The Mason 53 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators
The Mason 53, a staysail ketch, was designed by Al Mason and built in Taiwan by the Ta Shing Yacht Building Company.
A Mason 53 staysail ketch sailing to windward under a full headsail and mizzen
Published Specification for the Mason 53
Underwater Profile: Long fin keel
Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)
Length Overall: 53'6" (16.3m)
Waterline Length: 39'9" (12.1m)
Beam: 14'10" (4.5m)
Draft: 6'10" (2.1m)
Rig Type: Staysail ketch
Displacement: 38,600lb (17,509kg)
Designer: Al Mason
Builder: Ta Shing Yacht Building (Taiwan)
Year First Built: 1982
Year Last Built: 1989
Published Design Ratios for the Mason 53
1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.1
- 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: 37.2
- Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
- Over 40: stiffer, more powerful
3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 274
- Under 100: Ultralight
- 100 to 200: Light
- 200 to 275: Moderate
- 275 to 350: Heavy
- Over 350: Ultraheavy
4. Comfort Ratio: 37.5
- 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: 1.8
- 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 53
1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.1 suggests that the Mason 53 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 37.2 means that a sailboat like the Mason 53 (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 274, tells us the Mason 53 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.
4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 37.5 suggests that crew comfort of a Mason 53 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 1.8 tells us that a Mason 53 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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