Keelboat project gaining momentum worldwide
Cape Town-based yacht brokers Abromowitz Sharp has signed a worldwide sales and marketing agreement with Cape Sailboats, producer of the Cape 31 sports keelboat.
The Cape 31 is a new class conceptualised by UK philanthropist Lord Irvine Laidlaw and produced by veteran Cape Town builder Uwe Jaspersen, a specialist in high performance composite boats.
Cape Sailboats is the official licensed builder for the Cape 31 project, with 15 vessels built to date. The boat is a Mark Mills design, E-glass with core-cell foam vacuum bagged construction. It now the official boat for South Africa’s annual Lipton Cup, one of the premier sailing events on the local calendar.
Abromowitz Sharp is run and managed by owners David Abromowitz and Rob Sharp, who both have extensive racing backgrounds and over 25 years in the yacht brokerage business. Sharp, who will spearhead the Cape 31 sales programme, said the boat appealed to a broad spectrum of the recreational market: ““We are hugely proud and excited to be involved with the Cape 31 project,” Sharp told SABBEX. “Mark Mills has certainly hit this one on the head in terms of design – a sports-boat that is both fast, on and off the breeze in light, medium and heavy airs.”
“This boat is manageable, swift and exhilarating to sail. As an owner driven class, we have guys of all ages helming these boats!” Sharp said.
Recent sales included a client in the US and in Hong Kong, both to ex-pat South Africans. “We are busy with enquiries out of Canada, USA, Sweden and Peru of all places,” Sharp said.
The tooling and part of the first boat were built in the US and shipped to SA to be completed, with masts supplied by Southern Spars.
The Laidlaw-inspired project is credited with injecting some much-needed excitement into the local boatbuilding sector during a time of stiff economic headwinds.