The history of Vancouver Yachts goes back to 1972 when boat designer, Robert Harris was approached by the late George Hartley to design a small “pocket” ocean cruiser for a couple that were sailing from Vancouver in Canada to New Zealand.
Robert Harris was already famous for his blue water cruising boat designs and after establishing his drawing office in Vancouver he designed the Vancouver 27 which was snapped up by George.
The original Vancouver 27 was built as a one-off, however, the first design drawings of the Vancouver 27 boat were soon spotted by Trade Wind Boats (also of Vancouver) who negotiated a production license with Robert to build them. The Vancouver 27 became the first in the Vancouver family of ocean-going monohull design to go into production.
Vancouvers are noted for their robust design, for their lay-up strength and heavily stayed rigging necessary for extended ocean cruising. Apart from the Vancouver 36 all the yachts were designed by Robert Harris and they have been built in the UK, in the USA, in Canada and also in Taiwan.
Vancouver – a potted history
When a second Vancouver 27 was commissioned a fibreglass mould was taken and a GRP version was launched in June 1976. The 27 secured some good publicity in the Yacht and Boat Owner magazine when Martin Barr, lead guitarist of the rock band Jethro Tull placed an order.
Over the next few years, the production was streamlined, and more efficient construction methods were introduced. New layout variations (such as forward double cabins with an amidship shower compartment) were developed and a cut away bulkhead was introduced.
John and Peggy Dandridge of Pheon Yachts of South Heighton, near Newhaven gained a license to produce the Vancouver 27 and launched the first glass fibre V27 in 1976.
Their design graduate son, Andrew Dandridge worked on the designs of the Vancouver 32 and in 1981 a remodelled V32 and V27 were launched. A prototype mahogany pilot was built which later became the basis of the Vancouver 34P that was to be built by Northshore. However, Pheon were convinced a larger model was needed on the market so embarked on a single steel 38 designed by Robert Harris.
Whilst Pheon were building their reputation for GRP boats another UK boatyard was also continuing to expand into the yacht market. Northshore (UK) established a large boatyard in Havant during the 1970’s with direct access to Chichester Harbour. They became internationally recognised as the market leader for variable draft cruising yachts. At one point they were building 60 boats per year, making them the largest British builder of sailing yachts.
In 1986 Northshore (UK) acquired Pheon and took over production of the Vancouver range. With further investment, the Vancouver 32 was extended into the 34 and then a 36 and 38 model. Northshore have maintained a policy of continuous improvement for all their yachts; and this means that new build Vancouvers continue to benefit from technological improvements
Vancouver Yacht Models
The short double-ended cruiser that is perfect for a single yachtsman or couple. A sturdy compact cutter, with 3-berth accommodation. Production started in 1987 and 80 x V25 were built.
The yacht that started it all – the “Ultimate Cruising Yacht”. Has a great reputation for a small blue water cruiser. Produced between 1976 and 1986, 114 built.
A four-berth version of the Vancouver 27, but with the cabin forward. Produced between 1984 and 1986, 6 built.
A direct descendent of the V27, the Vancouver 28 incorporates design improvements from the V32. Production started in 1986. 67 yachts built.
Vancouver 32 & 32P
A 6-berth cruiser designed by Pheon for blue water sailing. It was developed as a scaled-up version of the V27. In 2000, the yachting press voted the Vancouver 32 as the best bluewater cruising yacht. Produced between 1981 – 1991, 63 yachts built.
Only two were made of the V32P mahogany pilot house in the UK.
Vancouver 34 & 34P
Northshore developed a 34 and 34P version with larger cockpits, wheel steering and an inboard rudder. The Vancouver 34 was well-known as a superb offshore cruiser and became a much sought-after boat. The Vancouver 34 came in at number 29 of the Yachting Monthly’s “Best boats of the 20th century”. Production started in 1991 and 127 V34 and 36 V34P were built.
The V36 was built by Northshore using moulds for the 38-foot boat, with the rear 2 feet boxed in. Production started in 1991 and 12 were built.
Vancouver 38 (Steel) & 38P
Robert Harris designed the Vancouver 38 (Steel) in conjunction with the Pheon yard and became the template for the Pilot House version. The V38 were strong, powerful boats, perfect for long distance cruising. One V38 and twelve V38P were produced since 1996.
The largest yacht out of the Vancouver stable was the V42. It was built as a collaboration between the Taiwanese Ta Yang boat yard and the well-known design Robert Harris. Production started in 1979, and over 200 have been manufactured. The 42-footer was designed as a practical offshore cruiser, perfect for long offshore adventures, without compromising on quality.
Drag Reducing Propellers for Vancouver Yachts
Darglow have supplied drag reducing props for many of the models in the Vancouver yacht range. We keep an expanding database of technical information on many of our installations along with feedback from our customers.
Check our full list of Vancouver Yachts we have supplied propellers to here.
Rope Cutters for Vancouver Yachts
We have supplied rope cutters for various boats in the Vancouver Yacht range. We keep a database of technical information on many of our installations along with feedback from our customers.
Check our full list of Vancouver Yachts we have supplied rope cutters for here.
Visit the Vancouver Yacht Association website – https://www.vancouveryachtsassociation.org.uk/
Image of Thom D’Arcy sailing Fathom a Vancouver 28 – single-handed circumnavigation