle hatch. The dinghy acts as a windscoop and keeps out all rain except when the wind is strong. To deploy the dinghy, I lift one side so it sets on the other. Then use a two point bridle to lift it off the deck, over the lifelines. As it goes down into the water, I have a line attached to the lower side of the dinghy that is attached to the lifeline. This line becomes taught just before the dinghy hits the water. The dinghy then sets on the water right-side-up. To raise the dinghy I use the opposite procedure. If you want more detail on how this is done, let me know.

I do not have a floatation collar on my Cherub but I do have 5-6 inch fenders lashed to each side to the dinghy. These are lashed together and have a clip on each end of the rope so they can be easily removed. Also, if you would like more information on this let me know.

Regarding the size of the dinghy. You are limited on how high you are willing to have the dinghy set. Let me mention that you can set a slightly longer dinghy on the cabin if you set it at an angle. You can set a longer dinghy on the foredeck if you are willing the have the stem set on top of the bowsprit, aft of the staysail stay.

If yo want me to compare the Montgomery to the Fatty Knees, I will not do it on this forum but if you email me directly, I will explain.

One last comment. If your BCC has the Dorade Boxes with Cowl vents located near the center of the cabin, a dinghy will not set on top of the cabin unless you remove the vents. Most BCC’s that have the dinghy on top of the cabin, the dorade boxes are installed at the forward end of the cabin.

Sorry this is so long, If you have any personal questions regarding my comments, email me at xiphias37@yahoo.com

Roger Olson

Ahoy Roger, T Y , for that explanation, as, it appears that I hadn’t got the full story from Mike.

Of course I didn’t know that the cherub gunnel, was contour fit to the BCC fore deck, and that is a very good design idea, as it could prevent that green water from getting underneith and lifting.

A few times, I have plowed through short vertical standing waves, and when that green water hits the front vertical surfaces of the scuttle hatch coaming, and the propane deck boxes, the water goes vertical too, then comes aft in the air, soaking me if I am not sheltering under the dodger.

I had to install a canvas storm cover over the scuttle hatch, to keep that green water from siving through the hatch seals and soaking things below, but I can see now that your Cherub acts as a hardshell storm cover too, a big plus.

Do you think that you can fit that Walker Bay dinghy flotation collar to the Cherub ?

Many Thanks, Douglas

HI Doug, Good to hear from you. Drop me an email direct sometime…

I think the collar for the Walker Bay is too long but it can be adapted. I considered using this collar but when I saw the cost, the fenders had a lot of appeal.



Here’s a nested dingy that looks very interesting.

Hull 35


Here’s the link


Hull 35


Here’s a nested dingy that looks very interesting.

Hull 35

I am in the process of purchasing a BCC. Offer, counter offer, marine survey etc is finished. Very smoothly I must say. But is is not official yet because the transaction has not been completed yet. May be Monday or Tuesday.
The boat comes with a Trinka 8 sailing dingy. I wonder whether it is possible to carry her on deck. I also have a Walkerbay (without inflatable collar a “sinkerbay”.)
Ayn suggestions will be welcome…


Congratulations! (almost).

Where does the BCC carry the trinka now? I have a fiberglass lapstrake style 8’ dinghy on Shanti (manufacturer unknown). It is carried on the cabin top. But the bow extends slightly passed the open main hatch and catches my head once in awhile. It would also interfere with a dodger I plan to install next year.

So at some point I plan to purchase a 7’ fatty knees. I had one for years that I towed behind my Falmouth Cutter. I loved it!

Good luck and welcome to the club.

Gary thanks a lot… I am so excited that soon I will be a proud owner of a “legendary” Bristol Channel Cutter. Honestly the choice was between a 38’ Nauticat Motorsailer (1984) which my wife wanted so badly and the BCC. I am surprised that she hasn’t asked for divorce yet. But then she might.
Meantime I wonder if any of the legendary skippers of BCC use an inflatable boat. Rigid, soft or roll-up… If you do what size you recommend?


Hi Mehmet-


We have owned Calypso for 18 years now, and have taken her cruising for 4 of those years (sounds short when I write it like that). The first dinghy was one Jeremy built, a hard dink maybe 7.5 feet. It was wonderful. We now cruise with a 10.5 foot RIB with a 15 hp engine on it. It doesn’t fit well on the cabin top (when we are on passage and have it on deck, we have to pick up the anchor before lashing it down and then get it off the deck before setting the hook.) It looks out of place on our boat. It is big, unwieldy, heavy.

We love it. Get the biggest dinghy you can safely deal with. You will not regret it.

Have fun!


I found out that my hard dinghy is a Montgomery 7’11". I still have her and carry it on the cabin top for open ocean trips. For day to day and local island hopping I have a 9’ Caribe RIB w/8hp Yamaha. I tow this around. Down here I would love to have a 15hp outboard. problem is, engine theft. Many outboards are stolen, put on an inter island cargo boat and sold in places down island. It seems a 15hp is the most popular. The largest outboard that can reasonably be carried off by a thief.

When I had my FC I used a 10’ rollup and a 5hp Yamaha. Got me around just fine. I had a hard time figuring out how to stow a 7’FK, although I now understand it can be done.

When I had my 7’FK I loved to get up at dawn and take a leisurely row around the harbor. Great exercise and wonderful for the soul. Peaceful, beautiful and I could smell the fresh bird droppings.

So much depends on what you want out of your dingy. One size does not fit all. Definitely one of those choices that involve many compromises.


Dear Gary and Nica,
Thank you for the info. Bernie and Kate (of Rogue Wave Yachts) were my buyer’s agent. They did an incredible job. Having them to represent me was one of the smartest thing I ever done. Since they handle so many of BCCs I want to ask them too.
Meantime Annapolis boat show will be a good start…
Best wishes…


Mehmet, We used an 8’ Trinka for years on our BCC. Trans-Atlantic, Med, Carib., Panama Canal and West coast of So. America. Before this, we used a Cherub, a Walker Bay, and a RIB. The Trinka was the standout of the group(we still own it) stowed on the foredeck (roller foresail, hank on staysail)with no problems. We rowed almost everywhere(try getting a quick anchor out in an inflatable with the wind up), motored when we felt like it(2hp Honda pushed it nicely, even with 4 adults and luggage, with a whole inch of freeboard to spare!), and sailed it around a lot of anchorages with sundowners in hand. You meet the nicest people this way. We used a bridle and spinnaker halyard much like Roger described and my wife could launch and retrieve on her own(always a litmus test on our boat) with a struggle.

Thanks Whisper,
It is, everything about BCC is, so exciting…