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post #5 of Old 06-11-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for that link. Here are Bruce Marek's comments about the design, excerpted from that thread:

Originally Posted by BruceMarek View Post
To Jack, Jeff, et al: Designer''s Comments

Thanks for all of the great comments on your individual perceptions of the Cape Fear 38. While signing up to get access to send this message, it was interesting that SailNet had a distinctive category in areas of interest for long distance voyaging. I think that Jeff has it closer to right in what the purpose of The Cape Fear 38 is, as either a racer/cruiser or fast coastal cruiser. And maybe I should give Jack a bit of credit for pointing out that the Cape Fear 38, as configured, is not a world voyager, although from a construction standpoint, the 38 is capable of ocean passages and even a circumnavigation. If Robin Lee Graham was able to successfully singlehadedly sail around the world in the late 60''s in a Lapworth 24, I can''t imagine with today''s technologies why someone couldn''t figure out how to have enough space/electronics/sailhandling and safety gear to make it around the world, in more comfort than Dove did.

However, rather than get too far into the debate on marketing terminology of what a cruising boat is, or what a racer/cruiser is (I even found on one computer search that a Westsail 42 was listed as a racer/cruiser. Everyone has their own opinions!!), maybe in our next revision to the web site (Cape Fear Yacht Works) we will be be able to better address some of the points brought up on this bulletin board.

For the boatshows this fall, Cape Fear Yacht Works will be displaying a wheel version that has a partially enclosed transom (ie. transom seats with a walk thru through the center, down to the swim platform.) This version will be at the Newport and Annapolis Boat Shows. Additionally, at the Annapolis Show this year will be a "Regatta Version" of the boat, which has a Kevlar Hull, deeper keel (7'' or 7''-9" drafts will be available, the boat at the show will have 7'' draft), and a retractable pole for the assymetric spinnaker.

Marketing a sailboat is a difficult proposition. There is no governmental or world wide standard for terminology, and even if someone could define a standard, that wouldn''t/couldn''t guarantee that the the buying public would find the boat attractive and/or meeting their purposes.

If you walk down the dock and take a look at any boat, you will have your own opinion on whether you like the way the boat looks. Then you wonder what it is like down below. and then you have to resolve if you are just admiring the boat (or not) or if you are truly an interested, qualified prospect for such a boat. There are many megayachts that I admire or find fault with, but I know that they are out of my price league -- ever. When I have bought boats (of course being biased to my own designs), the question still remained on appearance, and if the boat was able to meet (or be close enough to meet) my purposes at that time in my life. The Cape Fear 38 definitely has shown itself to be an attractive, fast, comfortable racer/cruiser and coastal cruiser (my biased opinion of course).

Check out the above mentioned Fall Boat Shows, come visit us in Wilmington for a boat tour, check out the Website, or contact Cape Fear Yacht Works for more Information.

We are still developing a second deck layout, which will address certain cockpit seating issues, and most likely allowing us to create an enclosed cabin for the aft quarterberth. We have still not reached critical mass in production to go forward with the new mold, so at this point, someone interested in such a version could have a chance to give us some input to their likes and dislikes (no guarantees, but we do like to listen to constructive opinions and ideas.)

In regards to the small shop atmosphere of being able to allow customer variations. The boat is now offered with 2 rig plans, both wfractional rigs with swept back spreaders, no runners, and both fractional & masthead spinnaker halyards. The standard rig is a 2 spreader fractional rig (47''I, 13.75''J,45''P, 16.25''E) with continuous rigging (all shrouds) going to the deck, and Regatta rig (50''I, 13.75''J, 48''P, 17.2''E) has triple spreaders and discontinuous rod rigging (spreader tip cups & tip turnbuckles). On both boats the cap shrouds go to just inboard of the sheer, and the D1''s (lower diagonal shrouds) are now attatched to the cabin house side, giving more room for walking along the deck. Our standard set up is for our 2'' stainless bow sprit(16'' J) which accomodates the assymetrical spinnaker tack line and/or a roller furling assymetrical reaching spinnaker, as well as having an anchor roller. The Regatta Version has the retractable pole, for a 4.5 ft extension (18.5'' JSL/SPL). And for the more traditional sailor, the boat can be purchased with traditional spinnaker pole or downwind pole, and no sprit or strut.

There is still the availability for solid laminate hulls or fully or partially cored hulls. For the real world cruiser, as an option we can add a few more laminates to bring the boat up to anybodies own perception of what they think is a thick enough hull.

Standard Keel is 6'' draft: 5'', 5 1/2'', 7'' and 7''10" are also available.

I could go on, but best is to contact Cape Fear Yacht Works for more details.

Hope that answers most of the discussions. If not, feel free to e-mail me at

Bruce Marek
Marek Yacht & Design
Wilmington, NC
To which Whoosh replied (in part)

Originally Posted by WHOOSH View Post
Can this boat go offshore? Around the world? Sure; the Cal 27 did. Does the boat deserve to be billed as a cruising boat? Incrementally, as they modify the boat to accommodate these needs, that will obviously help. OTOH builders who like to use the ''racing/cruising'' label are IMO trying to cover lots of bases and may be doing so for marketing reasons, not as a result of the original design brief. Buyers need to look closely at whether one size really fits all.


And Marek followed-up:

Originally Posted by BruceMarek View Post
Tankage on the Cape Fear 38 is approximately 60 gallons of fuel and 50 gallons of water. Also, there is plenty of space in the starboard aft "mechanical room" for a watermaker or an additional tank.

To Jack - it is always tough to guess which model will do best first. When I was involved with the Morgan 45, they ended up selling 7 race deck versions, and about 52 cruising deck versions. Morgan introduced them simultaneously at the 1982 Annapolis Show. It was great. If someone on the cruiser wanted more performance, they were sent over to the racer, and vice versa. I think 15 boats were ordered at the show.

On the Santana 30/30 the racer cruiser came first, and a year later the Grand Prix 30/30 was introduced. About equal numbers, I think 45 of each were sold. On the Schock 34, the Grand Prix boat came first, selling only 3 boats. The next year, the Performance Cruiser came out, selling 30 something boats.

If it can''t be done simultaneously, then maybe the more racier version should be first. We definitely seem to be getting feedback onto what our boat should have. Hopefully when these changes get implemented, the boat will interest you for your next cruising/voyaging adventures.

To Jeff - The anchor well was a little small on the prototype boat at the show last year. We have since angled the top of the Anchor Locker Bulkhead aft about 10 degrees, which gained us about 8" in the anchor well and its lid, with virtually no noticeable change to the foreward stateroom size. I believe we are also a few inches deeper, making the addition of a windlass more credible. I have only had to anchor once with the boat, and the bow sprit/bow roller seemed to work fine. The 2'' sprit does keep the anchor from dinging up the shapely plumb bow.

To Jack (or any other interested buyer)- I am also a structural engineer in addition to being a longtime yacht designer. If you buy a Cape Fear 38, and have particular strength concerns, I would be glad to sit down with you and go over loads and safety factors with you.

Bruce Marek

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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 06-11-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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