The Starlight 39 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Starlight 39 is a performance cruising yacht that was launched in 1990 by Sadler Yachts, a British company that was founded in 1974.

It was designed by Stephen Jones, a renowned naval architect who has created many successful racing and cruising boats. The Starlight 39 has received wide acclaim from the sailing press and the public, and has proven its seaworthiness and ease of handling in various challenging conditions, including the 1990 two-handed trans-Atlantic race. It is also known as the Sadler 38.

A Starlight 39 sailboat motor-sailing, with backwinded headsailA Starlight 39

Published Specification for the Starlight 39

Underwater Profile: Wing keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 38'10" (11.8m)

Waterline Length: 31'9" (9.7m)

Beam: 12'6" (3.8m)

Draft: 5'4" (1.6m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 19,749lb (8,958kg)

Ballast: 7,119lb (3,229kg)

Designer: Stephen Jones

Builder: Sadler Yachts, Rustler Yachts (both UK)

Year First Built: 1990


Published Design Ratios for the Starlight 39

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.7

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 36.1

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 275

4. Comfort Ratio: 31.2

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Starlight 39

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 15.7 suggests that the Starlight 39 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 36.1 would usually mean that the Starlight 39 would have a tendency to heel uncomfortably in a gust, and need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

However, as she has much of her ballast concentrated in wings at the foot of her keel, she's likely to be considerably stiffer than her published Ballast/Displacement Ratio might suggest.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 275, tells us the Starlight 39 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 31.2 suggests that crew comfort of a Starlight 39 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 1.8 indicates that a Starlight 39 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 



Any Questions?

Is the Starlight 39 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

No, the Starlight 39 is not still in production. Production ended in 1994, after four years and about 50 boats built.

What is the history of the builders of the Starlight 39 and is the company still in business?

The Starlight 39 was built by Sadler Yachts, a company that was founded by Martin Sadler in 1974. Sadler Yachts specialized in producing high-quality cruising boats that were also fast and fun to sail. Some of their most popular models include the Sadler 25, 26, 29, 32, and 34. Sadler Yachts also introduced the innovative concept of unsinkable boats with foam-filled hulls. Sadler Yachts ceased trading in 2008 due to financial difficulties. However, some of their models are still being built by Rustler Yachts, a company that acquired the moulds and rights to produce Sadler and Starlight boats.

What keel options are available for the Starlight 39?

The Starlight 39 has two keel options: a fin keel or a wing keel. The fin keel has a draft of 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in) and a ballast of 3,400 kg (7,496 lb). The wing keel has a draft of 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) and a ballast of 3,600 kg (7,937 lb). Both keels are made of cast iron and are bolted to the hull with stainless steel bolts.

What is the Starlight 39 like to sail?

The Starlight 39 is a fast and responsive boat that can handle various wind and sea conditions with ease. It has a powerful hull shape that cuts through waves smoothly and efficiently, and an efficient rig that provides good sail balance and control. The Starlight 39 can reach speeds of up to nine knots upwind and over twelve knots downwind. It also has excellent manoeuvrability and stability, thanks to its well-designed rudder, keel, and hull form. The Starlight 39 is easy to sail single-handed or with a small crew, as all lines are led back to the cockpit and self-tailing winches are provided as standard. The cockpit is spacious and comfortable, with good visibility and protection from spray. The wheel is well-positioned and gives good feedback to the helmsman.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Starlight 39?

The average cost of a secondhand Starlight 39 depends on the year, condition, and equipment of the boat. According to YachtWorld, a website that lists boats for sale, the current asking prices for Starlight 39s range from £39,000 to £99,950. The average asking price is £69,475.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Starlight 39?

The designer of the Starlight 39 is Stephen Jones, a British naval architect who has been designing sailboats since 1974. He has created many successful racing and cruising boats, both for production and custom projects. Some of his most notable designs include the J/105, J/109, J/111, J/133, J/160, J/122E, J/112E, J/97E, J/88, J/70, J/80, J/92S, Quarter Tonner, Half Tonner, One Tonner, Sigma 33, Sigma 38, Sigma 362, Sigma 41, Elan 333, Elan 340, Elan 350, Elan 37, Elan 410, Elan Impression 434, Elan Impression 444, Elan Impression 494, Rustler 36, Rustler 42, Rustler 44DS.

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.


Other sailboats in the Starlight range include:


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