The Explorer 39 is a shallow draught cruising yacht designed to be
built in composite. Provided with a pivoting keel and twin shallow depth
rudders, she is a boat designed for ocean passages, possessing for that matter
a high degree of positive stability. However, when sailing in shallow waters, she
is capable of entering in places totally denied to other fixed keel sailboats
of the same size.
The Explorer 39 is an authentic blue water cruising boat intended to be sailed short-handed. To emphasize this characteristic, we provided her with a self-tacking staysail and an easy to handle sail plan not excessively large in sail area. On the other hand we specified a sandwich construction, making her a light, strong boat, to enhance her performance when sailing in light wind conditions. Imagining that in most cases the boat will be sailed with a small crew, we provided her with a clean, easy to maneuver deck arrangement and an interior layout with ample room for two persons, with sleeping quarters for three more, when required.
We believe many of our builders will choose to live aboard, and the design is clearly turned towards this endeavour. However, the Explorer 39 is much more than a boat comfortable to live in.
With fine entry waterlines and almost no overhang, for maximum sailing lines, a moderate beam and large transom, the Explorer 39 is the type of yacht to captivate the most demanding sailor, the one who likes to have control of his boat in the tip of his fingers.
The main factor involving the Explorer 39 interior layout design is the pivoting keel. Its trunk being placed at the central area of the boat favours positioning the main saloon at the aft quarters. This is a very agreeable concept, giving to the inside layout a special character. A huge U shaped sofa and a large table allows for at least eight persons to be served for dinner, or up to ten persons to being entertained. Illumination and ventilation are enhanced with opening ports
placed in niches between the book-shelves
above the backrest cushions of the dinette topsides.
The navigation table is placed longitudinally with a pivoting stool that hides under the chart locker. Alternatively the table can also be placed atwarthships, with the addition of a small bulkhead separating the table from the sofa. In this option the navigator’s seat is installed in front of the bulkhead that separates the saloon from the central area of the boat. Of course there is room for customization regarding the layout, depending on the preferences of the owner. This is already the case with the first units of the class already built or under construction. We suggest that a folding table is installed on the portside wall of the keel trunk, opposite to the sofa-berth, creating an office area where one can work with a laptop on it, with maximum comfort.
The access corridor between the keel case and the sofa ends at the fore cabin, with its double berth and sofa. In front of this cabin, there is a collision bulkhead that divides the cabin from the anchor chain locker. This locker is larger than usual; this way taking the chain rode farther away from the forepeak. The galley and heads are placed at the central area to starboard, both unusually large, if compared to other similar boats.
The galley is particularly functional, having its working area out of the way of the companionway traffic. The cook works in a sheltered recess between the fridge/freezer compartment and the keel trunk, having the galley sinks in front of him/her when facing forward and the propane stove, when facing aft, never needing, for safety reasons, to be transversely in front of the stove. The galley is as complete as a galley may be, with enough lockers, drawers and shelves to store all that is required for a prolonged passage.
We specified an interesting solution for the pressurized fresh water supply, as well as the drainage of shower sump and galley sink. Since both compartment counters are separated just by a bulkhead, we made a common installation for these two compartments.
Depending on the regulations where the boat will be stationed, the grey waters may be discharged directly overboard or be drained into a holding tank. A large capacity holding tank is specified for the toilet.
The mast step pillar is a stainless steel, or aluminium, box-like structure with openings facing forwards, joined laterally to the wall that separates the galley from the corridor, just abaft the head’s door. The hydraulic piston which lifts the keel is installed in this box. The system operates with the assistance of a hydraulic pump run by a DC electric motor, which is installed inside one of the head’s lockers. The heads is also quite complete and comfortable, resembling a residential bathroom. Its area which is disproportionably large compared to most heads in other boats, is divided in two parts, one for the toilet and the vanity basin and the other for a shower box with enough room to have installed a sauna type bench close to the topside. Headroom at the box allows for a directly installed shower nozzle above the head of who is using it, unless the crew is an NBA athlete.
Spaciousness is the rule all over the boat’s interior, accomplishing very adequately the function of a home for a small family to live in, while at the same time allowing the owners to receive, whenever wished, a large number of guests, one of the great pleasures of the cruising life.
Deck layout, standing rigging and sail plan
The Explorer 39 has the anchor rode compartment bulkhead placed well aft the forepeak, bringing the weight of the chain away from the end of the boat, an important measure to reduce pitching. The cutter rig configuration allows for the adoption of a self-tacking inner jib rigged on a jib-boom with its sheet running on a traveler car. With chain plates attached to the topsides, the fore sail overlap is 110%.
The Explorer39 has a low profile cabin trunk with the cockpit coaming extending to the transom. The cockpit sole is opened to the boarding platform, having a removable helmsman’s bench abaft the steering wheel.. A coaming for the canvas dodger is built around the companionway hatch, completing the cruising looks of a true go-anywhere sailboat. The mainsheet traveler is placed on top of the coach-roof, a very practical solution, since it does not interfere with the cockpit circulation. Halyards, reefing lines and topping-lift controls run aft and are monitored from the cockpit bridge-deck, a strategic position for short- handed sailing. The Explorer 39 is the type of boat cruising people dream with, when considering its modern design appeal, deck maneuvering functionality and shallow draught versatility.
The boat is cutter rigged with two pairs of swept aft spreaders and a jumper, making an extremely solid mast configuration with no runners, for minimum hassle in maneuvers. The backstay is split in two, this way not interfering with the access to the cockpit from the platform. Even though it is not shown in the illustration, we are aware that every owner of an Explorer 39 will want to install an arch above the pushpit for the installation of solar panels and wind generator.
The mast steps on the coach-roof, having a pillar inside the boat to resist its compression. The boom is of moderate length, in accordance with the cruising trend of the boat.. A bowsprit long enough just to free the asymmetric spinnaker from the pulpit is an interesting complement that could be installed
The sail plan is quite simple and easy to be handled by one person alone. The working jib is a 110% overlapping sail, and is provided with roller-furling gear. The inner staysail is self-taking and may be provided with reefing points, dispensing the need for a storm sail, provided it is built with heavy cloth. The mainsail has a high aspect ratio with little roach on its leech, which makes it easy to trim and to reef.
Swing-keel, rudders and auxiliary propulsion
The swing keel is lifted by means of a hydraulic piston linked by two separate spectra cables. In case of collision, the keel is free to lift without finding resistance from the piston. This is a very important safety device in swing-keel design. The twin rudders work behind skegs, which has the double role of improving steering performance and of protecting the rudder when aground. The capability of beaching the boat is the most important feature of the design, and it must be performed as many times as required without any harm to the boat.
Being an authentic long-range blue water cruiser, the Explorer 39 has above
average capacities with a maximum of 550 litres of water and 800 litres of fuel. An inboard engine of fifty to sixty horsepower provides the maximum hull speed
of 7.5 knots in calm waters.