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Cape Horn Yachts

Discussion in 'Cape Horn Yacht' started by cabobo09, May 11, 2009.

  1. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I have happily concluded about 18 Cape Horn sales so any of my comments are opinions only, but based on my experience from having attended sea trial and survey on about 16 of those sales and from being the only broker working directly with Cape Horn. Peter Sever researched several systems found on commercial vessels and he incorporated several of them into his line of luxury trawlers with Z-drives being one of them. The Thrustmaster Z drive was about a $120,000 option at the time of build and it was ordered by all 3 of the Cape Horn 63 original owners and a subsequent CH 65 owner. I have yet to have an original or any subsequent owner of the vessels not find the Z-drive a miraculous invention for maneuvering. Most tug boats are equipped with them for maneuvering in tight or difficult situations. The Thrustmaster and Volvo were paired on the 63s but the particular manufacturers were not dependent on nor exclusive to each other.

    Judy
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  2. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Judy, correct me if I'm wrong, but I half remember that there was a significant powerplant difference between those three 63 and the 65.
    Wasn't the latter Cummins powered, and coupled with a mechanical rather than hydraulic Z-drive?
    If that's correct, engine aside, for which personally I would have no doubts in preferring the latter to the VPs, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on mechanical vs. hydraulic Thrustmasters. In fact, aside from the obvious engine placement flexibility allowed by hydraulic, I always thought that mechanical should be simpler and eventually more reliable.
    20 years forward, I guess there should be some answers out there, for this old curiosity of mine... :)
    Thanks in advance!

    PS for Whitney Irons:
    if you are in the market for boats like these, you would struggle to find anyone who can assist you with more competence than JWY.
    No relationship and/or personal interest, other than having met her and appreciated her professionality many years ago.
    Whitney Irons likes this.
  3. cdg

    cdg Member

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    Hey there, my boat Columbus uses different system so can't advise :)
  4. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks, Mapism! Your kind and supportive words are much appreciated!

    Firstly, let me say that there have been very few, if any, problems with the Thrustmaster units. I can't rave enough about how supportive Thrustmaster of Texas has been whenever questions have arisen, many times making recommendations from photos. The president/owner of Thrustmaster took a personal interest in these yachts and the success of their 360 degree azimuthing pods.

    As to hydraulic versus mechanical, I think the preference for hydraulic was the simplicity and reliability. However, the hydraulic drives create a whine. When the 65 owner was ordering his new build CH, he went on a sea trial and found the noise in the pilothouse to be annoying, therefore requesting the installation of the mechanical drive. Having said that, the hydraulic whine was never enough of an annoyance to deter any of the subsequent CH 63 buyers. I don't think there has been a "failure" with any of the Thrustmaster units, so I'm not sure how relevant the virtues of the hydraulic system were. But that's looking in the rear view mirror. I would prefer for the owners to address this issue of pros and cons of mechanical vs hydraulic.
    Whitney Irons likes this.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    IMO, Hydraulic offers less vibration thru the boat and wild installations are possible.
    Hoses, pumps, hydraulic motors & fluid are an added maintenance item.
    Possible whine noise.
    Very slight loss in efficiently.

    Direct drives offer direct connection with less involved to make way.
    With the pods, engine installation is restricted over hydraulic systems but not horrible like straight inboards.

    My father & I used to work a true paddle dinner boat in Jax.
    The paddle wheel and fore & after rudders were all hydraulically powered by a 6-71N mounted down in the bilge.
    Another 6-71N gen-set down there powered the boat.
    Smooth operation.
    I did like that hydraulic set up back then. Not a glass of any liquid danced.

    I don't remember any whine then or on the work boats I was on after that. But then, I'm death in one ear and cant hear in the other.
  6. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Correction: I previously stated that Thrustmaster Z-drives were installed on the 3 Cape Horn 63s and one 65. I forgot about Hull # 1, Peter Sever's personal yacht. Peter had it designed with systems he researched with the intention of going back to Africa to see the villages where he had taught after college. He couldn't want a yacht in the 58 foot range that he felt was safe enough, so he designed and built his own. When doing so, he had not planned on going into yacht building. Btw, this was the boat (sold to owner #2 who maintained ownership until this year) that suffered a knockover in the Phuket tsunami and was the only boat in the marina to survive.
    Whitney Irons likes this.
  7. John Windolph

    John Windolph New Member

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    I've owned a CH 52 for three years. I love my little ship. Like so many other trawlers, I think it's amazingly capable and an incredible feat of engineering. Clearly and obviously, I am biased.

    As I pick through this thread, I'm struck by the bile. Why the bile? Why does anyone who doesn't own, or have an interest in owning, or curiosity about the Cape Horn brand, care enough to spend so much time prattling on about the deficiencies of the brand?

    I could share bunches with all of you about how I "feel" about a particular trawler brand. I'm full of bias. I love Peter Deschew's FPBs, I love Norhavens, I love Feidships! I have an opinion about each and expertise on none.

    I'm not going to share my opinions about boats I haven't tested but have lusted after or derided. I'm happy to share my opinions about my positive experiences with my Cape Horn. It isn't perfect, but it's awesome.

    To be sure, I've never been on a boat I didn't want to modify in some fashion. Even a little skiff...

    My Cape Horn has had some sizable design modifications (added swim platform, removed keel fins [apparently the only CH owner to do so], added stern thruster, increased rudder size, added Beebe-style passive stabilizers, added 9K keel bar). All of this was done to improve seakeeping and overall stability. There wasn't anything wrong with the vessel as designed. The modifications were simply undertaken for a discerning owner with the capital to fiddle and the appetite to go to sea. The modifications make it better for me and that's why people that own all kinds of boats extend aft decks, add stabilizers and make other custom adjustments. It was an awesome boat before the modifications. By way of example, there's a Hatteras just down from me that added a massive aft-deck that's really cool!

    I know a few things about my CH. It's incredibly seaworthy, stout, slow, heavy, accommodating, comfortable and burly. Steel is real but it requires ongoing maintenance. I'm very comfortable knowing my deck isn't going to peel back from the bow-sprit in tough seas and understand what they mean in the Asian archipelagoes when they say "The Americans are coming" (in their fiberglass boats picking through uncharted reefs *bias). I'd recommend a CH to anyone interested in truly adventuring. It is a boat that can take you anywhere. Bring the big seas!

    Now bring the trolls and their "I told you so, the boat needs modifications." Nope, someone wanted to tweak and customize and make "better", in their opinion (and their subsequent experience to assess whether they got it right or wrong...).

    I'm sharing my personal experience. You are welcome to challenge my personal experience, but it is my experience.

    I believe this is a forum to share knowledge, information and experiences. Opinions, not so much, unless qualified as such: "in my opinion (as a Cape Horn owner), Cape Horns are incredible..." versus "in my opinion" (as a non-Cape Horn owner), Cape Horns are over-hyped"). Owner bias is inherent, but surely more valuable than non-experienced arm-chair opinionating?

    I encourage YF readers to be discerning in their review of these posts and to hew in the direction of those who own Cape Horns and have experience with Cape Horns, versus opinions about them. If you are interested in hearing more about my experiences owning a Cape Horn, let me know through this forum and I will be happy to share more.

    Hello, @Captain JJ -- you have some opinions... Are they informed opinions and thus valuable?

    Experience = value
    No Experience = conjecture, rumor-mongering, and no value...

    Posters! Let's deliver value and positivity!
    Lauri and leeky like this.
  8. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Back to this thread..
    It may be a bit ugly on the surface, but it is also quite informative with 2 totally opposing opinions: The Builder and the Doubter:

    With this update, read it twice, never dull:cool:

    I have worked with Judy the Broker in Fort Lauderdale in the past doing a photo charter, a pleasant experience.
    Also worked with Captain J, in Fort Lauderdale, doing half a dozen local deliveries with him.
    Based on this thread and my background as a sailor, power-boater and a Merchant
    Marine guy on steel ships, I would buy a CH anytime: 17 out of 18 owners are more than happy and they keep cruising their CH tubs across the oceans.
    (9 out of 10 dentists recommend Colgate, which tooth paste would you use?:rolleyes:)
    I do appreciate the rock solid, stable, slow, go anywhere philosophy behind the CH
    boats.
    I may have to call Judy about the smallest CH on the market, 55'?
    (Prefer single engine, did CH make singles?)

    Bon Voyage.
  9. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Me too, and yes they did.
    Actually, all of those up to 65' were single screw, IIRC.
  10. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Welcome to internet! :D
  11. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Hi John --

    Welcome to YF! This thread is about the only contentious one on this outstanding forum. And hopefully that is now behind us. So heartwarming to see the support of knowledgable mariners and owners.

    Your CH 52 is hull # 2 and it was the impetus for my coining the term "Cape Horn Omnipotence." The original owners were from Montreal, with MB formerly having been a hydraulic engineer in Germany. After their boat was launched, they started their world cruising by heading south. I saw EOS I after she pulled into port in So. Fl. encased in crusted salt, rusted bikes on the upper deck, and she looked like she had just been through a hurricane. Well, she had. The owners got delayed in their schedule and were due to meet friends in FLL. Yes, there was a hurricane out there, but they change courses and besides, they were in a Cape Horn. MB told me that the seas coming over the bow were 30 footers. He and his wife were strapped into their dual helm seat with the seatbelts secured. At one point they gave up, put her on autopilot, went down to the master cabin and said their good-byes. When they ran out of things to say and tears to shed, MB realized they were still making way and maybe they weren't going to die after all. So they returned to the helm and made it in to port. A brand new boat coming from Nova Scotia, encountering a hurricane, and made it to Florida without even a single item needing repair other than a serious washdown.

    So regardless of owner experience or intelligence, I forewarn every new owner about my diagnosis of Cape Horn Omnipotence.

    Wishing you calm seas always, but glad you're in a CH for when they're not ;-)
  12. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Wow.
    You told me about the lively (to put it very mildly!) maiden voyage of Dream Chaser, when many years ago I came to see her in FLL and you kindly showed her to myself and my wife, even if she was already under offer.
    But I wasn't aware of the even worse situation that EOS I survived.

    BTW, EOS I can also claim to have been on a PMM cover page, where they wrote about her and also Dream Chaser.
    Which is the reason why I kept the article in my files.
    I hope that after almost a quarter of a century it's OK to post the article, in case anyone would be interested to have a look.
    If not, I apologize in advance for giving the admins the hassle to pull it... :)
    Cover.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  13. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Thanks, Paolo! I have a "survival story" for almost every CH. And thanks for the PMM copy. I haven't seen a picture of Dream Chaser in her original colors since forever. The owners, who had done 2 circumnavigations in their 40' sailboat with their 2 children, built their CH to ice-dive Antarctica; they had their CH painted in colors that would be easier for a rescue plane to spot if needed. I'm sure I must have mentioned that Peter affectionately called her the ketchup and mustard boat.
    mapism likes this.
  14. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Cape Horn Owners' Rendezvous! We are having a raft-up of current and previous owners at Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle, September 10-12. Out of the fleet of 15, there are 2 current owners that have not been included on emails with details.

    If you own a Cape Horn Trawler and are one of our missing owners, or if you know of a missing owner, please send me a PM.

    Thanks!

    Judy