Re: help choosing boat

Posted by CLC on Aug 23, 2007

The Shearwater and Chesapeake are different animals. The Shearwater is narrow and fast and they run pretty small. At 155 pounds I definitely preferred the Shearwater 17 over the 2005 Shearwater 16. The 2007 Shearwater 16 has a lot more kneeroom and it's a closer call. The 17 is so tractable that I'd default to that one.

The Chesapeakes are bigger boats, meant for comfort and gear stowage. They have lovely handling characteristics, benign in wind and waves and way faster than any plastic boat of similar proportions. They outsell the Shearwaters year after year, simply because they're more stable.

As for Shearwater vs. Merganser, besides the obvious change-out of deck designs, this is what designer Eric Schade has to say:

"The hull shapes of the Merganser and Shearwater are similar but there are subtle differences. The most obvious is that the stem and stern of the Merganser are angled where they meet the keel whereas the Shearwater has a rounded fore foot and "skeg." The sheerline is also changed. Midship section and rocker are about the same. The construction of the hull shape was changed in ProBasic [the hull design software] so there are other differences."


In Response to: help choosing boat by Tom Callis on Aug 23, 2007


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