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Cape Horn Yachts

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

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  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You're the one who reopened the subject and claimed vindication, so don't try to assess all the blame of ruining this thread on others. Seems to me a prime thread of refusal to accept differences of opinion.

    You think posting, "Glad you like your Hatteras and glad you're not part of my Cape Horn family" to a former "customer" is professional?

    You opened it back up. You could have simply updated where the specific boat and owner are now, but you clearly renewed the battle. You do know I hope that there are no winners or losers declared here and no proof of opinion awards. You anticipate the fight would restart with your post. You invited it to do so. Yes, I fully expected Capt J to comment. I didn't know to anticipate gcsi.

    I don't know why it's so difficult for us (not just in this thread) to accept that two members may have vern different opinions on a specific boat and those opinions may be based on a lot of exposure or limited and may be mainstream or exceptions. It seems like a preposterous pursuit to try to prove any boats to be perfect. I love the boats we own but I know there are people out there who would speak negatively of them.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Did you ever consider that perhaps Brett got tired of wasting his time looking at yachts for years and pissing away money on surveying multiple yachts that were garbage, either ill maintained or poor sea boats or both? So therefore he bought a quality brand that's known for being well maintained by the majority of it's owners, and enjoys a good yacht? Perhaps he's the one that's glad to not be a part of your Cape Horn family!
  3. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I only just came across this thread.
    Very interesting in some bits - and also entertaining, in the (not unusual) drivel parts.

    Having inspected some CHs, I can't get my head round how anyone could even think of comparing them with Hatteras.
    I mean, short of throwing also a 200mph turbine catamaran in the debate, I really can't think of a more apples and oranges comparison.

    Nowadays, I would not consider anymore an ocean crossing capable vessel, for the very simple reason that I like to think that I got wiser with age, and among other things I decided that boats can be a nice place to live on (as I am right now, in fact), but life's way too short for going anywhere with them. And as much as I like travelling around the world, I only accept to do that with 500kts jetliners because there isn't a faster alternative.
    That said, when I did consider the option of an ocean crossing capable vessel, CHs were indeed among the boats I considered, and I would have laughed at anyone suggesting me to include any Hatt among the suitable alternatives.
    Not because they aren't good boats obviously, but apples and oranges, as I said.

    All this aside, there is one point that Sever mentioned which grabbed my attention, because even if I decided that I will never buy a CH or similar in this life, they still are a type of vessel whose logic I very much sympathise with:
    Now, I'm not sure if he's still following this thread, or maybe Judy or anyone else can help, but I for one would be interested in that offer.
    Actually, I already have the Sever book whose cover I am attaching below, and I suppose this might well be the one he was referring to, but in my version the number of pages is a bit lower, so maybe there was a newer edition - or he was referring to something totally different, I don't know.
    Either ways, since I found this one quite interesting, I wouldn't mind reading anything else he wrote on the subject.
    [​IMG]
  4. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    Hello Mapism. For some reason this was just forwarded to me by the superb Yachforums, that doesn't usually happen. Maybe I presssed a magic button by accident somewhere.

    So TWO quick answers. Delighted you want the book, my email is ****and it's yours by email if you tell me where to send it. I only have a 72 DPI version but its all there. Oops! I just checked - the latest version is March 2003, 28th edition, the same one you have. I sold the company to the deceased Mike Barnard in October 2003. "Deceased" because he tragically committed suicide a year or two later. That's why there are no more recent versions of the book and no more Cape Horn Ltd. Sadly so. The book is of course 17 years old and there have been so many great advances ... such as gyro stabilizers I'd love to have tried.

    Also in response to your "drivel" mention -- two thumbs up and a shared laugh. Extreme ends of the spectrum Apples and oranges indeed! And no, Cape Horn didn't vanish due bankruptcy as someone falsely speculated recently, we were building and selling boats when I sold it and just opening our first China yard out of competitive necessity. There were two Sparkman-Stephens restyled stunning 82's ready to start there when Mike bought the company. Sad ending for everyone.

    All that said, if I can help you in any way or you'd like a 2nd copy by email, just drop me a note by email.

    Incidentally at my age trans-ocean boat travel has equally lost its appeal; concur with your decision to leave it to younger families. In my 50's I loved living aboard CH Hull #1 Eden Bound (currently in NZ, sold very recently to an ex-US Navy Hawaii couple). I loved delivery trips in my fleet too. But also I having done 100+ countries by road -- two wheel and four -- I'm "Boatless In Toronto." S0 2021 we'll do a COVID-proof 30,000 mile live-abroad road trip in the Americas. Until there's a vaccine and the pandemic is gone, flights are just too risky in my books. Motorhome live-aboard is almost the same as yachting without nights of standing watch staring into blackness and an empty radar screen ... plus equally virus-proof.

    Hmmm ... maybe a dockside semi-planing 3-decker gin palace would be fun since 14-day crossings are in the rear view mirror? Very un-Cape Horn bit more practical for many.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2020
  5. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Hi Peter, and thanks for your offer, but since you confirm that the 28th edition was the latest, I already have it.
    And I can confirm that it's a great reading indeed also after all these years, just in case anyone else might be interested.

    In fact, I don't think you would be so impressed, if you should try a modern gyro on a heavy displacement boat, unless used only for stabilization at rest, and coupled with fins for under way stabilization.
    The inherent problem of gyros is that once they run out of precession excursion, they have no stabilization effect anymore.
    Not a problem in any anchorage, but in long ocean swells that can make the boat roll very slowly (to the point of making the movement more akin to a slow listing one side at a time, rather than the typical roll driven by the characteristic period of each hull), they become as useful as a chocolate teapot.
    On the other hand, fins never run out of stabilization effect under way, because the system simply takes care of keeping them at whatever angle is necessary to straighten the hull, and for as long as required.

    Ref. semi-planing 3-deckers, actually the boat on which I'm spending most of my Sardinian summers is nowhere near that: just an ordinary planing 56 footer.
    But with plenty of beautiful anchorages within less than one hour at 25kts or so, she is more than good enough for enjoying the sea, which is what I like better than any boat and their technicalities.
    Though I must say that I was indeed impressed by some of your vessels, and many years ago I was tempted to buy hull #4, which I guess you must remember, since you mentioned the watertight compartments for the fin actuators.
    As I recall, that is what saved the Teschke family from a potentially critical situation in the middle of the ocean, when one fin flange failed, flooding only the fin box rather than a whole boat compartment (though "just" one of several w/tight compartments - five in total, if I'm not mistaken?).
    But she was already under offer when Judy showed her to me, and to be honest I'm not sure I would have finalized the deal, but only because she had been badly neglected by then, from her second Canadian owner.
    Which is something that also impressed me I must say, because while on one hand she was one of the most neglected boats I ever came across, she was by far the one that withstood such punishment remarkably well, needing mostly cosmetic work and TLC, no matter how much of it.
    Those guys at Theriault definitely knew how to build a bulletproof boat, that's for sure!
    BTW, during the same trip I also inspected a Molokai Strait, and even if she was in much better maintenance conditions overall, they were pretty much like chalk and cheese, construction-wise.

    Anyway, that's all water under the bridge, by now.
    If you should ever come to Sardinia during one of your trips, give me a shout.
    As I said also to Judy, for both myself and my wife it's always a pleasure to have knowledgeble boaters onboard, and show them around our cruising grounds!
  6. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    Thanks Mapism. That was VERY educational about gyros, thanks! I've never actually spoken to anyone who has used them so this was an eye opener I must read up just for the fun of it ... in theory they sound like the answer to our prayers except for having to run a genset constantly.

    I'm so sorry to learn that Teschke's boat was in such rough shape. I never heard that. Yes in fact the stabilizer compartments saved the boat mid-Atlantic in a serious gale, Force 9-ish. The Grade 8 (best) bolts on the flange were properly torqued but broke! Seems he had gain turned up to 10 in big seas and Wesmar warns against doing that, gain should be turned down in big seas. Tsk-tsk. So the thing just flooded like crazy. It would have been seriously dangerous life-death trouble without the watertight compartment.

    Not even Feadships (which I worship for excellence of execution) have them. I know of no other boat that has them. Why, why, why? Essentially all boats will flood if they do not have that basic interior tank precaution, so I designed them into every boat. One of my bragging rights tales; the entire family (3 females) and the surveyor were aboard in a March crossing and they didn't notice anything except the boat listed to one side to a small degree. Of course the stabilizer stopped working too. OMG thats a scary story even now. Near-death one. They could have closed the 4 watertight compartment doors and would not have sunk, the engine room would have been dry, but the trip would have been utter hell and the entire interior trashed. I shudder even now two decades years later.

    I only mention this because you were thinking of buying her and inspected.

    Stabilizers are one huge 24/7 danger spot, so many things can go wrong and its such a big hole on both sides of the bottom. I wish we could have eliminated them, but we made them standard, just protecting them from outside & inside to the limit. Even now some people don't understand the potential life-saver bilge keels that also serve as passive stabilization at all speeds including anchorage; sweet bonus is enabling the boat to stand on its own bottom intentionally beached for repairs/inspection mid-nowhere. It's all big blue water stuff.

    After that very scary incident Wesmar changed the flange to a larger size, it was borderline engineering I guess. Engineering goofs do happen. Look at even Boeing's mistakes. Watertight compartments are all that's left to save lives on boat things.

    In Hull #4 you were interested in, did you know upon landing at beloved Theriault yard post-storm, Teschke eliminated the active fins altogether and just filled in the gap in the bilge keels? Over my loud objections mind you, but it was his boat. He was a world sail circumnavigator so knew boating. He didn't think the boat rolled that much and figured the active fins were a danger so what the heck. He was planning to take her to Antarctica, she was ice-reinforced, but he never did Antarctica in the end. Too bad. I was dying to fly down and take pictures, bring them some champagne - what a great party & photo that would have been! Sigh.

    Sardinia sounds good to me; see what happens when it's safe to fly again in 2022. We're seriously over-due for a few more months Europe driving. Never been to Sardinia. 25 knots sounds great to me - it's what I'd do if I were living there, get a fast boat for exploration and running from weather.

    Our 75 is somewhere in the Med - would love to see it again. Owners sail her a lot, but she's not ideal for run-outs to Greek islands etc. Wish I'd done the Bosporus and the Back Sea however. The Med is so crowded. Our 75 was in Monaco harbour for years, imagine the rent!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  7. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Yep, I was aware of the first owner decision. Also when I saw her, the boat still had no fins.
    In fact, I don't think any relevant modifications were made to her, up to that moment.
    The peculiar rigging for handling a sea anchor was still there, as well as the even more peculiar urinal inside the portuguese bridge (how's that for something never seen anywhere else!?), just to name a couple of details that spring to mind.
    She had only been repainted in white by then, while actually I liked her original colors.
    I was thinking to re-install the active stabs, possibly using a zero speed version, which were available by the time I looked at the boat.
    But certainly that wasn't one of my priorities, and I would have thoroughly checked her behaviour at sea first.
    Possibly reaching the same conclusion of Ron eventually, who knows?
    I'm also aware of his original plans by the way, and of the reason why eventually he couldn't materialize them.
    Very sad indeed.
  8. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    I forgot about that Portuguese wall urinal, that was hilarious!

    Yes very sad story. I knew him well, we were kinda buddies; he was my 3rd customer. I was a guest at their Maine home. When his wife called me to break the shocking news I pulled over mid-Saskatchewan in my RV and couldn't drive for a couple hours. Shook me up badly, even now years later. He was a charming crazy handsome muscular fit MD wine-guzzler genius who had the cahones/skills to take his family in a Dashew sailboat round world at ridiculous break-neck speed.

    I had no idea he had such a troubled soul.

    I toast his memory right now with wine in hand.
  9. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    PS you mentioned sea anchor rigging - did you know beloved Teschke actually used his? He's the only customer who did so -- even though I believe I supplied them as standard safety equipment.

    On a Portuguese crossing (yet another of their warm-up jaunts for The Big One) they ran into a **** serious blow mid-Atlantic - even too much for the crazy Teschkes.

    So they decided to cool it, threw out the sea anchor. I remember him tell me how he and his three women sat in pajamas for two days, sipping tea and playing cards in a gentle rocking motion that was actually comforting and fun, no appreciable rolling, while the winds howled and waves crashed... he said it was an actual experiential treat for all of them and no one fretted.

    He felt all the more confident about handling the vicious Cape Horn in a Cape Horn. I was rubbing my hands in excited anticipation. Alas.

    It was a cool story anyhow.

    He was a cool guy. His wife Carolyne is an uber-cool Brit MD too.
  10. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Yeah, it's always hard to tell what goes on in other people's minds - and even more so when talking of brilliant minds.
    I never met them, but I recall to have read somewhere (a Dashew's book, more than likely) a brief story of their achievements with a Sundeer 64, aptly called with the same name that they later used also for the CH.
    And there was also a photo of the whole family - which came across almost as a SWAT team, capable of tackling anything.
    Alas, as you said.

    I forgot the story of when they hoved-to in the middle of the Atlantic, but now that you mention it, I half recall that Judy told me about it while I was inspecting the boat and noticed her impressive rigging, specifically designed also to handle that situation.
    I can't think of any other boat I've seen which could have allowed an easy handling of a sea anchor big and strong enough to cope with a vessel weighing two hundreds thousands or so lbs!

    Oh, and with reference to your previous comment on fins enclosed in dedicated, fully w/tight compartments, for what it's worth I also never came across that construction, in any other boats.
    And I'm not talking of gin palaces: I mean, to my knowledge you don't get that with Nordhavn, Northern Marine, Delta Marine, to name but a few.

    In fact, I'd be curious to hear if the contributors with the more vast experiences can name any builder who ever went that route.
  11. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    For what it's worth, I could find nothing when doing my naive 'virgin' research. I'd barely heard of sea anchors. Found nothing of value. But they sure made good sense and were not expensive in the context of finding oneself in a life-threatening gale (I'd been there!) So I called the top sea anchor manufacturer - can't remember who it was 25 yrs ago - and started asking 101 questions. Very helpful phone lessons made me a disciple.

    Anyone who's used actually one please? Found someone. He advised to create a close-to-waterline attachment point. OK, that makes sense. Reduces forced roll. Duh.

    So I logically rigged a devoted 'strong line' with big eyes to pre-attach for quick-easy, one-handed, mid-storm rigging off the bow, to a strong waterline-level seriously welded loop point - which was only to be rigged as a safety item prior any big crossings.

    What the hell, it's just 10 minutes of dockside safety precaution hassle. Just do it guys!

    Teschke and some others listened to the logic. He agreed. He used it. His family had tea and played cards waiting out a serious Atlantic gale in pajamas. Yesssss!

    Makes me proud although I missed sharing the personal close-call experience. Not sure I really wanted to play cards with them in pajamas anyhow. But vicariously yes.

    Stabilizer watertight tanks? I never found a single one in my years. Just found it hard to understand. Still do.

    Even in the $100 million class and I have been aboard a few such. I'd be interested if there are any other paranoid AH's like me. Pure statistics suggest that many have died anonymously from their absence. Am I the only yacht builder who ever had a stabilizer failure? Unlikely.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  12. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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    Dashew's FPBs all have coffer dams for the stabilizers.
  13. Peter J Sever

    Peter J Sever New Member

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    Yay! If I remember properly they were/are great boats. I believe he was somewhat a creative revolutionary. Maxed-out waterline, vertical bow, slippery hull, etc.
  14. Doug G

    Doug G New Member

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    Chiming in to say hello....as The CHYs were by far the most fun boats I had the pleasure to fabricate parts for.
    The early boats, I was Martin Klacko’s apprentice with lots of fun trips out to Thierault and Pictou ....and the last ones made at Custom Steel in Oriental, NC was all me for the most part. Spiral staircase was something else.
    Just curious how all the stainless is fairing on them? Holding strong I hope.

    Peter...just in case you are wondering what Martin is up to....he’s almost 80 and building a new house on the rear of the property....pretty much on his own.
  15. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Have never seen nor heard of an issue with the stainless - have been on about 16 CH surveys, at least once on every hull except for maybe 3. So good job!

    Clarification: There were no CHs built at CSB. One owner started his build there, but it drifted so far from CH standards, both before his death and afterwards, that the owner and subsequently his estate were denied the right to call it a CH.
  16. Doug G

    Doug G New Member

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    Thanks, good to hear our standards are in line with the CHY name.

    Also thanks for clarification on Mike's CSB builds.... It was definitely a bit of a rollercoaster and he had some wild ideas that he let us run with. CSB I really think tried their best...a real North Carolina family operation. Still amazed they floated those monsters out of their back 'creek'

    Lost track of those builds, what were they named in the end? CSB?
  17. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    My experience with CSB was abominable and I had no interest in the yacht they concocted so I didn't keep track.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This is the problem when a Yacht "builder or manufacturer" isn't really a builder or manufacturer and sub-contracts the entire build process to a seperate entity. They may be able to supervise and may be able to ask for things to be done differently, BUT the employees and the workmanship of those employees is totally up to the yard owner, and in some areas/aspects you're stuck with what you have to work with. There's no long term stability in the build, and subsequently CH's have been built at multiple yards over their build and some are different than others.
  19. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what you are inferring, but I can always count on you to jump in on a CH post. Please let me know when you have been on one and especially one at sea. Your last statement is blatantly false.

    Cape Horns were primarily built at the A.F. Theriault yard in Nova Scotia. At the time CH had an order for 3 75s, AFT was too busy to handle them, so the larger ones were built in Carraquet, NB. There were 3 55s built at the Kanter Yard in Ontario. After Peter Sever sold The Cape Horn Trawler Corporation, the new owner took the plans to CSB without Peter's permission or involvement. That's why that one-off hull is not called a Cape Horn and why Peter got his company back.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What does me being out on one or out on one at sea have to do with anything? How does it have relevance to anything being discussed at all???

    This paragraph re-affirms exactly what I wrote. Some were built at A.F. Theriault yard, some were built at a yard in Carrquet, NB, 3 were built at Kanter yard. One at CSB. There's not continuitity in the build. I'm not saying that is bad thing or it is a good thing. But boats built at different yards, even to the same plans are going to be somewhat different in how they're built. Some yards really excel at certain aspects and others excel at other aspects. But the boats are not the same. Didn't the last owner of Cape Horn build the last/final 3 or 4 boats in Asia??? Didn't Peter himself mention that?

    Good or bad, this is far different than looking at a Nordhavn (or any other company/builder that has and does build at the same factory) and looking at say Hull #5 or Hull #50. Many aspects will be 100% congruent such as wiring, plumbing, wiring chases, how things were bonded, sealed, and on and on. NOW, I am not saying Nordhavn is better or worse than CH, just that when you work on one, the next ones are all going to be pretty much the same, aside from owner added equipment.

    Why wouldn't the new owner that Peter Server sold The Cape Horn Trawler Corporation to be able to build the boats at CSB or any place the NEW OWNER chose to? Peter sold the company, so his involvement ended there. That IS what happens when you sell a company. None of what you wrote regarding this makes any sense.