The Fisher 34 Motorsailer

The Fisher 34 is a classic motor-sailer that combines the best of both worlds: a powerful engine and a spacious wheelhouse for comfortable cruising, and a well-balanced sail plan and a sturdy hull for sailing performance.

The boat was designed by Wyatt and Freeman, inspired by the Colin Archer fishing boats of Norway, and built by various companies in the UK since 1978. The Fisher 34 has a loyal following of owners and admirers who appreciate its timeless design, comfort and rugged sea-keeping abilities.

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

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 41.3

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 433

4. Comfort Ratio: 52.5

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.49

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. 

Any Questions?

Is the Fisher 34 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Fisher 34 is no longer in production. The last Fisher 34 was built in 2010 by Northshore Yachts. According to the Fisher Owners Association, there were 211 Fisher 34s built between 1978 and 2010.

What is the history of the builders of the Fisher 34 and is the company still in business?

The Fisher 34 was originally built by Fairways Marine, which later became Fisher Yachts International. In 1988, Fisher Yachts International went into receivership and the moulds were acquired by Northshore Yachts, which continued to build the Fisher range until 2010. Northshore Yachts also went into administration in 2013 and was taken over by Discovery Yachts Group, which currently owns the rights to the Fisher brand but does not produce any new boats.

What sailplan and rig options are available for the Fisher 34?

The Fisher 34 has two main sailplan options: a ketch rig with a mizzen mast and sail, or a sloop rig with a single mast and a larger mainsail. The ketch rig offers more flexibility and balance in different wind conditions, while the sloop rig is simpler and faster. Both rigs have a furling genoa as the headsail. Some owners have also added a staysail or a spinnaker to their boats for extra performance.

What is the Fisher 34 like to sail?

The Fisher 34 is a heavy displacement boat that sails well in moderate to strong winds. It has a good motion in waves and can handle rough seas. It is not very fast or agile, but it is steady and reliable. It can be sailed from either the cockpit or the wheelhouse, depending on the weather and preference. The wheelhouse offers excellent visibility and protection from the elements, while the cockpit gives more feel of the wind and water.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Fisher 34?

Wyatt and Freeman are the naval architects behind the entire Fisher range of motor-sailers, which includes the models 25, 30, 31, 32, 37, 38, and 46. They also designed other boats such as the Freeward 25, Freeman 33 Ketch Cruiser, Wyatt Wren Mk II, Freeman Starclass Ketch Cruiser, Freeman Starclass Sloop Cruiser, Wyatt Wren Mk III Sloop Cruiser.

How does the Fisher 34 compare to other motor-sailers on the market?

The Fisher 34 is one of the most popular and well-known motor-sailers in its size range. It has a distinctive style that appeals to many sailors who value tradition and comfort. It competes with other motor-sailers such as the Nauticat 33, the LM 32, the Colvic Watson 28, the Westerly Konsort Duo, and the Moody 34. The Fisher 34 has a larger wheelhouse and a higher freeboard than most of its rivals, which gives it more space and protection, but also more windage and weight. The Fisher 34 also has a better sailing performance than some of its competitors, especially in the sloop version.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

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