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Nor'Sea 27 Sailboat : A Small Cruising Sailboat to Take You Anywhere

A very smart-looking boat - the Nor'Sea 27 breaks all the rules and redefines what it takes be be considered a "cruising sailboat."

A very smart-looking boat - the Nor'Sea 27 breaks all the rules and redefines what it takes be be considered a "cruising sailboat."

For Those That Want Everything

The Nor'Sea 27 is an incredibly special boat. It breaks all the rules. With an inboard engine, cutaway full keel, full galley, a head, refrigeration, nice sized v-berth, aft cabin, and center cockpit, the Nor'Sea 27 has the comfort, amenities, and seaworthiness of a much larger boat. But even more unbelievable ... it's trailerable!

WELL ... that might be a bit of a stretch. It can legally be put on a trailer and transported without any special permits—but the Nor'Sea 27's robust build means it takes a heavy-duty trailer and something beefier than your average soccer-mom Subaru to haul her overland.

But when it comes to quality and comfort, the Nor'Sea 27 just can't be beaten. Designed by Lyle C. Hess—famous for his small cruising boat designs like the Bristol Channel Cutter—this sloop-rigged, canoe-stern beauty is made for long voyages with the safety of its crew in mind.

Any boat that points her bow out to sea should be designed so that the crew need not worry about a safe return–no matter what tricks the weather may play.

— Lyle Hess

A Great Liveaboard

The Nor'Sea 27 has features for comfort and functionality never before seen on a 27-foot sailboat. While she is offered in both an aft-cockpit and center-cockpit layout, the center cockpit has been the preferred option, with customers ordering them 9 out of 10 times. The center cockpit option allows for a well-thought-out aft cabin, with two berths, standing headroom throughout most of the cabin, and a secure sheltered cockpit.

Forward of the cockpit is the head, a galley along the starboard side, and a settee with wrap-around seating, which can convert into a spacious double berth. Most Nor'Sea's have a heater located just forward of the head in a nice little alcove, which keeps the cabin nice and toasty when the weather is less than desirable.

With a wood interior that glows and makes this fiberglass boat feel like an old warm, wooden workboat, you'd never guess that you were in a 27-foot sailboat! This boat is on my shortlist for the boat that I would eventually live on and cruise extensively.

The cozy little forward cabin of the Nor'Sea 27

The cozy little forward cabin of the Nor'Sea 27


The Nor'Sea 27 is heavily overbuilt for safety and seaworthiness. The hull is 22 layers of hand-laid fiberglass, with the deck being fiberglass with a marine plywood core. All the fittings and rigging are also of the highest quality and well past the standards of other boats her size.

The Nor'Sea 27 is sold as both factory finished and as hull and deck kits. While the factory-finished boats are of the highest quality, boats finished from kits can vary. So, when thinking of buying a used boat, it's important to find out if the boat was factory finished or not.

The only common problem found with the Nor'Sea 27 is its aluminum fuel tanks, which are susceptible to corrosion. These can be very difficult to replace, but it is manageable with a little bit of work.

All of this quality does come with a price though...the Nor'Sea 27 is the most expensive 27-foot trailerable sailboat on the market, with new factory-finished boats going for around $150,000. However, used boats can be found in good condition for anywhere between $25,000 and $70,000. Because of the popularity and following these boats have, when one goes up for sale at a good price, you can be sure it'll go fast!


LOA: 31′ 0″ (with bowsprit)
LOD: 27′ 0″ (without bowsprit)
LWL: 25′ 0″
Beam: 8′ 0″
Draft: 3′ 10″
Displacement: 8,100 lbs.
Ballast: 3100 lbs
Ballast, standard: 2500 lbs. (pre-1980)
Ballast, heavy: 3000 lbs. (pre-1980)

Sail Area, current rig: 394 sq. ft. (35′ 0″ mast)
Sail Area, tall rig: 376 sq. ft. (34′ 0″ mast)
Sail Area, short rig: 335 sq. ft. (30′ 6″ mast)

Head Room: 6′ 0″
Water: 40 US Gal.
Fuel: 30 US Gal.
Engine: 9hp Farymann/ 20hp Yanmar 2GM diesel

Designer: Lyle C. Hess
Year Introduced: 1977
Builder: Heritage Marine/ Nor’Sea Yachts


Daniel on November 06, 2018:

Nor'sea 27 owner here. These are great boats. I love my boat and enjoy spending any time I can on her.

LuciferK from San Diego on October 12, 2011:

Stout boats, beautiful lines, and truly a joy to sail. Great review!