Click for Cheoy Lee Click for Nordhavn Click for CL Yachts Privacy Matters Click for Walker

Cape Horn Yachts

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

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    This has been an interesting read from an outsider viewpoint, my only personal experience with CH yachts were at boat shows and some of the impressive videos posted by owners underway. I used to be of the school of thought that there where typically only two views to be recognized on a topic, one was right and the other wasn't. I have come to learn over time that it is usually something more like 3 views to a topic, Viewpoint A, Viewpoint B, and the binding truth, which can include some, all or none of viewpoints A and/or B. That is where the ability to have a clear discernment process becomes handy.

    Ultimately, I can put a lot of stock in long term ownership (as long as they are not dock queens) and real testimonials, especially over a lot of ocean crossings in a passage maker.

    Some comments that could use some expansion:

    Negative stability - NA's develop righting arm curves based on vessel geometry, weight and center of gravity. An incline Stability Test at the dock is necessary to determine the vessel's center of gravity. With this information, the righting arm curves can predict a vessel's heeling response to a selected heel angle, wind force, and sea state. Will she come back to zero degrees or will she not? Adding a heavy keel shoe is not necessarily an indicator of negative stability. They may have wanted to increase the total heeling response to their selected heel angle criteria, and if I read it right, CH was targeting an amazing 180 degree roll over criteria - by far the most difficult design proposition for a passage maker of this size and type. The addition of the shoe does not mean negative stability, it will actually lower the Center of Gravity to a design point where the area in the righting arm curves (the energy to resist rotating) is increased to get the right design target. Use of it on future designs only makes sense.

    The Northern Marine Baiden vessel though, is a good example of negative stability at time of launch, with maybe an assist of grounding during the launch event. But it has no correlation to the CH topic, as it was more an example of modifying a proven design with a highly undesirable 3rd deck level that rendered it unfit.

    Since we do not know what is the light load waterline, the design load waterline, the full load or departure condition waterline for these vessels, it is only speculation to try and predict what additional weight like a keel shoe does to the design. It may in fact have been within the tolerances of the hull forms waterline and had no effect at all, especially if they have exhibited the ability to cross oceans and maintain the sufficient range to do so. Raising freeboard, adjusting deck drains, ongoing design changes, that is pretty normal stuff and sounds much like the continuous improvement that successful companies like Viking and Fleming Yachts advertise as a positive result for their companies design process.

    It would be interesting to know how many different models were built and what the designer/naval architect firm changes where? The comments from the NA about Aluminum Superstructure being beneficial are rather benign and state the obvious- aluminum superstructures can lower your CG. But we do not know the builder/owner/naval architect relationships (except Judy) and there appears to have been issues in what I call the "triangle". These issues are difficult to comment on without her insight, especially if legal actions have occurred.
  2. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,418
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    CJ: It's not so bold, especially considering that I have successfully concluded 15 CH sales, have been on approximately 17 - 20 sea trials, and am still in touch with a majority of owners; and you continue to rely only on the NA for your "facts" in spite of my telling you that the finished vessels were not the ones he designed since the builder knew modifications were needed well before launch.

    PB: Thank you for intelligent and professional posts. I will ping Peter Sever to see if he will respond to your points. Peter is currently in the Philippines so not sure of his expediency.

    Judy
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,119
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    To say that any yacht (or anything) is THE BEST IN IT'S CLASS in regards to handling/safety/stability, especially considering one hasn't been built for well over a decade (15 years),the company is no longer in business,and it's a 20 year old design, is a very bold statement. The plans are there, one can buy the plans, have one built at an assortment of yards. So why hasn't anyone built one?

    Your statement is extremely contradictory and leads to a complete lack of confidence "NA for your "facts" in spite of my telling you that the finished vessels were not the ones he designed since the builder knew modifications were needed well before launch.". Generally the Naval architect IS the only person involved in the design of the hull design and entire exterior of the vessel as well as placement of major items (tankage, machinery). Feadship, who IS the best in their class and has been for a century, follows what their naval architect draws up to a T, if there are ANY changes that could effect stability such as a jacuzzi added to the FB in build, they consult their naval architect first. Do you think Feadship would EVER just start adding a keel shoe or make changes to the hull design before launch because they felt they knew more than their NA and what he drew up???? "The builder knew modifications were needed well before launch". That is an extremely strange statement, because if the builder was a naval architect and knew how to design a hull and superstructure he wouldn't need a naval architect to begin with, he would be the naval architect, but obviously he is not a naval architect, so how did he have the knowledge to know modifications were needed before launch? Did the builder hire a different Naval Architect to make these changes, or did he just break out the torch and start welding? Unlike Jim Smith (the pioneer of cold molding without fasteners and really fast SF) was when he was alive and designed the hull/superstructure, and built the entire boat and truly was a pioneer in SF hull design and build techniques (he was NA and builder). If the builder felt he knew more than the naval architect, but wasn't one himself, then he hired the wrong naval architect or just knows too much for his own good.

    If we were talking about a home and the builder didn't follow an architects plans on a house/home, the city would NEVER sign off on the permit, and house is on a stationary piece of land not something designed to cross oceans.

    PB- if the Naval architect felt that the yacht design needed a large shoe for ballast, he would have put that in his design. The shoe was a fix for the result of the superstructure coming in much heavier than it should have (the NA's design) from the builder (modifying the design!!!!! or not following the design!!!!!!!). The COG changed drastically as a result of the builder which then required the heavy shoe/ballast to compensate.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  4. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    CJ - As a Naval Architect who has worked on different design packages and design teams and with different builders, I can just say that your comments are not aligned with how the NA business operates.

    Many builders have direct inputs that the NA will do all he can to engineer and accommodate into a design. Not to mention hands-on owners inputs. A good NA will also have a good relationship with the construction / boatbuilder lead and will be willing to listen to his inputs and incorporate change as well. Rarely is a design built to a sterile input from an NA's office with no changes. Change is usually the name of the game. The NA typically has final responsibility for a finished Hull Design if he has done his due diligence in incorporating his own and the other stakeholder's inputs into the final design and is comfortable with the final outcome . There are many inputs to process, engineer , do trade-off studies, and finally integrate into the final design. It is a design spiral but it is not as sterile as a process as you describe.

    We have been told that their is more context to the NA's comments revealed on his web site. You have to process that new information correctly, especially if legalities were involved. I will say this though, on paper and in person, the 75/81 is a handsome vessel.

    I would be interested to know how many passage maker yachts have been designed and built to be self-righting - I would venture to say that is a very small subset.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,119
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Yes, the process is a little more involved than I dumbed it down to be, there are changes, but generally the builder and naval architect communicate those build changes back and forth and then the Naval architect incorporates those changes and comes up with a final design incorporating the builders changes and the NA may/may not make changes to hull design in order to incorporate those changes or none may be needed after he has done the calculations. That didn't happen here. The other issue is, the NA recommended an aluminum house built on subsequent boats, that didn't happen either.

    In comparison I know when a large yacht builder made changes to a motoryacht and added a swim platform to accommodate the dinghy into the build after a few years of it building yachts with it's location on the aft deck (FB), they consulted with their internal engineers, then naval architect, then the naval architect came up with a minor change to the hull and tankage, and they accounted for it. They didn't just add a swim platform with a dinghy on it and send the new yachts out the door, but this builder has a stellar reputation and has for many decades.
  6. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    " That didn't happen here" - only the direct people involved know what happened.

    "NA recommended an aluminum house built on subsequent boats, that didn't happen either" - this is not the case, he stated "A better alternative, however, would be a steel hull with an aluminum deckhouse". This a statement after the fact, based after the NA participated in a CH build. Add the context of the information that Judy has shared, you have to take that information with a grain of salt.
  7. LW2010

    LW2010 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Barcelona
  8. LW2010

    LW2010 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Barcelona
    WhatsApp Image 2018-12-07 at 13.38.23.jpeg

    Hi Judy,

    I am one of the 75/81 (exactly same hull size) owners and have never had any of the problems mentioned. Neither stability nor water on the decks other than normal wave splashing.
    Devils Advocate is known for its utmost and nearly exaggerated seaworthiness to the degree that if you asked CROSSMED (French national Coast Guard) who we are, they would say that our ship sails when no other does and has in the past helped in search and rescue operations in gale force winds.
    Our only worry in the past has been that through storms dirt in the daytanks might affect the fuel flow so that we installed a professional REVERSO fuel polisher to keep our fuel clean, as well as clean all 8 fuel tanks on a semi regular basis.
    Damages of the past? Once in a storm, a large television from the library fell out of the cupboard and once we lost valuable porcelain also from inside a cupboard.
    We have also learnt to properly fasten our tender as this once moved dangerously in another storm. None of this has anything to do with the quality of Cape Horn Yachts and has more to do with us on board preparing properly for bad seas.

    In my experience and having been on various 'so called' trawlers such as Nordhavn which are made of laminated fiberglass and can hardly even compare to a Cape Horn, my Cape Horn is a ship for all seas and not a plastic fantastic yacht which I would never take out in a strong gale.

    Yes, she is heavy but that makes her very stable in adverse weather and a pleasure to handle her. She is not affected by wind as others are when mooring 'stern-to' and her Bruce anchor is so big and strong that we have never ever dragged an inch whilst I have seen large 150' and more yachts having real problems.

    All in all it can be said, that maybe flashier boats exist for showing off , but if you are looking for a real ship to travel large distances with on in all safety, then sadly only 17 Cape Horns exist and not many other similar quality vessels from other ship builders to chose from..

    Greetings
    Charles
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2018
  9. Lenny

    Lenny Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Miami
    " She is not affected by wind as others are when mooring 'stern-to' and her Bruce anchor is so big and strong that we have never ever dragged an inch whilst I have seen large 150' and more yachts having real problems"

    Are you saying that when you anchor out you have never "dragged an inch" ?
  10. LW2010

    LW2010 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Barcelona
    Hi and good morning,
    "never dragged an inch" is a manner of saying :) I do not recall ever having to re-position after anchoring due to dragging. I do remember lifting the 110kg Bruce to go elsewhere if we didn't like our neighbours anchoring.

    In general, private ships are to enjoy time, avoid storms and create priceless memories. I use the ship for holidays with my children and grandchildren, summer, Christmas or New Year somewhere and frequently the only reason we entered a storm was to be somewhere to pick up my guests at promised time.
    But the valuable times are sailing in calm seas, grandchildren (my babies) watching a movie in the library, someone preparing lunch in the galley and me enjoying conversations on the bridge. Then anchor in completely transparent waters and with the kids jumping off the stern into the water screaming 'monsters!' or similar and trying to win the big splash contest.
    Evenings off to the local taverna in Greece, or restaurant in Turkey, Corsica, France, Mallorca etc etc and coming back to a breathtaking view of the fully lit up ship at night.
    If anchored, bar exceptions, one crew always stays on board and waits for his food.
    Nothing is nicer than hearing the gentle humming of the two Cummins engines that are the last generation that were not electronic and thus unbelievably reliable.

    Its nice to know that your ship is a very safe place to be in any weather, but nothing beats having a BBQ on top deck in a nice cove in Sardinia or the likes.
    Many owners forget that with owning a ship, maintenance is a must. Anything breaks, then repair or have it replaced.

    For all of the above, my 76' Cape Horn, which to the best of my knowledge was the first one to be built in that size and has exactly the same hull size as the 81' is an amazing boat. I have owned a larger Benetti, been on many other ships, but the Cape Horn is always like coming home and has more inside space than many 100' boats.
    She is amazing in comfort, luxury inside, safety and long distance cruising when necessary.

    Greetings
    Charles
  11. LW2010

    LW2010 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Barcelona
  12. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    I enjoyed your video and like I have stated before, your CH is a very handsome motoryacht with a powerful look.

    I can appreciate the ruggedness of steel construction also, but also appreciate modern FRP construction as well. The Nordhavn's are quite proven when you look at the miles underneath their keels and ocean passages, including Cape Horn. The recent Cape Horn passage with the Outer Reef 88 Argo is a great read and an impressive achievement for an FRP Passagemaker that is not a pure full displacement trawler as well: https://***********************/expedition-yacht-adventure-to-cape-horn

    The main difference I see between a steel CH and an FRP Nordhavn is the hull design. The CH is a hard-chined vessel while the Nordhavn is a soft-chine (Radiused Chine). They are then two different schools of thoughts for the same purpose. Assuming weights and centers are in the correct design location:

    Hard-chined design - more initial stability at rest, less tendency to roll at anchor, less fuel efficient, could be a little "stiff" motioned underway, cheaper solution for steel construction, more labor when using an FRP mold.

    Soft-chined design - less initial stability at rest, more tendency to roll at anchor, more fuel efficient, could be a little "gentler" motion underway, more expensive to construct in steel, but easier to layup in an FRP mold.

    I personally am more from the hard-chined school, but a lot of that is due to my planing craft background, but is also supported by many offshore commercial craft (under 200'). You just need to be aware of the trade-off's and how it applies to the final design objectives.
  13. cdg

    cdg Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    wellington, new zealand
    Gidday. Columbus remains happily owned, if insufficiently used :), in New Zealand. She's perfect for cruising our seas which can be frequently rough and variable anchorages.
  14. cdg

    cdg Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    wellington, new zealand
    I respect your opinion Capt J because you're a Captain and a huge contributor to YF. But if you're referring to the Cape Horn like mine (full disclosure) then respectfully you're not talking about a boat like mine! Almost 10 years of ownership, in all kinds of seas including sustained 40kn and rough seas abeam astern ahead around New Zealand. I haven't been on others but I'd go anywhere in this one..
  15. cdg

    cdg Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    wellington, new zealand
    Nice post thank you.
  16. cdg

    cdg Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    wellington, new zealand
    Thanks for the post Charles. Columbus is the sister ship of Devi's Advocate - love the clever name change btw - and in 100% agreement. In fact you could be describing Columbus or how I also feel about sailing in her. Nicely put thank you :)
  17. LW2010

    LW2010 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Barcelona
    Merry Christmas Campbell, my first and nicest Christmas mail of the day seeing your postings:)
    As a sister ship, I don't have to ask about the sailing qualities of Columbus because I therefore know her and she is amazing.
    Columbus could decide to sail to Barcelona or Devils Advocate could decide to sail to New Zealand quiet safely and there are not many ships in our class and size that could say the same. And that is the essence of Cape Horn Yachts.
    Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    Charles
  18. PJH

    PJH New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    California
    I am the original owner of Wright of Passage. I signed the contract with Peter Sever and he ordered steel. I owned her for over 5 years after completion and absolutely loved her (and miss her a LOT). I was recently shown this thread and definitely want to share my first hand knowledge.

    Now, my circumstances were not normal in acquiring a 75 foot (later 81 foot) boat. I've never owned a boat before or after Wright of Passage. At the time I initiated the contract to build Wright of Passage, my late wife was sick and really just wanted to stay home. I asked her if we could go places if I brought the house and she agreed.

    Looking for the safest and most comfortable boat led me to Cape Horn and Peter Sever. I inhaled information about naval architecture and loved the Chuck Neville design with the hard chines, passive and active fin stabilizers. I'd spent many years working in the computer industry specializing in fault tolerant computing and, being used to thinking about "what if" when computers fail, I spent a lot of time working closely with Peter on safety, engineering, and interior comfort issues. He taught me a lot and I'd like to think I squeezed in one or two for Peter. It was a great process and I couldn't have been prouder at the 2002 Ft Lauderdale boat show.

    So, after the show, we set out to bring her home to Seattle. Not being too experienced as a boater, I made the error of flying too much family to Ft Lauderdale and then later when we set off to cross the Caribbean to the Panama Canal. There were 11 people on board (including 2 crew) and, well, that was a bit of a crowd. Included on the boat was my 72 year old mother-in-law and 76 year old aunt. My mother-in-law was not always the most stable on dry ground. Wright of Passage did fine but sometimes we found there were too many people. Again, my boating experience was slim to none and I made a rookie mistake.

    During this time, I put up a website intended for my friends and family back home. There were two events I discussed in my website that have been been blown WILDLY out of proportion:
    • First, we were crossing the Caribbean and encountered 8 foot seas. No big deal for that magnificent boat. She moves when in 8 foot seas. From my reading of naval architecture and obsession about the physics involved, she responded beautifully as would be expected for her hull. I was thrilled with her performance. Still, I had to be thoughtful about what I hung onto as I moved. My not so stable (on dry land) mother-in-law found it conservative to crawl around. She was laughing hysterically as she moved around on her butt to avoid falling. Remember, we were in a small storm in the middle of the ocean and the boat was moving! Wright of Passage did great! My mother-in-law did great and laughed the whole time. I shared this as a fun family story on a great adventure. I am flummoxed how that can be turned into a negative for Cape Horn.

    • Second, the mention of my teasing my friend Peter Sever is beyond belief. When it would rain, we had a spot about 3 feet across on the top deck that puddled about 1/4". I did refer to it (on my friends and family website) as "Lake Sever". How the heck that has turned into this nonsense is beyond me! I'm no longer spending time boating so I didn't see the craziness about Wright of Passage earlier. There was NEVER inappropriate water on Wright of Passage. I never said there was! The drainage on decks was great. Never any problem with green water.
    The adventure rounding North America did not last as long as I had hoped as my wife, Michelle, got too sick to continue. We flew home from Panama and Wright of Passage came home without us. Michelle passed away in 2004. While I had a heckuva good time, I learned I'm not really a boater and it made sense to sell WoP.

    Let me be clear... That boat was (and I'm sure is) a gem. I loved every system, the naval architecture, the interior finishes, and the beautiful amazing fairing. I cherish my time owning her. It would be awesome to hear more about her new life as Columbus.

    I really want to thank Peter Sever for the adventure building her and for the magnificent boat.

    I've said repeatedly, if I were ever unfortunately stuck in a hurricane, I'd want to be in Wright of Passage even over a aircraft carrier. The strength of the steel on the boat proportional to the mass of the vessel makes her MUCH stronger than large ships. We had granite and tile everywhere in the heads and galley with not one single crack. While heavy weather and waves caused WoP to move, she never bent or twisted.

    Anyone fortunate enough to own a Cape Horn will never regret it.
    Pat
  19. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Thank you for a wonderful account in your first post.
    Sorry for your loss and bless you for jumping into the Yachting world with such a magnificent first effort into the boating realm. Have to tip my hat to that kind of chutzpah, all in with all the family on the first leg is a great story!
  20. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    smithfield, VA
    Did/do any of you Cape Horn owners have the azimuthing drive? I think that is what it is called. If so would you share your experience with that type of drive system. Thanks.