13 Best Cruising Sailboats in 2023 & Why They're Better

If you're interested in long-distance exploration at sea, cruising sailboats are a popular choice. The best cruising sailboats are designed to provide comfort, durability, and seaworthiness. From high-performance cruisers with heirloom-quality materials to versatile boats, there's something in this lineup for your skill level and preference. These boats have raised the bar and are set to provide memorable sailing experiences.

The best cruising sailboats are:

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54

Jeanneau sun odyssey 490, x-yachts x49, dufour grand large 460, hallberg-rassy 340, tartan 4300, island packet 420, fountaine pajot saona 47, lagoon 450f, bavaria cruiser 46.

One aspect that sets these sailboats apart is their focus on innovation and performance. Let's take a closer look at the 13 best cruising sailboats of 2023 and explore what makes them stand out from the rest.

  • These cruising sailboats feature spacious interiors, sturdy hulls, and versatile sail configurations.
  • These sailboats are equipped with navigation and communication systems, as well as additional features such as watermakers, generators, and refrigeration systems.
  • You can buy these boats for anything between $250,000 and $1.4 million or more.
  • A cruiser is a type of sailboat that is generally larger and more comfortable than a racing sailboat.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

On this page:

Best cruising sailboats, why these sailboats are better, the most popular cruising sailboat.

Size Accommodation Starting Price
50 feet 6 to 8 people $1.3 million
56.5 feet 6 to 8 people $1.4 million
54 feet 6 to 8 people $690,000
49 feet 6 to 8 people $425,000
49 feet 6 to 8 people $1.2 million
46 feet 6 to 8 people $370,000
45.8 feet 6 to 8 people $350,000
34 feet 4 to 5 people $300,000
43 feet 6 to 8 people $600,000
42 feet 6 to 8 people $550,000
47 feet 8 to 10 people $900,000
45 feet 8 to 10 people $700,000
46 feet 6 to 8 people $250,000

In this section, we'll explore the 13 best cruising sailboats of 2023, highlighting their unique features and reasons why they stand out in the market.

Living Space Seaworthiness Sailing Performance Safety Storage Space Energy Efficiency Durability
5 5 4 5 5 5 5
5 5 4 5 5 4 5
5 4 4 4 5 4 4
4 4 4 4 5 4 4
3 5 5 4 4 4 5
5 4 4 4 5 4 4
4 4 5 4 4 4 4
4 5 4 4 4 4 5
4 4 4 4 4 4 5
4 5 3 4 5 3 5
5 4 4 4 5 4 4
5 4 4 4 5 4 4
4 4 4 4 4 5 4

Comfortable living space : A cruising sailboat should have a comfortable living space that can accommodate the crew for an extended period of time. This includes a spacious cabin, galley, head, and berths.

Seaworthiness : A cruising sailboat should be able to handle rough seas and adverse weather conditions. It should have a sturdy hull, a well-designed keel, and a balanced rigging system.

Sailing performance : A cruising sailboat should have good sailing performance, which includes speed, stability, and ease of handling. It should be able to sail efficiently in different wind conditions.

Safety features : A cruising sailboat should have safety features such as a reliable navigation system, adequate safety equipment, and a strong anchoring system.

Storage space : A cruising sailboat should have enough storage space for provisions, equipment, and personal belongings. This includes storage lockers, shelves, and compartments.

Energy efficiency : A cruising sailboat should have an energy-efficient system that can provide power for lighting, electronics, and other equipment without relying on shore power.

Durability : A cruising sailboat should be built to last and withstand the wear and tear of extended cruising. This includes using high-quality materials and construction techniques.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

The Amel 50 is known for its luxurious and comfortable accommodations, and excellent seaworthiness. Its unique features include a spacious interior with modern design, an innovative cockpit layout, and a powerful yet easy-to-handle sailing system.

The Amel 50 has a unique feature called the "Amel Easy Docking" system, which allows for easy and precise maneuvering in tight spaces. It also has a unique "Amel Silent Block" system, which reduces noise and vibration for a more comfortable ride.

The Oyster 565 is known for its high-quality construction, attention to detail, and luxurious accommodations, as well as its excellent safety features. It provides you with exceptional performance and comfort. Its sleek hull design offers fast, stable sailing, while the spacious, high-quality interior ensures you'll enjoy your time onboard.

The Oyster 565 has a unique feature called the "Oyster Deck Saloon," which provides 360-degree views and adequate natural light in the living space. It also has a unique "Oyster DNA" system, which allows for customization of the boat to suit the owner's preferences.

With its cutting-edge design and performance, the Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54 lets you sail in style. Its chined hull, twin rudders, and easy handling make it a pleasure to sail, while the spacious, modern interior ensures your comfort on longer voyages.

The Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54 has a unique feature called the "Dock & Go" system, which allows for easy and precise maneuvering in tight spaces. It also has a unique "Beneteau Smart Sailing" system, which includes a suite of electronic and navigational tools for easy and safe sailing.

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 is known for its hard chine design, and excellent performance and stability. It offers innovative design and functionality. Its walk-around decks, unique cockpit layout, and high-quality interior make it ideal for cruising in comfort.

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 has a unique feature called the "Walk-Around Deck," which allows for easy and safe movement around the boat. It also has a unique "Jeanneau Sun Loft" system, which provides a flexible and customizable living space.

The X-Yachts X49 combines performance, luxury, and comfort. It is known for its high-performance hull design, excellent speed and stability. With its fast hull, advanced sailing systems, and plush interior, the X49 is perfect for both racing and cruising.

The X-Yachts X49 has a unique feature called the "X-Yachts Pure X" system, which includes a suite of performance-enhancing features such as a carbon fiber mast and boom, a racing-inspired sail plan, and a deep lead keel.

The Dufour Grand Large 460 provides you with both comfort and performance. It is known for its innovative design, featuring a self-tacking jib and retractable bow thruster for easy handling. Its spacious interior, ergonomic deck layout, and powerful sailing capabilities make it an excellent choice for long-distance cruising.

The Dufour Grand Large 460 has a unique feature called the "Dufour Easy" system, which includes a suite of tools for easy and safe sailing, such as a self-tacking jib and retractable bow thruster. It also has a unique "Dufour Grand Large Lounge" system, which provides a flexible and customizable living space.

Experience easy handling and modern style with the Hanse 458. It is known for its sleek and modern design, self-tacking jib, large swim platform. Its innovative self-tacking jib, efficient deck layout, and comfortable accommodation make it perfect for family cruising.

The Hanse 458 has a unique feature called the "Hanse Easy Sailing" system, which includes a suite of tools for easy and safe sailing, such as a self-tacking jib and retractable bow thruster. It also has a unique "Hanse Individual Cabin Concept" system, which allows for customization of the living space to suit the owner's preferences.

Known for its quality and craftsmanship, the Hallberg-Rassy 340 offers you comfort and performance in a compact package. It is known for its classic design, long waterline, spacious cockpit, and comfortable and practical accommodations. With its stable hull, efficient sailplan, and well-designed interior, it's ideal for long-range cruising on a smaller scale.

The Hallberg-Rassy 340 has a unique feature called the "Hallberg-Rassy Hardtop," which provides protection from the elements and a spacious cockpit area. It also has a unique "Hallberg-Rassy Quality Concept" system, which includes high-quality construction materials and techniques for durability and longevity.

The Tartan 4300 delivers a perfect balance of performance and comfort. It is known for its high-quality construction, cored hull and deck for added strength and durability. Its epoxy-infused hull provides lightweight strength, while the spacious, beautifully crafted interior ensures a luxurious cruising experience.

The Tartan 4300 has a unique feature called the "Tartan Infusion Molding Process," which allows for precise and consistent construction of the hull and deck for added strength and durability. It also has a unique "Tartan Smart Sailing" system, which includes a suite of electronic and navigational tools for easy and safe sailing.

For those who value comfort and classic design, the Island Packet 420 won't disappoint. It is known for its full keel design, excellent stability and seaworthiness. Its spacious, well-appointed interior and solid construction make it a reliable choice for long voyages.

The Island Packet 420 has a unique feature called the "Island Packet Full Foil Keel," which provides excellent stability and seaworthiness. It also has a unique "Island Packet Anchoring System," which includes a powerful windlass and a custom-designed anchor roller for easy and safe anchoring.

The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 catamaran offers you the perfect combination of speed, stability, and space. Its sleek hulls and spacious, well-designed living areas make it an excellent choice for cruising with friends and family.

The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 has a unique feature called the "Fountaine Pajot Helmsman's Position," which provides excellent visibility and control of the boat. It also has a unique "Fountaine Pajot Lounge Deck" system, which provides a spacious and comfortable living space.

Cruise in style on the Lagoon 450F, known for its spacious accommodations and excellent performance under sail. With its distinctive flybridge, comfortable cabins, and efficient sailing system, it's ideal for multi-day getaways.

The Lagoon 450F has a unique feature called the "Lagoon Flybridge," which provides excellent visibility and control of the boat. It also has a unique "Lagoon Spacious Cockpit" system, which provides a comfortable and practical living space.

The Bavaria Cruiser 46 is a versatile and stylish cruiser that offers excellent performance and comfort. It is known for its innovative design, featuring a drop-down transom for easy access to the water. Its user-friendly sailing systems, attractive interior, and practical deck layout make it an ideal choice for a wide range of cruising adventures.

The Bavaria Cruiser 46 has a unique feature called the "Bavaria Hybrid Propulsion System," which allows for energy-efficient sailing and propulsion. It also has a unique "Bavaria Smart Storage" system, which provides enough storage space for gear and supplies. Additionally, the Bavaria Cruiser 46 has a unique "Bavaria Vision" design concept, which includes a spacious and comfortable living space with plenty of natural light and ventilation.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Cruising Gear Essentials

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Key features to look for

Versatile hull design.

This allows your sailboat to navigate in various conditions, making it ideal for long-distance cruising.

Efficient sail plan

By having a well-designed sail layout, your boat provides better control, handling, and propulsion.

High-quality construction

Top-quality materials and craftsmanship not only increase the boat's durability, but also enhance its performance.

Comfortable accommodations

When you spend extended periods at sea, you want your sailboat to feel like home, with adequate living space and modern amenities. For an extended sailing trip, you are going to need these 41 sailboat cruising essentials .

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

How they improve sailing experience

Easier boat handling.

Advanced rigging systems, self-tacking jibs, and other innovative technologies make it easier for you to manage your boat, allowing for more time spent enjoying the sea.

Increased safety

State-of-the-art navigation equipment and weather forecasting systems help you anticipate environmental changes, ensuring a safe voyage.

Sustainable power options

Many sailboats in 2023 come with solar panels, hydro generators, or hybrid propulsion options, reducing your environmental impact and providing more sustainable choices while out at sea.

Integrated connectivity

These boats boast digital systems that allow you to stay connected, monitor your journey, and update your friends and family with your adventures.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Their advantages over others

Better performance.

These boats have been designed with speed, stability, and maneuverability in mind, ensuring top-notch sailing experiences.

Longevity and value

Since they're built with high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship, these boats are certain to last, making them a wise investment.

Customization options

Many of these sailboats offer customizable features, allowing you to tailor the boat to your specific needs and preferences.

Award-winning designs

Several of these boats have received prestigious awards for their innovative features and performance, making them the ultimate cruising sailboats for any passionate sailor.

The Island Packet 420 and Lagoon 450F are the two most popular cruising sailboats known for their comfort, seaworthiness, and versatility.

The Island Packet 420 is a well-regarded cruising sailboat that has a loyal following. It is known for its spacious interior, comfortable accommodations, and good sailing performance.

The Island Packet 420 features a full keel and a cutter rig, which makes it a stable and seaworthy vessel that can handle a variety of weather conditions. The sailboat has a large master cabin, a well-equipped galley, and a comfortable salon area, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy extended periods of time at sea.

The Lagoon 450F is a popular choice for those who want to explore the world by boat. It is known for its spacious interior, stable platform, and good sailing performance.

The Lagoon 450F features a catamaran hull design, which provides a stable and comfortable platform that is ideal for long-distance cruising. The sailboat has a spacious cockpit, multiple sleeping quarters, and a well-equipped galley, making it a popular choice for those who want to travel with family or friends.

The best size cruising sailboat

The best size cruising sailboat is in the range of 40 to 50 feet. Sailboats in this size range are large enough to provide comfortable accommodations for an extended period of time at sea, yet small enough to be easily handled by a small crew or even single-handed.

Sailboats that are too small may lack the necessary amenities and space for long-distance cruising, while sailboats that are too large may be difficult to handle and require a larger crew. Ultimately, the best size cruising sailboat will depend on individual preferences, needs, and intended use, and it's important to consider factors such as comfort, safety, and ease of handling when choosing a cruising sailboat.

The safest cruising sailboat

Hallberg-Rassy 340, and Island Packet 420 are considered among the safest cruising sailboats. These sailboats are known for their sturdy construction, well-designed hulls, and reliable systems. They are also known for their ability to handle a variety of weather conditions and their comfortable accommodations. However, safety can also depend on the boat maintenance, and the skill and experience of the crew.

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Published on April 29th, 2020 | by Editor

Boat Review: Comparing 40 foot cruisers

Published on April 29th, 2020 by Editor -->

Paulo Pernão of Interesting Sailboats takes a look at the new mass production 40-foot sailboat offers: the Bavaria 42 C and the Beneteau Oceanis 40.1:

Judging by the name the Bavaria is not a 40ft but a 42ft and that is misleading. In fact the Oceanis is 1mm longer (hull length) than the Bavaria.

Both boats look good and very successfully manage to disguise the high freeboard and the big interior volume, not to call “fatness”. I would say the Beneteau looks just a bit better, meaning more sportive than the Bavaria, but I admit that some will prefer the more sober and elegant Bavaria look.

Both boats have about the same length being the Bavaria in what regards hull length 1mm shorter (11.98m to 11.99) and about the same LOA, both boats with bowsprit (12.90 to 12.87). The Bavaria bowsprit is optional; it remains to be seen if the one on the Oceanis 40.1 will be standard or also optional.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

The Bavaria is beamier (4.29 to 4.18m) with the Oceanis 40.1 slightly less beamier than the previous model, the 41.1, that notwithstanding the name is 1mm shorter in length. The Bavaria has a bigger displacement (9678kg to 8180). This is due partially to the bigger ballast (2698kg to 2007kg with a draft of 2.10m to 2.17).

I confess that this difference in weight is quite intriguing because due to hull building techniques, the Bavaria should be lighter and stronger for the same weight. Bavaria uses vacuum infusion and polyester resins on a sandwich hull having Divinycell foam as core and a structural grid bonded to the hull.

Beneteau uses similar resins but on a monolithic hull with a structural inner moulding bonded to the hull. Only on deck the technologies are similar, using both a sandwich composite using injection technology.

For the same weight the Bavaria should be stronger and considerably stiffer than the Oceanis so it is hard to explain why the Bavaria weights 807kg more (already discounting the difference in ballast weight).

Full report… click here .

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Tags: Bavaria 42 C , Interesting Sailboats , Oceanis 40.1 , Paulo Pernão

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5 Best Cruising Sailboats In 2024

Best Cruising Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

January 2, 2024

The appeal of owning a cruising sailboat is one that deep down almost everyone shares.

Even someone who has no intention of ever sailing can see the appeal of owning such a vessel.

So much of the appeal is tied into the possibilities , the sense of wonder that owning such a boat bestows on its owner.

‍ Whether you are making a voyage from one coast of the United States to the other or plan to make your way around the globe, a decent cruising sailboat is a must. Not all sailboats are built to withstand the high seas and high winds of the open water.

Sure, they may do well enough when hugging the coastline, but sailing far and away over the horizon is a completely different animal.

This article will help you know what to look for in a cruising sailboat and which specific boats you should look into buying. There are hundreds of great options on the market, these 5 are just some of the best.

Table of contents

What are cruising sailboats?

Cruising sailboats are ones that are designed to be used over long distances.

They are bigger, stronger, and far more stable.

If you imagine a typical small sailboat such as a wayfarer you are looking at a pretty solid boat.

Good quality, great for beginners, very safe, very affordable.

But, it is simply not going to cut it out at sea for long.

People have used the wayfarer to sail from the United Kingdom to Norway.

But, people have also done that in a kayak.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should or that you would even want to if given the opportunity.

A cruising boat is meant to be liveable for long periods between making land.

Typically, cruising just means a multi-day trip.

In reality, it can be far longer.

Reid Stowe once sailed his self built 70-foot schooner for over three and a half years.

This is an extreme example, no one lives on their boat that long, but it gives you an idea of the possibilities.

To be able to spend so much time on a boat requires that it be of an adequate size to accommodate everything you would need.

If a sailboat is capable of housing you for a few days, technically it can be classed as a cruising sailboat .

Typically, cruising sailboats can reach speeds of ten knots.

This is needed to be able to make it from one point of land to another before supplies run out.

This is not a technical requirement to be “classed” as a cruising sailboat, just a practical one.

What makes a sailboat good for traveling long distances?

While, yes, a sailboat capable of traveling for multiple days without making land could be classed as a cruising sailboat. There are some criteria that it needs to hit to be considered a good choice. Your sailboat needs to not only be capable of making the journey but doing it safely. Here are some important things to consider when deciding if a sailboat would be suitable for cruising:

A boat that is not going to be stable is not ideal for cruising. When sailing for multiple days chances are you are going to crossing through rough seas and dangerous waters. If you don’t have a boat that can stand up to these conditions you are going to be in trouble. A good way of assessing stability is width and hull type. If a boat has a very wide, or multiple, hulls you can assume it is going to be quite stable.

The bigger the boat the better, not only for stability but for comfort. If you are going to be essentially trapped on your boat for several days it is a good idea to have as much room to move about as possible. Both in the cabin and on the deck. If you are stuck inside because of bad weather for several days every extra square foot you have is going to be a blessing. Size matters to when you consider how many people you can bring on your voyage. They don’t just require their sleeping quarters/bunk they need space to move around.

Strength matters. A strong hull will help you withstand even the roughest conditions. Some boats are built with metal reinforcing on their hulls, some aren’t. If given the choice, you would do well to choose the former. Strength doesn’t just mean material but the overall build of the boat. If a boat doesn’t have a strong mast, the sail is more likely to come down. A sailboat without a mast or sail is much more likely to capsize.

Being able to travel long distances is not only limited by the strength or sturdiness of the boat but how much storage it has. If you plan to be sailing for 7 days you will need 7 days worth of supplies. If a boat doesn’t have the storage to accommodate this, you won’t be able to make the journey. Just because a boat is larger doesn’t mean it will have more storage room.

Experience:

More than anything, what makes a sailboat suitable for cruising is having an experienced skipper. There is a big difference between sailing for multiple days and multiple hours. Make sure you are capable of making the voyage before you think about whether your boat can.

What do people find so appealing about sailing long distances?

There is such a romantic notion of being able to sail wherever you please, whenever you please. Being able to make long voyages is so much more exciting than shorter ones. The chance to cruise from country to country is such an exciting opportunity that few people in the modern era have. Sailing from country to country used to be the only way to get around. Now, everyone uses planes. Sailing brings people back to their ancestral roots in a way no other form of transport does. There may not be new lands to discover on behalf of our countries, but there are new lands to discover for ourselves. Reading about, hearing about, or watching documentaries on places is not the same as exploring them for yourself by sea.

The sense of adventure and discovery is like nothing else. Who doesn’t dream of making the journey around the world? Most people will never do it, but the dream is still there. Most of all though, long-distance cruising is exciting . The adrenaline from making the dangerous trip through open sees is truly exhilarating. Whether you are racing or cruising along at your own pace, there is always a sense of danger when out at sea. Some people love it, they crave it, but it isn’t for everyone.

Is sailing long distances dangerous?

Sailing long distances may be romantic, it may be exciting, it may be freeing, but it is also one of the most dangerous things you can do. When you are out of contact with the rest of the world, out at sea beyond the help of those onshore, the potential for danger is huge. You don’t know what will happen, you don’t know what could go wrong. No matter how experienced, how skilled, or how brave you are there is the potential for disaster. There are things you can do to improve the odds. Being a great sailor is one, making sure you have the best cruising sailboat possible is another. You don’t have to spend millions or even hundreds of thousands on getting a great sailboat. Some are far more affordable than you might expect.

What are the 5 best cruising sailboats?

There are so many fantastic sailboats out there that finding the right one might feel impossible. The choice is overwhelming, even with the above guide on what to look for in your boat there are still almost endless choices. Luckily, this article is here to help. This section will give you a good selection of cruising sailboats at various price points. Which one is best for you will likely depend on a mixture of preference and budget. While none of these boats are exactly cheap, they won’t break the bank like some of the other options on the market.

Prout Snowgoose 37

{{boat-info="/boats/prout-snowgoose-37"}}

If you are looking for a reliable sailboat look no farther than the Prout Snowgoose 37. This large catamaran makes use of its double hulls for increased width and stability. It is easy to steer, handles well, and is pretty spacious. There are more roomy catamarans on the market but none are as strong as this one. It is built to be sailed long distances in rough conditions. Its fiberglass hull makes it light and nimble all while retaining its strength. It is a slightly older model, but one that will serve you well. It is British made so finding one in the States can be a little tricky. If you do find one though you would do well to jump at the chance to purchase it.

Price: Less than $100k

{{boat-info="/boats/corbin-39"}}

The Corbin 39 is a beautiful blue water sailboat. It is a very rare boat with a proud history. Only a handful of these boats were finished to completion in the factory, the majority were sold as kits and built by the boat’s owner. Because of this method of production, this model can vary drastically on the inside. The interiors are all expressions of their owner’s creativity, and craftsmanship. This means you may want to have a proper look around inside the boat before purchasing one. The outside, especially the hull, is likely to be the same from boat to boat as they were sold as a piece. If you don’t mind potentially having to remodel the interior this might be the boat for you. The Corbin 39 is a rather large boat, the deck is huge and is perfect for transporting multiple passengers. You may have to shell out some more cash for renovations but the boat itself is second to none.

Price: $80k

Tayana Vancouver 42

{{boat-info="/boats/tayana-vancouver-42"}}

Finding one of these cruisers isn’t going to be too hard, as quite a few were made, but it is important to note they were made almost 40 years ago. Some models were made in the early 2000s, but not many. This double-ended hull cruiser is incredibly strong, it has a cast iron ballast and can withstand even the very worst weather conditions. This boat is strong, rugged, but not very quick. If you are looking for speed this is not the boat for you. The hull is fiberglass so you know you are getting a sturdy boat, but the trade-off from the iron ballast means this boat is heavy and slow to maneuver. This double sail cruiser costs anywhere from $80-$100 grand depending on how old the model you are looking at is. The older ones are a bit cheaper, at the expense of being a little worse for wear.

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

This 40-foot cruiser is a jack of all trades type of craft. If you are looking for a very solid middle of the pack choice this is the one for you. It does everything well but excels almost nowhere except in size. The Nordic 40 is very large for the price you are paying, so you are certainly getting your money worth here. This vessel is sturdy, strong, light and nimble. It is capable of moving very quickly and agilely through the water in a light breeze but is more than capable of resisting tougher conditions. If you are looking for a cruiser that is good for living on, not just sailing on, this could be the one for you. Its extra size means extra storage and living spaces. It has a great shower, huge fridge, plenty of counter space and decent sized sleeping quarters.

Pacific Sea Craft 34

{{boat-info="/boats/pacific-seacraft-34"}}

If you are looking for the perfect cruiser for you and your significant other, the Pacific Sea Craft 34 is just what you are looking for. It has a solid fiberglass hull and is capable of reaching decent speeds. The 34 may be slightly smaller than some of the other options but it still has plenty of storage, six and a half feet of headroom, and is simply stunning to look at. This sailboat is incredibly well designed, its 13,500 pounds of displacement make it strong and sure in the water without losing its agility.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea about what to look for in a sailing cruise boat. There are so many great options on the market, the ones mentioned above are just a good starting point. If you take the time to find the right boat for you , you won’t regret it. Buying a cruising sailboat is a huge commitment, it is important to be sure of your choice before you make the purchase. Good luck with your hunt for the perfect cruiser!

Thinking of living on a sailboat? Read up on the 10 Best Sailboats To Live In.

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

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43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

Yachting World

  • January 5, 2022

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

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

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

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

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

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best 40 ft cruising sailboat

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

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

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

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

Best bluewater sailboats of 2022

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

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

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

Allures 51.9 price: €766,000

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

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

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

Ovni 370 price: €282,080

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

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

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

Windelo 50 price: €795,000

Best bluewater sailboat of 2022 – Outremer 55

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outremer 55 price: €1.35m

Best bluewater sailboats for comfort

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

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

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

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

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Photo: Sander van der Borch

Contest 50CS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk II

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

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

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

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

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Discovery 55

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

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

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

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

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Photo: Latitudes Picture Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Privilege Serie 5

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

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

Gunfleet 43

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

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Photo: David Harding

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

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

Read our full review of the Kraken 50 .

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Wauquiez Centurion 57

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

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

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

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Photo: Voyage of Swell

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

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

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Photo: Peter Szamer

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

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Tartan 3700

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

Broker ’ s choice

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Discovery 55 Brizo

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

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Oyster 575 Ayesha

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

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Oyster 575 Pearls of Nautilus

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

Best bluewater yachts for performance

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

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Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

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

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

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Photo: Graham Snook

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

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

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Outremer 51

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sweden Yachts 45

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

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

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Photo: Julien Girardot / EYOTY

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

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Photo: Andreas Lindlahr

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

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Seawind 1600

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

Best bluewater sailboats for families

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

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Photo: Nicholas Claris

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

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

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

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Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

Fountaine Pajot Helia 44

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

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

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Photo: Arnaud De Buyzer / graphikup.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo: Bertel Kolthof

Jeanneau 54

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

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

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Nautitech Open 46

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

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

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

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Photo: Olivier Blanchet

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

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

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Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

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

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

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Beneteau Oceanis 473

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Jeanneau-Sun-Odyssey-49

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-nautitech-441

Nautitech 441

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Atlantic-42

Atlantic 42

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

Best bluewater sailing yachts for expeditions

Bestevaer 56.

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Bestevaer-56-ST-Tranquilo

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

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Boreal-52-credit-Jean-Marie-Liot

Photo: Jean-Marie Liot

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

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Garcia-Exploration-45-credit-morris-adant

Photo: Morris Adant / Garcia Yachts

Garcia Exploration 45

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

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

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Ovni-43-credit-svnaimadotcom

Photo: svnaima.com

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

best-ever-bluewater-yachts-Futuna-Explorer-54

Futuna Exploration 54

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

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

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  • Cruising Yachts 35' to 40'

Popular Cruising Yachts from 35 to 40 Feet Long Overall Their Physical Properties & Key Performance Indicators

Welcome to this ever-growing gallery of some of the most popular cruising yachts between 35 and 40 feet (10.7m to 12.2m) long overall.

Cruising Yachts featured on this page...

















































































Medium sized cruising yachts like these are often the sailboat of choice for short-handed crews, and if properly equipped and maintained, will take long offshore voyages in their stride.

Sailboats at the top of this size range, those above 12m long overall, will find that they are charged considerably more in marinas than those that fall just under 12m LOA. Something worth bearing in mind perhaps?

Westerly Oceanranger 38

Westerly Oceanranger 38 'Petrel Blue' at anchor

Jeanneau Sun Fast 39

Hustler 35

Islander 37 MS

Islander 37

Beneteau First 35s5

Beneteau First 35s5

Amel Sharki

Amel Sharki

Dehler 38 (Van de Stadt)

A Dehler 38 sailboat (Van de Stadt)

Dehler 39 CWS

A Dehler 39 CWS sailboat

Finnsailor 35

A Finnsailor 35 sailboat

Bolero 35.5

Bolero 35.5 sailboat on a Tamar River Sailing Club mooring in Devon, England.

Dehler 37 CWS

A Dehler 37 CWS sailboat

Hunter 36 Legend

A Hunter 36 Legend sailboat moored fore and aft

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35

A Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35 sailboat moored fore-and-aft

Beneteau First 375

A Beneteau First 375 Sailboat

Challenger 35

A Challenger 35 sailboat moored on the River Tamar in the UK

Starlight 35

A Starlight 35 sailboat moored on the River Tamar in the UK

Starlight 39

A Starlight 39 sailboat motor-sailing, with a back-winded headsail

Cabo Rico 38

A Cabo Rico 38 cutter at anchor

Westerly Typhoon 37

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Southerly 110

A Southerly 115 sailboat on a broad reach

Sweden Yachts 390

A Sweden Yachts 390 sailboat prepares to drop anchor

Pearson 365

'Evening Ebb', a Pearson 365 ketch on a mooring ball in Prickly Bay, Grenada in the West Indies

Jeanneau 'Sun Fast' 37

A Jeanneau 'Sun Fast' 37 sailboat at anchor

Hallberg-Rassy 37

A Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat at anchor

Gulfstar 36

A Gulfstar 36 sailboat at anchor

Beneteau Oceanis 381

A Beneteau Oceanis 381 at anchor

Catalina 36

A Catalina 36 cruising yacht

Undeniably, with her gentle sheer, clipper bow and 'moustache' nameplate, the Mariner 40 ketch is a very attractive cruising yacht. Her long keel and very heavy displacement suggest she'll be a steady, comfortable performer in a seaway but passage times will suffer as a result.

A Mariner 36 cruising yacht moored in Prickly Bay, Grenada

Cavalier 39

Many thanks to the owner of 'Kiwa' for this pic of his Cavalier 39 cruising yacht.

'Kiwa', a Cavalier 39 sailboat

Vancouver 36

'Chardonnay', a Northshore Vancouver 36 at anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada.

Bayfield 40

<'Island Girl', a Bayfield 40 staysail ketch at anchor in St Anne, Martinique, French West Indies.

Island Packet Estero 36

An Island Packet Estero 36 sailboat

Beneteau 393

A Beneteau 393 sailboat beating to windward.

Tashiba 40 (aka Baba 40 and Panda 40)

A Tashiba 40 Heavy Displacement Canoe Sterned Cruising Yacht

Oyster Heritage 37

Many thanks to Andy Thomson for this pic of  'Spellbinder',  his Oyster Heritage 37 cruising yacht  ...

The Oyster Heritage 37 cruising yacht

Southerly 115 Mk1

A Southerly 115 Swing Keel Cruiser

Colvic Countess 37

'Tudor Rose', a Colvic Countess 37 at anchor in Five Islands Bay, Antigua, West Indies

Shearwater 39

'Sea Lion', a Shearwater 39 on a mooring ball in Jolly Harbour, Antigua, West Indies

Island Packet 38

'Blue Pearl', an Island Packet 38 at anchor in Five Islands Bay, Antigua, West Indies

Island Packet 380

'Harmonium Cays', an Island Packet 380 cutter sailing beautifully on passage from Guadeloupe to Antigua.

Pearson 39-2

Many thanks to Crystal and Rob Bleecher for this pic of their Pearson 39-2 cruising yacht.

A Pearson 39-2 sailboat

Many thanks to Barry Bateman for this great pic of 'New World' , his Valiant 40 cruising yacht. 

'New World', a Valiant 40 Bluewater Cruising Yacht reaching under full sail.

Westerly Conway 36

'Weohgi' , a ketch-rigged Westerly Conway 36 cruising yacht, winter-sailing off the south coast of England. Many thanks to owner Geoffrey Mills for the pic.

Westerly Conway 36 ketch-rigged sailboat

Reefed down, 'Transcendence' - a Cascade 36 sloop - is making good progress into a short chop. Many thanks to owner Michael McLaughlin for the pic.

A Cascade 36 sloop beating to windward under shortened sail.

Tradewind 35

'Barnstormer', a Tradewind 35 heavy displacement cruising yacht at anchor under Jennycliff in Plymouth Sound, UK

Thank you, Han van der Stap, for submitting this pic of your stunning yacht 'SysterSol' . As you say, she is "a beautiful Swedish boat, sure and fast, for long distance cruising."

The light, fast Wasa 30 sailboat

Allied Princess 36

Many thanks to David Humphreys for submitting this great pic of  'Gabriel', his ketch-rigged Allied Princess 36 Mk2. The Mk2 version was introduced in 1980, unlike its predecessor, sporting a bowsprit. Both versions were available as either ketch or cutter rigs.

David tells us that 'Gabriel'  (hull #130) has been well maintained and up-graded since her commissioning in 1980. She's based in Annapolis MD and spends her days sailing to local destinations with a few over-nighters.

<i>'Gabriel'</i>, an aft-cockpit ketch-rigged version of the Allied Princess 36 cruising yacht.

Pacific Seacraft 37

'Sea Glass', a Pacific Seacraft 37 Long-Distance Ocean Cruiser

Next ~ Cruising Yachts 40-45ft LOA >>>>

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Best Blue Water Sailboats Under 40 Feet

19th jan 2023 by samantha wilson.

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What is a blue water sailboat?

What to look for when choosing a cruising sailboat under 40 feet, what are the advantages of small blue water sailboats, what are the disadvantages of small sailboats.

  • Best blue water sailboat models under 40 Feet

The term blue water sailboat doesn’t refer to a specific style of boat in the same way that a ketch or schooner does. In fact, a blue water sailboat could be either of those and many more. But when we talk about blue water sailboats, they have shared characteristics that make them suitable for, you guessed it, blue water sailing. Making long, open sea voyages such as crossing the oceans requires a boat that is solidly-built and can tackle heavy seas and inclement weather conditions. Blue water sailboats are able to be self-sufficient and lived on for extended periods of time, and to offer safety and comfort.

In a previous guide we looked at the different types of sailboats , focusing on identifying them by their hull type, rigging and uses. In general, smaller blue water sailboats under 40 feet tend to be cutters , sloops or ketches . Catamarans and trimarans too are becoming increasingly popular as long cruising vessels, although these tend to be larger than 40 feet. In fact, while there are manufacturers producing some excellent, sturdy and compact blue water sailboats under 40 feet, they tend to be a minority and most ‘small’ sailboats designed for long-range cruising are usually above 50 feet. 

blue water sailing

So what other characteristics should you be looking for in a small ocean sailboat? 

Construction:

The material of the hull is probably the most crucial aspect, as it needs to be solidly built and able to withstand harsh seas as well as any collisions with floating objects. Hulls made from steel, strong fiberglass or carbon fiber tend to be the most popular. With a brand new sailboat you can be assured of a sound hull, however when buying a used sailboat under 40 feet the most important aspect is to ensure that the hull is strong and durable. 

The type of keel also makes a big difference, as deep V hulls with an encapsulated keel will make your boat less likely to capsize or lose its keel. Keel sailboats under 40 feet with skeg-hung rudders are considered the best small sailboats for open ocean cruising. While in the past it tended to only be monohull boats which were used for blue water sailing, there are now several manufacturers offering catamarans and trimarans which are strong enough to cross oceans. 

While the rig itself doesn’t necessarily denote whether a sailboat is more blue water worthy, it needs to be able to be manned by the number of crew on board as well as less crew if anyone is injured. The most important aspect is to think of the manageability of the rig. 

Ocean-going sailboats tend to have small cockpits to keep water out. While traditionally they used to have an aft cockpit there are more center cockpit blue water sailboats around these days. They need to have good drainage as well as offering the helmsman easy reach of the headsail, staysail and mainsail sheets.

Self-steering:

Whether you’re sailing solo or with a small crew, having the ability to set an auto-pilot is an important characteristic of a blue water boat. From tiredness to accidents or illness, there might come a time when you need to set the autopilot when under power or windvane when under sail. 

A compact cabin, galley and head with plenty of handholds and safe storage are vital to spending long stretches of time at sea. There needs to be enough space to ensure you are able to be self-sufficient for long periods of time. This includes everything from provisions to safety equipment , power systems, water makers, fuel storage and two anchors. 

Ability to heave-to:

The act of heaving-to involves pointing the bow into the wind and fixing the helm and sail positions. This essentially stops the boat in the water and is a hugely important maneuver during storms to prevent capsizing and allows the crew to take shelter inside. Some sailboats are more able to perform this than others. 

Having a way to communicate an emergency is vital, and your blue water sailboat should have a satellite phone and radio installed. A radio will allow you to connect with passing vessels, while the satellite phone is your only means of true contact with land. On deck, safety is paramount, and additions such as granny bars by the mast, safety rails and of course a harness mean you’ll be staying on board in lively conditions. 

Ability to Store or Make Water:

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink is not a phrase any sailor wants to utter. So it’s imperative that your sailboat has enough storage capacity for long voyages, as well as the ability to make fresh water for drinking and washing in. Consider that two people on a three week voyage will require around 50 gallons of fresh water (allowing for a 20% contingency). Space – and weight considerations - is always a premium on small sailboats, so you need to make sure there are enough water tanks. You’ll also want a water maker which are powered by motors and generators. AC water makers can produce around 20 gallons a day, while DC water makers which use a lot less power, produce around 12 gallons of water a day.

Good Navigation Systems:

Ok, we’re going to say how important navigation systems are on your boat, and that’s true, but in fact you don’t want to reply on electronic navigation systems alone if you’re out in the middle of the deep blue. Having paper charts on board (in digital format preferably to save on space in a small boat) and knowing how to navigate using them is imperative. 

small sailing yacht

There are thousands of models of liveaboard sailboats under 40 feet on the market, but certainly not all of them are suitable for crossing oceans. We’ve seen the general characteristics of what to look for when choosing a blue water sailboat, but what are the pros and cons of a smaller boat versus a larger model?

Affordability:

Smaller tends to mean cheaper and so affordability is a major factor when buying a blue water sailboat . Whether you’re in the market for a new or used blue water sailboat under 40 feet, there are some excellent deals to be found. It means that long-held dream of sailing across the world can happen now, rather than saving for years. The other bonus is that smaller, simpler pocket cruisers will be cheaper and easier to maintain. 

Easier to Sail:

The simpler the rig and the less systems on board the easier the boat will be to sail (and to care for). You’ll need a smaller crew meaning cruising boats under 40 feet tend to be popular with couples and solo sailors. 

Less Spacious:

It goes without saying that smaller boats have less space. While manufacturers are finding ever-more ingenious ways to equip small sailboats with everything their larger counterparts have – and there are some clever ways you can maximize storage space in a boat – realistically space will be at a premium, meaning the number of crew and the amount of comforts you can have on board will need to be minimal.

They Tend to be Slower:

As a general rule, the smaller the sailboat, the slower it will be. While this isn’t always a bad thing if you’re in no hurry to get anywhere, it’s worth considering that out-running bad weather can be trickier in a small boat. 

Less comfortable:

A smaller boat can make for a less comfortable ride, especially in bigger seas. 

Best blue water sailboat models under 40 Feet

If you’re in the market for a cruising sailboat under 40 feet the options can seem dizzying. With so many to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. There are thousands of excellent used boats on the market, with reputations for reliability, safety, comfort and build. Here however we’re going to take a look at some of the manufacturers making the best bluewater sailboats in 2023 . With a solid reputation and excellent craftsmanship, they make a good place to start your search. 

Beneteau’s Oceanis 40, Oceanis 38.1 and Oceanis 34.1.

Beneteau’s reputation shines through in this smaller range of ocean-going yachts. At the top end of the under-40 foot range is the Oceanis 40 , with a hull designed by Marc Lombard and a huge amount of deck and interior space for its size. The Oceanis 38.1 offers surprising comfort and speed, with the ability to be sailed with a small crew, while the smallest in the range is the Oceanis 34.1 pocket cruiser, with cleverly designed spaces and a modern hull design. 

blue water sailboat beneteau

Photo credit: Beneteau

Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey 349 and Sun Odyssey 380:

For over 60 years Jeanneau has been crafting motor and sailboats which push the boundaries and the Sun Odyssey range is the perfect example of that. The Sun Odyssey 349 and Sun Odyssey 380 are the smallest in the range, offering high performance sailing you would expect of a much larger model. With an iconic inverted bow, huge interior spaces and fine-tuned handling, they are popular models for long distance cruising. 

blue water sailboats jeanneau

Photo credit: Jeanneau 

Hallberg-Rassy 340, 372, 40 and 40C:

The range of Swedish-built Hallberg-Rassy small blue water yachts is one of the most impressive of any manufacturer. Boasting four yachts under 40 feet, they put their nine decades of expertise into both center cockpit and aft cockpit ocean-going cruisers and have the awards to show for it. From the Hallberg-Rassy 340 , which manages to pack everything you could need in a long-range cruiser into an ultra-compact package, to the award-winning 372 which manages to be even faster than the already fast Hallberg-Rassy 40 . They offer incredible handling, expansive oak interiors, generous cockpits and modern rigs.  

blue water sailboats hallberg rassy

Photo credit: Hallberg-Rassy

SeaWind Catamarans’ 1160, 1190 and 1260:

It’s uncommon to find blue water catamarans under 40 feet, but SeaWind has crafted no less than three compact, sturdy cats that can cross oceans in safety and comfort. With huge interior spaces across its double beam, you get much more living space than you would in a monohull of the same size, as well as robust seaworthiness, great sailability and all at an attractive price. 

blue water sailboat seawind

Photo credit: SeaWind  

Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

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best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Compare The Most Popular 40ft Production Catamarans

Stephen and I are always exploring new catamaran models so we can share our insights with you. The information below continues to be valid, but we have a new 40ft catamaran comparison of later models for you to peruse.

40ft catamarans

We created a chart of each catamaran with a standard spec, ex-factory to compare the specifications and price of each boat. These catamarans compare very similarly on base price but there are a few differences.

Nautitech sail

The Bali 4.0 has a unique single cockpit / saloon area, entirely flush and unencumbered by bulkheads, accessible by a folding glass door on electric rams (kind of like a tilting garage door). This opens up the area and make it look like a much bigger boat. This catamaran combines some of the most innovative new characteristics in catamaran design which makes it a very desirable. It is quite a peppy sailboat and easy to maneuver.

Fountaine Pajot 40

The Fountaine Pajot 40 is replacing the Lipari 41 and is basically a smaller version of the successful Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 . It has a lot more volume than the Lipari, has a super stylish interior with island berths for the owner cabins (a much requested feature). It is lightweight but is smaller in volume than most of the the other models. However, because the living space was moved forward in the bows, there is still lots of room. We have not seen a boat yet, so the jury is out on how the boat will perform with these new changes. This model will be unveiled at the Paris boat show in December [2015].

The Leopard 40 ( video ) is heavier than the other models. The bridgedeck clearance is lower than those seen on French or Canadian cruising catamarans. Their philosophy is that a lower bridgedeck reduces the boat’s center of gravity with a wider stern to provide more buoyancy aft. However, a higher bridgedeck clearance translates into less slamming. We have owned cats with lower and higher clearances and a higher bridgedeck clearance definitely has less slamming. Read this article about bridgedeck clearance to make your own informed decision.

Lagoon 400S2

The Lagoon 400S2 has been on the market for a couple of years and is extremely popular. The S2 has decent performance with a lot of interior volume as can be seen here in the specifications. It has the biggest volume of the five 40ft catamaran models. This volume is said (by the competition) to translate into less performance but judging from rallies held around the world, it seems that the Lagoon really holds it’s own. Judging by the feedback from delivery skippers and owners on performance, the 400S2 makes a good performing cruising yacht. The interior is luxurious, accommodations are spacious and the cockpit is a nice size, easy to sail and good for a live aboard couple.

All of these catamarans are very acceptable cruising catamarans for a couple with lots of interior and exterior living space. These cats will do well as live-aboard and well as charter boats. Much of your choice will depend on personal preference. Do you prefer a “luxurious” interior, lots of interior volume and reasonable sailing performance, a more innovative design and optimal performance. Is chartering or cruising your ultimate goal or do you prefer a bit of both? All of these things should be weighed before you make a final choice.

40-Ft Catamaran Comparison Table

253,000€ 261,600€ 255,000€ 288,465€ 271,000€
39.14ft 39.3ft 38.5ft 39ft 39.4ft
22ft 23.9ft 21.75ft 21ft 22.1ft
3.67ft 4ft 3.94ft 4.5ft 4.1ft
17,636lbs 22,535lbs 19,580lbs 17,160t 23,215lbs
1,134.5ft 954ft 1,022ft 979ft 1,032ft
2 x 20hp 2 x 29hp 2 x 20hp 2 x 30hp 2 x 29hp
105 Gal 106 Gal 79.3 Gal 79 Gal 95 Gal
211.3 Gal 79 Gal 140 Gal 127 Gal 206 Gal
59ft 66.7ft 63.3ft 65ft 63.1ft
3 3 3   3
2 or 3 2 or 3 2 or 3   2

*Please note that these prices are subject to change by manufacturers at any time. Specifications provided by the manufacturers.

*Options are available in engines, sails, cabin/head configurations and other options like generators, watermakers, etc.

RelATED Articles

  • Four Most Popular Production Catamarans: How Do They Compare?
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  • How Do The Most Popular 45ft Production Sailing Catamarans Compare

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The catamarans discussed here are available for both private ownership and charter management. Because catamarans have become so popular in the last ten years, the demand far outweighs the supply. That makes new catamarans more expensive. We are therefor constantly trying to find ways to reduce the cost of ownership for our clients. Learn about our Yacht Charter Management and Yacht As A Business Program .

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3 thoughts on “Compare The Most Popular 40ft Production Catamarans”

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Helpful info. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and I am surprised why this twist of fate didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

That is great!

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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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best 40 ft cruising sailboat

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Specifications

Following in the wake of her elder sister the Oceanis 46.1, this 40-foot cruiser, with  a new hull design by Marc Lombard , offers unrivaled  deck volume and interior space , with zero concessions to performance. The Oceanis 40.1 is  available in different layouts, drafts and rig options , adapting to the most demanding sailor’s cruising requirements and satisfying their need for comfort and pleasure under sail.

NAVAL ARCHITECT : Marc Lombard

INTERIOR & DECK DESIGN : Nauta Design

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Exterior design

How can you enjoy life at anchor as much as while sailing? With the innovative flared hull design of the Oceanis 40.1, BENETEAU has broken new ground but made no concessions. The result is a hull that has true speed potential and is stiff under sail. Above the waterline, her deck plan and ultra-spacious interior by  Nauta Design  is unheard-of on a boat this size. You cannot help feeling that you are aboard a 45 foot cruiser!

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Interior Design

With your choice of either a  walnut or white oak , the styling of the interior by Italian designer Nauta is remarkably bright and excels in the skillful arrangement of the living spaces. She is available with two, three, or four cabins, and a  C-shaped galley  to the starboard that offers an abundance of storage and a spacious countertop. On the port side, there is a large salon with a table, complete with a removable bench. A chart table at the foot of the companionway provides ample working space. Everything is modular, so that everyone can live the way they want and enjoy sailing wherever the wind takes them.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

40 FEET OF SPACE!

The philosophy of the Oceanis 40.1 is to make sailing and mooring pleasurable. The strengths of this cruiser, studied in detail by the architect Marc Lombard and the BENETEAU design office, are unrivalled interior space, a huge deck plan, and the ability to clock up miles when you are cruising.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

LIFE AT ANCHOR

The ergonomics and easy maneuvering in the cockpit make life onboard simple. Nothing interferes with the joy of life at anchor. Feel like splashing around the boat in an idyllic creek? The transom easily converts to an extensive swim platform, similar in size to the ones you find on the largest Oceanis cruising yachts. Having access to the sea is an integral part of life on a sailing yacht, and this model is one of a kind. 

SEEKING EXCITEMENT UNDER SAIL…

As there is no one way to sail, and because everyone takes their cruising at their own pace, the Oceanis 40.1 comes in several versions. Sailors keen on performance can choose the First Line Pack, with a taller mast and a deeper draft. Alternatively, the in-mast furling system and self-tacking jib will make maneuvering easier when shorthanded. A classic mast for a semi-full batten mainsail is also available.

HEAVENS ABOVE, SO MUCH SPACE!

The hatches and the many hull and coachroof portholes, two of which face towards the cockpit, fill the boat with natural light and ventilation, making her exceptionally bright. The Oceanis 40.1 comes in 4 different versions with two, three, and four cabins to accommodate everyone’s idea of a holiday on board. Couples and large families will feel at home. The owner version has a cabin with an ensuite shower and head, and a bed easily accessible from either side. The four-cabin layout has two forward berths with bunk beds.

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The easiest way to keep your boat safe and ready to cruise anytime.

The new Seanapps  app is the ultimate solution to help you indulge your passion for boating. With the touch of your finger, you can easily connect, monitor and order services for your boat – from routine maintenance, to requesting a wash or fuel or having us complete a repair.

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The information below is intended for general informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contractual agreement. Any descriptions, representations, or statements made in this document are not to be considered binding unless explicitly stated otherwise in a formal contractual agreement.

Length Overall

Beam overall

Light displacement

Air Draft Max

Fuel Capacity

Water Capacity

Max. engine power

Cabin Number

CE Certification

A10 / B10 / C12

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  • CE Certification A10/ B10/C12 (12 passengers on board).
  • Large benches seating six guests, with a fold away table.
  • Two steering wheel stations each with a comfortable seat.
  • First Line version: extra-long mast and bigger draft.
  • Standard version: in-mast furling system and self-tacking jib.
  • Large locker in 2 sections in the cockpit floor.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

2 cabins & 1 head

  • U-shaped salon seat
  • C-shaped fitted galley: fridge, sink, 2-ring hob, oven, storage and worktop.
  • Master cabin with double bed positioned on the boat center line.
  • Aft cabin with double berths.
  • Shower room with shower compartment and marine toilet.
  • Several hull portholes and coach roof port lights make the space naturally bright.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

3 cabins & 1 head

  • U-shaped salon seat.
  • Master cabin with double bed positioned on the boat’s centreline.
  • Two aft cabins with double berths.
  • Shower room with shower compartment, washbasin cabinet and marine toilet.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

3 cabins & 2 heads

  • Two shower rooms with shower compartment and marine toilet.

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

HARKEN HARDWARE

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Press Reviews

Boat Review - The layout on the  new Beneteau 40.1  is excellent for ease of sailhandling, notes Ewenson.  Read More

Yachting Art

Boat Review - All about the coming BENETEAU Oceanis 40.1. Read More

Cruising World

Virtual Q&A - Cruising World recently sat down with Beneteau to get the inside scoop on the brand new cruiser. Read More

BOAT REVIEW: The boat is the new BENETEAU Oceanis 40.1, and it seems to be having as much fun as the crew. Read More

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Nautic boat show 2022 : Spotlight on remarkable sustainable innovations at BENETEAU

BENETEAU has decided to follow the path of innovation to reduce the environmental impact of sailing. Practical yet ground-breaking innovations that were visible on the First 44e and the Oceanis 30.1e sailing yachts world premiered at the Nautic Boat Show in Paris.

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Activities to Enjoy on Your Next Sailing Yacht or Powerboat Trip

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Oceanis 40.1 and Oceanis Yacht 54: The New Wave of Oceanis Cruising Yachts by BENETEAU

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Buying a BENETEAU doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We have teams of experts to guide you through the entire process – everything from sea trials, financing, and customization to after-sale commissioning, service, and maintenance. We are proud to have one of the largest, most highly-regarded dealer networks in the world. We’re ready to provide you with the assistance and expertise needed to launch you and your BENETEAU on a lifetime of happy, rewarding, and memorable voyages.

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Other models in the range

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

9.53 m / 31’3’’

2.99 m / 9’10’’

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best 40 ft cruising sailboat

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3.92 m / 12’10’’

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14.6 m / 47’11’’

4.5 m / 14’9’’

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

15.94 m / 52’4’’

4.8 m / 15’9’’

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10 New Cruising Sailboats Under 35 Feet

  • By Cruising World Staff
  • Updated: November 3, 2020

It wasn’t so long ago that 30- to 35-foot cruising sailboats were likely to be the largest yachts found in many a harbor. And while 40-something and even 50-something footers are all the rage at boat shows today, there’s a lot to be said for setting sail on a boat big enough to carry family and friends, but still small enough to be easily maintained and handled alone from time to time. Small cruising sailboats are simple to dock or tie up to a mooring, and finding long-term marina space is easier as well.

Choosing a cruising sailboat, no matter the size, is a big decision. And it helps to have a trusted list of boats to get started. Here, then, is a look at 10 of the best daysailers , weekenders and coastal cruising sailboats under 35 feet that are all in production and can be purchased new.

Alerion Sport 30

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

A quarter-century ago, Garry Hoyt launched what would come to be known as the daysailer genre with the introduction of the Alerion Express 28, a boat designed by the late Carl Schumacher that featured a minimal interior and a large cockpit where an owner and guests could enjoy the simple joy of sailing. Traditional and lovely looking—but with a quite modern underbody and a powerful sail plan—Hoyt, ever the marketer, proclaimed the boat to be “the prettiest girl at the dance.”

Since then, a number of siblings ranging from 20 to 41 feet have been added to the Alerion family, including the Alerion Sport 30, which retains the graceful sheer line, oval ports and stylish overhangs of the original Schumacher design. Yet with input from naval architect Langan Design Partners, it also embraces a solid measure of performance-oriented DNA.

Read more about the Alerion Sport 30 »

Bavaria Cruiser 34

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

In every Boat of the Year contest, it seems, a boat rises up after sea trials to make a lasting impression on the judges. For 2018, that boat was the Bavaria Cruiser 34.

Says Boat of the Year Judge Tim Murphy, “The Bavaria was a lovely boat to sail. It has a single rudder, and she answered her helm just beautifully in the conditions we had today. We started off with around 10 knots of breeze that built to 13 to 15 knots. As a sailboat, it was just a pleasurable sailing experience, among the best we had during our judging. It was among the boats that felt like a really happy sailing experience.

Read more about the Bavaria Cruiser 34 »

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1

Sailed as part of the 2020 Boat of the Year sea trials, the 31-foot-3-inch Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 was the compact yacht best-equipped and spec’d out as a dedicated cruising boat, and not coincidentally, it was also awarded the title of Best Performance Cruiser for 2020. But don’t let her cozy interior accommodations fool you; this is also one peppy little vessel.

Read more about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 »

Dehler 34

The 2017 Boat of the Year (BOTY) contest featured a stellar crop of crossover cruiser/racers; however, when all the testing was said and done, our independent panel of judges was sold on the Dehler 34, naming it the year’s Best Performance Cruiser. Designed by the highly regarded Judel/Vrolijk naval-architecture consortium, whose reputation was fostered by longtime success in international yacht-racing circles, the 34-footer combined contemporary good looks and a sweet turn of speed with better-than-average comfort and accommodations below. It didn’t hurt that the boat, nicely equipped at $215,000, was the least-expensive entry in the entire 2017 fleet. All in all, it proved to be a winning formula.

Read more about the Dehler 34 »

Dufour Grand Large 360

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Dufour Yachts introduced its new 360 Grand Large model to CW’s Boat of the Year team in 2018 as a coastal cruiser intended for a couple or perhaps a small family. With that in mind, judge Alvah Simon found numerous clever elements to praise within the boat’s 35-foot-2-inch hull—a relatively modest LOA compared to the many 40-, 50- and 60-footers on display at the U.S. Sailboat show in Annapolis, Maryland.

Read more about the Dufour Grand Large 360 »

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

After a roughly 10-year hiatus from the U.S. marketplace, the Slovenian builder Elan is back in a big way. For the 2017 Boat of the Year contest, the company launched a pair of new boats in the States, including the Elan E4, a 34-foot-9-inch performance cruiser with an emphasis on performing, designed by renowned British naval architect Rob Humphreys. The brand has been in business for seven decades and lately is perhaps even better known in America for its skis. Not surprisingly, given its complementary product lines—lots of sailors are fine skiers—its boats are as sleek and sporty as its boards.

Read more about the Elan E4 »

Grand Soleil 34

Grand Soleil 34

Way back in the 1970s, when the well-known Italian boatyard Grand Soleil was just getting started, its first model was a Finot-designed 34-footer. With over 300 units sold, it was an instant success, and launched the company on an upward trajectory that spanned the intervening decades, mostly with an ongoing series of much larger, more complex racer/cruisers. For 2020, the builder decided to return to its roots with a completely revamped Grand Soleil 34, and it’s a terrific boat.

Read more about the Grand Soleil 34 »

best 40 ft cruising sailboat

Value. How does one determine it? Price is most certainly a factor. In the case of new boats, and our Boat of the Year competition, it means something more. As sailors, we wish to recognize good boats that not only are affordable but offer other, tangible rewards. The ability to get couples and families out on the water, to have a weekend escape, to take them on coastal vacations and even maybe a sabbatical to the islands, all without breaking the bank. For 2019, the judging panel determined that one boat had the potential to do these things better than the rest, which is why they awarded the Best Value prize to the Hanse 348.

With a price tag under $200,000, during sea trials the Hanse 348 wowed the judging team from the get-go. “In only about 8 knots of breeze, we were seeing 5.7 knots upwind and pointing very nicely, and even registered 6.5 knots once we cracked off,” said Tim Murphy. “It’s a pretty sweet little boat.”

Read more about the Hanse 348 »

Italia 9.98

Italia 9.98

Of the performance cruisers that made their North American debut in 2020, in terms of sheer appearance, the futuristic 34-foot Italia 9.98 was easily the most distinctive. There are actually two versions of the boat: the 34 Club—which is the cruising alternative, the primary features of which are its twin wheels—and the 34 Fuoriserie—the racing model, and the one we tested, with its tiller steering being the identifying characteristic.

Read more about the Italia 9.98 »

J/99

Beginning with the popular little J/24 way back in 1977, J/Boats has become famous for its steady introduction of terrific racing and cruising boats, almost all of which shared one main characteristic: They sailed like a witch. More than four decades later, having built more than 50 separate, mind-boggling models, the Johnstone family that designs, markets and sells the brand shows no signs of slowing down. Their latest offering, for 2020, was another fast and fun racer/cruiser: the 32-foot-7-inch J/99.

Read more about the J/99 »

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IMAGES

  1. Popular Cruising Yachts from 35 to 40 feet Length Overall

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  2. Popular Cruising Yachts from 35 to 40 feet Length Overall

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  3. Popular Cruising Yachts from 40 ft to 45 ft (12.2m to 13.7m) Long Overall

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  4. 40 ft. Endeavor Sailboat

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  5. Popular Cruising Yachts from 40 ft to 45 ft (12.2m to 13.7m) Long Overall

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

  6. Popular Cruising Yachts from 35 to 40 feet Length Overall

    best 40 ft cruising sailboat

VIDEO

  1. Adventure 40 Sailboat Interior Arrangement Reveal

  2. Sailing World Magazine Boat of the Year 2023 Best Crossover: J/45

  3. Sailing World Boat of the Year 2024 Best Crossover: Italia 14.98

  4. Sailing my 19 ft sailboat/Mon voilier 19 pieds

  5. Sailboat about 40 ft I’ve been dreaming about this week

  6. Fast cruiser with plenty of appeal | J⧸45 review | Yachting Monthly

COMMENTS

  1. Best Midsize Cruiser 40-44 Feet

    Winner: Elan GT5. This is going to be a tough category," said Bill Bolin of the Best Midsize Cruiser 40 to 44 Feet division. "We have three very different but very good boats in this class — the Elan GT5, the Hallberg-Rassy 412 and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440.". To begin, Bolin said of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440, "It's the best ...

  2. SAIL Top 10 Best Boats for 2023

    For almost 20 years, we've called this awards program SAIL Best Boats, but this year, we're refining and renaming this program to better and more fairly represent the boats we've selected. Restricting boats to categories and labels—such as Best Cruising Monohull 30-40 feet and Best Performance Monohull 40-50 feet—doesn't bring our readers the full picture.

  3. 2022 Boat of the Year: Best Midsize Cruiser (Under 40')

    During and in the four days immediately following the US Sailboat show in Annapolis, Maryland, the Cruising World judges inspected and sailed on 27 boats vying for recognition.Learn more about the boats in our 2022 Boat of the Year » Once upon a time, midsize cruisers, 30 to 40 feet, dominated the market, and harbors across the US were filled with what were once considered to be "big ...

  4. 13 Best Cruising Sailboats in 2023 & Why They're Better

    Island Packet 420. Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. Lagoon 450F. Bavaria Cruiser 46. One aspect that sets these sailboats apart is their focus on innovation and performance. Let's take a closer look at the 13 best cruising sailboats of 2023 and explore what makes them stand out from the rest.

  5. The SAIL Top 10 Best Boats of 2024

    Last year's Dufour 37 landed in the Top 10 in part because of its success as a small boat that felt big. Dufour has expanded on the concept with the next size up in the range, the 41, which "finds the cruising couple's sweet spot by combining a massive bow stateroom and class-dominating cockpit with nimble handling and respectable light air performance," Zuzana says.

  6. Experts' Pick: 25 Sailboats Under 40'

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

  7. Boat Review: Comparing 40 foot cruisers

    Paulo Pernão of Interesting Sailboats takes a look at the new mass production 40-foot sailboat offers: the Bavaria 42 C and the Beneteau Oceanis 40.1: Judging by the name the Bavaria is not a ...

  8. 6 Best Sailboat Under 40 Feet (Style, Cost, Features)

    What is the best sailboat under 40 ft? The Beneteau Oceanis 40 is definitely the most stylish option. If you're looking for affordability, check out the Catalina 38. If a multi-hull sailboat is what you want, the Main Cat 38 or Corsair 37 may be perfect. If you want to motor, the Seawind 1160 is a great choice.

  9. 5 Best Cruising Sailboats In 2024

    The Corbin 39 is a beautiful blue water sailboat. It is a very rare boat with a proud history. Only a handful of these boats were finished to completion in the factory, the majority were sold as kits and built by the boat's owner. Because of this method of production, this model can vary drastically on the inside.

  10. 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 ...

  11. Top Five 40 Foot Sailboats

    Join Lady K Sailing as they rank the top five 40 foot sailboats for cruising and living aboard. Watch the video and find out why they chose these models.

  12. Popular Cruising Yachts from 40 to 45ft (12.2m to ...

    Welcome to this ever-growing gallery of some of the most popular cruising yachts between 40 and 45 feet (12.2m to 13.7m) long overall. But it's more than just a gallery - every image is a link to a page setting out the boat's physical properties, key performance indicators and other data.

  13. 40 Best Sailboats, Types of Sailboats & Manufacturers

    30. Swan 44. A strong, robust cruising boat built for high-seas, blue water adventures, the Swan 44 was designed by Sparkman & Stephens, and the yacht's well-known Finnish manufacturers, Nautor Swan, produced 76 boats in a production run that lasted from 1972-1975.

  14. 43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

    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 ...

  15. Popular Cruising Yachts from 35 to 40 feet Length Overall

    Voyager 35; Warrior 40; Wasa 30; Westerly Conway 36; Westerly Typhoon 37; Westerly Oceanranger 38; Medium sized cruising yachts like these are often the sailboat of choice for short-handed crews, and if properly equipped and maintained, will take long offshore voyages in their stride. Sailboats at the top of this size range, those above 12m ...

  16. 40ft Catamaran Models Comparisons

    We compare specifications, dimensions, sail area, and pricing on the most popular 40ft catamarans in 2020. Since 2016, Fountaine Pajot, Lagoon, Leopard, Bali, and Nautitech all rolled out new 40 ft catamaran models in a similar price range that are innovative, spacious, well-built, and comfortable. The latest model to be added to this 40ft ...

  17. Best Blue Water Sailboats Under 40 Feet

    At the top end of the under-40 foot range is the Oceanis 40, with a hull designed by Marc Lombard and a huge amount of deck and interior space for its size. The Oceanis 38.1 offers surprising comfort and speed, with the ability to be sailed with a small crew, while the smallest in the range is the Oceanis 34.1 pocket cruiser, with cleverly ...

  18. 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.

  19. Compare The Most Popular 40ft Production Catamarans

    Many of the manufacturers are unveiling their 40-ft catamaran models this Fall [2015] and it seems to be the hottest ticket in cruising catamarans right now. The more popular sailing catamarans in the 40-ft range are Lagoon 400S2, Bali 4.0, Leopard 40, Nautitech Open 40, and Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40. We created a chart of each catamaran with a ...

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

    The best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet. 1. The Westsail 32. Westsail 32. Photo credit: sailboat data.com. 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 ...

  21. BENETEAU Oceanis 40.1

    Following in the wake of her elder sister the Oceanis 46.1, this 40-foot cruiser, with a new hull design by Marc Lombard, offers unrivaled deck volume and interior space, with zero concessions to performance.The Oceanis 40.1 is available in different layouts, drafts and rig options, adapting to the most demanding sailor's cruising requirements and satisfying their need for comfort and ...

  22. 10 New Cruising Sailboats Under 35 Feet

    Dufour Grand Large 360. Dufour Grand Large 360 Jon Whittle. Dufour Yachts introduced its new 360 Grand Large model to CW's Boat of the Year team in 2018 as a coastal cruiser intended for a couple or perhaps a small family. With that in mind, judge Alvah Simon found numerous clever elements to praise within the boat's 35-foot-2-inch hull—a ...

  23. Best Family Cruisers: 7 Top Picks In 2023

    3. Cutwater C-32 CB. Another great rugged family cruiser similar to the Ranger R-43 but sportier. If speed is a concern and you don't want to slowly cruise from a to b. If you want to put your foot down, this is an ideal choice. cruise since it has a sporty speed of 30 knots and a top speed of 47.7 knots.