Shearline 61 – Boat Review

Knowledgeable owners who know what they are looking at will especially appreciate this boat's beautiful, artistic elements...


Compared to some other Carolina builders out there, Shearline could be considered a youngster – or more accurately, a prodigy. From its small, outboard boats with classic lines to big, offshore convertibles, Shearline builds handsome boats that perform superbly. As an added bonus, the company always handles its business and owners with style and grace.

Winter weather hit Shearline’s base in Morehead City, North Carolina, like a baseball bat. Rain, cold, fog and ugly seas made for perfect boat-test conditions! The newest hull out of Chip King’s shop runs quite flatly without any tabs, cruising along at 35 knots and turning 2,000 rpm. Wide open, the 61 hit a respectable 43.4 knots at 2,360 rpm, burning 162 gph.

We decided not to head out to the Big Rock on test day, instead choosing to troll along the shoals. At a 7½-knot trolling speed, the Shearline generated modest subsurface turbulence on centerline, which dissipated by the third wave back. A fair bit of surface foam comes off the hull but leaves clear, open lanes for your lures.


The 61 features an unusual rotary steering that leaves little travel lock-to-lock, though with slightly more throw at slow speeds. Response at cruise is instant for dodging, but the boat scribes a fairly wide arc when reversing course. Throughout the rpm range, the Shearline 61’s hull stays quiet and drifts with a short roll moment and gentle transitions.

At last there’s a boat that takes the crew into account: The engine compartment boasts an outstanding stereo system to make routine maintenance less onerous.

Pipes under the gunwales provide extensions for gaff storage and protrude into aft corners of the engine room. Opposite, a 21 kW Onan generator sits against the forward bulkhead, and with both main engines butting up against the bulkhead, you won’t be getting outboard of these power plants. Fortunately, all maintenance points reside on centerline.


Shearline mounts the fuel-status sight tubes just inside the engine-room hatch, while just below a tunnel from the engine compartment to the lazarette affords access to pumps, plumbing and steering quadrants.

The owner of Piracy requested that Shearline insulate all the boxes under the mezzanine seats with Divinycell. In addition, Shearline provided a huge compartment for the Eskimo ice maker to stockpile ice in the portside module. Another huge fish box resides in the transom.

In a nod to contemporary styling, Shearline added Lucite stair treads on the flybridge ladder, integrated with LED lights to a great effect.


Shearline saves weight and bows to previous classic styling by topping the counters in the galley with gorgeous Birdseye maple rather than granite or marble. The builder does a superb job with all the joinerwork throughout, aligning all the book-matched veneer so that you can start at the floor level and follow the grain up the counter to the wall behind and up through the cabinetry above – it all matches.

Shearline also asked Paneltronics to build the electrical distribution panel into a completely enclosed box as a safety feature.

The portside master sports a fore-and-aft queen berth complete with a head and shower. And since design trends today call for fewer straight lines and more rounded edges, Shearline incorporates lots of radius curves throughout the boat – most accomplished by using strong, lightweight Tri-Cell coring.


In the living quarters, the extra-wide companionway uses an interesting curve to add privacy to the forward cabin, which also serves as a second master stateroom.

Knowledgeable owners who know what they are looking at will especially appreciate this boat’s beautiful, artistic elements. Add to that the cold-molded Douglas-fir bottom and the superb strength of the Okoume plywood sides and superstructure, and the deceptively simple appearance of Piracy takes on masterwork status.


Deadrise……12 degrees
Weight……60,000 pounds
Fuel……1,450 gallons
Power……T 1,925 hp Cat C32 ACERT diesels
Price……On request

Shearline Boatworks / Morehead City, North Carolina / 252-726-6916 /


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