Boat Plans - Explorer 39

Modern and fast swing keel cruising boat designed for single or short-handed ocean sailing.

The Explorer 39 is an easy to sail, shallow draught blue water cruising yacht. 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 to access places inaccessible to other fixed keel sailboats of the same size.

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This design has a comfortable and sheltered cockpit. The deck arrangement is clean and simple, for easy boat handling, even with a small crew or even single handed. The interior layout has ample room for two persons, with sleeping quarters for three more.


The Explorer 39 is specified for sandwich construction, making her a light, strong boat, enhancing her performance when sailing in light wind conditions. 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 their boat in the tip of their fingers.


The Explorer 39 is a yacht for those who like sailing adventures and want to own a modern, versatile, and comfortable sailboat.

Technical Data

Length Overall

12.0 m (39′ 4″)

Length Waterline

9.6 m (35′ 2″)


3.66 m (12′)


0.53 m/2.25 m (1′ 9″/7′ 6″)

Fixed Ballast

2058 kg (4533 lb)

Movable Ballast

1390 kg (3061 lb)


7100 kg (15638 lb)

Freshwater Tank Capacity

550 l (145 gal)

Fuel Tank Capacity

800 l (210 gal)

Maximum Standing Headroom

1.97 m (6′ 6″)

Standing Headroom – Cabin

1.86 m (6.1 ft)

Headroom – Aft Cabin

1.80 m (5’11”)

Standing Headroom Bathroom

1.86 m (6′ 1″)

Sail Area

69.5 m2 (748 sq. feet)

Auxiliary Propulsion

50/60 hp



List of Plans

EXPL39 – S1 – Lines Plan

EXPL39 – S2 – Mast and Sails

EXPL39 – S3 – Interior Layout

EXPL39 – S4 – Deck Layout

EXPL39 – S5 – Structural Arrangement

EXPL39 – S6A – Transversal Section A

EXPL39 – S6B – Transversal Section B

EXPL39 – S6C – Transversal Section C

EXPL39 – S6D – Transversal Section D

EXPL39 – S6E – Transversal Section E

EXPL39 – S7A – Keel Systems

EXPL39 – S7B – Fittings for Keel System

EXPL39 – S7C – Keel with Internal Ballast

EXPL39 – S7D - Keel assembly and CNC A

EXPL39 – S7E - Keel assembly and CNC B

EXPL39 – S7F - Keel box and locking dev

EXPL39 – S7G - Keel carrier bearings

EXPL39 – S8A - Rudder

EXPL39 – S8B – Rudders system parts

EXPL39 – S9A – Bow Roller

EXPL39 – S9B – Custom Fittings

EXPL39 - S10 – Engine installation

EXPL39 - S11A – Hull moulds assembly

EXPL39 - S11B – Hull moulds

EXPL39 - S11C – Deck offsets table

Boat Description

Interior layout:

The interior arrangement of the Explorer 39 is unique, creatively designed, with a very comfortable and spacious interior arrangement ideal for a couple living a high-quality lifestyle.


The keel trunk is placed at the central area of the boat and the main saloon at the aft quarters. This creates a very agreeable concept, giving to the inside layout special character and comfort. The huge U-shaped sofa and a large table allows for at least eight persons to be served for. Illumination and ventilation are enhanced with opening ports placed in niches between the book-shelves above the backrest cushions of the dinette topsides.


The engine is placed under the table, a very convenient arrangement, since when detaching the cover and the sidewalls, there is a 360° access around it for easiness of engine maintenance. There is a bulkhead abaft the sofa backrest where gear and equipment are stored or installed. To starboard aft, there is a locker with access from the cockpit where gas bottles are stored, with room to spare for fenders and warps.


The U-shaped galley and a very large heads with an ample shower box complete the central area arrangement.


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.


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 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 traveller 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 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.


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.

Boat Plans

Construction plans – swing keel


Construction plans – fixed keel


Study Plans


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Optional Layouts

Fixed keel

See Related Plans