Shearwater 38 M.S.
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.
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.