Many fiberglass production sailboats that have lengths around 27 feet and are from decades past still loom large in sailboat lore: the Catalina 27, Hunter 27, Ranger 26, etc. This family of boats—made to be simultaneously seaworthy, fun, beginner friendly, and affordable—are ubiquitous to the point where a marina may seem a little wanting without a few of them in their slips. Enter the Cascade 27, one of the Pacific Northwest’s contributions to this fleet.
Cascade Yachts were originally built in Portland, Oregon, and were the product of lead designer Robert Smith (former Sparkman’s and Stephens Yachts’ designer) and a team of local sailors. The company roots go back to 1954, and Cascade Yacht Works is still in business, now out of Warrenton, Oregon. They may have been the first to use the term bulletproof literally when describing their builds, for they actually shot their boats with firearms back in the day to prove their strength.
With its sloop rig, fin keel, spade rudder, and small skeg for a propeller and shaft, the Cascade 27 was designed primarily for coastal cruising. The small, seaworthy cockpit and relatively wide side decks certainly imply open water voyages.
An example of a Cascade 27 boat is Skylark, a 1983 model currently for sale. It is decked out with a slightly wider than standard cabin house and a Universal M2-12, 11-horsepower diesel engine. The owners allegedly took Skylark to Hawaii and back, and a custom trailer makes the Sea of Cortez and inland waters all that more accessible.
If you’re on the market for a reliable sailboat that won’t break the bank, the Cascade 27 is a statement of Cascadian pride. Skylark is currently for sale with the Port Townsend Boat Company and listed at $16,500.