Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cape Henry

Following on from yesterday's post about the Cape Cutter, I was somewhat depressed by the price and my lack of resources. I was also worried by my emotional approach to discovering the ideal boat. To date, the only boats I have looked at have been the traditional replicas or derivatives from traditional boat types. Maybe I am nineteenth century man locked in twentieth century body. Either way, it seems I am attracted to classic lines - and boats like this tend to sell for more money than I can muster. Still, I persevered, searching the net for information on the design and the more I looked the more sure I was that she wasn't the right boat for me despite my strong and instant emotional attachment.

 As a minimum I need a boat that will take me confidently and regularly across at least 35 miles of open sea between France and the Channel Islands. The Cape Cutter, is frequently described as a 'coaster', a 'weekender' and a 'gunkholer', so maybe she's too small and not robust enough for my needs.

Just as I'd put serious thoughts of her to one side however, I discovered that she is also available as a plywood kit. Well. perhaps I should say she was available until recently. It appears however, that the rights to offer her as a kit were tied up with the rights to produce GRP versions from a mould. Now, a new company has bought the GRP production rights and have stopped selling the plywood kit version. Plans are available but not kits. Ahg! foiled again, maybe I could manage to build from a kit - but from plans only? Probably beyond my capabilities.

But then I discovered that the Cape Cutter designer also produced a 21ft footer called the Cape Henry and that a Turkish company  (Ertug Muhendislik) is producing a kit for 2,900 euros. I also discovered that a guy in France had the kit delivered for only £270.(sorry about all the currencies). Anyway the upshot is that the Cape Henry might just be worth further exploration even though she is a centreboarder, and probably quite small inside.

I read somewhere, that the shell of a boat represents about one third the cost of getting afloat. In effect, once she's built you'll need to factor in additional costs for paint, varnish, engine, anchor, flares and all the technology you feel you'll need. A quick rule of thumb suggests that you should multiply the kit price by three to obtain a realistic view of the project cost. This, just about makes the Cape Henry achievable within my budget. But, I need to read more. If anyone out there knows anything about this craft, please make a comment below or email me.

If any one else is interested the Turkish company web address is