The Boothbay Explorer Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Boothbay Explorer, a centre-cockpit ketch, was designed by Clifford Swain & John G Alden and built in the USA by Hodgdon Bros.

The Boothbay Explorer sailboatThe Boothbay Explorer

Published Specification for the Boothbay Explorer

Underwater Profile: Long Keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 58'7" (17.7m)

Waterline Length: 41'0" (12.8m)

Beam: 19'8" (4.8m)

Draft*: 6'2" (1.9m)

Rig Type: Masthead Ketch

Displacement: 53,300lb (24,177kg)

Designer: Clifford Swain & John G Alden

Builder:  Hodgdon Bros. (USA)

Year First Built: 1968

Year Last Built: 1974

Number Built: 5

* 12 centreboard versions of the Explorer were also produced during the same period which were known as the Boothbay Challenger.

Published Design Ratios for the Boothbay Explorer

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.3

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: Not published

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 321

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 44.6

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Boothbay Explorer

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 15.3 suggests that the Boothbay Explorer will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. The Ballast/Displacement Ratio of the Boothbay Explorer has not been published - unless you know differently in which case, contact us.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 321, tells us the Boothbay Explorer is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 44.6 suggests that crew comfort of a xxxx in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a xxxx would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

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