cs-timeThe Shields Class was conceived by legendary yachtsman Cornelius Shields, a driving force behind the international one design (IOD) competition. Shields believed that competitions using racing yachts with equal hulls, rigs and sails, would identify the finest sailors. Shields commissioned the first IOD sloop for the Amorita Cup series of team races between Bermuda and Long Island Sound in 1937.

The advent of affordable and practical fiberglass hulls inspired Shields to design a similar sloop for crews of three to five. In 1962, he commissioned legendary America’s Cup designer Olin Stephens to collaborate on the design of the Shields Class one design yacht, initially for competition between maritime academies. With similar sleek lines to his 1937 IOD, the new Shields Class yacht incorporated a number of modern trends, reducing the strains on the crew. The result was a classic, sleek, fast and strikingly beautiful design that provides what many consider a classic, pure sailing experience.

The Shields Yacht

shields_drawingCape Cod Shipbuilding manufactured the first twenty Shields Class sloops. In 1965, Cornelius Shields purchased the molds and moved production to Chris-Craft, where hulls 21-190 were manufactured. Hinckley Company took over production of the next ten hulls starting with #191, now Tiburon skippered by Shields Class President Eric Anderson of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club’s Fleet 12. By 1974, Shields Class manufacturing returned home to Cape Cod Shipbuilding, where it remains today. In all, nearly 260 class boats are registered for competition.


Length over all (LOA): 30′ 2.5″
Length waterline: 20′
Beam: 6′ 5.25″
Draft: 4′ 9″
Displacement: 4,600 lbs.
Keel: lead, 3,080 lbs.
Sail Area: 360 square feet
Hull: molded fiberglass reinforced plastic
Spars: Aluminum
Trim: Teak or Mahogany
Designer: Sparkman & Stephens, Inc.

The Shields Class Association

shieldslogosmFleets and class competitions are governed by the Shields Class Association. The Association maintains the class standards throughout all Shields fleets by administering the rules of competition and insuring equal footing for all sailors within the class.


Fleet 1 Western Long Island Sound, NY Larchmont YC
Fleet 2 Greenwich, CT Indian Harbor YC
Fleet 3 Chicago, IL Chicago YC
Fleet 4 N. Massachusetts Bay
Fleet 7 Monterey CA NPS Sailing Assoc.
Fleet 8 Martha’s Vineyard, MA Edgartown YC
Fleet 9 Newport, RI Ida Lewis YC
Fleet 10 Marion, MA Beverly Yacht Club
Fleet 12 Monterey, CA Monterey Peninsula YC
Fleet 17 Newport, RI Coaster Harbor Navy YC
Fleet 19 Mystic, CT Mason’s Island YC
Fleet 20 Long Beach, CA CSU Long Beach
Fleet 21 Oxford, MA Tred Avon Yacht Club

Sheilds Header