Wilbur 34 Downeaster

Wilbur are to be highly commended for producing an interior so in keeping with the human scale.

Wilbur are to be highly commended for producing an interior so in keeping with the human scale. The 3.66m (12ft 0in) beam helps, but it’s more a matter of attitude than available volume. Based on the boats we saw being built, Wilbur could easily produce a high-quality, all-wood interior. However, on the test boat, the combination of varnished teak woodwork and bright white facings provided a light, airy environment that worked particularly well in the hot climate of Maine.

There are areas under the ‘general engineering’ banner that need to be looked at. It’s not unusual for machinery to be inspected while a boat is pitching in a sea, so loose, unstayed hatches are unacceptable. Remote fuel shut-off valves should surely be a standard safety feature – an attitude endorsed by rule 6.3.9 of the European Recreational Craft Directive. Builders of semi-displacement craft seem to have a particular aversion to Trim tabs, despite the fact that these forms invariably Trim highly at the fast Speeds owners now expect of their boats. However, Trim tabs might improve the sight lines from the Wilbur’s helm without affecting Performance; and shortening the anchor platform would also help.

The Wilbur gets top marks for its cockpit area, which offers the best of both worlds. There is generous seating in both cockpits, and the open deck space is very flexible. Not only is the space versatile, it also feels very safe. Those of you who are used to high cockpit coamings and all-round guardrails would be surprised at how practical and secure a deck laid out like this is.


Length overall (LOA) 36ft 6in 11.13m

Hull length 34ft 4in 10.47m

Beam 12ft 0in 3.66m

Draught 3ft 8in 1.12m

Air draught (estimated) 7ft 6in 2.29m

Displacement 5.2 tons

Fuel capacity 167 imp gal 757 litres

Water capacity 67 imp gal 303 litres

Engines Single Caterpillar 3208TA

375hp @ 2,800rpm

V8 cylinder 10.4lt turbo diesel

Five-bladed propeller,

24in diameter 5 x 23in pitch

(610mm 5 x 584mm)

RPM Speed Trim GPH MPG Range

600 4.6 0.0° n/a n/a n/a

1,000 6.6 0.5° 1.0 6.60 882

1,500 8.8 2.0° 3.3 2.67 356

2,000 12.1 5.0° 7.1 1.71 228

2,400 17.1 6.0° 11.1 1.53 205

2,800 22.4 7.0° 17.3 1.29 173

Range figures allow 20% reserve 75% fuel, 100% water, four crew

Sea state: 6in (150mm) chop

Wind strength: Force 1


Maximum Speed 22.4 knots

Maximum Range 173 miles at 2,800rpm

Cruising Speed 17 knots

Cruising Range 205 miles at 2,400rpm

Price from $179,500 (approx £112,188)

Price as tested $265,000 (approx £165,625)


200 Seawall Road, Po Box 1300

Southwest Harbour


Maine 04656, USA.

Tel: +1 (0)207 244 5000.

Fax: +1 (0)207 244 9893.

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