Review of Able 42

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Able 42 is a large sailboat designed by the maritime architect Chuck W. Paine in the late eighties. The Able 42 is built by the American yard Able Marine.

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The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season.


The boat equipped with a masthead rig. The advantage of a masthead rig is its simplicity and the fact that a given sail area - compared with a fractional rig - can be carried lower and thus with less heeling moment.


The Able 42 is equipped with a fin keel. The fin keel is the most common keel and provides splendid manoeuvrability. The downside is that it has less directional stability than a long keel.

The keel is made of lead. Compared with iron, lead has the advantage of being 44% heavier, which allows a smaller keel and hence less water resistance and higher speed.

The boat can enter most marinas as the draft is just about 1.58 - 1.68 meter (5.18 - 5.48 ft) dependent on 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 Able 42 is 1.82, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - 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 7.7 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 Able 42 is about 257 kg/cm, alternatively 1442 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 257 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 1442 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 Able 42 is 31.9.

Low High 58% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 58% of all similar sailboat designs. This comfort value is just above average.

L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Able 42 is 3.32.

Slim Wide 50% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is more spacy than 50% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen an average hull design.

Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Able 42 is 22%.

Low High 1% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 1% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) significantly below average.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Able 42 is 277 which categorizes this boat among 'medium weight cruisers'.

Heavy Light 34% 0 50 100
34% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A heavy displacement combined with smaller water plane area has lower acceleration and is more comfortable.

SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

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

The SA/D for Able 42 with ISO 8666 reference sail is 16.5, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 19.7.

Low High 34% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 34% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.

Over- / underrigged

Low High 100% 0 50 100
The Able 42 has more rig than 100% of all similar sailboats, which indicates that the boat is significantly overrigged.


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 41m2 (441 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 masthead 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 37.5 m(123.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard37.5 m(123.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Spinnaker halyard37.5 m(123.2 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib sheet 12.8 m(42.0 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Genoa sheet12.8 m(42.0 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Mainsheet 32.0 m(105.0 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Spinnaker sheet28.2 m(92.4 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Cunningham4.5 m(14.8 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Kickingstrap9.0 m(29.7 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Clew-outhaul9.0 m(29.7 feet)12 mm(1/2 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.

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