1987 Custom Wittholtz/Luzier Sloop/Cutter

  • 49 ft
  • Sloop
  • Rockport, ME, US

Yacht price :



SUISUN is a unique and spacious keel/centerboard sloop/cutter designed by Wittholtz and built to excellent standards by renowned builder George Luzier.  She was beautifully built with durable and rot resistant stripped plank juniper saturated in epoxy  and  the quality of her construction has stood the test of time.  Suisun has a spacious, open and well executed interior, and has  proven to be smart sailing,  easily handled, and well suited to coastal or extended cruising. She has benefited from the care of knowledgeable owners, and is highly recommended.  Originally christened DRUMBEAT there is a full description and review of the design by Joel White in another section of this listing



Basic Information

Wittholtz/Luzier Sloop/Cutter
Year Refit:
Rockport, ME, US
Available for sale in U.S. waters:
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Dimensions & Weight

49 ft - 14.94 meter
49 ft - 14.94 meter
14 ft - 4.27 meter
Draft - max:
9 ft - 2.74 meter
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85-hp Perkins 4-236 fresh water cooled 4 cyl diesel with SS shaft and Borg Warner V-drive

Single lever engine control on binnacle

24" 3 blade Max prop feathering propeller

app 7 knots at 15-1600 rpm

App 5000 engine hours as of 2021

Exhaust manifold was replaced and transmission rebuilt app 7 years ago.

Fixed halon system in engine space

Electric bilge pump

Large manual Edson bilge pump

Edson mechanical steering to skeg hung rudder


150 gallons of fuel in 2 SS tanks

208 gallons of water in 3 SS tanks

25 gallon SS holding tank

Heart tank tender

Joel White review in WoodenBoat magazine Sept-Oct 1987

From " A Contemporary Cutter"  by Joel White, WoodenBoat magazine, September / October, 1987:  

This contemporary 49-foot cutter was designed by Charles Wittholz. The Silver Spring, Maryland architect has been designing boats since 1939 when he started with John Alden and Company. He then worked for Philip Rhodes and others for opening his own design office in 1962. Wittholz is one of America's most versatile Naval Architects, and I find all his designs good-looking, well-engineered, and carefully conceived.  This cutter, using glued stripped planking over laminated frames and backbone, shows his adaptability in the use of new construction techniques in 1980s styling.   The hull is a beamy 14 ft 2 in   shoal draft centerboarder drawing 5 feet with the centerboard up in 9 ft 4 in with the board down.  Shoal draft allows a large boat like this to operate comfortably in the Bahamas or in the Intracoastal Waterway.  The centerboard houses entirely within the ballast keel casting and thus does not intrude o the interior accommodations.  Unlike many modern boats that have propellers so far forward of the rudder that all slipstream effect is lost, this cutter has a separate rudder with fixed skeg located way aft {at the end of the waterline) and a propeller located just forward of the rudder; the slipstream across the face of the rudder should provide exceptional maneuverability.  The cutter's hull shape is not unusual with barrel shaped sections and easy buttock lines, but all is drawn with Wittholz's usual easy grace and an eye for good appearance.  While the sheer is a little high and straight for my old fashioned tastes, it allows the forward half of the boat to be flush decked, with a tremendous increase in the amount of usable deck space.

Displacement is 34,600 lbs, ballast is 15,000 lbs, and a displacement-length ratio is 234 ( light to medium).   The boat DRUMBOAT, built by George Luzier of Sarasota, Florida, is a beauty.  Cedar (juniper) strips are specified for planking over heavy laminated mahogany frames every 16" on center.  The 1 5/16" planking is edge fastened as well as glued, which makes for and extremely strong and watertight hull.  The keel, keelson, and stem are all laminated mahogany - the keelson at its widest point, measures 2' across and forms the bac-rabbit for the planking. Heavy mahogany floor timbers on every frame distribute the stresses of the ballast keel and centerboard out to the hull planking; this ensures a rigid and strong structure.  The maststep appears to be a metal weldment that is long enough to spread the strain over six floor timbers.   Deckbeams and house beams are laminated mahogany.  The plans call for the deck to be two layers of 3/8" plywood under 3/8" of teak.  Thje cabintop is four layuers of 1/4" plywood, fiberglass covered.  The whole construction plan is an excellent example of the use of modern materials, adhesives, and techniques to produce a strong, long lasting structure.   Power is supplied by a Perkins 4-236M 85-hp diesel with 2.58:1 reduction gear.  The engine is mounted well aft, directly under the cockpit and is coupled to the propeller shaft through a V-drive arrangement.  the large(24" diameter), three blade propeller (fully feathering blades, to reduce drag) should give this vessel excellent ability to power against heavy wind and sea conditions and yet should not detract much from her sailing qualities - a good, if not inexpensive solution to the auxiliary power problem.  There are 150 gallons of water in a stainless-steel tank under the forward end of the deckhouse sole.  The heavy liquid weights ae concentrated near the center of buoyancy, and the trim will remain relatively unaffected by the fuel and water loads.  The boat is steered by a wheel with cables running to the ridder quadrant under the stern deck  Despite this cutter's size her plans indicate simple, well thought out mechanical systems' she contains few of the expensive gadgets that cause many boats to spend time tied to the repair dock rather than out sailing.   

The sail plan is also about as simple as can be on a 50' boat.  The cutter rig has a double-spreader aluminum spar stepped quite far aft. which no doubt is an attempt to keep the mainsail as small as is feasible - 515 sq ft.  The masthead is 66' above the water.  Three deep reefs are shown; when the last one is pulled down, the mainsail will be reduced to just half of its original area.  The large foretriangle is divided into a 270 sq ft staysail and a high cut working jib of 354 sq ft.  The 840 sq ft genoa can be used if a large crew is on board.  Either way, this boat should be a really good performer with her sail area/wetted surface of 2.31.  Running backstays will be needed at least on breezy days, to keep her spar straight when using the staysail.  All the sails are cut well off the deck so that the crew can see ahead and avoid collisions - unlike those popular deck-sweeper jibs, which require that one crew member be on the lookout from the stem at all times.  My only complaint about this boats rig is that the mast is stepped without any rake aft.  To me, a mast without rake always looks as if it is leaning forward and is a jarring note to an otherwise handsome sail plan.  I would also like to see the gooseneck lowered so that the after end of the boom would be higher than the forward end. 

The arrangement plan was chosen from three different preliminary designs, and it's not the usual layout for a boa of this size.  Below, there are large open spaces and relatively few bunks and staterooms.  The area from the mast to the after end of the cockpit (about 22' long, and running the full width of the vessel) is open and unbulkheaded - with the exception of the large toilet and shower room at the starboard  forward end - and the feeling of spaciousness generated by this layout must be considerable.  The cabin sole, of teak and holly, had three levels descending from aft to forward.  The middle level, under the large deckhouse, has a wide floor with an L- shaped seat and dining table to starboard and a navigator's station and long seat opposite to port.  Abaft this are a huge hanging lockers to port and a large bureau to starboard.  Further aft, the engine is tucked under the cockpit floor, while to each side under the cockpit seats there is a quarter berth.  At the forward end of the deckhouse, two steps take you down to the large C- shaped galley to port across from the head.  The counter across the after end of the galley is arranged with a serving shelf to the deckhouse social area making it easy to get the food onto the dining table.  The widest, most commodious part of the boat is given over to sitting, eating, cooking, and socializing - a good setup for  coastal cruising and daysailing.

Ath the forward end of the galley, just at the mast, there is a full-width bulkhead with door leading forward into a two-berth stateroom.  Good stowage lockers on each side, plus a lavatory, make this a comfortable place for the owner's stateroom, although it is too far forward for maximum comfort at sea.  Going forward, another door leads into the fo'c's'le with pipe berths on each side and a workbench to port.  Right aft, reached through a hatch on the deck, thee is a large lazarette containing the steering gear and loads o stowage space. This arrangement works well for most sailing and cruising, although it would be less that ideal if the boat were to be used foe long offshore passages or racing.

Maintenance will be relatively low and longevity very good.  DRUMBEAT is a testimonial to fine design, high-quality craftsmanship, and the proper use of modern materials to produce a one-off yacht from that most versatile material--wood.

Electrical and Electronics:

Suisun is wired for both 12 V DC and 110 V AC Service

New alternator 2014

Two 8D house and one series 31 starting battery to be replaced by owner prior to closing

Solar panel

Switch panel with breakers and ammeter voltmeter

30 amp shore power connection and cord

AC outlets

Water heater (dual electric/engine)Electronics include:

Garmin radar and Garmin 3210 GPS with multifunction Garmin 17 display mounted on swing out bracket on port side of companionway

Garmin GPS 45

Standard horizon VHF and handheld VHF

SEA 222 single sideband radio

Datamarine depth and speed/log

Raymarine I40 mulitifunction

Danforth 6" Constellation compass in binnacle

Handheld 12 VDC searchlight 


Sails and Rigging:

Masthead sloop/cutter rig. Note: Not counting flexible vhf antenna, Suisun's mast height is reportedly below 64' and she has done numerous trips on the Intra Coastal waterway.  Double spreader aluminum keel stepped mast with SS rigging and Stayloc terminals.  Aluminum boom. (older sitka spruce boom as well) Harken roller furling for both jib and staysail.  Sails include main, staysail jib and lightly used cruising spinnaker. ( Main and Jib new by Downs sails in 2018).  Selden boom vang.

2 Barient 32 ST two speed primary and two Barient 28 ST two speed secondary winches.; two Barient 21 ST halyard winches; two Barient 25 halyard winches; Barient 21ST main sheet winch; Barient 32 ST  two speed centerboard winch; Harken46ST  two speed electric  main halyard winch in cockpit; Harken 35 ST 2 speed winch


Maxwell 12 V anchor windlass

Saltwater washdown

60lb CQR, 50lb Bruce, and 60lb Yachtsman anchors with chain and nylon rodes

PFDs, horn, bell, flare kit

Fire extinguishers

Life ring and LifeSling

Emergency tiller

 Firdell radar blipper


Dinghy davits



The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.


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Yachting Solutions
Rockport, ME, US

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Disclaimer: The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his/her agents, or his/her surveyors, to instigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.(8044125)