The design intent of the Shannon 43 hull was to create a boat that would perform well in the wide range of wind and sea conditions experienced by the offshore cruising sailor. Any boat, regardless of size, represents a series of compromises, and each sailor must balance these trade-offs when making a selection. For instance, it is not difficult to design a sailboat that will just go fast in light winds. The designer draws a boat with very light displacement and a bolt-on fin keel. In order to be light, the boat must be built to minimal construction standards, and the water and fuel capacity, stowage, and machinery restricted to save weight. To complicate things further, a boat that is one knot faster at 5 knots of wind is not necessarily one knot faster in 15 knots of wind. Conversely, a very heavy boat can provide lavish accommodations and tankage, but it will pay a large penalty in light to moderate winds.
The design goal for the Shannon 43 was to create a medium displacement boat that would accommodate the strongest construction standards in the industry, provide the necessary water and fuel capacities, and create an environment in which people could sail safely, comfortably, and quickly no matter how long or short the passage. The 43 has a length/displacement ratio of 250, and a sail area/displacement ratio of 18.6. The consensus of yacht designers is that boats with these mid-range figures are the best suited for long distance passage making. The safest ocean voyage is always the swiftest as long as the boat provides security and comfort even in extreme conditions.
The Shannon 43's hull design has been proven over the last 12 years on many ocean voyages, such as an 18 day 3,000 nautical mile transatlantic crossing in 1994 from Newport, RI to Ireland, and an impressive 2nd overall and 1st in class finish in the 1991 Marion, MA to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race. However, like all Shannons, the 43 hull was not designed to win around-the-buoys races, and no compromises were made for handicap rules or ratings. Shannons set records because they are fast, boat for boat, and because the people sailing them have the big advantage of being on a boat that will not tire them out during the passage.
The information contained within this site will highlight the design, engineering, and construction details that set Shannon apart. Specific construction features and equipment selections are presented to demonstrate Shannon's commitment to serious voyaging boats using only top quality materials and equipment. We believe that careful consideration of the information will show that the closer the scrutiny, the better a Shannon looks.
"This (my) boat is a Shannon 43. It's one of the 12 best-built boats in the entire world."
Freeman goes out sailing by himself, saying he
enjoys the challenge.
"If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn't
worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it's life or death. There's no quarter."
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