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  #11  
Old 07-29-2002
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Cape Fear 38

South Africa has an excellent reputation for reasonably priced composite and metalurgical work these days. I have been very impressed with the workmanship on my boat although the factory finished S.A. boats are a little heavier than the original design weight while the New Zealand built boats seem to be closer to the original weight. Several of South African Dudley Dix''s monohull designs have also won boat of the year awards here and abroad.

I think, in principle, that you probably could safely cruiser to Hawaii and back on a boat like the Tartan. By that I mean that the build quality should be adequate. I am not sure about the interior layout and whether there would be adequate storage for that kind of passage. I would think that there would be a fair amount of fit ouT required with such items as a stove crash bar, weather cloths for the settees, storm sails and so on.

BTW, I did not find that it was that hard to finance an offshore boat. At one point I looked into buying a S.A. Farr 11.6. It involved financing the boat twice but it wasn''t that hard. The bank was willing to issue a letter of credit in the amount of the purchase (I had to deposit my 25% of the purchase price with the bank). I had to have the boat insured for 100% of the amount of the loan which was not that hard or expensive (pre 9/11). The boat had to be U.S. Documented prior to shipping. Once the boat was in the States I first had to get permanent financing. Shipping was not cheap but it was not that hard as there are boat yards that specialize in preparing boats for shipping in S.A. The Farr 11.6''s in S.A. were substantially less expensive then the ones I found in the States, but with shipping and everything they were close to the same price.

Jeff
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Old 07-29-2002
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Cape Fear 38

Thanks Jeff

I''m trying to arrange the import of a Shearwater 39. This is really a boat after my own heart. No problem going to Hawaii in that!

Will let you know how things turn out

Magnus
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Old 07-29-2002
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Cape Fear 38

The Shearwater looks like a nice boat. It won Cruising World Boat of the Year a few years back and the article should be available on the Cruising World magazine Website.
http://www.cruisingworld.com/cw_index.php. Cruising World is running a series of articles from an editor who is cruising a Sheerwater 39 (Log of Ithaka). Very revealing.

I exchanged email with Dudley Dix <dd@dixdesign.com> , the designer of the Shearwater series, who was most helpful to me when I was researching the Farr 11.6. I am a big fan of his DIDI 38. I don''t think that the Shearwater offers the same level of sailing performance that you might expect from the Tartan but sure looks like a neat boat.

I also exchanged email with Jannie Ruppersberg at International Yacht Brokers in South Africa <iybcape@iafrica.com> . I thought that they were extremely professional and responsive. To some extent,it was primarily because of their professionalism that I even considered trying to put a deal together on a boat that was in South Africa. In the end my partner in the deal was quite nervous about trying to pull this together and while he was mulling this all over a Farr 11.6 came up for sale in Maine and we bought that one.

All of that said, the absolute best deals on neat boats were in New Zealand. The problem there for me was shipping them to the U.S. east coast. In the Pacific North West, you might do better with a boat from NZ. The New Zealanders have an extremely good reputation for their boat building skills and tend to design and build boats that offer a wonderful balance of good performance and offshore ability.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 07-29-2002
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Cape Fear 38

Jeff & the group:

I agree with Jeff that this discussion about what kind of boat deserves to be called ''crusing compatible'' is an important one; we should probably all be over on the ''Cruising'' forum, which is my error and one I''ll further compound by adding a few more thoughts here.

First, I nominate Jeff to rewrite the Cape Fear 38 ad copy as he''s done a far, far more convincing job of earning the ''cruising/racing'' label for them than their web site. In fact, I still can''t find any evidence there even exists a ''cruising version'' at their site. I retain significant reservations about this boat being considered ''cruising capable'' (see why below...) but I haven''t seen the boat while Jeff has, and that leaves me at the edge of my ''response envelope'', so to speak. I''ll just add one further comment to illustrate my hesitation - in a cruising sense - about the design: However functional the cockpit is for racing, it appears to me to be the opposite of what a cruising couple would want. I recognize this was also one of Jeff''s reservations about the design, but I feel it more strongly. Rather than offering protection and supplementing the space allotted to the interior, it appears designed for rapid crew movement fore & aft, steals significant interior space and to my mind doesn''t seem to recognize that a crew would ever want protection. As for safety, unless my wife were very, very careful when in this cockpit offshore, I think she could be crippled if thrown off balance. Please understand, I''m not saying the cockpit is a ''bad design'', just that it reflects the racing heritage of the design and is dysfunctional in cruising terms. IMO it''s a good visible example of what happens when you seek to adapt a racing design to other functions...or perhaps I''m just over-sensitive, having learned over and over how important a functional, safe and comfortable cockpit is to a cruising crew.

The thrust of this later discussion is about ''cruising'' and what we mean by that label. To recap Jeff''s definition, accurately I hope, I hear him carving out two, somewhat distinct ''on the ends'' alternatives (marina hopping while ''weekending'' and sailing long distances in ocean waters while ''voyaging'' from a wide middle ground of ''cruising'' that could include the family 2-week vacation in coastal waters but also an offshore passage to ''Bermuda & the Bahamas''. We''re pretty close but don''t fully agree, as in my mind the ''voyaging'' aspect is not distinct from but really just a subset of that large ''cruising'' middle ground; here''s why: Voyaging implies longer durations but imposes few other requirements on a boat and its crew than cruising as we''ve defined it. At least if we really do mean by cruising: "capable of being handled *safely* in a self-sufficient manner in the range of conditions which at least coastal waters can present and while offering reasonable accommodation and services to the crew who are, after all, living aboard."

On Jeff''s hypothetical cruise to Bermuda and beyond, he''s going to be as conscientious about carrying important spares for his critical systems (few systems on boats are not critical when offshore) as a Pacific voyager. This is because of the long passage times and the remote nature of the vast majority of Bahamas islands, and because few things are worked as hard and relentlessly as boat systems while cruising. He''s going to have a windlass and lots of chain on his #1 rode for the same reason the 32 footer does (with whom Jeff compares the CF 38) - because you add crew, groceries, gear & spares, liquids and personal effects and you''ll end up with a 7-8 ton boat...and you can''t safely handle the anchor tackle in an anchorage gone sour with nothing but two human hands while shouting over your shoulder to the helmsperson. Because the pocketbook always intrudes on how we''d like to do things (and especially after we had to lay out the bucks this boat probably costs), the cook will be stocking up on canned goods, grains & pastas, seasonings and beverages, and a hundred other things before we left, because Bermuda costs are half again those of the local Walmart. (And the cook will also be trying to find enough places to put all these foodstuffs, in lockers that are quickly disappearing or in other areas from which these foodstuffs don''t get launched when offshore). The Bahamas islands that follow will only be able to add very little to the ship''s larder but whatever they have will cost dearly - even more incentive to load up before heading out, and to have a place to put it. Choices about everything from propane (2 bottles?) to chandelry bits will be weighed carefully, while the boat''s boot top disappears. Bermuda may only be 5-8 days away but a front could still rip thru on passage that will require sails capable of handling 40-50 kts of wind, more than some circumnavigators ever see. Do we carry a drogue in case we''re caught in the Gulf Stream? Where did we stow the wx fax paper? And so it goes...

To backtrack just a bit, many of the demands placed on a boat "only" doing coastal cruising can look quite similar. Oriental, NC sailors heading for holiday on the Outer Banks, Newport sailors planning to sail to Maine, Pac NW sailors heading for Desolation Sound and California sailors looking forward to tasting margaritas below the border all face many of the same logistics, safety, heavy weather and fix-it challenges that we''ve saddled Jeff''s family with as they visit Bermuda & the Bahamas - it''s just that the duration involved is less.

I recognize I''m assuming the best for Jeff''s hypothetical boat & cruise. If we were sitting around WHOOSH''s cockpit having this discussion, we no doubt could all offer some pretty funny but also sobering stories about boats that were being ''cruised'' to places or across waters they shouldn''t have been. It''s truly amazing, to me at least, with what some folks have managed to arrive in Paradise. But that''s not how we''ve chosen to define it and, in reality, we wouldn''t want Jeff''s wife or child to accept the risk and also fear that an inadequately built & prepped boat forces onto a crew when...ahem, here it comes...they are out there, ''cruising''.

Looks like I''ve got one more reason to attend the Annapolis show this Fall - to scope out the CF 38 and see just how well that windlass will fit. <g>

Jack
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  #15  
Old 07-31-2002
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Cape Fear 38

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 (www.capefearyachtworks.com) 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 marekyd@ec.rr.com


Bruce Marek
Marek Yacht & Design
Wilmington, NC



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  #16  
Old 07-31-2002
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Cape Fear 38

Mr. Marek:

Thank you for taking the time to talk to some of the issues raised in the above discussion. I did have two additional items that I thought were valid points of concern.

1. When I was on board talking to you we had a discussion about an option of reducing the opening to the forward cabin and then creating a U shaped or L shaped dinette that would provide room for additional storage and tankage. I could not find tankage capacities on the website and so I was working from memory, a memory somewhat clouded by a long day looking at a lot of boats at the show. If you don''t mind, could you touch on the storage and tankage options.

2. I think that Jack''s point about anchoring is valid as well. It seems to me that there was an anchor rode locker but could you talk about how you view the anchor storage, rollers, and windlass situation on the CF38.

I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation at the show and appreciated the time that you spent talking with me. As you can probably tell I was extremely impressed with the Cape Fear 38. Thank you again.

Respectfully,
Jeff Halpern
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Old 07-31-2002
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Cape Fear 38

Since I''ve already written this reply once before (does anyone else have their text disappear thanks to Sailnet servers?), I can only give the short version this time due to time.

Applause to Mr. Marek. It may be the first time that a boat builder would take the time to show up on a BB to discuss his boat. Boy, is that refreshing.

The comment about Graham and the DOVE is a red herring. Just like the Cal 27 that finished a circumnavigation recently with no structural issues, this doesn''t mean diddly about what a good boat choice might be for cruising. Besides, I''m sure Mr. Marek isn''t marketing his boat to satisfy singlehanded males on shoestring budgets. That really doesn''t speak to the issues as we''ve discussed them.

If I read Mr. Marek''s comments correctly, they recognize the need to change the deck mold so that the cockpit can accommodate the cruising-oriented (non-racing) audience they''d like to attract...and they need that audience to fund the new mold. That''s a suitable illustration of the point I was trying to make.

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.

Jack
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Cape Fear 38

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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Cape Fear 38

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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Old 08-01-2002
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Cape Fear 38

Kudos to all involved for this interesting, well-reasoned, and polite discussion.

Jack, whenever I''m going to post a lot of text via a web site, I always compose the message off-line in a text editor. I can then save it often as I go. When ready, I copy/paste the text into the message I''m posting.

That saves me the frustration of losing a lot of work if/when there is a cyber-hiccup. It also allows me to spell check, if desired, but you don''t seem to need that feature.

I''ll look forward to seeing the CapeFear 38 at Annapolis in Oct, as well. Fair winds all.

Duane
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