Sizzler: the answer to the question

This time, we are literally crossing the line; we are exploring a sailboat for powerboaters


By John Morris

Three sailors show off Sizzler’s push button controls

This time, we are literally crossing the line; we are exploring a sailboat for powerboaters

Is it possible, desirable, or sensible to build a sailboat for a powerboater? That’s why we are gathered here today and it’s also why I got on the blower with Tony Castro, the Southampton naval architect who dreamed up this sweetie and managed its manufacture. The evidence says no – Sizzler was built more than a decade ago and has had no peers launched since.

We will get the designer’s wisdom shortly but first, a quick patriotic moment to note that while Tony Castro is Portuguese and lives in the UK, he is an honorary Canadian when it comes to boats. CS owners will know him as the designer of the CS 30, 34, 40 and 44. Getting those highly successful boats into production required Tony to visit Brampton (where he was delighted to find a wallop of Portuguese speakers to make him feel at home).  But Tony had visited Toronto before – sailing in several Canada’s Cup events as a young member of bigtime race boat designer Ron Holland’s gang of ringers. But what you may not know (I didn’t) is that Castro designed some of the early Neptunus power yachts. He’s practically a Tim Horton Canuck. 



Ultra Luxury 















The glorious interior with stunning hydraulic array

Sizzler is likely the most beautiful sailing vessel this side of a Wally. It was built for its high rolling owner, the late Duane Hagadone who captained several deluxe power yachts but for reasons of boyhood tradition, commissioned a performance 60-foot daysailer to cruise on Idaho’s Lake Couer d’Alene which is conveniently 30 miles long. Basically, Sizzler was a showpiece to take friends out for dinner, but it hit some pretty high notes along the way. “When we were given a commission to build a sailing yacht for a lake – we thought we had misheard the guy!” laughs Castro. Then, Castro helped Hagadone build this cold-molded, western red cedar and African mahogany, Burmese teak, flush-deck objet d’art right there on his lake.

While Sizzler has no accommodation (except a lavish bar) belowdecks it does have the hydraulics and mechanics to make it fully automated: sail trimming and even dock lines roll-up while cockpit tables retract into the cockpit sole at a push of one of those buttons – you need not even smudge your makeup, right ladies? All this Italian Carboni-manufactured gear inside is strutted as you might restore the powerplant in a 1928 Duesenberg. Clearly, the budget was immodest.

A fully automated sailboat to host beautiful people while harnessing the gentle breezes might appear to be a capital idea that would foster a spate of similar luxe boats, but reality says otherwise. I asked Tony Castro why that might be. “There is a fundamental difference,” he tells me. Sailors need to do something.” An automatic boat takes the fun out of it.

So, we are left with a stunning non-answer to the conundrum as old as Phoenician galleys – where do power and sail connect across the line?

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