When you know your draught (or draft) from your displacement and that the length overall is not the overall length of the yacht including pulpits and bowsprits, you can start using these figures to help you make an informed decision.
There’s a standard set of specifications that appear in boatbuilders’ sales brochures and on yachtbrokers’ websites: LOA, LWL, displacement, sail area, ballast ratio, D/L, SA/D and so on. Most buyers rely on these to some extent, to read between the lines of the marketing literature, but the figures quoted aren’t actually as clear cut as most people think, and some of them are often misconstrued.
You can sail across an ocean in almost any boat with a keel and a cabin, but some sailboats are much safer and far more comfortable than others. There are a lot of important differences between the hull of a general-purpose cruising yacht and one that’s designed and built specifically for long-distance offshore sailing. Here’s what you need to know.