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Advice for BC21 owner

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Nigel Baker:
I have ordered a BC 21, sail no 6, which should be completed towards the end of June. I would be grateful if members, especially owners of BREs, could give me tips on a few issues.
1/ Which marine insurer would you recommend? 2/ The boat will come with a Yamaha 6hp outboard. I guess it will fit into the BC21 in a similar way to how it fits into a BRE. Is there an outboard lock you would recommend? 3/ The BC21 has an anchor locker on the foredeck which will fit a 6kg Lewmar Delta, Lewmar Epsilom or a Spade. I have ruled out the Spade on the grounds of cost. Do owners believe the Epsilom is sufficiently good enough to warrant the fact that it is twice the price of the Delta? The boat will be kept and sailed around the Fal estuary which many owners will be familiar with through the annual Raids. 4/ What length and size of warp and chain would you recommend? 5/ What size fenders would BRE owners recommend buying, and would three be the right number to have?
Any other tips would be gratefully received.

Graham W:

Congratulations on your new boat.

1.  I use Noble Marine for insurance but see https://www.swallowyachtsassociation.org/smf/index.php/topic,3314.0.html
2.  The Yamaha 6hp seems to be the yard’s standard larger outboard for its 20ft models.  This is probably going to be controversial but having used one on a BRe, I would go for something else, for four reasons:  it doesn’t do reverse very well; the gear lever is down the side instead of on the front; the exhaust is above rather than through the prop; and most importantly, because of the engine design it’s not possible to have one with a Saildrive-type propeller best suited to displacement boats like ours.  The Motor Loc Atlantic is an excellent outboard lock.
3.  If you are going to use your anchor a lot and are limited to just one, you should get the best that you can.  Of the three that you mention this would be (according to prolific expert anchor tester Panope) a galvanised Spade for about £300.
4.  The anchor rode depends on whether you intend to sail in places other than the Fal area, with deeper water. This article has many useful recommendations https://jimmygreen.com/1002-anchoring.
5.  If you have to raft up (not unknown in the Fal!) you may need four or more fenders, not three.  I’d recommend four 45cm cylindricals with maybe a couple of low freeboard fenders and a flat fender as well.

Nigel Baker:
Many thanks for all your advice. The Jimmy Green website has just taken up time which I probably could not afford! It is very comprehensive. On the BC21 there is a foredeck anchor locker, but it is unlined. Do you know what say BC23 members use to stop their anchor scratching the inside of the locker? A bit of old carpet springs to mind but there must be a better solution.
You raise some interesting points about the Yamaha 6. It may now be too late to change but what alternatives would you recommend?
Thanks, Nigel

Graham W:
For lining the anchor locker, I’d avoid carpet as it will probably begin to smell after a bit.  A bit of old lino, a rubber bathmat or a split old car inner tube, if such things exist any more?  You can buy all kinds of plastic and neoprene sheeting on eBay.

I used to have a Mariner 6hp with a Saildrive-type prop before I turned electric.  It had none of the Yamaha’s disadvantages but unlike the Yamaha, you had to be careful how you laid it down on its side.  I think Mercury and possibly Tohatsu 6hp outboards are very similar to the Mariner and I see that Tohatsu are now saying that you can lay their engines down whichever way too. 

The Saildrive prop made an appreciable difference to the Mariner’s revs, noise and perhaps even fuel consumption.  Standard props are designed to get you up on a plane rather than providing low rev torque - unhelpful on a displacement boat.  I had to buy a short shaft outboard with a standard prop and then replace the latter with a Saildrive prop, keeping the original one for emergencies.

As the Mariner had an integral fuel tank as well as an external one, it was quite tall and a bit of a squeeze under my BR20’s tiller.  I had to modify the tiller uphaul and downhaul arrangements to prevent them from fouling the top of the outboard.  I don’t know how this compares to the Yamaha, which seemed to fit under the BRe tiller without any bother.  I notice that the Tohatsu 6hp has a version without an integral tank but don’t know how much this reduces its cowling height, if at all.

Sea Simon:
Hi Nigel,

Following GWs lead.

1. Insurance. I too used Noble for both my BRe insurance, and my racing dinghies. They were always excellent and paid several claims without petty quibbling! They seemingly weren't interested in my "small big boat" BC26, and I moved to Haven Knox Johnson on the recommendation of a pal. So far, so good...

2. Outboard.  Firstly, determine what dealers are available locally, it's a right pita to take outboards away to a remote dealer for winter services (essential to maintain extended warranty  cover). Hereabouts it's  Honda, no Yamaha dealer (maybe Curnows do them in Falmouth?).  I was very pleased with my Honda. I'd always get the saildrive prop (as GW says)  and maybe the charge coil too, pre delivery. Much cheaper. That said, you're probably better off with high quality solar than a charge coil? ...imho...
Fwiw, I hated my Tohatsu 5! New, but SO unreliable (fuel issues), then it trashed it's gearbox, for no apparent reason. But that was a last-gen machine, maybe they've improved?

Motorlocs are excellent. I've  had several. The Atlantic, and the smaller slot lock on my tenders Honda 2.3. That has lived on the beach for over 5 years, and I've still got my outboard...and the loc still works too. Just bought another Atlantic for my new EProp tender motor.

3.Anchors. I still have both a 6kg Rocna and a 6kg Lewmar Delta here, for sale. You are welcome to take either/both to Falmouth to try for fit in your new boat.
The Rocna is by far the better anchor, imho. Perhaps too much advice out there? Jimmy green's pages are very good.

Sorry can't remember exactly what I had on my BRe... but I  limit my choice to the weight of what I can pull up, by hand! On the BC26 that's  a 10kg Rocna, 10m of 8mm chain, and 50m of 14mm 3 strand polyester (because I haven't learnt to splice octoplait!) This is all perhaps just slightly oversize for my 26, but I now overnight with my grandson. The important/transferrable detail, perhaps, is that the big Rocna won't  fit in my bow locker (nor do I want all that weight in the extreme bow. My lightweight Fortress FX7 kedge/beach day-hook lives there. The cruising Bower lives in a trug, in a cockpit locker.
Hereabouts spring tides give a max range of appx 6m, so you'll  be anchoring in perhaps 8m or so, probably less?

I made a small wood "scabbard" to fit over the brutally sharp tip of the Rocna!
Best use no carpet. I've  seen lightweight racing dinghies with osmosis from sitting on wet carpet overwinter. I like those rubber honeycomb door mats.

To me another critical  point is to always use best quality, lifting rated, green pin shackles or similar. NEVER chinesium tat off ebay! Available more cheaply from lifting gear suppliers than chandlers.
Then MOUSE THEM! Astonishing how many yots in my overwintering yard drop their anchors onto the yard, only to reveal unsecured shackles!

4. Fenders...I believe you can probably never have too many...just how much stowage room have you? On the BRe, I used to keep extras in the aft buoyancy tanks.

Enjoy the new boat, hope to see it about here this summer?


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