The Wauquiez Centurion 32 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Wauquiez Centurion 32 sailboat, a masthead sloop, was designed by British naval architect Kim Holman and built by the French boatbuilder Henri Wauquiez in Mouvaux, France.

A Wauquiez Centurion 32 sailboat at anchorA Wauquiez Centurion 32 at anchor

Published Specification for the Wauquiez Centurion 32 Sailboat

Keel & Rudder Configuration: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder
Hull Material: Fiberglass (GRP)
Length Overall (LOA): 9.75m (32'0")
Waterline Length (LWL): 7.50m (24'7")
Beam: 2.90m (9'6")
Draft: 1.75m (5'9")
Rig Type: Masthead sloop
Displacement: 4,800kg (10,582lb)
Ballast: 2,000kg (4,409lb)
Designer: Kim Holman
Builder: Wauquiez International (Henri Wauquiez)
Year First Built: 1979
Year Last Built: 2003
Number Built: Approximately 380

Published Design Ratios for the Wauquiez Centurion 32 Sailboat
The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio (15.8): This ratio indicates that the sailboat is on the lower end of the power spectrum. With a ratio below 16, the vessel would be considered underpowered. This suggests that while the boat is likely capable of reasonable performance, it might not excel in light wind conditions and won't be as quick or competitive as boats with higher ratios in the 16-20 range or beyond.
  • Ballast/Displacement Ratio (45.9):* A Ballast/Displacement ratio of 45.9 indicates that the boat is relatively stiff and capable of standing up well to the wind without excessive heeling. This implies good stability and the potential for steady handling in various wind conditions. However, it is worth noting that this ratio does not account for the placement of the ballast (e.g., deep versus shallow keel), which can significantly affect the boat's actual stiffness and handling characteristics.
  • Displacement/Length Ratio (310): This places the Wauqiuez Centurion 32 in the Heavy Displacement category (275-350). Such boats generally take more effort to drive to their hull speed and may not be as nimble or fast as lighter-displacement vessels. However, they often offer smoother and more comfortable rides, especially in choppy conditions, due to their inertia.
  • Comfort Ratio (26.8):** With a Comfort Ratio of 26.8, the Centurion 32 falls into the range associated with a coastal cruiser with moderate stability. This suggests a decent level of comfort for typical sailing conditions but may not offer the smoothest ride in rough offshore conditions compared to boats with higher comfort ratios (30-40 for moderate bluewater cruisers).
  • Capsize Screening Formula (1.8): A value of 1.8 indicates that the boat has good bluewater capability and is suitable for ocean passages. This is below the critical threshold of 2.0, meaning the boat should handle well in rough and offshore conditions, reducing vulnerability to capsizing.

*Ballast/Displacement Ratio: While a higher percentage (above 40) suggests greater stability, this ratio does not consider the depth at which ballast is placed. For example, a deep keel with a bulb at the bottom will provide much more righting moment and stability than a keel with the same weight but spread out higher.

**Comfort Ratio: Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio favors heavy, narrow-beamed vessels with long overhangs. Modern sailboats often have lighter displacement, beamier hulls, and plumb bows, which do not score as high on this ratio despite potentially offering comfortable rides. This metric may not fully capture the comfort aspects of contemporary yacht designs.

In summary, the Wauqiuez Centurion 32 sailboat appears to be a well-balanced vessel with moderate performance and good bluewater capability, but it may not be the fastest or most spirited sailboat, particularly in light winds. The theoretical nature of these ratios aids initial evaluation but should be complemented with practical experience and specific design details for a comprehensive understanding.

Here's how to calculate the KPIs yourself - without having to wrestle with the mathematics...

What the Yachting Press has to say about the Centurion 32...

Yachting Monthly tells us: "This elegant Holman & Pye design from 1969 is now one of the more sought-after cruiser-racers of the period. Her heavy construction and excellent finish mean she has lasted well and her good manners, combined with sprightly windward performance, make her a rewarding fast cruiser for both experienced and novice sailors. Built by Henri Wauquiez in France, she has six berths in two cabins in a typical layout of the times – heads amidships, two berths forward, three in the saloon and a quarterberth. Galley and chart table are both acceptable, and she has a lead fin keel. She had two masthead rig options, although the smaller of them was the more popular."

Practical Sailor provides a comprehensive review of the Centurion 32. They highlight "its robust construction, seaworthiness, and classic design. The boat’s moderate displacement and long waterline contribute to its stability and performance. The interior layout is practical, with comfortable accommodations for cruising"

Cruising World features an article on the Centurion 32, emphasizing its "timeless lines and well-balanced sailing characteristics. The boat’s full keel design ensures stability and predictable handling. While not a speed demon, it excels in heavy weather and offers a comfortable ride. The interior layout includes a spacious saloon, galley, and berths. Owners appreciate its durability and classic aesthetics".

Sailing Today covers the Centurion 32 in their archives. They describe it as a "well-built, long-keeled cruiser with a strong following among enthusiasts. The boat’s performance is steady, and it handles rough seas admirably. The interior provides ample space for extended cruising. Some owners have upgraded rigging and electronics to enhance performance. It’s a reliable choice for coastal and offshore adventures".

Other sailboats in the Wauquiez range include:

Wauquiez Gladiateur 33 sailboatThe Wauquiez Gladiateur 33

The above text was drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; we believe it to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.

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