Shields (keelboat)

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Shields class sail badge.png
Shields class sailboat side line drawing.gif
DesignerOlin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens
LocationUnited States
No. built220
Builder(s)Cape Cod Shipbuilding
Hinckley Yachts
Chris-Craft Industries
Displacement4,600 lb (2,087 kg)
Draft4.75 ft (1.45 m)
LOA30.21 ft (9.21 m)
LWL20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Beam6.42 ft (1.96 m)
Hull appendages
Keel/board typemodified long keel
Ballast3,080 lb (1,397 kg)
Rudder(s)keel-mounted rudder
Rig typeBermuda rig
I foretriangle height29.88 ft (9.11 m)
J foretriangle base9.33 ft (2.84 m)
P mainsail luff33.38 ft (10.17 m)
E mainsail foot13.38 ft (4.08 m)
Sailplanfractional rigged sloop
Mainsail area223.31 sq ft (20.746 m2)
Jib/genoa area139.39 sq ft (12.950 m2)
Spinnaker area360 sq ft (33 m2)
Total sail area362.70 sq ft (33.696 m2)
D-PN83.8 (suspect)

The Shields, also called the Shields 30 and the Shields One-Design, is an American trailerable sailboat that was designed by Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens as a one design racer and first built in 1962.[1][2][3][4][5]


The design was commissioned by American sailor Cornelius Shields, as a fiberglass replacement for the 1930s vintage International One Design and is Sparkman & Stephens design #1720. Shields had the first 20 boats constructed at Cape Cod Shipbuilding and he donated them to several American universities on the US east coast. The boat class was named after him in honor of his donations. In the end he donated over 100 of the boats to various colleges and universities, including 15 donated to universities in southern California.[1][4]

The design was initially built by Cape Cod Shipbuilding, then by Chris-Craft Industries and by Hinckley Yachts in the United States. Today it is once again built by Cape Cod Shipbuilding and remains in production. A total of 220 boats have been produced.[1][3][5]


Shields going to windward

The Shields is a racing keelboat, built predominantly of fiberglass, with teak wood trim, including teak coamings, toe-rails, handrails, the cockpit floor grating and the cockpit seats. It has a fractional sloop rig with aluminum spars. The hull has a spooned, raked stem; a sharply raised counter, angled transom; a keel-mounted rudder controlled by a tiller and a fixed modified long keel. There is no cabin. It displaces 4,600 lb (2,087 kg) and carries 3,080 lb (1,397 kg) of lead ballast.[1][3]

The boat has a draft of 4.75 ft (1.45 m) with the standard keel.[1]

For sailing the design is equipped with a halyard winch console, with vertical cleats to secure the halyards. The design rules limit the adjustable backstay, the boom vang and the mainsheet to a maximum of an 8:1 mechanical advantage. A jib is used, but a genoa is not permitted under class rules. Buoyancy is provided by under-seat flotation compartments and fore and aft watertight bulkheads.[3] A spinnaker of 360 sq ft (33 m2) may be used.[6]

The current Cape Cod production boat has, as standard equipment, a 4:1 boom vang, 8:1 backstay and a 4:1 mainsheet traveler. Optional equipment includes a bilge pump, spinnaker and launch basket, Cunningham, a digital compass and a boat trailer for ground transportation.[5]

The design has a Portsmouth Yardstick DP-N racing average handicap of 83.8 (listed as "suspect").[3]

Operational history[edit]

Shields racing downwind, with spinnakers flying

The boat is supported by an active class club that organizes racing events, the Shields Class Sailing Association. There are racing fleets in the Northeastern United States and in California.[5][7]

The Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship, a public community college in Costa Mesa, California operates a fleet of Shields for their training program, mostly consisting of boats donated by Shields.[4]

In a 1994 review Richard Sherwood wrote, "this beautiful boat is used for day sailing and, particularly, for racing. Class rules are rigid. For example, only one set of sails is allowed per year."[3]

See also[edit]

Similar sailboats


  1. ^ a b c d e McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Shields sailboat". Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  2. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Sparkman & Stephens". Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sherwood, Richard M.: A Field Guide to Sailboats of North America, Second Edition, pages 132-133. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994. ISBN 0-395-65239-1
  4. ^ a b c Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship. "Shields 30". Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co. (2020). "Shields One-Design". Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  6. ^ "One-Design Showcase - Shields". Sailing World. 2020. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  7. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Shields Class Sailing Association". Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.

External links[edit]