I am a CG31 owner, having started building her in 1978. When the previous posters tell you about the construction you need to ignore them - it varied over time, and with the original buyer. Remember: there is no such thing as a standard Cape George - each one was built for/by a specific owner with their own ideas. There were far more owner-completed (or not completed as the case may be) than Cecil et al finished. That said, the interior
does look like one of Cecil''s. AFAIK there was never a molded deck/house for any of the models - certainly not when this boat was built. For the decks Cecil preferred to use 5/8" (finished) teak
over 10mm (3/8") Sapele Bruynzeel plywood
on Alaskan yellow cedar beams, which is all reasonably rot
resistant. Some house sides were Honduran mahogany, others Alaskan yellow cedar. The house tops were typically 2x1/4" plywood
covered with fiberglass
, on laminated beams of Port Orford cedar with the lower laminate of mahogany. Port Orford cedar was used extensively on Cecil's own boats until it became unavailable in the late '70s (at which time the whole logs
were exported to Japan). It appears this boat has Port Orford cedar ceilings that have been painted over, also the fir bowsprit
have been painted.
was probably laid up by Fiberglass
George, a legend in Port Townsend. It is beautiful work. But this is a heavy boat so don't expect it to crash into a rock and not get damaged.
She obviously looks great - a real head
turner. She will perform quite well too, though not quite as well as the 31' for her size. She has extensive equipment
- near new engine
, hydronic heater, Glacier Bay reefer, 2 chartplotters. I would say it will take very little additional costs to equip for cruising - certainly nothing like $50k. And keep in mind that when she was built it probably cost the owner $200k-$250k (1975 dollars) to build - these boats were very expensive. So if she is in good shape, and you want a boat that requires a lot of wood maintenance
, then absolutely go for it.
The wood thing... except for the hull
proper she is a wooden boat. Assuming Cecil's recommendations were followed she has very high quality wood (but some owners had their own ideas). But even the best quality wood can rot
. A small oversight in the bow construction of my Carina caused rot in the Sapele plywood under the king plank at the stem - something I discovered when replacing the bowsprit
due to rot inside the krantz iron. It happens... Before buying
this boat a thorough survey
by someone who really knows wooden boats, and especially Cape Georges, is essential. I find the painted mast
and bowsprit worrying - it may have been done to lower maintenance
, or cover up discolored wood, but it makes it difficult to find rot developing. There is a reason spars are varnished. By now I know where all of the high risk areas are, so if you like I can PM a few pointers, but you really need a great surveyor
(many will not be competent to survey
Comparing a custom built, primarily wood, boat with production fiberglass boats is absurd - they are different beasts. Which is not to say one is better than the other, just different. Think hard about the maintenance, and your desire to do it or pay for it, before going the wood route
. But if you do go that way it will be very satisfying.