The Pearson 39-2 Sailboat

The Pearson 39-2, a masthead sloop, was designed by William Shaw and built in the USA by Pearson Yachts.

A Pearson 39-2 sailboatMany thanks to Crystal and Rob Bleecher for this pic of their Pearson 39-2.

Published Specification for the Pearson 39-2

Underwater Profile: Fin keel and spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 39'3" (12.0m)

Waterline Length: 31'3" (9.5m)

Beam: 12'5" (3.8m)

Draft: 6'10" (2.1m)

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 16,800lb (7,620kg)

Designer: William Shaw

Builder: Pearson Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1986

Year Last Built: 1991


Published Design Ratios for the Pearson 39-2

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.2

  • 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: 40.5

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 246

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 26.9

  • 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 Key Performance Indicators...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Pearson 39-2

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18.2 suggests that the Pearson 39-2 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 40.5 means that the Pearson 39-2 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 246, tells us the Pearson 39-2 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 26.9 suggests that crew comfort of a Pearson 39-2 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 (CSF) of 1.9 tells us that a Pearson 39-2 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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