The Nauticat 33 Sailboat

The Nauticat 33, a popular live-aboard ketch, was designed by W. Aarnipalo and built in Finland by Siltala Yachts.

A Nauticat 33 sailboat at anchorThe hull of this Finnish-built Nauticat 33 motorsailer closely resembles that of a traditional Nordic fishing boat. She's a popular cruising yacht for the liveaboard sailor.

Published Specification for the Nauticat 33

Published Specification for the Nauticat 33

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Rig: Ketch

Length Overall: 33'2" (10.1m)

Waterline Length: 28'2" (8.6m)

Beam: 10'8" (3.3m)

Draft: 5'1" (1.6m)

Displacement: 17,250lb (7,824kg)

Ballast: 5,150lb (2,336kg)

Construction: GRP (fiberglass)

Built by: Siltala Yachts (Finland)

Designed by: W. Aarnipalo

First Built: 1967

Last Built: 1996

Number Built: 1,160

'Odyssey', a Nauticat 33 Sailboat for Sale

Although 'Odyssey' is no longer available, the excellent pics and informative text in the original ad are retained here for the benefit of anyone researching this popular liveaboard motorsailer.

Published Design Ratios for the Nauticat 33

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 11.4

  • 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: 29.9

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 344

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 38.4

  • 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 all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Nauticat 33

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 11.4 suggests that the Nauticat 33 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 29.9 means that unless the bulk of the ballast is concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, the Nauticat 33 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 344, tells us the Nauticat 33 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 38.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Nauticat 33 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 Nauticat 33 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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