Cape George 36

Edwin Monk Sr.
William Atkin
Cecil Lange & Son
Cape George Marine Works
# Built
Transom hung
FG hull/wood deck


Length Overall
39 11 / 12.2 m
Length On Deck
35 11 / 11 m
Waterline Length
31 5 / 9.6 m
10 5 / 3.2 m
4 11 / 1.5 m
23,300 lb / 10,569 kg
10,500 lb / 4,763 kg
Drawing of Cape George 36
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Rig and Sails

Reported Sail Area
780′² / 72.5 m²
Total Sail Area
806′² / 74.9 m²
Sail Area
351′² / 32.6 m²
42 5 / 13 m
16 6 / 5 m
Air Draft
Sail Area
455′² / 42.3 m²
46 8 / 14.2 m
19 5 / 5.9 m
Forestay Length
50 7 / 15.4 m

Auxilary Power

Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity


Water Capacity
Holding Tank Capacity


Hull Speed
7.6 kn
Classic: 7.52 kn

Hull Speed

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.


Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

A more accurate formula devised by Dave Gerr in The Propeller Handbook replaces the Speed/Length ratio constant of 1.34 with a calculation based on the Displacement/Length ratio.

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio.311
Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

7.61 knots
Classic formula: 7.52 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
<16: under powered

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.


SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64)2/3

  • SA: Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D: Displacement in pounds.
<16: under powered
16-20: good performance
>20: high performance
>40: stiffer, more powerful

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.


Ballast / Displacement * 100

<40: less stiff, less powerful
>40: stiffer, more powerful
275-350: heavy

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.


D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
<100: ultralight
100-200: light
200-300: moderate
300-400: heavy
>400: very heavy
Comfort Ratio
40-50: heavy bluewater boat

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.


Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam1.33)

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
<20: lightweight racing boat
20-30: coastal cruiser
30-40: moderate bluewater cruising boat
40-50: heavy bluewater boat
>50: extremely heavy bluewater boat
Capsize Screening
<2.0: better suited for ocean passages

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.


CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet
  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
<2: better suited for ocean passages
>2: better suited for coastal cruising



For those who love the traditional look, seaworthiness and the great all-round sailing ability of a Bristol Channel Cutter but needing something larger, the Cape George 36 may be a great choice. These well loved boats, based on the time-tested design principles from the work of the late William Atkin, are solid, well behaved, comfortable and fast.

The Cape George 36 was the brainchild of Kiwi, Cecil Lange, who had an outstanding reputation as a boat builder. With the help of designer Ed Monk, the 36 is a 1970s fibreglass adaptation of Atkin’s 1930s Tally Ho Major, a traditional cutter with great all-round sailing manners and a healthy dose of speed. Today Cape George have derived four other siblings from the same design and they garner a loyal following from owners, with the boatyard earning a name as the place to go for repairs and refits.

Many are captured by her looks, with high bulwarks and broad decks, a low elegant house and spacious safe cockpit, a gentle sheer and wineglass transom, and a massive aft hung rudder, rare to see on an Atkins design, but a favourite for their simplicity and ease of maintenance.

As to be expected from a boat of this era her lines are conservative. She has a full length keel without any forefoot cutaway that were popular development in the second half of the 20th century, this gives her excellent directional stability, great self-steering manners, and predictable seagoing handling in all sea conditions. Reminiscent of traditional pilot boats, the hull has short overhangs and a long waterline, which extend her hull speed, while her deep wineglass sections endow her with an easy seakindly motion that owners love, not to mention a very useful load carrying ability.

Fully ladened for cruising, these boats are well into the heavy displacement category, yet with a healthy sail area to displacement ratio, the Cape George 36 is remarkably fast, they sail well in light air and are in their element as the breeze picks up. They perform well even when heavily laden.

“The hulls are designed to bring the athwartship sections in very exact continuity, and this feature undoubtedly accounts for the exceptional speed and ability of the Atkinized hulls; for, despite a very generous displacement of nearly 22,000 lbs., and a modest spread of sail of approximately 750 square feet, these are fast yachts.” – Ferenc Mate, Best Boats to Build or Buy


The Cecil Lange and Son boatyard, located on a wooded lot on Cape George Road in the small seaside town of Port Townsend, Washington, just south of the US-Canadian border, was established in 1974 by Cecil Lange, a New Zealand native, and his son Brian.

Lange had gained an appreciation for the work of William Atkin, US designer of traditional sailing yachts in the 1930s and 40s. Of particular interest to Lange was a wooden cutter named African Star that was winning a lot of races in the Puget Sound area, it was based on an Atkin 34 foot Tally Ho Major design.

Lange commissioned designer Ed Monk to adapt the design for fiberglass construction, thereby birthing the Cape George 36. Over the intervening years, Cape George have evolved other designs based on the 36, including 31, 34, 38 & 40 foot cutters.

Back in the day when the boats were in full production, if you were to drop in on Lange’s yard you would see owners living in motorhomes as they built their boats among the company of others doing the same with the factory right at their doorstep.

Lange retired in 2000, and the small boatyard he established remained quiet until 2004 when Todd Uecker, who had previously worked for Lange for 10 years through the 1990s, and his brother Tim bought the yard and began production again as its new owners, along the way renaming the yard to Cape George Marine Works. In the intervening years they have acquired the Sam Morse line of Lyle Hess designs – the twenty eight foot Bristol Channel Cutter and twenty two foot Falmouth Cutter

Buyers Notes

The boats were offered at various stages of completion from a bare hull to a complete yacht. Thus examples on the market today can vary widely in quality of build and internal layout. Many were were home-built and the factory complete boats were semi-custom in nature. Each and every Cape George 36 should be looked upon as a one-off, including factory-built examples.

Lange mentions he had concerns that some home-built versions were not as adequately ballasted as he would have liked. Inspect the teak on plywood decks closely, some boats have issues and rotten plywood can be hard to spot under teak.

A typical problem area was the wood-lined fiberglass bulwarks which was an easy ingress point for water. Typically, the wet bulwark swells, raising the teak caprail which then exacerbates the leakage problem. Over time, leaks can result in rot in both the deck and deck beams leading to expensive repairs. The design was superseded in the mid-1990s with solid fiberglass and later foam / fiberglass construction which solved the issue. Todd Uecker comments that a large part of their work today is in rebuilding and converting wood-lined bulwark boats to foam and fiberglass.

Links, References and Further Reading

» The official Cape George Marine Works website
» Best Boats to Build or Buy by Ferenc Mate

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