Shannon 38 SRD Page 2
Exclusive: Shannon 38 SRD — By George L. Petrie — January 2005
Four in One
Part 2: Shannon is equally fastidious about the quality of joinery, fit, and finish.
As impressive as the hull is in straight-line performance, she really shines in the corners. At full throttle, I yanked the wheel hard over—a standard boat-test maneuver that sometimes elicits startling results. But I’ve never experienced anything like this. The hull banked ever so slightly and seemed to pivot like it was tied to a string, carving a turn with a radius of about two boat lengths. Tight figure-eights were the same—no fuss, just tracking and turning like she had a six-foot centerboard under her keel. And low-speed maneuvering was just as sure-footed, even with her modest two-foot draft.
Though we ventured all the way to the mouth of Narraganset Bay, we found nothing more challenging than swells about two feet high to test her rough-water performance. But from her hull form, I have every reason to believe that the Shannon 38 rides as softly as Schulz claims, although with her round bilge, she does tend to take a bit of water on deck. (Editor’s note: During the Newport Boat Show, I ran the same 38 through some large waves and found her ride quality amazingly smooth—not a hint of pounding on any course. —Richard Thiel)
Shannon is equally fastidious about the quality of joinery, fit, and finish. The varnished mahogany in our test boat’s interior was flawlessly finished, making a nice match with the teak and holly soles throughout the lower deck. To ensure consistency, all woods used in joinery are hand-picked for grain and color. Although Shannon will configure the interior layout of each yacht to suit the owner’s wishes, the proportions of the lower-deck spaces convey a definite “sailboat” aspect, with a narrow but adequate V-berth forward and the galley and head at the base of the companionway. Our test boat had a truly spacious saloon, with two facing settees separated by a beautiful custom cocktail table, but the space is large enough to accommodate an optional second stateroom.
Another feature I liked on our test boat was the custom helm seat, finished in soft Ultrasuede with stainless steel frames and tilt-up arms, and wider in the seat than a standard chair for a bit more wiggle room. A pair of deck hatches offers good access to the engines, while a third hatch in the swim platform affords access to the steering gear and room to stow shore-power cords and dock lines.
It struck me as a bit ironic that the Shannon 38’s relatively conventional cockpit layout belies her radically different shape beneath the waterline. Notwithstanding her distinctive exterior styling, she gives no obvious hint of the profound achievement that her design represents, delivering the speed of a true planing hull and the comfort of a full-displacement hull. I can hardly wait to get onboard Hull No. 3 and wring out the new surface-drive version.
Shannon Yachts ( (401) 253-2441. www.shannonyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.