The Vagabond 47 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Vagabond 47, an ultra-heavy staysail ketch, was designed by William Garden and built in Taiwan by Bluewater Yacht Builders.

'Kalunamoo', a Vagabond 47 at anchorA Vagabond 47

Published Specification for the Vagabond 47

Underwater Profile: long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 46'7" (14.2m)*

Waterline Length: 35'9" (10.9m)

Beam: 13'5" (4.1m)

Draft: 5'6" (1.7m)

Rig Type: Staysail ketch

Displacement: 40,000lb (18,144kg)

Designer: William Garden

Builder: Bluewater Yacht Builders (Taiwan)

Year First Built: 1972

* Plus 8'5" to include bowsprit.

Published Design Ratios for the Vagabond 47

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 14.5

  • 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: 27.5

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 390

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 49.9

  • 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: 1.6

  • 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 Vagabond 47

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of just 14.5 suggests that the Vagabond 47 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 27.5 means that a sailboat like the Vagabond 47 (which doesn't have a stiffness-enhancing bulb keel), is likely to benefit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 390, tells us the Vagabond 47 is 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 49.9 suggests that crew comfort of a Vagabond 47 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 1.6 indicates that a Vagabond 47 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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