As a prospective sailboat buyer, choosing the right type of sailboat can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, if you are a serious sailor looking to venture into open ocean cruising, a heavy displacement blue water sailing cruiser may be the best choice for you.
One of the most popular heavy displacement sailboats on the market today is an Oyster sailboat, like Britican. Others include Hallberg-Rassys and Amels.
When we went shopping for a sailboat our intention was to explore the Mediterranean, cross the Atlantic, and perhaps go as far as the Pacific. Our first concern was safety. We wanted a boat that would take good care of us. One of our requirements was to find one that had a heavy displacement. Let’s explore the benefits of choosing a heavy displacement blue water sailing cruiser over a lighter option and why a boat like Britican is a great choice for serious sailors.
Benefits of Choosing a Heavy Displacement Sailboat
- Stability: Heavy displacement sailboats have a greater mass and are built with a deeper draft, which provides increased stability and reduces the boat’s tendency to roll in rough seas. This makes them a better choice for blue water cruising where the weather can be unpredictable. It also helps with passengers that suffer from seasickness. Heavy boats are far more stable.
- Comfort: A heavy displacement sailboat typically has a larger hull and more interior space, providing greater comfort for longer journeys. Britican, for example, has a spacious interior with ample headroom, making it a very comfortable home.
- Safety: Heavy displacement sailboats are built to be strong and durable, able to withstand heavy seas and rough weather conditions. They are designed to handle more weight and are less likely to capsize, flip/roll, or suffer damage in a storm. This makes them a safer option for offshore cruising.
Over the course of nine years we experienced a few bad storms in Britican.
We came to realize that Britican could manage some seriously bad weather. When I tell people about our experience off the coast of Morocco I explain that it was almost A Perfect Storm. And when crossing from Bermuda to the United States, we endured over 20 major squalls. Britican didn’t bat an eyelash. It was the passages (us) who actually had the issues!
Light vs Heavy Displacement Sailboats
Without using boat brands, let me outline the basic differences between light and heavy sailboats.
Boat A: Heavy Displacement
Boat A is a 50-foot sailboat with a heavy displacement of 40,000 pounds. It has a full keel and a beam of 14 feet. The boat has a draft of 6 feet, which makes it well-suited for long-range cruising and offshore sailing. The interior of Boat A is spacious and comfortable, with ample headroom and storage space. It has a fuel capacity of 150 gallons and a water capacity of 200 gallons.
Boat B: Lightweight Displacement
Boat B is also a 50-foot sailboat but has a lightweight displacement of 20,000 pounds. It has a fin keel and a beam of 13 feet. The boat has a draft of 8 feet, which makes it more suitable for racing than cruising. The interior of Boat B is less spacious than Boat A’s and has limited headroom and storage space. It has a fuel capacity of 80 gallons and a water capacity of 120 gallons.
Comparison Light vs Heavy Displacement Sailboats
Boat A’s heavy displacement and full keel make it more stable in rough seas than Boat B. The extra weight helps to reduce the boat’s motion in heavy waves and provides a more comfortable ride for passengers. Boat A’s deep draft also provides better stability in high winds and rough seas.
Boat B’s lightweight displacement and fin keel make it more prone to capsizing in rough seas. It has less stability and is more susceptible to being knocked over by waves.
The heavy displacement sailboat, Boat A, provides more space and comfort for passengers. The boat’s extra weight allows for larger cabins, more storage space, and better headroom. Boat A also has a wider beam, which provides more interior space. Further, Boat A can carry far more fuel and water.
Boat B’s lightweight displacement means that it has less space and comfort for passengers. The boat’s interior is more cramped, with limited headroom and storage space. The boat’s narrower beam also means that there is less interior space.
The heavy displacement sailboat, Boat A, has a full keel making it less maneuverable than Boat B. It has a slower sailing speed, especially in light winds. However, Boat A is more stable in heavy seas and is better suited for long-range cruising.
Boat B’s lightweight displacement and fin keel make it more maneuverable than Boat A. It has a faster sailing speed, especially in light winds, and is better suited for racing. However, Boat B is less stable in heavy seas and is not as suitable for long-range cruising.
To summarize, Boat A’s heavy displacement makes it safer, more stable, and more spacious than Boat B. While Boat B may have better performance in calm conditions, it is less suitable for offshore cruising and rough seas. Therefore, heavy displacement boats like Boat A are a better choice for sailors who prioritize safety, stability, and comfort.
If you’re interested in buying a heavy displacement sailboat, consider buying Britican. She’s currently looking for a new home. To get her specifications, email Kim@SailingBritican.com
Other Articles of Interest
- Ten Steps To Buying A Sailboat For Long-Term Cruising
- Choosing The Right Boat Surveyor
- How To Buy The Right Sailboat For You
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