Cape 31 One Design


The Cape 31 was defined from the outset as a simple clean high performance One Design without constraint, conceived and brought to fruition by Cape Town resident and prominent sailor Lord Irvine Laidlaw of ‘Highland Fling’ fame.  Designed for one of the world’s great sailing locations, we optimised the Cape 31 to be an all-rounder, as happy in big breeze as it is in light airs, upwind and down which made it an instant hit in Cape Town.  Now sold worldwide by 31 North the Cape 31 is a massive success with over 70 boats sold worldwide making this the most exciting One Design fleet of the last decade.



Building on our experience developing fast light hullforms and refined with the input of our R&D partners KND/Sailing Performance, we produced a low freeboard aggressively chined hullshape that maximises form stability in a breeze but enjoys low wetted surface when upright. The chine running forward to the bow helps produce a bow-up moment at speed.  Designer Mark Mills described the process of producing this design, “The challenge with this hullshape for an all-around design is to balance the beam, fullness in the bow, and the chine height aft to produce the most powerful possible design offwind, without removing its upwind capabilities.


With the focus purely on performance we drew a clean ramp deck for easy operation developed from our innovative Maxi 72 World Champion design Alegre.  Engineering from Steve Koopman at composite engineering specialists SDK resulted in an aggressive but production friendly structure that accommodates a socketed deep carbon keel fin and a powerful sail plan set on a two=spreader carbon rig.  Designed to be the tightest possible fit for a High Cube container to allow easy shipping worldwide, the CPS-built Cape 31 is now providing the highest quality racing on five continents.  This success confirms Lord Laidlaw’s original vision for a simple aggressive design to support youth sailing in Cape Town and boat building in South Africa, by forming the basis of a successful One Design class across the world.


More information is available at the sales agents 31 North