Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Shipman Association

24th September 2009
The combination of family- cruiser and racing yacht is possible if not easy to achieve. Many small cruisers are more like floating caravans than yachts and do not always sail well. Accommodation below decks is deemed more important than sleek lines and sailing performance and therefore resulting hybrids are not always easy on the eye.
Of course a sailing yacht should be beautiful and preferably as spacious as a small summer retreat as it is this appeal that makes for sales at boat shows and exhibitions. Racing in Dublin Bay now for many years there is such a boat, the Shipman 28 and with an overall length of 29ft in old money or 8.86 meters and a beam of 8 feet 6 inches or 2.6meters, is just about right for reasonably exciting one design class racing in 'the bay'. Many of the fleet also partake of summer cruising around the coast or even further afield to the UK or beyond, time permitting. With the class having their own Yearbook the annual racing and cruising exploits of the various members can be followed with interest along with other tit bits of generally interesting and useful information.
Originally designed in Sweden by Olle Enderlein as a family cruiser racer for the Baltic Sea, his aim was to produce a yacht that would be sensitive on the helm to windward and easy to hold on course under hard conditions. In port she was to be practical down below with full headroom, five berths, one converting to a double, and a proper galley and comfortable dinette. A separate sea toilet compartment and normally 12hp diesel engine completes the essential fit-out. All this and more was achieved in his resulting design, the Shipman.
In these recessionary times it can be difficult to justify the expenditure of scarce resources on purchasing expensive items such as yachts. How ever, at an average selling price in the region of €10 K to €16K depending on condition, not only will any new owner be joining a great racing class in Dublin Bay, there is also the prospect of summer cruises to the many marinas and harbors within a reasonable distance and the bank will not be broken.
When first launched unto the market in 1970 one particular press cutting wrote 'it is easy to get enthusiastic about the the Shipman. To the yacht lover with a vision of what a yacht should be like it matches many dreams and has many of the qualities and finer points that boat lovers admire. For example well proportioned lines. Nice colors, fine sailing-qualities and comfortable accommodation
Shipman has all this and a little more. The woodwork creates a cosy atmosphere onboard and looks very nice and expensive too. And then to the best thing of all about the Shipman, the sailing qualities. We have never sailed a boat that is more stable on course. In short, this is a super boat.'
The Commodore of the Shipman Class Association in DunLaoghaire is Mr. John Clarke , tel. 01 2895231 E- mail [email protected] and both he and other members of the Class are always available to offer advice and information to prospective Shipman owners or anyone wishing to learn more about the boat and the Association.
Published in Classes & Assoc Team

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