How To Choose a Stable Sailboat

Stable Sailboat

Choosing the right sailboat requires investigation into the design components, dexterity and stability. A simple equation called the capsize screening formula assesses a boat’s likelihood to capsize and its ability to get out of an inverted position.

This rating provides a quick method to weed out unsafe boats. However, there are other vital factors to examine, as well.

Stability Design Elements

Determining a boat’s stability helps you understand how it will fair in the worst conditions at sea. Consider the following characteristics before you purchase your vessel:

  • The shape and design of the hull
  • The ballast location that indicates weight distribution
  • The measurement between the center of buoyancy and the center of gravity
  • The amount of beam
  • The width of the boat

Capsize Screening Formula

In addition to assessing a boat’s specific construction features, you can get an idea of overall stability by calculating the capsize likelihood. Use the following equation to determine the capsize rating: Boat’s Maximum Beam (measured in feet) / Cube Root (Gross Displacement/64). This formula compares a boat’s beam with its displacement and provides a guide to assess the general stability. A lower resulting number indicates the sailboat is less likely to capsize. A rating of over 2.0 could indicate a potential safety issue.

Taking the time to ensure your sailboat is stable before you hit the water is essential. The capsize screening formula helps you identify the best candidates for a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.