The Formosa 42 Sailboat
(aka the Slocum 43)
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Formosa 42 is a classic cruising sailboat that was designed by Stan Huntingford and built in Taiwan by Formosa Boat Building Co Ltd from 1981 to 1990. It is also known as the Slocum 43, after the famous circumnavigator Joshua Slocum. The Formosa 42 is an aft cockpit cutter with a fin keel and a skeg-hung rudder. It has a spacious interior with a traditional layout and plenty of teak woodwork. The Formosa 42 is a moderate-to-heavy displacement cruiser that can handle offshore passages and long-term living aboard.

A Formosa 42 sailboat on a mooring ballA Formosa 42, also known as the Slocum 43

Published Specification for the Formosa 42

Underwater Profile: Fin keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 42'6" (12.9m)

Waterline Length: 35'10" (10.9m)

Beam: 12'11" (3.9m)

Draft: 6'4" (1.9m)

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 28,104lb (12,748kg)

Designer: Stan Huntingford

Builder: Formosa Boat Building Company Ltd. (Taiwan)

Year First Built: 1981

Year Last Built: 1990

Number Built: 60

Published Design Ratios for the Formosa 42

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.1

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 32.0

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 273

4. Comfort Ratio: 38.0

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Formosa 42

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 14.1 suggests that the Formosa 42 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 32.0 means that a sailboat like the Formosa 42 (which doesn't have a stiffness-enhancing bulb keel), is likely to bene

fit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 273, tells us the Formosa 42 is a moderate-to-heavy displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. 

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 38.0 suggests that crew comfort of a Formosa 42 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 indicates that a Formosa 42 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Any Questions?

Is the Formosa 42 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

No, the Formosa 42 is not in production anymore. Production ended in 1990, after about 60 boats were built.

What is the history of the builders of the Formosa 42?

Formosa Boat Building Co. Ltd. was founded in 1965 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, by Y.C. Yang. The company specialized in building fiberglass sailboats based on designs by American naval architects such as William Garden, Doug Peterson, Robert Perry and Stan Huntingford. Some of their most popular models were the Formosa 41, Formosa 46, Formosa 51 and Formosa 68. The company also built boats under other names such as CT, Sea Tiger, Transworld and Island Trader. The company ceased operations in the early 1990s due to financial difficulties and competition from other Asian builders.

What keel options are available for the Formosa 42?

The Formosa 42 has a fin keel with a lead ballast of about 9,000 pounds. The draft is 6 feet 4 inches. Some boats may have a shoal draft version with a draft of 5 feet.

What is the Formosa 42 like to sail?

The Formosa 42 is a stable and comfortable sailboat that can handle various sea conditions. It is not very fast or agile, but it has good directional stability and balance. It performs well on a reach or a run, but it may struggle to point high or tack quickly in light winds. It has a moderate heel angle and a gentle motion at sea. It is easy to handle by a small crew or even single-handed, thanks to its cutter rig and self-tailing winches.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Formosa 42?

The average cost of a secondhand Formosa 42 depends on the condition, equipment and location of the boat. According to, as of July 2023, there are six Formosa 42s for sale worldwide, ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 USD. The price may vary depending on the age, maintenance, upgrades and modifications of the boat.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Formosa 42?

The Formosa 42 was designed by Stan Huntingford, a Canadian naval architect who also designed other sailboats such as the Baba 35, the Baba 40, the Island Trader 37, the Island Trader 41, the Island Trader 46, the Slocum 43 and the Slocum 51. He was known for creating sturdy and seaworthy cruising boats with traditional lines and spacious interiors.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

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