The Hinckley Souwester 42 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Hinckley Souwester 42 was designed by McCurdy & Rhodes and built in the USA by Henry R. Hinckley & Co.

A Hinckley Sou'wester 42 sailboat enters the Jolly Harbour anchorage under headsail in Antigua, West Indies.A Hinckley Sou'wester 42 sailboat. This one is a cutter, but others were produced as masthead sloops.

Published Specification for the Hinckley Souwester 42

Underwater Profile: Fin keel and skeg-hung Rudder

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 42'9" (12.1m)

Waterline Length: 31'3" (9.5m)

Beam: 12'6" (3.8m)

Draft: 7'0" (2.1m) or shoal draft version 5'0" (1.5m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop (or cutter)

Displacement: 24,000lb (10,886kg)

Designer: McCurdy & Rhodes

Builder: Henry R. Hinckley & Co (USA)

Year First Built: 1995

Published Design Ratios for the Hinckley Souwester 42

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.8

  • 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: 35.4

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 351

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 37.0

  • 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 Hinckley Souwester 42

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 15.8 suggests that the Hinckley Souwester 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 35.4 means that the Hinckley Souwester 42 will have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 351, puts the Hinckley Souwester 42 in the top end of the heavy displacement category and just creeping into the ultra-heavy category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected. Few sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with many experienced long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 37.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Hinckley Souwester 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 tells us that a Hinckley Souwester 42 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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