In Brief

Vancouver 27 Line Sketch The first in the Vancouver Yacht series, the Vancouver 27 is a ‘go anywhere’ pocket cruiser designed by Canadian Robert Harris in 1972. This sturdy 27-foot cutter was squarely aimed for couples looking to sail the world’s oceans. Purpose built for exactly this purpose, the first boat sailed successfully from British Columbia to New Zealand and back. The solid good-looking design attracted enough attention that molds were made from the second boat built. Various versions went on to be produced in Canada and in England and more than 250 have been built in total including the extended 28 foot version, the Vancouver 28, which is still being made in England today. Canadian production ended when the molds were destroyed by a storm in 1988.

Though small and relatively heavy, she’s uncompromising with few concessions to speed and performance. Under the waterline there’s a full keel with a cutaway forefoot which gives her a stable helm and good balance on all points of sail. In the UK the design was tweaked by adding three inches to the beam at the waterline to stiffen her up, the result being a pronounced tumblehome in the hull which the Canadian boats don’t have.

In breaking seas her high freeboard, neat cockpit and built in bridge deck help prevent water below. Her propeller and rudder are protected from grounding and fouling damage by the set-up of her keel, skeg and stern-post. Lots of headroom, plenty of stowage space and ease of handling are characteristic. As would be expected by the design she’s not fast nor particularly close winded but she’s easy to handle in all conditions and ideal for a short-handed crew. English sailor Rona House can testify to this having completed a solo circumnavigation in her Vancouver 27. The cutter rig gives maximum sail plan versatility and the outboard rudder allows for use of self-steering mechanisms that are a cruiser’s best friend on long passages. Experience has shown that her traditional hull design copes easily with the rigors of offshore passages, even when chock full of cruising gear.

Inside the Vancouver 27 is a sensible small-boat layout just made for a couple at sea with three berths being the norm, although a four berth layout was also available. The three berth version has no berth forward but instead has the third berth aft in the saloon leaving plenty room for stowage up front as well as space for a generously sized quarter berth, galley and chart table. 6′ 6″ of headroom heads up the comfort factor inside.


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″
Engine: 3 cylinder Yanmar
Fuel: 45 US Gal.
Water: 65 US Gal.

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: 250+

Also Known As: Vancouver 27F, Vancouver 274, Vancouver 28

Buyer’s Notes

The majority of boats are to be found in the UK although some can still be found in North America.  New boat prices can be obtained from Northshore yachts and a current search of the used boat market reveals prices for these boats between 12,200 – 26,600 Pounds Sterling or 19,500- 41,500 Canadian dollars depending on age and condition. Although no major problems have been discovered, the heel of the rudder is one weak point that needs careful inspection.

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Links, References & Further Reading

» Vancouver 27 Review on
» Vancouver 27 Brochure on
» Vancouver Yachts Association, info, images, history.
» History of Vancouver Yachts in the UK by Andrew Dandridge
» History of Pheon Yachts/Vancouver on Owner’s Site
» Vancouver 28 on the Southerly website (Northshore Shipyard).


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15 thoughts on “Vancouver 27”

  1. Stephan Heinemann says:

    Mine, a britiish Vancouver 27, has a headroom of 183cm in the salon, 173 going forward.

  2. Robert Larson says:

    I know this is a older thread, But I am having a hard time figuring out the standing headroom in Vancouver 27’s and 28’s, British built if it makes a difference. The Bluewater Boats review states 6′-6″ headroom below but this appears to be VERY optimistic. The broker in the UK that was about to sell me a lovely V27 measured it at 6 feet in the aft doghouse, 5′-8″ forward. I’m 6′-1″ tall, too old to stoop, and would need at least standing headroom aft in the galley. I backed out of the deal. Any thoughts?

  3. N.Katz says:

    Does anyone know, how much is the headroom at the lower part of the cabin where the saloon and the toilet are? Searching all over, I can only find reference to the 6,6” at the highest back part of the cabin, where the galley and the navigation area are but not for the rest.

  4. Gary Nesbit says:

    Hi Antonio, My boat is also a Tradewind boat built 1976.
    Where are you located.
    Gary Nesbit
    Prince George, BC, Canada

  5. Antonio Victor says:

    My V27 is Tradewind built , I am very happy with it. Surpassed my expectativas, good in rough weather, keeping course is ver easy
    A Victor

  6. Gary Nesbit says:

    Tim, thanks for the reply. I have made contact with 2 other owners in BC. (one is British made) One of the original owners of our Vanc 27 lived in Nanaimo and had her their for 17 years.
    Contact me any time.

  7. Gary Nesbit says:

    Looking for other owners of Canadian built Vancouver 27’s.
    My boat “Spirit of Cutty Sark”> Manufacture by Tradewind Boats in 1977. Cannot locate a hull number.
    Prince George, BC, Canada

    1. Tim Hearn says:

      Hi Gary
      I have s/v Soulmate. A Vancouver 27 built in Canada. The hull was done in 1980 but she wasn’t rigged and finished till 1990.
      Located on the Island by Nanoose Bay

  8. Marco Andriolo says:

    Come inviare delle immagini? V27 canada

  9. pierluigi says:

    acquistata di terza mano nel 2007 barca del 1996 ottima,sicura,bellissima.

  10. Marco Andriolo says:

    Honun meraviglioso Vancouver 27 del 1974 costruito in Canada con tutti i progetti corretti a mano dall progettista , se vi interessa posso inviarvene delle copie grazie a presto Marco Andriolo

    1. antonio victor says:

      Marco. Please send your comments on V 27 I am buying a Canadian made V27

      Grazie. Antonio

  11. Bosun_bird says:

    For an account of the travels of the Canadian-registered Bosun Bird from Cape Town to Japan via the waters of Cape Horn see  Bosun Bird’s adventures in Tierra del Fuego are recounted in Winter in Fireland: a Patagonian Sailing Adventure, available from Amazon and the usual outlets (published 2011).

  12. Rona House says:

    Photo taken by a friend on her Orca 38 (like the Ingrid 38 & Alleluia 38) as we overtook her in the Arafura Sea, north of Australia. Although small it is easier for a short-handed crew to sail a Vancouver 27 to her full potential than a it is a larger boat. Over the years there was little to choose in daily mileage averages between boats of different length and Cacique turned in several 24 hour runs of 144 to 168nm.

  13. Richard Jordan says:

    Should note that Tayana’s Vancouver 42 and Durbeck / Hidden Harbor’s Vancouver 36 are somewhat related Robert Harris designs – serious bluewater boats.

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