The first thing that strikes you about the Cape Horn 31T is that, unlike the slightly more genteel Cape Horn 27 XS, this model has a wide-open attitude from the bow to the stern. Every inch of this boat is fishing space, pure and simple. There are no poofy seats, no loungers or sunpads, and the necessary furnishings – the console and leaning post – are kept svelte to maximize deck space. Die-hard anglers this one’s made for you, so let's check it out.
More evidence of no-holds-barred fishability can be found in the standard features. The stock boat comes with a 60 gallon livewell under the leaning post and a 26 gallon well in the transom, a raw water washdown, 26 rodholders, coaming bolsters, and a monstrous seven foot long 700 quart fishbox that’s big enough to do double duty as the brig. The T-top with electronics box is also standard, which we appreciate because many builders leave this imperative item off the list then offer it as a high-cost “option.” One item that’s not a standard feature which we’d highly recommend getting, however, is the crow’s nest to sit atop that hard top. When I climbed up the integrated ladder in the aft top supports and stood in that nest, I immediately spotted a cobia off the port bow– even though the boat was still sitting in the parking lot at PYY Marine up near Baltimore.
With a pair of Yamaha F350C outboards the Cape Horn 31T can cruise at a blistering 50 mph (at 4500 rpm) and comes within a few tenths of a mph of hitting 65 at WOT. Efficiency is pretty good for a boat of this size, too, netting 1.5 mpg at that cruising speed. If you can force yourself to lay off the throttles – yeah, right – and back it down to 3000 rpm and 32 mph, the boat can get two mpg.
The Cape Horn has a couple of interesting perks in the bow that you won’t find elsewhere. The first is the stowage compartments built into the gunwales, where they widen out with flair. This is a wise re-capturing of space that’s normally unusable on other boats. Stuff stowed up there is sure to get bounced around a bit so it’s not where you’ll want to put the camera gear, but it’ll be great for odds and ends like extra lines. And speaking of line, that’s where unusual feature number two comes in: the anchor locker is utterly massive. On many 31-footers it’s impossible to stow enough rode to anchor in offshore waters (much less using the puny 300 foot long anchor rode that comes with many boats), but with this anchor locker the sky’s the limit.
Another important part of this boat to check out is the console head compartment. Climb in, and you’ll notice that the wiring on the back of the helm is exposed. Some who favor more gentrified boats would prefer it be hidden behind a panel, but we say the way Cape Horn has done it is what we’d prefer. Repairs and upgrades are much easier to make, and creating pieces-parts to cover it up would increase the boat’s cost without affecting its utility one iota. Besides, taking a gander at the back of the helm gives you some insight into how well the boat’s wired; every inch of tinned-copper is well-loomed, supported, and secured.
If you want a center console that can double as a cocktail cruiser, the Cape Horn 31T will not be your first choice. If you want a center console that can double as a watersports boat, it’s best you look elsewhere. But if you want a cold-blooded, cold-hearted fish-killing machine, this boat’s right up your alley.
Cape Horn 31 Specifications
LOA – 31’8”
Beam – 9’1”
Displacement – 5,300 lbs.
Draft (hull) – 1’10”
Transom Deadrise – 23 degrees
Fuel Capacity – 273 gal.
Area Dealers – Area Dealers – PYY Marine, Pasadena, MD, (410) 255-1771 or pyymarine.biz.