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A modern motorsailer

Components of a good motorsailer

1. Mast and sail area are ample for sailing and motorsailing

Nordhavn 56 MS

 but not too much to be handled easily by a small crew.

2. Mast is 73 feet, 6 inches above the waterline; some are considerably shorter.

3. Fully enclosed raised pilothouse gives good visibility,

comfort, protection and safety.

4. Open aft cockpit allows the owner to enjoy cockpit life at anchor,

as he would in a sailboat or typical trawler.

5. Outside midship sailing station helps for sail visibility,

sensitivity to elements and fine-tuned sailing.

6. Rudder is larger than typically found on most powerboats for

better steering while sailing. However, it’s also close enough to

the prop for responsiveness when maneuvering under power.

7. Running gear is protected.

8. An adjustable, variable-position folding prop, controlled from the helm,

allows better sailing when feathered and facilitates proper loading

of the diesel when motorsailing with engine running at low rpm.

9. An almost full “cruising keel” gives the stability of a sailboat, helps to prevent slippage while sailing, and protects the prop from grounding and debris.

It terminates well forward of the prop, which among other things helps with

coming about while under sail and close-quarter maneuvering under power.

The keel has approximately 17,500 pounds of encapsulated lead. Draft is

6 feet fully loaded; others draw considerably less but may not sail as well.

10. Sails have power control. This adds convenience

and safety and avoids the need for larger crews.

11. Wide beam of 16 feet, 7 inches, with much of it carried

aft, allows more accommodation space than you’d expect

in a pure sailboat, and larger engine and tankage capacity.

This also helps position the master stateroom in the

most comfortable area of the hull.

12. Beam/hull design allows a walk-in engine room.

13. Swim step is very convenient.

14. Low center of gravity and heavy hull facilitate

placement of tender over pilothouse.

See related articles:

- The best of both worlds

- What makes a good motorsailer? Jim Leishman

- What makes a good motorsailer? Ted Hood

- What makes a good motorsailer? Bob Johnson

- What makes a good motorsailer? Mark Bruckmann and Mark Ellis

- What makes a good motorsailer? Walt Schulz

The article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue.