Boat Speed Calculator
Welcome to the Boat Speed Calculator! Have you ever wondered how fast your boat can go or what its maximum speed can be? This calculator is designed to assess the top speed of your boat based on its displacement and power, using a constant factor for different types of boats.
What is boat Speed
Boat speed is defined as how fast a boat can go or what its maximum speed can attain. You may wonder if boat speed is the same as vehicle speed, which is typically the ratio of distance traveled over time, but that is not the case. Boat speed is measured differently.
S = Speed = âˆš(P / D) Ã— C
In the above formula, P represents the power of the boat engine, D represents the water displaced by the boat, and C is a constant factor that varies for different boats. This formula is known as Crouch’s formula.
Formula and Crouch constant
For a boat, the formula S = âˆš(P / D) Ã— C can be used to determine the speed, where:
 S is the speed of the boat.
 P is the power applied to propel the boat.
 D is the drag acting against the boat.
 C is a constant, which in this context is often referred to as the Crouch constant.
In marine engineering, the Crouch constant is used to relate the power and drag to the speed of a boat. This constant varies depending on the hull type, propeller efficiency, and other factors specific to the boat's design and operating conditions.
Determining the Crouch Constant
The Crouch constant C for boats typically has to be determined empirically or taken from established data for similar types of boats. Here is how you can approach determining or using the Crouch constant:

Empirical Determination: If you have data on a boat's speed, power, and drag, you can rearrange the formula to solve for C:
C = S / âˆš(P / D)
Using this method, you can plug in known values of S, P, and D to compute C.
 Reference Values: For certain classes of boats, there might be published values or typical ranges for the Crouch constant. You would need to refer to marine engineering texts, boat design manuals, or empirical studies to find these values.
 Standard Values: For many planing boats, a typical value for the Crouch constant is around 150 to 200 in consistent units (e.g., knots for speed, horsepower for power, and pounds of drag). However, this can vary widely.
Example Calculation
Let's assume we have the following data for a specific boat:
 Speed (S) = 20 knots
 Power (P) = 300 horsepower
 Drag (D) = 500 pounds
First, calculate the ratio P / D:
P / D = 300 hp / 500 lb = 0.6 hp/lb
Next, find âˆš(P / D):
âˆš(0.6) â‰ˆ 0.775
Now, use the formula to solve for C:
C = S / âˆš(P / D) = 20 knots / 0.775 â‰ˆ 25.8
So, in this example, the Crouch constant C would be approximately 25.8, assuming the units are consistent and appropriate for the formula.
What is Displacement or Drag against the boat (D)
Displacement is the weight of the water that a vessel displaces when it is afloat. It is an indicator of the vessel’s size and volume.
Types of Displacement:
 Lightship Displacement:
 The weight of the vessel without cargo, fuel, or other loads.
 Loaded Displacement: The weight of the vessel with full cargo, fuel, crew, and any other supplies.
Measurement Units: Displacement is typically measured in metric tons (tonnes), kilograms, pounds, or cubic meters (for volume displacement).
Importance: Displacement is crucial for determining a vessel’s stability, buoyancy, and how much cargo or weight it can carry without sinking or floating improperly.