As the first sporty 22-footer we have seen from a British builder in a long time, the BTC-22 is set to fill a significant gap in the market, as David Harding found out

Product Overview


  • Sprightly performance
  • Surprisingly roomy accommodation
  • Good range 
of options


  • Some production details still 
being refined
  • Footbrace needed in cockpit for crew
  • Keel winch needs lower gearing


BTC-22: Half the size, double the fun

Time was when anyone wanting a lively 22ft (6.7m) family cruiser with a lifting keel was almost spoiled for choice.

Popular home-produced examples included the E-Boat, Evolution 22, Seal 22, Anderson 22, Atlanta Catch 22, Fox Terrier, Eclipse, Limbo 6.6, Timpenny 670 and Skipper 700.

Then there were alternatives such as the Jaguar 21, Parker 21 and Parker 235, not to mention European offerings such as the Etap 22.

EDC-22 aft

The chines are softer than on the wooden prototype but the hull shape still provides a degree of form stability. Credit: David Harding

So what happened? Well, for some time now, would-be buyers in the UK in search of a trailable boat of this size have had a choice between a European lake-sailer and something that strikes a rather more traditional note.

Modern trailable all-rounders suited to British coastal waters have been few and far between, leaving those in search of one to find and import a boat themselves and then face the possibility of having the only one in 
the country.

Given the versatility of a good 22-footer – capable of crossing the Atlantic, as the Anderson and E-Boat did, yet small enough to trail to new cruising grounds – it’s refreshing that, at long last, a British builder has introduced a new one.

Down below on a BTC-22

Below decks the cabin is simply but neatly finished, the flow-coasted inside to the hull and deck allowing easy access to fittings and fastenings. Credit: David Harding

It comes in the form of the BTC-22, designed by Buckley Yacht Design and built in Southampton by Composite Mouldings (CML), which is also run by the Buckley family.

Although CML might be an unfamiliar name to many, it was born out of Blondecell (Tradewinds, Cromarty 36 et al) and has built over 400 Hawk 20s for Reid Marine.

Supplying composite mouldings to builders such as Oyster, CML is experienced in resin infusion, structural analysis and the use of carbon- fibre and aramids.

A man sailing a BTC-22 in the Solent

Jib sheets can be cross sheeted for single-handing sailing. Credit: David Harding

With this sort of experience to draw on, as well as involvement in the design of Alex Thompson’s Hugo Boss, the combined forces of CML and Buckley Yacht Design should be more than capable of producing a trailable 22.

But what sort of boat is the BTC?

I sailed the first production version to find out.

Despite having only recently appeared in production form, the BTC-22 has been in development for some time.

I sailed her when she was first launched in 2016 as the RTC-22, and again two years later following refinements in several areas.


We have needed something like the BTC-22 for a long time.

The demise of the earlier British-built 22s and, more recently, the discontinuation of boats such as the Elan 210, has left a gap in the market for a wholesome, versatile, trailable boat of this size that offers space, pace, economy and simplicity.


Despite a north-westerly wind, gusting 30 knots at times, the swing-keeler coped well. Credit: David Harding

Many of the European lake-sailers I have tested have lacked stiffness and felt uncomfortable in lively conditions, especially at sea, while the alternative ‘trad and tan’ approach doesn’t appeal to everyone.

After several years of development, the BTC is still a ‘work in progress’ because CML and Buckley Yacht Design have been working on her alongside other projects.

At long last, however, it looks as though she’s nearly there and I’m sure plenty of people will be ready 
for a boat like this.


With the choice of options and keels the BTC has the potential to appeal to a wide audience.

I would like to sail a production version in choppier waters to see how snugly the swing keel fits in its case, because keel ‘judder’ when you bounce over a wave, 
and banging when the pressure comes off downwind, 
are sometimes mildly disconcerting features of swing-keelers.

CML has the experience and technical know-how to cope with such challenges and, on the whole, construction looks reassuring.


The BTC is undoubtedly the epitome of the trailable 22, and a reminder of why boats of this type were once so popular. Credit: David Harding

The core in the hull and deck incorporates PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) derived from 1,400 recycled plastic bottles, so you 
can even put a tick in the ‘green’ box.

Chosen for its structural qualities quite apart from any environmental considerations, PET is also used in the resin in the 
deck, while the hull laminate incorporates vinylester 
and E-Glass.

All told, there’s a lot to like about the BTC-22. Most of the bits that matter look and feel robust and solidly engineered. As she’s also roomy, well mannered, pretty quick and sensibly priced, I see little to hold her back.


Price as tested: £47,940
LOA: 6.81m (22ft 4in)
Hull Length: 
6.81m (22ft 4in)
LWL: 6.50m (21ft 5in)
Beam: 2.50m (8ft 2in)
(swing keel up) 0.71m (2ft 4in) 
(swing keel down) 1.40m (4ft 7in)
Displacement: (lightship) 950kg (2,094lb)
325kg (716lb)
Ballast ratio: 34%
Displacement / Length: 95
Sail area: 
301sq ft (28.0sq m)
SA/D ratio: 29.4
Water: 20 litres (4.4gal)
Engine: 2.5-5hp
Transmission: Outboard
RCD category: C
Designer: Buckley Yacht Design
Builder: Composite Mouldings Ltd
Tel: 02380 660770