the BCC

...A Serious Pedigree

Very few boats have the pedigree of the Bristol Channel Cutter both historically and as an icon of bluewater cruising.

Famed yacht designer, Lyle C Hess, originally based the design for the Bristol Channel Cutter (BCC) on the legendary Bristol Pilot Cutter - the epitome of yacht design in the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

Performance born from necessity

These Pilot Cutters had to be incredibly quick, yet highly seaworthy to race out to the incoming tall ships that were desperate for an experienced sailor to take the helm and pilot the valuable ship to safety through the notorious Bristol Channel.

The Bristol Channel has a fearsome reputation, with the UK's (and the World's second) highest tides. The ferocity of water movements combined with the underwater geography makes the Bristol Channel a highly dangerous place for seafarers.

Each Pilot Cutter raced it's peers to reach the incoming ship first - where the prize was the piloting job. This started an 'arms race' of boat technology that was the precursor to today's modern yacht racing - making the ship design incredibly important worldwide.

In the late 1960s, American yacht designer Lyle C Hess used this knowledge to create a series of boats which were incredibly seaworthy, yet had an impressive turn of speed - especially in light winds.
Renegade of Newport, based in California was one such boat, and it's impressive racing career caught the eye of a young Larry Pardey - an ambitious young Canadian sailor looking for adventure.

Between Lyle and Larry the plans for Serrafyn of Victoria were born, and Larry successfully built the boat by hand and sailed her with his wife Lin for over 10 years - circumnavigating the world in the process.
Looking for something bigger and more capable, the Pardeys once again called on Lyle C Hess for their next boat - Taleisin - which has safely taken them over 200,000 nautical miles.

Bristol Channel Cutters are produced in a variety of construction methods, including:

  • Wood
  • Glassfibre
  • Wood / glass fibre composites

The BCC class today...

One of the reasons BristolChannelCutter.org was started was to bring some order and consistency to the class online.

There's no one place for BCC info, and it's quite hard to find what your looking for. Ideally this site aims to connect people and grow the class - perhaps even getting some events underway so that likeminded individuals and supporters can get together, have a great time, swap stories and hang out.

The Goals of BCC.org:
  • Encourage and grow the network of BCC owners and fans worldwide
  • Document every BCC still in existence
  • Provide access to a wide range of BCC images, videos, articles and resources to inspire and educate
  • Encourage people interested in BCCs to get involved and find their closest Bristol Channel Cutter

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