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1992 Bristol Bristol Channel Cutter 28

  • 28 ft
  • Cruiser
  • Rockland, ME, US

Yacht price :



  "Late designer Lyle Hess achieved somewhat of a cult following among a select group of small boat adventurers. In particular his designs were popularized by Lin and Larry Pardey and their series of cruising books. Hess is probably best known for Lin and Larry's 24 foot Seraffyn and their subsequent 29 foot Teleisin. And really when you dig a little deeper, you'll find the Bristol Channel Cutter was created in answer to sailors wanting a "Pardey" yacht.
     Bad puns aside, among the endearing features for the long distance sailor are huge stowage, a sensible layout and a proven track record. Besides Serrafyn and Teleisin's well known 40,000 mile circumnavigation and five passages of the potentially treacherous Tasman Sea, a Bristol Channel Cutter was first in the Newport to Ensenada Race of 1978, and first in class in 1979. And in the 1980-1990s Roger Olson sailed his Bristol Channel Cutter Xiphias 50,000 miles over a thirteen year two-ocean odyssey.
     Upon first glance the sheer size of the bowsprit is noticeable, together with a bumpkin, the boat can carry an immense amount of canvas for her displacement. A peek under her waterline reveals lines that look conservative and traditional. There's the familiar wineglass section profiles and a full keel that's missing the popular forefoot cutaway that many designers employ to improve nimbleness and reduce drag. Yet on closer inspection performance tweaks can be found. A fine bow entry coupled with maximum beam quite far aft is good for close windedness and flat sections with minimal deadrise aft aid righting efforts when heeled over under sail.
     The Bristol Channel Cutter's layout has been thoughtfully designed to the minute details, we hear even the smallest of owner modifications will have ramifications elsewhere. Fitting for this kind of sailboat, don't expect staterooms designed for time on anchor - all berths are seagoing. There's four of them - two settees, a pilot berth, and the all important quarter berth. Stowage is abundant and everywhere. In short a long distance voyager's dream." ~ Blue Water Boats


Basic Information

Bristol Channel Cutter 28
Rockland, ME, US
Available for sale in U.S. waters:
Vessel Name:
Boat Type:
Hull Material:
Hull Type:
Hull Color:
Lyle Hess
Flag of Registry:

Dimensions & Weight

28 ft - 8.53 meter
27 ft 9 in - 8.46 meter
10 ft 1 in - 3.07 meter
Draft - max:
4 ft 10 in - 1.47 meter
Bridge Clearance:
Dry Weight:


Cruise Speed:
Joystick Control:
Engine Type:
Drive Type:
Direct Drive
Fuel Type:
27 (Individual), 27 (combined)
Max Speed:

Tank Capacities

Fuel Tank:
27 gallons - 1 tank(s)
Fresh Water Tank:
76 gallons - 2 tank(s)
Holding Tank:
16 gallons - 1 tank(s)


Total Cabins:
Total Berths:
Total Sleeps:
Total Heads:
Captains Cabin:
Crew Cabins:
Crew Berths:
Crew Sleeps:
Crew Heads:



  “So the story goes, a friend of Lyle Hess asked for a small traditional boat that would cross oceans. To that commission, Hess presented his interpretation of the pilot boat designs which had proven themselves in the 19th century. These workboats were heavy in displacement, long in waterline with wineglass sections and hard bilges. Their rigs carried lots of canvas, they'd lug a lot of cargo, and could sail fast on all points of sail.
     Hess' initial design was a 28 footer, which then was scaled down to a gaff-rigged 24 foot design to mitigate his friend's concern over construction cost. This boat became Renegade of Newport, launched in 1950. By the 1960s the Renegade caught the interest of Larry Pardey. Upon request Hess drew up plans for a marconi-rigged version for carvel wood construction. This boat became Seraffyn which launched in 1968.
     Through the magic of books and articles written by the Pardeys, an interest in small boat voyaging emerged with the famous Pardey tagline "go small, go simple, go now". It drew attention to Hess' work and Hess answered this interest by designing the 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter, for construction in fiberglass by the Sam L. Morse Company. The Bristol Channel Cutter 28 launched in 1975.
     In 1992, before a recession, Morse sold the company he founded to a Hess fan named George Hylkema, who hired Roger Olson, fresh from his 50,000 mile world cruise onboard Xyphias brimming with ideas to improve the boat. Olson bought the business in 1995 before selling the company only three years later in December 1998 to the fourth and final owner, Sumio Oya.
     By 2007, Sam L. Morse Company was struggling to be viable. Its classic boats were in less demand and profits tended to be found in building much larger vessels. New mass production technologies from other manufacturers made it harder to compete. After the completion of its 126th hull, Cape George Marine Works was given the molds along with the right to build both the Bristol Channel Cutter and the Falmouth Cutter 22. For Sumio Oya, it was important to protect the quality and reputation of the boat so upon selecting Cape George to carry on the name, the deal involved no money apart from the cost of relocating the molds which was paid by Cape George. Before closing, Sam L. Morse Company did consider the opportunity to build a larger Hess boat but in the end there was not enough capital to launch the project.” ~ Blue Water Boats
 Sam L Morse Brochure~
     “The two-part female mold first gets a white or light ivory gel coat above the boot stripe. A contrasting color of your choice is applied to the sheer stripe and boot stripe during this initial gel coating.  Below the top of the boot stripe, a vinyl ester primer is applied for blister resistance. After the color gel coating is complete, a black gel coat is applied. Then structural lay-up begins with a skin coat of 1.5 oz mat and 7.5 oz cloth using Hydrex Vinylester Resins to prevent osmosis. This is followed by three layers of 1.5 oz mat and 24 oz roving over the entire hull. An additional layer of 1.5 oz mat and 24 oz roving is applied below the water line and repeated again at the transom, forward at the bow and at the chainplate location. Finally, the entire hull has another layer of 1.5 oz mat and 7.5 oz cloth added. All materials are hand laid and hand squeegeed to ensure a solid lay-up without air bubbles. The result is a hull that is about 3/8" at the sheer, 1/2" at the water line, increasing to over 1" thick near the bottom of the hull. The actual thickness at the bottom of the keel is greater than 1" because we overlap layers at this location. The hull will weigh approximately 2,600 lbs. when finished.
     The solid, pre-cast 4,600lb lead ballast is set inside the hull cavity. After the hull is leveled and a dam installed, resin is poured into this cavity to completely encapsulate the ballast. Three layers of 1.5 oz mat and 24 oz roving are applied over the encapsulated ballast to ensure a lifetime of trouble free use. The mast step is set on top of this solid mass.”
  • Smoke white topsides
  • Midnight blue boot stripe
  • Midnight blue cove stripe
  • Red anti-fouled bottom
  • Bright teak rub rail
  • Bright teak bulwark
  • Stern hung rudder
  • Bronze thru-hull fittings below waterline with bronze sea cocks


 Sam L Morse Brochure~
     “The deck gets similar treatment. The deck mold is gel coated with the same white or light ivory as the hull. The non-skid is a slightly darker camel color, or the color of your choice. This is followed by black gel coat and a layer of 1.5 oz mat, 7.5 oz cloth, 1.5 oz mat, 24 oz roving, 1.5 oz mat and scored 1/2" marine plywood core for stiffening. Extra layers of plywood are used where the mast and bitts penetrate the deck. The Plywood core permits hardware to be mounted anywhere without reinforcing. The plywood core is encapsulated with additional lay-ups of 1.5 oz mat and 24 oz roving.  Cockpit locker coamings are molded into the deck, providing excellent drainage for the lazzarette and port side cockpit lockers”
Aft Deck:
  • Bright teak bulwark
  • Bright teak boomkin with stainless steel end plate
  • Bronze cleats port and starboard
  • Stainless steel pushpit
  • (2) Teak motor mounts
  • Bright tiller arm
  • Deck pad for linear drive autopilot
  • Single cockpit locker
  • Bright teak coaming
  • 120-Volt shore power inlet
  • Shower in cockpit
  • High volume manual bilge pump diaphragm
  • Engine control panel with acrylic cover
  • Engine hour meter
  • Engine shut off
  • Engine throttle
Weather Decks:
  • Single line lifeline with stainless steel stanchions mounted on teak bulwark port and starboard
  • Bronze midships cleat port and starboard
  • Midships chock built into bulwark port and starboard
Coach Roof:
  • Bronze cleats port and starboard of companionway
  • Stainless steel tubular frame for dodger
  • Teak sliding companionway cover with bright washboards
  • Bright teak handrails port and starboard
  • Bright teak brow above port lights
  • (3) Bronze port lights port and starboard on coach roof sides
  • Bright teak deck hatch with bronze bar protecting lenses
Fore Deck:
  • Painted bow sprit with teak chafe rails port and starboard
  • Anchor rollers port and starboard of bow sprit
  • Anchor chain bronze lock
  • Teak Sampson posts port and starboard of bow sprit aft with bronze caps & chafe guards
  • Chocks built into bulwark port and starboard
  • Manual windlass (see Ground Tackle)
  • Bright teak scuttle hatch with handrails and single washboard
  • Bronze port lights on coach roof above head port starboard and forward
  • Bright teak deck boxes port and starboard 

Sail Inventory and Soft Goods:

  • Main sail by Skip Elliott ~ Original
  • Roller furling jib by Skip Elliott ~ Original
  • Hank on stay sail by Skip Elliott ~ Original
Soft Goods:
  • Bow sprit cover - White
  • Hatch covers - White
  • Tiller cover - White
  • Dodger - White
  • Bimini cover - White
  • Mainsail cover - White
  • Stay sail bag - White


  • Garmin 441 GPS/chart plotter 
  • ICOM ICM59 VHF radio
  • ICOM IC-706 HF radio
  • Raymarine depth finder
  • Raytheon ST4000+ linear autopilot 
  • Ritchie magnetic compass and flexgate

Standing and Running Rigging:

Standing Rigging:
  • Cutter rig
  • Aluminum mast ~ Painted 2013
  • Aluminum boom ~ Painted 2013
  • Stainless steel wire 1 x 19 wire standing rigging with Hi-mod reusable fitting and turnbuckles ~ replaced 2005
  • Keel stepped mast
  • Stainless steel flat bar chain plates bolted to outside of hull
  • Downwind pole and track
  • Tri-sail track
  • Insulated back-stay
  • Deck lights on mast
Running Rigging:
  • Braided dacron running rigging
  • Lazy jacks
  • (2) Barient 22 self tailing primary winches outboard of coaming
  • (2) Barient 10 secondary winches on coach-roof
  • (3) Barient 10 winches on mast

Electrical Systems:

12-Volt DC system:
  • Marinetics 12-volt Master Power Control Panel 12 volt distribution panel with dual battery tester and (12) switches
  • Marinetics 12-volt Accessory Panel 12 volt distribution panel with an additional (8) switches
  • (2) Lifeline 27T AGM under the quarter berth
  • Guest rotary battery switch
  • Engine driven alternator and
120-Volt AC system:
  • 120-Volt AC True Charge 20
  • Marinetics A-C Load Center distribution panel with main breaker and (5) switches
  • Prowatt 800 inverter  


27 gallon aluminum tank below cockpit
Fresh Water:
(2) Stainless steel tanks in the bilge, 27 gallons and 49 gallons
(2) 10-Pound cylinders in deck box
16 gallon plastic tank in fore-peak
Ground Tackle:
  • CQR 35 pound primary anchor with 200’ of 5/16" chain
  • Delta 22 pound secondary anchor and
  • Fortress secondary anchor
  • ABI hand operated windlass


  • ACR SOS light visual distress signals
  • 12-Volt DC navigational lighting
  • Kiddie carbon monoxide detector
  • Life sling with davit and climb up rudder
  • Radar reflector

General Condition and Comments:

From the survey by David B. Wyman, P.E. in August of 2015:
     The hull was visually inspected, hammer tested and moisture readings taken.  The hull was reported to have been peeled and recoated during fall 2014 at Front Street Shipyard to remove moisture and blisters.  The hull was found with dry moisture reading, solid with no signs of damage or weakness.   This is an extremely well built hull that was found in excellent condition.
     The hull topsides were visually inspected, hammer tested and moisture readings taken. The structural condition was good, moisture readings were dry and the cosmetics of fiberglass hull were good but somewhat aged.
     The decks and cabin top and sides were visually inspected, hammer tested and moisture readings taken. All was found in excellent condition with dry moisture readings.
     Standing rigging was reported replaced in 2005. All was found in excellent condition.
     Where accessible the internal structure was found in excellent condition with no signs of excessive stress or cracking.
     The engine appears to be well maintained and in very good condition.
     This is a simple electrical system that was found in good condition.
     This yacht has been extremely well maintained by very competent owners. She was found in excellent condition and well suited for offshore cruising."


From the survey by David B. Wyman, P.E. in August of 2015:
     "EXCELLENT CONDITION and well suited for coastal and offshore cruising.  Considering the overall condition of the vessel, her age, extent of equipment, recommended maintenance/repairs and current market condition, it is the opinion of this surveyor that:



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Scott  Woodruff
Scott Woodruff
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Disclaimer: The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his/her agents, or his/her surveyors, to instigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.