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1978 Sonar Restoration by Shumway Marine

1978 Sonar Sailboat

1978 Sonar Sailboat – Awaiting Restoration

Late last fall we sold a 1978 Sonar to Skip Shumway of Shumway Marine. The boat was in pretty tough shape. The blue gel coat had faded to a chalky hue. The black anodized mast had rubbed through to the bare aluminum. The rudder and keel were both a mess in each their own unique way, and the interior was pretty much shot.

We were certain that for the right buyer, though, we had a diamond in the rough. The Sonar is a great daysailer and racer, and we are glad to announce that this one is back!

Take a look at the after picture!

As the Shumway crew puts on the finishing touches, this boat is actively for sale. Interested? Contact Shumway Marine through their contact page.

About Shumway Marine:

From delicate rowing shells to 65 foot yachts, Shumway Marine can repair it all. Our experienced craftsmen work with wood and fiberglass for structural or cosmetic repairs.

Our certified mechanics work on Mercruiser, Yanmar, Westerbeke and Universal engines.  Electrical wiring work and custom rigging are also available. We have two 40 ton hoists and offer yacht loading and unloading for transport.

Restored 1978 Sonar Sailboat

1978 Sonar Sailboat – After

The Paint Shop can accomodate up to 45′ boats. Our painters are skilled in using AwlgripImron, and gelcoat for refinishing. Blister repair, bottom painting, and doll-ups are also done through our Paint Shop.

About the Sonar Sailboat:

The 23′ Sonar one-design keelboat is a high-performance racer and also a comfortable daysailor just right for getting the entire family or friends on the water together. It was designed by Bruce Kirby and almost 700 boats have been built since 1980. The Sonar has recently achieved status as an International Class.


  • Race competitively with three or four crew.
  • The Sonar surfs and planes readily downwind.
  • Well-balanced, inboard rudder
  • Faster than a J/24 in windy conditions.
  • Strict one-design rules.


  • Clean and uncluttered cockpit.
  • Small jib can be handled by nearly any size crew member.
  • Single jib, main, and spinnaker.
  • 7’10” beam for easy trailering.


  • 11’6″ cockpit seats 8 comfortably.
  • Full-length molded bench seats with angled backs.
  • Self-bailing cockpit.
  • Lockable cuddy under the foredeck holds gear, or an outboard motor, even a small Porta Potti.
  • 900 lb. keel keeps the boat stable and dry.

Origin of the Sonar:

“The Sonar may well be the best boat I’ve ever designed.” – Bruce Kirby

It started when Bruce Kirby’s home club (Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, CT USA) couldn’t find the right boat to get their members involved in club racing; fewer and fewer of its members were participating.

They studied a great many existing classes of boats but all were considered too expensive, too slow, too demanding to sail, or just plain uncomfortable. So Bruce was asked to design a new boat specifically to meet the requirements of a club racing one-design keelboat fleet.

It had to be exciting to race, but easy to handle by sailors of all ages, strengths and skill levels. It had to be a really good day sailor, spacious and comfortable to sit in all day long. It had to be trailerable, plus easy to launch for wet or dry sailing. Plus a safe, well behaved training boat to help teach new sailors how to sail and have fun doing it. Finally, it had to have a good but uncomplicated set of class rules.

The result was the Sonar. The Noroton Yacht Club got every thing they wanted and more. And the Sonar has been greeted with enthusiasm by individuals and clubs all over the world.

We buy boats:

Shoreline Sailboats always has an interest in buying used sailboats. If you have a boat for sale, contact us using the form below: