How long would it take to build/customize/outfit a BCC?

Assuming, of course, that someone will make them in the future.
Just dreaming of one day…
Thanks -

Tere are several beautiful BCCs for sale…likely save lots of time and keep the market alive

The market will always be alive and yes there are some very beautiful boats for sale right now. What about the dreamers who do not have $250K to fulfill that dream ??? I think that the boat could be built at a much more realistic price and whoever is building it would still be able to make a profit. The problem I see is that the company could no longer afford itself. The price of the boat put the company out of business because the market will only bear the sale of only so many at that price. You can’t try to put something on the market that people won’t be able to afford. Sure, I could build some of the finest cabinets in the world but selling them for exorbitant prices in todays mass produced throwaway market is not going to happen. I truely believe in quality and craftsmanship and both the BCC and FC are fine examples of a those two things.
Both of these boats are labor intensive but they don’t have to be. There are boatbuilders and then there are boatbuilders who can do quality work quickly and accurately. If you are in the business of building boats, such as these, the building schedule of one boat on comission and one on speculation isn’t the way to go. NO, I am not saying that the way to go is to build a cheap version of either one. I am saying that they can be built in a labor intensive saving way where the same quality and accuracy could be held just as high or higher.I hope someone does take the plunge at building them again. In this world of plastic and stainless boats there is still a market for the classic boat like the BCC and FC. I believed in the boat enough to buy one and have no regrets.
As I get more and more involved with our BCC, Jolie Brise, I am amazed at the amount of work that went into her building. As my granddad would say “there is time involved in there that you can’t see.” That is the problem. The everyday boater hasn’t a clue but people who know quality understand that it comes with a price, within reason. Building a quality boat like a BCC or FC just dosen’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The time it takes to do something right in a business is time saved in doing it over again. I believe that if a company were to build the BCC, would run the company like a company and had a mission to produce as fine a vessel that Lyle and Sam intended them to be, the market would be there.In knowing what I do about production woodworking I think that a competant crew of five could possibly build five to six maybe seven boats per year. The cost would totally depend on location and all other variables in the business world.
Don’t get me wrong because I do admire the work of the past helmsmen at the Sam L. Morse Co. and the shipwrights who kept it going. In looking at any single part of Jolie Brise I can’t say that I would have done it different. In a business sense and the market today I do believe that the boats could be produced with realistic market prices and still maintain the quality without sacrificing the integrity of this Lyle Hess design. Who knows that with all of the advances in material technology the future BCC’s and FC’s just may be better than the ones that we have come to love. Don’t lose the dream.


Jolie Brise

Yes, I agree that a used boat is much more practical. The prospect of owning any BCC, nevermind a new custom BCC, is about as likely for me as winning the lotto. But if I were a gazillionaire, I would still want to build/customize my own boat. I’m just saying, if time and money were no objects, how long would it take?

Yes, I agree that a used boat is much more practical. The prospect of owning any BCC, nevermind a new custom BCC, is about as likely for me as winning the lotto. But if I were a gazillionaire, I would still want to build/customize my own boat. I’m just saying, if time and money were no objects, how long would it take?

Well, with a bare shell…that is the hull with deck installed and nothing at all below but a very large void…it took us two, 18 months working weekends and holidays.

I think the number I gave Sam was around 2,400 man hours.

When we bought our hull in '77 it was $12,000. When we launched it we had a total investment of $25,000. But that was back in '77 when a finished boat was about four times that (100K).

I agree with Bob that it could be built almost as well with more efficient building methods but it would not be the same boat…using a fiberglass liner for example. Or if built in China or some other country with lower labor costs the price could come down significantly.

But would it sell? I don’t know. I don’t know of any serious car buffs that would buy one of those California fiberglass bodies of a Lotus Elan and fit it to a VW frame.

Your best bet is to find a real BCC that has been abused or wrecked by storm and rebuild her.


God forbid a fiberglss liner. The question that Vanessa posed is open to a lot of variables. I agree with you that it would be better to find a BCC in sad shape and do a facelift. At least with a BCC the basic foundation would be good. The variables are how bad was she neglected and how much skill do you or someone else have in order to bring her back. All in all if you start with a project of building, rebuilding or even refitting you need to commit to it. I’ve seen kit boats that started with good intentions and ended up never reaching completion. The ones that were finished were either better than factory or of not the best quality. Even the ones that were of poor workmanship were someones dream and that is something that must be given credit for. At least those people did something about their dream and I admire them for that.
As far as being the same boat??? If we look at the previous BCC’s built over the years under different management they are the the same but improvements have been made. Is a BCC or FC that was built under Sam the same boat that was built under the direction of Sumio? The great thing about this is that The Sam L. Morse CO. was blessed to have the directors that it did in keeping high standards to produce a quality boat with no shortcuts. Hopefully someone will come along and produce the same boat with the same appreciation for quality that only a few builders offer today.


Jolie Brise


I agree with you wholeheartedly. Still you cannot judge a book by its cover or a boat by it’s shell. When we bought Waxwing in '77 there were no patterns available as yet for interior bulkheads, bunk layouts, etc. While we stuck with the rough idea of Lyle’s design originally we later changed it somewhat after the first two years of cruising.

Oh, also keep in mind that in the late '70’s there were quite a few bare hulls sold with some ‘far out’ ideas of how to finish or ballast them.

One owner in northern California poured a four-inch concrete shoe inside the length of the keel as … well, I’m not sure what the idea was.

Another owner used iron boiler punchings encased in concrete as ballast. How they computed the placement and amount and what effect it had on her lines I never found out.

You can see some of the present interior here: I think.


Thanks for sharing the pictures, nice work and layout. Have to laugh at your mention of kit boats. Long ago we owned a Kenner Privateer that someone built from a bare hull and deck. The ballast was concrete and bricks and never glassed over, didn’t have much of a bilge. The shaft tube for the rudder had a leak and sometimes the pump switch would stick and the water would set the cabin sole awash. After pumping out the water we were left with a fine layer of sand on the floorboards. Lois always called it our replenishing supply of non skid.
The kit boat phase was quite something. I know that Westsail, C.E. Ryder
( Southern Cross ), Kenner Boat Co. and Sam L. Morse offered kits or the boat finished to any stage. When younger I got the bug to go off saling and read all the information that Jim Brown had on his Searunner Tri’s and sent for the catalogs from Bruce Roberts. Since then I came to my senses and owned completed boats that needed help. In all it has been a learning experience.


Jolie Brise

Ahoy Beachpotato, Of course, you have a very good question for our BCC Forum, and you will find as many answers as there are BCC owners.

Amazingly enough it took 11 years of dreaming and studying everything I could get my hands on, and heaps of money, before my dock lines were cut, and off I went.

I purchased my used BCC in Honolulu, in “ready-to-go” condition, which took me another 30 or 60 days to prep for the voyage to Port Townsend, WA., after the “sale survey” list was completed.

I was an avid reader of the west coast sailing magazine, “Latitude 38” back then, and they answered that same question for many of their readers, by saying that it cost “as much as you have”, or in my opinion, as much as you are willing to spend.

After being out here, and doing it, I tend to think, it is your comfortability factor, which will ultimately determine how much it will cost you to outfit a BCC and then go !

The more time you have to study and make educated decisions, can save you cash, but if you get in a hurry, it might be better to go on a cruise ship, for that will be less expensive, in the long run, in my opinion.