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

  • 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: 42.9

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 197

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 20.5

  • 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: 2.2

  • 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 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.

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