The Shearwater EVO Sailing Canoe - from £8,000

shearwater evolution

Shearwater is a solo or two person decked expedition sailing canoe

  • LOA 16ft.
  • Beam 40in.
  • Stripped weight target for Carbon/Kevlar construction: 40Kg
  • Stripped weight target for Glass/Diolen construction: 45Kg
  • Side decks for easy sitting out.
  • Adjustable seats for one or two people.
  • Side buoyancy for easy capsize recovery.
  • Large watertight hatches fore and aft for safe stowage of gear
  • Efficient and easily reefed 4m2 or 5m2 Bermudan rigs
  • An ideal small boat for one or two persons.
  • RCD/UKC Category C rated for coastal sailing with the outriggers fitted
  • RCD/UKC Category D rated for sheltered water sailing without the outriggers


Shearwater is a fully developed decked sailing canoe designed for Adventure Sailing. The original Shearwater was introduced in 2006 and it soon became our most popular sailing canoe. Since then we have done much development work on it, so much so that it became known as the Evolution or EVO. Since the original, we have increased the freeboard, especially at the bow, given it a crowned deck and smaller cockpit all adding to the seaworthiness.

In 2021 we modified the Shearwater EVO moulds and introduced resin infusion/resin transfer moulding - this enables us to achieve optimal resin to reinforcement ratios and to build strong light & stiff hulls & decks. We have developed moulds that enable us to use resin infusion on all the composite components of the Shearwater EVO - including the bulkheads, & side tanks as well as the deck & hull.

We now offer the Shearwater EVO in two constructions:

Glass/Diolen: The hull is built from a combination of glass & Diolen fabrics, with localised Kevlar reinforcing, and a Soric core in the flatter areas of the deck & base of the hull. The use of Diolen adds considerable extra strength and impact resistance, giving us a robust & durable construction.

Carbon/Kevlar: The hull is built from a combination of Carbon/Kevlar hybrid & Kevlar fabric, with localised reinforcing in Carbon & a Soric core in the base of the hull. The deck is built from Carbon fabric with localised reinforcing in Carbon & a Soric core in the flatter areas. This gives us a lightweight, stiff & durable construction.

shearwater sailing canoeShearwater is available with either a 4m2 or 5m2 Bermudan rig. The 4m2 (44sqft) has some advantages for the lighter or less agile sailor and perhaps for use in more challenging conditions without the outriggers.

shearwater sailing canoe

The fully decked layout incorporates a large buoyancy tank in the bow, with a large watertight hatch for easy access for gear stowage. The tank is 6ft long and has a huge volume of stowage space. There is a dedicated paddle park on the fore deck to securely store paddles out of the way of the cockpit, but very accessible for when needed.

shearwater sailing canoe

The cockpit has two comfortable moveable seats that can be adjusted to give the canoe an even trim. The cockpit is 6ft long so has plenty of room for two average sized people. The seats are quickly and easily removable so that the canoe can be set up for solo use, or perhaps the fore seat can become a chart table by pushing it to the front of the cockpit. There are large side buoyancy tanks that allow Shearwater to recover from a capsize with little or no water in the cockpit. Full length toe straps either side of the cockpit floor allow the captain and/or crew to securely sit out on the wide side decks.

shearwater sailing canoe














The Leeboard mount is built into the starboard side tank with the locking handle easily accessible in the cockpit. As is normal in a sailing canoe, the leeboard is an effective way of removing the centre board or daggerboard, found in a dinghy, to the side of the canoe, leaving the cockpit free and uncluttered. The leeboard can easily be lifted up for landing or sailing in shallow water and will automatically kick up if you accidentally run into an underwater obstacle. The leeboard also has the advantage over a daggerboard of being able to sail with it angled back, to reduce and adjust the weatherhelm when sailing off the wind or downwind.

We also build in a floodable ballast tank in the front half of the starboard side tank. This tank can be opened and flooded in a capsize to help stabilise the canoe as you climb back on board. This makes capsize recovery much easier and more likely that you will succeed. Canoes, by nature, have a narrower beam and lower stability than a dinghy which can make re-entry after a capsize more difficult. The ballast tank goes a long way to rectifying this.

shearwater sailing canoe

shearwater sailing canoe















There are a full set of deck lines allowing you to securely mount the rig on deck, if you want to paddle with the rig down. The Bermudan rig is light enough to easily raise and lower whilst on the water.

The Shearwater has a very low drag hull that is designed for quick sailing and easy paddling. With practice you can paddle the canoe for long periods at speeds around 3 knots solo, or 4 knots tandem.

In light winds you can increase your cruising speed by paddle sailing. With the rudder down and locked off the canoe will travel at 4 knots in the lightest of winds with a few paddle strokes to keep you moving.

The rear deck also has a large built in buoyancy tank with a large waterproof hatch to access the huge rear stowage space. There is a kick up rudder with long extendable tiller. The adjustable tiller means that you can set the length depending how you sail or where in the cockpit you sit. It can even reach the crew so that they could steer whilst you paddle. The tiller can be locked to the deck with the deck lines to help keep the boat on track whilst paddling/ paddle sailing. The rudder can be raised or lowered remotely when on the water with lines leading to cleats on the rear end of the cockpit. There are two comfortable large handles on the front and back decks to make it easy for two people to lift the canoe. They are also useful as strong attachments for mooring lines

shearwater sailing canoe

Shearwater comes with a dedicated portage trolley that is small enough to take with you whilst you sail, so that you have the means to get the canoe up the beach easily wherever you land. Many people use the trolley to provide a safe cushioned place to leave the canoe on the beach when landing, to help prevent scratches to the underside. The trolley will fit though the large deck hatches so that it can be stored away, or will strap to the deck with the deck lines for easy quick access.

shearwater sailing canoe

shearwater sailing canoe


The Shearwater comes ready to sail, complete with a set of outriggers & beam with large coaming. The coaming is large and reduces the amount of water coming off the front deck and into the cockpit. As the coaming comes off the canoe with the beam, it leaves the deck more smooth for loading onto a roofrack for transport. The beam is curved upwards so that the canoe can be sailed with the outriggers free from the water for most of the time, only coming into play when the canoe heels. The outriggers increase the seaworthiness of the Shearwater and makes it easier to sail in strong gusty winds. The outriggers are useful for the novice whilst learning to sail, but more importantly they allow the experienced coastal cruiser to sail with a larger margin of safety. The outriggers have a buoyancy of around 50lbs each. They greatly increase the final stability of the canoe and reduce the chance of capsize. However they are not large enough to prevent a capsize if you push things too far. The small size of the outriggers means that even if you capsize and turtle the canoe, they can be sunk by your own weight to allow you to right it. Once righted, the outriggers make it much easier to re-enter the canoe and make it unlikely that you would accidentally capsize whilst climbing back onboard.

shearwater sailing canoe

If you need to store your Shearwater outside we recommend our custom boat cover which we can supply for an additional  £300.

We are now offering the Shearwater with the options of Carbon/Kevlar or Glass/Diolen construction

Shearwater prices:

Shearwater Evolution in Glass/Diolen construction, complete with Outriggers & portage trolley: £8,000

Shearwater Evolution in Carbon/Kevlar construction, complete with outriggers & portage trolley: £9,100