The Beneteau Oceanis 473 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Beneteau 473 is a popular model of cruising sailboat designed by the French naval architect group Groupe Finot and built by Beneteau in France. The 473 model was first introduced in the early 2000s and has since been recognized for its robust build and efficient sailing characteristics, making it a popular choice among cruising sailors.

A Beneteau Oceanis 473 sailboat on a mooring ballA Beneteau Oceanis 473

Published Specification for the Beneteau Oceanis 473

Underwater Configuration: Bulb fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 46'11" (14.3m)

Waterline Length: 43'10" (13.4m)

Beam: 14'2" (4.3m)

Draft: 5'7" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 24,277lb (11,012kg)

Designer: Groupe Finot

Builder: Beneteau (France)

Year First Built: 2000

Year Last Built: 2005

There were alternative versions of the Beneteau 473:

  • Performance Version: Taller mast, deeper keel, and larger sail area.
  • Comfort Version: Shorter mast, shallower keel, and smaller sail area.

Published Design Ratios for the Beneteau 473 Sailboat

  • With a Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.5, the boat falls within the range that suggests reasonably good performance, highlighting its adequate power for various sailing conditions while not reaching the high-performance threshold of boats above a ratio of 20.
  • The Ballast/Displacement Ratio sits at 33.6, which does not reach the stiffer rating of 40 or more, indicating a somewhat less stiff configuration that might not stand up to the wind as robustly as heavier ballasted boats. Importantly, the placement of ballast, which isn't factored into this ratio, plays a critical role in actual performance and stability. The 473, having a bulb keel is a good example of the limitation of this ratio. As a result of the low distribution of her ballast she will be a good deal stiffer than the published Ballast/Displacement Ratio would suggest.
  • The Displacement/Length Ratio of 129 places the Beneteau 473 in the Light Displacement category, suggesting the boat is designed for speed and efficient sailing without requiring a substantial sail area to achieve its hull speed.
  • The Comfort Ratio is measured at 24.6, positioning this model within the moderate stability range typical of coastal cruisers. It promises a balance of comfort and responsiveness, though it might not match the comfort levels of heavier bluewater boats.
  • With a Capsize Screening Formula result of 1.9, the design underlines a sturdy build with good blue water potential, indicating a lower vulnerability to capsizing.

However, it's important to recognize that these theoretical ratios, including the Ballast/Displacement and Comfort Ratios, have limitations.

For instance, the Ballast/Displacement Ratio doesn't account for ballast placement, affecting real-world stiffness and stability.

Additionally, Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio generally favors more traditional heavy displacement designs, and may not perfectly represent the comfort of more modern, light-displacement designs like the Beneteau 473, which also maintain sufficient bluewater capabilities.

Other sailboats in the Beneteau 'Oceanis' product range:

I wrote this article using GPT-4, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, as a research assistant to develop source material. I wrote the final draft in its entirety and believe it to be accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Dick McClary, creator and owner of sailboat-cruising.com


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