Bluewater Sailboat – Vancouver 27

Also called: Vancouver 27F, Vancouver 274, Vancouver 28


Vancouver 27, “go anywhere” pocket cruiser

The Vancouver 27, a “go anywhere” pocket cruiser built by Canadian Robert Harris in 1972, is the first in the Vancouver Yacht series.

This strong 27-foot cutter was specifically designed for couples who wanted to explore the oceans of the earth. The first boat, which was specifically constructed for this purpose, successfully completed a voyage from British Columbia to New Zealand and back. 

Vancouver 27
  • LOA: 27′ 0″
  • LWL: 22′ 11″
  • Beam: 8′ 8″
  • Draft: 4′ 3″
  • Displacement: 8,700 lbs
  • Ballast: 3,500 lbs
  • Sail Area: 379 sq. ft.
  • Headroom: 6′ 6″
  • Designer: Robert B. Harris
  • Builder: Tradewind Boats, Philbrooks Shipyard, Seair Marine Ltd (British Columbia, Canada)/Pheon Yachts, Northshore Yachts (UK)
  • Year Introduced: 1972
  • Total Built: over 250
  • Engine: 3 cylinder Yanmar
  • Fuel: 45 US Gal.
  • Water: 65 US Gal.


The sturdy, attractive design garnered enough interest for moulds to be created from the second boat constructed.

More than 250 have been manufactured in all, including the extended 28 foot variant, the Vancouver 28, which is still being produced in England. Various versions went on to be created in Canada and England. When the moulds were destroyed by a storm in 1988, Canadian production came to a stop.

Above Deck

Her wide freeboard, tidy cockpit, and integrated bridge deck help prevent water below in choppy seas. The configuration of her keel, skeg, and stern-post shields her propeller and rudder from damage caused by grounding and fouling. Large amounts of headroom, storage capacity, and handling comfort are noticeable.

She is neither quick nor particularly close-winded, as would be expected from her design, but she is simple to handle in any situation and is perfect for a crew with fewer members. English sailor Rona House, who circumnavigated alone in her Vancouver 27, can attest to this. With the outboard rudder and cutter rig, a cruiser can use self-steering devices, which are their strongest companion on prolonged trips. Experience has proved that, even when loaded down with cruising gear, her classic hull shape can handle the rigors of offshore journeys.

Below Deck

The Vancouver 27’s interior features a practical small-boat layout with three berths as the standard, though a four-berth arrangement was also available, just right for a pair at sea. The three-berth version features a third berth in the saloon rather than a forward berth, providing plenty of space for stowage up front as well as enough for a roomy quarter berth, galley, and chart table. The comfort level inside is headed up by the 6′ 6″ headroom.


She is small and quite heavy, but she contributes much in the case of speed or performance. She has a complete keel with a cutaway forefoot below the surface of the sea, which gives her a steady helm and good balance on all points of sail. A three-inch addition to the beam at the waterline strengthened the design in the UK, giving the hull a prominent tumblehome that the Canadian boats lack.

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