Members' Online Book: Offshore Sailboat Design, Chapter 3 of 5

Volume—And Its Effects

We need an easy motion upwind

The first thing you notice about some of the latest generation yachts is freeboard—and plenty of it. This is especially true of sub-40 footers, but once again, it’s creeping up the size ladder. And it’s all about maximising headroom and internal volume, making the interior as habitable as possible for in-harbour living.

It’s also a reflection of the very shallow canoe body of the more recent boats, which, with their almost flat bilges have very little actual boat below the waterline. So in order to compensate, and to achieve standing headroom (throughout, if possible), the only way to go is up. And in the very latest boats, the coachroof is also spreading, leading to boats with narrow side decks, which are a pain in the neck to negotiate.

The boat we had was cavernous inside, with enormous space for people to move around, as a result of her high freeboard, wide coachroof, and beam drawn well aft. Fine for two weeks with six people living aboard and stopping off each night, but what are the implications for sailing performance and general boat handling?

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Meet the Author

Colin Speedie

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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