Family-owned business moves into new Cape Town facility


uad Jacobs has personally built more than 20 boats at last count, of all shapes and sizes, and now the veteran builder has moved into a long-awaited new facility in Retreat, not far from the family yard where it all started almost 40 years ago.

Jacobs Brothers is a boatbuilding institution in Cape Town, specialists in aluminium boats, some of which have sailed to distant corners of the globe as hardy expedition vessels. The team’s sturdy engineering has underpinned expeditions to  the Amazon River, Polynesia, the South Atlantic, Antarctica and the Arctic, and right around the planet.

But the yard has not had an easy time of late, buffeted by Covid-19 supply chain issues and skyrocketing aluminium prices that have impacted various economic sectors.  Jacobs hopes some of these issues might soon be resolved, possibly with the help of some collective action by those most affected. “Yes, high aluminium prices and availability will make an impact on operations and could affect growth,” said Jacobs, an industry award winner at last year’s SABBEX gala dinner. “It would be great if there can also be negotiations on behalf of the aluminium industry,” Jacobs told SABBEX.

The delay in delivery of imported goods was a further obstacle that needed to be resolved. “Luckily we have a boat to finish off and some smaller jobs that keep us busy for now,” he said.

At the new facility Jacobs now has space for 4×60 ft monohulls or 2x60ft cats with a 10m wide doorway. He is ready for business, although currently work consists of relatively minor jobs. “We have quoted for some interesting boats, but with a possible Covid 4th wave (now confirmed) and a travel ban, we’re not sure when a new build could start,” said Jacobs. “We however take on refits, repairs and smaller jobs to stay busy. Hopefully the economy will recover soon.”

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