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Cape Horn Yachts

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

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  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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    wellington, new zealand
    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.
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  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.