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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day,

wondering if anyone has any comments on the S&S 39, particularly it's upwind performance. This design is also known as S&S No 2069 and it is an early 1970's design. I believe it effectively is a big brother to the S&S 34, which was designed around the same time.

Some further info on this design is below. Other details include

Length 38.7 ft
LWL 29.6
Beam 11.8
Draft 6.8
Sail area 692 sq ft
Displacem 8,530kg (18,800lbs)
D/L 324
SA/D 15.7
Vel 1.04
capsize 33.6

Ilenart








 

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All I can say is that there is a 34 in the local yard and it is one of the few boats I can't walk by without stopping to admire it, again and again.
 

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If she's anything like her near sisters, she should punch upwind in a breeze like a freight train. Don't expect her to be dry in chop, though. Great looking boat.

Who built her? LeComte? Or Aussies?
 

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S&S designed boats are known for their ability to go to wind. I have a 41 foot S&S designed boat and it points high and plows to wind. Definitely its stength. If that is what you are interested in you are on the right track.
 

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This certainly looks a lot like an S&S34 (I own one), which incidentally was designed in 1968. Given your location I suspect you are well aware of this, but there is an S&S34 association down under that might be of help. They can be found at: Sparkman and Stephens 34 Association.

Also, Sparkman & Stephens is usually pretty responsive if you have inquiries about old designs. They are located here in NYC and have helped me in the past with some historical questions.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Who built her? LeComte? Or Aussies?
In the late 1970's and 1980's they were built by Prestige Yachts here in West Australia. They may of been built elsewhere. I have seen a few from the early 1970's, however I do not know who built them.

Ilenart
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This certainly looks a lot like an S&S34 (I own one), which incidentally was designed in 1968. Given your location I suspect you are well aware of this, but there is an S&S34 association down under that might be of help. They can be found at: Sparkman and Stephens 34 Association.

Also, Sparkman & Stephens is usually pretty responsive if you have inquiries about old designs. They are located here in NYC and have helped me in the past with some historical questions.

Good luck!
Yep, aware of the S&S 34 association as they are based here in WA. From memory there are three S&S 34's on my jetty. However info on the S&S39 is a bit more scarce, hence this post.

Agree that Sparkman & Stephens are vary helpful. The above plans came from an email response from them

Thanks for all the comments.

Ilenart
 

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From what I know of them they are fabulous to windward but not so hot off the wind unless you fly a bloody great big schute. Supposedly, as has been mentioned, they are a wet boat but from I've been told by owners of other S&S designs of the time that was typical of S&Ss of the era.

Down below they are usually a nice fitout but tight in the v-berth (often this is only pipe cots) and to my mind they have a pokey galley.

Good looking things though.
 

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You might try reaching out to Jon Sanders and David Dicks, perhaps reachable through the S&S34 association or through the link below. Both of them set circumnavigation records on S&S34s and they are now campaigning an S&S39. See Perie Banou II
 

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The hull plans are very similar to my C&C designed Newport 41; late CCA era hull with high aspect IOR style rig, with graceful overhangs and a non-planing hull. Should sail well aside from being a bit underpowered sailing downwind with the smaller area on the mainsail; but the easily driven hull helps make up for it (with respect to heavier displacement cruisers). We tend to do better sailing DDW than at 160 deg because the main blankets the jib; yet does not drive the boat well enough alone. At 120deg she picks up good speed but if your destination is DDW you might as well run wing and wing.

Upwind performance on my boat is very good; tracks well, tacks in ~80 degrees. In light wind it will have difficulty pointing but that's true of all but the lightest (ULDB) race boats. This hull design is a bit tender but once you get a handle on sailing with flattened sails it is easy to pinch up a bit to reduce heel in a gust. We regularly sail in 25-30 kts without reefing; I think my SA/D, ballast ratio, draft, and beam, are pretty close to the S&S 39 also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The hull plans are very similar to my C&C designed Newport 41; late CCA era hull with high aspect IOR style rig, with graceful overhangs and a non-planing hull. Should sail well aside from being a bit underpowered sailing downwind with the smaller area on the mainsail; but the easily driven hull helps make up for it (with respect to heavier displacement cruisers). We tend to do better sailing DDW than at 160 deg because the main blankets the jib; yet does not drive the boat well enough alone. At 120deg she picks up good speed but if your destination is DDW you might as well run wing and wing.

Upwind performance on my boat is very good; tracks well, tacks in ~80 degrees. In light wind it will have difficulty pointing but that's true of all but the lightest (ULDB) race boats. This hull design is a bit tender but once you get a handle on sailing with flattened sails it is easy to pinch up a bit to reduce heel in a gust. We regularly sail in 25-30 kts without reefing; I think my SA/D, ballast ratio, draft, and beam, are pretty close to the S&S 39 also.

Thanks Keelhaulin, thats exactly the type of info I was after.

Ilenart
 

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Ilenart,
I have a S&S designed Tartan 37 which is of the mid 70's design era and I would think behave similar to the S&S 39, although the 39 may be closer to a S&S Swan. My Tartan is great on all points of sail, though could be better downwind, but not bad....fingertip steering. She settles in at around 20 degrees of heel and just stays put like a dog with a bone!!! I have a centerboard, but I don't think there is a lot of difference with the deep fin version. I do not think you could go wrong with the 39 if you love to sail, because most ALL of the S&S boats know how to sail:)
 

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Back in the early 80's after completing the Fremantle-Geraldton race, the crew off 'Battle' (F77) crewed 'Norlee' (an S&S39) in the LobsterPot series, to quote my dad (Dik Murphy) he stated that whilst driving Norlee with a kite, was like driving an LTD (Fairlane) with power steering, now that was a compliment :)

Peter Murphy
 
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