Distant Shores III | Distant Shores

Distant Shores III - Planning

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Sneak Peek #1 – Multihull or Monohull?

As we mentioned in our previous Around the World newsletters, we have been working on designing our next boat, Distant Shores III, and are excited to start telling you about her today... Distant Shores III is going to be a special boat built by a respected manufacturer and with our design features incorporated by a professional yacht designer. More on that in upcoming newsletters... After much research, test-sailing and discussion with industry experts as well as experienced long-term live-aboard sailors from the cruising community, we have decided to once again go with a mono-hull. There are definitely pros and cons to both a monohull and a catamaran for long-term cruising which we discuss below but, in the end, so much depends on personal choice as well as how/where you plan to sail, but for our upcoming Around the World cruise, the boat we are designing is a monohull with, surprise, a retractable keel. She has a beam of 4.5 meters (about a foot beamier than our Southerly 49, Distant Shores II) providing a bit more stability and power off the wind, and additional volume inside. She carries the beam further aft making her faster off the wind as well, the most common point of sail when circumnavigating.


She has a slightly taller rig for more power, but a slightly shorter rig could be specified if it's in your plans to transit the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) located in the USA, for example. A furling mainsail would be an option. The twin headsail rig has worked very well for us with a downwind pole carried on the mast, excellent for passage-making in the downwind trades.


Davits support a 10’2 dinghy with outboard, and solar panels for electrical independence.

Swing Keel

As on Distant Shores I and II, a swing keel reduces draft from 3 meters to just over 1 meter to sneak into shallows. The keel also allows fast downwind passages as we have found it offers a performance improvement when partially raised.


The hull is kevlar reinforced in the bows for added impact resistance and, as on Distant Shores II, a collision bulkhead forward adds additional security.

Raised Saloon

A raised saloon means you have excellent views from both the saloon and from the nav station. My preliminary design study indicates the nav station could be used as an inside steering station with views forward (unlike our Southerly 49 which can see out to port and starboard, but not forward).

Why not a Catamaran?

For cruising up and down the Caribbean we think a catamaran is great. For chartering they’re great too. However, as a live aboard vessel for world cruising, and for those of us planning long passages its not so straightforward. In rough waters we find a monohull has a nicer motion. Cats tend to have a more confused motion with large seas affecting the boat twice for each wave. For cruising Europe and the Med we feel a cat will restrict you in a number of harbours and that a monohull is better suited. For high latitude cruising such as Patagonia and Northern Europe a monohull is also better suited. Perhaps we’re just “mono-hullers” :-)

Around the World Project - DS III

Are you looking for the perfect boat for your cruising plans? We are working on the next "Distant Shores" cruising boat for our upcoming 'round the world cruise.
If you would like to follow along to see the process of designing and building a new boat, please join our special newsletter list
No recipes, events or other lightweight stuff - just hardcore boat design details! Come aboard on the journey to find the new ideal cruising sailboat that could take you around the world.
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