Bristol Channel Cutter "Angelsea"

Race results and observations

Hi friends,

( scroll down to next post for photos )

Well the jury is in. This furler system works GREAT. I am very pleased with it. Took Shanti out for some beer can racing Wednesday night and everything worked great! Nothing like a little competition against some Farr 40’s to shake the cobwebs out.

A quick note regarding the races. They take place here in Charlotte Amalie Harbor on St. Thomas. it’s sponsored in part by OnDeck Racing. They have a fleet of Farr 40’s they take tourists match racing on for a couple of hours. So on Wednesday evenings if you are a local you can hop on board one for the beer cans. I did a couple of weeks ago and they are amazing sailing boats. The Porsche’s of sailing. We of course couldn’t touch them, but damn we looked good! Hey the beer was COLD! 😀

Took on a couple of young bucks as crew. Told one to crank that jib halyard up tight, and boy did he. The halyard was so tight the head stay went slack and it was set at 1200# tension via a loos Gage. Will have to tighten down the backstay some more.  So the winch/2 part halyard worked as intended.

During the racing we were tacking between 85-90. So the performance has not suffered from using a flying jib. I thought it would not as long as things were set up correctly.

Furling was easy. I first I thought is was a little hard, but I guess things are just settling in ( including me ). Hauling the sail inboard with the bowsprite traveler works great and it is really simple and quick to drop the sail if need be. When I had the sail modified with the Dyneema torque rope luff line the sailmaker had taken off the telltales. So right before the race I wanted to put some more on. I just dropped the sail, then hauled in the traveler. Stuck the telltales on and set it again. Pulled on the furling line and BADABOOM it was done.


Easy and reliable furling. With the single line furler there are no overrides ever. The angel of approach for the furling line is not critical. Depending on how things end up lining up when I haul the traveler out to the end of the sprit, mine doesn’t always line up perfectly. This has not been a problem. No problems with upper swivel breaking and jamming. Leaving the boat with a sail stuck out and up with a huge squall bearing down on you. This system still allows you to easily drop the sail.

Easy to use different head sails. I think it is much simpler than changing headsails than a standard furler in use today. Even easier than hanked on sails. I will even run an asymmetrical with it ( when I can afford one ). Dropping a furled sail allows you to easily fold up the sail and pop it in a sail bag. I prefer different size sails for different wind conditions, instead of a huge sail and reefing. Even with a foam luff on standard furlers sail shape still sucks. I’m so impressed with the way this system furls I believe that using a foam luff you could reef one of these flying jibs if you wanted. But that would have to be put to the test. This system does away with all the convoluted approaches to setting a light air sail with standard furlers. So you can have a very nice sail in light airs.

Less weight aloft for better performance. No foil draped over the headstay.

Ease of installation. You just need to rig a 2 part halyard and run your furling line back to the cockpit. Also have to have your sailmaker modify your sails with the Dyneema torque rope in the luff. Only people with long bowsprits like Shanti’s need to worry about a traveler and hauling the tack of the sail in and out. Although this worked easy also.

Cost is about the same as a standard furler unless you already have a powerful jib winch. Then the cost would be a little less.


The only downside I can see to this system for cruisers is the need of additional storage space for a number of different sails and the additional cost of those sails. But your boat will sail better with sails matched to the prevailing conditions.


If you want your boat to sail at her optimum and maybe do some club racing or just want to enjoy a nice light air day, this is an excellent system to consider. Even though todays furlers are miles ahead of the ones of yesterday shit still happens. I believe this system is safer and more reliable.

I would like to thank Erik Precourt for is co-operation and valuble insight into making this rig work.



Next…the standing rigging!!

2 thoughts on “Race results and observations

  1. Joel

    Just found your blog yesterday. Beautiful BCC and the work you have done on/for it is dead on. I am setting “sail” to Annapolis Monday 11/02/09 to finalize the purchase of SLM FC-22 Hull #3 Jolly Dolphin. Finalizing meaning deciding if she is close to what the broker claimed. She has a lot of minor issued that did not live up to the brokers “Completely and perfectly restored” claims. Survey for a novice was bleak with at least 5 pages of Repairs and Corrections. Don’t think the owner will come down from his $55K price tag, despite the needs in electrical, plumbing. Hull is a rock with bronze hard wear and exterior is, as the dealer said mint, except the lights.

    I know this blog is about Shanti but I could use some advice from an old salt. Should I go the $55 if she “feels right” when I take a look at her. I ask this because you spent so much time on your FC and I am a novice to “big” boats, though I know FC and BCC are not known as big boats. But first major (over $10K) on a boat for me. I will use her 6-weeks in the winter and 2 months in the summer for the next 3-4 years till I retire.

    I don’t ask as whether it is a good price or not as that is tough for you to say, but do you feel the FC is everything folks make it to be? AND with a traditional layout, V-birth and 2 1/4 did you find it livable at least for short periods as I described. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Dealers have pissed me off and not been up front with me do part of me says screw them and to walk away, but then again you know how a pretty lady can tug at your heart.

    I’m 57 soon 58 use to getting by with little comfort. My only real rules about comfort is related to sleep: Need to be dry, keep the bugs out and a soft mattress. The rest of the amenities are not that big of a deal. I can get buy with little and enjoy myself. So any advice for buying a FC-22. If you have a chance…I will decide on buy her or not by 11/4 so if you have time…..

    Joel Williams
    [email protected]

    Peace and fair sees,

  2. Gary Felton Post author

    First let me say that I loved my Falmouth Cutter. She was a great boat! You will not be disappointed with her.

    I went to Rogue Wave and took at look at her specs/photos. Here are some of my initial impressions.

    1) I don’t believe she was built by Sam L. Morse. The first ones built were by North Sea Yachts. They used a fiberglass liner in the interior as the base for the interior construction, which I see in the photos. This is not a bad thing as they did a good job also. Maybe Sam built the first few boats using that liner, I don’t remember, but I don’t think so. Maybe an additional negotiating point. Look in the chain pipes up forward and see how thick the deck section is there. My SLM was about 2 inches thick to make a solid base for the bits.

    2) I also don’t think that is a yanmar 2GM engine. looks like a 1GM. which is not a bad thing. A 2GM would be to much engine for the Falmouth. I could push my Falmouth at 5kts with a 5HP outboard. It lists a Max prop which is a very good thing.

    3) The listing includes some very expensive upgrades if it is correct. Fairly new sails, bronze chain plates, Profurl furlers, GPS chart plotter, etc. So over the last three years including all the bright work refinished I can easily imagine 30K being spent, depending on when some of this equipment was purchased.

    4) Broker listings and surveys are just starting points. A lot depends on what you consider important. When I purchased Shanti the survey listed things that didn’t end up being necessary, and it also missed some things. Even if you purchased a “perfectly” maintained boat, there will always be things you want to change or improve.

    5) Just saw your post on the Falmouth forum. Sounds to me like the owner was not real knowledgeable re: maintenance. Things like rudder delaminating could be an easy repair or mean a rudder replacement. My rudder on Angelsea delaminated a bit. But I just drilled a hole in the bottom, let the water drain out. Rebedded all the hardware, Striped off the delimated section, and re-fiberglassed it. It was a bit of a job, but not huge. It all depends on how bad the “delamination” is. The trans is another matter. But what is required to fix it…just a seal, or Does the engine need to be pulled?

    So, what do I think? Take in to consideration what it would cost to buy a less expensive Falmouth (if you could find one), outfit it with all the gear that is listed in the ad. Fix all the problems the cheaper Falmouth would also have. Then make your decision as to how good of a deal it is. Remember we are talking boats that are 20-30 years old, and they will have maintenance issues, no matter how good a boat wife the owner is.

    But I would wave the survey in there face and squeeze out the best deal (it is a BUYERS market right now), as it was not a very accurate description of the boat.

    I worked for a yacht owner once who considered new varnish and cushions a “refit”.

    So take a look at her, bitch alot and make a deal. Even with the issues you mention it sounds like a reasonable price. But do use the survey to make the best deal you can. I would want a price reduction based on repairs to make her “seaworthy”.

    Good luck!