Hand Laid in the USA


Workers at Pacific Seacraft laminate these hulls by hand, using vinylester resin and layers of biaxial fiberglass laid at 45- and 90-degree axes for enhanced multidirectional strength. The decks are cored with balsa wood except for those areas where fasteners pierce through or fixtures are mounted; those spots are cored with either marine plywood, high-density foam, or solid fiberglass. The two-tone deck is accomplished by masking off the nonskid areas in the mold prior to gelcoat application. This yields a very durable surface.

Pacific Seacraft uses 1-inch stainless bolts to attach the lead keel to the bilge. The keel is also set in epoxy and is mated to a very heavily laminated fiberglass keel stub that is integral to the hull. According to Pacific Seacraft, the hull stem is reinforced with three times the amount of fiberglass that some other big builders use.

The hull-to-deck joint on the PS 31 is a 2-inch inward-turning flange on the hull mated to a flange on the deck. The joint is bonded and sealed with 3M 5200 and through-bolted on 6-inch centers with 1/4″, stainless-steel machine screws. (This method is used on all of the company’s models.)

Down below, there are only partial bulkheads, except for the lone partition between the V-berth and the anchor-chain locker forward. These are fabricated from marine plywood sheathed in a teak veneer. A 3-inch, stainless-steel, tubular compression post supports the deck-stepped mast.

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him by email at practicalsailor@belvoir.com.