When Steve Brodie and his father, Reid Brodie III, purchased Pacific Seacraft and moved the company across the country to Washington, N.C., in 2008, their goal was simple – to continue to build the world’s best cruising sailboats. The company was already known for its quality and for the exceptional sailing characteristics of its line of Bill Crealock-designed vessels.
Many of Pacific Seacraft’s managers and craftsmen had such a passion for the boats they were building they wanted to continue their work. The Brodies were glad to bring their experience and expertise to the East Coast along with the hull molds and tooling.
It’s clear that the brand’s reputation is in safe hands. Soon after the relocation, several owners of older Pacific Seacraft yachts approached PSC President Steve Brodie. Their boats were structurally sound, but in need of various updates, upgrades and refurbishment.
Brodie says the hulls themselves are virtually indestructible, but electronics and other systems need updating periodically. To that end, the Pacific Seacraft refit program offers a variety of services to help owners keep their boats bristol.
Refit projects have ranged from cosmetic makeovers to major repairs. One 40-footer was rebuilt after nearly half of the hull on the port side was damaged during a hurricane. The boat is now like new. Others have received wheel-to-tiller conversions and vice versa; complete electrical, plumbing, and mechanical updates; modified cabinetry; new headliners and interior upholstery; and refinished teak both inside and out.
Because Pacific Seacraft has the original templates, patterns and tooling, the work can be done efficiently and to the same high level of quality as the original build.
“I think the refit program has been a win-win,” Brodie says. “Existing owners with sentimental attachments to their vessel are able to bring her to us to make her like new. Brokerage customers are able to bring us tired vessels and have them spruced up, factory certified, and upgraded prior to taking delivery. They are able to do this with the confidence that this work is being performed by the same hands that may have built the boat originally. The refit work has also given us a lot of insight into what works well and what minor improvements can be incorporated in the new boats to make them even more durable, functional and owner friendly.”
The new boat line currently includes the 31, 34, 37, 40 and 44, all designed by Crealock. Construction details like the hull/deck joint, skeg-hung rudders, and strong scantlings serve as evidence that these are boats that are built to withstand the rigors of the sea. That theme is carried down below as well. Each model has a secure seagoing galley, plenty of handholds, and berths that are as comfortable on passage as they are at the dock. The hull forms produce a comfortable motion even in heavy seas, and the traditional lines still turn heads in the harbor.
A new project taking form at the Pacific Seacraft factory is also sure to turn heads and garner attention – Catari, a custom-built 61-foot ketch designed by Bob Perry.
“The Catari project marks a new era and direction for Pacific Seacraft,” says Brodie. “While we have no intention of abandoning our roots, we are branching out to tackle larger, more diversified custom projects. Catari, while unique, still holds to all of the values that have afforded Pacific Seacraft such a loyal following for more than 30 years.”
Designed for a client to serve as an ideal platform for a family to cruise anywhere they choose.
In trying to decide between a center cockpit or an aft cockpit, the designer and his client decided to use both. The aft cockpit will be the primary working space, with the helm, engine controls, and most of the sail controls; while the center cockpit forward of the mizzenmast, will be set up for relaxation and light sheet handling. The aft cockpit features a hard dodger with a space underneath for the crew to be well protected on watch in unpleasant conditions. Pacific Seacraft has built full-scale mockups of both cockpits to ensure that every detail comes out just right.
Below the waterline, the modern hull shape features a sturdy cruising fin keel and a carbon spade rudder. The raked transom hides a folding door that becomes a boarding platform. The ketch rig was the owner’s choice and was designed by Perry to be an integral, not ornamental, part of the sailplan.
“Catari is a perfect blend of tradition and performance,” Brodie says of the project. “Thousands of hours have been invested in her design, with inordinate attention paid to even the most minor detail. Her modest beam and long waterline will make her an enviable fast ocean passagemaker. The twin cockpit design offers wonderful open-air spaces for lounging and al fresco dining. The interior can be customized to meet the varied requirements of any cruiser or liveaboard.
“The ketch rig offers a very sensible, flexible, and manageable sail plan for a cruising couple. And finally, she exhibits what many Pacific Seacraft owners have come to know as the ‘lookback factor.’ When leaving their vessel by dock or dinghy, Pacific Seacraft owners can’t help but look back and admire her classic and timeless beauty.”
The hull mold for Catari was built this summer, and the hull layup began in the fall. Pacific Seacraft plans to make the 61’s hull and deck the basis of semi-custom yachts for discerning customers who will have the opportunity to pick out the interior and rig details that best fit their own cruising needs and wish lists.
With the new 61, the classic line of cruising yachts, and the popular refit program, the Brodies and Pacific Seacraft are poised to continue the company’s legacy well into the future.