Bluewater Sailboat – Cape Dory 25


The Bluewater Sailboat Cape Dory 25 was Cape Dory’s first attempt into fully fledged cruisers after years of manufacturing modest durable daysailers since 1964.

According to legend, inventor Andy Vavolotis obtained the Greenwich 24 moulds from Allied Boat Company in 1972 and boosted her freeboard to improve headroom, adding seven inches to her length.

Cape Dory 25
Cape Dory 25
  • LOA: 24′ 10″
  • LWL: 18′ 0″
  • Beam: 7′ 3″
  • Draft: 3′ 0″
  • Displacement: 4,000 lbs.
  • Ballast: 1,700 lbs.
  • Sail Area: 264 sq. ft.
  • Bridge Clearance: 31′ 6″
  • Headroom: 5′ 0″
  • Fuel: Portable
  • Water: Portable
  • Designer: George Stadel
  • Builder: Cape Dory Yachts
  • Year Introduced: 1972
  • Year Ended: 1982
  • Total Built: 846


A fully enclosed head, a hanging locker, and an expanded galley were among the other changes. She’s a full-keeler rigged sloop with a small low-freeboard hull that begs for a wet ride. The design is rather old, but traditionalists will appreciate the classic lines and undersea profile, and the construction is bulletproof, in keeping with Cape Dory tradition.

Headroom is barely five feet down below; this was not corrected until the 25D successor arrived, which increased it to five feet eleven inches. Power is supplied by an outboard motor housed in a well in the lazerette. There have been minor adjustments over the years, such as the transition from fixed port lights to bronze opening ports around 1979.


Despite the fact that the Bluewater Sailboat Cape Dory 25 was designed for coastal sailing, some owners have carried their boats offshore. Author Ed Campbell describes cruising the United States Gulf Coast, including a trip to the Bahamas. His Cape Dory 25 escaped a collision with an underwater wire strung between two offshore oil rigs in one event. To prepare for offshore operations, Atom Voyages recommends lowering the cockpit footwell space and adjusting the companionway drop boards so they don’t fall out when elevated significantly.

End of Production

The model was discontinued in 1982 and was replaced by the beamier, heavier, and deeper Cape Dory 25D. With a total production run of 846 boats, none of the offshore capable Cape Dorys have sold better than the original Cape Dory 25.

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