Shearwater 39 by Dudley Dix

GRP, aluminum or timber Classic Cruiser

Length overall39' 4"12 m
Waterline length33' 10"10.3 m
Beam12' 10"3.9 m
Draft5' 11"1.8 m
Ballast weight8377 lbs3800 kg
Displacement21605 lbs9800 kg
Sail area842 sq. ft.78.20 m2
Engine power35 - 50 (inboard)
Hull construction Cold moulded, Fiberglass, Metal
See also Shearwater 45



A cruiser to be proud of

  • Admired wherever she goes
  • Grace, space and pace
  • Timeless appeal = resale value
  • Cruise anywhere in comfort
  • Inboard rudder now available for timber version
  • Too small? See the Shearwater 45

My brief for this design was very clear in requiring a yacht of strong traditional appearance above the waterline while having a modern underbody. Gerfried Nebe of Nebe Boats commissioned this design and is now world cruising on his own one. He was strongly influenced by some of the Bruce King designs as well as the Cherubini range of boats and they formed the starting point from which we worked to produce my version of that type of concept. Gerfried is also influenced by his own experience of the very able Miura as a cruising design and some of her features are to be found in this boat.

The final design has a pretty hull with pronounced sheer, a clipper bow with strong flare to the forward sections and a short bowsprit. Her stern is more champagne glass than wine glass in shape with a radiused transom, strong tumblehome in the after sections and transom hung rudder. Her deck configuration features a horseshoe shaped cockpit with plenty of length for sleeping while having a small well for safety offshore combined with a squared off cabin in keeping with her hull style. A powerfull double spreader cutter rig with standing intermediate or running backstays to support the inner forestay provides a versatile sail plan.

The fine entry of the hull combined with the flared clipper bow give good wave penetration for beating while providing a large amount of deck area and a dry ride under most conditions. The U-shaped bow sections reduce pounding when heeled by presenting more curvature for impact with the water than would be the case with V-shaped sections. The V-shaped stern sections combined with skeg mounted rudder right aft and the shallow forefoot provide good downwind control. The keel is a NACA foil and has external bolt-on lead ballast.

Layout A is designed for privacy for two couples or, if the quarter berth arrangement is varied, a family of 5 or 6 can be accommodated. The need for a feeling of space in the central area was kept in mind in planning the layout. Lockers there are aplenty but this part of a boat is subject to modification to suit the owner and the volume available in this hull provides plenty of scope. Opposite the head compartment is a workbench with lockers for routine maintenance. The galley has a large ice box or freeze locker, plenty of work area, twin sinks and work surface over the engine. A wet locker can be built under the companion steps. The remainder of the accommodation is self-explanatory and very comfortable.

Layout B offers a full width owner's aft cabin with direct access to the cockpit. The companion ladder into the saloon will be used by crew if the owner wants privacy. The excursion version features a 30 passenger cockpit and 2-berth accommodation.

Originally designed around a 2m tall client for whom the design has been built in aluminium, headroom has been reduced to 1,925m for the production GRP boats. Detailing has also been done for cold moulded timber construction.

The SHEARWATER 39 is a design for the serious cruising person who wants to get there comfortably but with little dawdling on the way. She is efficient as a sailboat and can aquit herself well in club or passage racing. She also has a big sister, the Shearwater 45, which can be built with either a cutter or a staysail schooner rig.

Excursion schooner

See also

Design Length Beam Sail area Engine power Compare
Shearwater 45 by Dudley Dix
GRP or wood classic cruiser
49' 5"
15.05 m
4 m
1144 sq. ft.
106.25 m2
50 - 60

Boats about same size as Shearwater 39

Didi 38   Didi 38
Radius chine plywood cruiser racer

LOA: 37' 9"/11.5 m   compare
Coquette 39   Coquette 39
GRP, timber or plywood sloop

LOA: 39' 4"/12 m   compare
Didi 40cr   Didi 40cr
Radius chine plywood cruiser racer

LOA: 39' 7"/12.07 m   compare
  Shearwater 45
GRP or wood classic cruiser

LOA: 49' 5"/15.05 m   compare

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