New Owner, New Boat, New Company

Hake Yachts, J/Boats, and Eric Goetz make announcements that can turn later winter's thoughts to things afloat.

March 10, 2009

Hake Yachts’ Seaward 32RK features a vertically retractable keels, which let it sail in as little as 20 inches of water.

Hake Yachts’ Seaward 32RK features a vertically retractable keels, which let it sail in as little as 20 inches of water. Courtesy Of The Manufacturer

You’ve no doubt spotted them at the boat shows: They’re the full-size cruisers pictured floating nose up to the beach. Well, now those Seaward Yachts will be floating nose up to the beach under new management. The company that builds Seawards, Hake Yachts, has been acquired by Indianapolis entrepreneur Ted Gelov. Seaward designer Nick Hake, meanwhile, plans to remain at the company.

In a company-issued release, Gelov said he was attracted to the builder because of the design of the boats and their vertically retractable keels, which let Seawards sail in as little as 20 inches of water or, with them down, cruise anywhere. Moving forward, the Stuart, Florida-based Hake Yachts plans to build 40 to 50 boats a year. Current models include the 26RK and the 32RK. New designs and sizes are reportedly in the works, as well.

Courtesty of the Manufacturer| |The new J/95 is poised to make a sleek and stylish debut in the growing fleet of daysailers.| And to stick with a thin-water theme, let’s turn to Rhode Island-based J/Boats and the planned spring launch of its new J/95. This newest design from Rod Johnstone is a thoroughly modern, 31-foot throwback to the days when fast centerboarders were crossing oceans, winning races, and sailing the shallow bays of the Bahamas, Cape Cod, the Gulf, and the Chesapeake.


With its 200-pound bronze board up, the J/95 will sail in about 3 feet of water; with the board down the draft is 5 feet 6 inches. A 2,250-pound keel protects the boats saildrive, which is powered by a 14-horsepower Yanmar diesel. Belowdecks, there’s crouching headroom of 60 inches in the saloon, and with four berths and an enclosed marine head, the boat should be more than adequate for getaways.

Topside, a large and roomy cockpit indicates that the J/95 is intended to be the latest entry in the daysailer genre, targeting those drawn, perhaps, to the Alerion 28s and the new Morris M29. And though easy on the eyes, in a rendering at least, it’s got stylish and racy good looks rather than harping on tradition. This includes an open transom (a removable locker and helm seat are available), a centerline wheel, and twin rudders.

Look for a launch later this spring and, or course, a review in an upcoming issue of Cruising World.


And finally, another Rhode Island news nugget! Eric Goetz and his boatbuilding crewmates live to sail another day. The Bristol, Rhode Island, builder of such high-end, carbon- and other exotic-fiber boats as Puma’s Il Mostro, has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, Goetz Custom Technologies, and a business plan that includes new raceboat projects balanced by a service business, a charter and brokerage arm, and lines of new semicustom Ray Hunt-designed powerboats and German Frers-designed sailboats. These designs will take advantage of the performance and fuel-saving potential of Goetz’s lightweight-construction capabilities.

The first order of business? Work resumes on two 82-foot sailboats that were under construction inside the company’s new 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility when the doors were shut last fall.


More Sailboats