The new Shannon 52 RDP (Raised Deck Pilot)
The new Shannon 52 RDP design by Walt Schulz combines innovative comfort and proven seaworthiness. The additional comfort is provided by a new raised deck pilot concept incorporating an interior steering helm station. The seaworthiness is achieved by using the ocean tested Shannon 47/52 hull and blue water center cockpit design. The interior helm station enables people to get out of the weather - sun, rain, cold, or heat. For good weather conditions, the raised cockpit features comfortable seating and enhanced visibility. The unique deck plan of the 52 RDP has a pilot house that is low enough for good visibility from the aft wheel while the sight lines from the protected interior steering station are unobstructed in all directions including aft. The 52 RDP reflects the excellent ergonomic cockpit design of the Shannon 43 and 47, and has a large aft lazerette for storage.

Compared to popular deck salon models currently offered by other boat builders, the Shannon 52 RDP has the advantages over these boats of a full function second interior helm station, improved ventilation throughout the boat especially in a more roomy galley; visibility looking outside when seated in a larger salon that includes an off-watch sea berth; better location of the engine(s) and generator under the salon rather than wedged aft under the cockpit; a more spacious seaworthy cockpit also with excellent visibility; no ports in the hull that potentially can sink the boat; no changes in cabin sole height with awkward up and down steps; etc.

The Shannon 52 RDP (left)shown with Shannon's own scutter rig and (right) Hull #1 Shannon's sketch rig
The interior of the 52 will be totally custom to order, but the preliminary plans provide for a three sleeping cabin/two head arrangement. Both the forward and aft cabins are spacious enough to qualify as the owners’ cabin, and include en suite heads with separate stall showers. The third sleeping cabin with over and under singles makes for an excellent cabin offshore. The seagoing galley has tremendous storage. Space is provided for an office for the owner with large desk with chair and full communication capabilities. The wheelhouse has a sizeable L dinette that doubles as an off-watch bunk, wet bar, entertainment center, sofa/loveseat and, of course, the interior helm station in the wheelhouse.
The 52 RDP hull is available in either a keel centerboard configuration drawing 5'9" or a fixed draft drawing 7'. The reverse transom provides a large swim platform for easy boarding from a dinghy plus a convenient storage space for the life raft. The available rig choices include the acclaimed Shannon Scutter or Sketch, with the Sketch having a height of less than 65' making it suitable for the ICW. The 52 RDP is a true performance bluewater passagemaker capable of 200 mile days. Since most long distance voyagers are two people sailing teams, the goal of the new design is to eliminate work, especially winching and handling sails. The exclusive Shannon Scutter and Sketch rigs can utilize all the modern advances in sail handling like electric winches, electrical operated roller furling main booms and headstay roller furlers, self tending club booms, etc. to eliminate work and provide effortless push button sailing without compromising performance. One person is able to raise, reef, or lower sails just by pressing a button. In the event of any mechanical failure, the sails can be operated manually. (A sailing demo can be seen in the Shannon 43 Pilot video)

Manuevering the boat in the marina is just as easy with available twin diesels and a bow thruster for docking in tight quarters. The twin diesel feature of Shannon 52 RDP allows enhances the long range capability of the boat. Robert Beebe in the original edition of Voyaging Under Power recommends using twin diesels of the same size for safety, fuel economy, reliability and redundancy. The questionable availability and quality of diesel fuel, especially in remote parts of the world poses a problem for mariners in the 21st century. Fuel loaded with water can cause big problems, and global instability could make even bad fuel hard to find at any price. A true sailboat with twin diesels is the best of all worlds, as one engine alone can get you home in the event of a mechanical failure, or can provide transoceanic range at reduced speed under power alone. With either the twin diesel engines or the larger single diesel, the 52 RDP will still make good time over long distances when the wind doesn't cooperate.

Another significant advantage of the 52 RDP raised deck pilot configuration is the extraordinary amount of useable accessible space that can be dedicated to the engine

Shannon 52 RDP sketch rig

room and machinery spaces. Desalinators, oil changers, washer/dryers, fuel polishing systems, etc. can all be accommodated, and more importantly are installed with easy access for maintenance.

The new Shannon 52 RDP will have the unrivaled attention to detail and finish, robust hi-tech composite core fiberglass hull and deck, and quality construction that has earned Shannon a reputation as the premier builder of ocean cruising yachts over the last 34 years.

For more details about the preliminary specifications for the new Shannon 52 RDP, contact Bill Ramos at Shannon Yachts. Hull #1 is now available for viewing and sea trials in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. With its all weather capability, the new Shannon 52 RDP will enjoy unlimited horizons in total comfort and luxury regardless of the conditions outside.

Shannon 52 RDP Specifications

Copyright © 2009 Schulz Boat Co.

52 RDP sailing
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September 30, 2010. Walt, Erin and Bill sea trial the Shannon 52 RDP Hull #1