1988 Sigma 362, Moon Shadow

by Paul Little
(Exeter, Devon, UK)

Following the death of my father in 2017 I came into a small inheritance and decided that the best thing to do with it would be to fulfil an ambition set in place by my father over forty years ago - to sail around the world. I learnt to sail with my dad in the early 1970s in dinghy racing - we had a Wayfarer and later a small (22') coastal cruiser.

My knowledge of larger sailing boats was fairly limited but I started scouring the usual websites - boatshed.com, apolloduck.com etc. I wanted a boat big enough to be comfortable as a "home" for the two to five years I envisioned my circumnavigation to take but small enough to be easily handled either single-handed or with a small crew - me and one or two others. So something in the mid 30s seemed ideal.

An old friend had a Nicholson 32 which he loved and he swore by long keels for the comfort in a seaway. So thats where I started my search. What I found though was that all these types of boats had very "cosy" interiors.

I had done my RYA Day Skipper course in 2002 aboard a Sigma 362 and remember her being very comfortable inside with enough room for the five of us on the course. Her sailing ability was very good and she was quite fast - having the same hull as the Sigma 36 racing boat but with a different internal layout and a different coach roof.

As luck would have it I found Moon Shadow on the Isle of Wight and arranged to view her whilst visiting the Southampton Boat Show in 2019. She'd been out of regular use for a few years and need some TLC but following a satisfactory survey and some haggling I managed to purchase her for a very reasonable sum.

I've done some small mods to her so far - replaced the old (and unservicable) Stowe instruments with NASA Clipper ones. Installed a tricolour masthead light. Swapped the old stuffing box with a dripless seal. Had the engine fully serviced (I'm toying with the idea of removing it and doing a full overhaul before I set off). Installed a fridge. Installed (well, bought!) a Neptune windvane self steering system. Bought a new 15kg Rocna and 70m of 10mm chain along with 25m anchorplait (one slight side effect of this is that she now sits a bit "nose down" which I'm trying to figure out what to do about). I also want to replace the unknown age standing rigging - probably with Dyneema.

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'Califer', a Trapper 400 (aka Trapper 28)

by Will Perrett
(Gosport, Hants, UK)

Califer on her mooring in Portsmouth Harbour

Califer on her mooring in Portsmouth Harbour

'Califer' is a Trapper 400, built in the late '70s by Anstey Yachts in Poole, UK. She's a good example of this class, having been well maintained throughout her life.

Trapper 400s started life in Canada as the Viking 28, designed by Cuthbertson and Cassian and built by Ontario Yachts. Seventy-odd English Trapper 400s were built between the late '60s and the early '80s.

Early boats had swept-back sabre-shaped keels and rudders; later versions had spade-shaped appendages and redesigned mast step area and vee-berth to strengthen the hull. 'Califer' is one of the later boats.

Trapper 400s are not as numerous as the 500, but with less freeboard (no standing headroom!) and longer overhangs, she is much prettier.

'Califer' is an easy and delightful boat to sail, a capable cruiser (though the 4-berth accommodation is cramped by modern standards) which can give a good account of herself in local regattas and club racing.

She is a good seaboat, and slippery, especially in lighter conditions. Designed originally as a cruiser-racer, she will give larger yachts a run for their money.

I've owned 'Califer' for nine years now, and she has taken me to all parts of the Solent, Poole (her home port), Weymouth, the Dart, Salcombe, and across the English Channel to the French ports of Cherbourg and St. Vaast.

Trapper 400 General Specification:
Underwater Profile: Fin Keel with Spade Rudder
Rig: Masthead Sloop
Length Overall: 28'2" (8.6m)
Waterline Length: 22'0" (6.7m)
Beam: 8'4" (2.5m)
Draft: 4'9" (1.45m)
Displacement: 4,775lb (2,166kg)
Ballast: 2,250lb (1,021kg)
Construction: GRP (fiberglass)

Trapper 400 Published Design Ratios:
Sail Area/Displacement: 17.9
Ballast/Displacement:47.1
Displacement/Length: 200
Comfort Ratio: 18.4
Capsize Screening Formula: 2.0

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Tayana 37 'RedShift' for blue water sailing

by Tom McDonagh
(East Greenwich, RI)

Purchased s/v 'LIV' (now renamed 'RedShift') with new, (50 hrs) Yanmar 4JH57 motor on Point Judith Pond in October 2020 after selling my Tartan 30 'Serus' in a day. The boat has undergone (going) complete refit of all systems including but not inclusive:

  • Removal of teak deck planking and making up with cored fiberglass.
  • Deck faired and painted with Alexseal with course non-skid.
  • All original electrical wire removed and replaced as per ABYC suggested rules.
  • All new Garmin Radar, chartplotter, depthsounder and wind speed indicator.
  • Electronic autopilot to be installed in near-future as well as Sailomat Servo-pendulum wind vane.
  • All through hulls replaced and fresh water plumbing undergoing removal and replacement with PECs.
  • Extensive varnishing of interior ongoing.
  • Standing rigging undergoing evaluation this weekend by Tim Leary of Portsmouth, RI.


Published Specification for the Tayana 37:
Hull Type: Long Keel
Rig Type: Cutter
Length Overall: 36'8" / 11.2m
Waterline Length: 31'0" /9.5m
Beam: 11'6" / 3.5m
Draft: 5'8" / 1.7m
Displacement: 22,500lb / 10,206kg
Construction: GRP
First Built: 1976
Number Built: 558

Published Design Ratios for the Tayana 37:
Sail Area/Displacement: 17.4
Ballast/Displacement: 35.6
Displacement/Length: 337
Comfort Ratio: 41
Capsize Screening Formula: 1.6

Sailboat-Cruising.com asks: Need some guidance with all aspects (including those mysterious but all-revealing Design Ratios) of buying a secondhand boat? If so, click here...

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1963 Columbia 29, hull #37, "Pythagoras"

by Don Litton
(Channel Islands, CA, USA)

As a former owner of a Columbia 24 many years ago, I was glad to find this 29 for sale last summer. These old boats were built tough and are part of the old-school tradition of full keels molded with the hull, keel-hung rudders and narrow beams.

I probably won't be winning any races but for sea-worthiness and sea-kindliness, she is wonderful. My cruising ground is the Channel Islands here in southern California. Although they aren't far, the Santa Barbara Channel can offer up a lot of fun and challenging seas at times so it's nice to have a boat that is at ease under a variety of conditions.

She is a bit tender, but designed by Sparkman and Stephens to be that way to switch to a longer waterline. On a reach she easily jumps to 6 knots. I found one with no inboard engine, so no cut-out of the keel and rudder for a prop. I like that. Yes I have to deal with an outboard but the reduced weight, smell, through-hulls, maintenance and leaks that come with an inboard make it worth it to me. I am sure not all would agree.

In my old 24 I cruised many miles around the Channel Islands and plan the same for many more with my family.


Additional info by Sailboat-Cruising.com


  • Hull Type:~ Long keel
  • Hull Material:~ GRP (Fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:~ 28'6" / 8.7m
  • Waterline Length:~ 22'6" / 6.9m
  • Beam:~ 8'0" / 2.4m
  • Draft:~ 4'0" / 1.2m
  • Rig Type:~ Masthead sloop
  • Displacement:~ 7,400lb / 3,357kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:~ 16.46
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:~ 202
  • Designer:~ Sparkman & Stephens
  • Builder:~ Columbia Yachts (USA)
  • Year First Built:~ 1961
  • Year Last Built:~ 1965


Pythagorus is a 1963 MkI version of the Columbia 29. That year a raised deck version known as the 'Columbia 29 Defender' was introduced.

In 1965 production of the MkI ended and a MkII version was introduced, which sported a sleeker deck and coachroof than the MkI.

Production of the Columbia 29 came to an end in 1969, with some 600-odd boats having been constructed.

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Sabre 386, 'Jalapeño'

by Greg Gibson
(Tucson, AZ)

Jalapeño in Ensenada

Jalapeño in Ensenada

38.6 ft, Bermuda/Masthead Sloop
Full batten main, two reef points
Medium displacement, performance cruiser
Spade rudder
Fin keel

She's a beauty and sails like a dream, no longer produced by Sabre. Actually, Sabre now only produces motor yachts. It's a shame because they produced fantastic sailboats. The sales literature says she sleeps 7, Ha! My wife and I have come to the conclusion that two is max, unless in a slip and then maybe only three.

She hasn't been too far. For the first two years of life she lived in Ensenada, Baja California. It's a wonderful place but when all of the drug cartel stuff got nasty, it was too much hassle to get down to sail her. She now resides in San Diego, much closer to our Tucson home.

We've had her out in force 7 winds, 20ft swells with a reefed main and partially furled genoa and she handled it well.

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Oyster 45 Cygnus III (www.Cygnus3.com)

by Mark Roope
(Cruising around the world. Currently in Sicily)

Cygnus, besides being our boat is also a star constellation, deriving its name from the Latinized Greek word for swan. Now that may be all good and well but our boat is an Oyster. I suppose that a swan depicts beauty and elegance in the water where as an Oyster just sits there on the bottom admiring the inside of its shell … Well enough trivia, here is some sensible information about our boat:-


Cygnus III is an Oyster 45 designed by Holman and Pye.

She was built in 1996 by Landamores in the United Kingdom and launched in 1997.

Conceived as a replacement to the extremely successful Oyster 435 the Oyster 45 benefits from the experience of building sixty five of these fine boats. She provides improved performance and accommodation.

With three double cabins plus the saloon her accommodation matches that of her big sister the Oyster 485 and her centre cockpit and spacious deck saloon make her a delight to live aboard. She also has two heads and showers aboard along with a work room which is equipped with a workbench. Her sailing performance is enhanced by her fin keel with a high profile bulb that makes her stiff and responsive.

She has proven to us time and time again that no matter what the conditions she will keep us safe and comfortable.

We have adopted Cygnus and she has now become part of our family.

Additional information about the Oyster 45 from sailboat-cruising.com:~


  • Hull Type:~ Fin keel and spade rudder
  • Hull Material:~ GRP (Fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:~ 43'4" / 13.5m
  • Waterline Length:~ 38'0" / 11.6m
  • Beam:~ 14'0" / 4.3m
  • Draft:~ 6'6" s/ 2.0m
  • Rig Type:~ Mathead sloop
  • Displacement:~ 35,000lb / 15,876kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:~ 13.3
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:~ 285

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