Displacement–length ratio

The displacement–length ratio (DLR or D/L ratio) is a calculation used to express how heavy a boat is relative to its waterline length. (Rousmaniere, 1999)

A DLR is calculated by dividing a boat's displacement in long tons (2,240 pounds) by the cube of one one-hundredth of the waterline length (in feet):

The DLR can be used to compare the relative mass of various boats no matter what their length. A DLR less than 200 is indicative of a racing boat, while a DLR greater than 300 or so is indicative of a heavy cruising boat.


  • Rousmaniere, J, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship Simon & Schuster, New York, New York, Chapter 1: The boat p26-35, 1999. ISBN 0-684-85420-1
  • https://web.archive.org/web/20101127054902/http://sailingusa.info/design_winds.htm

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