The Mason 43 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Mason 43, a heavy displacement long keeled cruiser, was designed by Al Mason and built in Taiwan by Ta Shing Yacht Building.

'Artemis', Mason 43 staysail ketch at anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada, West IndiesMany thanks to Sally & Al Pribyl for this pic of their Mason 43 staysail ketch 'Artemis', at anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada.

Published Specification for the Mason 43

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 43'10" (13.40 m)

Waterline Length: 31' 3" (9.53 m)

Beam: 12'3" (3.73 m)

Draft: 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Rig Type: Cutter, but also available as a staysail ketch

Displacement: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)

Designer: Al Mason

Builder: Ta Shing Yacht Building (Taiwan)

Year First Built: 1978

Year Last Built: 1985

Number Built: 180

A Mason 43 sailboat at anchor

'Sapphire', a Mason 43 for Sale

Location: Marina Mazatlán, Mexico

Asking Price: $160,000

Published Design Ratios for the Mason 43

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.5

  • 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: 33.6

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 366

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 39.2

  • 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 Mason 43

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 14.5 suggests that the Mason 43 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 33.6 means that the Mason 43 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 366, tells us the Mason 43 is firmly in the ultra-heavy displacement category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected, not that it was ever startling. Few if any sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with some long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 39.2 suggests that crew comfort of a Mason 43 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 Mason 43 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Other sailboats in the Mason range include:

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