Dear Mike-

I just wanted to let you know again how pleased I am with all the work you did on the interior of my BCC “Luna,” and in making and installing the Freehand wind vane and rigging the Simrad automatic pilot to the trimtab.

As I’m sure you remember, when Eileen and I first brought the boat to you at Paulette Pappas’ Sea Spray Boat Yard (#85, which I had brought from the original owner), the entire starboard side of the main cabin was devoted to the galley.

There was a very small head compartment (that I could hardly fit into at 6’2″) to port, along with a dinette table and semicircular settee under the deck on the port side. While this design might well have worked if I had not been so tall, I couldn’t fit into the settee. Additionally, the settee seats were slanted backwards, so it was impossible to turn the settee into a workable bunk. Altogether I found the interior pretty uncomfortable.

carlosWhen we first discussed a redesign of the interior I was most interested in solving this issue of comfort, and in adding the features I wanted: a pilot berth to port, a combination watch seat/head, facing settees, and a smaller galley set forward against the main bulkhead, and I wanted them built strongly. I was originally less concerned about how it would appear.

That was before I saw Tansy Lee, the prettiest little boat I have ever known. The main cabin of Tansy Lee made me drool, with all the beautiful teak and ash, and your incredible workmanship. As we continued to talk about it, I wondered if we could make the interior of Luna similar to Tansy Lee.

The first couple of weeks were pretty traumatic – seeing the entire cabin completely gutted and empty. It wasn’t until much later that Bev told Eileen, “It’s a good thing you didn’t see Mike going at the interior with a Saws-All!”

As the interior began to take shape, and through the process of working with you through the many decisions (and coats of varnish) I have really come to realize how lucky I was to have brought my boat to you. Your professionalism, honesty, good nature, and diplomacy (when we got a little impatient at times) is truly rare.

Rarer still is your level of skill. I know you hate the word “perfectionism,” but your work reflects an attention to detail that goes way, way beyond the run of the mill. Everywhere I look, there are these little details that you and I never talked about during the planning, but that indicate the amount of experience and foresight with which you work.

Also, the wind vane’s trimtab lockdown you designed solved a truly horrible problem I had with a severe port helm. The lockdown lets me dial in the helm to give me a neutral (or very slight weather) helm, whether under sail or motor, and has completely eliminated what was a problem I once thought required replacing the trimtab altogether.

BCC Luna Interior

Anyway, I don’t mean to embarrass you with all this crap. I just want you to know that I couldn’t be happier with the transformation of Luna. She is now light years beyond what I had even hoped, and for years to come while she’s swinging at anchor I’ll be grateful to you and to Roger Olson, who recommended you to me (and wouldn’t recommend anyone else), for the very beautiful, completely comfortable, self-steering Luna that resulted from your work.

Please feel free to use me as a reference as a completely satisfied customer or to use this letter on your web site.

Thanks again,


Dear Mike,

I am honored by your intended naming of your new vessel “Tansy” after my first skipper. He must be smiling somewhere up there in the port of heaven and saying to St. Peter, well, those Californians are a …bit much…”

I hope you realize that the name “Tansy” comes from that of a very tough weed that grows in British gardens( I don’t know if its American, too), and is extremely hard to get rid of, and has a bitter-sweet aroma. The name derives from middle English “Tannesey”, through Middle French”Tanesie”, through Middle Latin “Athanasia” to old Greek “Athanatos”, meaning “Immorality”. or ” of the immortal”. ( Incredible , but check Webster’s)

In short, an eminently acceptable name for a good, sturdy vessel, which shall be “of the immortals”.

May she guide and defend you through storms and calms as sturdily and faithfully as did Captain Tansy Lee guide and defend the “Second Apprentice” and the ship’s nipper aboard her .May she be as tough and unkillable as the little weed from which her name stems, and like that weed, may her flowers be bright and perennial…

I have looked closely at the pictures of the building of Tansy. I know that the old boy must be looking over my shoulder, too, and as pleased as am I at the obvious well – being and the care that is going into her.

Bless you and Tansy Lee,
Tristan Jones

Tristan Jones

Thanks again for your help in getting the Freehand Windvane working again on BCC #101.

The boat came with a Freehand Windvane, but years of neglect had taken their toll and it wasn’t operational. The ball bearings were all missing and the sail was in tatters. Fortunately the design of the windvane lends itself to repair with simple shipboard tools and with a few parts and a new sail I was able to get it working as good as new in short order.

This was the first time I had sailed using the Freehand Windvane and I was pleasantly surprised to discover how well it steered in all of the wind and sea conditions I encountered on the crossing from Honolulu to Newport Beach.

Once I figured out the sail combinations and trim that the BCC liked best it was incredibly easy to let the Freehand take over steering.

Before I bought a BCC I looked at all of the windvane options. The Freehand came out on top in the looks department, and now that I’ve thoroughly tested it I can say that it works as good as it looks.

Freehand Unit Testimonial

Freehand Unit Testimonial

Freehand Unit Testimonial

Freehand Unit Testimonial

Greg Kline

Greg Kline’s Single-handed Voyage Aboard Kuuipo from Honolulu to Newport Beach

Greg loved the windvane! He said it was amazing and saved him so that he didn’t have to steer the entire way.

Thanks again for everything. I think his friends are all going to pile in George’s skiff to watch him sail into the harbor on Monday!

I know he will be very happy to share a beer with the man who helped make his cruise a reality!