The purpose of this website is to introduce the sailing schooner CAPE ROSE and to enable those who are interested, to keep up to date with her present location. The text and photo's should also help to give a better idea of what type of vessel CAPE ROSE is.
At the end of March 2004 I flew over to the USA and bought a sailing boat with the purpose of making longer journeys with her and living aboard. I convinced two friends, who I had got to know during sail training, to come and assist me with my first Atlantic crossing. The boat had done it before! It took a few weeks to get things ready and we left Annapolis (Chesapeake) at the end of May 2004 with destination Bermuda. Norfolk, at the exit of the Chesapeake to the Atlantic, is a major US Navy base on the eastern seaboard and also where we cleared customs. From there we sailed seven days to Bermuda and in doing so, crossed the Gulf Stream. My first real port of call...Bermuda...!! Around the middle of June we got our act together again and with a deliberate effort left Bermuda and it's amenities behind...in exchange for over two weeks at sea and the Azores. After arriving in the Azores, we took some out-time and put our feet up, this time to savour Portuguese food and beer
My father joined us here, not to put his feet up, but to take part in the last leg to the European continent. Due to the notorious Azores high, we had no wind and ended up diverting to Lisbon under engine. A tank full of fuel, one night on the town and the next morning we were off again...this time with final destination Gibraltar. We still had one last hurdle...the Strait. It lived up to it's reputation and the fight was on from the moment we passed Tarifa. It took a little longer but then we were there...none of us could really believe it...we had sailed from Annapolis to Gibraltar!! All we had left to do was moor up in a tight marina...
In August and October I had friends down to visit me and see the boat...all were curious. We had a great time sailing to Cabo de Gata in August and to Mallorca in October, but I began to notice that the good month at sea during the crossing had taken its toll. Apart from her aluminium booms and gaffs and steel bowsprit which had always stuck out like a sore thumb, CAPE ROSE was beginning to look scruffy.
At the beginning of 2005 I decided to do something about the condition of the boat and crossed the Strait to Marina Smir (Morocco), 25 miles south of Gibraltar, with the intention of investing a few weeks in alterations, repairs and maintenance.
I attended to corrosion in the bilges and replaced dubious hull plates
All through-hull fittings were replaced
All the fittings on the outside of the boat were removed
Many of these fittings were replaced, all needed remounting
The hull was sand-blasted and painted
An anchor system was designed, built and mounted
All railings were replaced
The bow and bowsprit were reconstructed
And probably a few other things...I won't go on.
In February 2006 the boat went back in the water and the masts were remounted. After final preparations I left Smir at the beginning of April 2006 with both booms and both gaffs lashed to the side deck in a half finished state, as my priorities had been to get the boat ready to leave as soon as possible. Although I had achieved a substantial amount, there still lay a lot of work ahead of me...more than fifteen months had passed. 2006 and 2007 were spent reducing the length of the to-do list and partly with sea trials followed by alterations and modifications.
I built up both gaffs with jaws and saddles.
The jaws, saddles and mast hoops were “leathered-up”.
The booms were made.
All stainless end fittings had to be designed and made.
A generator base and cover were built.
I needed a dinghy.
And the list continues.
In the summer of 2007 at last, some sailing. I managed trips to Smir, Faro and Melilla. Not huge jumps but long enough to test systems and find out how well they work. All in all I'm pleased with the results.
There are no furling systems on the boat. Sail reduction is achieved with traditional slab reefing or lowering/exchanging head sails. The only mechanical purchase for the halyards is block and tackle.
Entering the boat from the cockpit the galley is to port and the aft double cabin to starboard. Forward of the aft cabin is a head. Midships is the saloon with sleeping accommodation. Forward of the saloon is a cabin with a double bunk to port and a double bunk to starboard. Forward of this cabin is a second head. From the forward head there is access to the fore peak which is used as a work shop and for storage. Up in the bow is the anchor locker.
I hope the photos capture your imagination and that your curiosity gets the better of you, so that it doesn't remain "just" a virtual welcome aboard CAPE ROSE!!