The Nicholson 32 Mk10 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Nicholson 32 Mk 10, a heavy displacement long-keeled sloop, was designed by Charles Nicholson & Peter Nicholson and built in the UK by Halmatic Ltd.

A Nicholson 32 Mk 10 sailing at hull-speed in the Mediterranean'Jalingo II', a Nicholson 32 Mk 10 beating to windward, helmed by an Aries windvane self-steering unit.

Published Specification for the Nicholson 32 Mk10

Underwater Profile: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 33'0" / 10.1m

Waterline Length: 24.0" / 7.3m

Beam: 9'3" / 2.8m

Draft: 5'6" / 1.7m

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 12,200lb / 5,534kg

Designer: Charles Nicholson & Peter Nicholson

Builder: Halmatic Ltd (UK)

Year First Built: 1978

Year Last Built: 1981

Number Built: ?

Owners Association: The Nicholson 32 Association


The Mk10, 11 & 12 versions differ from the earlier versions of the Nicholson 32 in as much as they were 33'0" long with a sleeker coachroof, and were all built by Halmatic.

Published Design Ratios for the Nicholson 32 Mk10

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.7

  • 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: 49.2

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 441

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 40.9

  • 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: 1.55

  • 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 Nicholson 32 Mk10

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.7 suggests that the Nicholson 32 Mk 10 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 49.2 means that the Nicholson 32 Mk 10 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 441, tells us the Nicholson 32 Mk 10 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 40.9 suggests that crew comfort of a Nicholson 32 Mk 10 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.55 tells us that a Nicholson 32 Mk 10 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 Nicholson range include:

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