Cape Deseada 36TC

Plywood Lapstrake Classic Cruiser

Cape Deseada 36TC Marconi rig
Cape Deseada 36TC, Marconi rig and squaretop mainsail.

Distance cruiser

~ Classic styling

~ Moderate size for short-handed or family cruising

~ Ocean capable, with shallow draft

~ Great Caribbean & Bahamas cruiser

~ Classic gaff or modern squaretop Marconi rig

~ Long waterline for speed & load-carrying

~ Big sister to Cape Cutter 19, Cape Henry 21,
Cape May 25 & Cape Charles 32

~ Lapstrake plywood plans for amateur builders

~ Flickr Album



Credit Card

Boat Sites


The design series started by the Cape Cutter 19 continues to expand. The Cape Deseada 36 is the biggest sister to the 19, Cape Henry 21, Cape May 25 and Cape Charles 32.

This design resulted from design requests from two clients on different continents, simultaneously wanting a bigger version of the Cape Charles 32. The resulting boat has most of the characteristics of the 32 but with more space. The major difference is a change from the raised sheer and flush deck configuration of the smaller boats to a trunk cabin with side decks. It also has more serious anchoring setup, with anchor windlass on the sunken foredeck, with the chain fed through a rubber chain pipe into a chain locker under the head of the port V-berth.

Cape Deseada 36TC Accommodation
Accommodation layout

The hulls of this series of designs are styled after the traditional sailing craft of England, which have spawned many modern interpretations of the basic concept. It is lapstrake plywood in construction, with carefully proportioned curves and strake widths to produce a pretty hull. In lapstrake hulls the chines are accentuated by the step in the joint, so an unfair line looks very ugly. The care that I took in shaping the Cape Cutter 19 has benefitted the bigger sisters by all being based on that original set of lines.

The Cape Deseada 36 is built over permanent plywood bulkheads and has a plywood backbone that runs from the stemhead through to the engine beds. The backbone, bulkheads and engine beds interlock into each other egg-crate fashion, making set-up an easy task. This backbone provides longitudinal stiffness to most of the hull as well as tying together the ballast keel support structure, reinforced with fibreglass inside and outside. The skeg deadwood stiffens the aft part of the hull.

This hull is also stiffened structurally by stringers at all chines, which give a firm base on which to work when shaping and fitting panels. They also supply a fair line for establishing correct shape and fit of the panels and add toughness to the hull.

Cape Deseada 36TC hull section
Section at bulkhead between galley and saloon.

The hull has good performance characteristics. It is almost all waterline length, a sure way of improving speed for a given weight under most sailing conditions. It has a fine entry below the first chine, with hollow to the curve of the waterline. This gives good penetration to punch to windward through waves and wind chop. Flare to the upper sections and a broad forward deck give reserve buoyancy for dryness and decent interior accommodation needed for a good cruiser. Aft she is quite beamy to make her forgiving downwind. This also gives the ability to carry the cockpit loads without excessive changes of fore and aft trim.

I haven't drawn the gaff rig yet but it will be available when a builder wants that option. The Marconi rig follows the modern concept of small headsail and large mainsail, with the bowsprit used for setting downwind sails like asymmetrical spinnakers and the very versatile code 0.

Cape Deseada 36TC Deck
Deck plan & hull profile.

The bowsprit is hinged on the foredeck so that it can be folded aft to reduce berthing length.The mast can be set in a tabernacle to allow the mast to be lowered to access canal systems such as those that form a watery highway system through Europe. Raising and lowering the mast of a boat of this size must be done with care and this can be assited by using the hinged bowsprit as a lever, with lines led to the cockpit winches to provide the power.

The Marconi mast is an aluminium extrusion, or can be carbon. It is a double-spreader rig with swept spreaders, eliminating a standing backstay. We show runners coming into the mast at spinnaker halliard height, used as additional support under spinnaker or in lumpy water.

We include full size Mylar patterns of the bulkheads with the stock plans, to assist those building from scratch. We also offer optional Mylar patterns of the hull panels, useful for those builders who are concerned about cutting the correct shapes for the hull skin.

The first two builders are soon to start construction, subject to availability of materials under the production and supply problems of COVID 19. Most builders who take on this project will learn some new skills along the way. That is one of the reasons why we build our own boats rather than buying. Any handyman of reasonable ability should be able to produce a Cape Deseada 36 of which he will be proud.

Stability Graph


LOD 11.00m (36' 1")

LWL 10.44m (34' 3")

Beam moulded 3.81m (12' 6")

Draft 1.26m (4' 2")

Displ to DWL 6600kg (14546lb)

Displ light 5460kg (12034lb)

Ballast 2200kg (4849lb)

Waterplane area 20.38sq.m (219sq.ft)

Immersion rate 209kg/cm (1170lb/inch)

Wetted surface 31.75sq.m (342sq.ft)

Sail area gaff (main + genoa) not yet drawn

Sail area Marconi (main + jib) 83.57sq.m (900sq.ft)

This design is dimensioned with both metric and imperial measurements.


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This page was updated 14 December 2021

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