Review of 517

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The 517 is a small sailboat designed by the French maritime architect Christian Maury in the mid seventies.

Here we would have liked to show you nice photos of the 517.
If you have a photo you would like to share: Upload Image

Looking for a new boat? Find a 517 or similar boat for sale


The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season. And outside the sailing season, just bottom cleaning and perhaps anti-fouling painting once a year - a few hours of work, that's all.


The boat equipped with a fractional rig. A fractional rig has smaller headsails which make tacking easier, which is an advantage for cruisers and racers, of course. The downside is that having the wind from behind often requires a genaker or a spinnaker for optimal speed.


The 517 is equipped with a centerboard keel. A centerboard keel is a pivoting lifting keel, allowing to sail both coastal and inland waters.

The boat can sail close to the beach as the draft is just 0.20 - 0.30 meter (0.66 - 0.96 ft) dependent of the load. See immersion rate below.

Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for 517 is 2.64, indicating that this boat would not be accepted to participate in ocean races.

Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 5.2 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.

Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for 517 is about 57 kg/cm, alternatively 324 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 57 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 324 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.

Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for 517 is 7.0.

Low High 24% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 24% of all similar sailboat designs. This is a comfort value significantly below average.

L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for 517 is 2.77.

Wide Slim 73% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 73% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a slightly more speedy hull design.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for 517 is 99 which categorizes this boat among 'ultra light racers'.

Heavy Light 82% 0 50 100
82% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A light displacement requires less sailarea and has higher accellerations.

SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?

The SA/D for 517 with ISO 8666 reference sail is 24.0, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 27.8.

Low High 99% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 99% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.


Bottom Paint

When buying anti-fouling bottom paint, it's nice to know how much to buy. The surface of the wet bottom is about 10m2 (107 ft2).
Based on this, your favourite maritime shop can tell you the quantity you need.

Note: If you use a paint roller you will need more paint than if you use a paintbrush.


Dimensions of sail for fractional rig.

mainsail specifications headsail specifications

Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale

If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.

Guiding dimensions of running rig
Mainsail halyard 15.1 m(49.4 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard15.1 m(49.4 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)
Spinnaker halyard15.1 m(49.4 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)
Jib sheet 5.2 m(16.9 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Genoa sheet5.2 m(16.9 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Mainsheet 12.9 m(42.2 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Spinnaker sheet11.3 m(37.2 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Cunningham2.4 m(7.8 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)
Kickingstrap4.8 m(15.6 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)
Clew-outhaul4.8 m(15.6 feet)6 mm(1/4 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

This section is reserved boat owner's modifications, improvements, etc. Here you might find (or contribute with) inspiration for your boat.

Do you have changes/improvements you would like to share? Upload a photo and describe what you have done.


We are always looking for new photos. If you can contribute with photos for 517 it would be a great help.

If you have any comments to the review, improvement suggestions, or the like, feel free to contact us. Criticism helps us to improve.