Designed for sailing in the Channel Islands

Click to view hull sections

Above, Cockleshell’s hull form and her first sail plan from 1926 compared to the current rig. There has been gradual evolution over the decades, firstly with the addition of a small bowsprit in 1927 or 1928, then in 1950 by reducing the long footed mainsail and the addition of a fixed backstay. For 1953 the bowsprit was removed and a larger genoa added to the sail inventory.

In 1971 the wooden mast was re-rigged with swept back spreaders and a higher foretriangle to allow a larger jib and spinnaker. The running backstays were removed at this point, and these changes have made the boat both faster and easier to sail. An aluminium mast and boom by Z-Spars to the same rig dimensions replaced the wooden spars in 1984.

Her sail number for racing in St. Peter Port was '4' but since 1965 '518Y' is the RYA sail number with which she has raced. 517Y was offered by the RYA but rejected by John Sherwill as it added up to 13, quite right too!


Length Overall - 6.54 metres
Length Waterline - 5.12 metres
Beam - 1.71 metres
Draft - 1.15 metres

Weight - hull and rig total - 1425 Kg
Displacement/ Length Ratio - 295

Iron keel - approx. 800 Kg
Lead in deadwood - approx. 60 Kg
Lead in bilge - 38 Kg from 1927, none since 1984