Review of Aquarius 23

Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Aquarius 23 aka Balboa 23 is a small sailboat designed by the American maritime architect Peter Barrett together with Stan Miller in the late sixties. The Aquarius 23 is built by the American yard Coastal Recreation Inc..

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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. 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 can sail close to the beach as the draft is just 0.34 - 0.44 meter (1.12 - 1.42 ft) dependent of the load. See immersion rate below.


The boat is typically equipped with an engine.

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 Aquarius 23 is 2.40, 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 6.2 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 Aquarius 23 is about 104 kg/cm, alternatively 583 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 104 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 583 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 Aquarius 23 is 10.3.

Low High 18% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 18% 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 Aquarius 23 is 2.87.

Slim Wide 54% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is more spacy than 54% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a slightly more spacy hull design.

Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Aquarius 23 is 35%.

Low High 34% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 34% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) just below average.

D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Aquarius 23 is 107 which categorizes this boat among 'ultra light racers'.

Heavy Light 88% 0 50 100
88% 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 Aquarius 23 with ISO 8666 reference sail is 19.8, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 22.9.

Low High 66% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 66% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.

Over- / underrigged

Low High 92% 0 50 100
The Aquarius 23 has more rig than 92% 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 18m2 (193 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.

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 19.4 m(63.5 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard19.4 m(63.5 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Spinnaker halyard19.4 m(63.5 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Jib sheet 6.9 m(22.7 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Genoa sheet6.9 m(22.7 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Mainsheet 17.3 m(56.7 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Spinnaker sheet15.2 m(49.9 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Cunningham3.0 m(10.0 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Kickingstrap6.1 m(20.0 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Clew-outhaul6.1 m(20.0 feet)8 mm(5/16 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 Aquarius 23 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.