The Sundeer 56, an ultra-light fractional sloop, was designed by Steve Dashew and built in the USA by TPI Composites as a shortened version of the Sundeer 60.
The Sundeer 56 is a shortened version of the Sundeer 60, which was conceived as the most efficient two-person cruising boat by the Dashews, who are renowned for their expertise in offshore sailing and yacht design. Only 17 units of the Sundeer 56/60 were built between 1994 and 1997, making them rare and sought-after by adventurous sailors who value performance, safety and simplicity.
The Sundeer 56 has a distinctive look that reflects its no-nonsense offshore philosophy. It has a plumb bow with a tough bowsprit for anchor clearance, a straight and slightly uplifting sheer, a wide beam that stays aft, a cut-off stern with a molded swim platform, and three large and squarish portlights on each side of the hull. The hull shape is narrow (with a length-to-beam ratio of 4.9) and has very fine entries (14 degrees from centerline) to cut through waves upwind and surf downwind. The Sundeer 56 can easily average over 200 nautical miles a day offshore, thanks to its long waterline length (17.1 meters) and large sail area (96.9 square meters).
The rig is a simple sloop with a raked, double-spreader mast. The mainsail is large and powerful, while the foresail area is flexible and can accommodate different combinations of jibs, staysails, genoas and spinnakers. The mast height can vary depending on the owner's preference, but it is usually around 19.7 meters above the waterline. Some Sundeer 56s have swept-back spreaders or a B&R rig to reduce the need for running backstays.
The keel is a fin keel with a lead bulb that provides stability and reduces draft to 1.8 meters. The rudder is a spade rudder with a long and skinny skeg that protects it from damage and improves tracking. The propeller comes out close to the skeg on a steep angle to reduce drag and cavitation.
The cockpit is located aft and can be either center or wheelhouse style. It has a single or twin wheel steering system that can be connected to a tiller for emergency use. The cockpit is spacious and well-protected by a dodger or hard top, with good visibility and access to the sail controls. The cockpit also has ample storage space in lockers and lazarettes.
The interior of the Sundeer 56 is designed to be comfortable, practical and durable for long-term cruising. It has a deck saloon layout that offers plenty of natural light and ventilation through large windows, hatches and dorades. The headroom is generous throughout, ranging from 1.9 to 2 meters.
The saloon is located forward of the mast and features a U-shaped dinette to port that can seat six people comfortably around a large table that can be lowered to form an extra berth. To starboard, there is a long settee that can also serve as a sea berth, with storage space underneath and behind.
The Sundeer 56 has a warm and cozy atmosphere inside, with teak woodwork, white bulkheads, blue upholstery and brass fittings. The cabin sole is made of teak and holly, and the overhead is lined with vinyl. The lighting is provided by LED lamps and reading lights. The ventilation is ensured by 12 opening ports, 8 deck hatches and 4 dorade vents.
Hull and Deck
The hull and deck of the Sundeer 56 are made of fiberglass with balsa core for stiffness and insulation. The hull is molded in one piece with an integral grid structure that supports the keel, mast and rigging loads. The deck is bonded to the hull with epoxy and through-bolted on an inward flange. The hull-to-deck joint is covered by a teak toe rail that adds strength and beauty.
The deck is wide and flat, with molded nonskid surface for traction and safety. The deck hardware is of high quality and well laid out for easy handling of the sails.
Accolades & Awards
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