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4 best bluewater cruisers of 2022

  • Toby Hodges
  • March 28, 2022

Thinking of heading off on a world-girdling cruise or just want to cross oceans in style? Here's the best bluewater cruisers of 2022 that will help you se off on a new life at sea

best bluewater cruising sailboats

The results are in from the European Yacht of the Year Awards as the judges have announced their top four bluewater cruisers of 2022.

The European Yacht of the Year awards are well regarded as the definitive yacht awards in the world a variety of categories are judged by the panel from best luxury cruisers , to best family cruisers to performance yachts .

But for those looking to liveaboard their yacht, making plans to do some ocean crossings, or looking to undertake some long distance passage making, the best bluewater cruisers will likely be the category that draws the eye.

There were a brilliantly diverse and interesting collection of new designs for this category – a celebration of French ingenuity. For those planning long term cruising, would you choose a robust aluminium build for higher latitudes sailing, shoal draught to tuck into the shallows (a mix of both?), sustainable living or reliable comfort, or the ability to log sustained high speeds to outrun weather systems? This selection gives you all those choices and more.

Best bluewater cruisers 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

best bluewater cruising 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 cruiser 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 cruising sailboats

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best bluewater cruising sailboats

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20 Bluewater Cruising Sailboats Under $100,000

January 5, 2021 by Travis Turgeon 2 Comments

thom milkovic p 0tDp9zAeI unsplash 1 - 20 Bluewater Cruising Sailboats Under $100,000

Choosing the right bluewater yacht for your needs requires a ton of research. With so many designs and features available, it can be overwhelming trying to narrow down your options. The process gets even more complicated when you begin to consider the personal opinions of other sailors. 

So how do you know where to start? Every person’s definition of comfortability will vary when it comes to onboard living. What suits a family of four won’t necessarily suit a couple or a single-handed sailor. Your budget, style, and needs are all unique to you and your situation, so it’s essential to know just what to look for when buying a new or used vessel . 

To start you off in the right direction, we put together a list of our top choices for bluewater cruising yachts under $100,000.

Allied Princess 36

Green Allied Princess 36 sailboat at a marina

Built as a long-keel ketch or cutter, the Allied Princess 36 was in production from 1972 to 1982. Around 140 vessels were manufactured in total, so you can occasionally find them on the used market. 

While these cruisers’ design and construction are considered sufficient, the excessive use of fiberglass makes the design a bit bland. Although they may not have the most appealing design, these bluewater yachts certainly tick a lot of boxes.

With the full-keel measuring just four-foot six inches, it’s a design that holds steady on its course without pointing as high as a fin-keel design. 

Overall, the Allied Princess 36 is a wonderful option for bluewater sailing.

Prices range between $30,000 and $60,000.

Cabo Rico 38

Cabo Rico sailboat with green sails

The Cabo Rico 38 is at the top of its class, constructed with a long-keel cutter rig design that gives it outstanding bluewater capabilities for its price point. The vessel was produced in two models – Pilothouse, and Trunk Cabin – although the Pilothouse design is less common.

Cabo Rico i s consistently successful with it s 38 models, and t hey remain one of the most prominent cruising boats on the water.

Internally, this boat has various features required for a bluewater cruiser: Large water and fuel tanks, a solid design with balsa wood cores for thermal and noise insulation, and an overall seaworthy design.

While this boat wasn’t m eant to win races, it is a fantastic choice for a crui sing vessel.

Prices range between $30,000 and $80,000.

Celestial 48

Bluewater Celestial 48 sailboat

The Celestial 48 is the largest boat on our list and is commonly sought after by the cruising fraternity. The problem is, these vessels are scarce on the used market. 

The Celestial 48 is a ketch rig with a shoal-draft, fin-keel design, and a center-cockpit configuration that is comfortable and ideal for bluewater sailing. One of our favorite features is the six-foot, two-inch headroom in the cabin, along with high-capacity water and fuel tanks.

The Celestial 48 was built in China by the Xiamen boatyard, although it’s no longer in production.

If you can find one, the Celestial 48 will make an excellent bluewater cruiser.

Prices start near our $100,000 mark.

Bluewater Corbin 39 sailboat

The Corbin 39 is manufactured in two designs, aft or center cockpit. Designed and built in Canada by Robert Dufour and Marius Corbin, the 39 is now (sadly) out of production. This cruiser remains a favorite of many and is still commonly searched for on the used market.

One thing to note is that most of the boats were sold as unfinished kits, leaving owners to complete the interiors themselves. For this reason, the standard of interior design finish will vary, so it’s worth checking and comparing with other vessels carefully.

When found, the Corbin 39’s present a very reasonable price tag, but a full survey is essential.

Prices range between $40,000 and $60,000.

Docked Freedom 36 sailboat at sunset

The Freedom 36 is one of the smaller yachts on our list, but it has an exciting design that attracts cruisers. The wide beam and long waterline design allow for a much larger interior than most other boats of similar length. As a cruiser, space is a top priority, so this cruiser should be on your list of considerations.

A unique feature of this Freedom yacht is the stayless carbon fiber mast. It looks a little odd for most, with no forestay or backstay and a mast that flexes alarmingly in the wind. It’s a proven design, though, and gives clean lines just like an aircraft wing.

The Freedom 36 is certainly an exciting cruiser to keep an eye on.

Prices range between $40,000 and $80,000.

Gulfstar 44

Gulfstar 44 sailboat at sea

Known as a capable cruiser or live-aboard boat, the Gulfstar 44 is a spacious yacht that can take you around the world.

Designed with a fin-keel and skeg-rudder, the Gulfstar is comfortable and well built.

Internally, you’ll find a large galley, king-size aft cabin, and spacious fore cabin, with ample room in the saloon. Earlier Gulfstar vessels suffered from inconsistent build quality, but from around 1976 onwards, the company made huge improvements.

For a spacious bluewater sailboat with excellent heavy-weather handling characteristics, the Gulfstar 44 is a great choice.

Prices start around $60,000.

Hans Christian 38

1989 Hans Christian 38 T sailboat

If you’re considering cruising the world in a bluewater yacht, then the Hans Christian 38-T should be added to your shortlist of candidates. 

With a full-length keel design and laden with solid teak, this boat weighs in at 12.5 tons, making it a heavy displacement vessel that you can rely on to take you through some of the harshest conditions.

Manufactured in Taiwan, these cruisers can be a chore to acquire. One of the most common downfalls of the Hans 38-T is electrical problems, so be sure to get the wiring checked out by a professional. 

Outside of electrical issues, this boat is a proven winner in the cruising world. 

Prices start around $70,000 but expect to pay well over $100,000 for the more admirable models.

Hinckley Bermuda 40

Group of people on a Hinckley Bermuda 40 with blue sails

The Hinckley Bermuda 40 was in production for over 30 years, from 1959 until 1991, but only 203 boats were manufactured in total. Many Bermuda 40s were used as racing vessels throughout their production, winning the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy in 1964. 

The design also gained many admirers in the cruising world thanks to the long keel and centerboard, which allows the boat to maneuver through shallow waters. The Hinckley Bermuda 40 is hard to beat for versatility, combining classic looks with the shallow draught and generous interior space.

Early models from the 60s and 70s start around $80,000, but later models land well above our $100,000 threshold.

Island Packet 35

Island Packet 35 sailboat anchored at harbor

Although only in production for six years, 178 Island Packet 35s made their way onto the market. These vessels have become justifiably popular with coastal cruisers and bluewater sailors alike.

These cruisers are available in two designs; long-keel or long-keel with centerboard – both of which come with cutter rigging. 

The design is conservative and built for comfort rather than speed. Inside space is very generous, with a 12-foot beam, a v-berth cabin in the forepeak, and a double cabin on the aft port side.

Island Packet 35’s appear on the used market regularly, so locating one shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

Prices start at around $65,000.

Niagara 35 yacht at a dock

The Niagara 35 is a popular cruiser available in two exciting models, each one coming with a fantastic interior design. 

The original model features a center galley and marine toilet that separates the fore and aft areas. The saloon is completely closed off, making it useful during extended passage journeys.

The later model has a double-berth forward, separated from the saloon by the head and shower. Both models include a spacious cockpit design. Through its 12 years of production, 260 Niagara 35’s went on the market – so you can regularly find them for sale.

Early models start around $30,000, with later models coming in closer to $70,000.

White Nordic 40 sailboat with blue sails in a marina

Only 32 of the Robert Perry-designed Nordic 40s went through production, making them exclusive and difficult to find. If you do manage to get your hands on one, however, you won’t be disappointed.

The fin-keel and skeg-mounted rudder design allow for up to six people to stay comfortably, including extra storage space for luggage and provisions. 

The Perry design is recognized for the quality of its fittings, including rod-rigging and full hull insulation on early models. After 1987, they cut back on a few design features, but it’s still a quality boat. 

If you can manage to find a Nordic 40, it will make an excellent investment.

While it may be rare to find one below our $100,000 mark, it is possible.

Passport 40

Passport 40 sailboat anchored near shore

Built in Taiwan, the Passport 40 is another excellent design by Robert Perry. Sporting a fin-keel and a skeg-mounted rudder, the design is known for its well-balanced performance. 

Originally supplied with a sloop-rig, the majority have an inner stay, fitted to allow a double headsail. This cutter-style rig makes the Passport 40 even more suitable for ocean crossings.

The interiors are well designed – as you’d expect from a Robert Perry – and make for comfortable living during long passages.

Peterson 44

Peterson 44 sailboat with a mountain backdrop

The Peterson 44 was designed and built as a performance cruiser, combining sufficient speed and sea-kindly handling. 

A low center-cockpit, 10,000 pounds of lead ballast, and a long fin keel allow this vessel to take turbulent conditions in stride without sacrificing the crew’s comfort. 

Internally, there is plenty of space in the well-designed cabin. For long passages, there’s a 132-gallon water tank and a 117-gallon fuel tank.

Finding a Peterson 44 may be your only problem. They manufactured about 200 boats, but owners rarely like to part with them – adding to their intrigue and value.

Prices for these yachts vary widely. Expect to pick up an older model between $50,000 and $75,000.

Prout Snowgoose 37

Prout Snowgoose 37 catamaran on a mooring line

As the only catamaran on our list, the Prout Snowgoose 37 is a proven boat for circumnavigation on the bluewater trail. 

A standout feature of the early Snowgoose models is its narrow beam, which allows them to navigate canals easily. These boats are popular in Europe and are common on the journey between Spain and France on the Mediterranian. Additionally, the Prout Snowgoose 37 can fit into a single-hull marina, reducing berthing costs when compared to most other catamarans. 

If you have never considered a catamaran in the past, the Prout Snowgoose 37 may change your mind.

Prices start near $45,000, with later models reaching over $100,000.

Two people on the back of a Shannon 38 sailboat

The Shannon 38 comes in two styles, with either an aft cockpit or pilothouse. Shannon Yachts are known for their build quality and attention to detail, and the 38 is no exception. The boat is available as either a ketch or cutter rig, but it’s renowned for its performance at sea in both forms.

Only 100 were built, with the final boat launched in 1988. If you can find one on the used market, it will make a competent bluewater cruiser.

Prices start at $40,000 for older models, with newer models inching closer to our $100,000 mark.

Tartan 4100 Spark sailboat on a cloudy day

Only 80 of the Tartan 41s were manufactured, although they produced a similar Tartan 43 with the same molds. It is a fin keel design, with a skeg-mounted rudder and sloop-rigging. In its day, it was considered a fast cruiser, but now they’re mostly made for comfort.

If you’re looking at a Tartan 41, check out the keel dimensions. The keel was undersized on earlier models, which caused heavy-weather steering issues. The boatyard redesigned the later models, and some retrofitting has been done on the originals.

Prices start around $45,000 and reach upwards of $70,000.

Tayana 37 bluewater sailboat with an American flag

No list of bluewater sailboats would be complete without the Tayana 37. It’s a beautiful boat designed by Robert Perry that comes in three variants; cutter, ketch, and pilothouse. 

Built to compete against the popular Westsail 32, the 37 became a good seller – with almost 600 launched to date. Today, they are manufactured in limited numbers, as the traditional teak-heavy design is now less popular.

If you can find a good Tayana 37, cruising the oceans will be a pleasure in this sturdy and robust vessel.

Early models cost around $45,000, with newer or retrofitted models topping $75,000.

Valiant 40 cruiser with white sails designed by Robert Perry

Another boat designed by Robert Perry, the Valiant 40 is one of the most sought-after bluewater cruisers on the used market. By the end of production, two manufacturers were able to put out around 200 boats, so it’s certainly possible to get your hands on one.

With a fin keel, reasonably heavy displacement, and solid build, open ocean cruising is made comfortable in the Valiant 40.

The Valiant’s trademark is the canoe stern, something Perry has carried over into many of his designs. The boat’s performance sets it apart from the more traditional heavy-cruisers, and it still has many admirers.

Expect to pay upwards of $45,000 for an early Valiant, but well-maintained vessels will command much higher prices.

Wauquiez Pretorien 35

Wauquiez Pretorien 35 small sailboat

When the weather gets rough, most people prefer bigger, heavier cruisers. Small boats generally don’t perform as well in harsh conditions, but the Pretorien 35 is an exception.

Built to IOR specifications, it’s a short, wide-beam design, with a ballast in the keel that makes up half of the displacement. It may be disappointing in light winds, but as the breeze picks up, the Pretorien comes alive.

Wauquiez built boats are known for their quality finish, so you shouldn’t hold any doubts when buying a used Pretorien.

Prices start around $39,000.

Westsail 32

White Westsail 32 cruiser in a marina

At just 32 feet, the Westsail might be a surprising inclusion on our list. However, the design has proven itself many times over and remains popular with many cruisers.

With a long keel, transom-mounted rudder, and heavy displacement, these are seaworthy yachts.

The flipside to this is that the performance can be underwhelming. The Westsails are known for being slow, safe boats that will get you wherever you need to go – making them perfect for leisurely cruising. 

Over 800 vessels entered the market between 1971 and 1981, so there should be plenty available if you look hard enough. The other point to remember is that they sold them as owner-completion kits, so the internal fitments, in particular, will vary in quality.

With so many available, the prices remain reasonable – with an early Westsail 32 fetching around $29,000 and well-maintained older models coming in closer to $50,000.

Remember: When buying a bluewater cruising yacht for less than $100,000, compromise is inevitable. 

If you’re looking for a seaworthy, heavy-displacement design, you’ll have to compromise on the boat’s age. Choosing a modern, light design will allow you more for your money.

The best advice for buying a boat is to be truly honest with yourself by defining your needs and separating them from your desires. 

Want to join the community at #BoatLife? Get a conversation started on our new forum by leaving a question or comment!

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November 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm

You guys didn’t mention Cape dory or pacific seacraft. How long have you been sailing?

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February 18, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Very nicely done. There will always be people who disagree with your list but they reserve the right to comment without creating any value which is what you provided. Thanks for putting this together.

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Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats: Top Picks & Reviews

A bluewater sailboat is designed from the keel up to cross oceans. Of the many thousands of sailboats manufactured every year worldwide, only a few meet this definition.

Before diving into the best examples, let’s take a moment to think about what really counts as a bluewater sailboat and what criteria you might use to evaluate different designs.

Table of Contents

What does bluewater sailboat mean, hull shape and design, strong construction, carries sufficient power, water, fuel, and food, comfort ratio and ride quality, flexible sailplan for all types of weather, handholds and safe decks, pacific seacraft/crealock 37/40/44, baba/tashiba/panda 40, valiant 40/42/47/50, norseman 447, passport 40, hallberg-rassy 42/44, amel super maramu, cabo rico 38/42, final thoughts.

When searching for boats online, the term “bluewater” gets batted around quite a bit. “Bluewater” refers to that mythical color that the ocean takes on when you are far offshore. The sunlight illuminates only the first hundred feet or so, and the endless abyss beneath gives that color an other-worldly quality.

The implication is that a “bluewater sailboat” is capable of seeing those blue waters. It’s capable of venturing offshore, and it’s capable of the self-sufficiency required to survive out there.

But there are still many questions to be answered. For every sort of bluewater expedition that you could dream up, you can find a type of sailboat that was built to do it.

A better and more descriptive term for the type of boat is a passage-making sailboat. This is a sailboat built to cross oceans. Most people want to do this in a sailboat between 40 and 65 feet long, all in all. Larger yachts are, more or less by definition, bluewater boats.

The distinction lies in the company that these mid-sized ocean-going vessels keep. There have been many thousands of sailboats ranging from 40 to 65 feet sold all over the world. But a vast majority of these designs were not built with ocean voyaging as their primary purpose.

Instead, many can be described as coastal cruisers—built for protected waters or maybe even carefully planned hops across sections of big water. Others were designed as charter boats that can provide luxurious accommodations for a week-long island vacation.

By and large, other priorities shine through that detract from their sea-kindliness and passage-making abilities on these boats. Manufacturers may choose to use hull shapes that provide bountiful interior and living space, making the ride rougher in rough seas.

They may choose a fin keel and spade rudder for better upwind performance and more overall speed, knowing that these designs are less sturdy and more prone to damage than a full-keel bluewater cruiser. They may include large windows, which add lovely light to the living space but also pose a danger should they be breached offshore in storm conditions.

Many boats like this have completed long passages or even circumnavigated successfully. To say that it wasn’t designed for the journey isn’t to say that it isn’t possible to make the journey. But they still should not be considered “bluewater sailboats” because they have done it and gotten lucky—or have done it carefully and been heavily modified to do it safely.

Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats_where you make it

Criteria for Picking Your Bluewater Boat

Everyone has a different vision for what they want from a bluewater sailboat. The term carries a lot of baggage. There are traditional heavily-built cruisers that can weather anything. And then, there are the well-equipped and upgraded production boats that can get the job done.

For our article, we will look at the first option—boats designed and built with voyaging across oceans in mind. Unfortunately, the list isn’t long and is full of older boat designs. This is mainly because this type of boat has fallen out of style, replaced by production boats that emphasize living accommodations and crew comfort while in port.

In the end, the bluewater boat you pick shows your priorities. Of course, no boat is perfect, and every sailor makes some sacrifices. Here are a few of the things that seasoned bluewater sailors will be looking for in an offshore-bound vessel.

The hull design of a boat affects many things about its performance, but most critically, it affects its ride and comfort at sea. This is especially true going upwind. Modern production boats are almost uniformly flat bottomed, which can pound dreadfully in a heavy seaway.

On the other hand, classic full-keel designs are renowned for their easy motions at sea. They are commonly described as slow compared to modern designs. But truthfully, all sailboats are slow. Would you rather have a comfortable boat that cruises at 7 knots or lose your teeth while doing 9 knots?

Conditions offshore can deteriorate with horrifying speed. Even with the excellent weather forecast products available in the 21st century, a bluewater boat should be capable of surviving storm conditions at sea. The crew’s skill and their heavy-weather sailing strategy have an enormous impact on storm survival. A sturdy vessel built to take the beating gives the crew a solid, trustworthy platform that is less likely to have serious breakages in storm conditions.

The list of things that you could include in this category is endless. Most of these things do not exist on production boats but are considered must-haves on offshore vessels.

  • All deck and sailing hardware is through-bolted with heavy backing plates
  • All seacocks are mounted on proper mounting plates and flanges
  • All rigging is redundant so that no one failure can cause a rig to come down
  • Hull is thickly built to survive possible impacts better
  • Strongly built rudder mounted to the keel or skeg for protection and strength
  • Prop and prop shaft are protected from entanglement and damage

There is simply no substitute for the warm feeling a sailor has when they do not doubt that their boat can take on any challenge. Smart sailor spends more time worrying about their own abilities and skills than the quality of their vessel.

Passage-making means living aboard for an extended time at sea. That means that the vessel needs to be large enough to accommodate you and your stuff for at least one and a half times the length of your longest trip. It also means that there is space for everyone on board to live comfortably and cohabitate for that length of time. 

Yes, the 20-foot-long Pacific Seacraft Flicka has completed circumnavigations, as has the 22-foot Falmouth Cutter or the Contessa 26. All are examples of extremely well-built and sturdy blue water vessels. But for most crews that consist of two or three people, they aren’t big enough to survive long passages without living exceptionally minimally.

Thus, their utility is limited to solo long-distance voyagers who are far more into the adventure of living small than cruising comfortably.

Comfort is a vastly underrated quality in today’s ideal cruising boat. A comfortable ride at sea is simply invaluable. It means a better-rested crew and better living conditions on board all voyages, long and small, calm and rough.

Many websites talk about a yacht’s “comfort ratio”.  This is of little interest to the racer or the coastal cruiser. But it measures how nice a boat rides offshore. The best boat designs score 30 or better. Long and heavy bluewater cruisers may score better than 50. The comfort ratio considers the loaded displacement of the vessel, its length, and beam—so larger boats have the advantage.

The comfort ratio does not apply to catamarans , however. The ride comfort on multihulls is much more difficult to judge. While the motion of a heavy monohull in a seaway can be rhythmic and predictable, wave action is felt on two independent hulls and the bridge deck of a cruising catamaran . The result is a jerky and unpredictable motion.

Some crews much prefer this motion to the extra rolling that a monohull experiences. The differences are subjective and cannot easily be quantified. Some people never get seasick on monohulls and are miserable on sailing catamarans , and the opposite is true just as often.

Besides the ride motion, it’s worth noting that multihulls have no ballast at all. Instead, they are lightly built for the best speed and performance, translating into a bouncy and pounding ride over even the slightest chop.

A bluewater sailor will want to make a way in nearly every set of conditions imaginable, short of a survival-condition storm. To do this, their sail inventory should provide them with an option they desire. From light winds to gales and heavy seas, the boat should have options.

Far and wide, the Bermudian sloop rig has taken over as the sailplane of choice on the typical coastal bluewater cruiser. Traditional bluewater sailboats tend to be either cutters or cutter-rigged ketches. These setups provide more options and easier sail handling than sloops do.

Another significant consideration when working offshore is how easy it is to get around the boat when the world is moving every which way. Down below, everything should have round corners and soft edges—you never know where your next painful bruise will come from. Up on deck, tall gunwales and secure lifelines are the difference between a death-defying adventure or a routine walk to the bow.

Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats_where you make it

10 Best Offshore Bluewater Sailboats

Here are just a few of the biggest names in bluewater sailboats. Some of these vessels have been out of production for decades, but they still make a name for themselves with those who appreciate this type of vessel.

As noted above, we’re sticking with the classic definition of “bluewater sailboat” here. Of course, many will argue that modern production sailboats and multihulls can and do cross oceans. They certainly can and do. But very few of them in this size range are purpose-built from the start to provide comfortable and safe rides at sea—and so they are omitted here. 

Fiberglass boats of this style began with the Westsail 32. This was one of the cruising sailboats that created a cultural movement. Today, these boats are not particularly memorable. They were first built in 1971 and were the first of an entirely new class of sailboats—the attainable, fiberglass-built, bluewater-capable cruiser.

While there are still Westsails out there, many better designs have popped up since. But it was the Westsail that got many dreamers dreaming of sailing off into the sunset, and it was the success of the Westsail that convinced many companies to try their hand at building beefy offshore boats.

One of the first successful competitors to the Westsail was the Tayana 37. Designed by Bob Perry and built-in Taiwan, the Tayana 37 was one of the most popular bluewater sailboats of the 1970s. Over 500 were built, and they are prized to this day for their seakeeping abilities and sturdy construction. Their canoe stern design makes them especially easy to handle in quartering seas. The Tayana is a full-keeled cutter, heavily constructed and sturdily built.

William “Bill” Crealock is known for putting a premium on designs that ride comfortably. Pacific Seacraft produced the most popular of his designs. In fact, nearly every one of the company’s sailboats came from his drawing board. Pacific Seacrafts are extremely well-built boats that anyone would feel comfortable in. 

These boats feature a long keel and a sturdy skeg-mounted rudder. Their performance is theoretically slightly better than full-keeled boats, but they’re still comfortable in a seaway.

Similar to the Tayana 37, this series of boats were also designed by Bob Perry and built by Taiwanese boatyards. They feature a slightly modernized cutaway full keel. They’re best known for their lovely interiors that showcase some of the best Taiwanese craftsmanship you’ll find.

These boats came in a wide variety of designs and sizes, but all are roughly similar. The Baba 30 is the smallest, while the 37 and 40-footers are better equipped for extended passage making.

Bob Perry updated his double-ender design for Texas-based Valiant Yacht. These are premium American-built yachts that are highly sought after to this day. The Valiant 40 incorporated a long fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder. The goal was to improve performance, especially when sailing upwind while keeping a structurally sound and sturdy design.

The results spoke for themselves, and the design has pretty much been adopted by every other design of offshore sailing yacht since.

Another modern design from the desk of Bob Perry, the Norseman 447, was built by Ta Shing in Taiwan, one of the premier boatyards in the world. Its underside is similar in design to the Valiants, with a long keel and skeg-mounted rudder. It’s heavily built and features just enough room and waterline for comfortable long passages.

Like the Norseman, the Passport is a ruggedly built offshore sailing yacht with a modern design. Also designed by Bob Perry and also built in Taiwan, the Passport was first launched in 1980. The line of boats eventually expanded to include yachts from 37 to 52 feet.

The Passport features a fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. It’s a sloop and was designed to be sailed under main alone for easy single-handing. The boats are incredibly well-built and sturdy. Sailor John Kretchmer wrote an excellent review for Sailing Magazine. https://sailingmagazine.net/article-537-passport-40.html The Passport offers the beautiful lines and sea kindly design of a Bob Perry boat, but with the modern finish and appeal of a newer boat.

The Hylas line of Taiwanese-built boats is a popular one. Unlike many others on the list, these yachts featured aft cabins and center cockpit designs. This provides a more central location to drive the yacht from. Down below, the arrangement allows for a large master stateroom aft with an island berth.

Hallberg-Rassy builds seaworthy and sturdy vessels in Sweden. Most of their designs, and all of their current offerings, come from the drawing boards of renowned European designer German Frers. The best-known models are center cockpit designs with excellent construction and beautiful joinery down below. The newer boats have modern undersides with fin keels and beefy, skeg-mounted rudders. Older boats have long or full keel designs.

This once little-known French manufacturer of beefy offshore ketches has experienced a renaissance thanks to the YouTube sailors on SV Delos. Amels are larger yachts, ranging from 50 to 60 feet long. They’re heavily built but feature a modernized ketch rig that makes sail handling easy. Much of the line handling is done by power winches, including furlers on all sails. Their newest designs are sleeker cutters and sloops.

Cabo Ricos are hand-built in Costa Rica by an American company, or they were until about 2010. The early 34s and 38s were designed by Bill Crealock, while Chuck Paine designed the larger yachts like the 42 and 56. They are one of the newest-built full-keeled cruisers you can find.

They’re known for their fantastic woodwork and joinery down below, but the lines of these lovely boats only hint at how comfortable they ride at sea. Their solid fiberglass hulls are extraordinarily well-built and ready for anything. They have cutter rigs and heavy displacements. In short, they were designed from the keel up for bluewater passage making.

There are very few companies that are still making pure-blood bluewater cruising boats. While the market for production and charter sailboats is enormous, the number of private owners who want to cross oceans is small. Most of the owners will prefer to find a boat on the used market anyway. That means fewer sales and a high retail price, making the endeavor’s profitability for the manufacturer difficult.

But there are plenty of used yachts out there, and many are ready to go cruising tomorrow. Some of the yachts on this list are so well built and sturdy that they will keep crossing oceans for decades to come.

Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats_where you make it

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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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.

LOA32.00 ft / 9.75 m
First built1971
BuilderWestsail (USA)
DesignerW. Crealock / W. Atkin
Hull typeLong keel, trans. hung rudder
Rig typeCutter
Displacement19,500 lb / 8,845 kg

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 .

LOA36.67 ft / 11.18 m
First built1976
BuilderTa Yang (TWN)
DesignerR. Perry
Hull typeLong keel
Rig typeCutter
Displacement22,500 lb / 10,206 kg
 

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.

LOA37.92 ft / 11.56 m
First built1976
BuilderAnderson Yachts Ltd. (TAIWAN)
DesignerHarwood Ives
Hull typeLong keel
Rig typeCutter
Displacement26,500 lb / 12,020 kg
 

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 .

LOA39.58 ft / 12.06 m
First built1998
BuilderIsland Packet Yachts (USA)
DesignerBob Johnson
Hull typeLong keel
Rig typeCutter
Displacement21,000 lb / 9,525 kg
 

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.

LOA38.00 ft / 11.58 m
First built1938
BuilderBluewater Boat Company (USA)
DesignerWilliam Atkin
Hull typeLong Keel
Rig typeCutter
Displacement26,000 lb / 11,793 kg
 

Description

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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7 Legendary Solo Bluewater Sailboats Worth Considering

When setting out to explore the open seas solo, you'll have to choose the right bluewater sailboat from so very many available options. The perfect boat for sailing single-handed is one that's not only safe and seaworthy, but also easy to handle on your own. In this article, we've handpicked the top 7 legendary solo bluewater sailboats worth considering for their excellent track records.

The most legendary solo bluewater sailboats are the Contessa 32, Westsail 32, Hallberg-Rassy 42F, Pacific Seacraft 37, Island Packet 38, Tayana 42, and Amel 54. These boats have it all: from robust designs to a world-renowned reputation for performance and reliability. They are known for their seaworthiness, durability, and comfort.

We understand the importance of balancing comfort and performance when spending prolonged periods at sea. Each of these sailboats has been proven to provide a harmonious blend of these attributes. Let's get to know them more below.

  • Solo bluewater sailboats are designed to be sailed by a single person, making them ideal for solo circumnavigation or long-distance cruising.
  • You can get the Contessa 32 and Westsail 32 for as little as $30,000.
  • The maintenance and repair costs of the seven boats range from $5,000 to $50,000 per year.
  • Marina fees and insurance can range from $5,000 to $20,000 per year.
  • Factor in upgrades and equipment costs that can reach up to $100,000.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

On this page:

The best solo bluewater sailboats, what makes a good solo bluewater sailboat, cost considerations when choosing a sailboat, maintaining your bluewater sailboat.

Initial Purchase Price Maintenance and Repairs Marina Fees and Insurance Upgrades and Equipment
$30,000 to $60,000 $5,000 to $10,000 per year $5,000 per year $5,000 to $15,000
$30,000 to $80,000 $5,000 to $10,000 per year $5,000 per year $5,000 to $20,000
$200,000 to $400,000 $10,000 to $20,000 per year $10,000 per year $20,000 to $50,000
$100,000 to $200,000 $10,000 to $20,000 per year $10,000 per year $20,000 to $40,000
$100,000 to $200,000 $10,000 to $20,000 per year $10,000 per year $20,000 to $40,000
$100,000 to $250,000 $10,000 to $20,000 per year $10,000 per year $20,000 to $50,000
$500,000 to $1,000,000 $20,000 to $50,000 per year $20,000 per year $50,000 to $100,000

Contessa 32 is a classic, compact, and seaworthy sailboat

Contessa 32's sturdy construction and excellent sailing performance have earned it a legendary reputation among sailors. With a well-designed interior layout, it has space for living aboard during your solo adventures. The Contessa 32 is a classic bluewater sailboat designed by David Sadler in the 1970s. It is known for its excellent balance, seaworthiness, and speed. It has a full keel, moderate displacement, and a classic design that has stood the test of time.

Westsail 32 is known for its rugged construction

The Westsail 32 gained fame as an affordable, rugged, and capable long-distance cruiser. Its full keel and sturdy hull ensure a comfortable ride in rough seas. The practical, function-driven interior makes it easy for solo sailors to maintain and navigate the vessel while providing essential amenities for an extended voyage.

Westsail 32 is another classic bluewater sailboat that was designed by William Crealock in the 1970s. It is known for its rugged construction, spacious interior, and excellent performance in heavy weather. The Westsail 32 has a full keel, heavy displacement, and a classic double-ender design.

Hallberg-Rassy 42F is known for its top-notch craftsmanship

The Hallberg-Rassy 42F is another superb choice for single-handed bluewater sailing. This Swedish-built yacht is well-renowned for its top-notch craftsmanship, stability, and comfort. It offers a spacious, well-lit interior, ensuring you'll enjoy your time below deck while cruising the open seas.

Hallberg-Rassy 42F is a modern bluewater sailboat designed by German Frers in the 1990s. It is known for its luxurious interior, excellent performance, and high-quality construction. The Hallberg-Rassy 42F has a fin keel, a spade rudder, and a modern design that combines comfort and performance.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

Pacific Seacraft 37 is designed for serious cruising

Pacific Seacraft 37 is a sturdy and reliable boat for solo sailors. Its moderate displacement and full keel provide excellent stability, while the well-thought-out interior layout includes abundant storage and comfortable living quarters. Its reputation as a proven bluewater cruiser makes it a top choice for solo sailors. The Pacific Seacraft 37 is another classic bluewater sailboat designed by Bill Crealock in the 1970s. It is known for its excellent balance, seaworthiness, and comfort.

Island Packet 38 is known for its spacious interior

Island Packet 38 is a popular choice among solo cruisers, thanks to its stable full keel design and living space. Its build quality, comfort, and performance make it well-suited for long-distance sailing. The spacious interior and practical layout ensure you have everything needed for a successful solo journey. Island Packet 38 is a modern bluewater sailboat designed by Bob Johnson in the 1990s. It 38 has a full keel, moderate displacement, and a modern design that combines comfort and performance.

Aside from bluewater sailing , there are other types of sailing discussed in this article.

Tayana 42 is known for its excellent balance, seaworthiness, and comfort

Tayana 42 is a comfortable, sea-kindly sailboat, ideal for single-handed offshore cruising. Its balanced performance, easy handling, and well-equipped interior ensure a safe and comfortable journey. It is well-regarded among sailors for its proven bluewater capabilities and timeless styling. The Tayana 42 is another classic bluewater sailboat designed by Bob Perry in the 1970s. It has a full keel, heavy displacement, and a classic design that has stood the test of time.

The Amel 54 is known for its luxury and exceptional build quality

This French-built vessel offers a spacious and comfortable interior with top-of-the-line amenities, making it an excellent option for solo sailors seeking a bluewater cruiser to explore the world in style and comfort. Its easy-to-handle design with advanced sailing systems allows you to sail solo with confidence and ease. The system includes electric winches, furling sails, and a self-tacking jib, which make it easy to handle the boat in all conditions.

To learn more about bluewater sailing , here's our comprehensive article on it.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

These factors will ensure not only your safety but also your comfort and ease during your sailing adventure.

Size and stability of a solo sailboat

A boat with a wide beam and short waterline provides more stability, making it easier for you to handle the vessel on your own. Some popular sailboat models known for their size and stability include the Westsail 32 and the Hunter Channel 31.

A good solo bluewater sailboat should be large enough to provide adequate storage space for supplies and equipment, while also being stable enough to handle rough seas and high winds. It should also have a well-designed hull shape that provides good stability and balance, and a keel that provides good tracking and prevents the boat from capsizing.

Ease of use and maneuverability of any solo sailboat

Features like roller furling and an electric windlass can make handling the sails and anchor much more straightforward. Also, hydraulic bow/stern thrusters with remotes can help you maneuver your boat easily and safely. Make sure to look for these features when choosing your bluewater sailboat.

A good solo bluewater sailboat should be easy to handle and operate by a single person. It should have a sail plan that is easy to adjust and control, and a steering system that is responsive and easy to use. It should also have a well-designed cockpit that provides good visibility and protection from the elements.

Durability and seaworthiness for long-term safety

A well-built sailboat with a history of proven offshore performance should be at the top of your list. Some of the best and most famous bluewater sailboats include the Alberg 30 and Hanse 371.

A good solo bluewater sailboat should be built to withstand the rigors of extended ocean voyages. It should have a strong, well-built hull that is capable of withstanding heavy seas and high winds. It should also have a well-designed rigging system that is strong and durable, and a keel that is designed to provide good stability and balance.

To learn more about the best keel design for bluewater sailing , here's our article on it.

Comfort and livability of a solo sailboat

Consider the layout and features of the boat, ensuring that it has a comfortable sleeping area, a well-equipped galley, and ample storage space. A good example is the Valiant 40, known for its excellent layout and seaworthiness.

A good solo bluewater sailboat should be comfortable and livable for extended periods of time. It should have a well-designed interior that provides adequate storage space, comfortable sleeping quarters, and a functional galley and head. It should also have good ventilation and lighting, and be well-insulated to provide protection from the elements.

Affordability and availability determine the sailboat's practicality

Set a budget and research suitable sailboats within that price range. Some budget-friendly options include the J/109 and Westsail 32. A good solo bluewater sailboat should be reasonably priced and readily available. It should be affordable for most sailors who are interested in long-distance cruising, and should be available for purchase or charter in most parts of the world.

If you're looking for bluewater sailboats under 40 feet , here's our article where we picked the top 13 most famous ones.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

You'll be faced with a range of solo bluewater sailboat options, from budget-friendly to luxury models. Let's explore some factors you should keep in mind to make the best decision for your needs and budget.

Initial purchase price : This is often the first thing people think of when it comes to the cost of a sailboat. There's a wide range in prices, depending on factors like age, size, and brand. For example, a used Alberg 30 might cost between $10,000 and $15,000, while a new Amel 54 could be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's important to find a balance between quality and affordability that suits your needs and financial capabilities.

Maintenance and repairs : Owning a sailboat comes with ongoing expenses to keep it in good sailing condition. Regular maintenance tasks like painting, replacing worn rigging, and inspecting safety equipment can add up over time. Be prepared to allocate a portion of your budget for these essential tasks, as neglecting them could lead to more expensive repairs down the line.

Marina fees and insurance : Depending on where you plan to keep your boat, you may incur costs for marina or dockage fees. Additionally, securing insurance coverage for your sailboat is a must to protect your investment. Both of these costs can vary widely, so make sure you factor them into your overall budget.

Upgrades and equipment : To ensure your sailboat is well-suited for solo bluewater sailing, you might need to invest in upgrades to improve its safety and performance. For instance, you may want to add a roller furling system, wind vane, or more advanced navigation equipment. These enhancements can amount to a significant investment, so it's wise to plan financially for any desired upgrades.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

Here are some essential tips to keep your boat in top shape, and ensure its long life and performance during solo journeys:

Regular inspections : Make it a habit to perform a thorough inspection of your sailboat periodically. Examine the rigging, sails, hull, and all mechanical components. Routine inspections allow you to detect any signs of wear, damage or potential problems before they escalate.

Cleaning : Keep your sailboat clean by washing it regularly with freshwater and appropriate cleaning solutions. This simple practice prevents the buildup of dirt, salt, and other debris, which can cause corrosion and damage to your vessel over time.

Checking the bilge : Ensure that your bilge pump is working efficiently and that there's no water accumulating in the bilge area. If there are any signs of water accumulation, investigate the source and address any leaks or issues promptly.

Servicing the winches : Winches play a crucial role in your sailboat’s performance, so it’s essential to inspect, clean, and grease them regularly. This practice will guarantee their smooth operation and prolong their lifespan.

Sail care : Inspect your sails frequently for any tears, wear, or damage. Repair or replace them as necessary. To protect your sails from the sun’s harmful UV rays, always use a sail cover when not in use.

Keeping records : Maintain a logbook to document all maintenance tasks, inspections, and repairs. Not only will this help you keep track of what has been done, but it will also provide valuable information if you decide to sell your sailboat in the future.

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Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats

Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 28, 2023

Sailing is an exhilarating experience, but it can be expensive. If you are looking for the best inexpensive bluewater sailboats, then this article will help!

The best inexpensive bluewater sailboats are the ones that are small, fast, and sturdy. If you can find one that is easy to build as well, then you will have to pay much less for it. These sailboats are also seaworthy enough to handle the open ocean without being too big or complicated.

Sailing is a great way to spend your free time. It's an activity that has been enjoyed by people for centuries, and it can be done with just about anyone of any age or physical ability. The only problem many people have is the cost associated with purchasing a boat, which can really put a damper on things if you are on a tight budget. But don't worry! We have found some of the best inexpensive bluewater sailboats, so you won't have to break your bank account in order to enjoy sailing!

There are many options available, but not all of them are worth your money. That is why we have looked at some of the top boats on the market and picked out our favorites. Whether you're an experienced sailor or just getting started, these boats will get the job done right!

Table of contents

‍ 1. Cape Dory 30

{{boat-info="/boats/cape-dory-30"}}

If you're looking for a quality, affordable bluewater sailboat, the Cape Dory 30 is definitely worth a look. This boat has been cruising the world's oceans for over 30 years and has a well-deserved reputation for being sturdy, reliable and easy to sail.

The  Cape Dory 30  is a moderate displacement boat that's designed for coastal and offshore cruising. She features a full keel with a rudder, making her stable and seaworthy in rough seas. The hull is hand-laid fiberglass with balsa core construction, which makes her strong and durable. The deck is also fiberglass with molded-in non-skid surfaces for safety while sailing.

The layout of the Cape Dory 30 is simple yet functional. The cockpit is roomy, with plenty of space for lounging around but not so much that you can't work the sails if needed. The self-draining cockpit has two lockers underneath that are perfect for storing tools or other nautical gear that you need to keep dry.

This bluewater cruiser offers a moderate sail area, which makes it easy to handle even under windy conditions. Because of this, she requires some wind to get going -- in 10 knots of breeze, she can reach speeds up to 6 knots under power and 7 knots under sail. As far as storage space goes, there are lockers on both sides of the berth area plus shelves above the berth for items like books and clothing.

The Cape Dory 30 was initially outfitted with worm gear steering. This sort of gear is durable, simple to use, and does not require a cockpit steering pedestal. The wheel will also keep the rudder in place without the help of a brake. The biggest disadvantage is that there isn't much rudder feedback, making it difficult to know when the boat is properly balanced. Not to mention worm gear steering will not help you sail better.

The berthing area is good, with enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet. The Cape Dory 30 is a great boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages, and extended cruising. She has all the features that you need to make your journey comfortable while still being able to handle a variety of sailing conditions. The estimated price for the  Cape Dory 30  ranges from $12,000 to $32,000

  • Sturdy and reliable with a long history of ocean crossings
  • Good performance in windy conditions
  • Functional layout with plenty of storage space
  • Comfortable berthing area for two people
  • May require modifications for ocean passages
  • Not as fast as some other bluewater sailboats
  • A tad expensive for an entry-level cruiser

2. Sabre 28

{{boat-info="/boats/sabre-28"}}

The  Sabre 28  is another fine bluewater cruiser in this price range. Made by Sabre Yachts, these boats have a solid reputation for being reliable, seaworthy cruisers that will last you for many years to come.

When making their 28-foot bluewater sailboat, Sabre Yachts took every aspect into consideration when designing her. They made her strong with a full keel and fiberglass hull construction but light enough to allow for better sailing abilities under power or sail. She also has plenty of storage space with lockers on both sides of the berth plus shelves above the berth to give you ample room for all your belongings while cruising.

The Sabre 28 is built with a solid fiberglass hull and deck, making her strong and durable. She has a moderate displacement of 6,000 pounds and features a full keel with encapsulated ballast. This helps her handle well in various sailing conditions while still providing good performance.

While she may not be fast compared to other bluewater sailboats in her class, the Sabre 28 makes up for it with her great handling and seaworthiness. She can handle a wide variety of sailing conditions with ease, making her the perfect boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages and even extended cruising.

The Sabre 28 comes standard with wheel steering, which gives you better control over the boat in varying conditions. There is also plenty of cockpit space for lounging around or working the sails. And because of her moderate sail area, she's easy to handle even under windy conditions.

The berthing area is good, with enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet. The cabin is spacious and well-ventilated, making it a great place to relax after a long day of sailing.

The Sabre 28 is also outfitted for single or double hand sailing, making her the perfect choice for couples or small families who want to explore new waterways together. She's easy to sail and forgiving, making her the perfect boat for novice sailors. The  Sabre 28  will set you back anywhere from $7000 to $27000. If you're looking for a smaller cruising sailboat, the Sabre 28 should definitely be on your list!

  • Solid reputation for being a reliable and seaworthy cruiser
  • Handles a wide variety of sailing conditions well
  • Good performance under power or sail
  • Plenty of storage space for all your belongings
  • Not as fast as some other bluewater sailboats in her class
  • Designed primarily as a coastal cruiser so it may not perform well in open waters without modifications
  •  Can only accommodate two people comfortably underneath the V-berth (greater than that might be too crowded)

3. Island Packet 31

{{boat-info="/boats/island-packet-31"}}

The  Island Packet 31  is another great bluewater cruiser for people looking to explore new waterways. They are known as one of the best sailboats for bluewater cruising due to their strength and durability.

If you're looking for a bluewater sailboat with stability, speed and comfort, then the Island Packet 31 might be the boat for you! She has excellent performance under power or sail, can handle harsh conditions with ease, and is comfortable enough to spend long periods aboard.

Designed by Bob Johnson (a boat builder and naval architect), this 31-foot boat was made specifically for open ocean sailing. Her hull is strong yet thin, making her fast while still being able to handle a wide variety of conditions. The Island Packet 31 is built with a solid fiberglass hull and deck, making her strong and durable. She has a moderate displacement of 11,000 pounds and features a full keel with encapsulated ballast. This helps her handle well in various sailing conditions while still providing good performance.

The Island Packet 31 is also built with a full keel, giving her plenty of stability should the weather become rough while out at sea. She was designed to handle large amounts of wind and waves without losing her composure, making her perfect for bluewater cruising!

She's also easy to sail, even under intense winds and stormy conditions. She has very good stability with a wide beam and moderate displacement, making it nearly impossible to capsize while sailing in open water.

The  Island Packet 31  is easy to sail and forgiving, making her a great choice for novice sailors. With a top speed of 8 knots, she's not the fastest boat on the water, but she's certainly no slouch. She also has a shallow draft of just 2 feet, 6 inches, which makes her ideal for exploring coral reefs and other shallow waters.

Though she can be somewhat slow when traveling under power or sailing alone (due to the long keel), the Island Packet is able to reach speeds up to 8 knots when using both methods together. This is still quite impressive when compared to other sailboats in her class.

One downside to this boat's construction is the lack of plywood in the deck and cabin. This can cause some concern among people who are looking for a bluewater sailboat that can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, it should be noted that the Island Packet has numerous positive reviews from sailors - proving her strength and reliability.

The Island Packet 31 is a great choice for people who want a sturdy and reliable bluewater sailboat. She's perfect for small families or groups of friends who want to explore new waterways together. With her stability, speed and comfort, she's sure to make your next sailing trip an enjoyable one! Depending on the model, the price ranges from $35,000 to $50,000.

  • Excellent performance under power or sail
  • Great option for novice sailors
  • May require some modifications for offshore sailing (depending on your experience level)
  • Some are concerned about the lack of plywood in the deck and cabin construction.
  • A tad expensive

4. Caliber 40 Sailboat

{{boat-info="/boats/caliber-40"}}

Bluewater cruisers are on the lookout for a robust, durable boat that is simple to operate and can handle all of their belongings for a lengthy trip without breaking the bank. With features like that, the  Caliber 40  comes to mind, and it's distinctive in that it's a boat that (with modifications) has been developed over many decades and has demonstrated success.

Caliber Yachts Inc. was founded in 1979 by George and Michael McCreary, along with Marshall Jones, as a backyard boatbuilding business. The brothers grew up sailing in the bay area and across Florida and the Caribbean, so they were no strangers to the sailing world.

The layout of the Caliber 40 is comfortable and accommodating for a cruising couple, with six feet, four inches of headroom and plenty of storage. There's also an optional in-mast furling system to make sail handling a breeze. The cockpit is roomy and perfect for lounging around or entertaining guests.

Because of her heavy displacement, she requires some assistance from the wind. However, sailing 5 knots in 9 knots of wind with a beam reach isn't bad and can last up to 140 miles in the trade winds, which is not too shabby. This sailboat sails well and has a surprisingly light helm. The boat heels to 15 degrees, but it doesn't have the signature hobbyhorse effect that heavy displacement boats typically have.

Her overall performance is respectable, with a top speed of 9 knots under power in 10 knots of wind. In ideal conditions, she can reach up to 14.5 knots under power, so this one's no slouch when it comes to getting around quickly or having fun on the water!

In terms of storage space, there are six lockers below for all your gear and a large anchor well for bigger stuff like a spare anchor and chain, as well as other nautical tools you may need during your trip. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet, four inches. As a storage unit, the Caliber 40 has a couple of hanging lockers and shelves that are perfect for keeping belongings organized and out of the way.

The berth is full-size with plenty of width to fit two people comfortably or three in an emergency situation. One drawback about the berth is that there's only room underneath to store suitcases, so you'll have to be creative if you plan to keep anything else under there.

This boat can be outfitted for single or double hand sailing, depending on your preference! It's easy to see why this popular cruising yacht has been around for decades -- it's roomy, strong, sturdy and built to last a lifetime.

The major downside to this boat is that it can be expensive. The Caliber 40 can range anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. However, it is possible to get a better deal on older models.

Overall, the  Caliber 40  is a great boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages, and extended cruising. It has all the creature comforts that you need to make your journey comfortable while still being able to handle a variety of sailing conditions. If you're in the market for, well-made cruiser and are willing to spill some cash, the Caliber 40 should definitely be on your list!

  • Roomy and comfortable for a cruising couple
  • Durable and long-lasting with a cored hull and deck
  • Respectable performance, with a top speed of 9 knots under power
  • Full-size berth that can comfortably fit two people or three in an emergency situation
  • Only room to store suitcases under the berth
  • May require modifications to be fully equipped for ocean passages
  • Newer models are very expensive

5. Endeavour 37

{{boat-info="/boats/endeavour-37"}}

The  Endeavour 37  is a great option for people who want a bluewater sailboat that can handle harsh weather conditions. She has excellent performance under power or sail and good stability and storage space.

If you're looking for a sailing boat that can withstand harsh conditions, the Endeavour 37 might be a perfect choice! She's known as one of the best bluewater cruising yachts due to her ability to handle large amounts of wind and waves without much trouble.

This classic yacht has a long list of positive reviews from sailors - proving she's reliable and durable enough to take you on countless adventures throughout the world. The majority of owner reviews give this boat high ratings, with most being four stars or better.

With a displacement of 21,000 pounds and a beam of 12 feet, the Endeavour 37 is not only durable but also quite spacious. She has more than enough room for any sailor - whether you're cruising with your significant other or taking your family out on an extended voyage!

Even though she's known to be strong and reliable, the Endeavour is also fast and comfortable under all conditions. She can reach speeds up to 7 knots with two powerful diesel engines while cruising in calm waters. Her top speed drops slightly when sailing in rougher weather or against stronger winds - down to 6 knots.

She's also very easy to maneuver with either power source at hand. Her Perkins 4-108 diesel engines make it simple to get her to where you want when you want.

The Endeavour 37 is equipped for cruising, with plenty of storage space for all your gear. There's a large V-berth that can comfortably fit two people, as well as an enclosed head with a marine toilet and sink. The cabin is spacious and well-ventilated, making it a great place to relax after a long day of sailing.

Though the Endeavour 37 is a high-quality boat, it's important to keep in mind that she does have some downsides - she can be costly to maintain. The Endeavour 37 can be expensive to maintain, making her a costly vessel to own and operate. If you decide to purchase this boat, make sure you have enough money saved up for regular upkeep!

Another downside is its poor up sail performance - especially in light winds. When sailing the Endeavour 37, you have to have a good sail plan and be careful not to use too much power under certain conditions.

Though the Endeavour has a few downsides, she does have a lot of benefits as well - such as her impressive speed and durability under all weather conditions. The  Endeavour 37  is estimated to be around $20,000 to $50,000. It's important to weigh both sides before making your final decision, but overall most people are very happy with their purchase!

  • Powerful wind and sea boat
  • Strong construction capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions
  • Plenty of storage space for any sailor or family
  • Good stability and handling abilities
  • Poor up sail performance
  • A bit expensive to maintain (depending on user experience)

6. Tartan 37

{{boat-info="/boats/sparkman-stephens-tartan-37"}}

The  Tartan 37  is a seaworthy, sturdy boat that's known for its strength and stability. She's very similar to the Endeavour 37 in terms of both construction and performance - with two significant exceptions: she doesn't have as much storage space, and her overall exterior design is less attractive.

With a displacement of 15,500 pounds and a beamwidth of 12 feet, the Tartan 37 can handle large amounts of wind or waves without any trouble. Like the Endeavour 37, she has two powerful diesel engines, making it simple to maneuver even in rougher conditions.

With an overall length of 37 feet 2 inches, you'll find that this sailboat offers quite a bit of room for its size. There's more than enough space for a few people to sleep comfortably, and you'll find that it's easy to move around even when at sea.

Though the Tartan 37 is very reliable and durable, she has some downsides, such as her high maintenance costs, small water tank, and inefficient interior design. If you're spending most of your time on the boat, then these will likely be little issues that don't take away from your overall experience.

If you do decide to purchase this boat, make sure you can afford all the necessary upkeep it requires! It's also important to note that owning a Tartan 37 comes with its fair share of risk as well - they haven't been manufactured for over 30 years, which means there isn't much help available should you run into some problems down the line.

The  Tartan 37  comes at around $34,000 to $70,000.

  • Sturdy boat with a strong design capable of handling large waves and winds
  • Easy to maneuver even in rougher weather conditions due to her powerful diesel engines
  • Plenty of space for both people out on the water and gear you need to store ashore
  • Not as many storage spaces as similar sailboats (such as the Tartan 37)
  • Higher maintenance costs than most other vessels on this list
  • Small water tank that can easily be tainted if not careful when cleaning or using it
  • Inefficient interior design that doesn't allow for too much privacy among family members or friends who may venture abroad from time to time

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Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

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11 Best Single Handed Bluewater Sailboats

best bluewater cruising sailboats

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We know that you’re serious about sailing when you finally think of venturing to the ocean. Who can resist dreaming of solo sailing through the Atlantic? This is an adventure to prove your advanced skills, strength, and experience. 

But before going off on your ocean adventure, you need to plan and prepare . We cannot stress enough the importance of good equipment. There is a lot of sailboat types and models in the market and we want to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Do you know what hull, rigging, and keel types you will need? What’s the best material and model for you to buy? 

We will guide you through important sailboat features needed for the cruise. Follow this review until the end and we will share the 11 best single-handed blue water sailboats for your solo ocean sailing!

What Size Sailboat Is Best for Single-Handed Sailing

What type of hull handles rough water the best, sailboat keel types for blue water sailing, keel or decked stepped mast, sloop or ketch, how many spreaders, cutter rig, self steering gear, furling sails, westsail 32, albin vega 27, pacific seacraft 34, canadian sailcraft 36 traditional, hallberg rassy 352, contessa 32, fast passage 39.

If you are planning to manage your boat single-handedly, then size is an important factor to consider. It can affect the size of your accommodation, and maybe the boat’s design for speed and power.

Being alone, you need to have a clear overview of what is happening on your boat. This is especially important when maneuvering or for docking operations. 

Experienced sailors can handle a 60-foot sailboat but novices would find it difficult with its steep learning curve . Check out the Vendee Globe if you don’t believe me. In general, a good sailboat size for single-handed sailing would range from 25 to 40 feet.

We recommend sailboats with sizes under 40 feet. These have good displacement and are great when against bad weather. They are solo-friendly and simply the most manageable.

But in the end, choosing a suitable size depends on your experience and preference. You need to consider your overall health, age, and physique. Make sure to have a complete understanding of your sailboat before going on your journey to prevent accidents.

The hull or the main body of your boat comes in varying shapes and sizes. Each different type of hull is designed for specific purposes. 

When venturing the blue waters, you need to have a hull design that could handle rough waters easily. The hull shape determines the performance of your sailboat and therefore, should align with your strengths and skills. 

Today, the most popular design would be the heavy displacement hull . This design is intended for ocean cruising and longer sailing travels. 

It has great stability and performs better the deeper the draft is. With this design, you would expect a slow and steady motion during your sea travels with minimal effort. 

V-type hulls, on the other hand, are designed to plane or ride on top of the water. You can usually see these types of hulls on powerboats. The V-type hull usually has a bigger engine and best when dealing with choppy waters while moving at high speed.

Narrow beams are also a great option for those who are looking for another ocean friendly feature . These are usually seen in traditional sailboats.

Canoe stern or the double are considered to be the best sterns for offshore sailing. They help cut through a following sea and really helps prevent the waves from pushing the stern over too much. It also has great buoyancy and balance that is perfect for bluewater cruising.

The best materials for hulls would be fiberglass, metal, and aluminum. These are durable and could last for decades if properly maintained.

Aluminum is lightweight and has resistance to corrosion and impervious to magnetism. Boats built with aluminum are fast, stable, and seaworthy.

Fiberglass hulls need less attention. Currently, boats are usually made of fiberglass as the material is easier for companies and also great for seakeeping and stability.

Metal like steel has high abrasion resistance. It helps retain the boat’s appearance but can be prone to rust and corrosion.

Untitled design 4

A keel is a fin-like blade found at the bottom of a sailboat. It supports the ballast and helps to control and steer the boat. 

It is generally designed to stop the boat from getting blown sideways because of wind pressure. The full keel, modified full keel, fin skeg, and fin spade rudder are all suited for bluewater sailing.

A full keel runs along the full length of the boat – from the bow to the stern – which makes it the most stable in the water. It carries the vessel well and is the safest to use when grounding as it reduces the chances of damage. 

This is most ideal when cruising and the most comfortable out of the four keel types with its minimal heel. Although the slowest on the list, it has great directional stability and steering capability. 

An improved version is the modified full keel . It is a hybrid with improved windward performance and better heel reduction than the full keel. However, it made small concessions on its stability and comfort.

Meanwhile, the fin keel with skeg rudder has more strength and protection against damage and impact. It also has better mobility and steering capability. 

This type has a faster speed and windward performance compared to the modified and full keel types. It is also more balanced, which is ideal for cruiser-racer types of sailboats.

Lastly, we have the fin with a spade rudder. This is the fastest type on the list but also the most vulnerable as the spade rudder greatly relies on the rudder stock. But if you want speed and great windward performance, then this type is the right one for you.

Sailboat Rigging Types

Rigging is the whole system of ropes, chains, and cables. It supports the sailboat mast and controls the sails’ orientation and degree of reefing.

There are two main groups of sailboat rigs, Deck Stepped and Keel Stepped. The main difference lies in the location of its mast step. Both are fine choices and the better rig would depend on your preference.

Just as its names suggests, you can find the mast stand on top of the deck with Deck Stepped and on the hull’s bottom with Keel stepped. This means that to reach the keel, the mast would need to pierce through the cabin.

Deck Stepped rigs have masts that are more flexible because of their contact points, and are easily adjustable for optimal performance. Keel Stepped rig is rigid and strong and offers slow and steady cruising.

Now let’s move on and talk about Slope rigged and Ketch rigged. Which is better?

A sloop rig is simple. It is composed of a mast with a jib and a mainsail. Ketch, on the other hand, is more complex with its two masts with any foresail, main and mizzen mast combinations.

If you are choosing between Sloop and Ketch rigged sailboats for solo sailing, then we recommend Sloop. Although, Ketch is manageable and can be easily used with less strength and effort. This is perfect for cruising as it can work around multiple sailing conditions.

Screenshot 2020 11 26 at 11.53.30

In terms of spreaders, you can freely choose between a single or dual spreader. This deflects shrouds and supports the mast. We do recommend dual spreaders but single spreaders are also good. 

It’s just that double spreaders give the rig more strength and better sail control.

The cutter rig is sometime referred to as an inner forestay or baby stay. Simplest way of describing it is that you have two head sails instead of just one. Gives you more options on sail configurations.

Single Person Sailboat Equipment and Gear

Your sailboat would not be complete without gear and equipment. You might want to invest in autopilot or wind vane, furling headsails, electric windlass, life jackets, and AIS to make your voyage much easier.

Wind Vane is an autopilot steering that you can use without electricity. It is usually placed on the back to catch the wind and respond to various wind conditions.

It automatically adjusts the rudders in response to the wind to alter the boat’s course. This is helpful because it’s like having another crew member on board you don’t have to listen to and feed.

Headsail furling or roller reefing is necessary for easier management of your headsails. It is important to have a functioning and updated roller furling system in order to reef, dowse, or stow the headsail efficiently.

Another item we would recommend is an electric windlass . You can choose one that works vertically or horizontally, depending on your needs. This will help you move the anchor effortlessly with a single button. Using the two windlasses that god gave you makes anchoring more difficult then it needs to be.

Life jackets are a must in every sailboat. Just be sure it fits you and that you know how to use it. Also, be sure to buy a coast guard approved product with a harness that could support your weight. 

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) will help you avoid collisions . It is recommended to get a receiving and transmitting one when going solo sailing. 

This way, you and the other boats with AIS within the radar area are alerted to each other’s speed, course, and direction.

Really, you won’t know what you might encounter in the ocean so you must always be prepared. We hope that these items will help you achieve a safer and more secure sailing experience.

11 Best Sailboats for Solo Sailing

Now, here are 11 sailboats that are best for solo sailing. Any of these vessels are guaranteed to take you safely and comfortably anywhere around the world.

Westsail 32 solo sailing sailboat

This is a long full keel fiberglass sailboat that was built from 1971 to 1981. Its design was based on a previous model, Kendall 32, and has an amazing interior size geared for comfortable cruising.

W32 is widely noted for its seaworthiness. It is built with a strong and durable design and materials to resist extreme sea conditions.

It was used on various voyages and circumnavigations. Its hull is a heavy displacement and double-ender type designed for long periods of sailing.

It is also a cutter-rigged sailboat equipped with a single mast, forestaysail, mainsail, and jib. Its overall length including the bowsprit and boomkin is roughly 40 feet, which is perfect for sailing single-handedly.

Most people would note that the speed and acceleration of W32 are quite slow. This is due to its larger wetted area and sometimes newbies’ mistake of carrying too much on board.

With the right keel, sails, and rig configurations you can improve on W32’s speed and weaknesses. As seen from David King’s documented modifications, W32 proved to be safe, steady, and fast when sailing on blue waters.

Albin Vega 27 single handed solo sailboat

Vega 27 is a modified full keel sailboat with a masthead sloop rig. It was designed around 1966 and became the most popular production sailboat in Scandinavia.

It has a unique look because of its reverse sheer commonly seen in smaller boats to increase the area of its interior. It is made with fiberglass, but has a narrower hull compared to similar sized boats in its class. 

Its shallow hull has a large cutaway as seen with modified full keel designs. This can make her quite stiff, heeling to about 15 degrees when its shoulders are buried.

Still, it is great for single-handed sailing because of its manageability and balance under different conditions. You cannot help but admire its light helm and great tracking capability.

Vega’s light air performance is okay but it shines when the wind blows at 15 knots or more. It could even maintain its dryness even with rough waves and weather conditions.

The most comforting feature would be its control and stability at all times unlike other more modern vessels with spade rudders. Overall, it is safe and ideal for longer cruises offshore.

alberg 30

This 30-foot traditional sailboat could take you anywhere. Alberg is notable for its narrow beams, long overhangs, and full cutaway keel with its directly attached rudder.

It is strong and durable. Its materials were mostly aluminum, hand-laid fiberglass, and polyester resin. More ballasts were produced in later productions as the early ballast was built with iron as opposed to the original lead design.

Alberg is greatly influenced by folk boats in Scandinavia. It is built with fiberglass and has an interior with comfortable full standing headroom and a well-vented galley.

This classic design from 1962 is ideal to cross oceans and is used for various circumnavigations. Alberg is a stable and seaworthy boat that could even be used in casual racing. Its best point of sail seems to be a beam reach and close reach.

It is praiseworthy when crossing oceans. Unlike modern designs that tend to be thrown around on rough seas, Alberg’s narrow beam design slices through big and rough waves and moves quickly. Under extreme weather conditions, it could perform heaving-to and lying-a-hull with no problems.

pacific seacraft 34 solo sailing

Pacific Seacraft 34 is a smaller heavy displacement semi-long keel sailboat based on the highly successful Crealock 37. It has the same graceful lines and appearance as the Crealock and is known as the Voyagemaker.

It is built with comfort and safety in mind with its large overhanging bow and beautiful sheer line ending with a traditional canoe stern. Constructed with the highest standard, it is a seaworthy sailboat that is ideal for bluewater voyages.

It is a cutter-rigged sailboat with skeg-hung rudders and control lines being fed back to its cockpit. The smaller cockpit may feel cramped but its design lowers the risk of flooding.

Still, it has a great interior suited for living aboard. It has a large headroom, comfortable galley, and up to five berths for comfortable cruising.

Although you may feel some hobby-horsing windward because of the overhangs, Seacraft 34 is overall a very balanced boat with great upwind performance. It has outstanding control capabilities and is able to sustain surfing speed with ease.

Tayana 37 solo sailboat sailing

This is a double-ended full keel cruiser designed by Bob Perry and built-in Taiwan in response to the rising popularity of Westsail 32. It was offered to the market as a semi-custom boat and built with high-quality materials.

You can modify the internal layout and can choose a ketch, cutter, or pilothouse version. There is an option to use wood or aluminum spars. The mast could also be keel-stepped or deck-stepped.

Before, only 20 were ketch sailboats due to the popularity of the cutter design at that time. Now, ketch has proven to be faster and more balanced between the two.

Tayana is relatively faster than any sailboat in its class. Its best point of sail is in its broad reach. It also tracks well windward, and is an ideal choice for the trades. It is also great how the cockpit is secured from any flooding even when traveling. 

Today, a lot of people are still actively sailing this. Tayana 37 has become well known for offshore and blue water sailing.

canadian sailcraft 36 single handed sailing solo

Canadian Seacraft is well known for its fiberglass racer and cruiser. CS 36 is a small traditional fin keel sailboat with a masthead sloop intended for recreational use. It is seaworthy and has good performance in different weather conditions.

It was designed by Raymond Wall and had a production run between 1978 to 1987. It remains to be popular in both north and south borders.

It is a beautiful sailboat with a graceful sheer line and balanced overhangs at both bow and stern. Its details and quality in design and production are clearly of a higher tier.

It is mostly built with fiberglass and balsa wood. It is equipped with an internally mounted spade transom hung rudder. All of its lines lead to the cockpit, which is ideal for single-handed sailing.

CS 36 Traditional also has a deep-depth draft and wide beams with great access to the cockpit and foredecks. It is wide and spacious, which is perfect for comfortable cruising.

The sailboat has great proportion and traditional aesthetics. It is simple and straightforward, which makes it ideal for bluewater sailing.

Hallberg rassy 352 single handing sailboat

This is a sturdy and high-quality sailboat built between 1978 to 1991. It features a progressive design, combining a walk through with the aft-cabin from the main saloon. It is made with a tall and standard rig each supported on double and single spreaders, respectively.

Hallberg Rassy 352 has a nicely balanced hull sporting a fin keel with rudder on skeg, a generous beam, and a 45 percent high ballast ratio. Its water and fuel tanks are placed low in the keel to improve sail carrying ability.

Its production spanning 14 years allowed for continuous improvements in its specifications. Newer sailboats have raised hulls for bigger headroom in the under the deck, aft cabins, and the walkthrough. Engines were also replaced by a Volvo and later a Penta Turbo or the bigger MD 22.

It is impressive how they balanced good interior and sailing performance. It has great seakeeping ability and smooth motion in heavy seas, easily an ideal sailboat for singlehanded sailing.

corbin 39 solo sailboat review

Corbin 39 was designed based on a Dufour design named Harmonie, increasing freeboard, and flushing the deck. Its style is influenced by the classic Scandinavian cruiser, Westsail 32.

It has a long fin keel, blunt bow, and a high freeboard. It was sold as kits, and various deck molds were produced. They have pilot, aft, and center cockpit variations.

It was made of sturdy and high-quality materials. The earlier version’s decks were of marine grade mahogany but it was later changed with Airex foam. Its lead ballast was encapsulated with fiberglass for added protection.

Earlier boats had a single spreader main or a turbocharged double spreader. Later, Corbin used 49 feet double spreader rigs instead, and all were deck-stepped.

Corbin 39 is truly a strong and seaworthy vessel. With its fin keel and skeg rudder, cutter rig, and reefed main combinations, it could take anyone safely and comfortably anywhere in the world.

Valiant 40 solo sailing

Valiant 40 took its looks from Scandinavian double-ender sailboats. It had a successful production run that spanned for 47 years. It proved to be one of the pioneers for modern blue water designs.

Its hull is made from thick hand-laid fiberglass, bolted and covered with teak. Its ballast is cast with lead bolted to the keel stub. Lastly, the skeg is constructed separately from hull molding and encased with fiberglass before being fastened to the hull.

It has a beautiful bow and sheer lines and a longer LWL for maximum speed. At the back are a non-spacious cockpit and a canoe stern ideal for bluewater sailing operations.

Under the waterline is a fin keel with its skeg hung rudder. It perfectly matches with the cruising hall above, minimizing wetted surface area 

Overall, Valiant 40 is a seaworthy vessel with great blue water performance. Extremely balanced and well-mannered, it can withstand extreme weather conditions with ease and minimal effort on your part.

It soon gained a reputation as a fast water passage-maker with high integrity. Now, it is regularly used for circumnavigations by solo sailors and voyagers.

contessa 32 solo sailing sailboat

If you like a sailboat with a proven track record, then Contessa 32 is for you. It is a seaworthy racer-cruiser with good all-around sailing capabilities released in 1971.

Like its younger sister, Contessa 26, it has great speed, integrity, and affordability . Contessa 32 is a definite combination of old and new with its traditional narrow beam, a full hull with a fin keel, and fiberglass rudder protected by a skeg found in more modern yachts.

It has marked overhangs and a narrow tuck-up stern. It has less headroom below in return for its lesser wind resistance.

This configuration delivers fast racing speed and great stability. It could definitely withstand extreme weather and rough waves. Contessa 32 is claimed to be able to right itself when rolled or capsized.

Contessa 32 is known for its forgiving nature. It has a responsive helm and excellent windward performance. With its astounding stability, it can carry full sail for up to 25 knots.

fast passage 39 single handing sailboat

Fast Passage 39 was designed by William Garden and is said to be a legendary cruiser with speed, ruggedness, and fame. It is a stout double-ender comparable to the Valiant 40.

It has the same LOA and LWL as Valiant and also has nearly identical ballast and displacement. The difference is its narrower frame and more evolved underwater shapes resulting in flatter forward and aft keel sections and less wetted area. It also has great directional stability as its rudder allows great control under wind vane and down steep waves.

It is a high performing sailboat but also difficult to find as only 41 were produced. A part of the group was offered as hull and deck kits intended to be finished by the sailboat owners.

Fast Passage 39 also has a proven track record and has won single-handed blue water races. It performs great under a wide range of conditions, especially in light winds.

By now you should have some idea what makes a vessel Bluewater friendly. There are hundreds of vessels that can make long distance voyage safe and enjoyable. These examples above are just a few examples of the Best Single Handed BlueWater Sailboats.

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10 Best Used Cruising Sailboats

  • By John Kretschmer
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

The appeal of offshore voyaging is difficult to explain to land people who can’t imagine life without basic human rights like copious quantities of hot water and unlimited data. It can even be challenging to explain to fellow sailors who think the notion of spending days or weeks at sea is a form of water­boarding, some kind of self-inflicted torture.

But for those of us who understand, who relish intimacy with the untamed wilderness that is the ocean and embrace self-­reliance and individual expression while accepting the ­dispassionate whims of Neptune, this is the good life.

There are two essential truths about this life: One, money does not matter. Cruising budgets and lifestyles reflect bank accounts with variously positioned commas; it’s the passages and landfalls that add up, not your investment portfolio. And two, a good bluewater sailboat — not necessarily an expensive boat, but a well-­designed, solidly built, imminently seaworthy boat that is only limited by your moxie and imagination — is the key to successful bluewater passagemaking.

– LEARN THE NAVIGATION RULES – Know the “Rules of the Road” that govern all boat traffic. Be courteous and never assume other boaters can see you. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

So, to that second point, I’ve compiled a list of interesting and affordable cruising sailboats for serious voyaging. A list of 10 sailboats for any purpose, much less world cruising, is sure to evoke outrage from strong-minded sailors, who by nature tend to be a bit opinionated. Stand by before hurling insults my way, and let me explain. I have decided to stay away from the sailboats we know by heart, the iconic old boats that usually populate a list like this: the Westsail 32, Tayana 37, Shannon 38 and Valiant 40 (the last of which, with a bit of searching, can still be found at or just below $100,000).

My list of some of the best liveaboard sailboats is eclectic and includes a mix of well-known and obscure manufacturers, but all the boats are linked in three ways: All are top-quality vessels capable of crossing oceans. They’re affordable, although in a few cases you have to look for older models in less-than-stellar condition to stay below $100,000. Indeed, in some ways, this list of used sailboats is a function of age; most of the boats were priced at more than $100,000 when new but have dipped below our self-imposed threshold in middle age. And finally, they’re all boats that I have encountered in the past few years in far-flung cruising destinations .

Island Packet 35

Packet 35

Love them or loathe them, Island Packets are everywhere. To some, the beamy, full-keel, high-freeboard hull designs seem quaint, to put it charitably. To others, the robust construction standards, roomy interiors and overall user-friendliness make them the ideal cruising boat. More than most, sailing vessels are compromises, and Bob Johnson and his crew at Island Packet were brilliant in prioritizing the needs of sailors. The IP 35 was introduced in 1988 and features a huge cockpit, an easy-to-handle cutter rig with a jib boom, and a clever, comfortable interior with the volume of many 40-footers. It might not be the fastest boat upwind, but the long waterline translates to good performance off the breeze, meaning the IP 35 finds its stride in the trade winds. In all, 188 boats were built before production stopped in 1994.

Don’t confuse the IP 35 with the IP 350, which was launched in 1997 and included a stern swim step. You won’t find a 350 for less than $100,000, but you will have a choice among 35s, especially those built before 1990. With two nice staterooms, the 35 is ideal for family cruising. I know of a couple of 35s that have completed the classic Atlantic Circle passage. It’s perfect for a sabbatical cruise because it holds its value and there’s a ready market when it comes time to sell.

Prout Snowgoose 37

Prout Snowgoose 37

There’s no room for discussion: Catamarans are crossing oceans, and many sailors are choosing cats for world cruising. My last visits to the Azores and Canary Islands, the classic Atlantic waypoints, proved the point. I’m not much of a statistician, but by my count, at least a quarter and maybe a third of the boats I saw were catamarans. There would be more on this list, but they are just too expensive. Finding a quality catamaran for less than $100,000 is tough. One boat to consider is the classic workhorse multihull, the Prout Snowgoose 37.

When the Snowgoose 37 was launched in 1983, English builder Prout & Sons had already been in business for nearly 50 years. The 37 was an updated version of the Snowgoose 35, one of the most successful cruising cats ever. In 1986, the 37 was updated again; the Snowgoose Elite model included more beam and interior upgrades. These models are challenging to find for under $100,000, but it’s possible. A quick glance at yachtworld.com shows several of both models available for less than $100,000. Again, the strong dollar makes European boats an excellent value.

The Snowgoose 37 is not sexy like go-fast cats, and not roomy like modern cruising cats. It is, however, seaworthy. Of the 500 built, many have circumnavigated. Older boats have solid fiberglass hulls, and more recent models are solid glass from the waterline down and cored above. The cockpit is rather compact by catamaran standards, and the bridgedeck is solid (no tramp). Many 37s and all Elites were rigged with staysails, a big plus in heavy weather. The masthead-­rigged Snowgoose 37 can be sailed like a monohull offshore, and it’s quite nice not having a huge, roachy mainsail to wrestle with in a storm. With a 15-foot-3-inch beam for the 37 and a 16-foot-3-inch beam for the Elite, it’s easy to find affordable dockage and yards for haulouts. Most boats have three double cabins, making the Snowgoose 37 an ideal family cruiser.

Corbin 39

The Corbin 39 is not as well known as it should be. It’s a capable bluewater sailboat cruiser with many impressive voyages logged. My Quetzal spent several weeks moored alongside a handsome 39 in Corfu that had sailed around the world, and I also spent a winter in Malta in the same boatyard as another 39 that had recently crossed the Atlantic. A canoe-stern, flush-deck pilothouse cutter, the 39 was offered with either an aft or center cockpit. Designed by Michael Dufour and constructed by Corbin les Bateaux in Canada, hull number one was launched in 1977. Built in various locations in Quebec, 129 boats were launched before a fire destroyed the deck tooling in 1982. A new deck with a larger cockpit was designed, and 70 more boats were laid up before production ceased in 1990.

The rub on the Corbin 39 is that the majority of boats were sold as kits with owner-­finished interiors. Kits varied from just hull-and-deck to “sailaway,” with everything fitted except the interior. Only 15 boats were finished at the factory. Not surprisingly, the interior quality is unpredictable, from rough-hewn lumberyard specials to beautifully handcrafted gems finished by marine professionals. The difference is reflected in the price. A nicely finished, well-equipped model from the mid-’80s typically sells for between $60,000 and $80,000.

The hull shape features a long fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder. The hulls are heavily laid up and include Airex coring. Early decks were plywood-cored, but most boats have Airex in the deck as well. Ballast is 9,000 pounds of internal lead, translating to a 40 percent ballast-to-displacement ratio. The wide flush deck is spacious, and the sleek pilothouse usually includes inside steering. Massive double anchor rollers are incorporated into the bowsprit in later models. Most boats include a double-­spreader spar, and almost all were set up as cutters. There’s plenty of freeboard, which becomes obvious below. While interior arrangements vary considerably, there’s a lot of room to work with. I prefer the post-1982 aft-cockpit 39s; they’re generally of a higher quality than earlier boats.

– CARRY A BEACON – Satellite beacons such as EPIRBs or PLBs allow boaters to transmit distress signals and their exact coordinates from anywhere on the planet, no cell service required. It may be the best $400 you ever spend. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Cabo Rico 38

Cabo Rico 38

“The Cabo Rico 38 hull shape is the one in which everything came together best,” wrote Bill Crealock in his design notes. He might have changed his mind later in life, considering that the Cabo Rico was introduced in 1977 and he designed many boats after that, but few will dispute that this 38-foot cutter, built in Costa Rica, is flat-out beautiful. From the clipper bow to the sweet sheer to the abundance of honey-colored teak, the Cabo Rico 38 is a boat to inspire the most practical among us to quit their job, buy this vessel, and head for the South Pacific.

Not surprisingly, many people have done just that. Cabo Rico built 200 full-keeled 38s, with most of the production occurring in the 1980s. There’s always a selection of boats for sale for less than $100,000. Cabo Rico was an outlier among manufacturers of the time, building serious cruising boats in Central America instead of Taiwan, but quality control was always excellent. The full keel is slightly cutaway, and the rudder is attached to the trailing edge. The prop is in an aperture and totally protected, but not well suited to backing into a slip. Full-keel boats may make some younger sailors cringe, but the CR 38 has a very soft ride in rough seas and heaves to effectively. It also has a solid fiberglass hull with a layer of balsa for insulation. Sometimes it’s noted that the hull is balsa-cored, but it’s not. After about hull number 40, lead was used instead of iron for internal ballast. The deck is balsa-cored, however, and there’s a substantial bulwark. Items to be wary of are the teak decks (most 38s have them) and the fittings supporting the bobstay.

A true cutter rig, the 38 has just under 1,000 square feet of working sail area and performs better than most people suspect. The staysail was originally set on a boom that cluttered the foredeck and limited sail shape. Many boats have been converted with furling staysails sans the boom — a nice upgrade. When the wind pipes up, the 38 tracks nicely with a reefed main and staysail. I encounter 38s all over the Caribbean. They’re easy to spot; they’re the beautiful boats in the anchorage.

Tayana Vancouver 42

Tayana Vancouver 42

Ta Yang, builder of Tayana sailboats, has been building capable cruising boats forever, it seems. The Robert Harris-designed Tayana Vancouver 42 has been a mainstay of the serious cruising fleet since the day it was launched in 1979, and is still in demand today. The company built 200 boats, mostly in the ’80s and early ’90s, although a few V42s were built into the 2000s. With a bit of digging and some haggling, you can find boats for less than $100,000, but they’re likely to be older models. As of this writing, yachtworld.com has eight V42s listed, with three asking less than $100,000.

I’ve encountered the V42 all over the world, and in my yacht-delivery days, I had the pleasure of delivering a couple of 42s up the East Coast and down to the Caribbean. The double-ended hull shape with a fin-skeg underbody is stiff and seaworthy, if not wickedly fast. Considering the rugged construction, with a solid fiberglass hull and balsa-cored deck, nobody has ever accused Ta Yang of going light on its boats. Ballast is internal iron, a massive single casting that weighs in at 11,800 pounds. Ta Yang has evolved as a builder, and later models included upgrades like vinylester resin and larger Yanmar diesels.

A true cutter, the V42 has a double-spreader rig and is heavily stayed. The seagoing deck is cambered to shed water. Teak decks, with all their virtues and vices, were common; I’d look for a boat that’s been de-teaked. Like the Corbin 39, the V42 came with either a center or aft cockpit, although most boats were aft-cockpit models. The aft cockpit is deep and secure, if a bit tight due to volume sacrificed by the canoe stern. The center cockpit is cramped but offers excellent visibility. The interior is lovely, with exquisite Taiwanese joinery. Although interior arrangements vary because Ta Yang encouraged owner input, across the board, this is a friendly boat for living aboard. The aft-cockpit model includes one head and a traditional layout with excellent light and ventilation. The center-­cockpit model features a large owner’s stateroom aft.

Wauquiez Pretorien 35

Wauquiez Pretorien 35

The Pretorien 35 does not pay homage to tradition. The Euro-style low-slung wedge deck and flattish lines were thoroughly modern when the Pretorien was launched in 1979. Sure, there are IOR influences in this well-proven Holman & Pye design, including a slightly pinched stern, cramped cockpit, and a high-aspect, short-boom mainsail that results in a large fore­triangle. But a small main is easy to handle offshore, especially in squally conditions, and a large poled-out furling genoa provides a low-stress way to cross oceans. The test of a design is revealed long after the launch, and the Pretorien has aged brilliantly. It’s often mistaken for a Swan or Baltic. Famed voyager and author Hal Roth chose a Pretorien for his last boat.

Below the water, which is what really matters at sea, the Pretorien pushes the right buttons for serious sailing. A fine entry provides enough of a forefoot to prevent pounding in lumpy conditions, and as on the Valiant 40, the fin keel incorporates a stub to which the external ballast is fastened. The rudder is mounted well aft for excellent steering control, especially on a deep reach, and is tucked behind a narrow but full-length skeg. The Pretorien displaces 13,000 pounds, of which 6,000 pounds is ballast, translating to a stiff, seakindly boat.

The construction is superb. The solid fiberglass hull includes longitudinal stringers that stiffen the panels and encapsulate the bulkheads. Tabbing and fiberglass work is first-rate throughout. Wauquiez was one of the first builders to use solid laminate beneath high-load deck fittings. The side decks are wide and, with the chainplates well inboard, easy to navigate. The interior arrangement is conventional, but ample beam amidships helps create a surprisingly spacious feel below.

There were 212 Pretoriens built during a seven-year production run, so there’s usually a good selection of boats on the used market. Today’s strong dollar makes European Pretoriens an excellent value.

– SHOW THEM HOW MUCH YOU CARE – Nothing says ‘I love you’ like making sure the kids’ life jackets are snugged up and properly buckled. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Gulfstar 44

Gulfstar 44

Gulfstar had a terrible reputation in the early ’70s: It was infamous for producing wide-body motorsailers with tiny rigs and chintzy Formica interiors. Company founder Vince Lazzara was adept at reading market trends and upped his game in the late ’70s and ’80s. Lazzara, who also founded Columbia Yachts, was a veteran of the production-­sailboat wars and realized that buyers were demanding high-quality boats that sailed well. The Gulfstar 44 was launched in 1978, and 105 were sold before the company started producing the Hirsh 45 in 1985.

Some mistake the G44 for a Bristol, and it has a similar profile, right down to the teak toerail and raked cabin trunk. A sleek center-­cockpit design, the hull shape features a 5-foot-6-inch fin keel, a skeg-hung rudder and moderate proportions. I know the boat well, having delivered one from Bermuda to Annapolis and another from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. It has a nice ride in lumpy seas and powers up when the big genoa is drawing on a reach. The construction is typical of the time, with solid fiberglass hulls and cored decks. Gulfstars were known to blister, and it’s likely that any 44 you find will have had an epoxy bottom job along the way — and if it hasn’t, it will need one. The keel-stepped spar has an air draft of 55 feet. Some owners have modified the sloop rig with a staysail. The cockpit is roomy, especially for a center-cockpit design, although there’s not much of a bridgedeck. All sail controls are led aft. Lazzara was an early proponent of this feature, and the boat is user-friendly overall.

The interior sells the boat. It’s nicely finished in teak, and the layout is made for living aboard. The aft cabin includes an enormous double berth with an en suite head and stall shower. The main saloon is spacious and well ventilated, although beware of the plastic opening portlights. If you are looking for a comfortable, well-built center-cockpit cruiser but can’t find one that you can afford, track down a Gulfstar 44; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Nordic 40

Any list of bluewater cruising sailboats must include a Robert Perry design. I could have easily put together nine Perry boats for this list. The Nordic 40 may surprise some, especially because 40 feet is an iconic length, bringing to mind such boats as the Valiant 40, Hinckley Bermuda 40, Bristol 40, Pacific Seacraft 40, Passport 40 and others. The trick is finding a 40-footer for less than $100,000. Nonetheless, the Nordic 40 and its larger sister ship, the 44, are among my favorite boats.

Based in Bellingham, Washington, Nordic produced world-class yachts during its brief production run in the 1980s. Only 40 Nordic 40s were launched between 1982 and 1987, but they’re worth seeking out on the used-boat market. The 40 features the classic double-ended Perry hull shape, with a fine entry, a deep and powerful fin keel, a skeg-mounted rudder positioned well aft, and a reverse transom. Freeboard is moderate and the sheer line is subtle, but to my eye, with its double-spreader rig and gently sloping deck line, the boat is poetry in the water.

The hull is solid fiberglass and the deck is balsa-cored, with solid laminates below loaded-up deck fittings. Original boats came with Navtec rod rigging and a hydraulic backstay, but many have been upgraded by now. Sail-control lines are led aft to the compact but functional T-shaped cockpit. The traveler is forward of the companionway, allowing for a cockpit dodger. The Nordic 40 is nimble in light to moderate breeze but can also stand up in a blow and heave to decently.

The interior is well suited to a cruising couple. It’s really a two-person boat, with a V-berth forward and large C-shaped galley aft, with plenty of counter space and a huge fridge. It includes the normal deft Perry touches — excellent sea berths, a separate stall shower and generous tankage. If you do find a Nordic 40 on the used market, be sure to take a hard look at the Westerbeke diesel and the V-drive transmission.

Pacific Seacraft 34

Pacific Seacraft 34

A handsome, nimble and capable double-ender by legendary designer Bill Crealock, the Pacific Seacraft 34 is well proven, with scores of ocean crossings in its wake.

After the boat was first launched as the Crealock 34 in 1979, Pacific Seacraft introduced a fifth model years later, a scaled-down version of the popular PS 37. Though expensive at the time, the 34 was another success story for one of America’s premier builders, and hundreds of boats were built in the company’s yard in Santa Ana, California. There is always a good selection of used boats available for less than $100,000. Another nice perk for used-boat buyers is that the 34 is back in production at the reincarnated Pacific Seacraft yard in Washington, North Carolina, providing an outlet for parts and advice. The company is now owned and operated by marine archaeologist Stephen Brodie and his father, Reid.

The 34 blends traditional values above the waterline with what was then a more modern underbody, with a long fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. A bit hefty at 13,500 pounds of displacement, the design otherwise is a study in moderation, and drawn with a keen eye toward providing a soft ride in a seaway and staying on good terms with Neptune in a blow.

The hull is solid fiberglass, and early decks were plywood-­cored before Pacific switched to end-grain balsa. The hull-to-deck joint incorporates a molded bulwark that offers added security when you’re moving about on deck, and a vertical surface for mounting stanchions.

Most 34s are cutter-rigged for versatility but carry moderate-­size genoas instead of high-cut yankees for more horsepower off the wind. Down below, the layout is traditional, but the 6-foot-4-inch headroom is a pleasant surprise. The Pacific Seacraft 34 is perfect for a cruising couple.

John Kretschmer is a delivery captain, adventurer and writer, whose own boat Quetzal , a 1987 Kaufman 47, has seen a refit or two over the years. His latest book is Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea , also available on his website .

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  • River Cruising

St. Petersburg to Moscow on Zosima Shaskov with Gate 1

By mermaid lady , August 17, 2014 in River Cruising

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mermaid lady

Will be leaving on a river cruise 9/5 - 9/16/14 from STP to Moscow on MS Zosima Shaskov, totally unfamiliar with boat and area, any info will help. I've been warned about what to do and not to do as far as food and water, which has already frightened me. We are a group of 12.

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Dear egocentric, welcome to Cruise Critic! You would get more responses if you had put the voyage in the header.

I believe the ship is similar to the Lev Tolstoy, which we cruised on last September. There is nothing to worry about if you keep common sense.

Please read our trip story on our website http://www.stevekathytravels.com. Our e-mail addresses are also on the website.

Also, if you go to this website, http://riverfleet.com/cruises/view?id=38, it gives a day by day breakdown of your cruise.

I hope you have gotten your Russian Visas by now. You can get rubles from any ATM in Moscow or STP. The exchange rate is about 36 to 1.

We are always happy to answer any questions.

Go and enjoy your trip, relax.:)

remydiva

Dear egocentric, welcome to Cruise Critic! You would get more responses if you had put the voyage in the header. I believe the ship is similar to the Lev Tolstoy, which we cruised on last September. There is nothing to worry about if you keep common sense. Please read our trip story on our website http://www.stevekathytravels.com. Our e-mail addresses are also on the website. Also, if you go to this website, http://riverfleet.com/cruises/view?id=38, it gives a day by day breakdown of your cruise. I hope you have gotten your Russian Visas by now. You can get rubles from any ATM in Moscow or STP. The exchange rate is about 36 to 1. We are always happy to answer any questions.

You were very kind to post all those links to the OP.

His first post to CC and only two weeks before a big trip to a foreign land, he was lucky to have your valuable info and insight.

Lets hope some of the others in his group of 12 have done some homework! Travelling to Russia definitely needs some prior planning!

You were very kind to post all those links to the OP.   His first post to CC and only two weeks before a big trip to a foreign land, he was lucky to have your valuable info and insight.   Lets hope some of the others in his group of 12 have done some homework! Travelling to Russia definitely needs some prior planning!

Thank you for your kind words. We enjoy sharing our experiences with others to help them out.

500+ Club

You might get some response if you post in the River Cruising section. There are often posts about Volga River cruises.

You could try the appropriate Roll Call board, but with only 150 passengers (approx) on river boats, it's unlikely that you will get many, or any responses from people cruising on the same date.

We did a similar cruise with another company six years ago. Russia is a magnificent destination and the river was fascinating.

Unfortunately the cruise boat excursions are in large groups and offer frustratingly brief glimpses of Moscow and St Petersburg. Best thing we did was to stay extra days in the centre of both cities to explore independently at our own pace.

Beware of pickpockets, they are excellent at what they do! Keep wallets etc. in inside, zippered pockets.

You might get some response if you post in the River Cruising section. There are often posts about Volga River cruises.   You could try the appropriate Roll Call board, but with only 150 passengers (approx) on river boats, it's unlikely that you will get many, or any responses from people cruising on the same date.   We did a similar cruise with another company six years ago. Russia is a magnificent destination and the river was fascinating. Unfortunately the cruise boat excursions are in large groups and offer frustratingly brief glimpses of Moscow and St Petersburg. Best thing we did was to stay extra days in the centre of both cities to explore independently at our own pace. Beware of pickpockets, they are excellent at what they do! Keep wallets etc. in inside, zippered pockets.

Thank you so much for your help, I am completely new to this. I don't even know how to post properly on this site. I do appreciate the information.

Host Jazzbeau

Host Jazzbeau

I am not a HE, and the name used was because it was the only name I could come up with as so many names were turned down. I really don't have an attitude I just came across this website by accident trying to get some information. But I would like to thank you for responding. Have a nice evening.
You might want to start over with a new name. Cruise Critic is a wonderful resource for all cruises, but as in a Greek tragedy our greatest strength is also our fatal flaw: the most prolific posters tend to have definite likes and dislikes based on their lengthy cruise history (often with one favorite cruise line). If your CC name seems to dis- them, your posts often will not get a fair hearing. Just human nature. ;)

tassietravellers

tassietravellers

Hi egocentric

you might want to post on the River Cruise Roll Call page, here is the link to it, if you use your cruise company, cruise title and travel date you might find other passengers and get more info relative to you.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=685

I hope you have a great trip, we've done a couple of river cruises and I'd love to go on one cruise in Russia...its on the bucket list! :-)

We have gained so much useful information from so many very helpful people here on CC, I hope you do too.

steamboats

I´ve just returned from Russia a week ago. I´ve been on the Ivan Bunin which is a sister ship to the Zosima Shashkov. The Ivan Bunin has been renovated in 2011 and the combined 2 cabins to one (not all of them but quite a few). The regular (old) cabins are really tiny (not to mention the bathroom). We were able to see a few cabins. You can see some cabin photos here . 326 is one of the "doubled" cabins (and we´ve been in that one) which has a larger bathroom.

The itinerary is really spectecular and I took more than 2,100 photo :D. So make sure you have enough data storage with you! But we also had gorgeous weather with upper 80ies and bright sunshine (a real heat wave for August). My review with lots of photos will be online soon but it´s in German. We did the St. Petersburg - Moskow itinerary.

Although the Russian are not allowed to accept foreign currency you were able to pay in Euro (and Dollar in some place) in most of the touristy spots (especially souvenir booths).

Food was simple but good. We had bottled water for all excursions. There are supermarkets up the street in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Not too far to walk. Water is pretty cheap.

Dear Jazzbeau,

The lady is a first time poster and had difficulty getting a screen name that was acceptable.

Please post instructions on how she can change her screen name to one that will not raise any hackles.

Hoyaheel

Dear Jazzbeau, The lady is a first time poster and had difficulty getting a screen name that was acceptable. Please post instructions on how she can change her screen name to one that will not raise any hackles. Thank you

Cruise Critic has a FAQ:D http://boards.cruisecritic.com/faq.php?faq=guidelines#faq_names

Copied from that FAQ link:

User Names & Signatures

You are allowed one Cruise Critic user name per person.

Although we are often amused and awed by the creativity of our members when in comes to the selection of a USER NAME for use in the community, Cruise Critic reserves the right to change and/or delete any USER NAME in our sole discretion. Please do not create names that are vulgar, inflammatory or are intended to be promotional in nature.

If you would like to change your user name, please send four or five choices for a new name along with the reason for the change to: [email protected] .

In addition, we may, at our discretion, change or remove inappropriate graphics or text from online signatures and profiles without notice. This may include vulgarity, nudity, political statements, and or any other content we feel inappropriate for our cruise community.

I hope your cruise is an exciting rewarding experience.

Thank you so much, hoyaheel.

I spoke to the lady today and she was successful in changing her screen name.

Found that OP had started another thread in another forum. Now that name is changed and threads are merged, let's help her out!

PS - thanks to Talisker92 for posting info on how to change names. I didn't have time to look this up before the problem was solved!

I spent a half hour on the phone with the nice lady and allayed a lot of her fears. We discussed currency, size of cabins, food and water,time differences, weather etc. Also suggested the not to miss sites.

I was glad I was able to help her.

My review is online now but it´s in German - anyway there are a lot of photos to look at so you can see what to expect.

We did change 150 Euros (actually we used the ATM at St. Petersburg airport). Most of the money went into the tips and a coffee break at Moscow airport. We are no big shoppers. We bought some magnets and some pieces of lace (as my Mom is a lace maker). There´s a lot of nice stuff to buy but nothing I really need. You can still change money onboard or pay with Dollars / Euro and receive Rubel as change.

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best bluewater cruising sailboats

Dyna-Ski Boats custom builds outboard powered water ski boats for recreational skiers and show ski clubs. We have customers all over the world including Malaysia, the Caribbean, Moscow, Russia, the Cayman Islands and Canada. This blog is used to keep readers informed about what is going on at Dyna-Ski and answers questions that are frequently asked. You can also visit www.dyna-ski.com for more information about our boats. Contact Dyna-Ski at [email protected] or call 715-854-7501.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The true cost of restoring an old 18' hydrodyne or 20' hydrodyne.

best bluewater cruising sailboats

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IMAGES

  1. Twelve Top Bluewater Cruising Boats

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  2. Twelve Top Bluewater Cruising Boats

    best bluewater cruising sailboats

  3. 43 of the best bluewater sailing yacht designs of all time

    best bluewater cruising sailboats

  4. 43 of the best bluewater sailing yacht designs of all time

    best bluewater cruising sailboats

  5. 43 of the best bluewater sailing yacht designs of all time

    best bluewater cruising sailboats

  6. 43 of the best bluewater sailing yacht designs of all time

    best bluewater cruising sailboats

VIDEO

  1. (SAILING VIDEO) Blue Water Cruisers SAILING THE DEEP BLUE SEA

  2. TOP 6 BLUE WATER SAILBOATS FOR COUPLES WE CONSIDERED SAILBOATS FOR SALE??? WAVE 11

  3. Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats

  4. Best Bluewater Sailboat under 40ft

  5. The best bluewater cruiser ever? This Xc47 is definitely worth a closer look!

  6. Tour of the ULTIMATE Bluewater Classic Boat (Swan 55)

COMMENTS

  1. 43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

    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 ...

  2. Twelve Top Bluewater Cruising Boats

    Oyster 56. In the ranks of dream bluewater cruisers, Oyster is right up there. The 56 is the British yard's most popular boat; small enough to be handled by two people, big enough to cross an ocean quickly and comfortably, yet not so large or complex as to need a full-time pro crew.

  3. The best bluewater sailboats (we analyzed 2,000 boats to find out)

    The 10 best bluewater boats. 1. Westsail 32. Photo credit: SailboatData.com. The Westsail 32 is one of the most iconic bluewater cruisers and 19 have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rally since 2009. In 1973, this small cruising sailboat garnered a 4-page spread in Time magazine.

  4. The best bluewater multihulls of all time: a complete guide

    Best bluewater multihulls for pedigree cruising Lagoon 380 The long-time best-seller from the world leader in catamarans, with more than 1,000 produced over almost 20 years from 1999.

  5. 4 best bluewater cruisers of 2022

    Best bluewater cruisers 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 ...

  6. Review: HH44-SC, SAIL Top 10 Best Boats 2024 Winner

    While the execs at HH stress that the 44 was designed as a luxurious, bluewater cruising cat, there's no mistaking the performance lineage here. ... As a result, of all the boats the SAIL Top 10 Best Boats review team saw for 2024, none put sustainable sailing as far in the forefront as the HH44. There are two models, OC—Ocean Cruising ...

  7. 5 Top Affordable Bluewater Cruising Sailboats

    With these considerations in mind, here are my picks—five top choices for affordable bluewater cruising sailboats (in alphabetical order). Caliber 40 LRC. The Caliber 40 design appeared in 1991 and through its evolution into the 40 LRC, remains a very attractive cutter. It has a fully encapsulated, elongated fin keel, and the ballast to ...

  8. Bluewater Cruising And Sailing Guide

    Jeanneau's new 2022 Sun Odyssey 380 sail boat is a bluewater cruising capable vessel with a base price of $237,000 that is on a short list candidate for couples and families looking to escape onto the water for day sails or extended coastal cruising. Above: A 2022 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 Sailboat. Photo by Jeanneau.

  9. Best Liveaboard Bluewater Catamarans

    The best production blue water cruising catamarans are the Manta 42, the Lagoon 42, the Leopard 45, the Lagoon 450, and the Prout 45. These vessels have excellent living accommodations and great sea keeping abilities. ... Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K. Daniel Wade. December 28, 2023. Popular Posts. Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats ...

  10. 5 Of The Best Bluewater Cruising Powerboats In 2022

    Above: A 2022 Silent 62 triple deck catamaran yacht for sale on YachtWorld by Silent Yachts. Photo by Silent Yachts. This beautiful trans-ocean yacht is the ultimate in both luxury and design. With fully solar powered electric motors, it has an unlimited range, zero emission, and noiseless cruising. Multiple layout options offer 4-6 cabins ...

  11. 20 Bluewater Cruising Sailboats Under $100,000

    One of the most common downfalls of the Hans 38-T is electrical problems, so be sure to get the wiring checked out by a professional. Outside of electrical issues, this boat is a proven winner in the cruising world. Prices start around $70,000 but expect to pay well over $100,000 for the more admirable models.

  12. Best Bluewater Cruising Sailboats: Top Picks & Reviews

    Carries Sufficient Power, Water, Fuel, and Food. Comfort Ratio and Ride Quality. Flexible Sailplan for All Types of Weather. Handholds and Safe Decks. 10 Best Offshore Bluewater Sailboats. Tayana 37. Pacific Seacraft/Crealock 37/40/44. Baba/Tashiba/Panda 40. Valiant 40/42/47/50.

  13. The best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet (we analyzed ...

    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.

  14. 5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats

    Here are the best liveaboard sailboats for bluewater cruising. 1. Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20. cdmech. The Flicka 20 is the smallest and most interesting sailboat on our list. At only 20 feet overall in length, the interior accommodations of this vessel are spartan at best and suitable for minimalist living.

  15. 7 Legendary Solo Bluewater Sailboats Worth Considering

    Solo bluewater sailboats are designed to be sailed by a single person, making them ideal for solo circumnavigation or long-distance cruising. You can get the Contessa 32 and Westsail 32 for as little as $30,000. The maintenance and repair costs of the seven boats range from $5,000 to $50,000 per year. Marina fees and insurance can range from ...

  16. Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats

    Table of contents. ‍ 1. Cape Dory 30. If you're looking for a quality, affordable bluewater sailboat, the Cape Dory 30 is definitely worth a look. This boat has been cruising the world's oceans for over 30 years and has a well-deserved reputation for being sturdy, reliable and easy to sail.

  17. What are the Best Small Bluewater Sailboats? Cruisers Top Picks

    The Pardeys are icons of small sailboat cruising. Having sailed over 200,000 nautical miles and circumnavigated both east and westbound on their home-built, engine-free, sub-30-feet cutters, they are among the most recognized sailors in the world. They're also known as "America's first couple of cruising.".

  18. 11 Best Single Handed Bluewater Sailboats

    Hallberg Rassy 352. This is a sturdy and high-quality sailboat built between 1978 to 1991. It features a progressive design, combining a walk through with the aft-cabin from the main saloon. It is made with a tall and standard rig each supported on double and single spreaders, respectively.

  19. 10 Best Used Cruising Sailboats & Liveaboards

    Any list of bluewater cruising sailboats must include a Robert Perry design. I could have easily put together nine Perry boats for this list. The Nordic 40 may surprise some, especially because 40 feet is an iconic length, bringing to mind such boats as the Valiant 40, Hinckley Bermuda 40, Bristol 40, Pacific Seacraft 40, Passport 40 and others.

  20. Pre-Owned Bluewater Cruising Sailboats For Sale

    OYSTER COLLECTION. Oyster is one of the world's top bluewater cruising sailboat brands. Built in the UK, Oysters are finely crafted seaworthy yachts that capable of ocean passages and circumnavigation, with their most popular models being in the 50-70ft range. The Oyster Collection features current Oyster yachts for sale as well as videos ...

  21. GCT Moscow to St. Petersburg have you done it?

    This is my first time with GCT and I was very disappointed when they said they were substituting a WWII memorial and Victory Park tour for a tour of the Kremlin and Armory Museum. We can take the Kremlin Armory tour for $60.00. The War Memorial and Victory Park tour was originally $45.00. They sa...

  22. St. Petersburg to Moscow

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  23. St. Petersburg to Moscow on Zosima Shaskov with Gate 1

    Will be leaving on a river cruise 9/5 - 9/16/14 from STP to Moscow on MS Zosima Shaskov, totally unfamiliar with boat and area, any info will help. Ive been warned about what to do and not to do as far as food and water, which has already frightened me. We are a group of 12.

  24. Dyna-Ski Boats: The true cost of restoring an old 18' Hydrodyne or 20

    He has been restoring - here is the cost so far, without gel/paint. All the labor he has provided. $1450 - largest expense for 7 Bluewater 26 Coosa boards 1/2" x 4 x 8'. Transom and stringers have eaten 3+ sheets. The 3+ left should be enough to do the floor. $460 - 6 1" thick Divinycell H80 core material 4' x 32".