Trailerable Bluewater Sailboat Comparison
and Sailboat Performance Calculator
Like most things in life, sailboats are a compromise. One of the most difficult would be a trailerable, true, bluewater sailboat. Writer Ted Brewer tackled this in an article in the November/December 2002 issue of Good Old Boat magazine, which I recommend reading.
Brewer favored the Nor'Sea 27 and compared it to the Pacific Seacraft 25, Flicka 20 and the Albin Vega, a 27-foot Swedish boat with which I happen to be somewhat familiar. After reading Brewer's article, I began to wonder how our Luger Voyager 30 ketch would stand up.
Trying to figure out the SA/D ratio, I think I hurt myself. How are you at determining the square of a cube root? But then I found Jobst Vandrey's marvelous Sailboat Performance Calculator and plugged in the specifications for the Voyager ketch. Here are the results.
The Voyager's narrow beam produced a D/L, displacement to length of the waterline, of 174. Referring back to Brewer's article, none of the boats he reviewed had a better D/L. The generous sail area of the Voyager ketch configuration resulted in an SA/D of 17.8. Only the Albin Vega bested the Voyager with an 18.5. These are quite sporting numbers suggesting performance that would place the Voyager ketch smack in between cruising and racing monohulls.
Another important ratio for bluewater sailors is the capsize screening ratio. With 3,300 lbs of ballast, 2,500 lbs in the keel and 800 lbs in the centerboard, the Voyager's total weight ready to sail is 7,000 lbs. Not all that great for trailering but a solid 1.68 capsize screening factor. Only the Nor'Sea 27 in Brewer's comparison had a better ratio, 1.60, but the Voyager crushed the competition with a 47.1% ballast to displacement ratio.
Finally, Vandrey's calculator also determines hull speed and required horsepower, an issue not addressed by Brewer. Our Voyager's 13 hp Yanmar diesel would drive the boat at 6.8 knots, within one tenth of a knot of its theoretical 6.9 knot hull speed which would require 14.6 hp. In short, I was very pleased with how well our Voyager holds up using these performance criteria.