Sketchbook 7-28-16 #1

Shearwater 38 M.S.

Length 37’-8”
Beam 12’-2”
Draft 48”
Disp. Est. 28,000 lbs.
Sail Area 248 total

I wandered across the Shearwater 38 design in my files today and spent a few hours working on a true motorsailer version of it. This drawing and its weight of customer input (in this case my own dreams) is tempered by a spring cruise that we did this year on our venerable old Fishing Troller the ‘Josephine’ and a really tough and rough crossing of the Straits of Georgia trying to get over to Nanaimo B.C. before the marine stores closed for the weekend (i.e. chasing some electrical parts that were threatening to spoil our trip). I should have stopped for the afternoon and finished travelling across the Strait Saturday morning, but I bet that the opposing wind and tide conditions in the straits would soften a bit once the tide changed to an ebb sometime around 2pm. I certainly missed that bet and conditions worsened considerably with the tide change leaving me in what some would categorize as true survival conditions. Suffice it to say that the highest speed we could manage in the seas and winds was a very slow 4 knots over the bottom and could only approach the short and steep chop at a 45 degree angle that tended to geometrically lengthen the crests between each wave set. If I allowed Josephine to work the seas on her own at the 45 degree angle it was breath-taking in its scary complex of conditions, but if I viewed out the port side looking out into the wave’s squarely I truly had to control my breathing. This was not my idea of fun at the tail end of what had been up to that time a very good early spring cruise north.

Shearwater38sketch2
So back to my design, the sail panels are very small, for two reasons the first of which is to make the panels so manageable that I would actually raise the sails rather than leave them flaked on the booms. The second reason is that when running in conditions like the ones we found in the Straits of Georgia this spring I could keep the sail panels up, helping soften the buffeting of the waves on my hull, minimizing the extreme motion the waves imparted to the vessel and helping my diesel engine drive the boat in conditions that would gray the hair of a normal mortal. So with this reduced rig I can fantasize even about cruising in high-latitude waters and still keep myself and the boat intact and seaworthy. Take a look and maybe you might agree with me that a snug and tough inboard rig, a proper diesel engine in the bilge, my best mate in a comfortable seat nearby and some of the those out of body moments experienced on days when all others dare to venture! Enjoy.

Shearwater38sketch

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Shearwater 38

This design was done for my co-worker, Lee Sandifur, who has steadfastly stood by my side for decades now and was the result of a coffee break conversation as to what his true dreamboat might flush out as. Believe it or not, we started by thinking about a version of our Czarinna 35 with twin outboards in wells for power and many hours later, the Shearwater 38 is where we finally landed.

I think the first idea put forward that tended to de-rail that Czarinna 35 train was Lee’s desire to do some high-latitudes cruising with the boat. I just couldn’t see a cruiser like the Czarinna 35 with outboard power really working for that type of cruising and I soon laid a fresh sheet of paper on the “ol drafting table” and we finally ended up with what you see enclosed.

So let’s take a look at the Shearwater 38 and see if we might strike a pang of desire in your own heart. As for me, I was smitten as soon as she fleshed out, easily seeing myself cruising about in her visiting many secluded and remote spots. She shares the aft house configuration of the Oysta / “Annie” types that have been dealt with in other designs with doors on both sides of the pilothouse that give access to the main cabin. There is a good helm area with space to share at the centerline wheel for the first mate (or other chums). A dinette with table on the port side and another settee to starboard allow good conversation and refreshment once you get the anchor down. Going down a couple of steps from the pilothouse, there is a galley to starboard and another seating area but I didn’t put a table in this space as the one in the pilothouse will serve that function but one could be fitted if desired. The single head is also accessed in this space with water closet up in the port edge, a sink fitted literally under the settee/dinette seat in the pilothouse above, and a shower fitted just outboard of the sink. A door at the front of this head compartment opens up a passageway that moves forward below the seats in the pilothouse, under the raised portion of the mid/waist deck and then into the forward sleeping cabin. In the pilothouse where the port side seat burns out, I show a hinged flap that either gives headroom to the passageway or allows the pilothouse door on the port side to be accessed and exit of the pilothouse can be done on either side.

Shearwater38CabinDetail

Once you’re in the fo’c’sle/sleeping cabin, there is literally not much to say except that there are two very comfortable and very accessible berths and plenty of lockers for gear. There is also another companionway that exits to the waist deck area and back on the deck. Access to the front of the engine room is accomplished from the fo’c’sle/sleeping cabin or from the port passageway that connects the stern to the forward cabin, via sliding doors on the side of the engine room.

There an anchor well deck up in the bows of the boat and here I would lodge a hydraulic anchor windlass with reel. These are great windlasses to choose from that hold plenty of rode and lots of chain connected to the anchor. They are run with a “b” series hydraulic pump off the engine and are about as trouble free as one can get anchoring. Another advantage of this type of anchoring gear is to keep the chain and rode out of the interior of the boat. If they come up off the bottom dirty and smelly, the rain will wash them off and it really helps to keep the interior of the boat in clean, dry shape.

As for the deck and working the boat, there is the mast forward with boom that could accommodate a simple sail, the forestay could be fitted with a roller furling jib, and the mizzen shows a small area steadying sail. For trade winds work, this rig could add considerably to the thrust of the engine and extend her range to oceanic levels if desired. The boom, in a lowered position, can fit up a good cockpit boom tent to provide shade outside when the sun is out. I also show stabilizer poles that hinge from the deck edge and are guyed to the mizzen mast for running in really rough waters. With small area and simple to set sails, poles guyed out and paravanes working away, this boat could run in just about any waters, safely and comfortably.

Shearwater38Side

Lee’s idea is to group fund the rest of the design and I know that he is hoping against hope that his own ship might come in and fund the actual build of her. I hope you all enjoyed the Shearwater and if you’re interested in helping with the funding of the final design, please feel free to contact either myself or Lee. – Sam Devlin

The Shearwater 38 is available as study plans. Please contact Sam if you would like to join in the development of a great traveling boat.

Shearwater38Top

Shearwater 38 Specifications

Length 37 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 48 in.
Power Inboard diesel 74-150hp
Displacement 28000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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