Southerly 480 Distant Shores III

Distant Shores III - by Discovery Yachts

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Southerly 480 Heading South

This time on Distant Shores we head south. We visit the Channel Islands, sail amid dolphins who lend a hand with a propellor drama - and give you a tour of the sea berths aboard Distant Shores III

Stormy Maiden Voyage

Now that our new Southerly 480 sailboat is in the water, the commissioning process (testing and final adjustments) begins. This includes sea trials and we get a couple of opportunities to take our new offshore cruising yacht out on the water – a great way to celebrate Paul’s birthday – plus deal with an electrical storm!

Our New Boat Unveiled at Dusseldorf Boot

Our new Southerly 480 is unveiled at the 2018 Düsseldorf Boat Show and we see her for the first time!! We give you a tour and show you the highlights of boot Düsseldorf, the world's biggest indoor boat show.

Want more information on our new Distant Shores III - Southerly 480?

We are working on the next "Distant Shores" cruising boat for our upcoming 'round the world cruise. If you're interested in more information on the new boat, or think a boat like this might be in your future, please contact us and tell us about your project!. If you would like to receive emails and follow along to see the process of designing and building a new boat, please join our newsletter list
Here's an early interior plan for the new Distant Shores 485 (now called a Southerly 480). We're very excited she is now starting build at Discovery Yachts in Southampton. The raised nav station allows piloting from below decks, and the raised saloon means great views from the main table. The large aft cabin has an en suite head and separate shower. Forward is a double bunk cabin, great for passage making, and then a large double forward. The galley is aft near the bottom of the companionway, a great feature we enjoyed on Two-Step (our first boat) but missed on Distant Shores 1 & 2.
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A mainsheet arch keeps the cockpit clear. Twin wheels make for great steering positions under any point of sail.

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... Distant Shores III is going to be a special boat built by Discovery Yachts and with our design features incorporated by a professional yacht designer. 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 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.

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.

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 still getting to know Distant Shores III as we start off on our upcoming 'round the world cruise.
If you would like to follow along please join our newsletter list
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Join us on the adventure - New Sail Away Weeks

This is the first year cruising with our brand new Southerly 480 Distant Shores III. Come along as we head south down the coasts of Spain and Portugal en route to the Canary Islands. Then its the big jump to the Caribbean in time for Christmas.