The S&S 34 Sailboat

The S&S 34, a masthead sloop, was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built in the UK by Winfield & Partners/Aquafibre.

An S&S 34 sailboat powers to windwardAn S&S 34 powers to windward under full sail

Published Specification for the S&S 34

Underwater Profile: Fin keel & Skeg-Hung Rudder;

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass);

Length Overall: 33'5" (10.2m);

Waterline Length: 24'2" (7.4m);

Beam: 10'1" (3.1m);

Draft: 5'9" (1.8m);

Rig Type: Masthead sloop;

Displacement: 9,195lb / 4,171kg;

Designer: Sparkman & Stephens;

Builder:  Winfield & Partners/Aquafibre (UK);

Year First Built: 1968;

Owners Association: Sparkman & Stephens Owners Association

An S&S 34 sailboat underway

'Morning', an S&S 34 for Sale

Although 'Morning' is no longer for sale, the interesting pics and text of the original advertisement are available here for the benefit of anyone researching this classic sailboat.

Published Design Ratios for the S&S 34

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 12.5

  • 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: 42.0

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 398

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 34.3

  • 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: 1.7

  • 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 S&S 34

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 12.5 suggests that the S&S 34 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 42.0 means that the S&S 34 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 398, tells us the S&S 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 34.3 suggests that crew comfort of a S&S 34 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a S&S 34 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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