The Shipman is a cruiser-racer, 28 feet long and with a draft of 1.55 metres. She has a mast head rig with three genoas of decreasing size and a spinnaker. Boats have an inboard diesel engine, a heads, a galley and five berths, two in the main cabin, two forward and a quarter berth. Her long keel and ability to reduce sail make her a seaworthy boat. When racing, a crew of about five is normal and when cruising two or more can sail her.
The class has its own starts in races organised by the Dublin Bay Sailing Club and at regattas, and the Class Championship is held annually in a two-day four races event.