Pipedream 37 Sail Plan and Line Drawing
Originally featured in one of the classic books of yacht design, the Pipedream 37 is a boat can often be found juxtaposing fine Sparkman and Stephens pedigree with the romance and trials of home-built boat projects in far flung places throughout the world. Francis S. Kinney (1915-1993) penned this unmistakably classic cruising sloop in 1960 while working in the offices of Sparkman and Stephens. She’s a well-behaved and versatile boat; her generous cockpit accommodates a large crew for daysails and coastal cruising, yet her timeless seaworthy traits make her a safe choice for offshore work.


The boat first featured in “Skene’s Elements of Yacht Design”, one of the standard texts for naval architecture. Despite being relatively well known through the book, relatively few examples of the boat were produced, the boat never made it into large scale production. Most examples of this boat are from custom builds in wood from the original design plans featured in the book. Oscar W. Schelin (1895-1980) of Kungsors Yacht Yard (Sweden), constructed the first two boats including “Southerly” in 1961 which is featured extensively in Kinney’s book. Her sistership “Avocet” was built in the following year. The boats were built in mahogany using carvel construction. Kittery Point Boat Builders (Maine, USA), under consultation with Francis S. Kinney, produced four hulls in GRP, finishing 3 of them themselves.

Configuration and Layout

Interior Layout The Pipedream 37 has all the pleasing lines of classic sloops of its era that you’d expect; large overhangs, low freeboard, and a very sweet sheer line. It features a cutaway keel and rudder combination, though slower than modern separate fin and rudder designs, for the conservative minded cruiser it offers excellent tracking and structural integrity.

There is generous space in the cockpit, it’s fully capable of accommodating a large crew count for daysails, ten at a stretch. What is sacrificed is interior volume below deck which may be limiting for those planning extended blue water passages. In the original drawings, there are berths for six. This includes four berths in the main saloon via settee and pilot berths, and in the V-berth are two singles; bear in mind layouts will vary between boats as many boats have been customized.

Under Sail

Despite the age of the design, the boat is no laggard; surprising given its relatively short LWL and increased wetted area of its modified full keel and classic wine shape sections. The boat is exceptionally well balanced with finger-on-tiller tracking and a responsive helm, owners comment on her being a fun boat to sail. She has a tendency to heel early which lengthens her waterline, and once heeled she moves briskly. In light winds of 10 knots, the boat can comfortably make 4-6 knots at most points of sail depending on sea conditions. In stronger winds, given the relatively short waterline length measured by todays standards, 7.5 knots is generally the upper speed limit outside of surfing under spinnaker. Like most Sparkman and Stephen designs of its era, the ride is quite wet, and in a strong breeze the low freeboard means often the gunnels will be below the water. There is a some amount of hobby horsing in the rough, common to full keel boats of this configuration.


LOA: 36′ 7″ (11.15 m.)
LWL: 25′ 8″ (7.82 m.)
Beam: 10′ 6″ (3.20 m.)
Draft: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m.)
Displacement: 13,500 lbs. (6,140 kg.)
Ballast: 5,400 lbs. (2,450 kgs.)

Designer: Francis S. Kinney
Year Introduced: 1961
Builder: Kungsors Yacht Yard, Sweden / Kittery Point Boat Builders, USA / Custom Builds

Buyers Notes

Few examples are available on the market and construction varies with the custom build nature of this boat. As of 2010 it’s estimated the asking price for professionally built boats range from $50k – $110k USD.

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Links and Further Reading

» CKD Boats, accounts and photos of two custom built Pipedream 37s in Cape Town South Africa, [1] [2]
» Kittery Point Boat Builders, built 4 GRP hulls
» Skene’s Elements Of Yacht Design, the classic naval architecture book.

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8 thoughts on “Francis Kinney Pipedream 37”

  1. Jeff says:

    25 years ago I built a 1/6th large scale model of pipe dream from fibreglass. It took two men to carry it. It was fully radio controlled and had an inboard auxiliary engine and teek laid deck. It was complete in all its external detail and had a crew of two ” Action man ” dolls. I Sailed it from Ilfracombe harbour in Devon causing quite a stir since the RLNI Rrib was launched to investigate the yacht seemingly going round and round off shore. A very puzzled crew tried to lift it out into the rib but gave up! I motored her back into the harbour and kept a ” low profile”! I still keep her but she’s looking a little tired now! It sailed extremely well and taught me a lot about sailing and boatcraft since I now own a full sized Westerly Tempest.

  2. Mory Creighton says:

    Great to view these images of other Pipedream sailboats. We are the current owners of Narada (formally Meridian) and one of the four hulls built by George Patten in 1985. We purchased Narada in 1997 and have made a considerable number of upgrades, repowering, electronics, etc. for cruising, offshore sailing, and racing. She is regularily sailed from her homeport of Manchester, Massachusetts to the coast of Maine, Nova Scotia, Bay of Funday, and occassionally south to Long Island Sound. She has raced in 6 Marblehead to Halifax Races winning her division and placing second and third in other years. Our two twin boys grew up cruising and racing aboard Narada, each summer, and are are now accomplished sailors.

    She is a delight to sail, with a balanced helm, great power from her strong sailplan, and surprising speed once she heels 10 to 15 degrees and her waterline is extended forward and aft. We have experienced many rough days at sea with Narada, crossing the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy and she is a wonderfully seaworthy boat. Her large and comfortable cockpit gives us pause in a strong following sea but she always manages to pick her tail up and avoid that wave that wants to board from astern.

    The Pipedream and Narada turns heads wherever they go and we are always answering people’s questions about her design, origins, etc. She has been a wonderful boat for our family over the years and we look forward to a great future with her. We will continue sailing her East to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes in addition to a trip south to the Chesapeake Bay in the next year or so.

    We are curious if others know where her sisterships might be. We have seen Ruffian in Tortola BVI while coming and going on deliveries. Another sister was named Merishaum (sp?) and was in Marion, Massachusetts at the time we purchased Narada in 1997. We wish all the other Pipedream owners fair winds and good sailing on this truely fine craft.

    1. Colleen says:

      I have recently purchased hull number 3 (previously “Alta”)of the fiberglass version. In the middle of an extensive refit as she was sunk prior to my purchase. I would love to have some owners input. I do plan to make a few changes with upgrades but nothing to change the look or integrity. I also saw Ruffian but didnt get a chance to stop and talk to the owner. Feel free to email me, I would love to pick your brain….conchfritterz@yahoo.com


  3. Jeff Hawk says:

    Regarding, William Kirk’s question – I do. How much would you like to know? She currently lies in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, Washington. After club racing under her original owners for her first two years, she was sold to a fellow club member of Frank Kinney’s for cruising and occasional racing. At this point her name was changed to Ariadne. He had her for about ten years, cruising her summers from Cold Spring Harbor to Islesboro, Maine each year. He sold her to a Puget Sound Marine Pilot who changed her name back to Southerly and had her trucked out west.

    Currently, she’s snug and happy and lightly sailed.

    Her current owner,


  4. William Kirk says:

    Seeking any information regarding “Southerly” 1961, as to current location, renaming, etc.

  5. Bathsail says:

    The mold is for sale on ebay:

  6. J Warington-Smyth says:

    Here is a photo of Windrose in Old Grimsby Sound between Tresco and Bryer, Isles of Scilly, England (2010)
    I bought her from Tim Potter in 2006. She is based in Falmouth, Cornwall. Beautifully built by Vaudrey Boatbuilders, Auckland, New Zealand in 1982 and shipped to the UK in 1986.
    My only critisism is that she was very tender. We have added c.1/2 ton of lead externally to her keel which has greatly improved her performance.

    The standard of her interior joinery is exceptional. Julian Warington-Smyth 26/05/2011

  7. Will says:

    If you have further information regarding this boat or photos to share, please comment here or contact me. Thanks.

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