More Questions

Thank you all for your excellent advice and the timely answers to my questions.
Naturally, those answers led to more questions. I am convinced now about the
wood deck issue – clearly unanimous agreement. My new questions, and I do not
mean to be tedious, are: 1. What is the boomkin really needed for? In the BWS
article, I saw “Kikorangi” with a boomkin, but in the older pictures in Mate’s
book on the “Best Boats To Build or Buy”, “Kikorangi” didn’t have one. My
limited experience is that it becomes a lethal weapon to dodge when one rises
from the cockpit and otherwise obstructs free movement. Any comments on its
value? 2. One of the answers I got included a remark about not having lifelines
on one owner’s BCC. Besides the obvious value of lifelines, they are not included
on the original blueprint of the boat, and overall detract from the appearance
and the visual sweep of the BCC. Many catboats and Friendship Sloops don’t use
them. Any comments or advice here? 3. The BWS article indicates that Roger
Olson is experimenting with fiberglass cockpit combings, among other upgrade
ideas. Some BCC’s don’t even use cockpit combings. Do you experienced owners
recommend them? Would you prefer wood to fiberglass? What are the advantages?
4. And lastly, as I mentioned before, I have five members in my family, would
anyone put a berth in the forward compartment where the “head” is? Is this
just a disgusting idea or is it really a valuable space alternative? I know
that there would be such debate and rebellion about sleeping in the bathroom
that any berth located there would become my own! Has anyone done that?
Or, do we just keep the berths in the main cabin, no matter how nice the
drawings of a forward berth look? Thank you for your consideration and
experienced answers. – John


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  1. From the context of your question, I think you are talking about the boom
    gallows rather than the boomkin. The boomkin is attached to the deck, under the
    taffrail, and extends aft of the transom to allow the backstay to be moved
    further aft. The boom gallows is mounted on stanchions above the deck and
    allows storage of the boom as well as a place to hang numerous items. My stern
    light is mounted on the gallows. It is an excellent place to secure the boom
    when using the trysail (and the boom isn’t down on the deck in the way).
    Admittedly, I have a few vivid memories of “finding” the gallows with my head.
    It’s a lesson you learn quickly! From a safety standpoint, it will prevent the
    boom from beaning someone in the cockpit if the topping lift fails. This
    happened to us on our previous boat. I was leaning on the boom furling the main
    when the topping lift block failed. The boom hit my wife in the head
    (fortunately only a glancing blow) and I almost went in the water.

  2. Strictly personal preference. Safety (security?) is more of a concern to us
    than aesthetics. Although I must say that with the high bulwarks, much of the
    concern about staying on deck in bad weather is mitigated.

  3. Have seen the coamings and they are very nicely done. They provide some
    extra on-deck storage and a place to sit, things not provided by the wood
    coamings. I would recommend coamings as they stop water from coming into the
    cockpit area! If you go with a flat cockpit, you will need something to sit on
    and in that case, the coamings like the ones available from SLM Co. are the way
    to go.

  4. Can’t comment - Aloha has the conventional layout with a separate head and
    workbench forward.

Tom Walker
Aloha
BCC #95
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: [bcc] More Questions
Author: jkane@uoft02.utoledo.edu at SMTPGATE
Date: 1/22/99 07:36

Thank you all for your excellent advice and the timely answers to my questions.
Naturally, those answers led to more questions. I am convinced now about the
wood deck issue – clearly unanimous agreement. My new questions, and I do not

mean to be tedious, are: 1. What is the boomkin really needed for? In the BWS

article, I saw “Kikorangi” with a boomkin, but in the older pictures in Mate’s
book on the “Best Boats To Build or Buy”, “Kikorangi” didn’t have one. My
limited experience is that it becomes a lethal weapon to dodge when one rises
from the cockpit and otherwise obstructs free movement. Any comments on its
value? 2. One of the answers I got included a remark about not having lifelines
on one owner’s BCC. Besides the obvious value of lifelines, they are not includ
ed
on the original blueprint of the boat, and overall detract from the appearance
and the visual sweep of the BCC. Many catboats and Friendship Sloops don’t use

them. Any comments or advice here? 3. The BWS article indicates that Roger
Olson is experimenting with fiberglass cockpit combings, among other upgrade
ideas. Some BCC’s don’t even use cockpit combings. Do you experienced owners
recommend them? Would you prefer wood to fiberglass? What are the advantages?

  1. And lastly, as I mentioned before, I have five members in my family, would
    anyone put a berth in the forward compartment where the “head” is? Is this
    just a disgusting idea or is it really a valuable space alternative? I know
    that there would be such debate and rebellion about sleeping in the bathroom
    that any berth located there would become my own! Has anyone done that?
    Or, do we just keep the berths in the main cabin, no matter how nice the
    drawings of a forward berth look? Thank you for your consideration and
    experienced answers. – John

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  1. I think you are referring to the boomgallows here. The boomkin is
    the extension off of the stern that the backstay is attached to. The
    boomgallows is the structure that the main boom rests in when not in
    use. That is its purpose and function. If you don’t have a boomgallows
    then some sort of rigging such as a topin lift is required. In eight
    years of sailing my BCC, I don’t recall anyone ever bumping their head
    or any other body part
    on the boomgallows. If you did, you’d learn quickly where it is. When
    sailing offshore, I find that the boomgallows is
    very useful for leaning against or holding onto when standing up. With
    a cockpit cushion, it makes a nice backrest when steering with your
    feet. Also, it is part of the character of the boat. The BCC is
    unique, the boomgallows is one of the things that makes it so. It’s
    part of what makes the BCC stand out against the all the other “chlorox
    bottles” at the dock or anchorage.

  2. When we ordered our BCC, we had two young children and felt that the
    lifelines were important. If young children are not an issue, then I
    don’t think they are necessary. I’m sure lots of folks would disagree
    with me here. The stanchions on the BCC are probably the stoutest I’ve
    seen on a boat. It’s the lifelines and the related fittings that you
    worry about. You never want to lean against them or clip onto them with
    your safety harness. Also, the tall bulwarks on the BCC are a big plus
    in terms of safety. However, they are no substitute for wearing a
    harness and running harness lines fore and aft when offshore.

  3. I think putting fiberglass coamings on the BCC would amount to
    heresy. It’s definitely not an upgrade. I find the coamings to be very
    comfortable and a beautiful part of the vessel. Once again, do you want
    a “chlorox bottle” or a boat with character and beauty?

  4. It depends on your space needs. We had a vee berth on our first
    boat. In my opinion, berths in the forward section of a small sailboat
    are only useful when in dock or at anchor. Underway, the motion up
    forward is too great to be able to rest in comfort. Then the forward
    berth becomes a place for storage. We originally looked at a layout
    that included a forward berth. We decided against it , and I’m glad
    that we did. The forward compartment in the traditional layout is
    outstanding for several reasons. You can hang a sunshower up on deck
    and run the hose into the forward compartment. You’d have to be very
    careful about doing this if you had a berth up forward. The cover for
    the head is great for kneeling on when digging around in the sail/chain
    locker area. There’s lot of storage there for clothes, cleaning
    supplies, tools, and whatever. If you need privacy, there’s plenty of
    room for changing clothes, answering the calls of nature,
    brushing teeth etc. It’s also great for its original intent, to provide
    a work area for projects and repairs.

Fair Winds,

Geary Smith


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