Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cape Cutter 19 - Capable Little Cruiser

The Cape Cutter 19 was commissioned by Nick and Lyndsay Voorhoeve as a GRP trailer-sailer, styled after the traditional working craft of UK. It was first built in South Africa, then the company was sold to Honnor Marine, who have built them in UK since 2003. To date more than 125 GRP boats have been built and we have also sold plans for nearly 70 of them, to be built from plywood.

These little boats have proven to be very capable little cruisers, with a surprising turn of speed. They have won the modern gaffer division of the Round the Island Race (around the Isle of Wight) a number of times. I designed the CC19 to handle the boisterous seas and winds found around the Cape of Good Hope, so it has proven quite at home in the sometimes rough conditions around the Solent.

Most are used for family cruising but some have made interesting passages. Top of the list must be the voyage that Jo Sinfield made on "Bandoola". She was built for him in Cape Town in 2002, then shipped to Myanmar (previously Burma), 1000 miles up the Irrawaddy River. Jo sailed her down the Irrawaddy River to the Bay of Bengal, across the Andaman Sea to Thailand then to Singapore.
Jo Sinfield and "Bandoola" sailing the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

Another remarkable journey was the fund-raising voyage that Mike Brooke made with his CC19 "Theo's Future", to raise funds for research and treatment of a congenital eye disease. Mike is an ex Royal Marine and highly experienced dinghy sailor. He circumnavigated England in June to September 2008, with a variety of friends and family crewing for him on various legs. He raised more than his target and was able to buy important hi-tech equipment for treatment of the condition. Theo is Mike's nephew, who was born healthy but lost his sight to the condition within months. Mike continues to raise funds by selling his book about the voyage, "Fight for Sight on Theo's Future - A Voyage of Hope & Endeavour". If you want to read his story and support this very worthwhile cause, you can buy his book at
Mike Brooke sailing "Theo's Future"
I have just read of another voyage by a CC19. This was a circumnavigation of UK, made by David Farquhar on CC19 #11, "Pipistrelle". David didn't intend to circumnavigate, he set off for a few days of sailing to see how his boat went, then just kept going. He harbour-hopped and spread it over a three-year period before arriving back at his starting point. David is now part-way through doing the same again and estimates that to date he has sailed about 4000 miles on his little ship.
David Farquhar and crew Fiona on CC19 Pipistrelle
These very capable little boats have wonderful character and are well-loved by their owners. It will be interesting to see where else their owners may take them (or be taken by them).

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