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Reviewing the Best Sailboats for 2024

Eagle Class 53

Eagle Class 53

Catalina 22 Sport

Catalina 22 Sport

Oyster 745

For some, there are fewer things in the world that trump the sheer joy you get from enjoying some water sports . There’s something so surreal about floating in the middle of the sea, surrounded by water on all sides stretching out to infinity. It’s truly a sight to behold.

Now, if you thought the feeling you get onboard a basic motor-powered boat was exhilarating, you haven’t had the sailboat experience . There’s no better way to enjoy nature than cruising stealthily through the water silently, using nothing but the wind to propel you forward.

Now, that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you take in the majesty and magnificence of the sea.

If you’re in the market for a new boat, we’ve put together a comprehensive review of the best sailboats, as well as a buying guide to help you pick the right one.

The Eagle Class 53 is specially designed to deliver the high performance of a competitive racing beast to the recreational user. Its core is all-carbon and is capable of achieving top speeds of 25 to 35 knots in light wind conditions.

For a leisurely weekend cruise on the open water, the Eagle has a pretty spacious cockpit that’s outfitted with a hard-carbon bimini to keep the sun out on hot days. It offers plenty of padded seating and even comes with an onboard wet bar aft. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 Fast forward composites  →

● Has a carbon-fiber wing that can rotate 360 degrees ● Ideal for competitive and recreational sailing ● Hybrid wing allows for excellent control even in high winds

● The aft-helm configuration may impede the visibility of the opposite bow

You don’t have to break the bank to become a sailboat owner, nor do you have to settle for a used one either. You can get a fantastic sailboat that’s fresh-off-the-factory and fully-loaded with all the latest gear and boating accessories, for anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000.

The Catalina 22 Sport is a prime example of a swanky-looking sailboat that costs under $40,000. It comes with a retractable keel and is ideal for family racing. Its standard features include a roller-furling jib, fractional rig, in addition to an open cabin that has enough room to sleep a small family of four. It also comes with an efficient mast-raising system for easy launching.

● Great value for money ● Ideal for small families ● Efficient mast-raising system

● Interior upholstery looks a bit dated

Tiwal 3 (Best Inflatable Sailboat)

Tiwal 3

If you’re new to the sailing world, an inflatable sailboat might be what you need to get started. They are lightweight, easy to store, and don’t cost nearly as much as conventional sailboats do.

Tiwal 3 is a great option for both kids and adults. The hull is high-pressure inflated, making it almost as rigid as a regular epoxy one. It has a 56-foot squared sail that can withstand high winds of up to force 4 and offers a surprising amount of power for its mast height.

● Affordable ● Ideal for beginners ● Compact and portable

● Does not come with comfort and convenience amenities

Beneteau Oceanis 38 Weekender (Best Weekender Sailboat)

Beneteau Oceanis 38 Weekender

The best thing about a weekender is the fact that it allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to spend a couple of days on the water. The Beneteau Oceanis 38 Weekender is the perfect sailboat for this.

It comes with the option of a two/three-cabin plan, fitted galley, helmsman’s seats, shower, and an additional inside/outside table. The saloon and the master stateroom are separated by a removable bulkhead that can be installed to partition the space if you need more privacy.

 Beneteau  →

● Ideal for a family weekend getaway ● Beautiful interior fittings ● Removable bulkhead for added privacy

● May not be suitable for an extended stay

Marlow-Hunter 22 (Best Daysailer)

top 10 sailboats

If you’re not looking for a 30-foot plus sailboat with a galley and built-in bunks, then a daysailer is precisely what you need to hit the open ocean, enjoy a day out, and head back home when you’re done. The Marlow-Hunter 22 is the perfect daysailer for you and your family/friends, with excellent overnighting capability if you need it.

It has a big enough cockpit for the crew and can comfortably accommodate up to five people at any given time. Standard features include a laminated fiberglass deck and hull, twin bunks, a hydraulic raising centerboard, and non-skid flooring.

 Marlow Hunter  →

● Perfect for day sailing ● Has overnighting capability ● It is quite affordable compared to other sailboats in its class

● Sleeping quarters can get a bit cramped

Hobie Mirage Adventure Island (Best Multihull Sailboat)

Hobie Mirage Adventure Island

The Hobie Mirage Adventure Island is a multihull sailboat built for adventure. It has a built-in retractable centerboard that comes in handy to prevent lateral slip, and a 16-foot long vertically-battened mainsail to give you the lift you need to propel you forward.

You might also like the built-in multiple storage hatches for long days spent out on the water and the fully-adjustable Vantage CT Seating for extra comfort. Standard features include roller furling mainsails, ST Turbo kick-up fins, pivoting crossbars, and outriggers for added stability on the water.

● Easy to transport and launch ● Paddling option for non-windy days on the lake ● Molded-in rod-holders are perfect for anglers

● Not designed for very tall individuals, particularly when the sail is furled

Living on the water and cruising around the world is, no doubt, an exciting lifestyle. Now, unless you intend to sleep under a canvas tarp, you need to get a sailboat that has a proper cabin. The Oyster 745 is one of the best liveaboard sailboats we’ve come across so far.

Standard features include a spacious owner’s cabin, four double en-suite guest cabins, crew quarters, forced air ventilation, a flush teak deck, ample storage, large tankage, and lots more. It also has a Cummins turbocharged engine, which comes in handy during windless days.

 Oyster  →

● Spacious enough for a large family and small crew ● Excellent ventilation ● Has an engine for windless days

● Price is on the higher end of the spectrum

West Wight Potter 19 (Best Trailerable Sailboat)

West Wight Potter 19

If you’re looking for a small sailboat that you can easily tow from your house to the sea, the West Wight Potter 19 is the ultimate trailer cruiser. It offers exceptional stability and handling and looks stunning while doing it.

It is designed with a fully retractable galvanized keel, which makes it ideal for going ashore in remote areas. Standard interior features include four sleeping berths, ample lockable storage, main and lapper sails, marine cooking stove, sink, faucet, porta-potty, adjustable transom motor mount, and lots more.

 West Wight Potter  →

● Trailerable ● Plenty of comfort and convenience features and amenities ● Unsinkable design

● The hull has hard chines

J/Boats J/97E (Best Performance Cruiser)

J/Boats J/97E

If you’re in the market for a high-performance sailboat with cruising capability, then you’ll love the J/Boats J/97E . It is easy to drive, provides excellent handling and unmatched stability even in rough sea conditions.

The cockpit is one to behold. It has standard tiller/wheel steering, an open transom, and full-length seats with backrests. The retractable bowsprit comes with a spinnaker allowing you to get the best performance out of your boat without having to retain skilled crew.

It can comfortably accommodate 3-4 people in the sleeping quarters and has the option of adding a boom tent to further expand the living space.

 Jboats  →

● High performance cruising capability ● Excellent stability ● Ideal extended stay

● No designated owner’s cabin

Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Sailboats

Sailboats don’t come cheap. So, if you end up buying the wrong one, well, let’s just say you’re stuck with it. It is, therefore, very important that you take your time and apply some logic to avoid regret later on. Here are the major factors you need to consider when choosing the best sailboats.

1. Size of the Boat

The first thing you need to consider is the size of the boat you need. Do you intend to be cruising in the company of friends and family, or do you plan to do it by yourself?

Will you have a crew with you when you embark on your sailing expeditions, or will it be purely for entertainment? Will you be living in your boat full-time, or do you intend to use it only on the weekends?

The answers to these questions will determine the size of the boat you’ll need.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Many first-time boat buyers often make the mistake of thinking that getting a large boat is the best decision since they plan to have it for decades to come. They look for one that will meet every single one of their present and future needs. Here are a couple of reasons why bigger isn’t always better when buying a sailboat.

  • Safety considerations – You require a substantial amount of skill to operate a large boat. If you’re not all that skilled and end up purchasing a big boat, you’re essentially endangering your life and that of the other boaters.
  • Learning curve – It’s easier to pick up on the nuances of operating a smaller sailboat than it is a larger one since the feedback you get is almost instant. This makes it easier to learn as you work your way up to larger vessels. The learning curve on a big boat, however, is pretty steep, and critical errors can cost you a lot more than you bargained for.
  • Associated costs – The rule of thumb to remember is: The larger a boat is, the higher its associated costs will be. Don’t buy a boat designed for the open seas if you intend to be using it on small bays.
  • Low resale value – There’s also the risk of buying a boat that’s too big, only to regret your decision a few short sails later. The unfortunate reality is – you might be stuck with it for several years to come since it’s quite difficult to sell large vessels.

2. Boating Location

Next, you need to think about is – where you’ll be boating. Sailing on Lake Michigan, for instance, is vastly different from sailing on the Atlantic. The same logic applies when boating on smaller rivers.

If the water isn’t deep enough, based on how far down into the water your keel goes, let’s just say you’ll be in for an unpleasant grounding experience. You need to pick the right vessel for the environment you’ll be sailing in.

3. Boating Experience

If this is your first-ever sailboat (or any boat for that matter), then going with a large model is probably not the best thing. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who purchased boats that were too big, only for them to end up losing control of their vessels in the open water.

We recommend starting small and working your way up from here as you gain more experience.

4. Use of the Boat

We touched a bit on this in the preceding sections. But, in this case, we mean “use” in reference to your budget.

If you want to buy a sailboat primarily for entertaining, then you need to get one that’s large enough to host the number of people you intend to have onboard. Keep in mind, though, that it may be at the expense of certain luxury, convenience, and comfort features.

Likewise, you might find a sailboat with loads of useful amenities, but without enough space to accommodate the people who might enjoy them. There’s no point in buying a boat that comes with a kitchen and grilling station, but without enough room to accommodate the number of people who might enjoy fresh grilled fish. Or maybe you want a boat that only you will use – in which case you may prefer one with a comfortable and attractive cockpit for yourself, seeing as you’ll be the main person enjoying it.

Size generally trumps luxury when buying a sailboat. Then again – it depends on what you intend to use it for.

5. New vs. Used Sailboats

The other thing you need to think about is whether you’re buying a new or used sailboat. Each option has its own set of pros and cons. For one thing, buying a brand new boat means that it’s ready to hit the open waters the moment you own it.

On the other hand, buying a used sailboat means that you may have to make repairs and upgrades before you can set sail. You also have to think about the costs associated with such repairs and the time required to do all the legwork to get the right gear.

So, ensure that you factor in these costs when coming up with your boat budget. That way, you’ll be able to tell if it makes sense to buy a new boat versus a used one, based on the overall cost for each. Don’t buy a lemon that turns into an infinite money-pit all in the name of saving a couple of bucks.

What to Check for When Buying a Used Sailboat

If you’re going the previously-owned route, here are a couple of things you need to check for before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Deck and hull – Check that the deck and hull are dry and intact. If not, you’ll have to budget for repairs if you go ahead with the purchase.
  • Electrical work – Rewiring a boat is a very complex and expensive process. Get a certified electrician to examine the existing electrical work before you buy a used boat.
  • Engine – It’s always a good idea to bring a mechanic onboard during the purchase process just to make sure that everything is in excellent working condition. They are better-placed to give you a true picture of the boat’s existing state.
  • Safety equipment – Last but not least, you need to keep in mind that insurance service providers usually require sailboats to have a minimum amount of safety equipment onboard. If anything is missing from the boat you’re about to purchase, you will need to buy them, which will no doubt drive up the cost.

6. Recurring Costs

The recurring costs associated with owning a sailboat aren’t exactly cheap. Buying the vessel is only one part of the process.

You’ll need to pay for insurance, which is more expensive for larger boats. You also need to think about storage costs if you don’t own property on the waterfront. There’s also the cost of docking and mooring at the various locations you visit.

So, when calculating your overall budget, don’t forget to factor in these costs as well.

Research, Research, Research

When looking for the best sailboats, ensure that you do your homework. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for years of additional expenses, work, stress, and heartache.

Get something ideal for your needs and won’t take up too many resources in maintenance and upkeep. All in all, with the right sailboat, you’re in for one helluva ride! Any of the 9 best sailboats detailed in this guide are excellent options worth looking into.

In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a new pontoon boat, check out our comprehensive review on the 10 best pontoon boats .

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About Chris

Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

Yachting World

  • January 5, 2022

How do you choose the right yacht for you? We highlight the very best bluewater sailboat designs for every type of cruising

top 10 sailboats

Which yacht is the best for bluewater boating? This question generates even more debate among sailors than questions about what’s the coolest yacht , or the best for racing. Whereas racing designs are measured against each other, cruising sailors get very limited opportunities to experience different yachts in real oceangoing conditions, so what is the best bluewater sailboat?

Here, we bring you our top choices from decades of designs and launches. Over the years, the Yachting World team has sailed these boats, tested them or judged them for European Yacht of the Year awards, and we have sifted through the many to curate a selection that we believe should be on your wishlist.

Making the right choice may come down to how you foresee your yacht being used after it has crossed an ocean or completed a passage: will you be living at anchor or cruising along the coast? If so, your guiding requirements will be space, cabin size, ease of launching a tender and anchoring closer to shore, and whether it can comfortably accommodate non-expert-sailor guests.

Article continues below…

top 10 sailboats

The perfect boat: what makes an ideal offshore cruising yacht?

Choosing a boat for offshore cruising is not a decision to be taken lightly. I have researched this topic on…


European Yacht of the Year 2019: Best luxury cruisers

Before the sea trials began, I would have put money on a Hallberg-Rassy or the Wauquiez winning an award. The…

All of these considerations have generated the inexorable rise of the bluewater catamaran – monohulls can’t easily compete on these points. We have a full separate feature on the best bluewater multihulls of all time and here we mostly focus on monohulls. The only exceptions to that rule are two multihulls which made it into our best bluewater sailboats of 2022 list.

As so much of making the right choice is selecting the right boat for the venture in mind, we have separated out our edit into categories: best for comfort; for families; for performance; and for expedition or high latitudes sailing .

Best bluewater sailboats of 2022

The new flagship Allures 51.9, for example, is a no-nonsense adventure cruising design built and finished to a high standard. It retains Allures’ niche of using aluminium hulls with glassfibre decks and superstructures, which, the yard maintains, gives the optimum combination of least maintenance and less weight higher up. Priorities for this design were a full beam aft cabin and a spacious, long cockpit. Both are excellent, with the latter, at 6m long, offering formidable social, sailing and aft deck zones.

It likes some breeze to come to life on the wheel, but I appreciate that it’s designed to take up to five tonnes payload. And I like the ease with which you can change gears using the furling headsails and the positioning of the powerful Andersen winches inboard. The arch is standard and comes with a textile sprayhood or hard bimini.

Below decks you’ll find abundant headroom and natural light, a deep U-shape galley and cavernous stowage. For those who like the layout of the Amel 50 but would prefer aluminium or shoal draught, look no further.

Allures 51.9 price: €766,000

The Ovni 370 is another cunning new aluminum centreboard offering, a true deck saloon cruiser for two. The designers say the biggest challenge was to create a Category A ocean going yacht at this size with a lifting keel, hence the hull had to be very stable.

Enjoyable to helm, it has a practical, deep cockpit behind a large sprayhood, which can link to the bimini on the arch. Many of its most appealing features lie in the bright, light, contemporary, clever, voluminous interior, which has good stowage and tankage allocation. There’s also a practical navstation, a large workroom and a vast separate shower. I particularly like the convertible saloom, which can double as a large secure daybed or pilot berth.

Potentially the least expensive Category A lift keel boat available, the Ovni will get you dreaming of remote places again.

Ovni 370 price: €282,080

top 10 sailboats

There’s no shortage of spirit in the Windelo 50. We gave this a sustainability award after it’s founders spent two years researching environmentally-friendly composite materials, developing an eco-composite of basalt fibre and recycled PET foam so it could build boats that halve the environmental impact of standard glassfibre yachts.

The Windelo 50 is an intriguing package – from the styling, modular interior and novel layout to the solar field on the roof and the standard electric propulsion, it is completely fresh.

Windelo 50 price: €795,000

Best bluewater sailboat of 2022 – Outremer 55

I would argue that this is the most successful new production yacht on the market. Well over 50 have already sold (an equipped model typically costs €1.6m) – and I can understand why. After all, were money no object, I had this design earmarked as the new yacht I would most likely choose for a world trip.

Indeed 55 number one Sanya, was fully equipped for a family’s world cruise, and left during our stay for the Grand Large Odyssey tour. Whereas we sailed Magic Kili, which was tricked up with performance options, including foam-cored deckheads and supports, carbon crossbeam and bulkheads, and synthetic rigging.

At rest, these are enticing space ships. Taking one out to sea is another matter though. These are speed machines with the size, scale and loads to be rightly weary of. Last month Nikki Henderson wrote a feature for us about how to manage a new breed of performance cruising cats just like this and how she coaches new owners. I could not think of wiser money spent for those who do not have ample multihull sailing experience.

Under sail, the most fun was obviously reserved for the reaching leg under asymmetric, where we clocked between 11-16 knots in 15-16 knots wind. But it was the stability and of those sustained low teen speeds which really hit home  – passagemaking where you really cover miles.

Key features include the swing helms, which give you views from outboard, over the coachroof or from a protected position in the cockpit through the coachroof windows, and the vast island in the galley, which is key to an open plan main living area. It helps provide cavernous stowage and acts as the heart of the entertaining space as it would in a modern home. As Danish judge Morten Brandt-Rasmussen comments: “Apart from being the TGV of ocean passages the boat offers the most spacious, open and best integration of the cockpit and salon areas in the market.”

Outremer has done a top job in packing in the creature comforts, stowage space and payload capacity, while keeping it light enough to eat miles. Although a lot to absorb and handle, the 55 offers a formidable blend of speed and luxury cruising.

Outremer 55 price: €1.35m

Best bluewater sailboats for comfort

This is the successor to the legendary Super Maramu, a ketch design that for several decades defined easy downwind handling and fostered a cult following for the French yard. Nearly a decade old, the Amel 55 is the bridge between those world-girdling stalwarts and Amel’s more recent and totally re-imagined sloop designs, the Amel 50 and 60.

The 55 boasts all the serious features Amel aficionados loved and valued: a skeg-hung rudder, solidly built hull, watertight bulkheads, solid guardrails and rampart bulwarks. And, most noticeable, the solid doghouse in which the helmsman sits in perfect shelter at the wheel.

This is a design to live on comfortably for long periods and the list of standard features just goes on and on: passarelle; proper sea berths with lee cloths; electric furling main and genoa; and a multitude of practical items that go right down to a dishwasher and crockery.

There’s no getting around the fact these designs do look rather dated now, and through the development of easier sail handling systems the ketch rig has fallen out of fashion, but the Amel is nothing short of a phenomenon, and if you’ve never even peeked on board one, you really have missed a treat.


Photo: Sander van der Borch

Contest 50CS

A centre cockpit cruiser with true longevity, the Contest 50CS was launched by Conyplex back in 2003 and is still being built by the family-owned Dutch company, now in updated and restyled form.

With a fully balanced rudder, large wheel and modern underwater sections, the Contest 50CS is a surprisingly good performer for a boat that has a dry weight of 17.5 tonnes. Many were fitted with in-mast furling, which clearly curtails that performance, but even without, this boat is set up for a small crew.

Electric winches and mainsheet traveller are all easy to reach from the helm. On our test of the Contest 50CS, we saw for ourselves how two people can gybe downwind under spinnaker without undue drama. Upwind, a 105% genoa is so easy to tack it flatters even the weediest crewmember.

Down below, the finish level of the joinery work is up there among the best and the interior is full of clever touches, again updated and modernised since the early models. Never the cheapest bluewater sailing yacht around, the Contest 50CS has remained in demand as a brokerage buy. She is a reassuringly sure-footed, easily handled, very well built yacht that for all those reasons has stood the test of time.

This is a yacht that would be well capable of helping you extend your cruising grounds, almost without realising it.

Read more about the Contest 50CS and the new Contest 49CS


Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk II

For many, the Swedish Hallberg-Rassy yard makes the quintessential bluewater cruiser for couples. With their distinctive blue cove line, these designs are famous for their seakindly behaviour, solid-as-a-rock build and beautifully finished, traditional interiors.

To some eyes, Hallberg-Rassys aren’t quite cool enough, but it’s been company owner Magnus Rassy’s confidence in the formula and belief in incremental ‘step-by-step’ evolution that has been such an exceptional guarantor of reliable quality, reputation and resale value.

The centre cockpit Hallberg-Rassy 48 epitomises the concept of comfort at sea and, like all the Frers-designed Hallberg-Rassys since the 1990s, is surprisingly fleet upwind as well as steady downwind. The 48 is perfectly able to be handled by a couple (as we found a few years back in the Pacific), and could with no great effort crack out 200-mile days.

The Hallberg-Rassy 48 was launched nearly a decade ago, but the Mk II from 2014 is our pick, updated with a more modern profile, larger windows and hull portlights that flood the saloon and aft cabin with light. With a large chart table, secure linear galley, heaps of stowage and space for bluewater extras such as machinery and gear, this yacht pretty much ticks all the boxes.


Discovery 55

First launched in 2000, the Discovery 55 has stood the test of time. Designed by Ron Holland, it hit a sweet spot in size that appealed to couples and families with world girdling plans.

Elegantly styled and well balanced, the 55 is also a practical design, with a deep and secure cockpit, comfortable seating, a self-tacking jib, dedicated stowage for the liferaft , a decent sugar scoop transom that’s useful for swimming or dinghy access, and very comfortable accommodation below. In short, it is a design that has been well thought out by those who’ve been there, got the bruises, stubbed their toes and vowed to change things in the future if they ever got the chance.

Throughout the accommodation there are plenty of examples of good detailing, from the proliferation of handholds and grabrails, to deep sinks in the galley offering immediate stowage when under way and the stand up/sit down showers. Stowage is good, too, with plenty of sensibly sized lockers in easily accessible positions.

The Discovery 55 has practical ideas and nifty details aplenty. She’s not, and never was, a breakthrough in modern luxury cruising but she is pretty, comfortable to sail and live on, and well mannered.


Photo: Latitudes Picture Library

You can’t get much more Cornish than a Rustler. The hulls of this Stephen Jones design are hand-moulded and fitted out in Falmouth – and few are more ruggedly built than this traditional, up-for-anything offshore cruiser.

She boasts an encapsulated lead keel, eliminating keel bolts and creating a sump for generous fuel and water tankage, while a chunky skeg protects the rudder. She is designed for good directional stability and load carrying ability. These are all features that lend this yacht confidence as it shoulders aside the rough stuff.

Most of those built have had a cutter rig, a flexible arrangement that makes sense for long passages in all sea and weather conditions. Down below, the galley and saloon berths are comfortable and sensible for living in port and at sea, with joinery that Rustler’s builders are rightly proud of.

As modern yachts have got wider, higher and fatter, the Rustler 42 is an exception. This is an exceptionally well-mannered seagoing yacht in the traditional vein, with elegant lines and pleasing overhangs, yet also surprisingly powerful. And although now over 20 years old, timeless looks and qualities mean this design makes her look ever more like a perennial, a modern classic.

The definitive crossover size, the point at which a yacht can be handled by a couple but is just large enough to have a professional skipper and be chartered, sits at around the 60ft mark. At 58ft 8in, the Oyster 575 fitted perfectly into this growing market when launched in 2010. It went on to be one of the most popular models from the yard, and is only now being superseded by the newer Rob Humphreys-designed Oyster 565 (just launched this spring).

Built in various configurations with either a deep keel, shoal draught keel or centreboard with twin rudders, owners could trade off better performance against easy access to shallower coves and anchorages. The deep-bodied hull, also by Rob Humphreys, is known for its easy motion at sea.

Some of the Oyster 575’s best features include its hallmark coachroof windows style and centre cockpit – almost everyone will know at first glance this is an Oyster – and superb interior finish. If she has a flaw, it is arguably the high cockpit, but the flip side is the galley headroom and passageway berth to the large aft stateroom.

This design also has a host of practical features for long-distance cruising, such as high guardrails, dedicated liferaft stowage, a vast lazarette for swallowing sails, tender, fenders etc, and a penthouse engine room.


Privilege Serie 5

A true luxury catamaran which, fully fitted out, will top €1m, this deserves to be seen alongside the likes of the Oyster 575, Gunfleet 58 and Hallberg-Rassy 55. It boasts a large cockpit and living area, and a light and spacious saloon with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, masses of refrigeration and a big galley.

Standout features are finish quality and solid build in a yacht designed to take a high payload, a secure walkaround deck and all-round views from the helm station. The new Privilege 510 that will replace this launches in February 2020.

Gunfleet 43

It was with this Tony Castro design that Richard Matthews, founder of Oyster Yachts, launched a brand new rival brand in 2012, the smallest of a range stretching to the flagship Gunfleet 74. The combination of short overhangs and centre cockpit at this size do make the Gunfleet 43 look modern if a little boxy, but time and subsequent design trends have been kind to her lines, and the build quality is excellent. The saloon, galley and aft cabin space is exceptional on a yacht of this size.


Photo: David Harding

Conceived as a belt-and-braces cruiser, the Kraken 50 launched last year. Its unique points lie underwater in the guise of a full skeg-hung rudder and so-called ‘Zero Keel’, an encapsulated long keel with lead ballast.

Kraken Yachts is the brainchild of British businessman and highly experienced cruiser Dick Beaumont, who is adamant that safety should be foremost in cruising yacht design and build. “There is no such thing as ‘one yacht for all purposes’… You cannot have the best of all worlds, whatever the salesman tells you,” he says.

Read our full review of the Kraken 50 .


Wauquiez Centurion 57

Few yachts can claim to be both an exciting Med-style design and a serious and practical northern European offshore cruiser, but the Wauquiez Centurion 57 tries to blend both. She slightly misses if you judge solely by either criterion, but is pretty and practical enough to suit her purpose.

A very pleasant, well-considered yacht, she is impressively built and finished with a warm and comfortable interior. More versatile than radical, she could be used for sailing across the Atlantic in comfort and raced with equal enjoyment at Antigua Sailing Week .


A modern classic if ever there was one. A medium to heavy displacement yacht, stiff and easily capable of standing up to her canvas. Pretty, traditional lines and layout below.


Photo: Voyage of Swell

Well-proven US legacy design dating back to the mid-1960s that once conquered the Transpac Race . Still admired as pretty, with slight spoon bow and overhanging transom.


Capable medium displacement cruiser, ideal size and good accommodation for couples or family cruising, and much less costly than similar luxury brands.


Photo: Peter Szamer

Swedish-built aft cockpit cruiser, smaller than many here, but a well-built and finished, super-durable pocket ocean cruiser.


Tartan 3700

Designed as a performance cruiser there are nimbler alternatives now, but this is still an extremely pretty yacht.

Broker ’ s choice


Discovery 55 Brizo

This yacht has already circumnavigated the globe and is ‘prepared for her next adventure,’ says broker Berthon. Price: £535,000 + VAT


Oyster 575 Ayesha

‘Stunning, and perfectly equipped for bluewater cruising,’ says broker Ancasta International. Price: £845,000 (tax not paid)


Oyster 575 Pearls of Nautilus

Nearly new and with a high spec, this Oyster Brokerage yacht features American white oak joinery and white leather upholstery and has a shoal draught keel. Price: $1.49m

Best bluewater yachts for performance

The Frers-designed Swan 54 may not be the newest hull shape but heralded Swan’s latest generation of displacement bluewater cruisers when launched four years ago. With raked stem, deep V hull form, lower freeboard and slight curve to the topsides she has a more timeless aesthetic than many modern slab-sided high volume yachts, and with that a seakindly motion in waves. If you plan to cover many miles to weather, this is probably the yacht you want to be on.


Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

Besides Swan’s superlative build quality, the 54 brings many true bluewater features, including a dedicated sail locker. There’s also a cockpit locker that functions as a utility cabin, with potential to hold your generator and washing machine, or be a workshop space.

The sloping transom opens out to reveal a 2.5m bathing platform, and although the cabins are not huge there is copious stowage space. Down below the top-notch oak joinery is well thought through with deep fiddles, and there is a substantial nav station. But the Swan 54 wins for handling above all, with well laid-out sail controls that can be easily managed between a couple, while offering real sailing enjoyment to the helmsman.


Photo: Graham Snook

The Performance Cruiser winner at the 2019 European Yacht of the Year awards, the Arcona 435 is all about the sailing experience. She has genuine potential as a cruiser-racer, but her strengths are as an enjoyable cruiser rather than a full-blown liveaboard bluewater boat.

Build quality is excellent, there is the option of a carbon hull and deck, and elegant lines and a plumb bow give the Arcona 435 good looks as well as excellent performance in light airs. Besides slick sail handling systems, there are well thought-out features for cruising, such as ample built-in rope bins and an optional semi-closed stern with stowage and swim platform.


Outremer 51

If you want the space and stability of a cat but still prioritise sailing performance, Outremer has built a reputation on building catamarans with true bluewater characteristics that have cruised the planet for the past 30 years.

Lighter and slimmer-hulled than most cruising cats, the Outremer 51 is all about sailing at faster speeds, more easily. The lower volume hulls and higher bridgedeck make for a better motion in waves, while owners report that being able to maintain a decent pace even under reduced canvas makes for stress-free passages. Deep daggerboards also give good upwind performance.

With bucket seats and tiller steering options, the Outremer 51 rewards sailors who want to spend time steering, while they’re famously well set up for handling with one person on deck. The compromise comes with the interior space – even with a relatively minimalist style, there is less cabin space and stowage volume than on the bulkier cats, but the Outremer 51 still packs in plenty of practical features.


The Xc45 was the first cruising yacht X-Yachts ever built, and designed to give the same X-Yachts sailing experience for sailors who’d spent years racing 30/40-footer X- and IMX designs, but in a cruising package.

Launched over 10 years ago, the Xc45 has been revisited a few times to increase the stowage and modernise some of the styling, but the key features remain the same, including substantial tanks set low for a low centre of gravity, and X-Yachts’ trademark steel keel grid structure. She has fairly traditional styling and layout, matched with solid build quality.

A soft bilge and V-shaped hull gives a kindly motion in waves, and the cockpit is secure, if narrow by modern standards.


A three or four cabin catamaran that’s fleet of foot with high bridgedeck clearance for comfortable motion at sea. With tall daggerboards and carbon construction in some high load areas, Catana cats are light and quick to accelerate.


Sweden Yachts 45

An established bluewater design that also features in plenty of offshore races. Some examples are specced with carbon rig and retractable bowsprits. All have a self-tacking jib for ease. Expect sweeping areas of teak above decks and a traditionally wooded interior with hanging wet locker.


A vintage performer, first launched in 1981, the 51 was the first Frers-designed Swan and marked a new era of iconic cruiser-racers. Some 36 of the Swan 51 were built, many still actively racing and cruising nearly 40 years on. Classic lines and a split cockpit make this a boat for helming, not sunbathing.


Photo: Julien Girardot / EYOTY

The JPK 45 comes from a French racing stable, combining race-winning design heritage with cruising amenities. What you see is what you get – there are no superfluous headliners or floorboards, but there are plenty of ocean sailing details, like inboard winches for safe trimming. The JPK 45 also has a brilliantly designed cockpit with an optional doghouse creating all-weather shelter, twin wheels and superb clutch and rope bin arrangement.


Photo: Andreas Lindlahr

For sailors who don’t mind exchanging a few creature comforts for downwind planing performance, the Pogo 50 offers double-digit surfing speeds for exhilarating tradewind sailing. There’s an open transom, tiller steering and no backstay or runners. The Pogo 50 also has a swing keel, to nose into shallow anchorages.


Seawind 1600

Seawinds are relatively unknown in Europe, but these bluewater cats are very popular in Australia. As would be expected from a Reichel-Pugh design, this 52-footer combines striking good looks and high performance, with fine entry bows and comparatively low freeboard. Rudders are foam cored lifting designs in cassettes, which offer straightforward access in case of repairs, while daggerboards are housed under the deck.

Best bluewater sailboats for families

It’s unsurprising that, for many families, it’s a catamaran that meets their requirements best of increased space – both living space and separate cabins for privacy-seeking teenagers, additional crew or visiting family – as well as stable and predictable handling.


Photo: Nicholas Claris

Undoubtedly one of the biggest success stories has been the Lagoon 450, which, together with boats like the Fountaine Pajot 44, helped drive up the popularity of catamaran cruising by making it affordable and accessible. They have sold in huge numbers – over 1,000 Lagoon 450s have been built since its launch in 2010.

The VPLP-designed 450 was originally launched with a flybridge with a near central helming position and upper level lounging areas (450F). The later ‘sport top’ option (450S) offered a starboard helm station and lower boom (and hence lower centre of gravity for reduced pitching). The 450S also gained a hull chine to create additional volume above the waterline. The Lagoon features forward lounging and aft cockpit areas for additional outdoor living space.

Besides being a big hit among charter operators, Lagoons have proven themselves over thousands of bluewater miles – there were seven Lagoon 450s in last year’s ARC alone. In what remains a competitive sector of the market, Lagoon has recently launched a new 46, with a larger self-tacking jib and mast moved aft, and more lounging areas.


Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

Fountaine Pajot Helia 44

The FP Helia 44 is lighter, lower volume, and has a lower freeboard than the Lagoon, weighing in at 10.8 tonnes unloaded (compared to 15 for the 450). The helm station is on a mezzanine level two steps up from the bridgedeck, with a bench seat behind. A later ‘Evolution’ version was designed for liveaboard cruisers, featuring beefed up dinghy davits and an improved saloon space.

Available in three or four cabin layouts, the Helia 44 was also popular with charter owners as well as families. The new 45 promises additional volume, and an optional hydraulically lowered ‘beach club’ swim platform.


Photo: Arnaud De Buyzer / graphikup.com

The French RM 1370 might be less well known than the big brand names, but offers something a little bit different for anyone who wants a relatively voluminous cruising yacht. Designed by Marc Lombard, and beautifully built from plywood/epoxy, the RM is stiff and responsive, and sails superbly.

The RM yachts have a more individual look – in part down to the painted finish, which encourages many owners to personalise their yachts, but also thanks to their distinctive lines with reverse sheer and dreadnought bow. The cockpit is well laid out with the primary winches inboard for a secure trimming position. The interior is light, airy and modern, although the open transom won’t appeal to everyone.

For those wanting a monohull, the Hanse 575 hits a similar sweet spot to the popular multis, maximising accommodation for a realistic price, yet with responsive performance.

The Hanse offers a vast amount of living space thanks to the ‘loft design’ concept of having all the living areas on a single level, which gives a real feeling of spaciousness with no raised saloon or steps to accommodation. The trade-off for such lofty head height is a substantial freeboard – it towers above the pontoon, while, below, a stepladder is provided to reach some hatches.

Galley options include drawer fridge-freezers, microwave and coffee machine, and the full size nav station can double up as an office or study space.

But while the Hanse 575 is a seriously large boat, its popularity is also down to the fact that it is genuinely able to be handled by a couple. It was innovative in its deck layout: with a self-tacking jib and mainsheet winches immediately to hand next to the helm, one person could both steer and trim.

Direct steering gives a feeling of control and some tangible sailing fun, while the waterline length makes for rapid passage times. In 2016 the German yard launched the newer Hanse 588 model, having already sold 175 of the 575s in just four years.


Photo: Bertel Kolthof

Jeanneau 54

Jeanneau leads the way among production builders for versatile all-rounder yachts that balance sail performance and handling, ergonomics, liveaboard functionality and good looks. The Jeanneau 54 , part of the range designed by Philippe Briand with interior by Andrew Winch, melds the best of the larger and smaller models and is available in a vast array of layout options from two cabins/two heads right up to five cabins and three heads.

We’ve tested the Jeanneau 54 in a gale and very light winds, and it acquitted itself handsomely in both extremes. The primary and mainsheet winches are to hand next to the wheel, and the cockpit is spacious, protected and child-friendly. An electric folding swim and sun deck makes for quick fun in the water.


Nautitech Open 46

This was the first Nautitech catamaran to be built under the ownership of Bavaria, designed with an open-plan bridgedeck and cockpit for free-flowing living space. But with good pace for eating up bluewater miles, and aft twin helms rather than a flybridge, the Nautitech Open 46 also appeals to monohull sailors who prefer a more direct sailing experience.


Made by Robertson and Caine, who produce catamarans under a dual identity as both Leopard and the Sunsail/Moorings charter cats, the Leopard 45 is set to be another big seller. Reflecting its charter DNA, the Leopard 45 is voluminous, with stepped hulls for reduced waterline, and a separate forward cockpit.

Built in South Africa, they are robustly tested off the Cape and constructed ruggedly enough to handle heavy weather sailing as well as the demands of chartering.


Photo: Olivier Blanchet

If space is king then three hulls might be even better than two. The Neel 51 is rare as a cruising trimaran with enough space for proper liveaboard sailing. The galley and saloon are in the large central hull, together with an owner’s cabin on one level for a unique sensation of living above the water. Guest or family cabins lie in the outer hulls for privacy and there is a cavernous full height engine room under the cabin sole.

Performance is notably higher than an equivalent cruising cat, particularly in light winds, with a single rudder giving a truly direct feel in the helm, although manoeuvring a 50ft trimaran may daunt many sailors.


Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

A brilliant new model from Beneteau, this Finot Conq design has a modern stepped hull, which offers exhilarating and confidence-inspiring handling in big breezes, and slippery performance in lighter winds.

The Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 was the standout performer at this year’s European Yacht of the Year awards, and, in replacing the popular Oceanis 45, looks set to be another bestseller. Interior space is well used with a double island berth in the forepeak. An additional inboard unit creates a secure galley area, but tank capacity is moderate for long periods aboard.


Beneteau Oceanis 473

A popular model that offers beam and height in a functional layout, although, as with many boats of this age (she was launched in 2002), the mainsheet is not within reach of the helmsman.


Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49

The Philippe Briand-designed Sun Odyssey range has a solid reputation as family production cruisers. Like the 473, the Sun Odyssey 49 was popular for charter so there are plenty of four-cabin models on the market.


Nautitech 441

The hull design dates back to 1995, but was relaunched in 2012. Though the saloon interior has dated, the 441 has solid practical features, such as a rainwater run-off collection gutter around the coachroof.


Atlantic 42

Chris White-designed cats feature a pilothouse and forward waist-high working cockpit with helm position, as well as an inside wheel at the nav station. The Atlantic 42 offers limited accommodation by modern cat standards but a very different sailing experience.

Best bluewater sailing yachts for expeditions

Bestevaer 56.

All of the yachts in our ‘expedition’ category are aluminium-hulled designs suitable for high latitude sailing, and all are exceptional yachts. But the Bestevaer 56 is a spectacular amount of boat to take on a true adventure. Each Bestevaer is a near-custom build with plenty of bespoke options for owners to customise the layout and where they fall on the scale of rugged off-grid adventurer to 4×4-style luxury fit out.


The Bestevaer range began when renowned naval architect Gerard Dijkstra chose to design his own personal yacht for liveaboard adventure cruising, a 53-footer. The concept drew plenty of interest from bluewater sailors wanting to make longer expeditions and Bestevaers are now available in a range of sizes, with the 56-footer proving a popular mid-range length.

The well-known Bestevaer 56 Tranquilo  (pictured above) has a deep, secure cockpit, voluminous tanks (700lt water and over 1,100lt fuel) and a lifting keel plus water ballast, with classically styled teak clad decks and pilot house. Other owners have opted for functional bare aluminium hull and deck, some choose a doghouse and others a pilothouse.


Photo: Jean-Marie Liot

The Boreal 52 also offers Land Rover-esque practicality, with utilitarian bare aluminium hulls and a distinctive double-level doghouse/coachroof arrangement for added protection in all weathers. The cockpit is clean and uncluttered, thanks to the mainsheet position on top of the doghouse, although for visibility in close manoeuvring the helmsman will want to step up onto the aft deck.

Twin daggerboards, a lifting centreboard and long skeg on which she can settle make this a true go-anywhere expedition yacht. The metres of chain required for adventurous anchoring is stowed in a special locker by the mast to keep the weight central. Down below has been thought through with equally practical touches, including plenty of bracing points and lighting that switches on to red light first to protect your night vision.


Photo: Morris Adant / Garcia Yachts

Garcia Exploration 45

The Garcia Exploration 45 comes with real experience behind her – she was created in association with Jimmy Cornell, based on his many hundreds of thousands of miles of bluewater cruising, to go anywhere from high latitudes to the tropics.

Arguably less of a looker than the Bestevaer, the Garcia Exploration 45 features a rounded aluminium hull, centreboard with deep skeg and twin daggerboards. The considerable anchor chain weight has again been brought aft, this time via a special conduit to a watertight locker in front of the centreboard.

This is a yacht designed to be lived on for extended periods with ample storage, and panoramic portlights to give a near 360° view of whichever extraordinary landscape you are exploring. Safety features include a watertight companionway door to keep extreme weather out and through-hull fittings placed above the waterline. When former Vendée Globe skipper Pete Goss went cruising , this was the boat he chose to do it in.


Photo: svnaima.com

A truly well-proven expedition design, some 1,500 Ovnis have been built and many sailed to some of the most far-flung corners of the world. (Jimmy Cornell sailed his Aventura some 30,000 miles, including two Drake Passage crossings, one in 50 knots of wind).


Futuna Exploration 54

Another aluminium design with a swinging centreboard and a solid enclosed pilothouse with protected cockpit area. There’s a chunky bowsprit and substantial transom arch to house all manner of electronics and power generation.

Previous boats have been spec’d for North West Passage crossings with additional heating and engine power, although there’s a carbon rig option for those that want a touch of the black stuff. The tanks are capacious, with 1,000lt capability for both fresh water and fuel.

If you enjoyed this….

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Sailing Southern Star

10 Best Sailboat Brands- A Captain’s Perspective

by Capt Kris Baker | Aug 30, 2021

top 10 sailboats

Last Updated on September 7, 2021

Choosing one of the 10 best sailboat brands will allow you to go sailing! Feel the wind in your hair and listen to the sounds of the water slapping against the hull. It is so much fun to experience. It is not only rewarding but it makes you feel alive. You can see all the beauty that lies ahead of you with each passing day at sea.

Sailing is one of the most rewarding hobbies, and this article can make it more enjoyable. Sailboats are all very different, but I will help you learn what to look for when choosing your next boat. Some boats are better for coastal cruising while others are built to take on bluewater passages. You’ll find a 10 best sailboat brand that suits your style!

Choosing a “best” sailboat brand can be difficult. The 10 best sailboat brands are as different as the 10 best vacuum cleaners, everyone has a preference to what sailboat brand they like.

In this article you will fi nd my picks for the 10 best sailboat brands.

Island packet, pacific seacraft, hans christian.

  • Leopard (Catamaran)

Why These Boats?

The 10 best sailboat brands will bring you the 10 best sailing experiences. All of the 10 best sailboat brands are outstanding vessels that will offer you years and years of enjoyment. They all have a great reputation for being well built. They are made to last.

Owning a sailboat can lead to an unforgettable adventure for those who are able to afford the boat. Sailboats are all very different, but I will tell you what to look for when choosing your next boat. Some boats are better for coastal cruising while others are built solely for bluewater passages. You’ll find 10 best sailboat brands that suits your style!

T he finest sailboat brands will make sailing a lot easier and more enjoyable for you. For decades, if not centuries, the finest sailboat brands have perfected the craft of boatbuilding. They’ve devoted their abilities and enormous amount of time to developing and producing only the best quality sailboats in the business.

So if you are looking for that “escape” from the daily grind, sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enoy this article!

Island Packet #1 10 Best Sailboat Brands

The Island Packet brand is built in Florida. Packets have a reputation for being very well built. They have been building boats since 1978 and are known for their classic lines and heavy construction. The 30-year plus owners of these vessels can attest to their quality. I know I can, I own one!

Pacific Seacraft #2  10 Best Sailboat Brands

The Pacific Seacraft has won many awards, including Fortune’s best built American Products! These vessels are heavy, strong and very seaworthy, and they are truly beautiful.

Originally built in Washington state, Pacific Seacraft have moved their facilities to North Carolina. They also will continue to refit and service the boats the have already been sold and loved by their owners. This is a big plus!

Valiant #3 10 Best Sailboat Brands

The Valiant is built in Washington state, and is known as one of the best sailboats in their size range. They specialize in boats that are “built to last” and are also known for their seaworthiness and classic lines. They were built as a safe, fast and comfortable vessel.

The Valiant was designed by Bob Perry (who also designed the Tayana series) and this boat was very heavily built with hand layed fiberglass.

There has been numerous cruisers who are circumnavigating in this boat. Probably one of the most famous is Rebecca Childress, on Brick House. Check out her videos, they have alot of great tips and advice!

Cabo Rico

Cabo Rico sailboats are a Bill Crealock design (same designers as the Pacific Seacraft) The company was started in 1965 in San Jose, Costa Rica and have built boats in the 34-51 foot range. Owners love them because the have execellant build quality and performance .

The Cabo Rico is a moderately heavy boat, which makes her sea kindly. She sails well when the wind is up, but not so great (as one would expect) in light wind.

Hans Christian

The Hans Christian is a stunningly beautiful example of a “Taiwanees” sailboat. She is a capable blue water cruiser with exceptional hand craftsmanship. Yes, you guessed it, another Bob Perry design!

The HC is a stout, double ender with a cutter rig. She is heavily built with teak decks and a beautiful all teak interior.

The Hans Christian, like the Cabo Rico, prefers a good breeze, and is sluggish in light air. Her hull is thick, sold fiberglass and is hand laid.

Hinckley Yachts

Hinckley Sailboats One of the best sailboat brands

Hinckley yachts began their career building exceptional, luxurious, yachts in Maine. Their meager beginnings were servicing local lobster boats.

Hinckley Sailboats have superior construction and are made with classic shapes and dramatic lines. All of their yachts are custom built to the owner’s exact desires.

The Bermuda 40 was designed as a racer-cruiser. Sadly they are not in production anymore. Their last Bermuda 40 was constructed in 1991. Interstingly, this was Hinckley’s first fiberglass boat.

Caliber sailboat top sailboat

The Caliber brand of sailboats were built in St. Petersburg, Florida. The overall design of the boats is a serious offshore cruiser. It also has all around excellent abitlities, feeling at ease coastal cruising, or being used for more serious work.

The Caliber sailboat has combined 2 versions of extreme hulls. A high performance keel, made for speed, combined with a full keel for control, create a hull that has high pointing ability, excellent directional stability, easy tacking (light wind), and high mobility during docking situations.

The hull is made extremely strong using heavy woven roving glass laminate. It forms a thicker hull. It is time tested construction.

Sadly, Caliber Yachts are no longer producing fine offshore boats, but they remain active in the industry with a full time yacht brockerage.

Passport Yachts

Passport Sailboat top sailboat brand

Cruising World magazine unanimously chose the Passport 545 for overall top boat of 2016! Absolutely every detail on the Passport is of the highest quality.

Passport began creating these sailing beauties in 1979, and has gained the reputation of being one of the finest yachts built. Can you guess who designed them? Yep, none other than Bob Perry!

As the years slip on by, cruising boat demands have changed. Passport has changed with the times. Always stiving for a very safe and comfortable boat, there are hundreds of Passports cruising all over the world. You can purchase a Passport custom made to your specifictions, or purchase a previously loved boat!

Hunter 46LE

Hunter 46LE Sailboat best sailboat brand

This entry surprised even myself! The reason this Hunter made my top ten is it really is a pretty decent boat. Hunter made this model easy to sail, had pretty good stability, is easy to maintain.

Hunter has managed to achieve a balance of low mintenance and good sailing ability with luxury amenities. Access to the engine and boat systems are all excellant.

The Hunter’s sailing performance will be appreciated by most sailors. It get points takehttps://youtu.be/PI5BhvgsS2wn off for the B&G rig and the humongous pedestal.

The Hunter is perceived as a nice coastal cruiser with the ability to log some decent ocean miles. This can be done in a good bit of comfort. Hunter definately has listened to the cruising sailor and made modifications to it’s design to reflect this.

Leopard 43 Catamaran

Leopard 43 Excellant Catamarin Sailboat

I first learned of this brand of catamaran from my friends Nicki and Jason Wynn. They knew nothing about sailing, bought this boat, took some sailing lessons, and are now circumnavigating the globe!

The Leopard is built in South Africa by Robertson and Caine boatbuilders. This boat is built either as an owner’s or charter version.

Leopard’s boast excellent liveability, comfort, safety and easy sailing ability.

Oceangoing capabilities are many. Leopard’s are built very well to exacting standards. She has fuel tankage of 264 gallons.

What are your cruising plans?

These 10 best sailboat brands will all work well for whatever kind of sailing and cruising you plan on doing, whether that is coastal cruising or bluewater passages.

Features to Look For in a Cruising Boat

Since all these boats have great construction, here is a list of what to look for beyond the bones of the yacht. All sailboats will be a comprimize. There is no “perfect” boat. I know – I’ve looked! You have to know what features will make your cruising more safe and comfortable.

Fuel and Water Storage

Having large enough tanks onboard will allow you to cruise longer without having to stop. 100 gallons of diesel should give you about 10 days at 6 knots. That’s 1,200 miles before it’s time to stop for fuel.

Your Cooking Facilities

A modern diesel stove will light quickly and cook your food perfectly. Having plenty of storage, counter space and a good sized ice box are also must haves

General stowage

Don’t forget to plan for general storage. You have 10,000 things that need to be stowed away somewhere when you go cruising. Make sure your boat has the space necessary for comfort and safety.

Your Head or Restroom

You are going to have to spend a lot of time in this space while you cruise. Make sure it is a good model and has an ample sized holdng tank.

Good Sail Plan

Having a good sail plan is key to making your cruising experience more safe and pleasurable. Make sure you know what sails come with the boat and if they are in good shape.

Good electronics package

 A good electronics package is a must for any modern cruising boat. Be sure to look for a good selection of electronics, but make sure they are up to date and in working order. good boat electronics can also be a safety item.

AIS will alert you when other boats are in your area. A good chartplotter will be a great aid to get you where you want to go. Having radar on board will show you things like land or other boats when the visibility is bad.

A good depth sounder is vital, obviously so you know how deep the water is.

A few other pieces of electronics I would have on board is a good VHS radio, boat knotlog (lets you know the spped of your boat through the water, and a annenometer (measures the speed of the wind).

Having a reliable engine on your boat will allow you to make repairs and get back home in case of an emergency. Make sure the engine is powerful enough for your choice of boat.

A bonus would be getting a set of spares (oil & fuel filters, belts etc.) along with a good running, well maintained engine.

Good handholds

Good handholds throughout the boat will make life at sea so much more pleasurable. Once the seas get rough, safety comes into play and handholds both down below and on deck are a must!

I hope this article has helped you in your search for the 10 best sailboat brands. All 10 have their own strengths and weaknesses. They are all great vessels, but to each captain goes his own preference. I hope my choices help you decide when you look for your next dreamboat!

What is your favorite, and why?

Capt Kris

I’m Capt Kris Baker.  I have been sailing and cruising since I was about 6 years old.   I have lots of tips and tricks I have learned over the years, and I am happy to share them with you!

My new boat is an Island Packet 320 “Southern Star”.  I plan on cruising the Bahamas and Islands south!

top 10 sailboats

Buying a Used Boat?

The Top Sailboat Manufacturers (According to Sailors)

Whether you are buying or chartering a boat, or whether you simply want to stay informed, you might be asking the question: who are the top sailboat manufacturers? As is the case with most 'who's the best' questions, the answer isn't simple. So this article takes a stroll among the crowds and asks - “who's your favorite?” .

top 10 sailboats

What are the top sailboat manufacturers?

Groupe beneteau.

This is the ultimate all-star list. Now let’s see why.

First of all - I want to make this lineup relatively short. There are tens of names that bounce around when you ask about favorite manufacturers, and if I had made this a long list, in the end, it wouldn’t represent the famous all-stars that really stand out in the eyes of the people. If you want a longer, less detailed list, check out our article about 50 popular sailboat brands . This time though, we are looking only at the manufacturer champions of the ‘popular choice’ contest.

“This is a loaded question!”, the internet forums yell, “there are thousands of options!”, they cry, enraged, “it’s not about the boat, but about the crew!” they scream. But we don’t give up and continue, determined to find out who you all like the most.

Cover Image : Bavaria Cruiser 55 - Copyright BavariaYachtbau under CC BY-SA 4.0

I know, I know, I hear you. Let’s start with the cons of these boats to quench the thirst of the bloodthirsty critics. Yes, Wallys are very costly, they go all the way up to tens of millions of dollars and so won’t be more than a bedroom poster for most of the readers.

That’s about it when it comes to the negatives, though. The reason they made it on this list despite their price tag is that they are pioneers in many aspects. Visually they are beyond gorgeous, and their price allows for exquisite build quality. The cost of these hi-end racer/cruisers means they aren’t particularly user friendly since most users won’t be able to use them, but just as Rolls Royce belongs on the list of the best cars, Wally belongs on the list of the best boats. They are the brainchild of Luca Bassani, founder and chief of the brand, a stylish Italian man who knows what’s right.

And it is this poster worthiness that gained them popularity among the crowds. A video of a simple Atlantic crossing on a 100 foot Wally has millions of views not necessarily because that particular journey would be exciting, in fact, it is quite an uneventful one, but because it is on a boat that makes the design junkies salivate. The Wally designs alone were the reason these boats made it into Hollywood feature films and series, and if you look at one, you’ll understand why. This is what happens when extravaganza meets good taste and has all the money in the world to realize the idea.

What do they make in terms of sailboats? Superyachts around 100 ft long, each focused on sporty cruising, design, and comfort. They only make custom sailboats, no factory models here. Buying a used one is a safe situation, they hold up even after a long time both in terms of quality, performance as well as design. During their existence, Wally only made a handful of boats, so if you ever stumble upon one, take a selfie. It is like meeting a celebrity.

top 10 sailboats

To level the scales, let’s now jump at the opposite side of the spectrum and have a look at Catalina, the people pleaser. If Wally was the Rolls Royce of the boating world, Catalina is the Ford, making, as they say, “honest, sturdy boats that hold up to real-world conditions, perform well and cost less to maintain”. The mission of this company then seems to be to make boats as practical as possible for the common folk. That means: a practical interior layout, practical handling, and last but definitely not least, a practical price.

And this strategy has worked out well - according to experiences of hundreds of thousands of sailors, Catalinas stand up to their reputation of a boat that’s got your back. It is one of the largest boat producers in the world, with over sixty thousand of its boats sailing the world. Boat manufacturers oftentimes go through quite a lot of rough patches, that turn into bankruptcy for many, it isn’t an easy business to be in, but Catalina has been on a roll for decades. And this success has come with its perks - the business stability allowed for some impressive manufacturing facilities, which helps mass production, which in turn helps drive the price down. So with Catalina, you’ll likely be getting more bang for your buck than from their competition.

They make boats ranging from tiny daysailers all the way to 50-foot seaworthy vessels. What made them the most famous though are their mid-sized cruisers - the staple of the classical American sailing fan. Whether you like it or not, slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to mainstream, and that is precisely what Catalina understands so well. They don’t take large risks. Their models are long-running with slight tweaks and facelifts, concepts that don’t surprise or insult, but offer stability. This conservativeness has been what some sailors hold against Catalinas, which is easy to understand when looking at many other brands that offer more in terms of fanciness, but this is the Catalina way, and it has worked out splendidly for them.

The long years of experience make for a great manufacturer that makes boats which won’t be the fastest, won’t be the prettiest or the boldest in terms of design or technological innovation, but they will do precisely what they are made to do - their job.

top 10 sailboats

Bavaria is to Europe what Catalina is to the United States. Affordable, practical, nothing special, but does what it’s supposed to. It is the main diet of many Mediterranean sailors. To stay with the cars equivalent, just because I like it so much, if Catalinas were the Ford, Bavarias would be the Volkswagen. They are generally cheaper than Catalinas but don’t see that as an indicator, sailors can’t seem to find one or the other significantly worse or better in build quality. There are of course a few voices rooting for one or the other, but that can be assigned to fandom rather than to actual benefits. The price difference is there partly due to a different manufacturing process, the Bavaria factories are more efficient (they are German after all), and the production is more streamlined, allowing cutting costs without cutting corners.

Reliability, ease of use, and affordability are aspects that lead the design decisions here - which is what makes them so prevalent in charter companies. Even a nonexperienced sailor can get on a Bavaria and operate it with relative ease. But as I’ve been told by the boss of an unnamed charter company, after five or so years, you will start to feel the lower price tag as their reliability starts to go down unless money is put into repairs. With an older Bavaria, you will feel its age more than with other manufacturers. As one owner puts it, they tend to get “quite exhausted”.

So in case you belong among the Bavaria fans and have your eye on a used one, keep the above sentences in mind and when shopping, make sure you understand the ‘health’ of the boat in question. Moreover, be aware of the difference between a boat that was used by a handful of sailors over the years versus one that was chartered to more people than you could count. In other words, you wouldn’t want to buy a few-year-old rental car because who knows what the poor thing had to suffer, - especially since you can bet that many of the clients weren’t particularly good sailors due to generous sailing license policies in Croatia, which allows virtually anybody to ‘become a sailor’ within hours for a friendly fee.

What can you expect when you get on one? Good things - the manufacturers know what their products are used for, and that is why Bavarias are designed as easy comfortable cruisers. Everything you need to have within reach will be within reach, to the point of you having something to hold on almost all the time wherever you go through the boat - Bavaria knows well that many of its users won’t have their ‘sea legs’ and act accordingly. Even smaller models have generous amounts of space because it is the smaller models that are charter kings - Bavaria gives a lot of attention to them. The layouts will be comfy, so Bavarias make good boats for longer voyages - pair that with reliability and price and you will understand why the vox populi speaks so fondly of them.

top 10 sailboats

The reason I am mentioning the name of the parent company here is that they own both Beneteau and Jeanneau, brands that are distinguishable on the surface, but if you look close enough, you will find them pretty similar, down to the fact that they are produced in the same factory. So since both Beneteau and Jeanneau are very popular sailor’s choices, both deserve a place on this list, but dedicating a subchapter to each would feel like making a duplicate.

By the way, Groupe Beneteau also owns Lagoon, a renowned catamaran maker, Prestige, luxury yacht manufacturer, Monte Carlo Yachts, CNB Yacht builder, the semi-custom sailboat maker, Four Winns, Glastron, Scarab, Wellcraft, Excess, and Delphia… some of these make motor yachts only, but if you combine fans of all of these, you get a sizable crowd. This company has figured out what people of various tastes want and serves quite a few of these niches.

top 10 sailboats

Business aside, let’s see how this French company managed to find its way into the hearts of so many. Well, first of all, they are French. So chic style is to be expected. And with this, fans come. Image wise (and design-wise to a bit) Jeanneau is the sporty one that sails better, while Beneteau aims at the family comfort market. But on both, you will feel loved by the designer. They are made to make you feel good when you use them, and they’ll spoil you with luxury that fits within the specific price tag.

Comfort is a big deal here. On Jeanneaus for instance, you will sometimes find quite unique layouts, often different from the traditional ones, to really pamper the sailors - such as their two master bedroom setup, with the stern one being under the cockpit. A lot of them come with the 360 docking system, which allows you to move the boat around with a joystick and makes maneuvering in marinas so easy you feel like you are cheating. Or consider their decision to make the hull finer to cut through the water better, resulting in less movement - something that helps with comfort. All of this comes for a price but less so than you would expect since the buying power of the enormous Groupe Beneteau helps with shaving off dollars where smaller manufacturers couldn’t. This is, for instance, the reason why they can afford to use wood on their crafts to an extent you wouldn’t expect from a production boat for that price - again, buying volume allows for this even without you necessarily having to pay the expected premium.

Of course, you will mostly find them in Europe, where they are plentiful in marinas, though the aforementioned Bavarias dominate as far as numbers go. But that is mostly because of charters, since last year, over 80 percent of chartered boats were Bavarias. As personal boats, products of Groupe Beneteau belong among the top choices.

top 10 sailboats

Now, this is a bit of a tricky one. The manufacturer doesn’t exist anymore, in fact, it produced boats from 1960 to 1989, making it over thirty years old, but despite that, the Cal models are still a favorite and worthy member of the cruising as well as performance world.

During the company’s existence, almost twenty thousand boats were built, partially because they were one of the first brands to mass-produce fiberglass sailboats. That, along with Cal models winning impressively in races, helped them to make a name for themselves, a name that still sounds to this day.

top 10 sailboats

Why is it on this list? Partially because of its prevalence on the seas, partially because of its prevalence in internet forums and pub talks. Cal sailboats are loved by their owners mostly for their responsiveness when under sail, good build quality, (even though many say the interior could have been done way better) as well as reliability even after long years of use. Many of the design features have indeed been improved since, so if thirty years ago you could dominate races with Cals, today you won’t be on the lightest and most up to date boat around anymore. But you won’t be sailing a cruiser either. The boat might not be a pureblood racer, but it was built with racing in mind. Which might give the more sporty ones of your peace of mind that no Bavaria or any traditional cruiser will provide.

Quite a few owners say though that the success from the sixties gained Cal a name that you will pay for when buying one. If you are one of those who want to make sure they are paying for physical value rather than reputation, this might be a dealbreaker for you. There is a certain portion of slight arrogance that comes with racing success, one that shows in later models. But given the brand’s popularity, this is not too big of a deal.

So if cruising is your goal, if long crossings are what you desire, if you simply want a boat that was built with honesty and can take you basically anywhere you want, Cals are a safe bet. You’ll be joining a big, happy and an old family. And an affordable one at that.

In conclusion

To sum it all up, it seems that practicality, affordability, and reliability are the main factors that influence whether a sailboat manufacturer will become popular among sailors or not. As well as extravagant design and beauty, but that’s another story.

There have been many shipyards throughout the ages, some long-lasting, some surviving but a couple of years. Each tried to come up with an angle to sell well. Sometimes it was quirky design, and sometimes it was an intriguing feature, sometimes it was the use of new technology. Sometimes it worked out quite well, other times it did not. But in the end what sailors seem to want is a boat that will not fail them when they need it the most, a boat that is well built enough to cross oceans, because that gives one a sense of freedom and a boat that is built with the user-friendliness in mind. Simply, a boat that is your good friend.

A road to a sailor’s heart is simple, after all.

Daniel O'Connell

Really good article. I was enlightened.

Dan O’Connell

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Top 10 largest sailing yachts in the world

The list of the top ten largest sailing yachts in the world is not easily disrupted. In fact, it had remained unchanged since the launch of the 106.7-metre Oceanco Black Pearl in 2018, which swiped the top spot from Lürssen 's 93-metre Eos . For four years, Black Pearl remained the largest yacht in the world until early in 2023 when Oceanco sent a new flagship down the slipway, the mighty 127-metre Koru . Read on to discover our official list of the largest sailing yachts in the world. 

1. Koru | 127m

Leading this list is a new entry: Oceanco 's record-breaking 127-metre sailing yacht Koru . Commissioned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Koru has been the subject of much speculation for years but was revealed in all its glory in 2021. Not only is she the largest sailing yacht in the world, she is also the largest superyacht ever to be built in the Netherlands. Her name, Koru, is the Māori word meaning "new beginnings" and she is accompanied by a 75-metre support vessel named Abeona . She was delivered in 2023 and is over 20 metres longer than the former title-holder Black Pearl.

  • Builder: Oceanco
  • Country of build: Netherlands
  • Delivery year: 2023
  • Length Overall: 125.82 m
  • Beam: 16.95 m
  • Gross Tonnage 3493 t

More about this yacht

More stories, 2. black pearl | 106.7m.

Instantly recognisable with her black sails and Dynarig set-up, Black Pearl is the second-largest sailing yacht in the world. Delivered during the same year as 142.81-metre Sailing Yacht A (officially designated as a sail-assisted motor yacht), Black Pearl spent five years in development at Dutch yard Oceanco . Dykstra Naval Architects , Ken Freivokh , Nuvolari Lenard , BMT Nigel Gee and Gerard P Villate all contributed their expertise to this monumental project, which looks set to turn heads the world over for decades to come. She is often compared to Maltese Falcon , the first Dynarig superyacht, but boasts a number of technological advancements. She flies 25 per cent more sail area with hinging spars that fold down to allow her to pass through the Panama Canal, but it is what lies beneath that really counts. Two variable pitch propellers harness kinetic energy while she is under sail, which can run the hotel or recharge the batteries, allowing her to cross oceans without expending a drop of fuel. 

  • Delivery year: 2018
  • Length Overall: 106.7 m
  • Gross Tonnage 2700 t

3. Eos | 92.93m

Eos was built in Germany under a cloak of secrecy for her American media and movie mogul Barry Diller. Eos is a three-masted Bermuda rigged schooner and was refitted at Royal Huisman in 2011. After emerging from her refit the yacht caught fire in Norway and had to return to the yard to be repaired.

  • Builder: Lurssen
  • Country of build: Germany
  • Delivery year: 2006
  • Length Overall: 92.93 m
  • Beam: 13.5 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1500 t

4. Athena | 90m

Athena was built by the Royal Huisman in Holland for US software developer Jim Clark. Athena's advanced engineering means that she is able to sail in relatively light airs, while still offering the interior space typically only found on motor yachts. In stronger winds, Athena has been credited as attaining 19 knots under sail. The yacht's three closed decks include a large owner's suite, four guest suites, a saloon and dining room on the main deck and a sky lounge on the upper deck. Her clipper-bow and three-masted schooner sprung from the boards of Pieter Beeldsnijder (exterior styling) and Dykstra Naval Architects (naval architecture).

  • Builder: Royal Huisman
  • Delivery year: 2004
  • Length Overall: 90 m
  • Beam: 12.2 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1103 t

5. Maltese Falcon | 88m

Maltese Falcon  was built for the late American venture capitalist Tom Perkins. The iconic three-masted schooner is the fifth-largest sailing yacht in the world. Maltese Falcon's rig is made up of three unstayed, 'weapons-grade' carbon fibre masts, with a fully computerised sail and rotating mast system. The system has been dubbed a triumph of design, development and engineering and Maltese Falcon has topped an impressive 24 knots under sail. The Ken Freivokh interior is a marriage of industrial chic and high tech. It features leather, glass, wood and steel as well as a modern art collection. The yacht has accommodation for 12 guests and is available for charter.

  • Builder: Perini Navi
  • Country of build: Turkey
  • Length Overall: 88 m
  • Beam: 12.47 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1112 t

Yachts for charter

6. aquijo | 85.9m.

The highly anticipated Aquijo was the result of a collaboration between Vitters and Oceanco. Both Dutch yards worked closely with the owner's representative to create a highly complex, performance-driven sailing machine that became the third largest sailing superyacht when launched. Aquijo is an aluminium ketch-rigged yacht, and features a custom steering system. Aquijo's interior layout provides clear sight lines thanks to her high-volume superstructure.

  • Builder: Vitters | Oceanco
  • Delivery year: 2016
  • Length Overall: 85.9 m
  • Beam: 14.48 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1538 t

7. Sea Eagle II | 81m

Delivered in 2020, Sea Eagle II is the most recent addition to the top ten largest sailing yachts in the world. Built by Royal Huisman, Sea Eagle II features exterior styling by Mark Whiteley and naval architecture penned by Dykstra Naval Architects . Sold in summer 2016 by  Northrop & Johnson  as Project RH400,  Sea Eagle II  is the largest yacht ever built by the Dutch yard. 

  • Delivery year: 2020
  • Length Overall: 81 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1150 t

8. M5 | 78.4m

Built by Vosper Thorneycroft in Southampton, England, M5  was launched as the iconic yacht Mirabella V in 2004. She remains the world’s largest sloop to date. M5 was designed by Ron Holland for American yachtsman Joe Vittoria, who enjoyed sailing her for seven years before she was sold on. The new owner renamed her M5 and she was extended by 3.2 metres in a refit at  Pendennis  before her relaunch in 2013. Her most recent refit , however, in 2019, saw M5 emerge from the sheds with all new paint-work, composite biminis, a reinforced mast and a new bow-thruster.

M5 has a displacement of 780 tonnes (165 tonnes of which is the keel). The carbon fibre mast is an amazing 88.3 metres tall and can carry approximately 3,700 square metres of sail.

  • Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
  • Country of build: United Kingdom
  • Length Overall: 78.4 m
  • Beam: 14.8 m
  • Gross Tonnage 1009 t

9. Badis | 70m

The second largest Perini Navi sailing yacht to date, Badis was built for the multiple superyacht owner Bill Duker and launched in 2016 as Sybaris . The name comes from a Greek settlement in ancient Italy that was famed for its hedonism, feasts and excesses. Featuring naval architecture and sailplan optimisation by Philippe Briand, this all-aluminium ketch can host up to 12 guests across six cabins. Interiors are by PH Design with a total internal volume of 870GT, while the crew quarters allow for a staff of up to 11. Under power, Badis's twin MTU 16V 2000 M72 diesel engines generate a total of 3,860hp, resulting in a top speed of 17.5 knots and a maximum cruising range of 5,000 nautical miles at 12.5 knots.

  • Country of build: Italy
  • Length Overall: 70 m
  • Beam: 13.24 m
  • Gross Tonnage 887 t

10. Atlantic | 69.3m

Atlantic might have the looks of an old classic but don't be fooled, this modern three-masted schooner was delivered in 2010 to an owner with a penchant for classic sailing yachts. She was built from scratch as a replica of the famous 64.5-metre Townsend & Downey schooner by the same name built in 1903. The sailing yacht made history when she set the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing in 1905 - a record that remained unbroken for nearly 100 years - but she was sadly scrapped in 1982. Inspired by its legacy, owner Ed Kastelein built a replica as a tribute to the record-breaking classic at the Van de Graaf shipyard in the Netherlands. The new Atlantic 's three masts stand 50 metres high and support 1,700 square metres of sails with 36 winches in bronze built specially by Harken.

  • Builder: Van der Graaf
  • Delivery year: 2010
  • Length Overall: 69.31 m
  • Gross Tonnage 268 t

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25 Sailboats Under 40′

  • By Cruising World Staff
  • Updated: March 25, 2014

Catalina 275 Sport

catalina 275 sport

“This is a complete package; it’s a good sailing boat and well-thought-out. It’s definitely ready for prime time,” says Boat of the Year judge Ed Sherman. Click here to read why the Catalina 275 Sport won Best Pocket Cruiser in 2014.

Beneteau First 30

beneteau first 30

As they approached the First 30 to conduct their dockside evaluation during the boat show, the BOTY judges may have been just a little skeptical of this performance-oriented 30-footer’s cruisability. But that skepticism turned into appreciation as soon as they stepped below, and they were downright enamored with how the boat sailed. Click here to read why the Beneteau First 30 won Best Small Cruiser, 20 feet and Under in 2011.

presto 30

The Presto 30 is an innovative, well-built, good looking cruising boat that satisfied its stated design brief as well as any other boat the judges looked at, though it’s not what you might expect from an average cruising boat. Cruising World judges also noted that this easy-to-handle boat may attract new sailors to the sport so they can learn the ropes and then trade up to another model, an approach that’s important to the health of the entire industry. Click here to read how the Presto 30 won the Cruising Spirit Award in 2011.

Catalina 309

catalina 309

“I think that for the purpose it was put on the water, to be able to walk down, jump aboard, and simply go enjoy it on a weekend, the boat not only hit the price in terms of value but also hit the mark in terms of use,” remarked judge Alvah Simon, a world voyager. Click to read why the Catalina 309 won Domestic Boat of the Year for 2007 .

j/95 boat

The J/95’s retractable centerboard and dual rudders make it possible to sail in just 3 feet of water. During our dockside visit, designer Rod Johnstone told us that he wanted to build a comfortable coastal cruiser that could keep people sailing by providing “high performance in shallow water,” and the J/95 did exactly what Rod said it would. Click here to read how it won Best Weekender and Domestic Boat of the Year for 2010.

Catalina 315

catalina 315

This nifty pocket cruiser raises the Catalina quality bar with more comfort and better performance. It’s the little things that make this boat special, including the tall rig, the wide cockpit, the large anchor locker, the sprit for the asymmetric kite, and the clever use of space below. Click here to read how the Catalina 315 won Best Inshore Cruiser for 2013.

delphia 33

The Delphia 33 is a boat that’s maximized every inch of available space, and the overall fit and finish, from the joiner work to the systems installation to the structural integrity of the boat, is well done. Click here to read why the Delphia 33 won Import Boat of the Year in 2008.

hunter e33

“With this introductory cruiser, Hunter is trying to bring people up through its ranks and into cruising from trailer-sailers and smaller boats,” said Alvah Simon. “And the company has done that with a 33-footer that has quality and affordability but is still manageable and unintimidating.” Click here to read why the Hunter e33 won Best Compact Cruiser for 2012.

C&C 101

cc 101 yacht

The 33-foot C&C 101 boasts thoroughly modern lines and a nice turn of speed but also features a fine layout belowdecks, with cherry furniture and a teak cabin sole. Click here to read why the C&C 101 won Domestic Boat of the Year and Best Performance Cruiser in 2013.

x34 yacht

This dual-purpose cruiser is both easy to handle and zippy on the racecourse. Click here to read why the X-34 won Best Racer-Cruiser for 2009.

Beneteau 34

beneteau 34 yacht

This affordable performance cruiser is a blast to sail, with details often lacking on more expensive boats. Click here to read a boat review of the Beneteau 34. Click here to read why the Beneteau 34 won the award for Best Value in 2009.

Tartan 3400

tartan 3400 yacht

The Tartan 3400, with double cabins fore and aft, was still sufficiently nimble and distinctive to cop the 2006 Boat of the Year award for Best Production Cruiser from 31 to 36 Feet. Click here to read more.

najad 355 yacht

The BOTY judges found lots on which to agree as they proclaimed the Najad 355 to be the Best Small Cruiser of 2008: great sails, solid motion through the water, practical interior, well-laid-out deck. Click here to read more.

Catalina 355

catalina 355 yacht

Two themes—consideration and principles—epitomize the Catalina 355. Click here to read why it won Domestic Boat of the Year in 2011.

Sabre Spirit

sabre spirit yacht

Andrew Burton found the 36-foot Sabre Spirit boat not only easily handled and fast but also a sheer delight to sail; no wonder it won the Judges’ Choice Award in Cruising World’s 2008 Boat of the Year contest. Click here to read more .

Island Packet Estero

island packet estero yacht

Comfortable surroundings are easily driven by a fully self-tending and roller-furling rig on the 36-foot Island Packet Estero. Click here to read why it won Best Midsize Cruiser Under 40 feet in 2010.

Hallberg-Rassy 37

hallberg-rassy 37 yacht

Like the Swedes who manufacture it, the Hallberg-Rassy 37 is a hardy sailer. The boat’s seakindly performance gives the assurance that it can take you anywhere, and once you get aboard, that’s exactly where you’ll want to go. Click here to read why it won Import Boat of the Year in 2006.

Malö 37 Classic

malo 37 classic

This purpose-built craft is a dream to steer and a delight to the eyes. Click here to read how it won Import Boat of the Year for 2009. Click here to read a full boat review.

Catalina 375

catalina 375

Solid construction and thoughtful amenities make life onboard this boat more comfortable. Click here to read why the Catalina 375 won Best All-Purpose Cruiser, 30 to 40 Feet in 2009.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379

jeanneau sun odyssey 379 yacht

This midsize offering from Jeanneau has a modern look and is ready for sea. Click here to read why it won Domestic Boat of the Year and Best Midsize Cruiser for 2012.

dehler 38

“This very responsive sailboat scoots along quite nicely, I think as well as anything we sailed in this fleet,” says Boat of the Year judge Mark Schrader. Click here to read why the Dehler 38 won Best Cruising Sailboat Under 38 Feet in 2014.

hunter 38

Better-than-expected performance, good design ideas, and follow-through in their execution led to the Hunter 38 winning Best Production Cruiser Under 40 feet for 2005. Click here to read more.

leopard 38

Who says a cruising cat under 40 feet isn’t big enough for comfortable accommodations? The 38’s hulls are narrow where they meet the water for performance purposes but flare out to create ample interior space. Click here to read why the Leopard 38 won Import Boat of the Year in 2010.

Seawind 1160

seawind 1160

This 38-foot cat will appeal to cruisers who want a well-built boat that can sail away in a hurry. Click here to read why the Seawind 1160 won Best Multihull Cruiser and Most Innovative Boat for 2007.

sabre 386

“The company is mixing traditional aesthetics with modern gear–from the carbon rudder to tweakers on the jib tracks, and it works really well,” said Boat of the Year judge Steve Callahan of the Sabre 386. Click here to read why it was named Domestic Boat of the Year for 2005.

  • More: 21 - 30 ft , 31 - 40 ft , Boat Gallery , Boat of the Year , Photo Galleries , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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Home » Blog » Bluewater sailboats » The best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet (we analyzed 2,000 boats to find out)

The best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet (we analyzed 2,000 boats to find out)

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: August 17, 2023

What are the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet?

Last year we analyzed 2,000 offshore designs to bring you a list of the most popular bluewater sailboats .

However, most people are searching for a boat in a particular size class. So, we decided to do a double-click and look at the best sailboats under 40 feet for offshore sailing.

If you’re interested in an even smaller boat, there are plenty of great options under 30 feet in our list of the best small sailboats for sailing around the world .

The characteristics that make a sailboat a bluewater sailboat are a hotly debated topic, so we wanted to use real-world data and find out what cruisers are using to cross oceans and sail around the world.

We looked at 2,000 boats that entered the Pacific Puddle Jump  (PPJ) over the last 12 years. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the PPJ, it’s a rally that crosses the Pacific ocean.  We took part in 2017 and had a ball!

Also, if you’re looking to buy one of the bluewater boats on this list, you might want to check out our post on the best places to buy used boats and how to find free or cheap boats for sale .

Just be aware that a bluewater boat isn’t necessarily offshore-ready. Our top five picks are all older boats and will undoubtedly require work.

Every cruiser we know made substantial repairs and additions before going offshore: adding watermakers , life rafts, solar panels, and more.

Also, always have a boat inspected by a professional and accredited marine surveyor before buying it or taking it offshore.

So, without further preamble, here are the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet.

The best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet

1. the westsail 32.

Westsail 32 sailboat

The Westsail 32 is one of the most iconic bluewater cruisers. Built by the Westsail Corporation in the 1970s, this plucky, small sailboat has developed a cult following over the decades. Since 2009, 19 have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rallies.

The Westsail 32 is known for its sturdy construction, seaworthiness, and classic looks. In fact, it set the standard for what a real bluewater cruiser should look like. In 1973, the Westsail 32 was featured in Time magazine and inspired many Americans to go cruising.

Though popular, this boat has earned the unenviable nickname “ Wetsnail 32″, a reference to its poor ability to windward and sluggish performance. But Westsail 32 owners don’t care that they won’t be winning any races.

What the boat lacks in speed it makes up for in classic looks and excellent offshore cruising characteristics. Many owners have crossed oceans and circumnavigated the globe in their Westsail 32s.

2. Tayana 37

Tayana 37 sailboat

The Tayana 37 is a wildly popular Bob Perry design. It first rolled off the production line in 1976 and there are now several hundred of them sailing the world’s oceans.

Above the waterline, the Tayana 37 boasts beautiful traditional lines. However, Perry wanted to avoid the unenviable (read: sluggish) performance characteristics, associated with double-enders.

So, he designed the Tayana 37 with a cut-away long keel and moderate displacement, maintaining the classic look, while achieving reasonable performance.

The Tayana 37 has a devoted following of offshore enthusiasts. Since 2009, 12 Tayana 37s have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rallies.

Read more about the Tayana 37 in this Practical Sailor review .

3. Hans Christian 38T

Black and white photo of Hans Christian 38T Sailboat

The Hans Christian 38T is a full-keeled, heavy displacement bluewater boat with a long bowsprit and a clipper bow, giving it a distinctive appearance. It was first introduced in 1976 and was produced until the early 1990s.

If you hadn’t already guessed, the “T” in the name stands for “Traditional”. Like many boats on this list, it takes a cue from Crealock’s famous Westsail 32 which sparked a craze in the 1970s and 80s for Scandinavian-style doubled-enders.

It’s gained a reputation as a capable and seaworthy cruising yacht. Many owners have crossed oceans and completed circumnavigations in Hans Christian 38Ts.

By our count, eight Hans Christian 38Ts have participated in Pacific Puddle Jump rallies over the last 12 years.

4. Island Packet 380

Drawing of Island Packet 380 sailboat

I’ve always considered Island Packets the Rolls-Royce of the bluewater boat world. Their distinctive cream-colored topsides make them easy to spot and their robust bluewater construction makes them the envy of many far-flung anchorages.

Designed by Bob Johnson and built by Island Packet Yachts in Florida, the Island Packet 380 was first introduced in 1998. 169 were built before 2004, over which time it gained a reputation as a capable and comfortable offshore cruiser.

Having been built in the ’90s and early 2000s, this is a relatively newer boat. In many ways, it offers the best of both worlds, a classic-looking boat with all the modern cruising conveniences.

The Island Packet 380 design prioritizes safety and stability. It also has several offshore features including standard twin bow rollers, a divided anchor locker, and ample storage for cruising gear.

Life below deck is comfortable too. With a 13-foot (4 meter) beam there’s plenty of room for liveaboard amenities.

The Island Packet 380 is a popular choice for long-distance cruising and offshore passages. Since 2009, six Island Packet 380s have set out to cross the Pacific in PPJ rallies.

Read more about the Island Packet 380 in this review by Yachting Monthly .

5. Ingrid 38

Drawing of Ingrid 38 sailboat

The Ingrid 38 is a double-ended sailboat that was originally designed for wood construction in 1938.

In 1971, Bluewater Boat Co. began building a fiberglass version. The design proved hugely popular and more than 140 were built.

With a full keep and heavy displacement, the Ingrid 38 epitomizes the traditional bluewater cruiser. Yet, it remains a well-loved design today. Since 2009, six Ingrid 38s have set out to cross the Pacific in PPJ rallies.


Fiona McGlynn

Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.

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The 10 Most-Exciting Yacht Debuts at the Palm Beach International Boat Show

Besides the debut of smaller vessels, more than 60 yachts over 100 feet will be at palm beach this week. it promises to be a banner event., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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Palm Beach International Boat Show

For superyacht shoppers, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, kicking off its four-day run this week, is set to break records with more than 60 yachts over 100 feet long on display. Last year was also a banner year for superyachts at the show. 

Headliners will include the likes of the 295-foot Corsair Nero ,  the 278-foot Victorious by AKYacht, the 230-foot Turquoise-built Talisman C , and 213-foot Benetti Triumph among brokerage yachts, and in new yachts, the 113-foot Ocean Alexander Puro 35 is making its world debut.  

There are so many gleaming white vessels over 100 feet, in fact, that the fleet will be split between the Palm Harbor Marina at the main show site on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and the Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina two miles north. 

Now in its 42nd year, PBIBS will also showcase hundreds of models of dayboats, cruisers, and fishing boats, as well as marine accessories. Running from this Thursday through Sunday, the show coincides with the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art show, a fortuitous opportunity for yacht owners wanting to add new art to their collections.

Here are 10 must-see boats at this year’s show.

Corsair Yachts ‘Nero’

top 10 sailboats

The undisputed star of this year’s Palm Beach show? That would be the 295-foot, classically styled superyacht Nero , built in 2007 and inspired by American financier J.P. Morgan’s legendary 1930s steamer Corsair IV . Nero ‘s attendance at PBIBS marks its return to the charter market after an extensive refit in 2021. Now better than new, the boat is being managed by Burgess. With weekly charter rates from $497,000, the vessel offers five-star accommodations for 12 guests in six cabins, with pampering from a crew of 20. Part of the refit included a full interior refresh by Italian interior designer Laura Pomponi, plus a major focus on wellness. That meant the construction of a new, state-of-the-art gym and spa, the assistance of a certified onboard trainer, a masseuse and beautician. After PBIBS, Nero will spend the winter in the Caribbean before returning to the Med for the summer season.

Ocean Alexander Puro 35P

top 10 sailboats

Ocean Alexander is debuting the first of its new Puro superyacht series at PBIBS. The 113-foot Puro 35P comes from the drawing board of Italian designer Giorgio M. Cassetta and is a step back from the polarizing lines of OA’s recent Revolution and Explorer series with their bold, vertical bow designs. Aimed at long-distance cruising, the 35P can carry over 5,000 gallons of fuel and is powered by twin 2,000 hp MAN V12s for a 24-knot top speed. Twin 55kW Kohler generators can also keep the yacht powered at anchor for long periods. Other standout features include extensive glazing in the chiseled fiberglass hull, a forward deck plunge pool, and spacious accommodations for 10 guests. 

top 10 sailboats

Think of it as the “starter” Sirena. Aimed at a younger demographic, the Turkish builder’s brand-new Sirena 48 is making its U.S. debut at PBIBS after a global reveal at last fall’s Cannes boat show. Such is its appeal that 27 hulls have already been sold, with 13 of the orders coming from North America. Looking like a scaled-down version of Sirena’s popular 58, its distinctive, trawler-style lines are from Argentinian designer Germán Frers. With more interior space than a typical 48-footer, the yacht offers three staterooms—plus a crew cabin—a spacious, light-filled salon, a large cockpit, an oversized flybridge, and a vast forward social area. Take your pick from twin 550 hp Cummins QSB, or 670 hp Volvo D11 turbo diesels. Or the builder is also offering hybrid power with twin 285 hp electric motors charged up by variable-speed generators that are good for a 30-mile battery-only range.

Feadship ‘Olympus’

top 10 sailboats

Picture purchasing a classic 180-foot Feadship superyacht, and then getting a $10 million bill for a major refit. That was the case with Olympus , built by the Dutch masters at Feadship in 1996 to a design by Britain’s Andrew Winch and the celebrated naval architect Frits De Voogt. Sold in 2022, the new owner sent it to the Monaco Marine refit center in La Ciotat, France for a major makeover. It included overhauling the 2,600 hp Caterpillar engines and generators, repairs to the structure, substantial upgrades to the guest areas and crew quarters, and new paint throughout. With the work completed just last year, the vessel is said to be in mint condition. Offered jointly by brokers Fraser and Edmiston, Olympus has an asking price of $28.5 million. With accommodations for 16 guests in eight cabins, the boat’s highlights include two primary suites, tropical-spec air conditioning, and Palm Beach-chic decor.

Benetti ‘Triumph’

top 10 sailboats

Italian yachting powerhouse Benetti is showing off its superyacht-building skills with the 213-foot Triumph . Delivered in 2021, this Giorgio M. Cassetta-designed steel-and-aluminum world girder features six decks, a 1,400-square-foot primary suite with outdoor terrace and adjoining lounge, a 750-square-foot beach club, and a touch-and-go helipad. What sets Triumph apart, however, is its lavish interior furnishings put together by the owner along with Benetti Interior Style and Monaco-based Green & Mingarelli Design. It includes pieces by French glassmaker Lalique, marble from Marfil, Statuario and Armani, furs, silk and wool carpets, plus a collection of cool black-and-white wildlife photographs by British fine art photographer David Yarrow. The pièce de résistance? That would be the owner’s Triumph Bonneville motorcycle displayed in the salon.

Fjord 39 XP/XL

top 10 sailboats

Germany’s Fjord Yachts, part of the Hanse Group, has a new 39-foot day boat that it’s unveiling at the Palm Beach show. The 39 XP and XL keep all the bold design cues of the bigger Fjord 41 XP and XL, like a big, open cockpit, walkaround center console, vertical bow, mile-high windshield and stretched hardtop. As for the differences between the XP and XL, it’s all about power. The XL comes with a choice of twin 320hp Volvo D4 diesels, or bigger 440 hp D6 versions, both with Volvo stern drives. Likely more appealing to U.S. buyers will be the XP powered by twin 400 hp Mercury Verado V10 outboards giving a 50-knot top speed. Pricing starts at around $500,000.

Turquoise ‘Talisman C’

top 10 sailboats

Chandeliers don’t come more dramatic than this. Cascading down the central spiral staircase of the Turkish-built, 231-foot superyacht Talisman C , this jaw-dropping piece of art comprises an array of multi-colored glass balls threaded on stainless-steel rods and illuminated by hanging fiber-optic strands. It’s the creation of Prague-based Crystal Caviar and is one of a number of glass installations on this sleek, low-profile superyacht. Built in 2011 by the Proteksan Turquoise shipyard, Talisman C was designed inside and out by London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, with naval architecture by Italy’s Hydro Tec. With cabins for 12 guests, one of its highlights is a huge primary suite, which boasts more crystal chandeliers and a private library. Twin 2,447 hp Caterpillar diesels give a top speed of 18 knots and a transatlantic range of 7,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. It’s listed with Burgess for $59.9 million. 

Sanlorenzo 44 ‘Kamakasa’

top 10 sailboats

Delivered in 2020 and sold to a new buyer just last August, the 146-foot Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy Kamakasa will be for sale at PBIBS. The asking price, through the Italian Yacht Group, is $23.75 million. Lack of use might also be the issue here; the yacht’s twin 2,600 hp MTU V16 diesels have a mere 289 hours on the clock. Built in aluminum to a design by Rome-based Zuccon International Project, Kamakasa was the second hull in the Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy series. One of the top features is a primary suite that spans three levels and almost 1,600 square feet; it also comes with a private Jacuzzi, separate bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a private study. The yacht’s lightweight construction and MTU power combine to deliver an impressive 20-knot top speed.

Bahama 41 GT2

top 10 sailboats

As ultimate, reel-’em-in, fishing center consoles go, the Bahama 41 from West Palm Beach-based Bahama Boat Works is as hard-core as they come. But when owners kept asking for a little more comfort for the family, the builder responded. The result is the brand-new flagship 41 GT debuting at PBIBS. While the proven, wave-slicing hull stays the same, the cockpit layout is new. In place of the single bench seat, there are now three-across bucket seats with a second row behind. The wider console now has space for a pair of 22-inch Garmin screens, while the new extended hardtop features sun shades and even a rain shower. Outboard choices stay the same with either twin Mercury V12 600s, or four 400 hp Mercury V10s, good for a 65-knot-plus top speed. Pricing is from around $920,000.

Heesen ‘Book Ends’

top 10 sailboats

Launched in 2022, this 164-foot Heesen is part of the Book Ends collection, owned by an American couple who have had more than 18 yachts with the same name. The exterior design of this Heesen was by Omega Architects, while Dutch studio Van Oossanen did the naval architecture. The yacht is part of Heesen’s fast cruising series, which is more efficient than other vessels its size, and can reach 23 knots at full speed with its MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines. The yacht is listed through Ocean Independence for 42 million Euro, or about $45.7 million.

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Texas boasts eight of the nation’s top 10 counties for population growth

The dallas-fort worth metro area’s growth works out to about 418 new people moving to the region every day for an entire year..

How many new people are calling Texas home? Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau...

By José Luis Adriano and Nick Wooten

6:00 AM on Mar 18, 2024 CDT

How many new people are calling Texas home?

Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau puts it in context.

Texas counties claimed eight of the top 10 spots for population growth last year. Harris County, which includes Houston, gained 53,000 people to lead the way nationally.

Three counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area also made the list.

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Collin County added over 36,300 people. Denton and Tarrant counties attracted over 27,000 new residents each.

D-FW led the nation’s metro areas in population gains, adding 152,598 people in the 12 months from July 2022 to July 2023. That works out to about 418 people moving to the region every day for an entire year.

Related: D-FW leads all metro areas in population growth, adding 152,000 new residents

Urban counties aren’t the only ones attracting new residents to Texas. On a percentage increase basis, two counties east of Dallas — Kaufman and Rockwall — were the pacesetters. Ellis County, which includes Waxahachie, Red Oak and Midlothian, also scored a spot in the top 10.

Texas counties locked down six of the 10 top spots.

José Adriano

José Luis Adriano , Data Reporter . José Luis is a reporter on the data team. He graduated with a MA in Data Journalism at the University of Missouri as a Fulbright grantee. José was born in Mexico City, where he worked as a technology reporter in different outlets.

Nick Wooten

Nick Wooten . Nick is a real estate reporter for the Dallas Morning News. He previously worked as a digital investigative reporter at 11Alive, Atlanta's NBC affiliate. He's produced award-winning state politics coverage and feature reporting at Georgia newspapers. Nick is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

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top 10 sailboats

The $10 million dredge of Wildwood’s back bays is half finished. Will boaters find clear sailing by Memorial Day?

S cott Reeves guided a boat out of Bunkers Marina in Wildwood on an unseasonably warm day last week on his way to board a dredge vessel anchored in Post Creek, part of the Shore’s back bay network.

Once aboard, Reeves, a mobile dredge operator, demonstrated how he uses a phone app to guide a large, jagged-toothed ball like a video-game monster gobbling up sediment along the bottom. The rotating bit is attached to the front of the dredge and scoops muck from the bottom in 25-foot arcs, as sand and water gets sucked through a 14-inch pipe. The app shows depth in precise, color-codes.

The sediment gets filtered for glass, shells, and discarded fishing gear, such as hooks and nets.

“We find a lot of trash,” Reeves said.

Among the oddities dredged up so far: a sunken boat in Ottens Harbor and the tire off the rear axle of a 1920s-era Ford.

Since November, crews from West Chester-based Mobile Dredging & Video Pipe Inc., have been working on a $9.7 million dredge of what’s known as the Wildwood Channel Complex, a series of waterways that run through Wildwood, North Wildwood, West Wildwood, and Middle Township, all in Cape May County. Crews have worked over nights in frigid cold and whipping winds for the project managed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

In all, crews will have dredged about 4.5 miles, and scooped 125,000 cubic yards of sediment, when the project is complete in coming weeks.

How Superstorm Sandy is still a factor

Joselyn Wall, a maritime engineer for the department of transportation, explains that the channels are basically maritime roads owned by the state and need to be kept safe for traffic. The goal is to dredge the channels to between 5.5 feet and 12.5 feet at lower tides, making them more navigable for recreational boaters, commercial vessels, and fishing and shellfish operations. A commercial boat can draw a 10-foot draft, she noted.

Docks and waterfront restaurants also depend on boating traffic.

Though there were not widespread reports of boaters getting stuck, Wall said the depth was simply getting too low in some areas. The area was last dredged in the 1970s.

“There were some of channels that only had about two or three feet of water in certain places,” Wall said. “It’s kind of like snowplowing roads. It’s our job to clean up all the shoals and try to make it as consistent as possible for boaters. Say you want to take your family out on the water and you leave at high tide. A couple hours later, you’re going to come back at low tide and you might have a problem.”

A significant amount of the sediment, she said, is sand shoved in by Superstorm Sandy more than 11 years ago and swished around by tides and storm surges ever since. The project is run by the DOT’s Office of Maritime Resources. The DOT anticipates Sandy-related grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Seven waterways are being dredged: Post Creek, Beach Creek 1, Beach Creek 2, Ottens Canal Channel, Ottens Canal Lagoon Channel, Ottens Harbor Channel, and West Wildwood Channel.

As the dredge continues, Wall cautions that boaters navigating the channels should remain alert for pipelines, buoys, dredges, and other equipment.

How the dredge works

The slurry of sand and water sucked up by dredging vessels is pumped into giant, mobile, multistory tanks for “dewatering.” The dried material gets filtered. The resulting fine sand gets pumped into acres of Geotubes, which are large polymer bladders that can store tons of the dredge material. Remaining water is drained from the bags through tiny holes like a colander, producing what’s essentially damp beach sand.

Once filled, the Geotubes are sliced open, and the sand is scooped out by heavy equipment. Trucks cart the material to “beneficial use sites.”

One prime location is the Wildwood Back Bay Landfill on the waterfront and rimmed by freshwater wetlands off Post Creek. It’s a known raptor foraging area. Municipal waste was dumped at the landfill from the 1930s to 1970s, rising to 15 feet. About 10,000 cubic yards of dredge spoil will be spread on top of the landfill as a cap, or used for grading the location, at no cost to the city, raising the height to 17 feet.

Wildwood’s plans call for the property to be landscaped and a walkway installed, with a “living shoreline” of natural material used to stabilize the site.

Some of the approximately remaining 25,000 cubic feet of material might be used at the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area in Maurice River, Cumberland County.

Shooting for Memorial Day

Genevieve Clifton, executive manager of the Office of Maritime Resources, said all dredge material are tested for an “enormous list” of metals and chemicals before being spread on land.

“All material has some level of contaminant, some just naturally occurring” Clifton said. “All of our material is tested. The majority of the Atlantic Coast material, 90% or more, is what we would consider clean material and it can go almost anywhere. We can use it in all sorts of applications.”

Clifton said the dredge was carried out over winter because of the low vessel traffic, and to avoid major impact to aquatic life, such as on breeding seasons for fish and crabs. The goal is to have the dredge, which is about halfway finished, complete by Memorial Day, she said. But it’s likely to be done by mid April.

©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Dredged material from Post Creek is pumped into Geotubes on the banks of Post Creek, Wildwood, waiting for removal.


10 Best Sailing YouTube Channels

10 Best Sailing YouTube Channels | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

If you've been planning to join the Big Blue for a sailing escapade, then you've probably watched and drawn inspiration from numerous sailing YouTube channels that are available on the web. But which are the best sailing YouTube channels? Well, let's find out.

There are a lot of pessimistic individuals out there who are probably trying to dismiss sailing YouTubers and the massive audiences as another ascendancy of what might be referred to as the "couch-potato" society. Whatever your opinion on this matter, we strongly believe that sailing YouTube channels is an excellent and modern way of exposing our beloved sport not just to sailors but to other people as well. And unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard or even watched several sailing YouTube channels. But which ones are the best of the bunch?

You probably do not have much time to go about research for the best sailing YouTube channels. For this reason, we've made it our duty to ravage through, do thorough research, and present you with the 10 best sailing YouTube channels. This means that you can now easily watch the glorious sailing lives that these YouTube sailors share with millions of viewers.

So if you want some inspiration or a way of learning a thing or two about sailing, you've come to the right place. These sailing YouTube channels are beautiful, fun, and will teach you a thing or two about sailing.

Table of contents

Sailing La Vagabonde

This is a sailing YouTube channel that's run by Australian video bloggers Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu. Founded in 2014 when the couple met in Greece, this sailing YouTube channel documents the couple's life aboard their sailing catamaran known as La Vagabonde.

This Australian couple has so far sailed over 90,000 nm across many oceans and is inspiring millions of viewers to explore living on the ocean as an alternative option. This lovely couple sustains its sailing lifestyle publishing weekly YouTube videos. Having received noteworthy media attention for sailing with Greta Thunberg from Virginia to Lisbon to raise awareness on Climate Change issues, the couple has attained patrons who are always willing to fund their travel and sailing expenses.

Onboard the La Vagabonde, they have established roles. Whitelum is tasked with taking care of boat maintenance and sailing logistics such as checking the weather and planning ahead of sailings while Carausu is tasked with cooking, cleaning, and editing the videos.

Subscribers: 1.47 million

  • ‍ Spearfishing a Deserted Island! (Sailing La Vagabonde) - Ep. 12
  • BOAT LIFE: Our Morning Routine Onboard
  • Our Tiny Home on the Ocean
  • Sailing Around the World (Sailing La Vagabonde) - Ep. 1 Intro & Sailing Turkey
  • TIGER SHARKS surround our boat. WE SWIM WITH THEM! 🦈 Ep.197

Sailing SV Delos

When Brian Trautman bought a sailboat 2008, he had never envisioned that he would be so immersed in it that it would become his home; a part and parcel of his lifestyle. More than a decade later, this sailboat has covered more than 70,000nm, visited over 46 countries, and helped in creating more than 200 YouTube videos.

As one of the original and the best sailing YouTube channels, Sailing SV Delos has become a sensation among sailors as it documents the travels and adventures of a lovely crew aboard the sailing vessel, SV Delos. The crew often includes the boat owner Brian, his brother Brady, Brian's wife Karin Syren, and crew member Alex Blue. The team also invites crew members to help with sailing, boat maintenance, cleaning, and, of course, filming.

Sailing SV Delos has always kept it real and chronicled several ocean passages including some of the most challenging and intense weather conditions such as a severe lightning storm that the crew had to deal with on their way to Madagascar.

With his experience as a former electrical engineer, Brian Trautman has been able to make several improvements to the boat to ensure that they remain environment-friendly whenever they sail. The crew has also contributed to several philanthropic activities such as giving $50,000 to charities and contributing to restoration efforts in Dominica after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

Subscribers: 581K  

  • ‍ Buzzed by the U.S. Coastguard Chopper
  • How long can we survive out here?
  • When STUFF BREAKS 😭 Middle of Nowhere
  • Birth of the Two Titty Yacht Club!

Gone with the Wynns

If you want a sailing YouTube channel that offers an unscripted tale of an eccentric couple who left their everyday life to become perpetual travelers and experience whirlwind adventures, you've come to the right place. Known as Gone with the Wynns, this sailing YouTube channel chronicles the adventures of prominent travel vloggers Jason and Nikki Wynn.

The couple started by chronicling their travel adventures by buying an RV and undertook an epic road trip in search of endless exploration across the country. They went around North America and even trekked around Alaska and admit that they'd have stayed there forever had it not for the fact that they suffer from what they term as incurable sedentary life phobia.

The couple then decided to sail around the world and have been on a sailing voyage of more than 10,000nm. The couple has always been inspired by their unparalleled desire to explore, grow, learn, and share their travel experiences. To them, sailing is far more surreal as it's almost akin to exploring the world as it was done in the 1400s.

Subscribers: 333K

  • ‍ Boat Tour - Custom Built Off-Grid Expedition Yacht
  • First Impressions of Big Boat Life
  • Daily Life aboard an Expedition Boat
  • BIG BOAT LIFE & Diving Into The Surf

Free Range Sailing

A lovely couple named Troy and Pascale, shares with the world their off-the-cuff voyage in remote Australia in their 30ft yacht named Mirrol. With their minimalist lifestyle, the couple has endeared itself to millions of viewers across the world who are always eager to see how they do more with less.

This couple has documented their simple life in some of the remotest locations in the world with the main aim of showing the rest of the world that self-sufficiency is the way of life. They show their viewers how to cruise around some of the remotest locations in Australia as they indulge in other activities such as fishing and adventure.

Subscribers: 92.5K

  • We're Sailing to the Kimberley!
  • LIFE ON A SMALL SAILBOAT Working, Cooking, Sailing & Exploring in our Tiny Home
  • Finding Fish 🐠 🎣🐟: It's Easy When You Know How
  • The Nude Latitude

RAN Sailing

If you've been looking for a sailing YouTube channel that has no fakery and no fuss, RAN Sailing is meant for you. This channel revolves around the incredible life of Johan Hammarlund and Malin Lof, an adventurous Swedish couple who were looking for a different and unique lifestyle.

Four years ago, the couple decided to sell everything they owned and set sail on its 1987 custom-built Beason aluminum sailboat. They've sailed to various destinations including their homeland of Sweden, Alaska, and Seattle. In 2019, the couple welcomed a daughter, bought a bigger boat, and continues sailing the world as a family.

They've also sailed the Pacific and have attracted even more fans across the world as they showcase an incredible Swedish lifestyle with no fuss. And despite the Coronavirus pandemic, they've assured their fans that they'll ensure that they never leave the couch as they set sail despite the current situation.

Subscribers: 103K

  • The Beginning Of An Adventure
  • Provisioning for an Ocean Crossing
  • Drama Aboard a Swan 60
  • A Crazy Or Perfect Boat? 6 Cabins In A 52 Ft Boat!
  • Getting Boarded At Sea

Tula's Endless Summer

You've probably wondered whether it would be possible to bring your lovely pet to your sailing escapades. Well, a young couple known as Billy Swezey and Sierra Groth have been showing that it's possible and very inspiring thanks to their Tula's Endless Summer sailing YouTube channel.

Their sailing adventure started in 2013 when Billy bought a dilapidated boat in an abandoned boatyard in New York and set about restoring the boat. Billy, who describes himself as a water bug, then met the lovely Sierra in Florida. Since then the couple together with their dog, Jetty, have been inseparable as a Dream Team and have shown the world that taking up sailing as a lifestyle is very possible.

This lovely family has sailed in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and other destinations on their Tula, as well as other boats. Bill describes himself as a jack of all trades who has been surfing, kiting, diving, paddling, and doing everything in the ocean. On the other hand, Sierra is a lovely girl who wishes she had the power of breathing underwater. And what about, Jetty the Gypsy? Well, this dog has seen and done a lot more than most people will ever do in their life.

In essence, Tula's Endless Summer is a superb sailing YouTube channel that vividly chronicles the life of a young and lovely couple going about their sailing escapades.

Subscribers: 132K

  • CROSSING THE Gulf Stream To West End (Grand Bahama)
  • How Much Does It Cost To Live On A Boat?
  • First Time on an Electric Foil (We Brought Our Dog!)

Sailing Uma

Neither Dan Deckert nor Kika Mevs grow up sailing and never dreamt of buying a sailboat just to cruise around the world. But soon after graduating, this gorgeous couple founded a successful architectural design-consulting firm as a way of earning a living. Fortunately, Dan and Kika soon realized that the rat race wasn't their cup of tea. They both had dreams of traveling the world and seeing for themselves of the earth was a beautiful place. Again, they had been inspired when a friend advised them not to buy a couch!

Having realized that the conventional life wasn't meant for them, the couple bought a sailboat named UMA even though they didn't know anything about sailboats or sailing. They had to Google their way out and restored their lovely boat to their liking. They came up with a 5-year plan to learn step by step before sailing around the world. The plan was to start with a small boat and learn how to sail on a lake before getting a vessel that they could use for their offshore adventures.

Despite the steep learning curve, this lovely couple had solutions to many problems during their sailing escapades and now is showcasing their sailing escapes in one of the best sailing YouTube channels around. So far, they've visited 22 countries, covered 18,358 nautical miles, and have incredibly used zero gallons of diesel.

Subscribers: 254K

  • Naked Night Dive + Exploring the Baths
  • BOAT TOUR: The Modern Interior of our 50 yr old DREAM YACHT
  • 5 Years Living offgrid on an ALL ELECTRIC Sailboat
  • Biggest Waves We've Ever Seen — DAY 10 / North Atlantic Crossing
  • HURRICANE SURVIVAL TACTICS (I Stayed on the boat)

Sailing Doodles

With one of the most-watched sailing YouTube channels on the internet, Bobby White and his partner Laura began their sailing escapades after Bobby suffered a medical scare in his late 30s. He was good-looking, had a flourishing career as a corporate pilot, flying the rich and famous around the world. He had suffered a stroke and his career was gone just like that!

After healing, Bobby sold everything he owned and bought a C&C 37-foot sailboat. Along with his two lovely dogs, he set sail from his native Texas to the Caribbean. He made the wise move to document his new life and that is how Sailing Doodles came to be. With his partner Laura, Bobby admits that chronicling their sailing journey on YouTube isn't as easy as many people think but it's certainly worth it to share and inspire others in a very cool way.

Subscribers: 289K  

  • ‍ No Bikini Needed
  • Sailing Miami Style
  • Beautiful Skipper - Sailing from Phuket
  • Who Needs Clothes on a Private Island?
  • Group Shower on the Isle of Capri

Whitespot Pirates

Who said that sailing was only a man's stuff? Well, if you've been thinking so, you might want to have a second thought. Nike Steiger has been inspiring girls all over the world to take up sailing. Through her Whitespot Pirates YouTube channel, she's been documenting her solo-sailing escapades after she bought an abandoned boat in Panama.

For the last 6 years, she's been sharing unscripted videos of her voyages in her 30-foot aluminum boat named Karl. In addition to keeping it real with her adoring viewers, she's comprehensively detailed the wonderful highs and cyclonic lows of her sailing life. To top it all, this is an award-winning YouTube channel that documents Nike's astonishing voyages.

Subscribers: 79.6K  

  • UNTIE THE LINES - A Weekly Solo Sailing Documentary
  • Crash! Boom! Bang! - UNTIE THE LINES IV
  • The Sailboat I bought is a COMPLETE DISASTER!
  • Arriving In PARADISE With My Sailboat. A DREAM come true!
  • Solo Sailing Cuba: I Am Not Allowed To Go Ashore

It takes a lot of guts to sell all your possessions and begin sailing around the world. While many couples cannot even contemplate taking such an action, it's exactly what Matt and Jessica Johnson did as soon as they realized that their life had become boring as a result of spending a lot of time in front of the TV.

But instead of taking up yoga or exercising, they decided to make a radical change by selling everything they had in their possession and began sailing around the world. Today, MJ Sailing is one of the most popular sailing YouTube Channels. This is a couple who left everything including their careers and took up a great hobby without ever regretting it.

Subscribers: 125K

  • Our Engine Has Been Still for 10+ Years ... Will It Start?
  • A Tour Of The Boat Graveyard
  • Our Bank Account After 5 Years of Cruising & a Refit
  • Our Thoughts on Going Bare
  • Exploring the NUDE BEACH of St. Barth's!

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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