The Cayman 28 is an all-carbon sportsboat drawn for an experienced Cayman Islands sailor to race locally with his friends. Seeking a higher performance solution for the Sound in Grand Cayman we were asked to draw something exciting, easy for 4 to sail legs-in, and capable of daysailing with family in a lower-testosterone format. In order to deliver a boat with that touch of Jekyll and Hyde we suggested extending the sidedecks out to allow the crew to produce more righting moment with no extra weight. Yet with the racks retracted the Cayman 28 is still a sleek aggressively styled sportsboat, purring rather than roaring. In some senses the child of our Cape 31 and an International 14 dinghy, the result takes many cues from the high performance dinghy world, with very light displacement coming from carbon construction, a flat floor running to the bow, no backstay, and a simple mainsheet bridle replacing a conventional traveller.
As with the Cape 31 our engineering partner was SDK in Rhode Island to ensure the necessary light weight under 1200kg, smart detailing, and robust structure. ‘Rooster’ as she is known was launched on schedule by Code Yachts in Hungary in time for their major event of the season, the 600-entrant Blue Ribbon, and after one short test sail raced the the 96 miles around Lake Balaton. Designed to take advantage of Doyle load-sharing sail designs the simple no-backstay rig is adjusted with underdeck forestay and jib tack purchases, relying on pin-adjustable shrouds to make rig setup easy and repeatable. The philosophy for the boat was to keep it simple and light, with coarse and fine adjustment for the main and jib sheets removing the need for winches, while the asymmetric spinnaker sheet benefits from a low profile Harken Snubbair on the rack.
The sliding racks are very successful, providing a more comfortable seating position than a conventional cockpit with a very solid feel even with 5 full size crew, leading to the description ‘Gentleman’s Skiff’. The racks have sockets for carbon stanchions to carry a webbing strap for more comfort when extended or better enclosure when sailing with them retracted. The appendages are all carbon, with a weed knife in the keel and a lifting rudder blade allowing easy weed-clearance in the Caribbean. Three hatches on the floor offer access under the cockpit, revealing a Lombardini 10hp inboard and storage space.
Designer Mark Mills felt the clients played a major role in how the boat developed: “It’s been one of our most enjoyable projects ever, with an enthusiastic client committing early and firmly to the big decisions on the project. Aggressive styling? Sure. Racks? Yup. All carbon? Why even ask? The goal is to have fun, working with a single committed owner can be so much more rewarding than a focus-group driven commercially constrained process. And finding an enthusiastic builder in Code Yachts who took responsibility for getting the boat on the water on time and looking good ensured the original promise of the project was delivered to the owner.”
More information on the Cayman 28 website .
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