Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pilot Class - Design 539

This post war beauty is one of my favorite designs. She is a 33' cruising auxiliary that has made a good boat for countless families over the years. And what's not to like? Standard user friendly interior, classic sheer and a good performing boat to boot.

The design was headed up by K. Aage Nielsen when he worked for Sparkman & Stephens out of S&S's short lived Boston office. Numerous builders built the boats. Here's the layout.

The design was eventually the prototype for the Hinckley Pilot.

Hinckley Pilot

The following is a nice article from Yachting Magazine from 1945. (Double click for readable size).

Further reference can be found in the Olin Stephens book Lines and Worthy of the Sea, the K. Aage Nielsen book.

And finally here are the beautifully proportioned lines.

Principal Dimensions
LOA 32'-11"
LWL 24'-0"
Beam 9'-6"
Draft 4'-9"


  1. I own a 1951 Pilot Class Sloop built by Knudson on Long Island,NY. It is very active with the Ancient Mariner Sailing Society in San Diego,CA. racing schedule winning many regattas.Currently,up for sale.Can be contacted at (858)245-3017.

  2. As close to perfection as man can come. To think such beautiful boats were followed by by vessels designed to the IOR...well, the Viking ships were followed by the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta,so I guess anything is possible.

    Paul J. Nolan

  3. I was owner of Fisher Pilot from 1975, when I purchased it on Cape Cod, until March 2014, when it went aground and was a total loss in the Marshalls Islands. Very sad to see that gallant old vessel succumb to the sea. It was called "The 25th" when I bought it but the sail # was 27. Boat had been at Lake Champlain before being brought to the Cape by a new owner in 1975. I single-handed it from Ft Lauderdale to the Marshall Is in 1981-83. Reason I'm reporting this is to commemorate one superb boat.

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  5. Nautical legend has it that no boat designed by Knud Nielsen was ever lost. The message from Anonymous shows that legends are just that, not truths