The Fisher 34 Motorsailer

The Fisher 34, a long-keeled motorsailer, was designed by Wyatt & Freeman and built in the UK by Northshore Ltd.

A Fisher 34 motorsailer flying a mizzen staysailWith its headsail furled, and the mainsail furled on a behind-the-mast furler, this Fisher 34 motorsailer ketch is flying a cruising chute and a mizzen staysail

Published Specification for the Fisher 34

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 34'1" (10.4m)

Waterline Length: 29'10" (9.1m)

Beam: 11'0" (3.4m)

Draft: 4'10" (1.5m)

Rig Type: Ketch

Displacement: 25,759lb (11,684kg)

Designer: Wyatt & Freeman

Builder: Northshore Ltd (UK)

Year First Built: 1978

Year Last Built: still in production

Owners Association:

Published Design Ratios for the Fisher 34

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 11.6

  • 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: 41.3

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 433

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 52.5

  • 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: 1.49

  • 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 Fisher 34

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 11.6 suggests that the Fisher 34 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions motor-sailing will be the only way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 41.3 means that the Fisher 34 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 433, tells us the Fisher 34 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 52.5 suggests that crew comfort of a Fisher 34 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of an extremely heavy bluewater boat - and that's as comfortable as life ever gets on a sailing boat!

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.49 tells us that a Fisher 34 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

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