Better Sailing

Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

Cruising with a trailerable sailboat means that you can voyage in a small and comfy sailboat with the advantage of saving some serious costs. Having a trailerable sailboat saves you money for storage fees, boatyard haulout, and boat insurance, among others. There are two main categories of trailerable sailboats; performance-oriented boats and all-round pocket cruisers.   So, if you’re a part-time sailor but still want to experience the joys of sailing continue reading this article so as to find out which are the best small and trailerable sailboats on today’s market. Know that there are many decent trailerable sailboats that managed both offshore and coastal cruising. So, keep reading and find the one that suits you best!

Catalina 22 Sport – The Best Trailerable Sailboat

Catalina brand is one of the most constructed sailboats in the US and has manufactured a great deal of capable and robust sailboats. The Catalina 22 Sport is one of the most preferred pocket and race cruisers since 2004. The model pioneers for the one-piece hull liner that has become standard in most high volume small boats. Furthermore, it has enough trim along with a well-proportioned rig and a hand-laid fiberglass hull construction. Other great features include a retractable lead keel, a roomy cabin, a spacious cockpit, and a fractional rig with a mainsail and a roller-furling jib. You can get a used Catalina 22 for as low as $5,000 and a brand spanking new one for around $40,000.

Catalina 22 Sport - The Best Trailerable Sailboat

>>Also Read: Beneteau vs. Catalina: Which Is a Better Sailboat?

West Wight Potter 15

The West Wight Potter 15 is one of the best small trailerable and seaworthy 15-foot sailboats of all time. It’s easy to handle and great for both coastal and offshore cruising. She has an aluminum mast and tiller, a small cabin that comfortably sleeps a couple and also we can’t miss referring to her elegant design. Furthermore, it can be easily stored, it’s relatively cheap to buy and can be purchased both as a new or used boat, as many sailors prefer it for stepping up from a dinghy to a pocket cruiser.

West Wight Potter 15 on a Trailer

>>Also Read: Best Pocket Cruisers Under 20 Feet

This small trailerable boat features a modern design and can be a top choice for many sailors, both for beginners or even for experienced ones. She surprisingly manages well in different weather conditions and she’s also relatively easy to handle. As a result, she has earned by right the title of a truly seaworthy small cruising vessel. Moreover, her robust design from the masthead to keel design is proven to be highly durable and comes with a mainsail and 110% genoa. A great feature of this model is the comfy and interior layout that offers a great amount of space for her size.

And that’s why the Hunter 27 is a great liveable sailboat having enough storage space, 6ft of standing headroom, berths, as well as plenty of counter space and seatings. Lastly, as a true trailer sailor, she has a shoal draft of under 4ft and a displacement of less than 8,000lbs. You can find her in today’s market as a used or brand-new model with a price ranging from $20,000 to $45,000.

Hunter 27 Sailboat Trailer

>>Also Read: Best Sailboats Under 100k


The BayRaider from UK’s Swallow boats is a somehow newcomer to the small trailerable boat market in the US. She features a large and open cockpit, is ketch-rigged, and has a gunter-style mainmast. As for the topmast and mizzen, they’re both carbon-fiber; you can also apply this to the mainmast. This model can be sailed with a dry hull in lighter weather conditions or if you want to maximize its stability you can do so by removing the 300lbs of water ballast. The water ballast offers great performance in light to medium winds and makes the boat suitable for different sailing or weather conditions and levels of experience. Lastly, as she has the centerboard and hinged rudder raised she can be maneuvered even in the thinnest water. She has a self-tacking rig and is easy to trailer; all these features make her a great choice for novices.

bayraider Trailerable sailboat

>>Also Read: Most Popular Sailboats

Contessa 26

The Contessa 26 is an all-time-classic and small trailerable sailboat. Even if this vessel is quite small she has proven her seaworthiness and is still preferred as an ideal pocket cruiser. She has a roomy cabin and comfortable cockpit, so there’s no need to worry about below deck space. As for the rigging, it’s quite easy to handle and is rigged as a masthead sloop. Also, her construction comprises of a deep keel and hull-mounted rudder; and that’s why she was also used as a racer. The main downside is her narrow beam which contributes to heeling although she stiffens up quickly and becomes easy to sail. In any case, there are many who admit that she’s one of the most reliable sailboats in the mid-size category.

The Hunter 22 is a great daysailer and features an open-transom cockpit and sloop rig, making her the ideal choice for friends and family outings. Moreover, the considerable amount of below-deck space has twin bunks, a roomy cabin, and a portable toilet. Rigging also includes an asymmetric spinnaker and a mainsheet traveler in case you’re keen on racing. Her construction is made out of laminated fiberglass hull and deck, molded-in nonskid, and a hydraulic lifting centerboard. Last but not least, she’s fast, stable, responsive, and is, therefore, an ideal starter-boat for novices.

Hunter 22 Small Sailboat on a Trailer

Islander 24

The 24-foot Islander is a classic choice in the small trailerable sailboat market. This fiberglass model features a sturdy design and has proven her seaworthiness for coastal and family-day cruising. This model was first built in 1961 but is still available on the used market. She has a masthead sloop rig, simple overall rigging, and is appropriate for single-handing. As for below-deck space, she has a spacious cabin for two with a V-berth, and space for a head. Last but not least, many sailors admit that she’s a lot more capable than many of the later model boats in this size range.

>>Also Read: Best Sailboats Under 30 Feet

Macgregor 25

This trailerable cruising sloop is a safe, easy-handling, and robust sailboat for 2 persons; perfectly suitable for coastal cruising. The boat has a spacious cabin and great safety features like foam flotation as well as the ability to self-right. Its innovative design features a retracting keel, pop-up rudder, and an easy mast-stepping system that enhances its cruising performance. Moreover, it has a large foredeck and cockpit and its lifelines and shrouds are equipped with handholds. You can easily find a Macgregor 25 on the used market with just $9,500.

macgregor 25 sailboat

>>Also Read: Best Small Sailboats To Sail Around The World

Cape Dory 28

The Cape Dory 28 is a popular trailerable sailboat known for its great performance both offshore and inland. Even though it has a small size it offers comfortable living spaces below the deck. In addition, she has proven to be more capable than other larger sailboats. It’s designed with a well-balanced deck arrangement along with a full-length keel with an attached rudder, a low freeboard, and a well-proportioned traditional trunk cabin. These sailboats were originally rigged as sloops with self-tending and club-footed jibs. This sail plan is really great for stiff weather conditions. Lastly, it can be easily hauled-out and transported regardless of its 28ft size. Ideal for salt-water cruising and for tighter coastal waters you can find a used model for $12,900.

>>Also Read: How Much Do Sailboats Weigh?

The Newport 27 is an all-time-classic that was first built in 1971 and is still considered a common choice for small sailboats amongst sailors. Although it has a small size it doesn’t lack interior space. The standing headroom is just over 6ft, there’s a V-berth, a head, and a hanging locker forward of the bulkhead. Also, settees measure 6ft in length and extend to either side of the saloon. Some variations include a fixed dinette with raised seating fore and aft, a starboard quarter berth, and an aft-placed head. You can find them on the used market from $10,000 to $18,000, depending on their condition and any possible upgrades. Even though it’s not a really robust offshore cruiser, the Newport 27 is still a capable trailerable sailboat and if upgraded and equipped accordingly it can definitely offer decent coastal cruising to a singlehander or a couple.

>>Also Read: What Are The Best Beginner Sailboats?

Trailerable sailboats are a great choice for beginner sailors as well as for couple and family outings. Keep in mind that the aforementioned boats are not the only options on today’s market. I recommend these boats because they’re easy to handle, small but roomy, easy to trailer, and have an overall robust design. Generally, a trailer sailor will save you costs for purchasing but also for marina fees. Keep in mind that many sailors choose to sail overseas with a trailerable sailboat, so there are suitable models for a long-passage voyage. Lastly, small sailboats can offer different kinds of sailing adventures; weekend cruising, coastal cruising, island hopping, and sometimes an offshore voyage. I hope that you enjoyed reading this article and that it will help you out in order to pick the right trailerable sailboat for your needs.


Peter is the editor of Better Sailing. He has sailed for countless hours and has maintained his own boats and sailboats for years. After years of trial and error, he decided to start this website to share the knowledge.

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My Cruiser Life Magazine

7 Best Trailerable Sailboats for Cruising

Many sailors balk at the idea of leaving their boat in the water at a marina. Slip fees are expensive, and maintenance bills get bigger the longer you leave a boat in the water. However, if you want a boat under 30 feet long, there are trailerable sailboats that will fit the bill.

Like any boat purchase, you’ll need to analyze precisely what kind of trailer sailer you want. Will a simple weekend sailboat suffice, or do you really need the best trailerable cruising sailboat you can find? 

Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of the best trailerable sailboat. Plus, we’ll look at how to compare them for your purposes.

trailerable sailboat

Table of Contents

Best trailerable sailboats, easy to launch trailerable sailboats, quick setup time, towing weight, catalina 22/25 “pop-top”, com-pac horizon cat for classic coastal cruising, marshall sanderling — small, portable, classy, west wight potter 19 — the tiny go-anywhere sailboat, seaward 26rk with retractable lead keel, corsair f-24 trimaran – sporty sailing, macgregor 26m — maximum speed meets maximum living space, long-range cruising boats, 7 best trailerable boats – a recap, what’s the best trailerable sailboat for a cruise, trailerable sailboats faqs.

  • Catalina 22/25
  • Com-Pac Horizon Cat
  • Marshall Sanderling
  • West Wight Potter 19
  • Seaward 26RK
  • Corsair F-24 Trimaran
  • MacGregor 26M

We’ll get into more detail about each brand in my post today, so hang tight!

What Is a Trailerable Sailboat, Exactly?

For this article, the priorities for a trailerable sailboat are:

  • Easy to launch
  • Require minimum setup to launch and store
  • Lightweight enough to be towed by the average vehicle

Before you can really classify a sailboat as trailerable, you need to evaluate and narrow your search criteria. Truthfully, 50-plus-foot ocean-going sailboats are regularly put on trailers. But that’s done commercially, on a big rig, with special permits for oversized loads, and even led cars.  

That probably isn’t what most people mean when they think of a trailerable sailboat. But what is the priority here, the trailerable part or the sailboat part? Compromises are going to have to be made somewhere. 

If you’re looking at the 20-foot-and-under sailboat crowd, finding a trailerable example should not be hard. Most sailboats this size are designed for trailers anyway since they aren’t the sort of boats people want to pay to leave in a slip year-round.

Things get more interesting when you look at the 20 to 30-foot boats. In this class, there are stout ocean-going cruisers with deep keels and lightweight centerboard trailer sailboats designed from the get-go to be trailered by the average car or SUV. The differences between these boats are night and day.

Sailboats often have a hard time at boat ramps. First, deep keels mean that the trailer must extend farther into the water than the average boat ramp allows. This means the ramp needs to go back far enough, and the trailer tongue needs to be long enough not to swamp the car. 

If you have a boat like this, you’ll need to find the right boat ramps. Unfortunately, not all ramps are created equally. If your boat draws more than two or three feet on the trailer, you’re going to be limited to steep, paved, and high-quality boat ramps. Unfortunately, those aren’t standard features, so your cruising grounds are going to be limited.

Usually, ramps aren’t built steeply because they are often slippery. Your tow vehicle will need excellent traction and torque to pull your fully loaded boat out of a steep ramp. The steeper the ramp, the more trouble you’ll have. 

The alternative to finding steep ramps is to use a trailer tongue extender. This lets you get the trailer into deeper water without swamping the tow vehicle. But it also means that the ramp needs to extend deep enough. Many ramps end abruptly. Allowing your trailer to sink off the edge is an excellent way to get stuck or pop a tire.

Pick a boat as easy to launch and retrieve as a similarly sized powerboat to remove all of these boat ramp problems. The soft chines of most sailboats will always require a little more water, but a swing keel and the hinged rudder raised mean that the boat can sit low on the trailer bunks. That way, you only need one or two feet of water to launch, an easy feat at nearly every boat ramp you can find.

The next consideration for a sailboat to be portable enough to call it “trailerable” is the amount of time it takes to step the mast and get it ready to cruise. 

To accomplish this, you need a mast that can be stepped by a two-person team–maximum. Ideally, it will have some tabernacle hardware to enable one person to do the task for solo sailing.

There is an entire family of pocket cruisers that could ideally fit on trailers. But you won’t find the Fickas or the Falmouth cutters on my list, simply because they aren’t easy to launch or easy to rig. But, of course, they’re also too heavy for most vehicles to tow, which leads us to the final point of excluding them this trailable pocket cruiser’s list.

One of the most significant financial burdens the trailer sailer faces is their tow vehicle. You are all set if you already drive a two-ton dually diesel pickup truck. But if your daily driver is an SUV or light pickup, you need to think long and hard about the math of the towing equation. 

Whatever boat you buy cannot exceed the towing rating limits of your tow vehicle. If you don’t have a tow vehicle, you’ll need to buy one. This will double or triple the cost of getting a trailer sailer in most cases. For the same money, you may want to look at a boat that stays in the water at a traditional boat slip. For the cost of a trailer sailer and a tow vehicle, you can probably step into a nice boat that is larger and more comfortable than any towable.

If you have a tow vehicle, you need a light enough vessel for it to tow. Most modern SUVs tow less than 2,500 pounds. Anything more than 5,000 will require a full-size pickup. Remember that the tow weight isn’t just the boat’s displacement—it’s the empty hull weight, plus the weight of the trailer and any extra gear you need to pack into the boat. 

Finding a vessel that fits these limitations on weight isn’t easy. If the manufacturer’s goal is to make it towable, immediate limits are placed on the materials they can use. This means less seaworthiness since boats are built light and thin. As far as stability goes, lead keels are generally out, and water ballast systems or centerboards might be used instead. It doesn’t mean these boats aren’t safe and fun, but they aren’t designed for rough conditions, crossing oceans, or living on in the water full-time .

Trailerable sailboats are usually limited to the best paved ramps

7 Best Trailerable Cruising Sailboats

There are more trailerable sailboats out there than you might imagine. Here’s a look at seven popular options of all shapes and sizes to give you a taste of what you might want to take to sea.

The boats here are selected for their storage and living space. With these boats and a little outfitting, you can spend weeks gunk-holing in the Chesapeake Bay or island hopping the Bahamas. If you broaden your scope to include daysailers with no cabin space, there are countless more options.

One of the worst parts of a small trailerable sailboat or pocket cruiser is the lack of stand-up headroom. One clever solution that you’ll find on some weekend sailboat types is the pop-top. 

The pop-top is simply an area around the companionway hatch that extends upward on struts. So when you’re at the dock or anchor, you get standing headroom down below—at least right inside the pop-top.

You can build a canvas enclosure for your pop-top to use it in all weather. A pop-top makes your boat feel much larger than it is and allows you to move freely to cook or get changed down below or even do a nice boat bed area. 

Later models of the Catalina Sport 22 and Capri 22s lacked this cool pop-top feature, so if you want it, you’ll need to seek out an older model on the used market.

Com-Pac has been building small sailboats since the early 1970s. They currently sell two lines, each with various-sized boats. All are well built, and a majority of their boats are trailerable. 

Most interesting at the Com-Pac traditional catboats . The rigging is more straightforward than modern sloops, with only one large mainsail. Com-Pac boats come with a unique quick-rig system to make getting on the water fast and simple.

The Horizon Cat Coastal Cruising has a displacement of 2,500 pounds with a 2’2″ draft when the board is up. She has a separate head forward and space to lounge either topside or down below. The smaller Sun Cat has slightly few amenities but shaves off a few feet and pounds, making it easier to tow and it is one of these amazing small sailboats. Com-Pacs features stub keels, so their centerboard and hinged rudder do not take up space in the cabin.

On the sloop rig side, the Com-Pac 23 comes in a 3,000-pound traditional sailboat or a very interesting pilothouse. Both are incredibly livable for their size , with shallow two-foot-long fixed keels and high-quality construction.

Another option if you like catboats is the Marshall Sanderling. This salty 18-footer oozes traditional charm , all while being easy to sail and easier to tow. And while she has wooden boat lines, she has a modern laminated fiberglass hull.

The Sanderling has a 2,200-pound displacement, so tow weights will be around 3,000 pounds. At only 18-feet, she’s on the small side for cruising. The cuddy cabin has no galley, and the portable toilet is not enclosed. But that small size means a simple boat that’s easy to maintain and take anywhere. 

An electric motor package is an exciting option on this weekend sailboat!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by @marshallmarinecat

You can’t mention tiny trailer sailers without touching on the famous West Wight Potter . These 15 and 19-foot pocket cruisers have earned a worldwide reputation as the ultimate go-anywhere coastal cruiser.

The West Wight Potter 19 offers the most living space for staying aboard and cruising. So even though its dimensions are diminutive, this little boat packs a lot in. There’s a single burner hotplate and sink and a porta-potty tucked under a cushion. Yes, it’s tight—but the company claims the little boat can sleep five people. Any more than two will feel pretty crowded, however.

The boat comes standard with a mast-raising system that a single person can manage alone. It has a daggerboard for a shallow draft of a half-foot when the board is up. The total towing weight is around 1,500 pounds, which means nearly any car can tow a West Wight Potter.

This little-known trailer sailer is produced at the same Florida factory that makes Island Packet Yachts. That should give you a little bit of an idea of what sort of boat it is—trailerable, yes, but also high-quality, beautiful, and built for cruising. In other words, it’s one of the nicest all round pocket cruisers and it feels like a much larger boat.

The Seaward is easily the saltiest boat on this list . It’s beefy and seaworthy. Instead of a lightweight centerboard, Seaward fits the RK with a bulb-shaped retracting keel. Other big-boat items include a Yanmar diesel inboard motor and an enclosed head. The spacious cabin of the boat features a double berth and is ready for salt water cruising.

According to , the tow weight of the 26RK is 6,000 pounds. With the keel up, the draft is 1.25 feet.

Multihull sailors need not feel left out from the trailer sailer club and the pocket cruiser. Beyond the ubiquitous beach Hobie Cat, there are not many options for catamarans. But trimarans are uniquely suited to be towed.

Why? For one thing, performance oriented boats like trimarans are based on it being built light. There is no ballast—a trimaran’s stability comes from its two outer hulls. Additionally, the living space is entirely housed in the central hull–the outer floats are small and sometimes foldable. Finally, there are no keels on tris, so they are extremely shallow draft and perfect for trailering.

If you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping sporty and fun sailing, it’s impossible to beat what a trimaran will offer. Let’s not beat around the bush—most of the trailer sailers on this list have hull speeds around five knots. The Corsair has no such limits, routinely sailing at 15 knots or more .

The new Corsair 880 trimaran has an unloaded weight of 3,659 pounds. It is trailerable behind a big SUV or small pickup and is probably the most fun sailing option that is trailerable at all.

An even more portable option is the older Corsair F-24. It has a light displacement of under 2,000 pounds—so nearly any SUV can tow it.

MacGregor owns the market on trailerable motor sailers since they more or less created the product to fit the bill. The MacGregor 26 is not like other boats. The design combines a planing powerboat with a centerboard sailboat. Imagine scooting along at 20 knots or more when the wind is down or enjoying a sporty sail on a breezy day–in the same boat.

The entire boat is built from the ground up for towing and long-range sailing. So if you want a big sailboat that you can tow behind pretty much any SUV, the MacGregor has to be on your list. 

Depending on the model, the 26-foot-long boats have incredibly light dry weights of between 1,650 and 2,350 pounds. Considering the massive volume of the roomy cabin, the ability to tow such a large vessel opens up an entire world of opportunities for owners. 

It’s not all good news, of course. MacGregor owners love their boats, but they are built light and are not ideally suited for offshore cruising or rough weather. But in bays and for coastal sailing on nice days, few boats can get as much use as a MacGregor. 

The motorboat capability of the 26M and 26X might not appeal to hardcore sailors, but for those looking to maximize their use of the boat depending on the weather, their mood, or location, it makes a lot of sense. 

MacGregor shut down in 2015, but the daughter and son-in-law of the original owners took over production and renamed the boat the Tattoo 26 . The company will soon release a smaller version, the Tattoo 22 .

If the 26 is a bit big to make your list of best trailerable small sailboats, consider the smaller Powersailer 19. It’s nearly identical to the 26, just smaller and lighter.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dale Roddick (@droddick33)

What Do You Want Your Trailer Sailer To Do?

After you’ve settled on how you will tow and launch your trailer sailer, now it’s time to dream about what you want it to do. Where will it take you? 

The beauty of a towable boat is that you can travel anywhere. A boat in the water might take weeks or months to move a few hundred miles. But if you can attach it to your car and do 65 mph on the interstate, you could sail on the Pacific on Monday, the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, and the Atlantic on Friday.

We can divide our trailerable sailboats into three groups – daysailers, weekenders, and cruisers.

These are designed with open cockpits and no space to sleep. This is a majority of the sub-22-foot boats on the market. They are designed to be launched, play for the day, and return to the ramp or dock.

A weekender will have rudimentary sleeping facilities. Think of it as a floating tent—it’s not a five-star hotel, but you can sleep under the stars or get out of the rain. Conceivably you could stay aboard indefinitely, but it doesn’t have much room for gear. So most people are ready to get off after a day or two. 

A cruising boat has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities built-in. These might be small and simple, but in any quantity, they mean you can disconnect from shore for a long time. Unfortunately, squeezing all of this into a tow-friendly package isn’t easy, and very few boats do it well. 

Trailer sailer adventures

The best trailer sailor for your adventures will depend on many factors. Like any boat, whatever you decide on will be a compromise – boats always are. But there are plenty of choices out there, no matter what size your tow vehicle is and no matter what sailing adventures you have in mind.

What size sailboat is trailerable?

Even large yachts are routinely transported by towing across land, so the question is more of how big a sailboat can you tow? Your tow vehicle will be the limiting factor. The upper limit for most large SUVs and trucks is usually a sailboat around 26 feet long.

Sailboats are generally very heavily built, with ballast and lead keels. Sailboats specifically made to be trailer sailers are lighter. They may use drainable water ballast tanks instead of fixed ballast and have fewer fixtures and amenities.

To find the best trailer sailer, you need to balance the total tow weight, the ease of rig setup at the boat ramp, and the boat’s draft. Shallow draft boats with centerboards are the easiest to launch and retrieve.

Is a Hunter 27 trailerable?

No. The Hunter 27 is a one of those fixed-keel larger boats built from 1974 to 1984. The boat’s displacement is 7,000 pounds, not including trailer and gear. That alone makes it too heavy to tow by all but the beefiest diesel trucks. 

Furthermore, the fixed keels had drafts between 3.25 and 5 feet, all of which are too much for most boat ramps. In short, the standard Hunter Marine 27 is too big to tow for most people.

On the other hand, Hunter has made several good trailer sailers over the years. For example, the Hunter 240 and 260 were explicitly designed for trailering. They have drainable water ballast and shallow keel/centerboard drafts less than two feet. 

Is a Catalina 22 trailerable?

Yes, the Catalina 22 is easily trailerable and makes a wonderful weekend sailboat. In fact, there were over 15,000 Catalina 22s made and sold over the years. 

The boat’s displacement is 2,250 pounds, which means your total tow weight with trailer and gear will be under 3,000 pounds. This is within the capabilities of most mid to full-size SUVs and light trucks. Be sure to check your vehicle’s towing capacity, of course.

The centerboard on the Catalina 22 is another factor in its easy towing. With the board up, the boat draws only two feet. This makes it easy to float off the trailer at nearly any boat ramp. You should avoid fixed keel versions of the 22 for towing unless you have access to extra deep ramps. 

small sailboat and trailer

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

Can someone tell me why no other manufacturer makes pop tops? Those who have them, love them. Makes sense for head space with a trailerable boat too. Catalina stopped making them decades ago, yet people still swear by them. So, why isn’t there any newer models?

MacGregor put pop tops on many of its trailerables

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  • Articles and Guides

11 Best Small Sailboat Brands: How to Choose Your Next Daysailer or Pocket Cruiser

12th oct 2023 by samantha wilson.

Rightboat logo

Sailing is a relaxing, invigorating pastime that allows you to harness wind and waves in a unique and historic way without requiring a 50-foot yacht to enjoy what’s special about the experience. In fact, small sailboats allow a delightful back-to-basics experience that often gets lost on larger, systems-heavy sailboats.

On a small sailboat you can connect with the sea, feeling the boat move beneath you. The boat is typically easy to rig, simple to sail, and can even be sailed solo. Small sailboats give you the freedom to trailer your or car-top your boat and go anywhere, and they’re perfect for learning the nuances of sailing. There are many excellent brands and models of small sailboat, each with their own appeal, and here we narrow down some of our favorite in the daysailer and pocket cruiser categories under 30 feet. 

Difference Between a Daysailer and a Pocket Cruiser

While there are many different types of sailboat on the market and there is no single definition of either a daysailer or a pocket cruiser, they are used in a particular way, as the names imply. The term daysailer covers a huge array of sailboats, smaller and sometimes larger, and is generally defined as any day boat used for local sailing, with a simple rig, and easy to get underway. A pocket cruiser typically offers a cabin and head, and adequate accommodations for an overnight stay and sometimes longer cruises. Having said that, there is a large overlap between the two in many instances, so the lines may become blurred. 

What Size is a Small Sailboat?

Small is a relative term of course, but in general—and for the purposes of this article—a small sailboat is one that could be sailed by a small crew, often with one or two people aboard. It will have a simple rig and be trailerable, and it might be either a daysailer or pocket-cruiser style vessel as above. Within those categories, there are many models and styles, but when it comes to length we consider a sailboat as small when it’s under 30 feet in overall length. 

The Best Sailboats Under 30 Feet

Pocket cruiser: Beneteau First 27.  The Beneteau First 27 is a modern example of a pocket cruiser, earning Cruising World ’s Boat of the Year award in the Pocket Cruiser category in 2022. With space for up to six people accommodated in a separated bow-cabin and open saloon, it offers families the chance to go farther, explore more, and cruise in comfort. There is a galley with freshwater and a head, adding to the interior home comforts. The sailboat itself is modern, fast, and stable, designed by Sam Manuard, and has been designed to be incredibly safe and almost unsinkable thanks to its three watertight chambers. The handling is also refreshingly intuitive, with a well-designed cockpit, simple deck controls, and double winches allowing it to be sailed solo, by two people, or a small crew. 

Beneteau sailboats for sale

Beneteau First 27

Photo credit: Beneteau

Daysailer: Alerion 28.  You’ll certainly turn heads cruising along in an Alerion 28, a daysailer whose forerunner by the same name was designed by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1912 and then updated with a modern underbody for fiberglass production by Carl Schumacher in the late 1980s. This pretty daysailer manages to combine a traditional silhouette and classic feel, with very modern engineering creating an excellent package. Over 470 of these sailboats were built and sold in the past 30 years, making it one of the most popular modern daysailers on the water. With a small cabin and saloon, complete with miniature galley area, it offers respite from the sun or wind and the option for a night aboard. The cockpit offers a beautiful sailing experience, with plenty of space for the whole family. 

Alerion boats for sale


Photo credit: Alerion Yachts

The Best Sailboats Under 25 Feet

Pocket cruiser: Cornish Crabber 24.  British manufacturer Cornish Crabber has been producing beautiful, traditional style small sailboats for decades, ensuring they honor their heritage both in the construction style and appearance of their boats. The Cornish Crabber 24 is the most iconic of their range and dates back to the 1980s. It offers a simple yet surprisingly spacious interior layout with cabin, galley, and head, and a good sized cockpit, as well as seating for up to six people. It’s the perfect family sailboat, with clever use of storage as well as just under 5000 pounds of displacement providing stability and easy tacking. Aesthetically the 24 is simply beautiful, with a traditional silhouette (combined with modern engineering), finished in hardwood trims. 

Cornish Crabber boats for sale

Cornish Crabber 24

Photo credit: Cornish Crabber

Daysailer: Catalina 22 Capri.  Catalina sailboats need little introduction, and are one of the world’s best-known, most-respected brands building small sailboats. The Catalina 22 Capri (also available in a sport model) is a great example of what Catalina does so well. While we’ve classified it as a daysailer, it could easily cross into the pocket cruiser category, as it offers excellent sailing performance in almost all conditions as well as having a small cabin, galley, and head. Loved for its safety, stability, ease of handling and simple maintenance, it makes for a good first family boat for getting out onto the bay or lake. 

Catalina boats for sale

Catalina 22 Capri

Photo credit: Catalina

The Best Sailboats Under 20 Feet

Pocket cruiser: CapeCutter 19.  This is another model that combines the beauty of the traditional silhouettes with modern-day advancements. The design originates from the classic gaff cutter work boats, but today offers excellent performance—in fact it’s one of the fastest small gaffers in the world. The interior is cleverly spacious, with four berths, two of which convert into a saloon, as well as a simple galley area. With quick rigging, it can be sailed solo, but is also able to accommodate small groups, making it a capable and hugely versatile pocket cruiser. 

CapeCutter boats for sale

CapeCutter 19

Photo credit: Cape Cutter 19

Daysailer: Swallow Yachts’ BayRaider 20.  Classic looks with modern performance are combined in Swallow Yachts’ beautiful BayRaider 20. This is one of the most capable and safest daysailers we’ve seen, but also incredibly versatile thanks to the choices of ballast. Keep the ballast tank empty and it’s light and fast. Fill the tank up and you’ve got a stable and safe boat perfect for beginners and families. While it’s got an eye-catching traditional style, the engineering is modern, with a strong carbon mast and construction. While this is a true daysailer, you can use the optional spray hood and camping accessories to create an overnight adventure. 

Swallow Yachts for sale

Swallow Yachts BayRaider 20

Photo credit: Swallow Yachts

The Best Sailboats Under 15 Feet

Pocket Cruiser: NorseBoat 12.5.  Can we truly call the NorseBoat 12.5 a pocket cruiser? Yes we can! The sheer versatility of this excellent little sailboat has convinced us. These beautiful hand-crafted sailboats offer exceptional performance and are described by the manufacturer as ‘the Swiss Army Knives of sailboats’. The traditionally styled 12.5 can be sailed, rowed, and motored. It can be trailered, easily beached, and even used as a camp cruiser, allowing for overnight adventures. There is no end to the fun that can be had with this easy-to-sail and easy-to-handle boat, which makes it a dream to learn in. With positive flotation, lots of clever storage, and a full-size double berth for camp cruising, it really is the perfect mini pocket cruiser. 

NorseBoat for sale

NorseBoat 12.5

Photo credit: NorseBoats

Daysailer: Original Beetle Cat Boat 12: All across the bays of the US east coast cat boats have long been part of the ocean landscape. Able to access shallow rocky coves yet also withstand the strong coastal winds, these traditional New England fishing boats have an iconic shape and gaff-rigged mainsails. Beetle Cat have been producing elegant wooden cat boats for over 100 years – in fact they’ve made and sold over 4,000 boats to date. Their 12 foot Cat Boat 12 is one of their finest models, offering lovely daysailing opportunities. It has a wide beam and centerboard that lifts up, allowing it to access shallow waters, as well as a forward mast and single sail gaff rig in keeping with the traditional cat boats. To sail one of these is to be part of the heritage of New England and Cape Cod, and to honor the ancient art of hand-made boat building. 

Beetle Cat official website

Beetle Cat Boat 12

Photo credit: Beetle Cat

The Best Small Sailboats for Beginners

When it comes to learning to sail, it’s important to have a boat that is easy to handle. There’s no quicker way to put yourself or your family off sailing than to start off with a boat that is either too big or too complicated. When choosing your first boat we recommend the following characteristics:

  • Small: The benefits of starting off with a small boat are many, as we’ve seen above. They’re easier to control as well as to moor, and they react more quickly to steering and sails. They can be trailered and launched easily, and the loads generated are much lower than on bigger, heavier boats.
  • Easy to sail: You want a boat that is stable and forgiving of mistakes, doesn’t capsize easily, and isn’t too overpowered in a stronger breeze. Keep things simple and learn as you go.
  • Simple sail configuration: Choosing a boat that can be rigged by one person in a few minutes, and easily sailed solo, makes it easier to take along inexperienced crews. With regards to the rig, all you need are a halyard to hoist the mainsail and a sheet to control the mainsail.
  • Tiller steering: We recommend boats with tiller steering over wheel steering when starting out. The tiller allows you to get a real feel for the boat and how the rudder works as it moves through the water. 

For more information on choosing the best beginner sailboat check out our full guide. There are many popular brands of beginner boats including Sunfish, Laser, and Hunter Marlow. Some of our favorites include;

Hobie 16: The classic Hobie catamaran has been a well-loved beginner sailboat for years, and the Hobie 16 started life back in 1969. Since then they’ve made and sold over a staggering 100,000 of the 16s. It has twin fiberglass and foam hulls, a large trampoline, and a pull-up rudder so it can be sailed straight onto the beach. The basic package comes with an easy to handle main and jib with plenty of extras available too such as a spinnaker and trailer. The Hobie 16 promises a great learning experience and lots of fun in a very nifty and inexpensive package. 

Hobie boats for sale

Hobie 16

Photo credit: Hobie

Paine 14: You’ll immediately fall in love with sailing when you step into a beautiful Paine 14. Made from seamless epoxy cold-molded wood, the P-14 is simply beautiful and offers the classic sailing experience with the design and innovation of a more modern hull and rig. Two people will be able to enjoy getting out on the water together and learning the ropes. The Paine 14 has a lead ballast keel that accounts for nearly half her weight, giving her the feel of a much larger boat, but is still trailerable and easy to manage offering the best of both worlds. 

Chuck Paine boats for sale

Paine 14

Photo credit: Chuck Paine

High-Performance Small Sailboats

Small sailboats generally become high performers if they are light, have a lot of sail area, or they have more than one hull. More recently, some of have been designed with foiling surfaces, as well. For the purposes of this article, we’d like to close by pointing out one model that is super fast and has versatile pocket-cruising capabilities.

Corsair 880 trimaran : The Corsair 880 trimaran is the grandchild of the company’s F27, a model that launched the popularity of trailerable leisure trimarans about 40 years ago. The 880 has taken the model to new heights and exemplifies the incredible space benefits you can achieve in a 29-foot sailboat. We’re talking an aft cabin, room to sleep 5 people, an enclosed head, and standing headroom in the galley and main saloon. It brings many of the opportunities that a much larger yacht plus the ability to cruise in extremely shallow water. Whether you want to cruise to the Bahamas or enjoy a high-adrenaline race, the Corsair 880 offers incredible performance and unlimited adventures in a truly pocket size. 

Corsair boats for sale

Corsair 880

Photo credit: Corsair

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.


More from: Samantha Wilson

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7 Trailerable Sailboats That Have Standing Headroom

Trailering your boat is a great way to sail in a lot of different places while keeping your boat budget in control. You can take a smaller boat a long way to launch it somewhere new, and you don't get saddled with a lot of mooring and dockage fees while your boat sits around unused.

That sounds great, but one key word in about trailerable sailboats is small . To move a boat on a street legal trailer without special permits and problems, it has to stay within certain size limits.

You may struggle to find a trailer sailer with head room when you're down below. But there are some out there that an average person doesn't have to sit to work in the galley, and we've put together a list of seven great pocket cruisers you can stand up in (if you're not too tall!).

small sailboat and trailer

On this page:

Standing headroom and trailering, westerly pageant, catalina 25, grampian 26, beneteau first 27, macgregor 26m / tattoo 26, corsair 760.

Our list includes some old classics dating back to the 70s, new boats in production today, and even a high performance multihull. The range of trailer sailers to pick from is enormous, but if you want something you can stand up in, here's a good place to start.

  • Catalina 25 (poptop)
  • MacGregor 26

The terms "trailerable" and "standing headroom" are both a little vague. Many boats can be moved by trailer, but you wouldn't want to move them that way every weekend. Bigger boats require heavier trucks and trailers, and once they get past eight feet of beam, you may need permits, special routing, and commercial equipment. Just because you can get it on a trailer doesn't mean it's "trailerable" in this context.

And standing headroom means something very different to different people. It's not just tall and short people who need different space, but what space in the boat you can stand in. Most people can stand up inside a small boat with the companionway open, but can you cook standing up with your head out in the cockpit? Or stand and stretch on a rainy day?

For our purposes, we're going to use the following definitions:

A trailerable boat is one you can launched, rig, and recover with the crew which sails it, an move on normal roads with no special permits or commercial tow vehicles. Many boats will fit on a trailer, but to be "trailerable" it needs to be reasonable to use for a trip on a long weekend, starting from and ending on a trailer. Most roads in North America have a vehicle width limit of a little over eight feet without special permits. This eliminates any boat with a beam much over eight and a half feet.

Standing headroom for this discussion means a person of average height (5'10" or 178 cm for men) can stand inside the main saloon, out of the elements. It doesn't mean you can stand everywhere down below, but you should be able to stand and move around a bit, get dressed and undressed without doing calisthenics, and hopefully work in the galley if there is one. "Headroom" on a boat is a very fuzzy measurement, and is distorted by marketing hype and wishful thinking. There isn't a standardized measurement for it, so we'll work with our own.

Within these parameters, there are many boats. If you can deal with some inconvenience in your trailering, or you only plan to move your boat by trailer once or twice a season, you can get more boat and still get the headroom you want. But that's not what's on our list.

Built by Westerly Marine in the 1970s, the Pageant is a 23' bilge keeled cruiser with full standing headroom in the saloon. At 4,300 pounds, it's heavy for its size and is known more for comfort than speed. The bilge keels may make getting onto a trailer interesting and require modifications to accommodate its under water layout.

There is a fin keeled version marketed as the Kendal 23/24, with a four-foot draft and two hundred pounds less displacement. They built only a few, so they're difficult to find.

The Catalina 25 is one of the most popular pocket cruisers built, with almost 6,000 hulls built between 1978 and 1994. A variety of keel styles and rigs were built, including a fin keel, swing keel, winged keel, and a tall rig. But the most distinctive feature of these boats is the "pop top" over the companionway, which enabled the entire area in the saloon under the companionway to lift for standing headroom. Some owners built covers and sides, enclosing this area into a true part of the belowdecks space.

The pop top was an option prior to 1987, but became standard after that through the end of the production run. It's important to know the build year for any Catalina 25 you consider, since the features varied considerably. Always check pictures for the pop top!

This trimaran is fast, but still has six feet of headroom. With the amas folded, the boat is narrow enough to trailer and with a 3,000 displacement is light and easy to move. While you won't have the interior beam of an eight-foot wide monohull in the living space, you will have quite a comfortable space with room to stand. But unlike most of the shallow draft, trailerable monohulls on this list, this one can hit fifteen knots under sail.

The Canadian-built Grampian 26 was built from the late sixties through the late seventies, and many of the almost 1,000 boats that were built are still around. It has six feet of headroom inside, an enclosed head, and a galley. It's an ideal weekender for a couple, or even a couple with a small child. Some boats had inboard engines, others had outboards. Additional options were for a keel or a centerboard model; with 4'3" of draft, the keel model is still easy to trailer.

One of the few new and in production boats in this list, the Beneteau First 27 is a fraction of an inch under our 5'10" qualifier (technically 5′9 5/16"), but it's such a roomy and quick boat that it seems appropriate to waive a few millimeters. This lightweight boat has sleeping space for up to six, and has a galley, fridge, and a proper marine head.

Don't confuse this boat with the earlier First 27 from 1978 or the First 27 SE (for "Seascape"), sold as the First 27 from 2018 to 2020 after Beneteau acquired Seascape. Those were quite different boats, though they had their own merits and strengths. They didn't have quite the headroom or interior volume as the newest model, and the earlier boat had too much beam for easy trailering.

Finds specs here

The MacGregor 26 series of boats is the most popular trailer sailor ever built. The first "Mac 26" was built in 1986, and went through several design upgrades and enhancements, including the 25D (dagger board), 26S (centerboard), 26X (dual rudder, motor sailing) culminating in the 26M (motorsailor with a rotating spar) built from 2002 though 2013. Earlier models have less headroom, but all are water ballasted, lightweight trailerable boats. The later 26X and 26M models can be equipped with rather large outboards (for sailboats) which could hit almost 20 knots under power.

Though the rigs on these boats are undersized and they're lightly built, they're spacious near shore and inland cruisers you can easily rig and de-rig for a weekend of sailing.

The founder of MacGregor Boats, Roger MacGregor, retired in 2013, and his daughter Laura founded Tattoo Yachts and bought the tooling for the 26M. Tattoo continues to build the Tattoo 26, which is a Macgregor 26M with a few modernizations and enhancements.

Corsair Trimarans offers several trailerable tris which meet the headroom test. The Corsair 760 is the smallest current production model, and like the Catalina 25, this 24' trimaran uses a clever pop-top over the companionway to get more headroom. It's sleeps two in the default configuration, though a foldable table can convert to sleep four.

Corsair designs their trimarans for easy setup and breakdown of the amas, and can be setup and launched in under an hour. The very shallow draft allows for anchoring in areas many boats can not, and even beaching.

The larger Corsair 970 is also trailerable with standing headroom, as is the older F-31.

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The Best Small Sailboat For Beginners. 8 Great Boat Options

Updated July 2nd, 2023

best small sailboats for beginners

If you are new to sailing and want to get a boat, what should you get? There are tons of sailboats out there on Craigslist, eBay, and Marketplace. Prices can range from free to a hundred thousand or more. What should you get for your first sailboat? Keep reading below to learn a little more about sailboats and what you should look for. I also have my picks for the best small sailboat for beginners.

What makes a sailboat good for beginners?

I learned to sail in middle school and have done it regularly since then. I spent my college summers working as a children’s sailing school instructor at a few yacht clubs around the US. I’ve raced sailboats a ton too on all kinds of boats from collegiate buoy racing too overnight long distance races. After years of doing this, I am way more of a go sailing for fun kind of guy than someone who lives for the competition.

For anyone thinking about learning to sail, it’s not that hard to learn sailing basics. You can teach yourself watching Youtube vidoes but it wouldn’t hurt to take a sailing lesson just to learn the basic sailing terms and see a live hands on demonstration of how to sail.

Here is what I have learned over the years for which boats make learning to sail easier.

Easy to sail

You need a boat that is easy to sail. You don’t want to get a boat that capsizes super easily. You want a stable boat that can tolerate some mistakes without sending you into the drink. You want a boat that isn’t too overpowered so it won’t feel terrifying if the wind picks up while you are out.

Easy to rig

You want a boat you can rig and put together easily. If it’s a trailerable boat you need a mast you can put up and down without hurting your back or needing a bunch of tricks. A racing boat with a lot of sail controls may have a ton of things you need to hook up when rigging it and lots of adjustments depending on wind conditions. A recreational day sailing boat may have very few. As a beginner sailor looking for a boat, less is more. You want something that leans towards, lift the mast, put the sails on, hoist, and go.

What exactly is a small sailboat anyways? A read an article recently in a popular sailboat cruising magazine. They labeled a 36 footer as a “compact cruising yacht”. There is nothing compact or small about a 36 footer. Bigger sailboats react slower to steering and sail controls. A larger boat will have a lot more momentum when you are trying to get on and off the dock. The bigger the boat, the more load and force on all the lines and sails.

I recommend learning to sail first on something simple like a Sunfish. A little 14 foot sailing dinghy that can hold 1 or 2 adults. If your more ambitious and want to start with a boat you could go cruising in then a Catalina 25 or 27 are good choices. You really should not go any bigger than that for your first boat. A Catalina 30 weighs twice as much as a Catalina 27 and you can’t just easily push it around the dock. A 30 footer should be saved for your second or later boat.

Dinghy vs keelboat

Your first sailboat can be a dinghy without a keel or a keelboat. Small keelboats can make really good learning boats. With most keelboats you don’t need to worry about capsizing. If you go with a dinghy get something that is easy to upright.

Flying Scots are used for learning sailboats in many places including a sailing club I used to belong too. They are big stable and tubby. They are horrible to upright if you do manage to capsize them. You will need help from a powerboat to do it. If you go for a dinghy with no keel, it is better to stick to 15 feet or under so you can upright it without outside help. The 16 to 20 foot dinghy is where it can take some skill to self rescue yourself after a capsize if it’s possible at all.

If you decide to get a 20 to 25 foot keelboat, it is easiest to keep them at a marina with a hoist or preferably in the water. Trailer launching keelboats is a challenge even with a swing keel because of how deep you need to get them in the water to float off the trailer.

Minimal sail controls

When you learn to sail, all you really need are a halyard to hoist the mainsail, a sheet to control the mainsail. You don’t really need anything else to be adjustable. That is all you need to sail upwind, downwind, or any other point of sail. Everything else is extra for a beginner.

1 or 2 sails

When you learn to sail all you need is a mainsail. The near perfect learning sailboat is the Sunfish which has a lateen rig with only 1 sail. It has really simple controls and you can rig it wrong and it will still sail for you.

It is okay to learn to sail on a sloop rigged boat with 2 sails. A mainsail and a headsail or jib. Stop there.

You don’t need a spinnaker. Ask anyone who has raced sailboats and they will have stories about what went wrong with a spinnaker. Spinnakers are responsible for breaking more stuff on a sailboat than anything else.

There are boats out there with 2 or more masts such as a ketch or yawl. The second mast is called a mizzen mast. Don’t even think of getting one of these either. It’s just more distraction and things that can break or go wrong. You don’t want a cutter rigged sloop. These have 2 headsails which you again don’t need or want.

Tiller steering

Your first boat should have tiller steering. Don’t get a boat with wheel steering. The wheel mechanism has a lot of drag and slop in it and you won’t feel how the boat is reacting. A tiller lets you immediately feel the boat is out of balance. A tiller is easier to learn to sail upwind with by learning to push it towards or away from the sail. Wheel steering is less intuitive. Stay away from that big cruise with a wheel.

Trailerable boats vs marinas

I grew up in central Pennsylvania where we had small lakes to sail on. This meant a trailerable small boat when we got our first sailboat. I currently live in Michigan near the Great Lakes. Most boats I’ve had as an adult have lived at a marina and not at my house.

If you want to sail more often, keep it rigged at a marina so you have to do the very least possible to get it out on the water. I use my sailboats way more often when I don’t have to hook it up to a car, drag it to the lake, rig it and do the reverse to go home. The downside is cost. Keeping even a Sunfish at a marina or yacht club can cost a lot.

If you want to experience sailing on a low budget, trailering smaller boats is a fine way to go. If you want more convenience and your willing to pay for it consider keeping your boat rigged at a marina.

Portable boats (multi-section hull or inflatable)

There are a few new entries in the boating world that focus on making the boat easier to store and transport. These involve either inflatable hulls or a folding or multi-section hull. These let you store the boat in your garage, large closet or spare room. You can fit them in the back of a small SUV for transport without roof racks or a trailer. 2 great examples of these are the Tiwal inflatable sailboat and Minicat inflatable catamaran.

Commonly available and easy to get parts

Stuff will break on your sailboat if you use it enough. Some parts on a boat are really generic such as pullies, blocks and lines. Other parts are not such as boom or mast end fittings, rudders, etc… There are a lot of cheap boats out on Craigslist. There are a million old 15 foot 2 person sloop rigged sailing dinghies out there in people’s yards. Before buying any of these make sure that all the parts are there. Do not buy one without seeing it rigged with sails up first.

If your not sure find an experienced sailor friend who sails to go look at it with you. If anything is broken look up to see if you can get a replacement part. For many of these old boats, replacement parts are impossible to find which is why they are being given away for not much or free.

If a boat has an active racing class still, there is a good chance replacement parts are available. Racers go out in high winds and push the boat which means they break stuff. Boats like a Sunfish or Laser that are still produced and raced all over are easy to get sails and spare parts.

Keep it inexpensive

When you are buying your starter boat, know that it won’t be your last boat. You will learn what you like and don’t like and you’ll want another boat. There is a disease among sailors called “Threefootitis”. No matter how big a boat you buy, you will always want one at least a 3 feet bigger boat. Don’t spend a ton on your first sailboat. There are tons of Sunfish out there for under $1000 and even under $500. I once got one for free that was still in racing condition. The biggest boat you should consider, something like a Catalina 27, can be had for well under $5000. Under $10,000 for a fully optioned one with wheel steering and a diesel inboard.

See our guide to how much does a small sailboat cost to learn more about what it costs to buy a sailboat.

My top 8 picks for the best small sailboat for beginners

1 – minicat inflatable catamaran.

minicat inflatable sailboat

Minicat makes a line of inflatable catamarans. They are available in a few sizes and suitable for children up to a few adults. Minicat’s use an inflatable hulls with a multi-piece mast and trampoline. The whole thing can be put away in 1 to 2 bags that are 6ft x 1ft x 1ft. They will easily fit in the back of an SUV with the rear seats folded or easily tied to a roof rack.=

The Minicat can hit high speeds just like a solid hulled catamaran. They have a full length fin down each hull to generate power. They are as fun to sail as any traditional hobie cat or other beach catameran but much easier to transport and store.

The Minicat 420 is their most popular design. It is about the same size as a Hobie 14 and good for up to 4 adults. You can learn more about or get one from Great Lakes Watercraft .

2 – Tiwal Inflatable Sailboats

tiwal2 sailing

Tiwal makes a line of 3 inflatable sailboats. They range from a basic dinghy to a performance racer. They are capable of sailing with 1-3 adults and children depending on the model. They break down into bags that will fit in the back of most people’s cars.

They use modern rigs with furling or reefing options so you can use them in a variety of winds. They use drop-stich construction to be able to create a v-hull that gives good performance on the water. The Tiwal 3R has hiking racks for even more performance.

Tiwal sailboats have been seen on Below Deck Sailing Yacht. They are one of the favorite water toys for people cruising on big boats. They let anyone try sailing with a small, easy to transport, and affordable package.

Visit to learn more about their sailboats.

3 – Sunfish

sunfish sailboats

I personally learned to sail on a Sunfish. It is still one of the best sailboats to learn sailing on. It is a super simple boat design that is easy and fun to sail and virtually anyone can rig or launch it.

Sunfish are small, 14 foot sailboats with a lateen rig that only has a main sail. They are sometimes referred to as board boats. They have a flat deck you sit on top of. These are common at beach resorts around the world so almost everyone has seen one at one point or another.

They are extremely simple to rig. You put the mast through the sail/booms and into the hull. There is one halyard to raise the sail. They have one sheet to control the sail. Racers have figured out ways to rig more controls but chances are, any boat you buy used won’t have them. 2 adults can easily fit on a Sunfish for sailing around.

Sunfish are very forgiving and easy to sail. The square sided hard chined hull makes them feel stable in the water even in a lot of wind. If you do capsize they are easy to upright and self bailing.

New Sunfish are still being built and they are raced in many places so parts are sails are easy to get. If you do feel like giving racing a try, chances are there is somewhere you can do it. The boats are sturdy and durable.

To learn more about Sunfish go here.

4 – Laser

laser sailboat

A Laser is another 14 foot 1 or 2 person sailboat that falls under the board boat category. They are very common and raced all over the place. It is the most popular racing sailboat in the history of sailing. They are currently an Olympic class boat as well. They have been raced at the Olympics in every summer games since 1996.

Lasers are less stable and capsize easier than Sunfish. They are a bit faster and higher performance for those wanting a little more oomph. They are still manageable for beginners. They are one of the easiest boats out there to upright after a capsize. If you choose one, take it out on lighter wind days until you get the hang of it. Don’t start out on a day with lots of wind and white caps or you will probably spend the whole day capsizing over and over.

Lasers are available with different sized sails. The most common version is the standard laser. The next most common is called the “Laser Radial” which has a smaller sail and mast. Some boats will have both. If it’s your first boat I strongly recommend looking for a boat with a Radial rig.

The thing to watch for with Lasers is their mast step. This is where the mast goes into the hull. If you are looking for one, pour a glass of water into the hole and see if it stays there or drains into the hull. If it drains into the hull, walk away from that boat. The weakness of these boats is the mast to hull joint which weakens with time and lots of use. If the mast step holds water it is fine.

To learn more about Lasers go here.

5 – West Wight Potter 15/19

west wight potter sailboat

West Wight Potters are very small cruising keelboats. They come in 15 and 19 foot versions. The 15 footer can be towed behind almost any car. The 19 footer needs a good sized SUV like an Explorer. They are very simple sloop rigged boats without any extra racing controls. They have keels and are stable. There are lots of them out there and they are still being made.

These aren’t the fastest or flashiest boats out there. They are easy to rig, easy to sail and you can do trailer cruising on them. These are for sail regularly on Craigslist and Marketplace. They are known to be solidly built without any common failure points.

If you are looking for a small keelboat you can learn to sail with and tow around these are a great choice.

To learn more about West Wight Potters go here.

6 – Catalina 25 and Catalina 27

Catalina 27 sailing

Dinghy sailing isn’t for everyone. Some people are more interested in a cruising boat they can go places with and stay over night. If that is you then a Catalina 25 or 27 is a great choice. Catalina 25 and Catalina 27s are 2 of the most common small cruising keelboats out there. They were built from the 1970’s through late 1980’s. There were thousands of both of them built. I have owned 2 Catalina 27’s and had a ton of fun on both of them. They are easy to sail, dock and take care of. They are at the large end of what you should consider for a beginner sailboat but still manageable.

Both boats were available with lots of options. Catalina 27’s can be simple with tiller steering and outboards. They can be more decked out with wheel steering and diesel of gas inboards. Catalina 25’s are the same although they are all tiller steering. Catalina 25s have either a fixed feel or a retractable keel for trailering. As a trailer boat they are huge and you’ll need something like an F350 to tow it.

For your first sailboat, look for a tiller steering, outboard motor, fixed keel version. Look for a boat with a roller furling headsail. This makes the boat much more easy to manage. You can reduce sail area by partially rolling up the headsail if it gets too windy. This is much better for your first boat then buying one with multiple sails that hank onto the headstay that need changed as the wind changes.

Do some more research into the boat for problem areas such as deck core rot or “Catalina smile” before buying one. Price wise, you can find them for $1000 to $10,000 depending on options and conditions.

To learn more about Catalina 25’s go here. To learn more about Catalina 27’s go here.

7 – Hobie 16/14

Hobie 16 catamaran

Hobie 16’s are the most popular beach catamaran in the world. They are common at beach resorts all over the world. I have owned one of these before too. They are also actively raced so parts and sails are easy to get. The Hobie 14 is the slightly smaller and less popular little brother. Both are available used all over the place for cheap.

Hobies are a ton of fun to sail. You can go really fast flying a hull in one. If you get one of your first sailboat use a bit of caution on when you take it out until you get used to it. Don’t start out on a day the wind is nuking and hope it will go okay because it won’t.

These are fairly easy to rig. This is the most complex boat I would ever recommend to a beginner. The mast can be challenging to raise and lower but there are easy ways Macguyver it and make it not so bad.

They do not tack easily upwind. Like all multihulls they can get stuck in irons easily when pointed into the wind. Sometimes you have to give it a little backwind and opposite rudder to get spun through the wind. It’s easy with a little bit of practice. It won’t tack as easily as a monohull.

To learn more about Hobie cats go here.

8 – The 2 person 14 foot sloop rigged sailing dinghy

2 person sailing dinghies

There are tons of this type of boat available used everywhere. There isn’t any single one that is widespread around the US to mention a particular design. There are tons of 420’s and Flying Juniors, Capri 14’s, JY15’s, Islander 14’s, etc… out there. They are all meant for 2 people. They all have a sloop rig with main and jib and a retractable centerboard. They all aren’t that hard to rig. They all can be trailered behind any car.

They can be sailed by one person in light winds or 2 people in almost any wind condition. They can be self rescued by 2 people after a capsize without help. Keep this in mind if you think about sailing it alone on a windy day.

As mentioned earlier in the article. The thing to watch out for with this type of boat is making sure all the parts are there. Make sure it is in sailing condition before you buy it. If something is broken make sure you can replace it before buying it.

You might also like:

  • How Much Does A Small Sailboat Cost? Big Fun For Small Money
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I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.

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7 Small Sailboats for Everyday Cruising

  • By Cruising World
  • Updated: July 29, 2019

Not everyone needs a 30-foot sailboat equipped with bunks, a galley and head to go off cruising. In fact, all we really need is a hull, mast, rudder, and sail. There is nothing better than the thrill of a small sailboat or daysailer slipping through the waters of a lake, bay or even the open ocean.

Whether it’s simplicity to rig, ease of trailering or a manageable size that you’re looking for, these small sailboats are perfect for the cruising enthusiast who wants the thrill of the sea without the commitment of a 30-footer. And some of these sailboats come with cabins. This roundup of the best daysailers goes to show that sometimes big things come in small packages.

Marblehead 22 Daysailer

Marblehead 22 Daysailer

Traditional-looking above the waterline and modern beneath, the cold-molded hull sports a deep bulb keel and a Hall Spars carbon-fiber mast with a wishbone rig and square-top main. The 11-foot-9-inch cockpit can seat a crowd, and a small cuddy forward will let you stow your friends’ gear for the day.

Catalina 22 Sport

Catalina 22 Sport

Recently, the company introduced the Catalina 22 Sport, an updated design that can compete with the older 22s. The boat features a retractable lead keel; a cabin that can sleep four, with a forward hatch for ventilation; and a fractional rig with a mainsail and a roller-furling jib. Lifelines, a swim ladder, and an engine are options, as are cloth cushions; vinyl cushions are standard. The large cockpit will seat a crowd or let a mom-and-pop crew stretch out and enjoy their sail.

Hunter 22

With its cuddy cabin, twin bunks, optional electrical system, opening screened ports, and portable toilet, a parent and child or a couple could comfortably slip away for an overnight or weekend. Add in the optional performance package, which includes an asymmetric spinnaker, a pole, and a mainsheet traveler, and you could be off to the races. The boat features a laminated fiberglass hull and deck, molded-in nonskid, and a hydraulic lifting centerboard. Mount a small outboard on the stern bracket, and you’re set to go.

West Wight Potter P 19

West Wight Potter P 19

First launched in 1971, this is a line of boats that’s attracted a true following among trailer-sailors. The P 19’s fully retractable keel means that you can pull up just about anywhere and go exploring. Closed-cell foam fore and aft makes the boat unsinkable, and thanks to its hard chine, the boat is reportedly quite stable under way.

Montgomery 17

Montgomery 17

With a keel and centerboard, the boat draws just under 2 feet with the board up and can be easily beached when you’re gunkholing. In the cuddy cabin you’ll find sitting headroom, a pair of bunks, a portable toilet, optional shore and DC power, and an impressive amount of storage space. The deck-stepped mast can be easily raised using a four-part tackle. The builder reports taking his own boat on trips across the Golfo de California and on visits to California’s coastal islands. Montgomery makes 15-foot and 23-foot models, as well.

Catalina 16.5

Catalina 16.5

With the fiberglass board up, the 17-foot-2-inch boat draws just 5 inches of water; with the board down, the 4-foot-5-inch draft suggests good windward performance. Hull and deck are hand-laminated fiberglass. The roomy cockpit is self-bailing, and the bow harbors a good-sized storage area with a waterproof hatch.

Hobie 16

The company has introduced many other multihulls since, but more than 100,000 of the 16s have been launched, a remarkable figure. The Hobie’s asymmetric fiberglass-and-foam hulls eliminate the need for daggerboards, and with its kick-up rudders, the 16 can be sailed right up to the beach. Its large trampoline offers lots of space to move about or a good place to plant one’s feet when hanging off the double trapezes with a hull flying. The boat comes with a main and a jib; a spinnaker, douse kit, trailer, and beach dolly are optional features.

  • More: 21 - 30 ft , Boat Gallery , monohull , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats , under 20 ft , used boat guide
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Small Sailboat Trailers

Aluminum Single Light Duty Carrier For Laser




Watch a Video on the SUT-220-S Features

The SUT-220-S is so light, it is often used also as a launching dolly

All Aluminum, All Bolted Construction, All Adjustable




Application Information

The Standard  Model SUT-220-S will carry up to a 17' long Sailboat or Boat such as  Sunfish,  Snark, Phantom, and other similar sailboats

Multi-Carrier Trailers for Small Sailboats are also available - contact us

For greater capacity of up to 350lbs  see the  Model SUT-350-S Trailer - Click Here

Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions


Trailex SUT-250M-2 Trailer Video



Triad Trailers

Sailboat Trailers

Custom crafted sailboat trailers..

Triad Trailers builds custom sailboat trailers in a wide variety of sizes to meet the requirements of small and large vessels. Every trailer we build is tailored specifically to the measurements of your unique hull shape for reliable and secure transport to or from the water. To explore our showcase of custom sailboat trailers, click the appropriate length range that matches your boat below.

small sailboat and trailer

small sailboat and trailer

You can enjoy the reliability and performance of a Load Rite trailer for your sailboat by specifying a custom trailer through your dealer.

We combine our modular pods with a keel board and winch stand options on any number of Load Rite or 5 STARR bunk models to conform to many sailboat applications. Each trailer must be specified on an individual basis. To get started, download the attached sailboat trailer specifications document before contacting your local Load Rite dealer . Your dealer will collect the model number and other details about your boat and work with our Customer Service and Engineering staff to come up with a recommendation and a quote for your Load Rite trailer.

All of these features are backed by the industry leading Load Rite 2 + 3 Warranty.

Specifications subject to change without notice.  Not responsible for publishing errors.


small sailboat and trailer

Galvanized Steel Frame

Tubular structural steel, fully hot dip galvanized, provides the ultimate finish for any boat trailer.  Tubular design shrouds wiring and brake lines from damage.  All machining and welding is performed before galvanizing, so there are no surfaces left unprotected from a boat trailer’s ultimate enemy: corrosion.

small sailboat and trailer

Patented Aluminum I-Beam Frame

Patented designs offer many features that add functionality to a great look.  Integrated wire gutter beneath the top flange securely protects wiring and brakelines.  Models to 7,300 lbs. capacity feature a captured fastener channel along the bottom flange offering invisible mounting points for other features.  Web mounted crossbars strengthen the overall frame assembly.

small sailboat and trailer

Galvanized Crossbars and Tongue

small sailboat and trailer

Torsion Axles

Torsion axles provide independent suspension, exceptional rigidity, corrosion resistance, and a far superior ride to any leaf spring suspension.  Available on most models.

small sailboat and trailer

Greaseable Hubs

Trailer with peace of mind knowing that you’ve inspected the condition and topped off the lubricant level in each hub of your trailer.

small sailboat and trailer

Disc Brakes (Where Installed)

This trailer is equipped with disc brakes (where installed).  Load Rite recommends disc brakes on all wheels where available.  Disc brakes are self-adjusting and self-cleaning and require minimal maintenance in order to continue to deliver top performance.  Follow maintenance tips in your Owners Manual for more detailed instructions.

small sailboat and trailer

DOT Rated Tires and Lighting

All Load Rite original equipment tires and lighting components are fully DOT approved.

small sailboat and trailer

Balanced Wheels 13″ and Larger

CounterAct Wheel Bead Balancing is now included on all 13″ and larger wheel assemblies as a standard feature.  The wheels dynamically balance during each use. Visit for more information.

small sailboat and trailer

Aluminum Diamond Plate Fenders

A stylish design combined with extreme durability.  Standard on all single axle models with 13″ and larger wheels.

small sailboat and trailer

Heat-Shrunk Sealed, Concealed Wiring

Standard equipment on all trailers 17′ and longer except welded frame models.

small sailboat and trailer

Adjustable Carpeted Bunks

Traditionally known as V-bunks, this system offers both high strength and a wide range of adjustability.  Out of adjustment?  There are shorter and taller bolster brackets available in many heights.

small sailboat and trailer

A winch is standard equipment on all boat and PWC models.  Capacity and features vary by application.

small sailboat and trailer

Tongue Jack

Tongue jacks are standard equipment on all Load Rite Elite models 90″ wide and wider except two-place PWC models, all 5 STARR models, and all UT, EQ, and CH models.  Appearance and specifications vary by application.  Tongue jacks are optional on all other models.

Load Rite Trailers NATM Certified

NATM Certified

Each year Load Rite trailers undergo a detailed inspection process in order to earn the right to proudly display this certification on products we manufacture.

small sailboat and trailer

NMMA / NATM Certified

small sailboat and trailer

2 Plus 3 Years Coupler to Taillight Warranty

Load Rite’s premiere warranty exclusive to our Elite line of trailers.

small sailboat and trailer

102″ Overall Width (96″ and Wider Models)

Add extra width to standard 96″ wide trailers.


Swing Tongue

Applications are limited by trailer capacity and tongue length.  Not available on models exceeding 6,000 lbs. capacity.  Consult with a dealer.

small sailboat and trailer

Radial Tires

Smoother riding and longer wear life than many bias-ply tires.  A highly recommended upgrade.  Available for 13″ and larger wheels.

Load Rite Split Star aluminum wheel

Aluminum Wheels

A stylish option available with bias-ply or radial tires for most models in 12″, 13″, 14″, 15″ and 16″ sizes.

small sailboat and trailer

Spare Tire and Carrier

The most important option to consider, every trailer should have a spare tire readily available.  Consult dealer for recommended bracket for individual application.

small sailboat and trailer

Vault® Hubs

Vault® – The VAULT® “Hybrid Lubrication System” uses a semi-fluid oil in a pressurized chamber to give you the ultimate in wheel bearing lubrication and protection. At ambient temperatures the oil is thick with a viscosity approaching grease. As the bearing temperature rises during towing, the VAULT’s Hybrid Oil thins out replenishing the bearings with lubricant and dissipating heat. No inspection, no maintenance and no service required.  *Vault® hubs require Dexter axle.  Vault® and Kodiak® stainless disc brakes cannot be combined.

Consult a dealer to confirm application.

Brakes on All Axles

Important Safety Issue – Brake Requirements   

Brake laws vary by state and require dealers to sell trailers that comply with the brake laws of the state where the trailer will be registered.  This is a very important safety issue .  For full information contact the appropriate state Motor Vehicle Department.  As always, Load Rite recommends brakes on all axles where available.


Stainless Steel Disc Brakes

Optional stainless steel brakes available for most 14″, 15″ and 16″ wheel applications. Can be used with surge and electric over hydraulic actuators.*

May require optional axle installation.  Check with your local dealer before ordering.

small sailboat and trailer

Stainless Brakelines

A valuable upgrade to any trailer, but especially those to see service in coastal regions with salt water exposure.

small sailboat and trailer

Electric Over Hydraulic Brakes

EOH brakes offer electric in-cab control of standard hydraulic disc brakes.  Requires in-cab controller and 7-pin round electrical connection to the tow vehicle.

small sailboat and trailer

LED Lighting

LED lights offer far greater reliability than incandescent fixtures.  Long-lasting and waterproof design make these lights ideal for any trailer application.

small sailboat and trailer

2″ by 6″ Bunks

Marine grade carpet over 2″ x 6″ dimensional lumber.

small sailboat and trailer

Plastic Bunk Covers

These multi-purpose covers provide a smooth surface to help the boat or pontoon to slide easier when launching and loading.  They also offer an insulating barrier to help prevent corrosion for metallic hulled craft.  Protect your aluminum hull.

Highly recommended for metal-hulled boats and pontoon applications.

small sailboat and trailer

Steady Rest

Carpeted bunk section positioned above and perpendicular to the trailer tongue.  Provides an extra resting and balance point, and helps prevent keel contact with the tongue when loading in certain ramp conditions.


Carpeted Side Guides

Standard on most skiff and jon models.

Load Rite Trailer Drop Tongue Jack

Drop-Style Tongue Jack

An upgraded jack that provides greater capacities and fast setup with no need to swivel.

small sailboat and trailer

Tongue jacks are recommended on all trailers.  Appearance and specifications vary by application.  Tongue jacks are optional on all models where not original equipment.

small sailboat and trailer

Rubber Fenders

Rubber fenders are intended for use on dealer yard trailers.  Yard trailers need the flexibility to adapt to many different hull shapes without imparting any damage in the process.  Rubber fenders minimize the possibility of damage should the fender contact the boat hull.

small sailboat and trailer

Sailboat 5S-213600VT

small sailboat and trailer

McGregor Sailboat

26 McGregor Sailboat on LR-AB25T6000102LT2 with modifications.

small sailboat and trailer


Marshall-Sanderling on a modified 182800102VT.

small sailboat and trailer

Muscugos 18

Muscugos 18 on Load Rite 18240096VT with dealer installed support system.

small sailboat and trailer

Stuart 19, similar to Rhodes 19, on a 5S-17220090VW.

small sailboat and trailer

On a custom fit 222650VSGG0.

small sailboat and trailer

On a custom fit pod trailer.

small sailboat and trailer

Pearson 22 2

small sailboat and trailer

Warranty Information

Owners manual.

Serving the Western USA, Western Canada & Alaska the Tuff Trailer Way

(360) 398-0300

Tuff Trailer

SailBoat Trailers

Sailboat trailers to your specifications.

Our one-piece fully welded hot dip galvanized boat trailers are truly a Tuff Trailer. Starting with this as the base for your sail boat trailer, or a painted steel base (shown below) for fresh water applications, we are confident that we can build a trailer to meet your sail boat transportation needs. With fully adjustable components and the same Tuff standard we hold on all our trailers, these sail boat trailers are designed to keep you over the road longer and safer than the competition.

Making Sure Your Sailboat Trailer Needs Are Met

With all the differences in Sail Boat shape and design over the years, you need a trailer company that is experienced building you the correct trailer for your Sailboat.

We Pride ourselves with producing the toughest and longest lasting trailers available on the market today, and we bring that same pride and level of commitment to our Sailboat Trailer lines.

Please call or e-mail with your boat information handy and we can get the perfect trailer built for whatever Sail Boat you have. Call Today!

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A 4.5 % charge will be added to any credit card purchase over $1000 where appropriate.


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The popular Kitty Hawk Laser Trailer is no longer available. Please see the Trailex Laser Trailer as a suitable replacement.

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Living small

She Wanted an R.V. He Wanted a Sailboat. This Was Their Compromise.

Instead of rolling down roads, their motorboat floats down rivers — and it’s as cozy as a woodland cabin. Think of it as a floating R.V.

A Motorboat as Cozy as a Woodland Cabin

View Slide Show ›

small sailboat and trailer

By Tim McKeough

Victoria Sass, an interior designer in Minneapolis, had long dreamed of owning an R.V. so she and her family could hit the open road with their living quarters attached.

“I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, with a Volkswagen van,” said Ms. Sass, 40, who had fond memories of traveling with her family in their mobile vacation home. She wanted her husband, Torben Rytt, and their three children, Duncan, 3, Irene, 8, and Walter, 13, to enjoy the same experience.

Mr. Rytt, who grew up outside Copenhagen, had other ideas: He wanted a sailboat.

“I’m from a boating family,” said Mr. Rytt, 45, a consultant for Nordic technology companies. “My parents met at a boat show, and we’ve owned boats since I was an infant. Every summer, we’d go sailing for five or six weeks.”

Mr. Rytt had no interest in an R.V.; Ms. Sass had no interest in a sailboat.

The blue-and-white motorboat on a river, with a forested hillside beginning to turn autumn colors behind it.

So Mr. Rytt offered a compromise: What if they bought a motorboat with a large cabin that held a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping quarters?

Think of it as an R.V. that just happens to float down rivers, he suggested, instead of rolling along roads.

Ms. Sass, who runs the design firm Prospect Refuge Studio , liked the idea, as long as she could customize the interior to make it as cozy as a woodland cabin.

It didn’t take long for Mr. Rytt to find their project boat: a 44-foot-long vessel from 1983 in nearby Red Wing, Minn., with a tiny kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and bunk room that needed some maintenance and love.

They bought it for $100,000 at the end of 2020 and moved it to their planned docking spot on the St. Croix River. The following spring, Mr. Rytt began taking lessons to learn how to pilot the boat, and they began their work to transform it.

They had the exterior of the boat repainted, changing it from maroon to sky-blue and white. They replaced the worn black awnings with new blue ones. Below deck, they tore out the grungy carpet, and Mr. Rytt spent an entire summer installing a new teak parquet floor. (There was existing teak wall paneling and cabinetry that they liked, so they cleaned and oiled the wood to refresh it.)

The more they worked, the more they realized that in such a compact space there was a reason for everything.

“Every picture and mirror on the wall was actually an access panel to something mechanical,” Ms. Sass said. “So if you replace something, it has to be replaced with something of the exact same size, which can be frustrating. It’s like every piece of trim is interconnected. Even the wallpaper is integral to the boat.”

Nevertheless, she was adamant about replacing the art on the walls. She was more flexible in the bathroom, where she kept the existing wallcovering, but recruited Kelsi Sharp, a graphic designer and sign painter, to give it tidy maroon-and-blue stripes.

For the kitchen, she worked with Kristen Falkirk to produce handmade black and mint-green ceramic tiles to resurface the counter and backsplash, giving the space a little wabi-sabi appeal.

For lighting, Ms. Sass mixed Danish nautical lights with a few designer favorites, including Rotonde X ceiling lamps with fabric shades from Roman and Williams Guild, which she mounted in the living room.

To furnish the boat, she mixed upscale pieces with budget finds, blasting everything with color and pattern. In the living room, she covered an Ikea sectional sleeper sofa with blankets from OddBird, piling on patterned pillows from Caravane, Goodee and St. Frank. For the floor, she bought a cushy wool rug from Beni Rugs.

“It’s super shaggy, which is totally impractical for a boat,” she said. “But I just think it’s fun.”

Because they were limited to working on the boat only in warmer months, it took three years to complete the overhaul, at a cost of about $250,000. They rechristened their vessel Freya, a play on the name of the Norse goddess Freyja that they hope is easier for non-Scandinavians to pronounce.

Now they use the boat not only on weekends, but also for multiweek voyages on the Mississippi River, traveling between river towns. It’s not quite the same as seeing sights from an R.V., but the whole family has fallen in love with life on the water. “Some days we just anchor out in the river, to get away from it all,” Ms. Sass said.

She no longer yearns for an R.V., and Mr. Rytt has abandoned all thoughts of a sailboat.

“The funny thing is that I actually prefer this over a sailboat,” he said. “It’s one of those things I don’t think I can ever get enough of. I could spend an infinite amount of time on this boat.”

Living Small is a biweekly column exploring what it takes to lead a simpler, more sustainable or more compact life.

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The State of Real Estate

Whether you’re renting, buying or selling, here’s a look at real estate trends..

Charter schools are popping up in struggling malls  as landlords look for alternative tenants and communities seek to increase educational opportunities.

As housing costs soar, Washington State wants to limit annual rent increases to 7%. The move is part of a wider trend to impose statewide rent caps .

Developers across the United States are transforming clusters of old homes into micro restaurants  to cater to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods.

Smaller houses in subdivisions and exurbs are turning into a popular option  for people hoping to hold on to ownership in an increasingly expensive U.S. housing market.

Frequent natural disasters and high inflation have led home insurers to raise their premiums. That is forcing many customers to pare back their policies .

Black people make up about 14% of the American population. Some of them, wondering what it would be like to be part of a majority, are finding new homes in Africa .


How to Trailer a Sailboat

How to Trailer a Sailboat | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

If you own a sailboat or you would like to own one in future, it’s important to have the right knowledge on trailering your sailboat. Knowing how to trailer a sailboat is of great significance. Again, you also need to know how to tow a sailboat so that you do it right.

It might seem like it’s a very difficult task for you to trailer your sailboat, but it’s actually not as hard as you think. What you need is the right equipment and the required knowledge and you will be good to go. Remember, safety is paramount for everything involved in this exercise, including you. So, make sure that you are doing everything right.

As you plan for your next sailing adventure, the following tips will help you to trailer and tow your sailboat in the most effective and safest way possible.

Table of contents

Know the Weight of What You Are Pulling

Now that you want to transport your sailboat using a trailer, you need to learn the fundamentals of how to trailer a sailboat. From the onset, you should know the weight of everything that you are going to pull. Basically, make sure that you know the estimated weight of the trailer, sailboat, and everything that’s inside it. In this respect, you should take note of the amount of gas in the tank, water, as well as any other equipment that might be inside your sailboat. All this should be put into consideration when looking into the issue of weight. Having known the approximate weight of what you need to pull, you should check your towing vehicle’s manual to establish if it can pull your trailer and sailboat.

Make sure that you get the weight of every component right because it will be important in determining how safe and comfortable the transportation will be. For instance, a trailer’s tongue weight should fall within the limits of a towing vehicle. If a trailer’s tongue weight is too much, it puts a lot of pressure on the rear wheels, thus lifting the front wheels of the towing vehicle. Consequently, steering becomes a difficult task. Again, if there is too much weight on the back of the trailer, the towing vehicle can easily lose control. Therefore, it’s prudent to take note of the sailboat, the trailer, and all the components involved so as to make trailering your sailboat easier.

Check the Tires and Brakes

The tires and brakes of a tow vehicle should be in a good condition for safe transportation. A valuable tip that you should always put into consideration, in respect to how to trailer a sailboat, is ensuring that the pressure of the tires is at the right levels. Ensure that the tires of the tow vehicle and the trailer are within the recommended pressure for the transportation to be safe and effective. It’s advisable for you to check the sidewalls and treads of the tires of the towing vehicle and the trailer to ascertain whether they are fit for the transportation.

If you notice that they are worn out, the best thing to do is to replace them. UV damage can cause tear and wear on trailer tires while pot holes and bumps can weaken the capacity of a towing vehicle’s tires. Thus, you should establish whether the tires need pressure inflation or replacement. Additionally, it’s cardinal to take note of the speed rating on the tires on the towing vehicle and the trailer. This is pivotal because it will guide you on the speed limit you should maintain while on the road. For most trailer tires, the rated speed limit is 65mph. Maintaining the required speed limit is essential in guaranteeing the safe arrival of your sailboat. Of great importance still, ensure that brakes are functioning well to avoid any mishap while on the road. If there is any problem with brakes, you should address it so as to tow your sailboat safely.

Maintain Safety When Towing a Sailboat

Safety is very important when towing a sailboat. Part of the major things you should know when learning how to tow a sailboat is how to maintain safety. You don’t want to put an end to your sailing because of the damage you might cause to your sailboat during transportation. So, it’s wise for you to ensure that you are in full control of the trailer, sailboat, and towing vehicle. The following areas are worth putting into consideration when towing a sailboat: acceleration, braking, turning, and stability. Driving at a slower speed is recommended when towing a sailboat, especially if you are not used to it. Make sure that you maintain a considerable distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Driving slower is advisable when you are attached to a trailer because you need to react safely when you find yourself in a challenging circumstance when on the road. When you encounter a sudden challenging situation when towing a sailboat, you, obviously, don’t react the same way you do in normal times. You should induce a slowdown without causing unsteadiness. This will help you to remain in control without having to cause unnecessary panic and instability. If you master the skill of acceleration, braking, turning, and stability, you will be in a position to maintain safety when towing a sailboat.

Sailing is good for adventure. Indeed, being in the deep waters is a great experience. But, you need to think about how to trailer your sailboat to the waters and also how to take it back home once you are done. Knowing how to trailer a sailboat will give you the freedom of doing it yourself without having to hire a tow company to do it for you. It’s not a difficult task. However, you will need to follow the required procedures for the safe transportation of your sailboat. Remember, trailering a sailboat means that you have to pull a lot of weight. Therefore, you should be able to put integral aspects and components into consideration so as to tow a sailboat in the safest way possible. Now that you have learned how to trailer a sailboat and how to tow a sailboat as well, practice the above-mentioned, and you will realize that it’s not a hard task as many people think.

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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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More From Forbes

Usvs sinking a russian ship in this video can tow behind your pickup.

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A screen shot of the Russian patrol boat, Sergei Kotov, under attack from one-way Ukrainian Magura ... [+] V5 unmanned surface drones.

The Ukrainian Magura V5 unmanned surface vessels that sank the Russian patrol ship Sergei Kotov earlier this week are about the size of a Boston Whaler.

The powerboat-sized drones attacked a corvette-sized Russian Navy vessel reportedly cruising a few miles off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula near the southern entrance to the Kerch Strait and a strategically important bridge over the Strait that it was likely guarding.

Citing information from Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) and other sources, the Washington DC-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that a swarm of Magura V5s remotely piloted by the GUR’s special unit “Group 13” operators made the attack in the early morning hours of March 5.

Point-of-view footage of the attack from the one-way USVs was released by the GUR shortly thereafter. The relative motion of the Magura V5s from which infrared footage was linked is obvious in the video. In addition to showing initial strikes on the port and starboard sides of the Kotov’s hull, the video shows a view from one of the drones entering a hole blasted in the hull by a previous Magura, its explosive payload presumably detonating inside the ship.

According to the GUR and Russian sources on the Telegram social media platform, seven Sergei Kotov sailors were killed in the attack and six wounded. The GUR assessed that Russian forces were likely able to evacuate 52 other crew members.

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Apple confirms impressive macbook air special offer, real madrid legend attacks vinicius jr..

According to ISW, a Russian source claimed that after the strike, Russian Black Sea Fleet forces attempted to tow the ship back to port. However, the damage was so extensive that the vessel sank five kilometers off the coast of Cape Takil in southeastern Crimea. The GUR estimated the loss of the ship cost Russia approximately $65 million.

That’s orders of magnitude more expensive than the Magura V5s which Navy Times reported as costing around $250,000. Assuming that five or so of the USVs were used against the Kotov , Ukraine invested approximately $1.5 million in the kamikaze attack. The asymmetric mismatch in effects and cost is obvious.

This imbalance extends to the 25 Russian vessels Ukraine claims to have destroyed and a further 15 it claims to have disabled (both at sea and in port) since the War started. Some, like the Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva have been hit by missiles (Ukraine’s R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles), others like the missile corvette Ivanovets and landing ship Caesar Kunikov are claimed to have been struck by drones.

The small powerboat size of the Ukrainian-built Magura V5 seen here is obvious. It sits on a common ... [+] trailer familiar to millions of American boaters.

The fact that the Magura V5s have the size and weight (18 feet long, up to 2,200 pounds) of a small powerboat is likely reinforcing the concern the U.S. Navy surface fleet already has about small, cheap adversary USVs. Witnessing the video drives home their potential even considering that similar American Navy ships have radar-guided close-defense (CIWS IWS ) Phalanx 20mm gun systems which the Kotov lacked.

Built in Ukraine using what would appear to be commercial off-the-shelf components sourced from abroad, the V5 can carry a 440-pound (200 kg) payload according to Ukrainian authorities. However, some reports say the V5s used in the attack this week carried payloads up to 705 pounds (320 kg).

The sensor pod atop the hull likely houses a control-link receiver and GPS receiver as well as the forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera from which the footage came. With a 60-hour battery life and electric-drive, the USV has an estimated 500-mile (800 km) range. That’s in line with reporting by Sebastian Roblin in Popular Mechanics who noted that the Maguras may have made a 300-mile minimum transit to their target and possibly longer to avoid detection.

A larger Ukrainian USV called Sea Baby is claimed to have a top speed of 56 mph (90 kph). The Magura V5 is probably similarly speedy, on the higher end of an equivalent-sized recreational boat or bass boat. Even with effective shipboard radar, its low-profile on the water likely makes it hard to spot.

The very portability of the trailered V5 increases the threat problem it presents to the Russian Black Sea fleet. Nothing special is required to tow it (SUVs, pickups, even some cars) and the small drones might be effectively hidden during transit or blended in with other small boats in coastal areas.

The Magura V5 is small enough and ubiquitous looking enough to blend in ashore and be hard to see on ... [+] the water.

The Magura V5 also represents a new kind of ad hoc threat - one that is crowdfunded. A Ukrainian government crowdfunding organization called United24 has supplied the funding for the USVs as part of the $620 million-plus in total donations it says it has garnered from companies and individuals worldwide.

While Ukrainian forces struggle on land, they are finding success in the Black Sea against warships with these USVs. It’s startling to think that you could tow one to the beach.

Eric Tegler

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  1. Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

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  2. Pocket Cruisers and Trailer-sailers for Every Sailing Style

    small sailboat and trailer

  3. 13 Popular Trailerable Sailboats with Lifting Keels

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  4. Gaff rigged trailerable, centerboarded 18-20' daysailer

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  5. Sailboat Trailers

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  6. How to Trailer a Sailboat

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  2. Boat trailer progress 👌

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  1. 20 Best Small Sailboats for the Weekender

    Easy to rig and trailer, the BayRaider from England's Swallow Yachts is a relative newcomer to the small-boat market in the United States. Nearly all of its 19 feet 9 inches is open cockpit, though a spray hood can be added to keep the forward sections dry. The BayRaider is ketch-rigged with a gunter-style mainmast.

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    West Wight Potter 15. The West Wight Potter 15 is one of the best small trailerable and seaworthy 15-foot sailboats of all time. It's easy to handle and great for both coastal and offshore cruising. She has an aluminum mast and tiller, a small cabin that comfortably sleeps a couple and also we can't miss referring to her elegant design.

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    Catalina 16.5. jlodrummer. Catalina Yachts are synonymous with bigger boats but they have some great and smaller boats too such as Catalina 16.5. This is one of the best small sailboats that are ideal for family outings given that it has a big and roomy cockpit, as well as a large storage locker.

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  14. Small Sailboat Trailer

    Contact Us. 888-274-8490. Order. Small Sailboat Trailer. For Sunfish, Snark, Phantom, and other similar sailboats up to 200 lbs. Trailex Ultra-Light Aluminum Trailers come with a One Year Limited Warranty. Almost 50% lighter than steel trailers and they Never Rust. FREE SHIPPING ON TRAILEX SUT SERIES TRAILERS*.

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    The Multiple Light Duty Trailer (SUT-250-M) can carry up to 4 kayaks, while the SUT-450-M can carry 6. The Single Boat Trailer (SUT-220-S) is ideal for boats such as our Chester Yawl, Annapolis Wherry, Expendition Wherry and Sassafras 16. The Single Boat trailer SUT-350-S is great for longer boats, like the Tandem Wherry, Oxford Shell, or ...

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  18. The Working Man's Guide to Trailer Sailing

    Trailer sailboats are smaller and less stable than their oversized cousins with the keels. If you are in anyway, limited in your physical prowess, a trailer sailboat may not be the best choice for you. ... Start small, as big boats are a pain to drive on a trailer. So do good, have fun, and sail far. Thanks for reading. Related Articles.

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    Check the Tires and Brakes. The tires and brakes of a tow vehicle should be in a good condition for safe transportation. A valuable tip that you should always put into consideration, in respect to how to trailer a sailboat, is ensuring that the pressure of the tires is at the right levels. Ensure that the tires of the tow vehicle and the ...

  25. USVs Sinking a Russian Ship In This Video Can Tow Behind Your ...

    The Magura V5 is probably similarly speedy, on the higher end of an equivalent-sized recreational boat or bass boat. Even with effective shipboard radar, its low-profile on the water likely makes ...