The Bowman 36 Sailboat

The Bowman 36, a long-keeled offshore cruiser, was designed by Holman & Pye and built in the UK by Bowman Yachts Ltd.

A Bowman 36 sailboat at anchorA Bowman 36 sloop.

Most were ketch-rigged, but a few (like 'Tilly Whim' shown here) have the Bermudian sloop configuration. There was also a lifting-keel option.

Published Specification for the Bowman 36

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 36'0" (11.00m)

Waterline Length: 26'8" (8.1m)

Beam: 11'4" (3.5m)

Draft: 5'8" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 19,500lb (8,845kg)

Designer: Holman & Pye

Builder: Bowman Yachts (UK)

Year First Built: 1970


Published Design Ratios for the Bowman 36

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 12.2

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: not available

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 459

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 40.3

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these all-revealing numbers...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Bowman 36

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 12.2 suggests that the Bowman 36 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. The Ballast/Displacement Ratio is not available for the Bowman 36.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 459, tells us the Bowman 36 is firmly in the ultra-heavy displacement category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected, not that it was ever startling. Few if any sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with some long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 40.3 suggests that crew comfort of a Bowman 36 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Bowman 36 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Other sailboats in the Bowman range include:


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