I am looking at purchasing a BCC that does not have a Cockpit Coaming. The Coaming on this boat begins at the companionway and then is abruptly finished off. Are there other BCCs like this? Will I miss not having the Coaming? I imagine it is a big job to have one put on? Thanks
When I was looking into purchasing a BCC, I found several without coamings. They were all older kit boats (and one CCY). Having only a touch of sailing experience on BCCs, I can’t really comment on coaming necessity. What I can say is it sucks to be sitting on the high side quarterdeck soaking up rays, have a wave splash on the foredeck and finding your bottom wet a few seconds later. But good bottom placement can usually fix that, too.
Adding a wood coaming would be a good chunk of work as you’d have to fabricate it, and likely laminate a few planks to get the thickness necessary to shape it. Attaching to the deck wouldn’t be too bad, just some holes, or lamination if you wanted. The perk is, if you design it well, you can find yourself with a nice place to stow sail ties and the like.
The biggest question is how much space do you want to give up? The boat your looking at has been around for years, so it can’t be too bad without!
Fair leads and shady (or sunny) quarters,
Wouldn’t have a BCC without coamings, it’s tough enough keeping your back end dry with coamings as some water tries to come through the limber holes in the forward corners of the laminated coaming of the 1990 boat; later versions with coaming storage is a nice touch.
Ultimately it comes to preference, Lin and Larry Pardey omited the cockpit tub in favor of a flush deck cockpit hatch and mini-workshop under in place of an engine. They also do not have coamings, instead use cushions and back support attached to the lifelines. I personally couldn’t sail with my legs streached out flat along the deck for a long passage, but it has served them well.
I suspect the boat you saw without coaming, laminated plank or otherwise, were home built kit boats, like the Westsail 32 kits, your prone to see some variation to the basic BCC format out there. Some kits were finished out by skilled craftsmen and women, while other were assembled minimal knowledge of marine trades skills and therefore suspect. I for one would never consider a kit boat, but that’s just my preference
I second Marty’s observatons and would hate to spend much time offshore – or in foul weather anywhere – without coamings. And yes, we often plug those limber holes. Otherwise from the windward one there is a constant stream of water from spray or rain running across the bridge deck. Wet butt, wet chart book, wet binos, you name it. I use a wad of paper towel which works pretty well, but am thinking of making a pair of little closed-cell foam wedges for limber hole stoppers. You have to be able to open the leeward one occasionally to drain whatever water has accumulated down there.
As for flush deck versus “cockpit tub”(!), I like having someplace to put my feet. To gain a flush surface for on-deck sleeping I cobbled together some easily disassembled and stored supports for the cockpit grate, which hold it level with the deck. Those cheap West Marine hinged back rests work nicely for back support and, laid flat across the elevated grate (or across the bridge deck) double as a
s/v Itchen BCC #73
Wouldn’t have a BCC without coamings, it’s tough
enough keeping your back end dry with coamings as
some water tries to come through the limber holes
, Lin and Larry
Pardey omited the cockpit tub in favor of a flush
deck cockpit hatch and mini-workshop under in
place of an engine. They also do not have
coamings, instead use cushions and back support
attached to the lifelines.
I plan to split our footwell grate and add several cleats at the top edge of the footwell, such that the two halves of the grate can rest on them and form a flush deck area for sleeping.
I am interesting in the hinges you mentioned. Would you be kind enough to photogrpahy your setup and post them at the forum.
Regarding cockpit coamings, I would not have a boat without them. Ditto for the footwell. The Pardey’s boat’s cockpit coamings are about 8" wide and they use them for seats, as well as storage. For day sailing a footwell is nice but I suspect for the type of voyaging the Pardey’s do, the flush cockpit area works very well.
We built Waxwing (hull 22)with the intent of adding cockpit coamings at a later date. But after more than 20 years of cruising we still haven’t felt the need. Besides the cockpit is small enough without breaking it up with coamings, IMHO.
But to each their own.
Of course we’ve also never had a dodger. But keep in mind our sailing has been in tropic or subtropic waters, i.e. San Francisco, Panama, Caribbean, Chesapeake(summer time).
I’ve always felt that when conditions are such that we are taking water on the foredeck, the wind is also driving spray all the way aft and getting us wet from the top down as opposed to just a wet bottom.
We also like the idea of going forward without having to step over coamings.
As for filling in the cockpit either permanently or just with a filler… we tried it for a while and found it very much a PITA. It’s not easy getting to your feet from a flat surface all the time or having to kneel over the winches to crank.
My advice is to sail the boat first…lot…before committing to making any major changes.
Hi Rod, comments inserted below:
I plan to split our footwell grate and add several
cleats at the top edge of the footwell, such that
the two halves of the grate can rest on them and
form a flush deck area for sleeping.
Yes, I believe that our grate was made by Anderson and is (as you plan to do) split into two halves, the joint running fore and aft. In planning how to design the flush deck configuration my main concern was to keep it simple, easily set up and taken down, and compact to stow.
I wanted to avoid screwing cleats around the inner face of the footwell. Hate to make more holes through the structure and wanted to keep the clean and uncluttered look of the original design. I considered hinges but came up with a simpler method. 1. Four 1 1/2" pine posts just long enough to support the four outboard corners of the grate. 2. One longer stringer running across the aft end of the footwell, supported on the top of the two aft posts. 3. Length of posts and thickness of aft stringer is such that they allow for the thickness of the grate so that it comes flush with the deck. 4. Important! A nicely finished mahogany or teak fore and aft filler piece to fill up the gap between the two halves of the grate. Because the footwell is narrower at the bottom than at the deck level the grate is thus a couple of inches too narrow when placed at deck level. 5. A short piece of 3/8" dowel set into the top of each post placed so as to fit snugly into a corresponding hole drilled into the forward outboard corners of the grate and the outboard ends of the aft crosspiece. The bottom ends of the posts just sit on the bottom of the footwell, carved a bit so as to fit into the drain channel around the perimeter. 6. To support the two halves of the grate and the filler piece where they meet the middle-front of the footwell, on Itchen they all just rest on top of the frame which is already there as trim for the Yamaha 3GM30 instrument panel. This frame is a tiny bit too low but just needs an appropriate amount of shim and padding.
That’s it! On first view it seems very cobbled and improvised from scrap-pile odds and ends, but is dead-solid in use and took only a couple hours of fussing and fitting. And, did not require any cutting or drilling into the footwell. One of these years I may get around to cloning the whole thing in varnished mahogany or Imroned oak, but in use it is not visible and the whole contraption amounts to a double handful of sticks which disappear into the lazarette when not in use. I don’t think I have any photos but may have a chance to take some next time I check out snow-bound Itchen in her Belfast storage shed – brrrr!
All the best, Scott
> BCC IDUNA
I wouldn’t go without coamings. When the rail is down they do add a sense of security especially when things begin to slide. Marty, we too have plugged the limber holes with paper so the cockpit does stay pretty dry. Anything to keep the rogue waves away. I don’t know about anyone else but the top edge of our coaming gets foot traffic when boarding and leaving the boat. I made a removeable step that fits over the coaming and offers a wider surface to place a foot especially when you are coming aboard with hands full. This small step is interchangeable with the port and starboard coamings.
Adding coamings to the boat is no easy task. I agree with Aaron that it would be a bit of work. I have replaced a damaged coaming on a Cape Dory and even that was no small chore. However, the teacher in me says if you want, it go for it. The coaming boards would have to be laminated so you need a port and starboard bending form to make the curve. The BCC uses a winch bracket to support the coaming and these surely can be found somewhere. If they are to be made of teak you will have some expense there. The boat that you are looking at was craftsman built and looks pretty good from the pictures. The real truth of how good it is lies in what you can’t see. Kit boats that I have seen were a bit short on what held them together and finished with some pretty good visible joinery. If you buy this boat get a good surveyor and be there when it goes to survey. Even then things always don’t show.
Bob & Lois
BCC Jolie Brise