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Cape Scott 85

Cape Scott 85 By Capt. Bill Pike — December 2003

Great Scott
An 85-footer designed to take the displacement hull deep into uncharted territory.
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Cape Scott 85
• Part 2: Cape Scott 85
• Cape Scott 85 Specs
• Cape Scott 85 Deck Plan
• Cape Scott 85 Acceleration Curve
• Cape Scott 85 Photo Gallery

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Earlier this year I made the chance acquaintance of Hans Staals and his latest project, a Cape Scott 85 called Amnesia IV, all tented over with construction plastic in a marina in Vancouver, British Columbia. Staals is a big, affable Dutchman with a background in building and maintaining commercial fishing boats. The 85 was “almost ready to go,” he told me as we proceeded along a side deck littered with tools and the inevitable detritus that gathers at the feet of boatbuilders.

A mechanic surfaced from the engine room at one point, proffering chunks of a ZF controllable-pitch-prop mechanism. “Broke,” he said, shaking his head. “Oh, don’t worry,” Staals replied, “I’ll just weld it,” pointing with a pen he’d extracted from his blue coveralls.

Assurance suffused the remark. I remember thinking that neither broken parts, gathering detritus, nor any other force of man or nature would likely stand between Staals and the completion of this ABS-classed passagemaker.. I also remember thinking that the 85 appeared to be a veritable hotbed of savvy engineering and well worth a boat test.

So a few months later, with Amnesia IV newly ensconced in her element, I returned to Vancouver for another look. Staals and I immediately repaired to the wheelhouse, where Pat Bray, the 85’s designer, was waiting with several members of his staff and owner Erwin Krieg.

An atmosphere of quiet expectancy prevailed. The fact that the only main, a naturally aspirated, 1,300-hp MAN diesel one deck down, was already idling at 575 rpm was virtually indiscernible—the PMY sound meter registered just 56 dB-A at the helm station (65 is the level of normal conversation). Staals explained that the main deck underfoot was a seven-inch-thick sandwich of Divinycell-cored fiberglass, rock-wool insulation, marine-grade plywood, and various layers of Soundown acoustical material.

I noted none of the tenderness that sometimes characterizes displacement hulls at rest, even as large motoryachts passed by, piling substantial wakes into our slip. According to Staals, this was due to the damping effects of the 85’s two-part stabilizers, each with a fixed, bilge-keel-like “rolling chock” or fin and an articulating surface abaft it.

We hit the trail. Our test boat was outfitted with two Kobelt electronic engine controls, one for propeller pitch and the other for throttle. Getting out of the slip entailed simply separating the boat from a finger pier with two 50-hp hydraulic thrusters, bow and stern, and then, with the throttle holding at 575 rpm, advancing the pitch control to 50 percent. In seconds we were merging with the traffic on False Creek, doing five knots and bound for nearby English Bay.

Next page > Part 2: I loved driving the 85. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the November 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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