The Little Harbor 54 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Little Harbor 54, a centre-cockpit sloop, was designed by Ted Hood and built in the USA by Little Harbor Yachts Inc.

The Ted Hood designed Little Harbor 54 cruising sailboatThe Little Harbor 54

Published Specification for the Little Harbor 54

Underwater Profile: Centreboard & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 54'0" (16.5m)

Waterline Length: 43'2" (13.2m)

Beam: 15'0" (4.7m)

Draft (centreboard up): 6'4" (1.9m)

Draft (centreboard down): 12'1" (3.7m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 62,359lb (28,286kg)

Designer: Ted Hood

Builder:  Little Harbor Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1989

Published Design Ratios for the Little Harbor 54

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 13.0

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 30.5

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 346

4. Comfort Ratio: 56.4

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.5

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Little Harbor 54

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 13.0 suggests that the Little Harbor 54 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 30.5 means that a sailboat like the Little Harbor 54 (which doesn't have its ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of a deep keel), is likely to benefit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 346, tells us the Little Harbor 54 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 54.6 suggests that crew comfort of a Little Harbor 54 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of an extremely heavy bluewater boat - and that's as comfortable as life ever gets on a sailing boat!

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.5 tells us that a Little Harbor 54 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Any Questions?

What other versions of the Little Harbor 54 were built?

There were two other versions of the Little Harbor 54 built: the Little Harbor 54-2, which had a different deck layout and a taller rig, and the Little Harbor 54-3, which had a different interior layout and a shorter rig.

What is the accommodation like in the Little Harbor 54?

The Little Harbor 54 has a spacious and comfortable accommodation for up to six people. The standard layout features a large owner's cabin aft with a centerline queen berth and an ensuite head with separate shower stall. Forward of the owner's cabin is a U-shaped galley to port, a navigation station to starboard, and a cozy main saloon with a U-shaped settee and a drop-leaf table. Forward of the main saloon are two guest cabins, each with upper and lower berths and a shared head with shower. There is also ample storage space throughout the boat.

What, if any, alternative accommodation layout versions are available for the Little Harbor 54?

The Little Harbor 54-3 version had an alternative accommodation layout that featured a larger main saloon with an L-shaped settee and a straight settee, a smaller galley to starboard, and a single guest cabin forward with a V-berth and an ensuite head with shower. The owner's cabin aft was similar to the standard layout.

What is the Little Harbor 54 like to sail?

The Little Harbor 54 is designed to be a fast, comfortable, and seaworthy cruising boat that can handle any weather conditions. The boat has a heavy displacement of 62,359 lb (28,286 kg) and a low sail area/displacement ratio of 13.0, which means it needs a good breeze to get going but also makes it more stable and smooth in rough seas. The boat has a powerful ballast/displacement ratio of 30.5, which gives it good stiffness and righting moment. The boat has a moderate displacement/length ratio of 346, which indicates it is not very responsive or agile but rather steady and predictable. The boat has an excellent comfort ratio of 56.4, which means it has a gentle motion that minimizes crew fatigue and seasickness. The boat has a safe capsize screening formula of 1.5, which means it is less likely to capsize than boats with higher values.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Little Harbor 54?

According to YachtWorld, the average asking price for a secondhand Little Harbor 54 in good condition is around £462,962 (about $620,000 USD). However, this may vary depending on the year, condition, equipment, and location of the boat.

Is this boatbuilder still in business?

No, unfortunately Little Harbor Yachts ceased operations in 2008 due to financial difficulties. The company was founded by Ted Hood in 1977 and was known for producing high-quality custom yachts ranging from 38 to 78 feet.

What other sailboats have been created by this designer?

Ted Hood was one of the most renowned naval architects and sailors of his time. He designed many successful sailboats for racing and cruising, such as the Hood 38, the Bristol 40, the Wauquiez Hood 38, the Little Harbor 38, the Little Harbor 44, the Little Harbor 46, the Little Harbor 50, the Little Harbor 53, the Little Harbor 58, the Little Harbor 62, the Little Harbor 63, the Little Harbor 68, and the Little Harbor 78.

How does the Little Harbor 54 compare to other similar sailboats?

The Little Harbor 54 is comparable to other center-cockpit sloops of similar size and design, such as the Hylas 54, the Oyster 54, the Tayana 55, and the Amel 55. All of these boats are well-built, comfortable, and capable bluewater cruisers that offer a good balance of performance and luxury. However, some of the differences among them are:

  • The Hylas 54 has a fin keel and a spade rudder, which make it more maneuverable and responsive than the Little Harbor 54. It also has a larger sail area and a higher sail area/displacement ratio, which make it faster and more powerful. However, it also has a higher displacement/length ratio and a lower ballast/displacement ratio, which make it less stable and stiff than the Little Harbor 54;
  • The Oyster 54 has a similar centerboard keel and skeg-hung rudder as the Little Harbor 54, but it has a shorter mast and a smaller sail area. It also has a lower displacement/length ratio and a higher ballast/displacement ratio, which make it more agile and stiff than the Little Harbor 54. However, it also has a lower comfort ratio and a higher capsize screening formula, which make it less comfortable and safe than the Little Harbor 54;
  • The Tayana 55 has a similar masthead sloop rig as the Little Harbor 54, but it has a cutter configuration with two headsails. It also has a similar displacement/length ratio and comfort ratio as the Little Harbor 54, but it has a higher sail area/displacement ratio and a lower ballast/displacement ratio, which make it more lively and less stable than the Little Harbor 54;
  • The Amel 55 has a ketch rig with two masts and three sails, which give it more flexibility and versatility in different wind conditions. It also has a similar displacement/length ratio and ballast/displacement ratio as the Little Harbor 54, but it has a lower sail area/displacement ratio and a higher comfort ratio, which make it slower and smoother than the Little Harbor 54.

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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