Uwe Jaspersen is not an unfamiliar name to the boat building industry, his straight talking no bullshit attitude sometimes rubbed people up the wrong way, but he sure knew how to get the job done. His passion for boat building, especially projects which involved cool racing boats were always tackled with infectious enthusiasm. It is therefore with deep sadness, that on Monday 20th July 2020 we had to announce the untimely passing of a great friend, a world class boat builder, and a key role player in producing some of the coolest boats in South Africa. The loss of Uwe will leave a big hole in the sailing and boating family.
Born and raised on a farm in Namibia, Uwe spent his weekends at the small coastal town of Swakopmund, which led to his deep rooted love for the ocean. After a short overseas stint, Uwe moved to Cape Town and started his apprenticeship in boat building with various yards. His big break came in 1992 when he started up the Southern Wind Shipyard, which now builds some of the finest 80 – 100 footers in the world. Not willing to work for a boss anymore but rather do his own thing, Uwe left Southern Wind to pursue his career in boat building and quickly established himself as the go-to guy for any composite or exotic builds that required a unique skill for once-off designs. In 2001 he founded Jaz Marine, which for 11 years was synonymous with a string of high-performance yacht builds, ranging from the Morrelli/Melvin-designed 62 foot fast cruising catamarans to many internationally acclaimed Class 40’s, one of which became the 2008 world champion boat.
After the financial crisis of 2008, boat building went through a tough period with investments in leisure boating dwindling along with boat yards. Fortunately for Uwe, his composite skills attracted some special once-off fabrications, such as masts and general components, which required a specialist build. This led to the founding of Carbo Tech. One of his pet projects was the fast and furious Jazz 30 “Monkeys in the Mist”, a Jaspersen-designed and built 30ft Volvo 60 lookalike. This 30 footer proved to be way ahead of her time, and she is still racing in Table Bay today. Carbo Tech then ventured into the line-manufacturing of power boats and yachts. Projects included the American Hammer Cat 35, designed for the sports-fishing and general leisure boating sector, and the Mills-designed Cape 31, which has gained worldwide recognition for its build-quality and reasonable pricing. He leaves a strong legacy in our boat-building industry.
Uwe leaves his beloved daughter Pia, her mother Rachael and his partner Angela.
Rest in peace mate.