The Northern 29 Sailboat

The Northern 29, a masthead sloop, was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built in Canada by Northern Yacht Ltd.

A Northern 29 sailboatA Northern 29 sloop

Published Specification for the Northern 29

Underwater Configuration:  Fin & Skeg

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 29' 0" / 8.8m

Waterline Length: 21' 3" / 6.5m

Beam: 9' 0" / 2.7m

Draft: 4' 6" / 1.4m

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 7,250lb / 3,289kg

Designer: Sparkman & Stephens

Builder: Northern Yacht Ltd (Canada)

Year First Built: 1972


Published Design Ratios for the Northern 29

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.5

  • 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: 51.8

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 337

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 25.5

  • 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: 1.9

  • 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 Northern 29

A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.5 suggests that the Northern 29 will approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 51.8 means that she'll stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

A Displacement/Length Ratio of 337, tells us she's clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 25.5 suggests that crew comfort 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.

Her Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.9 tells us that she would be a safer choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Sailboats in the Northern range include the:

  • Northern 1/4 tonner
  • Northern 25
  • Northern 29
  • Northern 37
  • Northern 7.5

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