Elan 333 Performance
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Elan 333 News Page
Elan 333 Specification
Elan 333 Performance
Elan 333 : Above Decks
Elan 333 : Underneath
Elan 333 : Inside
Elan 333 : Nav Station
Elan 333 : Galley
Elan 333 : Saloon
Elan 333 : Fore Cabin
Elan 333 : Aft Cabin
Elan 333 : Heads
Elan 333 : Engine
Elan 333 : Electrical
Safety Note : Lewmar Hatches


This boat will fly if treated properly, but the "groove" can be a bit narrow for the best performance.  Out of the groove, she'll sail OK, and will keep up with most other similar sized cruising yachts, however, if you can dial her in, you can leave them in your wake with a new found knot or more of speed.

At the foot of this page are the GZ stability curve and the polars for the Elan 333.

We have found that although the deep keel allows her to stand up to quite a bit, it is worth while being sensitive.  The helm is very light, but with a 'centre' marker we can see when too much rudder is needed to hold a course.  Once we have a quarter turn of helm on, it is time to ease the main a fraction.

UK Elan's have their sails made by Pete Sanders of Sanders Sails.  Pete has made racing sails for Jim MacGreggor, who raced an Elan 333 (Flair III) for a while.  His results were awesome.

The delivery headsail was a number 2, and is very effective in lighter winds, however we soon discovered that beating into a good F4 and above, we need to furl the headsail.  An investment in a number 3 has been a good move.  We use it a lot if we expect any long upwind legs in a bit of a blow.

Some of our memorable moments include:

8.5 knots sustained beam reaching on flatish water behind the IoW at the end of a Cherbourg return trip in a F6, with everything up and the genoa poled out.
Surfing at 12.5 knots under a furled genoa in a F7 ( a bit too hairy!)
On calmer days, F5, averaging 8 knots back from Cowes with the wind on the quarter, and holding speed with a 40 footer.  Our light weight allows us to surf down every swell.
Off the wind in a F2 is quick.  I think the big main makes such a difference.
After recovering the kite from a big broach when racing, we crossed the finishing line at 11 knots with our No. 3 and main in a F6/7.

On a normal weekend cruising we are genuinely disappointed if we don't exceed 7 knots at some point.  Some weekends, with a good wind and up for it crew, we are disappointed whenever the speed drops below 7 knots!

I'm happy with 11.5 knots!


The following Elan 333 polar plot  and Gz stability curve has been provided by Rob Humphries design house.

Last modified: August 23, 2004