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Old 18-03-2013, 04:43   #1
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Cape George Sailboats

Good morning Cruisers,

Does anyone have some input on the Cape George yachts? A search on this forum and google doesn't turn up much. I have visited the website and their forum and read just about everything there is to read. So I thought, why not start a thread here to see what else can be shared about these boats.

I know they are regarded as pretty fast full keeled boats designed by Atkins and built by Cecil in PNW. Also known to be capable of long distance voyaging with stout construction. I understand some were factory finished and some owner finished so build quality can vary. That's about the end of what I know about them.

They intrigue me because they seem to have a great reputation and an underground sort of following. I like the idea of simple, sturdy construction with tiller steering and balanced helm.

I guess one of my biggest questions is should I be considering a full keel sailboat when the fin keels overall are faster. Are there any advantages to having a full keel boat like a Cape George?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 18-03-2013, 05:19   #2
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Lovely boats. And very fast. I have done some sailing on a Tally Ho Major. A nearly identical 34 foot atkins design. He built her after a few sails on a Cape George 31. I have heard the Cape Georges are based on the Tally Ho's?

The Tally Ho Major is a beautiful boat to sail. Very fast and well mannered. She steers herself extremely well given half a chance. And her motion is easy in a seaway.

Atkins designs always seem to have some magic about them.
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Old 18-03-2013, 06:10   #3
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

I think there's someone around here who owns a CG31 that he finished himself.


I've had my eye on them too. Looking at one between 36-40 as a possibility if I was to ever go to a bigger boat. They look like great cruisers with plenty of storage. I like the interior layout of them too. Not much info out there on them so I can only assume that means owners really like their boats since not many come on the second hand market.
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Old 19-03-2013, 17:51   #4
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Does Ferenc Maté talk about them in "Best Boats to Build or Buy"? Probably available at your library.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:21   #5
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Very fast and sea kindly design, tried to buy one 4 years ago but couldn't find one for a reasonable price. They have come down in price lately. Watch out for teak decks on top of plywood, there weak link. There are several on the market now that will need almost a total deck replacement where dry rot has encirled the carline and shear clamp. Rotten plywood is hard to find under a teak plank deck. Other then this construction design failure and price a great boat.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:40   #6
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Half woody c/w wood ceiling/deck beams and half super thick FG the Cape George is indeed a reasonably quick boat. There is nothing terribly special about them compared to many well built full keel boats other than they have really big rigs on them. Not that dissimilar to Pardey's boats as Lyle Hess also believes in large rigs and reasonably good lighter air performance. British Channel Cutters are another of his designs that can really sail. If you put a big enough rig on most heavy boats they will perform its just that many full keel boats have smaller rigs and need a good breeze to get up and go. I used to drop by on the Lang property and in the day there were many of them under construction. Lots of the owners were living in motorhomes and staying there while they built. Great way to build a boat yourself because your surrounded by others doing the same as well as the factory right within a few steps. Those days are gone.
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:22   #7
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The cape georges are quite different to the lyall Hess designs.

The Aitkins are one of the few designs that haven't had the forefoots cut away and a retain the well balanced sterns. This is part of their magic...
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Old 19-03-2013, 20:29   #8
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Saw one in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and snapped this pic. She was a beauty.

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Old 19-03-2013, 22:37   #9
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTang View Post
Good morning Cruisers,

Does anyone have some input on the Cape George yachts? A search on this forum and google doesn't turn up much. I have visited the website and their forum and read just about everything there is to read. So I thought, why not start a thread here to see what else can be shared about these boats.

I know they are regarded as pretty fast full keeled boats designed by Atkins and built by Cecil in PNW. Also known to be capable of long distance voyaging with stout construction. I understand some were factory finished and some owner finished so build quality can vary. That's about the end of what I know about them.

They intrigue me because they seem to have a great reputation and an underground sort of following. I like the idea of simple, sturdy construction with tiller steering and balanced helm.

I guess one of my biggest questions is should I be considering a full keel sailboat when the fin keels overall are faster. Are there any advantages to having a full keel boat like a Cape George?

Thanks for your input.
We sailed Anthem, a 36 featured in Mr. Mate's book for 20 years. Made it to Hawaii in 18 days from Eureka and back again in 20 days to Victoria. Because they have a very tall rig with a 19' boom they will sail by "fast" boats when the wind is light as well as when it blows like stink. The latter due to a fine entry. Very tender, up to the point they are solid as a rock. If you can find either a 36 or 31 in good order you will not regret owning one, IMO.
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Old 19-03-2013, 22:47   #10
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

I wasn't suggesting that the Hess designs were the same as the Cape George simply that they were both full keel and were both excellent performers. Personally I prefer the Hess designs as the cut away allows them to come about with a little more authority.
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Old 20-03-2013, 03:26   #11
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

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I wasn't suggesting that the Hess designs were the same as the Cape George simply that they were both full keel and were both excellent performers. Personally I prefer the Hess designs as the cut away allows them to come about with a little more authority.
Ha, fair enough, personally I prefer the Atkins designs but then I have never sailed a Hess so it is a bit academic!

My guess is that the Hess are probably faster in some conditions with the finer bows and powerful quarters. But the Cape Georges might be better mannered in gusty conditions and downwind in a seaway. But as I say these are just hunches based on sailing similar other vessels so aren't really worth much.

A few years ago a friend on a Cape George 31 lost his mast off the tassie coast in a knockdown or capsize. . Aside from the mast it otherwise was fine. I think he ended up in south america via the 40's singlehanded. Tough boat.

One sail on her impressed another friend so much with it's handling and fingertip steering that he sold his boat and built the 34 foot tally Ho major. The few sails on her have amazed me, it rides smoothly and seems to steer itself easily on most points down to a broad reach just by playing with the sails.

I delivered an Atkins Eric double ender for Adelaide to Hobart a fair few years ago. She's a near sistership to Suhaili with slightly shorter masts. By the end of the trip I got her steering herself happily directly downwind in a seaway with the main and a tightly sheeted yankee. An amazing vessel that made me realize how Robin Knox Johnson did it after his self steering failed. So I am a bit of an Atkins fanboy

The Tally Ho Major. Beautiful!
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Old 20-03-2013, 08:38   #12
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Yes they are wonderful sailers and their lines are timeless, very easy on the eyes.
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Old 22-03-2013, 04:41   #13
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

Wow thanks for all the input. They sound like the perfect boat for my family and I. There is a 40 for sale with fiberglass decks that looks sweet. It has a pilothouse which is appealing to me but it looks tough to get a bimini on because the mast is so low. Sun protection is a necessity down here in the Caribbean. Are there other options to biminis for masts which come down low?

This is the boat I am am interested in:
1980 Cape George 40 Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 22-03-2013, 07:20   #14
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

More of a hard dodger than pilot house. Looks like it could absorb a few dollars.
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Old 22-03-2013, 09:43   #15
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Re: Cape George Sailboats

If I had the cash I'd be all over that boat. Very nice.
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