PRECIPICE

 

Precipice is a wood hull Bristol Channel Cutter.

Construction was started in 1978 and completed in late 1981.  She comes from the same design as Taleisin, the famous boat sailed by Lynn and Larry Pardey. As far as I know, she is the first boat built to the design.  Lynn and Larry came and visited while Precipice was being built (originally named Callisto).  I believe it was the Pardeys that actually had the design commissioned.  How it came to be that this boat was built first I don't really know. Taleisin is a completely different boat, however.  Taleisin has bronze floors and knees and a Marconi rig with a teak hull and no engine.  Precipice has wood floors and knees with a gaff rig and a cedar hull with an auxiliary engine.  Although they look alike, they sail differently and are completely different vessels. I would say Taleisin is definitely an improvement, and that seeing Precipice being built probably cemented Lynn and Larry's thoughts on how they should build Taleisin.  That being said, we love Precipice. She is very comfortable in a blow, and forgiving to us as we figure out different cruising areas. 

Precipice weighs in at over 20,000 lbs, 7000 of which is in ballast. She is a gaff rigged cutter with running backstays, meaning that the boat definitely is not set up to be sailed single handed.  We didn't know what to think about the gaff rig, seeing as nobody we knew had one, but we have come to appreciate the advantages and live with the disadvantages.  The advantages are easy reefing, a low and powerful downwind or broad reach rig that isn't strung up under high tension.  The gaff rig is easily hove to and handles heavy weather well.  Unlike we were warned by many, it also can sail to windward.  The disadvantage is in complexity.  The gaff rig has four more lines to keep track of, and they all have to be handled in the correct order or everything becomes a mess.  Would I build a boat with a gaff rig?  No.   Would I change the rig I have to a Marconi rig?  No. 

 




Design: Bristol Channel Cutter

Designer: Lyle Hess

Length: 30 Feet + 8ft Bowsprit

Beam:  10.5 Feet

Draft:  5.5 Feet

Displacement: 20,000lbs. plus

Rig:  Gaff rigged cutter.

Engine: 18 HP Norwegian Sabb 2cyln.

Built by: Jake Callery in Vermont

Hull: 1.5 inch old growth Virginia swamp cedar.

Framing: White oak, sawn frames every third frame.

Deck: Teak

Cabin: 2 inch Mahogany