The Trapper 501 Sailboat

The Trapper 501, a masthead sloop, was designed by Rob Ball and built in the UK by Trapper Yachts Ltd. 

A Trapper 501 sailing in the River Tamar in Devon, UKA Trapper 501 sailing in the River Tamar, Devon, UK

Both the Trapper 500 and the 501 were based on the C&C 37. The 501 differed from the 500 by a different coach roof and interior mouldings

Published Specification for the Trapper 501

Underwater Configuration:  Fin with spade rudder

Hull Material:  GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 27' 4" / 8.33m

Waterline Length: 22' 2" / 6.76m

Beam: 9' 2" / 2.80m

Draft: 4' 3" / 1.30m

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 5,180lb / 2,350kg

Designer: Rob Ball (Camper & Nicholson)

Builder: Trapper Yachts Ltd (UK)

Year First Built: 1977

Year Last Built: 1987

Number Built: 600

Owners Association: Trapper Owners Association

Published Design Ratios for the Trapper 501

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.4

  • 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: 48.5

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 212

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 17.6

  • 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: 2.1

  • 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 Published Design Ratios for the Trapper 501

A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18.4 suggests that she'll approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 48.5 means that she'll stand up well to her canvas in a blow, enabling her to power through the waves.

A Displacement/Length Ratio of 212, tells us she's 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.

Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 17.6 suggests that crew comfort in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a lightweight racing boat. Upwind she'll slam enough to shake your fillings out with a motion that cruising sailors have no desire to get used to.

Her Capsize Screening Formula of 2.1 tells us that she would not be a good choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making.

Sailboats in the Trapper range include:

  • Trapper 28
  • Trapper 300
  • Trapper 400
  • Trapper 42
  • Trapper 500/501
  • Trapper 950
  • Trapper T250
  • Trapper T250s
  • Trapper TS240

Recent Articles

  1. Popular Cruising Yachts from 45 - 50ft (13.7m to 15.2m) Length Overall

    Mar 26, 23 08:29 AM

    Offshore cruising yachts of this size are probably the maximum size that most cruising couples can handle safely without taking on additional crew.

    Read More

  2. The Hanse 455 Sailboat

    Mar 26, 23 08:08 AM

    Thinking of buying a Hanse 455 sailboat? Perhaps you should first take a look at these pics, specs and key performance indicators...

    Read More

  3. Used Sailing Equipment For Sale

    Mar 24, 23 10:39 AM

    Here's where people with sailing equipment for sale advertise their stuff entirely free of charge. If you're looking for used sailing gear or other used boating accessories, here's where to find it!

    Read More