Sailboat Calculators

The Sailboats Calculators below will enable you to calculate the main Sailboat Ratios, using data that you can retrieve from the Boat table or your own data.
We will be adding more Calculators along the way and more in-depth explanations of how they work and what they can help you with.
Hopefully you will enjoy them and find them useful to search or understand the characteristics of your or any given sailboat.
OceanWave Sail Calc

SA/D range of values

16 to 18 Heavy offshore cruisers
18 to 22 Medium cruisers
22 to 26 Inshore cruisers, racing boats
26 to 30+ Extreme racing boats




A Ballast/Displacement ratio of 40 or more translates into a stiffer, more powerful boat that will be better able to stand up to the wind.




The lower a boat’s Displacement/Length (LWL) ratio, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed.

less than 100 = Ultralight;

100-200 = Light;

200-275 = Moderate;

275-350 = Heavy;

350+ = Ultraheavy;


Comfort Ratio:


This is a ratio created by Ted Brewer as a measure of motion comfort. It provides a reasonable comparison between yachts of similar size and type. It is based on the fact that the faster the motion the more upsetting it is to the average person. Consider, though, that the typical summertime coastal cruiser will rarely encounter the wind and seas that an ocean going yacht will meet.

Numbers below 20 indicate a lightweight racing boat;

20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser;

30 to 40 indicates a moderate bluewater cruising boat;

40 to 50 indicates a heavy bluewater boat;

over 50 indicates an extremely heavy bluewater boat.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam^1.33), where displacement is expressed in pounds, and length is expressed in feet.


Capsize Screening Formula (CSF):


Designed to determine if a boat has blue water capability. The CSF compares beam with displacement since excess beam contributes to capsize and heavy displacement reduces capsize vulnerability. The boat is better suited for ocean passages (vs coastal cruising) if the result of the calculation is 2.0 or less. The lower the better.


Hull Speed Calculator


Hull speed calculator is a simple calculator that determines a vessel’s hull speed based on the length of the vessel’s waterline.


Boat Speed Calculator


The boat speed calculator calculates the top speed of a boat based on the boat’s power and her displacement. If you try to understand how fast a boat can go, this calculator will help you answer that. The boat speed calculator utilizes a constant known as Crouch constant which differs based on the type of the boat.


BN – Bruce Number:

The Bruce Number is a power-to-weight ratio for relative speed potential for comparing two or more boats. It takes into consideration the displacement and sail area of main and jib. 100% fore-triangle only, no overlapping sails.

Chris White, “The Cruising Multihull”, (International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1997), states that a boat with a BN of less than 1.3 will be slow in light winds. A boat with a BN of 1.6 or greater is a boat that will be reefed often in offshore cruising.

Derek Harvey, “Multihulls for Cruising and Racing”, International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1991, states that a BN of 1 is generally accepted as the dividing line between so-called slow and fast multihulls.

BN = SA^0.5/(Disp. in pounds)^.333

Kelsall Sailing Performance (KSP):

Another measure of relative speed potential of a boat. It takes into consideration “reported” sail area, displacement and length at waterline. The higher the number the faster speed prediction for the boat. A cat with a number 0.6 is likely to sail 6kts in 10kts wind, a cat with a number of 0.7 is likely to sail at 7kts in 10kts wind.

KSP = (Lwl*SA÷D)^0.5*.05

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