The Discovery 55 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Discovery 55, a centre-cockpit sloop, was designed by Ron Holland and built in the UK by Discovery Yachts.

Eupraxia', a Discovery 55 sailboat off the west coast of Guadeloupe, West IndiesThe Discovery 55

This one is fitted with the double-headed Solent rig, although they were also available as cutters.

Published Specification for the Discovery 55

Underwater Profile: Fin keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 54'10" (16.7m)

Waterline Length: 49'3" (15.0m)

Beam: 15'8" (4.8m)

Draft: 7'4" (2.2m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 49,604lb (22,500kg)

Designer: Ron Holland

Builder:  Discovery Yachts (UK)

Year First Built: 2000

Number Built: 55

Owners Association: Discovery Yacht Owners

Published Design Ratios for the Discovery 55

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.7

  • 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: 42.2

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 186

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 38.6

  • 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 Discovery 55

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 14.7 suggests that the Discovery 55 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. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 42.2 means that the Discovery 55 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 186, tells us the Discovery 55 is a light-to-moderate displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer to a degree.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 38.6 suggests that crew comfort of a Discovery 55 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Discovery 55 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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