Boat Reviews By Owners
2004 -- 24' 10" CAPE HORN
Model: 24 Offshore
Cockpit: The LOA is 24'10" and the beam is 8'6" w/ and advertised 22* deadrise, wide reverse chines, stepped hull, Euro transom w/ 10yr structural hull warranty, and lifetime transom warranty. Unsinkable. Very sharp entry. 258 gal fuel capacity in two 129gal heavy duty below deck Poly tanks mounted one in front of the other between the transom and the helm.
One Piece construction is very solid, easy to clean and maximizes cockpit space, but lacks some of the benefits of gunnel caps and a nonskid molded liner. Toekick is OK, and is provided in the aft cockpit with a molded in collar that is foam filled (floatation collar), except when standing directly in front of the transom, which is quite low (about knee high on me) on either side of the awesome livewell.
The boat has excellent self bailing properties, w/ large scuppers, and all compartments drain overboard. The deck surface is gelcoated, but not nonskid. I thought this would be slippery (and I would put my own nonskid down), but it honestly hasn't been an issue at all and is super easy to clean.
I am 6'1", and the helm ergonomics are good but not excellent, as console has no deck level toekick, and the leaning post is a little high for reaching the steering wheel while seated w/o hunching over. I almost always stand while driving anyway except while trolling, and it works pretty well for me standing.
The visibility is excellent. The TTOP is jungle gym solid, and the windshield is 3/8" thick plexi that connects the ebox to the console for a very solid wind screen.
With the ttop rocket launchers(4), and the leaning post rod holders(4), gunnel(4), and 2 in the middle of the transom on either side of the livewell - it has a total of 14 rod holders- which is adequate. No under gunnel rod racks or locking storage is stock on the boat, though can be added by the owner (lots of customizations can be done to this boat over time).
It is an excellent fishing platform, w/ very useable cockpit space, and the rod holders allow for a decent 6 or 7 line spread while trolling. Outriggers can be mounted on the TTOP for a better spread. The livewell is in the center of the transom, is completely round, and lighted. Not rigged for recirculation, but is 42 gallons and the waterflow w/ the stock pump will keep most bigger inshore species alive for a long time - better than a typical livewell as it can be used as a tank for culling w/ tolerant species. Bait is no problem. The hatch is once again a cheap plastic hath that will eventually leak in the stock configuration. The top of the livewell begs to be a bait table/cutting board when bait fishing.
Hatches are cheap plastic ones, and in the case of the hatches that only have a single clasp in the middle, the corners will warp up and lose their seal over a short time.
The Armstrong deck plates used in the motor splash well, and in the cockpit are excellent, and completely seal (My bilge is always dry and I slip the boat). They are low profile, but not flush, and there is one in the cockpit that is annoying underfoot.
The bow has a step up casting platform that is about 6' wide, and about 5' deep tapering towards the forpeak at gunnel level w/ an anchor roller. The forpeak has another plastic hatch on the vertical face for anchor rode storage, but without adding a devil's claw and hawse pipe, anchor storage is not convenient in the stock configuration. Adding a thrubolted devil's claw, and hawse pipe is easy and allows for a secure way to keep the anchor in the roller while underway.
Cabin: The Console is huge, and useful for storage, and/or as a stand up head.
Good surface area for flushmounted electronics, but not big enough for a Raymarine C120, but the C80 fits perfectly (actually 2 C80s side by side would fit). The door into the console swings open toward the stern, and the gasket to door seals surprisingly well. A molded in 80qt cooler is also a seat in the front of the console. The cooler is so-so for keeping ice, and drains onto the deck which is good.
Construction: Excellent structural integrity! While standing on the deck, it feels as solid as a concrete driveway, and when romping in rough water, nothing rattles - it sounds and feels very solid. The wetted surface is 1" thick solid glass, and the transom is cored and ridiculously thick. Stringers are huge, and run to the transom.
These are my gripes (still overall its a great boat, but you need to make it waht you want - its a blank slate IMO).
They do cut some corners that I find fixable but annoying.
The gunnel mounted rod holders are not thru-bolted to the gunnel, but worse, the drains were not connected to the under-gunnel drain holes.
The below waterline thru-hulls do not have seacocks on them, and are plastic, but some of the plastic/synthetic thru-hulls are better than bronze, though I don't know which ones cape horn uses yet. (I plan on at least installing seacocks)
There is no good place to mount a thru-hull transducer in front of the steps on the hull without a lot of cutting and glass work. Shoot thru will have to work through the very thick fiberglass hull. If you take into account that the hull is over 1" thick, and is stepped, there is no transducer install that is good according to Airmar. People have had good success though with both transom mount, and shoot thru installations, but it would be nicer to have a known optimal installation procedure that the factory could reccommend/provide for.
The scuppers are recessed in the cockpit, and the surrounding area collects dirt. This can easily be corrected by filling in the areas around the recess so everything goes out, and use a strainer.
The fuel tanks are enormous, and rigged as 1 tank per engine only without shutoffs. The tanks have 2 outlets, and shutoffs at the filters would give you more possibilities for safety, redundancy, and weight distribution.
The hatches are crappy IMO. I will replace them over the winter layup. You can't get a 5 gallon bucket or an 80lb tuna in the fishboxes.
The bilge pump is not rigged with an auto switch, and is a 750gph ATTwood. I will add a 2nd pump (1200) w/ auto switch, and alarm. I have to say my bilge is always dry, and the attwood works. I also flooded the bilge on purpose w/ the boat in the water, and barely noticed - very bouyant.
The rod holders on the back of the leaning post are in a very convenient location, but they block the tackle box opening, and drain into the tackle box. This is silly, but easily corrected if you are willing to weld/bolt on rod holders onto the backrest, and plug up the holes.
The large excellent storage area under the leaning post, does not have a locking door (ideal would be a locking and removable lexan door, like the one used on the console but w/ removable hinges.)
Handling: When I first got the boat, the engines were rigged w/ 3-blade Mirages, and toed-in wrong. I had cavitation on the port engine. I also ran the boat w/ full fuel, and no weight in the 600+ qts of storage space in the bow. I initially thouhgt the boat sucked as the bow was light, the stern was heavy, and the 3-blades added even more bow lift to make matters worse. It was dialed in wrong to say the least.
I fixed the toe-in problem, ran the fuel down, and weighed down the bow lockers w/ gear (about 200lbs), and the boat handles 200% better. Making matters worse as far as weight balance is concerned, the 3 batteries were rigged by the dealer in the transom despite my request to put them in the console.
When I finally got it dialed in, props, weight, etc. The boat handles a head sea very well, and runs very dry IMO.
In confused seas, or when runing in quartering seas you sometimes land on the hard chines, which although uncommon, is fairly abrupt. Even so, correctly dialed in, the entry re-entry point on the hull can be managed w/ trim and speed to provide a very good ride in almost all conditions, and it handles well in turns, and I can always go in the direction i want to.
In really bad conditions (real 4-6' steep seas) the boat is very safe, handles them well, and since the boat can be planed at low speeds 15kts, slugging it out is safe, as comfortable as it could be, and feasible if you have to.
Stability is excellent, as the wide chine is a big advantage on anchor, drifting, and while slow trolling.
Directional stability is good. Tight quarter maneuverability is excellent.
Engine Room: Twin counter rotating 200HPDIs, 4blade 17pitch Powertechs. Love the power. Cruise effortlessly at 4000-4500RPMs at 37mph. WOT on flat water, no wind, clean bottom, 3/4 fuel is 55mph GPS.
Average 2.2mpg in typical ocean conditions cruising.
The boat planes easily on one engine and can "cruise" at 3/4 throttle at 30mph in calm water where I tested it.
General Comments: 99.999% fishing w/ the occasional cruise/picnic.
Overall, the boat is solid, utilitarian, safe offshore boat w/ awesome engines, space, structural integrity.
IMO it needs customizations as mentioned above, and needs to be dialed in right.
The price for what you get is reasonable, but factor in the costs of your own needed customizations. Overall, I am a tinkerer, and enjoy making the boat what I think it needs to be, and realized most of these things before I bought it, so I wasn't unpleasantly surprised.
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Email Address: acefalu@NOSPAMoptonline.net
Date Submitted: 2005-01-02
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