The Vancouver 27 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Vancouver 27, a small but sturdy sailboat designed for ocean cruising, was created by Canadian designer Robert Harris in 1972 and has been built by various manufacturers in Canada, the USA and the UK.

The Vancouver 27 is a cutter-rigged boat with a full keel, a transom-hung rudder and a high freeboard. It has a spacious interior with plenty of headroom and storage space, and can accommodate up to four people. The Vancouver 27 is known for its stability, ease of handling and seaworthiness, and has been sailed around the world by many adventurous sailors.

A Vancouver 27 cutter on a mooring ballA Vancouver 27 cutter moored in the River Yealm, Devon, UK

Published Specification for the Vancouver 27

Hull Type: Long keel with transom-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 27' 0" / 8.2m

Waterline Length: 22' 11" / 7.0m

Beam: 8' 8" / 2.6m

Draft: 4' 4" / 1.3m

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 8,960lb / 4,064kg

Designer: Robert Harris

Builder: Pheon Yachts Ltd (UK), Northshore Yachts Ltd (UK) and Philbrook's Boatyard (Canada)

Year First Built: 1973

Number Built: More than 250

Owners Association: Vancouver Yachts Association

Published Design Ratios for the Vancouver 27

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.2

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 38.7

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 332

4. Comfort Ratio: 33.2

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Vancouver 27

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 14.2 suggests that she'll 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 38.7 means that unless the bulk of the ballast is concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, she'll have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 332, 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.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 33.2 suggests that crew comfort 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. Her Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that she 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 Vancouver 27 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

The Vancouver 27 is no longer in production. The last boat was built by Northshore Yachts in the UK in 2011. The total number of boats built is estimated to be around 250, including the extended version called the Vancouver 28.

What is the history of the builders of the Vancouver 27 and is the company still in business?

The first two boats were built by Tradewind Yachts in Canada, and then molds were made from the second boat. The molds were used by Seair Marine Ltd and Philbrook's Boatyard in British Columbia, Canada, until they were destroyed by a storm in 1988. In the UK, the molds were acquired by Pheon Yachts Ltd, which later became Northshore Yachts. Northshore Yachts continued to build the Vancouver 27 and 28 until 2011, when they ceased trading. The company was acquired by Discovery Yachts Group in 2017.

What is the Vancouver 27 like to sail?

The Vancouver 27 is not a fast or agile boat, but it is easy to sail and handle in all conditions. It can sail close to the wind, but not as well as some modern designs. It performs best on a reach or a run, where it can maintain a steady speed of around 6 knots. The boat is well-balanced and has a light helm, which makes it ideal for single-handed or short-handed sailing. The boat can cope with heavy weather and rough seas, and has a good reputation for seaworthiness.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Vancouver 27?

The price of a used Vancouver 27 depends on its condition, age, equipment and location. A typical range is between £15,000 and £35,000 (or $20,000 to $47,000) as of 2023.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Vancouver 27?

Robert Harris was a prolific designer who created many other sailboats besides the Vancouver 27. Some of his most notable designs include the Tahiti Ketch, the Harris Offshore 38, the Harris Cuttyhunk 41, the Harris Pilot House Cutter, the Harris Gulfstream Cutter and the Harris Explorer Motor Sailer Series.

The above answers were drafted by 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 Vancouver range include:

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