Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wider beam?

A- A wider beam, will increase the amount of initial stability (and thus the maximum righting arm) because the metacentric radius is proportional to the beam squared. It is also important to recognize that increased freeboard will improve the angle at which the maximum righting arm occurs, thus increasing the range of the vessel’s stability. High freeboard also improves the amount of reserve buoyancy that the vessel possesses, and may reduce the amount of flooding that occurs at large angles of heel. In short, freeboard is very important to a vessel’s survivability at large angles of heel.
By Professional Mariner Staff