The Nonsuch 30 Sailboat

The Nonsuch 30, a Catboat with a wishbone rig and unstayed mast, was designed by Mark Ellis and built in Canada by Hinterhoeller Yachts Ltd.

The Nonsuch 30, a Catboat with a wishbone rig and unstayed mast at anchor in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.The instantly recognisable Nonsuch 30 catboat, with its unstayed mast and wishbone rig.

Published Specification for the Nonsuch 30

Underwater Profile: Fin keel and spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (fiberglass)

Length Overall: 30'4" / 9.2m

Waterline Length: 28'9" / 8.8m

Beam: 11'11" / 3.6m

Draft: 5'0" / 1.5m

Rig Type: Wishbone (unstayed mast)

Displacement: 10,500lb / 4,763kg 

Designer: Mark Ellis

Builder: Hinterhoeller Yachts Ltd (Canada)

Year First Built: 1978

Year Last Built: 1989

Number Built: 1,080

Owners Association: International Nonsuch Association


Published Design Ratios for the Nonsuch 30

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.1

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 42.9

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 197

4. Comfort Ratio: 20.5

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 2.2

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Nonsuch 30

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18.1 suggests that the Nonsuch 30 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 42.9 means that the Nonsuch 30 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 197, tells us the Nonsuch 30 is clearly a light displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer dramatically.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 20.5 suggests that crew comfort of a Nonsuch 30 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a coastal cruiser with moderate stability, which is not encouraging news for anyone prone to seasickness. 

5. The Capsize Screening Formula of 2.2 tells us that a Nonsuch 30 would not be a good choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making, owing to the increased risk of capsize in strong winds and heavy seas when compared to a sailboat with a CSF of less than 2.0.


Any Questions?

What other versions of the Nonsuch 30 were built?

The Nonsuch 30 hull design was used to create the 1994 Nonsuch 324, which features a carbon fibre wishbone boom, more sail area and a wing keel. Nova.

What is the accommodation like in the Nonsuch 30?

The Nonsuch 30 has a spacious and comfortable interior, with a large open salon that can accommodate up to eight people. The boat has a galley with a stove, oven, sink and refrigerator, a head with a shower and sink, and a navigation station with a chart table and instruments. The boat has two sleeping cabins, one forward and one aft, each with a double berth and storage space. The boat also has ample ventilation and lighting, with several opening ports and hatches.

What, if any, alternative accommodation layout versions are available for the Nonsuch 30?

The boat was built with three different interior floor plans, the Classic, Ultra and Nova. The Classic layout has the galley along the port side of the salon, the head forward of the mast, and the navigation station aft of the mast on the starboard side. The Ultra layout has the galley aft of the mast on the port side, the head aft of the mast on the starboard side, and the navigation station forward of the mast on the starboard side. The Nova layout has the galley along the starboard side of the salon, the head forward of the mast on the port side, and the navigation station aft of the mast on the port side.

What sail plan and rigging options are available for the Nonsuch 30?

The Nonsuch 30 has a cat rig, an unstayed mast with a wishbone boom that carries a single large mainsail. The sail is controlled by two lines, one for hoisting and lowering it, and one for adjusting its shape. The boat does not have any headsails or spinnakers. The boat has an aluminium mast that is stepped on deck and supported by four shrouds that attach to chainplates on each side of the hull. The boat also has an aluminium boom that is attached to the mast by a gooseneck fitting and supported by two vangs that connect to pad eyes on each side of the hull. The boat has an electric winch for raising and lowering the sail, and two self-tailing winches for trimming it. The boat also has a traveller that runs across the transom for adjusting the boom angle.

What keel options are available for the Nonsuch 30?

The Nonsuch 30 has two keel options: a standard keel that has a draft of 5'0" (1.52 m) and a shoal keel that has a draft of 4'0" (1.21 m). Both keels are made of lead and bolted to the hull with stainless steel bolts. The keels have a fin shape that provides good lift and stability.

What is the Nonsuch 30 like to sail?

The Nonsuch 30 is an easy and fun boat to sail, especially for single-handed or short-handed sailing. The boat has a simple rig that requires minimal adjustments and maintenance. The boat has good performance in light to moderate winds, reaching speeds up to 7 knots. The boat also handles well in heavy winds, reefing easily by lowering the sail along its luff track. The boat has good manoeuvrability and responsiveness, tacking quickly by turning the wheel. The boat has a balanced helm that does not require much effort to steer. The boat also has good stability and comfort, with a wide beam and a low centre of gravity. The boat does not heel much and has a smooth motion in waves.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Nonsuch 30?

The average cost of a secondhand Nonsuch 30 varies depending on the year, condition, equipment and location of the boat. According to some online listings, the price range for a used Nonsuch 30 is between $30,000 and $60,000 USD.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com 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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