The Oyster 53 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Oyster 53, a centre-cockpit cutter, was designed by Holman & Pye and built in the UK by Oyster Marine Ltd.

An Oyster 53 sailboat at anchorAn Oyster 53

Published Specification for the Oyster 53

Underwater Profile: Fin keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 53'0" (16.2m)

Waterline Length: 44'8" (13.6m)

Beam: 15'9" (4.8m)

Draft: 7'0" (2.1m)

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 40,800lb (18,507kg)

Designer: Holman & Pye

Builder: Oyster Marine Ltd (UK)

Year First Built: 1985

Owners Association: Oyster Owners

Published Design Ratios for the Oyster 53

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.8

  • 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: 40.4

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 204

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 34.0

  • 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 Oyster 53

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.8 suggests that the Oyster 53 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 40.4 means that the Oyster 53 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 204, tells us the Oyster 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 34.0 suggests that crew comfort of an Oyster 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 an Oyster 53 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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