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I was looking for something on Wylo, there is one moored next to Nolwandle, when I came upon this piece about building a Cascade 42. It is written by Don Holm and comes from his book on Circumnavigators. Clearly Mr Holm was very frustrated by Yacht Constructors aka Cascade Yachts. He praises them and criticises them at once. I wonder what the experience of other Cascade customers was?

I have placed the full quote in this post at the Nolwandle Tumblr, as it is a bit long to place here. Any comments? The text in the orignal is on The Circumnavigators website.

I just could not resist posting this beautiful picture of Cascade 36 “Rain Drop” near Hanalei Bay on Kauai Island, finishing and winning the Pacific Cup race.

Picture from an interesting and comprehensive report with more photos in Electronic Latitude.

Amazing, but true, a Cascade 36 called “Rain Drop” has won the Pacific Cup yacht race from San Francisco to Hawaii. She was sailed two up and was first over the line and seems to be the winner on handicap as well! She was sailed in the two-handed division.

“Rain Drop” leaving San Franscisco for Hawaii – 14 July 2008

She is hull number 33 with a racing keel (I am not sure what that means) and an extra three feet on the mast. She was specially built in 1970 with a balsa cored deck and a bowsprit. She seems to have been set up specifically for racing as seen in the above picture. There are more pictures on this website.

She also has a scoop added to the stern, pic taken at start of Pacific Cup

“Rain Drop” after her arrival in Hawaii 26 July 2008

Clearly a well designed “old” boat, sailed well, can beat modern racers – see for instance this picture taken at the start in San Fransico where “Rain Drop” is pointing much higher and seems to be going faster than a more modern design!

Rain Drop out pointing and overtaking a modern design with a wide arse!

There is also a report on this stunning victory by a Cascade 36 in Lectronic Latitude with a beautiful picture of “Rain Drop” under spinnaker.

Cascade yachts have been sold and it seems will be back in production soon. Russell, the new owner posted the following as comments on this site:

“I’ve purchased the assets of Cascade Yachts (molds, plans, patterns, etc). I plan to start limited production in Seaside, Oregon, beginning late this winter. All fiberglass work will be done with Mas Epoxy, and I’m working on updates such as LED lighting, thermal insulation, “T” cockpit layouts, and a few interior revisions. From what I’ve seen and heard this is what’s happened. The original owner/builder retired out. He sold Cascade Yachts combined with Chinook Composites. The most recent owner was only interested in Chinook Composites, though building a few scattered performance day sailors on the side, so he’s selling all the assets of Cascade Yachts. He concentrates on fiberglass work only, so has no interest in any boat large enough to need an engine, systems, or any major equipment. I plan to start building the 42′ model first, and the next boat is due to be completed in the winter of 2008. I plan to build finished yachts, which will include equipment I consider required, though supplied only as options by most (electric windlass with suitably sized anchor and chain (probably 44lb bruce, not a 15lb anchor for the 42′ boat!), heat, 12v refridgeration, dual fuel filters, raw water washdown, etc.) I will certainly preserve the library of Cascade drawings, plans, and any other information I can collect. I should have the website updated a bit in the next few weeks, so check back if you get the chance.


“I’m buying all assets of Cascade Yachts, and plan on restarting construction soon. I left a comment under your “For Sale” posting with a few more details. I should have the Cascade website and email up and running soon, but in the meantime feel free to contact me at


It seems that Cascade will be in good hands and I hope that Russell will stay in contact with us. Good luck to him!

This information comes from Sail Calculator, a website which calculates various data about different boat models.

I found the information very informative, especially the indices on motion comfort and capsize ratio for the Cascade 36. In summary the Cascade 36 is a fast cruiser which is generally safe (although this would depend more on the crew than the boat) and has a comfortable motion. Of course this is borne out by my experience with her. Below is the information. I would be interested in readers looking at the data for their own boats and letting us know whether they agree with the conclusions.

Loa: 35.56
Lwl: 28.87
Beam: 9.95
Displacement: 12829lb
Sail Area: 678

Displacement to LWL: 238
Explanation: A medium value would be 200. 300 would be high (Heavy Cruising Boat) and 100 would be low (Ultra Light Displacement-ULDB). Boats with low numbers are probably uncomfortable and difficult to sail.

Hull speed: 7.2
Explanation: This is the maximum speed of a displacement hull. Some racers and lighter boats are able to achieve greater speed by lifting over the bow wave and riding on top of the water,that is, planing.

Sail area to displacement: 19.79
Explanation: The sail area is the total of the main sail and the area of the front triangle. I cannot be sure that this datum was entered correctly for each listed boat. A racing boat typically has large sail area and low displacement. A number less than 13 probably indicates that the boat is a motorsailer. High performance boats would be around 18 or higher.

Lwl to beam: 238
Explanation: A medium value would be 2.7. 3.0 would be high and 2.3 would be low.

Motion Comfort: 29.87
Explanation: Range will be from 5 to 60+ with a Whitby 42 at the mid 30’s. The higher the number the more comfort in a sea. This figure of merit was developed by the Yacht designer Ted Brewer and is meant to compare the motion comfort of boats of similar size and types.

Capsize ratio: 1.7
Explanation: A value less than 2 is considered to be relatively good; the boat should be relatively safe in bad conditions. The higher the number above 2 the more vulnerable the boat. This is just a rough figure of merit and controversial as to its use.

Pounds/inch (displacement): 1026
Explanation: The weight required to sink the yacht one inch. If the boat is in fresh water multiply the result by 0.975. If you know the beam at the waterline (BWL) multipy the result by BWL/Beam.

Sailing Category: Racer/cruiser
Explanation: The four categories are racer, racer/cruiser, cruiser/racer, and cruiser in order of descending performance

I just logged onto the Cascade Yachts website only to be greeted with the following banner:

The Cascade line is

For Sale

All of the molds, patterns, and drawings for every Cascade sailboat. 42, 36, 29, 27, and even the Dinghy! Hard dodgers, stern extensions, the company logo, web site, and the Cascade brand. Everything must go!


It seems that they no longer want to build Cascades. Perhaps someone in Oregon can tell us what it is going on? I hope that this intellectual property is not lost and that someone will take over the brand and develop it further.

I found the following article which is an interesting history of Cascade boats. It is at

There is also more history at

I have been told that company has now changed its name to Smith Composites. Although the Cascade website is still there, they do not answer their email.


Click on a image to see it in good quality. All images are copyrighted unless stated.


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