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14 Great Pocket Cruisers in 2023

  • By Victor Tan
  • Updated: July 20, 2023

Pocket cruisers and mini yachts are generally vessels under 50 feet in length overall, and can include express cruiser designs, flybridge yachts as well as either monohull or catamaran hull forms. They are cruising boats easily handled by a small, or even shorthanded, crew. Pocket cruisers generally have wave-taming hull designs and have the ability to take on sporty seas, offer comfortable accommodations belowdecks with one or two staterooms for extended voyages, “homelike amenities,” and the ability to cruise as slowly or as quickly as an owner desires with inboard- and outboard-power options. These pocket-cruising boats have the range for longer voyages , can pull up in skinny water at the sandbar thanks to shallow drafts, and head over the horizon where cruising adventure awaits. Pocket cruisers are true multitasking yachts. When it comes to family and couples cruising, it’s hard to beat a well-built and well-equipped and pocket cruiser.

Best Cruising Boats Under 50-Feet

The following 14 pocket cruisers and mini yachts are all vessels we’ve seen, been aboard, and tested. They are listed in no particular order.

  • Hood 35 LM: high-tech, family-friendly pocket cruiser
  • Galeon Yachts 375 GTO: mid-size boat with plenty of below-deck space
  • Aquila 42: sleek power catamaran ready to entertain
  • Azimut Verve 42 : small, yet mighty yacht ready for open water
  • Hinckley Yachts 35: luxury picnic cruiser with range
  • Beneteau Gran Turismo 45: sleek cruising yacht with all the amenities
  • Solaris Power 48 Open: eye-catching power yacht with 360-degree views
  • Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS: luxury cruiser yacht with powerful outboard options
  • Back Cove 34O: modern outboard power combined with classic Downeast styling
  • Picnic Boat 40: speedy and fuel-efficient vessel with great looks
  • Aquila 36: comfortably seat up to 20 guests for fun on the salt
  • Boston Whaler 350 Realm: multitasker built for fishing and entertaining
  • MJM 35z: sporty, aesthetically pleasing, cruising-conscious features and elegant lines
  • Greenline 39: sturdy-looking lines and environmentally-friendly power

When Android co-founder, Rich Miner, wanted a new family-friendly pocket cruiser , he turned to a custom-penned C.W. Hood design and a Lyman-Morse-built 35-footer, which has a timeless Down East profile matched to seriously modern technology under the hood.

This yacht looks like a traditional, cold-molded Down East dayboat, but actually, it has everything, from Hamilton HJX Series water-jet drives to a planned Sea Machines autonomous command-and-control system . Top speed: 40-plus knots.

Hood 35 LM

Quick Specifications

350 Gal.
60 Gal.
19,000 lbs.

Galeon Yachts 375 GTO

Even the remnants of Hurricane Ian, couldn’t dissuade the Galeon Yacht 375 GTO from its cruising mission. The small yacht’s wave-splitting hull form is paired to torque-filled 600 hp Mercury Verado outboards , giving this fun-in-the-sun boat a 47-knot top hop.

The 375 GTO is a speedster, to be sure, but it’s also so much more. Just about every aspect of the main deck seating is transformable and multifunction, from the aft seating to the alfresco dining abaft the helm, and beyond. It also has a family-size and eminently cruise-worthy belowdecks space for four guests, all while providing a foredeck entertaining lounge too.

The Galeon Yachts 375 GTO ticks all the boxes for an easy-to-handle and sporty cruiser.

Galeon Yachts 375 GTO

396.25 Gal.
53 Gal.
27,270 lbs.

Aquila 42 Yacht Power Catamaran

Following the success of its 44-, 54- and 70-foot power catamaran models, Aquila has launched the stable-as-a-table, owner-operator-ready Aquila 42 Yacht Power Catamaran .

The Aquila 42 is the entry point into the builder’s yacht line and is noteworthy for its ability to accommodate anywhere from a two- to four-stateroom layout, depending on the owner’s cruising requirements. There are alfresco spaces to manage the sunset cruise with friends and family, including a foredeck lounge area that can be accessed via centerline steps from the flybridge. The Aquila 42 is available with several Volvo Penta diesel-engine options .

Aquila 42

290 Gal.
132 Gal.
41,895 lbs.

Azimut Verve 42

Want to cruise from Florida to Bimini in about an hour? The Azimut Yachts Verve 42 can do that thanks, in part, to triple 450 hp Mercury Racing outboards and a hull designed to dice-and-slice a seaway. Top hop: 45 knots. The Verve 42 also has style for miles with a fine entry, raked hardtop, and a razorlike sheerline accented by sweeping hull glass from bow to stern. It’s striking.

With accommodation for a family of four, the Verve 42 is also solid under the hull tokeep everyone safe on those passages. The Verve 42’s hull is built of fiberglass and uses vinylester resins for blister protection. The yacht’s deck and hardtop are comprised of carbon fiber for strength without added weight. This all means that the Azimut Verve 42 is built to CE Classification Type A , making it suitable for sea voyages where winds can exceed 45 mph and seas to 13 feet.

Azimut Verve 42

462 Gal.
66 Gal.
30,865 lbs.

Hinckley Yachts 35

The Hinckley Yachts 35 takes everything that yachtsmen like about this pedigreed-brand’s classic profile and infuses today’s modern outboard power to create 40 knots of sheer fun wrapped in sheer luxury.

This 35-foot Hinckley is built on a Michael-Peters-penned hull form with a fine entry, wider-than-average chines and a moderate deadrise. While the boat is built to sprint when desired, it’s also a relatively economical cruiser. For instance, a comfortable 24-knot cruise the Hinckley Yachts 35 has a 276-nautical-mile range.

It also has a tech-build thanks to vacuum-infused carbon-fiber composites and epoxy resin. An integrated interior structure is infused with the hull adding rigidity. The hull is then post-cured in an 80-foot oven, further strengthening the structure.

Hinckley 35

250 Gal.
35 Gal.
13,174 lbs.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 45

The Beneteau Gran Turismo is the flagship of the builder’s four-model GT series, which also includes 32-, 36- and 41-foot models.

The Gran Turismo 45 ’s cruise-centric layout includes two staterooms and two heads belowdecks, as well as a galley down. There is also a dinette for meals and a settee for rainy-day lounging. Entertaining guests and enjoying the sun is the primary mission of the main deck.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 45

238 Gal.
106 Gal.
24,782 lbs.

Solaris Power 48 Open

The Solaris Power 48 Open was the first powerboat from this longtime builder known for its sailing yachts, ranging from 40 to 110 feet length overall. The Solaris Power 48 Open is notable for its wave-slicing plumb-bow design, high freeboard forward and 32-knot-plus speed. Power is twin 480 hp Volvo Penta IPS650 diesels.

The high freeboard keeps the deck dry and help creates sizable volume belowdecks with an average 6-foot-6-inch headroom. This enables real estate for either one or two staterooms. With the single-stateroom setup, there is a forepeak master stateroom while an L-shaped settee converts to sleeping accommodations for family or occasional guests. Interior wood options are oak or walnut.

Solaris 48 Open

396 Gal.
114 Gal.
37,037 lbs.

Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS

Outboard-power cruising aficionados will appreciate the triple-engine options for the Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS . The 42 GLS we got aboard had the triple 400 hp Mercury Verados , which produced a top hop of 45 knots, but triple 450 hp Verados are available. Triple 350 hp Mercury Verados are the standard engine option. No matter the power arrangement, this express cruiser can easily be used for wakeboarding and tube towing. The 42 GLS is designed to handle the rough stuff too, with a fine entry and 21-degree transom deadrise.

For cruising enthusiasts, the 42 GLS has a master stateroom with an athwartships and a nearly queen-size berth, and the lower salon’s U-shaped dinette converts to a queen-size berth for the kids.

Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS

403 Gal.
50 Gal.
27,000 lbs.

Back Cove 34O

Combining modern outboard power with classic Downeast styling, the Back Cove 34O touts award-winning standards with cruising in mind. The 34O is equipped with twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards, engines that allow the Newport International Boat Show’s 2018 Best Powerboat Under 35 Feet winner to travel up to 214 nautical miles at 24 knots on a 250-gallon fuel tank.

Belowdecks, the 34O has an island double berth and a split-head arrangement with the toilet to port and a separate shower stall to starboard. On the main deck, a U-shape dinette to port accommodates four or more guests on the Back Cove Yachts vessel. The 34O’s galley is equipped with a Cuisinart microwave, a two-burner Kenyon electric cooktop and a Vitrifrigo fridge and freezer.

back cove 340

242 Gal.
60 Gal.
17,000 lbs.

Picnic Boat 40

Hinckley Yachts unveiled its first Picnic Boat more than two decades ago. Now, after two previous, sub-40-foot models, the Maine-based boatbuilder has developed its largest and most advanced model to date: the Picnic Boat 40.

Twin 480 hp Cummins diesel engines paired to twin Hamilton 322 jet drives propel the yacht to a 30-knot cruising speed and 34 knots on the pins. With optional twin 550 hp Cummins diesels, cruise and top-end speeds jump to 35 and 38 knots, respectively.

There is an L-shaped settee with a table and a wet bar on the main deck to port. The helm station is forward and to starboard with a benchseat for two. There is also a companion seat across from the helm. Belowdecks, there is 6-foot-2-inch headroom, and the dinette table drops to form a California-king berth for overnights and weekending.

hinckley picnic boat 40

375 Gal.
80 Gal.
25,000 lbs.

Aquila Power Catamarans started its line with 44- and 48-footers, and now the builder’s Aquila 36 takes the line into the midsize market.

The 36 features a single, main-living area from bow to stern, helped in part by the vessel’s 14-foot, 7-inch beam. The boat can comfortably seat up to 20 guests for fun on the salt. Several Mercury Verado engine options are available for the Aquila 36, including twin 250-, 300- and 350-hp four-strokes. With the 350s, the Aquila has a top-end speed of 37 knots.

Other notable features include a fiberglass hardtop, a dinette, a cooktop, a fridge, a sink and a smokeless grill. Belowdecks, there are two staterooms with nearly queen-size berths, en suite heads and 6-foot-6-inch headroom in each.

aquila 36

330 Gal.
52 Gal.
21,572 lbs.

Boston Whaler 350 Realm

From fishing and entertaining guests to diving and overnight cruising, Boston Whaler ‘s 350 Realm is a multitasker. And it’s fast, too. It’s powered with either triple 300 hp or triple 350 hp Mercury Verados. The 350 Realm can reach a top speed of 46 knots.

At the helm, two Raymarine displays provide vital navigation data. The captain can take in the displays’ view from a doublewide helm seat. There’s a flip-down platform for standing when needed and a footrest when desired.

There is a V-shaped berth that converts into a double berth with a filler cushion. The separated head has a VacuFlush MSD and a hot-and-cold shower. Owners also have the option to add a microwave and a flat-screen TV.

Boston Whaler 350 Realm

385 Gal.
45 Gal.
18,830 lbs.

The MJM 35z can reach a top speed of 44 knots and a cruising speed of 33 knots on its optional 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards; twin 300 hp outboards are standard on this MJM Yachts vessel. Additionally, the 35z can travel up to 304 nautical miles on its 250-gallon fuel tank.

The 35z has a flush-deck layout and to port is space for an electric grill, a baitwell, a sink, an ice maker and a fridge. There are two Stidd helm seats—one for the helmsman and the other for a copilot—that rotate to face the rest of the seating aft. In the cabin is V-shaped seating forward that can be converted to a berth.

Owners also have the option of adding a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer and a full-length Bimini top to shade the cockpit.

MJM 35z

250 Gal.
58 Gal.
13,279 lbs.

Greenline 39

Greenline Yachts ‘ vessels are aptly named for their environmentally friendly means of moving about; the Greenline 39 is no different. The Slovenian yacht manufacturer produces two types of this model: hybrid and solar.

If owners opt for the latter, the 39’s four solar panels atop the salon power all of the vessel’s systems for three hours. With the power of the sun, the 39 can achieve a max speed of 6.5 knots and a cruising speed of 4 knots. The hybrid type uses those same panels to help power a 220 hp Volvo Penta D3 with a Mahle electric-drive system. Owners have the option of replacing the standard engine with a 370 hp Yanmar 8LV diesel.

Belowdecks, scissor berths provide accommodations for long weekends.

Greenline 39

185 Gal.
105 Gal.
15,432 lbs.
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Home » Blog » Buy a boat » 5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: April 19, 2023

sailing around the world

A small sailboat can take you big places

Small sailboats are the ticket to going cruising NOW — not when you retire, save up enough money, or find the “perfect” bluewater cruising boat. In fact, it’s the first principle in Lin and Larry Pardey’s cruising philosophy: “Go small, go simple, go now.”

Small yachts can be affordable, simple, and seaworthy . However, you won’t see many of them in today’s cruising grounds. In three years and 13,000 nautical miles of bluewater cruising, I could count the number of under 30-foot sailboats I’ve seen on one hand (all of them were skippered by people in their 20s and 30s).

Today’s anchorages are full of 40, 50, and 60-foot-plus ocean sailboats, but that’s not to say you can’t sail the world in a small sailboat. Just look at Alessandro di Benedetto who in 2010 broke the record for the smallest boat to sail around the world non-stop in his 21-foot Mini 6.5 .

So long as you don’t mind forgoing a few comforts, you can sail around the world on a small budget .

dinghy boat

What makes a good blue water sailboat

While you might not think a small sailboat is up to the task of going long distances, some of the best bluewater sailboats are under 40 feet.

However, if you’re thinking about buying a boat for offshore cruising, there are a few things to know about what makes a small boat offshore capable .

Smaller equals slower

Don’t expect to be sailing at high speeds in a pocket cruiser. Smaller displacement monohulls are always going to be slower than larger displacement monohulls (see the video below to learn why smaller boats are slower). Therefore a smaller cruiser is going to take longer on a given passage, making them more vulnerable to changes in weather.

A few feet can make a big difference over a week-long passage. On the last leg of our Pacific Ocean crossing, our 35-foot sailboat narrowly avoid a storm that our buddy boat, a 28-foot sailboat, couldn’t. Our friend was only a knot slower but it meant he had to heave to for a miserable three days.

pocket cruiser

Small but sturdy

If a pocket cruiser encounters bad weather, they will be less able to outrun or avoid it. For this reason, many of the blue water sailboats in this list are heavily built and designed to take a beating.

Yacht design has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Today, new boats are designed to be light and fast. The small sailboats in our list are 30-plus year-old designs and were built in a time when weather forecasts were less accurate and harder to come by.

Back in the day, boat were constructed with thicker fiberglass hulls than you see in modern builds. Rigs, keels, rudders, hulls and decks – everything about these small cruising sailboats was designed to stand up to strong winds and big waves. Some of the boats in this post have skeg-hung rudders and most of them are full keel boats.

The pros and cons of pocket cruiser sailboats

Pocket cruiser sailboats present certain advantages and disadvantages.

More affordable

Their smaller size makes them affordable bluewater sailboats. You can often find great deals on pocket cruisers and sometimes you can even get them for free.

You’ll also save money on retrofits and repairs because small cruising sailboats need smaller boat parts (which cost a lot less) . For example, you can get away with smaller sails, ground tackle, winches, and lighter lines than on a bigger boat.

Moorage, haul-outs, and marine services are often billed by foot of boat length . A small sailboat makes traveling the world , far more affordable!

When something major breaks (like an engine) it will be less costly to repair or replace than it would be on a bigger boat.

how to remove rusted screw

Less time consuming

Smaller boats tend to have simpler systems which means you’ll spend less time fixing and paying to maintain those systems. For example, most small yachts don’t have showers, watermakers , hot water, and electric anchor windlasses.

On the flip side, you’ll spend more time collecting water (the low-tech way) . On a small sailboat, this means bucket baths, catching fresh water in your sails, and hand-bombing your anchor. Though less convenient, this simplicity can save you years of preparation and saving to go sailing.

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll become a complete water meiser? Conserving water aboard becomes pretty important when you have to blue-jug every drop of it from town back to your boat.

Easier to sail

Lastly, smaller boats can be physically easier to sail , just think of the difference between raising a sail on a 25-foot boat versus a 50-foot boat! You can more easily single-hand or short-hand a small sailboat. For that reason, some of the best solo blue water sailboats are quite petite.

As mentioned above small boats are slow boats and will arrive in port, sometimes days (and even weeks) behind their faster counterparts on long offshore crossings.

Consider this scenario: two boats crossed the Atlantic on a 4,000 nautical mile route. The small boat averaged four miles an hour, while the big boat averaged seven miles an hour. If both started at the same time, the small boat will have completed the crossing two weeks after the larger sailboat!

Less spacious

Living on a boat can be challenging — living on a small sailboat, even more so! Small cruising boats don’t provide much in the way of living space and creature comforts.

Not only will you have to downsize when you move onto a boat  you’ll also have to get pretty creative when it comes to boat storage.

It also makes it more difficult to accommodate crew for long periods which means there are fewer people to share work and night shifts.

If you plan on sailing with your dog , it might put a small boat right out of the question (depending on the size of your four-legged crew member).

boat galley storage ideas

Less comfortable

It’s not just the living situation that is less comfortable, the sailing can be pretty uncomfortable too! Pocket cruisers tend to be a far less comfortable ride than larger boats as they are more easily tossed about in big ocean swell.

Here are our 5 favorite small blue water sailboats for sailing around the world

When we sailed across the Pacific these were some of the best small sailboats that we saw. Their owners loved them and we hope you will too!

The boats in this list are under 30 feet. If you’re looking for something slightly larger, you might want to check out our post on the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet .

Note: Price ranges are based on SailboatListings.com and YachtWorld.com listings for Aug. 2018

Albin Vega 27($7-22K USD)

small sailboats

The Albin Vega has earned a reputation as a bluewater cruiser through adventurous sailors like Matt Rutherford, who in 2012 completed a 309-day solo nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas via Cape Horn and the Northwest Passage (see his story in the documentary Red Dot on the Ocean ). 

  • Hull Type: Long fin keel
  • Hull Material: GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:27′ 1″ / 8.25m
  • Waterline Length:23′ 0″ / 7.01m
  • Beam:8′ 1″ / 2.46m
  • Draft:3′ 8″ / 1.12m
  • Rig Type: Masthead sloop rig
  • Displacement:5,070lb / 2,300kg
  • Designer:Per Brohall
  • Builder:Albin Marine AB (Swed.)
  • Year First Built:1965
  • Year Last Built:1979
  • Number Built:3,450

Cape Dory 28 ($10-32K USD) 

small sailboat

This small cruising sailboat is cute and classic as she is rugged and roomy. With at least one known circumnavigation and plenty of shorter bluewater voyages, the Cape Dory 28 has proven herself offshore capable.

  • Hull Type: Full Keel
  • Length Overall:28′ 09″ / 8.56m
  • Waterline Length:22′ 50″ / 6.86m
  • Beam:8’ 11” / 2.72m
  • Draft:4’ 3” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type:Masthead Sloop
  • Displacement:9,300lb / 4,218kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:52
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:49
  • Designer: Carl Alberg
  • Builder: Cape Dory Yachts (USA)
  • Year First Built:1974
  • Year Last Built:1988
  • Number Built: 388

Dufour 29 ($7-23K)

small sailboat

As small bluewater sailboats go, the Dufour 29 is a lot of boat for your buck. We know of at least one that sailed across the Pacific last year. Designed as a cruiser racer she’s both fun to sail and adventure-ready. Like many Dufour sailboats from this era, she comes equipped with fiberglass molded wine bottle holders. Leave it to the French to think of everything!

  • Hull Type: Fin with skeg-hung rudder
  • Length Overall:29′ 4″ / 8.94m
  • Waterline Length:25′ 1″ / 7.64m
  • Beam:9′ 8″ / 2.95m
  • Draft:5′ 3″ / 1.60m
  • Displacement:7,250lb / 3,289kg
  • Designer:Michael Dufour
  • Builder:Dufour (France)
  • Year First Built:1975
  • Year Last Built:1984

Vancouver 28 ($15-34K)

most seaworthy small boat

A sensible small boat with a “go-anywhere” attitude, this pocket cruiser was designed with ocean sailors in mind. One of the best cruising sailboats under 40 feet, the Vancouver 28 is great sailing in a small package.

  • Hull Type:Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Length Overall: 28′ 0″ / 8.53m
  • Waterline Length:22’ 11” / 6.99m
  • Beam:8’ 8” / 2.64m
  • Draft:4’ 4” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type: Cutter rig
  • Displacement:8,960lb / 4,064 kg
  • Designer: Robert B Harris
  • Builder: Pheon Yachts Ltd. /Northshore Yachts Ltd.
  • Year First Built:1986
  • Last Year Built: 2007
  • Number Built: 67

Westsail 28 ($30-35K)

small sailboat

Described in the 1975 marketing as “a hearty little cruiser”, the Westsail 28 was designed for those who were ready to embrace the cruising life. Perfect for a solo sailor or a cozy cruising couple!

  • Hull Type: Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Hull Material:GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:28′ 3” / 8.61m
  • Waterline Length:23’ 6” / 7.16m
  • Beam:9’ 7” / 2.92m
  • Displacement:13,500lb / 6,124kg
  • Designer: Herb David
  • Builder: Westsail Corp. (USA)
  • Number Built:78

Feeling inspired? Check out the “go small” philosophy of this 21-year-old who set sail in a CS 27.

Fiona McGlynn

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

Saturday 1st of September 2018

Very useful list, but incomplete - as it would necessarily be, considering the number of seaworthy smaller boats that are around.

In particular, you missed/omitted the Westerly "Centaur" and its follow-on model, the "Griffon". 26 feet LOA, bilge-keelers, weighing something over 6000 pounds, usually fitted with a diesel inboard.

OK, these are British designs, and not that common in the US, but still they do exist, they're built like tanks, and it's rumored that at least one Centaur has circumnavigated.

Friday 31st of August 2018

This is a helpful list, thank you. I don't think most people would consider a 28' boat a pocket cruiser, though!

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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 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. 


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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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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Sail Far Live Free

Sail Far Live Free

Go small and go now 5 pocket cruisers to take you anywhere.

Marquesas anyone? Flicka will get you there.
Allegra 24 in all her glory
Tom Thumb 24 slicing nicely through the chop
A local (to me, sort-of) Nor'Sea 27
Falmouth Cutter 22 in action

What, no Georgian 23? ;)

Gotta love those little Canadian sloops!

Or Bayfield?:)

I am a Bayfield fan (and even more so a Ted Gozzard fan), but I wasn't aware of the Bayfield 25 making any major bluewater passages. Do you know of any?

A bayfield 25 is built well enough BUT it’s shallow keel and light weight classify it more of a coastal cruiser. But that also makes it a great gunk holer. It’s a nice little boat for the Chesapeake and coastal areas. It lacks the deep keel and ballast to be comfortable offshore. The bayfield 29 is a bit more blue water but also it’s shoal keel at only 3ft 6 inches also gives it a comfort ratio a bit on the edge for a true blue water boat. BUT that said a bayfield 29 outfitted right will get the job done and with a good turn of speed over most listed here. It will reach its hull speed of 6.5-7 knots no problem and will point windward well enough. (It’s not got to compete with a fin keel 30 footer but it will be more comfortable. And it’s faster then a westsail32 (nick named the wet snail 32) I find most of the better pocket cruisers on this list are great for what that are but NOT the most boat you can get for your money today. Some great 30-32 foot blue water boats can be purchased for LESS then some of these. I just bought a great bayfield 29 for UNDER 3K that’s right 3 not 30. I looked at a foulmouth cutter that was available in my area it was rough really rough and they still were asking over 10K. It’s only benefit was it came with a trailer but what good doesn’t that do when Your offshore. I wouldn’t mind taking one on single handed adventure as the romance of the boat would add to the fun of the adventure but. Is it the best boat for your buck? No their popularity and reputation and (good ones are getting scarce) bring high prices.

It's amazing: after looking at all your boat reviews and choices, I realize we have exactly the same tastes and dream boats! And I enjoy your writing and musings! I'm very glad I happened upon your blog site! Bill Hinkel

Thanks Bill! I love writing about sailboats almost as much as I love actually sailing them.

I've owned a Flicka, Allegra, and FC all excellent boats.

Wow...that's an impressive resume! I bet you've got some great stories to tell.

What about the Halcyon 23? Any thoughts on that one? Great article by the way!

Sorry, I'm not personally familiar with the little Halcyon 23, but you can read a review reprinted from "Yachts and Yachting" originally written in 1970 here .

How about the Pacific Seacraft 25? If your talking about small salty sailboat (SSS) that can take you to the paradise. She prolly don't a standing headroom but sure does the perfect little sailboat. Just like HC33t.

Yup, I too like the PSC 25. She's not as roomy as either the Flicka or the Dana, but a typically a fair amount more affordable. And as you point out, no standing headroom. Still, a pretty boat with bluewater experience.

A very informative article, thank you very much. I find myself daydreaming to be on a boat, sailing around the world quite often and i'm trying to collect a budget, to buy a boat and take sailing classes. I love the design on the ships you posted. Are there any good pocket-cruisers with a steering wheel ?(i can't say i really like tillers :P). Again, thank you for compiling this list, you gave hope to a "wannabe" skipper.

My humble little Bristol 24 wants to know if she can join the group.

Yup, good choice. Humble and capable...just the right ingredients!

what about the Catalina 22 ?

A fine little coastal sailboat, trailer sailboat and "first" sailboat, but for all the things that the C22 is, she is definitely not a pocket cruiser that can GO ANYWHERE. Don't get me wrong, I love the C22 and our first boat (Helms 25) was very similar, but neither is suited for offshore work.

My little hurley 22, can she make the mark?

A Hurley can do anything! Ihave had a 24 since 1972 they are forgotten but they are great! Joe

Morris Frances 26.

Good recommendation! I love all of the small classic Morris boats like the Frances 26, Linda 28 and Annie 29. Chuck Paine has a way of making these small boats look larger than life!

Was expecting to see an Albin Vega 27 mentioned...

I included the Albin Vega in my "Bluewater on a Budget" post about affordable offshore cruisers. You can read it here: http://www.sailfarlivefree.com/2012/06/blue-water-on-budget-5-budget-cruisers.html

Any thoughts on our west coast Brent Swain 26 welded steel boats? Truly budget cruisers!

I have built one, but yet to launch it I am getting a trailer for it, an advantage that I never thought of when I started building it. Not very many built, mine is a single keel version and I added a wheelhouse.

What about Cape Dory's?

Howard - Good suggestion. Both the CD22 and CD25 are worthy little pocket cruisers with classic Alberg looks. I haven't been aboard either and don't know of any that have crossed oceans, but I suspect someone's been offshore in these two little Cape Dory's and I have little doubt they could be good sea boats in the right hands, given their stout construction, full keels, etc.

The boats listed are priced such that one could buy a much larger, albeit not-so-primo boat for the same or lesser amount. I've seen decent cal 34s go for $8k. So why buy a pocket cruiser that goes for 30K? Smaller sails and reduced slip rent can only account for a modicum of savings

True enough, this is NOT necessarily a list cheap/affordable small boats, but rather well-built and capable small boats that can go offshore in the right hands. Some sailors simply prefer a small, simple sailboat to a larger more spacious (and sometimes more complicated) sailboat, even if the purchase price is similar.

West Wight Potter 14 #223. Mexico to Hawaii.

I'm contemplating buying a 26' Micmac for rougher waters. http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=6202

A Vancouver 27 !!!!

hey you forgot a little boat from south africa called the flamenca 25 great little boat built for the cape of storms

A Flamenca would also sail circles around this list of boats. These traditional long keel boats are slow and without decent fouls, suck going upwind.

Would the Cascade 27 be a good pocket cruiser or is this just a coastal cruiser

I think it would be a excellent choice

Mmm. Some consistencies in your selections (apart from the obvious US of A bias), they all have square bows. Me thinks this is as much a beauty contest as a seaworthy small boat list. I'm afraid trailer and seagoing don't fit in the same sentence

Guilty as charged! Although I do disagree about trailer and seagoing...with both the Flicka and the Nor'Sea being plenty capable on both fronts.

Okay. On seaworthy, I sailed in 12 knots past a site where 2 friends were drowned, their yacht lost in a gale. So is my Folkboat, my sailing skill or patience to credit or was their boat any less seaworthy? An ocean crossing does not make a boat seaworthy, the sailing skill and weather and sea mix have as much to credit. I assert that a long heavy keel, stout rig and water tightness are compulsory if you want to lengthen the odds in your favour.

Nice article, I would however strongly suggest that you give a second thought about linking to myboatplans.com. It's a scam (most, if not all, of the plans are available for free elsewhere on the net and at least some pics are stolen from other boatbuilders). You don't have to take my word for it, just google around.

Thanks, and thanks for the suggestion...the link has been removed!

I am agree with you. Tks. An article about siling solo those smalls boats (in spanish): http://www.navegar-es-preciso.com/news/la-navegacion-oceanica-en-solitario-en-peque%C3%B1os-veleros-/

How about a Privateer26 by Kenner ? Check the specs, and I think you'll find she's equal in important areas and prettier by far than most!

Having a love affair with traditional boats with genuine shear lines, I just stepped out of my Marshall 22, and into a totally unknown double ender called a Skipper 20. Why these trailer sailors dream have gone unnoticed is hard to fathom. With room for 4, 2' draft, 800#s ballast, and a cockpit larger than my Bristol 27' which includes a outboard locker has me spending the last 4 months making the 40 year old look like modern and updated, quality pocket cruiser. With the new genoa, 5.5kts up hill and down, and as dry as they get,, Where they been???

I just bought a Skipper 20 and am fixing it up, can you tell me how it handles in a heavy blow? I am planning to use it as a micro coastal sailer and would like to know as much about it's capabilitys as I can. Much appreciated, Richard.

What are your thoughts on a San Juan 7.7 with the keel shoe? Offshore sailong to Hawaii or the inside passage to Alaska.

What are your thoughs on a San Juan 7.7 with the keel shoe offshore? IE; Hawaii or the Inside Passage to Alaska.

We recently purchased a JJ Taylor Contessa 26, hull #262, Ophelia, and have trailered her to Malletts Bay in Lake Champlain, VT. We were extremely flattered to have a visit from Tania Aebi, who lives 35 min. from us and wanted to show her sister and daughter-in-law an example of the boat that she sailed round the world in the late '80's.

What about steel Tom Thumb 24 ???

For whatever reason, I'm a fan of the Bristol 24 (Paul Coble design). The baby Bristols are full-keeled and don't go upwind very energetically, but once the sheets are started they come into their own. Hulls are usually nearly bulletproof, and even if damaged, they are small and easy to fix... some have been gilded into mini-yachts, but I prefer sparse brightwork and light/white paint. They are very (very) sea-kindly for their size and although they heel to about 15-20 degrees, their nearly 50% ballast usually stops it right there... Mast-head rigged, they have a large main and can develop noticeable weather-helm, so one reef keeps the tiller loads modest. Thankfully they aren't very popular or well-known, so you can find bargains and even top-drawer examples probably will cost less than a modest commuter car... I'm now on my second one (after having a larger fin-keel... am returning to the B24); if possible, look for one with split lower shrouds... Oh, they have comfortable 5'11" headroom, or just a fraction more,,,

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fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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A smart pocket cruiser, a joyful day-sailer, or a solid club racer – whichever way you choose to use your First 24, she'll be ready, with sleeping accommodations for up to four wrapped in an  ultramodern performance hull . A completely retractable keel gives you unfettered access to the shallowest cruising grounds and the ability to quickly  launch and retrieve  the boat from any ordinary ramp. Her light and stable hull, alu rig, classic backstay and dacron sails make her the ideal holiday cruiser, within operational reach of even the earliest beginners. 

NAVAL ARCHITECT : Samuel Manuard INTERIOR DESIGN : Sito Concept & R&D : Seascape


fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Advanced GRP vacuum infusion, a very light structure, a modern hull shape, a deep keel, and twin rudders define the boat's character and sailing experience – stable, fast and easy-to-control.

Her interior is pleasantly spacious and comfortable, with all key live-aboard elements. She can comfortably accommodate 4 adults, including a foldable indoor/outdoor table, and a dedicated place for a chemical toilet. 

A retractable keel makes road transport, winter storage, and slip launching easier than ever. A provisional mast crane means you aren't limited to only on-land launching facilities. On the water, the keel and removable rudders allow for movement in as little as two feet of water, yet offer unrivaled stability and speed while underway. 

In addition to being modern and fast, she has many features that make her very safe: unsinkable chambers, a swinging keel that will save the structure in case of grounding, and a well-balanced twin rudder system that gives you full control. 


The First 24 will show her true nature under sail. A flat, modern planing hull and a deep ballasted keel deliver a fast and fun sailing experience. The hull shape and the deep swinging keel result in high stability, and the twin rudders ensure complete control in any condition. Because of the very light hull, she'll keep moving even under light wind. Thanks to a spacious cockpit design, you'll enjoy easy handling with a solo, double-handed or fully crewed setup, whether you are relaxing on an afternoon sail, partaking in a club race, or cruising with your family. In any case, she will surprise you with fun, comfortable and relaxed sailing.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat


The interior welcomes you with one big, open salon that can easily accommodate up to 4 adults: 2 on the bow's V-berth and 2 on smart extendable side berths. She provides all the essential amenities you can expect on a modern 24ft  boat – crew bags for personal belongings, storage under the benches, indoor/outdoor tables and a dedicated place for the chemical toilet in the back of the salon. For technical storage, there is a big space under the cockpit area, which is accessible from the exterior. The sizeable and clean open-cockpit area offers an excellent ratio between comfort and the sailing experience. Wide side benches, together with a stern bench, provide a great place to relax; they also keep you connected and close to the water, as the cockpit can easily welcome 4 or 5 sailors.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat


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

Length Overall

Beam overall

Light displacement

2425,09 lbs

CE Certification

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

SV Lenny takes a spot on the 2023 Transpac podium!

After 11 days at sea, the SV Lenny and her crew placed second in their class. The crew gave their feedback on the boat pre and post race.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

2023 Transpac - Meet the Crew of SV Lenny

In June 2023, a few days before SV Lenny started the 2023 Transpac, we spoke to the crew about the race, the boat and their connection to the legendary BENETEAU First boats. 

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

New First 44 “Lenny” will race in the 2023 Transpac

Two legendary races, one Ocean, a new boat from a long successful line of great boats, and a remarkable crew who have sailed on major boat races around the world … BENETEAU’s First 44 is starting a Pacific adventure like no other before.

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

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Other models in the range

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

4.3 m / 14’1’’

1.7 m / 5’7’’

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

7.99 m / 26’ 3’’

2.54 m / 8’ 4’’

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

10.97 m / 36'0"

3.8 m / 12'6''

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

14.65 m / 48’1’’

4.25 m / 13'11''

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

17.12 m / 56’2’’

5 m / 16’5’’

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Pocket Cruisers That Sail Far


It is not the size of your boat that matters, it is the size of your dreams  (published June 2018)

Today’s cruising fleet is made up of boats that are much larger than they were only just a decade ago. There is a lot to be said for the comfort and speed of larger cruising boats. And with all of the modern sailing gear and electronics available to us, big boats are much easier to handle than they used to be. But they are also much more complicated and thus more prone to need maintenance and repairs than small, simpler boats of yore.

Small boat cruising now includes boats up to about 35 feet and it is worth noting that some of the largest builders of production sailboats have very few models in the 35 and under category that could be considered a boat you could live aboard. Smaller weekending boats and daysailers are more common in their range.

POCKET CRUISERS The term “pocket cruiser” was coined a generation ago to identify the many small but capable cruisers that were launched at the beginning of the fiberglass age of boat building. Boats like the Pearson Triton, Tartan 27 and Catalina 30 were all considered perfectly suitable boats for a family to cruise for a week or an entire summer.

The early fiberglass pocket cruisers were often designs based on hull shapes that had evolved from the days of wood construction so they had long overhangs, attached rudders and narrow beams. They were cramped and tended to heel over hard in a blow. If the leeward rail went under, you knew it was time to reef.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Today’s boats are designed to sail fairly upright and use beam and even chines to provide a lot of initial stability. Sailing flat is more comfortable for everyone onboard and is faster than pushing the boat too hard and burying the rail. It means the boats can be sailed efficiently without heavy crew on the rail which means a couple can still get great performance without having to bring the whole neighborhood along. Plus, because the deigns are quite light, you end of reefing early and often, which takes the sweat out of managing your pocket cruiser when the breeze picks up. Some companies will even offer in-mast furling on their smaller boats, and that simplifies sailing even more.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Catalina’s 315, built in Florida, is an American classic among the fleet of pocket cruiser. Light and powered with an ample rig, the boat sails very well and is a real pleasure to handle. Catalina continues to build “American Style” into their boats so you will find solid joinery below decks and a lot of traditional features that set them apart from the fleet. Details like solid wood doors and louvers on cabinets turn the little 31-footer into a properly fitted out yacht.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Seaward Yachts are also built in Florida and are part of the Island Packet company with was recently bought by Darrell and Leslie Allen. The Seaward 26 and 32 are unique boats with swing keels and kick-up rudders. The boats were designed in Florida for the shallows of Florida’s west coast and the Bahamas across the Gulf Stream and in those waters they are ideal. But, the designs have also proven popular in the Chesapeake Bay, Southern New England and the Great Lakes. The 26 is a roomy little weekender while the 32 is a cruising boat that can be your home for long cruises.

Germany has become a world leader in production boat building in the last decade and three companies–Hanse, Bavaria and Dehler–have small cruisers that are modern pocket cruisers. The Dehler 29 is one of the most popular racer-cruisers in Europe with large well-established fleets that get together to both race and cruise. The Dehler brand is not that well known in North America but the boats and the builder behind them are first class.

Hanse has quietly but steadily built a market for their boats in North America that now accounts for a significant slice of new boat sales. The Hanse 315 is a perfect little cruiser that is fast, easy to sail, roomy and affordable. It even has twin wheels. Hanse is a high volume builder but they do not skimp on materials, hardware and the quality of the workmanship.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

The Tartan 101 and 115 started life under the C&C brand, which is also owned by Tartan. When the company decided to split off the C&C brand, they renamed and re-engineered the two designs to meet traditional Tartan style and construction. Both boats are fast racer-cruisers that have done well in fleets all around America. But, they are also great little cruising boats that will be the right combination of qualities for couples or family who want the best of both worlds.

NOTABLE SMALL BOAT VOYAGES Since the early days of yachts there have been many great adventures and cruises in pocket cruisers so it is fair to say that it is not the size of your boat that matters, it is the size of your dreams. Here are some of my favorites.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Also in the 50s, Englishman John Guzzwell succumbed to the call of the sea. With a modest budget, he built a 21-foot Laurent Giles design that he named  Trekka  and in this little boat he set off from his home in British Columbia around the world. In 1959, after many adventures and several years, he returned to B.C. as the youngest solo circumnavigator in the smallest vessel to sail around the world.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Also in the Seventies, Yves Gelinas set off on his Alberg 30, Jean-du-Sud , from St. Malo in France with the intention of sailing non-stop around the world via the five great southern Capes. While he had to make a stop to repair his mast, he finished his circumnavigation in Canada having sailed 28,000 miles alone. Gelinas is the inventor of the elegant and simple Cape Horn self-steering windvane and his prototype steered his boat around the world in all conditions.

In the Eighties, young Tanya Aebi convinced her father that instead of attending university she would get a much better education if she sailed solo around the world. Her father agreed and took the tuition money he had saved and bought her a 26 foot fiberglass Folkboat design named  Varuna . Learning as she went, Tanya spent two years cruising around the world in the classic tradewind route via Panama and Suez. She returned to her home port in New York City to a hero’s welcome and her book,  Maiden Voyage, remains a best seller 30 years later.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

More recently, in 2011 and 2012, young Matt Rutherford sailed a borrowed, 27-foot Albin Vega sloop north from his home in Maryland to the Northwest Passage. His mission was to complete a non-stop circumnavigation of the America via the NW Passage and Cape Horn. The grueling and arduous adventures took him 10 months yet he prevailed. And along the way he raised $130,000 for a local Maryland charity.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

He is currently, at age 75, sailing a Moore 24 racing boat around the world and has thus far got to Australia. It is his hope, he writes, to complete his sixth solo circumnavigation before he leaves this planet.

Author: Blue Water Sailing

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PocketShip by Chesapeake Light Craft

15-foot fast-sailing pocket cruiser with sitting headroom and 8-foot berths.

Length overall
Draft (cb up)
Sail area
Hull construction Stich-n-glue

URL: http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/boat-plans/sailboat-plans/pocketship-sailing-pocket-cruiser-kit.html


" PocketShip " is a small cruising sailboat of refined model, meant to sail well on all points, provide dry camping accommodations for two adults, and tow behind a four-cylinder car. Examples are now sailing on four continents; as of this writing more than 50 are sailing or under construction around the world.

Designer John C. Harris has designed, built, owned, and cruised aboard a variety of smallcraft. His first camp-cruiser as a teenager was an 11'6" rowing boat with a tent, in which he explored the upper Chesapeake, sleeping aboard. Twenty years later, he wanted a fast-sailing pocket cruiser with a dry and commodious interior. It had to be quick and easy to build or the project would never get finished, so stitch-and-glue plywood construction was a given from the start. The cockpit was laid out for daysailing comfort and is large enough for sleeping on warm nights.

Interior arrangements are ample, we think bigger and more comfortable than anything else this size, without compromising Pocketship 's looks and performance. Two adults may sleep below or wait out a rain shower, and a portable head stows beneath the cockpit, sliding forward into the cuddy for use. The enclosed area of the cabin is identical to an average four-man tent, but drier, more private, and more secure.

Geoff Kerr of Two Daughters Boatworks built the first hull. He started in mid-January 2008 and clocked about 525 hours before delivering a finished hull and spars, ready for hardware. PocketShip was rigged at CLC and launched on May 10th, 2008. The typical amateur builder might require about 30 weekends and occasional evenings to see this one through.

Plans comprise 11 pages of architectural drawings, and full-sized patterns for nearly every part in the boat. Plans and manual are in both metric and standard measurements. The manual is 280 pages, spiral-bound, and lavished with nearly 800 images and drawings showing construction step-by-step. Kits include the pre-cut plywood parts, epoxy, and fiberglass for the hull. Since solid timber (floorboards, stringers, rails, spars) is available everywhere inexpensively, it will be sourced and milled by the builders. Due to the shipping challenges, lead ballast is not included in the kit. Sails and hardware are available in several deeply discounted packages.

2008 sailing trials in varied waters from Maine to Maryland included crews of 1 to 4 adults and wind conditions of 0-20 knots. PocketShip is stiff and fast and tacks through 90 degrees. The helm is light and the boat will spin nearly in its own length in both light and heavy air and with a variety of sail combinations. We are thrilled with performance and handling - all expectations have been exceeded.

Many ask about auxiliary power for PocketShip . While the boat's sailing qualities are sufficient to undertake long expeditions in challenging waters without power, many sailing examples have small outboards mounted on a stern bracket for negotiating marinas, channels, or flat calms. We've seen up to five horsepower, but two horsepower is ample even for rough conditions. The excellent Honda four-stroke 2hp is light enough not to diminish sailing qualities. Aftermarket outboard brackets are plug-and-play without modification to the transom. John Harris built this simple outboard bracket for PocketShip #1 and it has worked admirably.


Boats about same size as PocketShip


Questions? Suggestions? Contact us at: [email protected]


Best Small Cruising Sailboats

Best Small Cruising Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

February 20, 2024

‍ Key Takeaways

  • Affordable cruising sailboats offer comfort and fun without a large investment.
  • Models like the Catalina 22 and Hunter 27 balance space and ease of use for family.
  • Making an informed choice on a budget-friendly sailboat hinges on matching features.

‍ If you want to navigate the seas without breaking the bank, you do need the best budget small cruiser sailboats, perfect for both novices and seasoned sailors.

The best budget small cruiser sailboats include the Catalina 22 for its versatility, Hunter 27 for durability, Beneteau First 20 for performance, West Wight Potter 19 for compactness, Compac Sun Cat for ease of use, MacGregor 26 for adaptability, and Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 for comfort and style.

As a seasoned sailor with years of navigating diverse waters, I've had the privilege of steering through the world's most enchanting seas. Sharing insights from firsthand experiences, I offer guidance that's not just based on facts but seasoned with real-life adventures. Together, we'll uncover the secrets to mastering the waves, ensuring you're well-equipped for your nautical journeys.

Table of contents

‍ Best Budget Small Cruiser Sailboats

Embarking on the quest for the ideal budget-friendly cruiser sailboat might feel like navigating through a maze of countless options, but pinpointing the right vessel is key to setting sail without capsizing your finances.

You don't need a treasure chest to enjoy the freedom of the open water; with an array of compact cruisers on the market, there's a vessel suited for every sailor's needs that balances affordability, comfort, and performance.

Understanding the unique characteristics of these budget-friendly cruisers is the compass that will help guide you in making an informed choice. It’s not solely about affordability; it's about finding a sailboat that can offer you that quintessential sailing fun.

Here's a comparison of the key features of the best budget small cruiser sailboats:

Model Length Beam Draft Displacement Sail Area Price Range
22 ft 8 ft 2 ft - 5 ft 2,490 lbs 229 sq ft $15,000 - $25,000
27 ft 9 ft 11 in 3 ft 5 in 7,500 lbs 321.25 sq ft $20,000 - $50,000
20 ft 8 ft 2 in 2 ft 4 in - 5 ft 11 in 2,535 lbs 269 sq ft $35,000 - $60,000
19 ft 7 ft 6 in 1 ft 6 in - 3 ft 1,225 lbs 136 sq ft $10,000 - $25,000
Compac Sun Cat 17 ft 4 in 7 ft 3 in 1 ft 2 in 1,500 lbs 150 sq ft $15,000 - $25,000
MacGregor 26 26 ft 7 ft 9 in 1 ft - 5 ft 9 in 2,255 lbs 235 sq ft $10,000 - $30,000
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 34 ft 5 in 11 ft 3 in 4 ft 10 in 11,773 lbs 613 sq ft $150,000 - $200,000

1. Catalina 22


If you're diving into the world of sailing with a keen eye on budget and size, the Catalina 22 checks many boxes. As a small cruiser that balances comfort, versatility, and affordability, it is considered a classic staple in the sailing community.


  • Length: 21'6"
  • Beam: 7'8"
  • Draft: 2'0" (board up), 5'0" (board down)
  • Displacement: 2,490 lbs.
  • Ballast: 800 lbs.
  • Sail Area: 205 sq. ft.


The Catalina 22 sails with grace. Its fiberglass hull and well-designed keel offer stability and smooth handling, making it an ideal sailboat for beginners and seasoned sailors alike. You'll find it quick to maneuver and responsive at the helm, qualities that bolster your sailing confidence.

What Sets It Apart

With features like a spacious cockpit, a cozy cabin, and a pop-top galley for extra headroom, the Catalina 22 elevates the compact cruising experience. Its versatility shines, serving both as a casual day sailor and a capable pocket cruiser for overnight adventures.

Recent Updates

In its modern iterations, significant updates include an enhanced rigging system and improved sail controls. These upgrades bring the Catalina 22 in line with contemporary sailing standards while preserving its timeless appeal.

  • Offers great value for its size and features
  • Comfortable for small family cruising
  • Suited for both day sailing and short cruises
  • Its size may challenge extended cruising plans
  • Not designed for demanding racing scenarios

Who Should Buy It

The Catalina 22 is an excellent choice for you if you're a beginner eager to learn, a sailor on a budget, or a small family looking to create lasting memories on the water.

Where To Buy It

Ready to make the Catalina 22 yours? You'll find it available through official Catalina dealers and respected used boat marketplaces.

2. Hunter 27


When you're out on the market for a blend of affordability and reliable performance in a small cruiser sailboat, the Hunter 27 stands out. It’s specifically designed for those with a passion for sailing but have a tight grip on their budget.

  • Beam: 9ft 11in
  • Draft: 3ft 6in
  • Ballast: 2,000 lbs
  • Displacement: 7,400 lbs
  • Sail Area: 386 sq ft

The Hunter 27 promises an admirable balance of comfort and speed, ensuring your sailing experience is both enjoyable and efficient. With a modern underbody and an easy-to-manage sail plan, you'll find this boat to be responsive and stable, whether you're cruising along the coastline or venturing out a little further.

What really makes the Hunter 27 a gem in the pocket cruisers category is its ingenious use of space. Boasting a spacious cockpit to keep your crew comfortable, this model ensures fun on the water doesn't mean a compromise on space or safety. Its fiberglass construction adds to its sturdy reputation.

Recent iterations of the Hunter 27 incorporate more modern gear and amenities, upgrading not just the sailing performance but the overall comfort on board. These updates draw a clear line in the sand, separating the Hunter from its competitors.

  • Roomy interior for a small cruiser
  • Stable performance under various conditions
  • Ideal for family or small crew outings
  • Limited space can challenge onboard storage
  • Smaller sail area compared to larger cruisers affects speed

If you're a family or a small group looking to dip your toes into sailing without splashing out on a luxury yacht, the Hunter 27 could be the vessel for you. It’s also an excellent choice for those seeking a trailerable boat that doesn’t skimp on the liveaboard experience.

To secure a Hunter 27, reach out to authorized dealers or check the listings on sailing community forums. For the latest models, visiting the official Hunter Marine website provides you with all the updated information and contact details you need to purchase the boat.

3. Beneteau First 20


When you're out to conquer the waves without breaking the bank, the Beneteau First 20 emerges as a staunch ally. This sailboat marries high performance with affordability, embodying the spirit of adventure for both new sailors and seasoned veterans craving a smaller, more manageable vessel.

  • Length Overall (LOA): 20'1"
  • Beam: 8'2"
  • Draft: 2'4" (lifting keel)
  • Displacement: 2,755 lbs
  • Sail Area: 248 sq ft

For a boat its size, the Beneteau First 20 is notoriously agile and quick on the water. With every design tweak aimed at enhancing speed, she doesn't compromise on stability, making it a delightful daysailer or an enthusiastic entry-level racer.

The Beneteau First 20 stands out for its modern design and equipment, offering you comfort and safety in a compact vessel. This sailboat blends the thrill of sailing with the ease of handling, ensuring you get maximum enjoyment whether you're solo or with family.

More aggressive, stylish look and improved balance between performance and habitability

  • Compact size for easy maneuverability and storage
  • Cost-effective without skimping on quality
  • Limited space may not suit long-duration sailings
  • Less room for gear compared to larger cruisers

The Beneteau First 20 is the perfect buy for beginners eager to learn and for those downsizing from a larger boat but not willing to give up on zest and performance.

If you want this boat, seek out Beneteau dealers through its official website or charter services for purchasing or experiencing the First 20.

4. West Wight Potter 19


The West Wight Potter 19 is acclaimed for its compact design and remarkable capabilities as a cruiser sailboat. Perfect for you whether you're an expert sailor or just starting out, it combines ease of handling with the comfort essential for the best small cruising sailboats.

  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Length Overall: 18'9"
  • Beam: 7'6"
  • Draft: Keel Up: 6" / Keel Down: 3'7"
  • Mast Height Above Water: 22 feet
  • Ballast: 300 lbs
  • Displacement: 1225 lbs
  • Sail Area: 158 sq. ft.

This compact cruiser is remarkable for its stability and handling in various conditions. Its speed is competitive for a sailboat its size, ensuring you have a lively time on the water.

Versatility and ease of transport are hallmarks of the West Wight Potter 19. As a trailerable sailboat, it promises adventure without the constraint of a single body of water.

Recent models have introduced modern equipment and upgrades in the galley and cockpit for improved comfort and convenience, ensuring a blend of traditional and contemporary needs.

  • Easy to transport by road
  • Designed for secure family outings
  • Equipped for preparing meals on board
  • Compact design caps the amount of storage
  • More modest compared to larger cruisers

If you're a sailing enthusiast in need of a traileable, versatile, and affordable sailboat, the Potter 19 is meant for you. It's ideal for both solo excursions and family adventures.

The best place to purchase a West Wight Potter 19 is through reputable boat dealers like YatchHub . Always ensure you are dealing with an authentic, trusted seller.

5. Compac Sun Cat

Recently, the Com-Pac Sun Cat has received attention for its balance between cost-efficiency and uncompromised sailing performance, perfect for those on a budget.

  • Hull Type: Monohull
  • Construction: Fiberglass
  • LOA (Length Over All): 17' 4"
  • Beam (Width): 7' 3"
  • Draft: 1' 2" board up / 4' 6" board down
  • Displacement: 1,500 lbs
  • Sail Area: 150 sq ft
  • Mast Height: 20'

Let's talk about how the Sun Cat sails. Generally considered lively for a compact cruiser, it harnesses light winds with ease and delivers a stable ride in choppier conditions. Its relatively wide beam contributes to its stability, and with no spreaders to worry about, setup and takedown times are significantly reduced.

The Sun Cat's design emphasizes simplicity and functionality, targeting both the novice sailor and the seasoned mariner looking for hassle-free sailing adventures. This boat's ease of trailering adds to its appeal, especially for those looking to explore a variety of sailing environments without the constraints of a mooring.

Recent models of the Sun Cat have seen enhancements in their cabin comfort and rigging efficiency, ensuring they stay competitive and appealing to sailors. Existing owners can often retrofit these improvements, demonstrating the manufacturer's commitment to the model's longevity.

  • Easy to trailer
  • Simple to rig and sail
  • Limited space for liveaboards
  • Heavier mast can be challenging for some

If you're a day sailor or weekend cruiser, the Com-Pac Sun Cat aligns with your lifestyle. Its setup is intuitive, making it a solid choice for beginners, while its performance and charm won't disappoint seasoned sailors.

The best place to buy a new or used Sun Cat is directly from Com-Pac Yachts or a licensed dealer.

6. MacGregor 26


When you're scouring the market for a trusty and affordable cruiser sailboat, the MacGregor 26 stands out as a remarkably versatile option. It merges sailing fun with budget-friendliness.

  • Length Overall (LOA) : 25 ft 10 in
  • Beam: 7 ft 9 in
  • Draft (Board up/down): 12 in / 5 ft 9 in
  • Displacement: 2,255 lb (water ballast)
  • Sail Area: 321 ft²

Let's talk about what it feels like to skipper a MacGregor 26. With its sails catching the wind, you'll experience a balance of stability and responsiveness.

  • It delivers steady performance under sail.
  • Power sailing is possible with a suitable outboard motor.

Why pick the MacGregor 26, you ask? Here's the scoop. It's truly one of a kind.

  • The combination of sailing and powerboat capabilities is unique.
  • Its transportability opens up your sailing adventures to myriad locations.

Keen on knowing the latest? The newer models of the MacGregor 26 have significant improvements aimed at enhancing your sailing experience.

  • Upgraded standing rigging for increased durability.
  • Enhanced hull designs for better stability and speed.
  • Easy to trailer and maneuver on land
  • Simplifies getting in and out of the water
  • Can be used as both a sailboat and a motorboat
  • Suitable for various water activities, from cruising to fishing
  • Hybrid nature may not appeal to sailing purists
  • Performance may not match up to specialized sailboats
  • Water ballast system requires careful management
  • Can be sensitive to incorrect loading

You're probably wondering if the MacGregor 26 is the right fit for you.

  • Ideal for sailors looking for a multipurpose vessel.
  • Great for those with storage constraints who still want to enjoy the sailing lifestyle.

Interested in making a MacGregor 26 yours? You can purchase directly from an authorized MacGregor sailing dealership .

7. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 is a small cruiser that delivers big on both comfort and performance. It is designed to be an affordable option for sailors who seek a compact boat without sacrificing the amenities typically found on larger vessels.

Dimensions & Measurements:

  • LOA : 33'11"
  • Beam: 11'3"
  • Draft (Shoal/Deep): 4'10" / 6'5"
  • Displacement: 11,773 lbs
  • Sail Area: 613 sq ft
  • Fuel Capacity: 34 gallons
  • Water Capacity: 54 gallons
  • Cabins: 2-3
  • Standard Engine: Yanmar 21 HP
  • Optional Engine: Yanmar 30 HP

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 boasts a plumb bow and hard chine that starts before the boat's maximum beam—features that enhance stability and speed. Its twin rudders ensure responsive handling, making it a joy to sail in various wind conditions.

What really makes this sailboat stand out is its perfect balance between size, performance, and comfort. With innovative design features such as a long waterline and wide beam, you get a quick, seaworthy boat that doesn't skimp on living space.

In recent iterations, Jeanneau has emphasized easy handling, with features like twin rudders and a simplified sail plan. These updates cater to both seasoned sailors and newcomers eager to take their first bluewater cruise.

  • Stable and comfortable under sail
  • Spacious interior for its size
  • Easy to single-hand with a well-designed cockpit and manageable sail plan
  • Might feel underpowered with the standard engine in strong currents
  • Interior storage can be limited for long voyages

If you're a solo sailor or a small family looking to adventure without the need for a crew, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 could be your ideal cruiser. It's built for those who love to sail and want a boat that's as easy to manage as it is inviting.

When it comes to purchasing a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, your best bet is to visit an authorized Jeanneau dealer through their official website .

Sustainability in Small Cruiser Sailboats

In our quest for the perfect blend of adventure and value in small cruiser sailboats, there's an often-overlooked aspect that's gaining momentum: sustainability. As sailors, our connection to the sea is profound, and it's only natural we play our part in preserving its beauty.

Renewable Energy on Deck

  • Harnessing Nature's Power: The latest trend in small cruiser sailboats isn't just about cutting costs; it's about reducing our carbon footprint. Solar panels and wind turbines are becoming common sights on cruisers, providing clean energy to power everything from navigation instruments to lighting. Imagine sailing under a starlit sky, knowing you're leaving the smallest ecological wake possible.
  • Eco-Friendly Propulsion: Electric motors are on the rise, offering a silent and emission-free alternative to traditional diesel engines. Coupled with renewable energy sources, they promise a future where sailing is not only about embracing the wind but doing so with minimal environmental impact.

Sustainable Materials and Practices

  • Beyond Fiberglass : The boat-building industry is exploring sustainable materials like flax, bamboo, and recycled plastics. These alternatives not only reduce the reliance on fossil fuels but also offer durability and a lighter footprint on our oceans.
  • Antifouling Innovations: The battle against hull-dwelling organisms has historically relied on toxic antifouling paints. However, new non-toxic coatings and ultrasonic systems are proving to be game-changers, protecting marine life while keeping boat hulls clean and efficient.

The Ripple Effect of Sustainable Sailing

  • Community and Conservation: The sailing community is uniquely positioned to contribute to marine conservation efforts. From participating in beach clean-ups to practicing responsible anchoring, every small action contributes to a larger impact.
  • Educating Future Sailors: Sharing knowledge and practices around sustainable sailing fosters a culture of conservation. Workshops, sailing clubs, and online forums are fantastic venues for exchanging tips on eco-friendly sailing, and building a collective commitment to our blue planet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Picking out the perfect small cruiser sailboat on a budget comes with several questions. We've gathered the most common inquiries to help you make an informed decision whether you're just starting out, planning solo voyages, or looking for value without sacrificing quality.

What should I look for in a pocket cruiser sailboat for beginner sailors?

Starting your sailing journey can be thrilling. Look for a pocket cruiser that promises ease of handling, reliability, and comfort. Stability should be top of your list to ensure confidence as you learn. A well-designed cockpit with user-friendly controls makes it easier to master sailing basics.

Which small sailboats are best for single-handed cruising adventures?

For those who dream of sailing solo, the Ranger 26 is a great choice. Boats built for single-handing should have accessible rigging, autopilots, and robust safety features. The Beneteau First 28 is another vessel that combines performance with single-handed functionality.

How do I find a high-quality cruising boat under 30 feet without breaking the bank?

Striking a balance between affordability and quality can be tricky, but not impossible. One approach is to seek out models known for retaining their value. Your search could include the Nonsuch 30 , which offers considerable space and durability within this size range.

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What Is A Cruising Sailboat?

5 Best Cruising Sailboats In 2024

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

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Cruising World Logo

25 Sailboats Under 40′

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

Catalina 275 Sport

catalina 275 sport

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

Beneteau First 30

beneteau first 30

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

presto 30

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

Catalina 309

catalina 309

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

j/95 boat

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

Catalina 315

catalina 315

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

delphia 33

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

hunter e33

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

C&C 101

cc 101 yacht

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

x34 yacht

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

Beneteau 34

beneteau 34 yacht

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

Tartan 3400

tartan 3400 yacht

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

najad 355 yacht

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

Catalina 355

catalina 355 yacht

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

Sabre Spirit

sabre spirit yacht

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

Island Packet Estero

island packet estero yacht

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

Hallberg-Rassy 37

hallberg-rassy 37 yacht

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

Malö 37 Classic

malo 37 classic

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

Catalina 375

catalina 375

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

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379

jeanneau sun odyssey 379 yacht

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

dehler 38

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

hunter 38

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

leopard 38

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

Seawind 1160

seawind 1160

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

sabre 386

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

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My Cruiser Life Magazine

What Is a Pocket Cruiser Sailboat? – Best Small Boats Under 30 feet 2022

If you want to go on a daysail this week, a week-long vacation over the holidays, and then sail to the Caribbean next year, a pocket cruiser might be the boat for you. Pocket cruisers provide big-boat features with all of the comforts of home but in a small package. Go the distance in a small, easy-to-handle, budget-friendly yacht.

Table of Contents

What is a pocket cruiser sailboat, what makes a great pocket cruiser, budget-friendly pocket cruiser sailboats.

  • Functionality 
  • Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 

Falmouth Cutter 22

  • Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 

Cape Dory 25D

Contessa 26.

  • Morris Frances 26 

Albin Vega 27

Sail away in a pocket cruiser.

pocket cruiser sailboat

Different articles and authorities list different requirements for pocket cruisers. In any case, a pocket cruiser is small, capable, and suitable for the cruising couple who puts a focus on simplicity. A pocket cruiser is a tiny cruising sailboat that can take you out for the weekend or a season. 

In many ways, the pocket cruiser is to sailboats what the tiny house is to home-ownership. It has all the same parts as a regular-sized house, but everything is smaller and requires a different mindset to enjoy.

For this article, I’m choosing to define a pocket cruiser as a boat with these features.

  • Under 30 feet
  • Seaworthy, ocean-going vessel
  • Sleeping accommodations
  • Enclosed Head / Toliet facilities

A pocket cruiser should look salty and ready to take on the world’s oceans. The best pocket cruiser sailboats look like they would be home in a postcard sent from the Caribbean, South Pacific, or wherever the boat took her crew. Often these salty sailboats were inspired by hardworking historical vessels and modernized. 

Pocket cruisers often feature opening bronze windows, opening hatches, and teak trim. Lyle Hess designs like the Falmouth Cutter and Nor’Sea 27 have beautiful nautical details. However, some pocket cruisers are more stripped down and focused on speed and easy maintenance. 

Pocket cruisers should have all the necessities for cruising life. These necessities include comfortable sleeping accommodations for at least two people, a functional galley, and a head.

Pocket cruisers should be at home daysailing or blue water sailing.

Is a Pocket Crusier Right for You?

If you are just getting started in cruising, a pocket cruiser can give you a taste of the good life. These smaller boats are affordable, functional, and just plain fun to sail.

The best small cruising sailboat designs are budget-friendly and can fit in a less expensive slip. The purchase price on an older 25-foot boat is likely much less than a comparably maintained but much bigger boat. Everything about a smaller boat is less expensive. For example, replacing an engine or rigging will be more affordable. In addition, the smaller size and fewer complexities make it more likely you can handle maintenance and projects yourself. 

Maintenance on a boat becomes exponentially more challenging and expensive the longer the boat gets. If your pocket cruiser needs to have its portlights re-bedded, you might be able to tackle that project right away and complete it in the weekend. If a cruising boat twice the size needed the same attention, the project might stretch out for weeks. 

Many marinas have a waitlist for slips that can accommodate full-size cruising boats with deeper draft requirements. But those same marinas often have a few slips for smaller boats with shallow drafts. These “less appealing” slips are often available without a waitlist and at attractive prices. 

Instead of saving for years to afford a larger cruising boat , you might be able to afford a smaller cruising boat sooner and start having fun right away.


Pocket cruisers are small and delightful, and you’ll want to take your boat out for daysails, weekends away, or long-term cruises. Bigger boats are harder to maneuver in small marina fairways. Bigger cruising boats often don’t leave the slip for a daysail because it seems like too much trouble. However, if you have a small boat, you’re more likely to take her out for the day. This functionality and usability mean you’ll use and enjoy your boat more.

Pocket cruisers are easy to provision and take out for longer jaunts too. Because pocket cruisers have all the comforts of home, there’s no reason you can’t take your micro cruiser long distances. A pocket cruiser is like a Swiss Army Knife or a Tardis. like the perfect sailing knife . It can do anything and take you anywhere.

Best Small Boats Under 30 feet

The biggest requirement for a pocket cruiser is its small size. While cruising boats are getting bigger and bigger, these pocket cruisers retain their charm and functionality. Boats under 30 feet might not suit those who travel with an entourage or need a walk-in closet. However, they are just the ticket for those seeking a simple life on the open water.

Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20

At 20 feet, the Pacific Seacraft Flicka is the smallest bluewater sailboat on our list. This boat is built solidly and has crossed the world’s oceans. The first Flicka’s were home-built from plans, and Pacific Seacraft built the later models. Pacific Seacraft built their Flickas with fiberglass. The mast can be easily removed for trailering. 

The Flicka is 24 feet long overall, has an 18-foot-long waterline, and a three-foot, three-inch draft. Most Flicka’s have a nine-horsepower Yanmar diesel inboard. 

The Flicka features a v-berth forward, a settee opposite the functional galley, and a head. 

As a small, heavy displacement boat, the Flicka isn’t a racer. She usually cruises between four and five knots but can go six knots in the right conditions. Some sailors report the boat pitches and can have a lot of onboard motion in challenging conditions. 

The Flicka is an attractive boat that fits all the attributes cruisers look for in a pocket sailboat. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Marco Coda (@carpediemsailtraining)

The Falmouth Cutter 22 is so small it could be considered in the micro cruiser sailboats category. This yacht is built to go anywhere, and you’ll want to go everywhere in it. It looks like a traditional sailboat and would be perfectly at home in a period-piece movie. 

While the Falmouth Cutter has traditional looks, the boat’s hull is fiberglass. This construction lends modern strength and durability to the boat’s classic looks. The Falmouth Cutter was designed by Lyle Hess, famous for designing small bluewater boats. Lyle Hess designed the 22-foot boat Seraffyn for Lin and Larry Pardy. These legendary sailors and authors Lin and Larry Pardy sailed around the world in the 1970s. Lin and Larry’s book  Cruising in Seraffyn made Lyle Hess’ pocket sailboat designs immensely popular. 

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

  • Used Book in Good Condition

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

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The Falmouth Cutter was inspired by traditional working sailboats operating in the challenging waters around Falmouth, Cornwall in England. These cutters had to be small, fast, and carry large loads as they worked the challenging shores.

The forward cabin features a double berth, a hanging locker, and a head. The galley is aft with a two-burner stove, sink, and icebox. The aft area also houses a chart table. The saloon has two settees. Some owners install an outboard engine to free up interior space used by the standard inboard engine. 

The Falmouth Cutter was first built in 1980. It’s 22 feet long on deck with a 20.5-foot waterline. The length overall is 30.5 feet when you include the impressive bowsprit. It has a three-and-a-half-foot draft. Most come with a seven-horsepower Yanmar diesel inboard. 

The Falmouth Cutter offers a comfortable ride. They are beloved by their owners, and few are on the market at any one time. Used Falmouth Cutters are pricey when compared to other 22-foot sailboats. However, if you want to be the most popular small seaworthy boat in the anchorage, these pocket cruisers are worth the price. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by VanBerkum Sail Co (@vbsailco)

Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

The Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 was designed by Bill Crealock. The boat debuted in 1984, and over 200 Dana’s have been built since then. The Dana is 27’3″ long overall, 24′ 2″ on deck, and has a waterline length of 21′ 5″. This sturdy boat has an eight-foot, seven-inch beam and over six feet of standing headroom in the cabin. 

The Dana has a v-berth forward, an inviting salon, an efficient galley, and a private head. The floor plan is open, and the interior feels spacious. The interior features rich teak panels for a cozy feel. 

Bill Crealock designed boats that were “ designed to deliver crews to their destinations in comfort, good shape, and refreshed .” While Crealock designed dozens of the world’s best cruising sailboats, the Dana is one of his best pocket cruiser sailboat designs. 

The Dana is cutter rigged and can sail at speeds up to six-and-a-half knots in the right conditions. The Dana 24 is a beautiful example of a pocket cruiser built to go bluewater sailing in comfort and style. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Seabear (@dana24_seabear)

The Cape Dory 25 is a daysailer and weekender boat designed by George Stadel. The Cape Dory 25D is one of the best pocket cruiser sailboats designed by Carl Alberg. 

The Cape Dory 25D features a large head in the forward area instead of a v-berth. The salon is comfortable and spacious and features a 5’11” headroom. Each salon settee can be used as a berth, or the cushions can be arranged to make a large double berth. A quarter berth rounds out the sleeping accommodations. The galley is small but functional. 

The Cape Dory 25D has excellent ventilation with opening brass ports and overhead hatches. 

The Cape Dory 25D is 25 feet long, and has an eight-foot beam, a 19-foot waterline length, and a three-and-a-half-foot draft. It has an inboard Yanmar seven-and-a-half horsepower engine. 

The Cape Dory 25D is popular with Carl Alberg fans looking for small cruising sailboats. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by ⛵️ S/V Delilah ⛵️ (@sailingdelilah)

The Contessa 26 is another small boat that’s famous for its offshore capability. Tania Aebi circumnavigated in a Contessa 26 and described her experiences in her book, Maiden Voyage.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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The Contessa 26 was designed by Jeremy Rodgers and David Salder in the 1960s. Around 650 Contessa 26 sailboats are cruising today. In 1984, the boat became known as the J.J. Taylor 26, but most people stick with the Contessa 26 moniker regardless of the production date.

The Contessa 26 is 25.5 feet long with a 21-foot waterline. It has a seven-foot, six-inch beam and a four-foot draft. The Contessa 26 has a six-and-a-half or seven horsepower inboard engine. The Contessa 26 was hand-built using fiberglass and known to be strong and sturdy. 

The Contessa 26 has three interior layout options. Each layout features v-berth sleeping accommodations, a head, galley, chart table, and salon seating. The interior is small but safe. The cockpit is suited for offshore work. 

The Contessa is easy to single-hand and is popular with cruisers looking for a bluewater sailboat in a small package. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by B E N S A X T O N 🇬🇧OLY (@saxton_ben)

Morris Frances 26

The Morris Frances 26 is a beautiful pocket cruiser, perfect for taking the family on a day sail or cruising long-term. Like all Morris yachts, the Frances was designed by legendary designer Chuck Paine. 

Chuck Paine wanted to design a boat “ capable of yearly cruises to and among the Caribbean islands, small enough to fit my limited budget, but large enough to survive a gale at sea. ” This description perfectly describes the best qualities of pocket cruisers. 

The Morris Frances 26 is 26 feet overall, with a 21.25-foot waterline length. She has an eight-foot, four-inch beam and a three-foot, 10-inch draft. The Frances 26 was built in America by Morris Yachts. The Frances 26 was built by Victoria Marine in England, later called Victoria Yachts. The Frances 26 had a flush deck, while later Victoria 26 versions had a larger coachroof and greater interior space. 

The Frances 26 has accommodations for four. It is usually Bermuda rigged as a cutter or sloop.

The Nor’Sea 27 is another Lyle Hess-designed boat. This rugged cruiser has completed at least four circumnavigations and hundreds of ocean crossings. About 450 Nor’Sea 27 sailboats have been built. The Nor’Sea is a trailerable sailboat, making it possible to move the boat to new cruising areas without sailing the whole way.

The Nor’Sea 27 was originally built in 1977 by Heritage Marine. The company was sold and renamed Nor’Sea. The 27 ft long boat has an eight-foot beam and a three-foot, ten-inch draft. The length overall increases to 31 feet when you include the bowsprit.

The Nor’Sea is available in two layouts. Buyers can choose between the popular center cockpit boat with an aft cabin or an aft cockpit with a convertible dinette. In the popular aft cabin model, there’s a forward dinette, a small galley, a private head, and an aft cabin with two berths. 

The Nor’Sea 27 is hand-laid and molded-in lapstrakes giving this small yacht a traditional look. If you can’t get enough of Lyle Hess-designed small cruising boats, check out the Bristol Channel Cutter 28. 

The Albin Vega 27 is a well-known ocean voyager. Over 3,000 Vegas were built, and several have circumnavigated. John Neal sailed his Vega from Seattle to the South Pacific and wrote about the voyage in Log of Mahina .

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

The Albin Vega 27 is 27 feet long, with a 23-foot waterline, eight-foot beam, and three-foot, ten-inch draft. Vegas is equipped with 10 or 13-horsepower diesel inboard engines. 

The Albin Vega 27 features a v-berth, head, and salon with two single bunks. The galley is located over the companionway steps. The interior is small but seaworthy and will suit a couple or a small family. 

The Albin Vega 27 is an affordable cruising boat that can cross oceans while keeping its crew safe and comfortable.

Albin Vega 27 Boat Sails into the Record Books

Jarle Andhoy sailed a Vega to the Arctic and shared his voyage on Norweigan TV. Matt Rutherford circumnavigated the Americas in a Vega and created a documentary film, Red Dot on the Ocean , about his solo voyage.  

During his cruise, Rutherford earned several Guinness World Records.

Pocket cruisers are so appealing — you’ll want to sail away in one. The good news is, that these boats were built to do just that. 

In the words of several famous sailors– go simple and go now .

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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.

Great review of pocket cruisers, Matt! It’d be cool if factories produced a few of these today. Cheers.

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Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia’s capital

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

There’s hardly a better way to absorb Moscow’s atmosphere than on a ship sailing up and down the Moskva River. While complicated ticketing, loud music and chilling winds might dampen the anticipated fun, this checklist will help you to enjoy the scenic views and not fall into common tourist traps.

How to find the right boat?

There are plenty of boats and selecting the right one might be challenging. The size of the boat should be your main criteria.

Plenty of small boats cruise the Moskva River, and the most vivid one is this yellow Lay’s-branded boat. Everyone who has ever visited Moscow probably has seen it.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

This option might leave a passenger disembarking partially deaf as the merciless Russian pop music blasts onboard. A free spirit, however, will find partying on such a vessel to be an unforgettable and authentic experience that’s almost a metaphor for life in modern Russia: too loud, and sometimes too welcoming. Tickets start at $13 (800 rubles) per person.

Bigger boats offer smoother sailing and tend to attract foreign visitors because of their distinct Soviet aura. Indeed, many of the older vessels must have seen better days. They are still afloat, however, and getting aboard is a unique ‘cultural’ experience. Sometimes the crew might offer lunch or dinner to passengers, but this option must be purchased with the ticket. Here is one such  option  offering dinner for $24 (1,490 rubles).

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

If you want to travel in style, consider Flotilla Radisson. These large, modern vessels are quite posh, with a cozy restaurant and an attentive crew at your service. Even though the selection of wines and food is modest, these vessels are still much better than other boats.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

How to buy tickets?

Women holding photos of ships promise huge discounts to “the young and beautiful,” and give personal invitations for river tours. They sound and look nice, but there’s a small catch: their ticket prices are usually more than those purchased online.

“We bought tickets from street hawkers for 900 rubles each, only to later discover that the other passengers bought their tickets twice as cheap!”  wrote  (in Russian) a disappointed Rostislav on a travel company website.

Nevertheless, buying from street hawkers has one considerable advantage: they personally escort you to the vessel so that you don’t waste time looking for the boat on your own.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Prices start at $13 (800 rubles) for one ride, and for an additional $6.5 (400 rubles) you can purchase an unlimited number of tours on the same boat on any given day.

Flotilla Radisson has official ticket offices at Gorky Park and Hotel Ukraine, but they’re often sold out.

Buying online is an option that might save some cash. Websites such as  this   offer considerable discounts for tickets sold online. On a busy Friday night an online purchase might be the only chance to get a ticket on a Flotilla Radisson boat.

This  website  (in Russian) offers multiple options for short river cruises in and around the city center, including offbeat options such as ‘disco cruises’ and ‘children cruises.’ This other  website  sells tickets online, but doesn’t have an English version. The interface is intuitive, however.

Buying tickets online has its bad points, however. The most common is confusing which pier you should go to and missing your river tour.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

“I once bought tickets online to save with the discount that the website offered,” said Igor Shvarkin from Moscow. “The pier was initially marked as ‘Park Kultury,’ but when I arrived it wasn’t easy to find my boat because there were too many there. My guests had to walk a considerable distance before I finally found the vessel that accepted my tickets purchased online,” said the man.

There are two main boarding piers in the city center:  Hotel Ukraine  and  Park Kultury . Always take note of your particular berth when buying tickets online.

Where to sit onboard?

Even on a warm day, the headwind might be chilly for passengers on deck. Make sure you have warm clothes, or that the crew has blankets ready upon request.

The glass-encased hold makes the tour much more comfortable, but not at the expense of having an enjoyable experience.

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

Getting off the boat requires preparation as well. Ideally, you should be able to disembark on any pier along the way. In reality, passengers never know where the boat’s captain will make the next stop. Street hawkers often tell passengers in advance where they’ll be able to disembark. If you buy tickets online then you’ll have to research it yourself.

There’s a chance that the captain won’t make any stops at all and will take you back to where the tour began, which is the case with Flotilla Radisson. The safest option is to automatically expect that you’ll return to the pier where you started.

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  1. PocketShip: 15-foot Fast-Sailing Pocket Cruiser with Sitting Headroom

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  1. Best Pocket Cruiser Sailboats, Small Cruising Sailboats

    Ranger 26. Ranger 26 Richard Smith. Conceived as a way to bridge the gap between a safe, comfortable, family cruiser and a competitive racer, Gary Mull's Ranger 26 does exactly as it was designed to. Undeniably fast, (one won the 1970 IOR North American Half-Ton Cup) the boat sails as well as it looks.

  2. 2022 Boat of the Year: Best Pocket Cruiser/Daysailer

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  3. 14 Great Small Cruising Boats & Pocket Cruisers

    When it comes to family and couples cruising, it's hard to beat a well-built and well-equipped and pocket cruiser. Best Cruising Boats Under 50-Feet. The following 14 pocket cruisers and mini yachts are all vessels we've seen, been aboard, and tested. ... And it's fast, too. It's powered with either triple 300 hp or triple 350 hp ...

  4. 6 Pocket Cruisers Ready to Hit the Road

    Here are six capable cruisers you can strap down and take with you virtually anywhere. RANGER TUGS/CUTWATER BOATS. Lisa Favors. Founded in 1958, Ranger Tugs was purchased by designer David Livingston and his son, John, in the late 1990s. Today, the company offers a variety of 23- to 41-foot models: Yamaha outboard with planing hull, diesel ...

  5. 5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

    Vancouver 28. Photo credit: YachtFathom.co.uk. A sensible small boat with a "go-anywhere" attitude, this pocket cruiser was designed with ocean sailors in mind. One of the best cruising sailboats under 40 feet, the Vancouver 28 is great sailing in a small package. Hull Type:Full keel with transom hung rudder.

  6. 11 Best Small Sailboat Brands: How to Choose Your Next Daysailer or

    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.

  7. Go Small and Go Now! 5 Pocket Cruisers to Take you Anywhere

    3. Tom Thumb 24: The Tom Thumb 24 may well be the most interesting boat on this list, which is a true feat considering the unique niche that most of these pocket cruisers occupy. At first glance, the Tom Thumb 24 looks a lot like the Flicka or Allegra.

  8. Best Small Sailboats, Beginner and Trailerable Sailboats

    Whether you want to cruise to your next destination at a fast pace or are striving for a simple, easy to sail vessel, this fleet of trailerable sailboats and pocket cruisers will fit your needs and budget. By Mark Pillsbury Updated: May 24, 2024 In order to go cruising, most of us require a sailboat with a head, a galley, and bunks. ...

  9. Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse: Pocket Sailboat

    The Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse combines a new superstructure with the standard Com-Pac 23 hull. The pilothouse adds comfort and protection for extended-season cruising. Stepping aboard, you'll find that Com-Pac's standard 23-foot solid FRP hull has been fitted with a new, tall pilothouse. This enclosed space, combined with the nearly 12-foot ...

  10. BENETEAU First 24

    A smart pocket cruiser, a joyful day-sailer, or a solid club racer - whichever way you choose to use your First 24, she'll be ready, with sleeping accommodations for up to four wrapped in an ultramodern performance hull.A completely retractable keel gives you unfettered access to the shallowest cruising grounds and the ability to quickly launch and retrieve the boat from any ordinary ramp.

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

    The Voyager 20 measures in at 19ft 10in overall, with a trailer-friendly beam of 7ft 6in, and its base price is $29,995. Pulse 600. Speaking of trailer-friendly, nothing else comes with as potent a blend of portability and punch as a trailerable trimaran. Alliteration aside, Corsair Marine's new Pulse 600 looks like an extremely enjoyable ride.

  12. PocketShip: 15-foot Fast-Sailing Pocket Cruiser with ...

    Designer John C. Harris has designed, built, owned, and cruised aboard a variety of smallcraft. His first camp-cruiser as a teenager was an 11'6" rowing boat with a tent, in which he explored the upper Chesapeake, sleeping aboard. Twenty years later, he wanted a fast-sailing pocket cruiser with a dry and commodious interior.

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    Today's pocket cruisers make the best use of fiberglass technology and offer much beamier and voluminous hull shapes with longer and thus faster waterlines. Boats like the Hanse 315, Beneteau 31, Jeanneau 349 or the Catalina 315 have the space inside of 40 footers from the old days. And the modern designs sail so much better, too.

  14. Trailerable Cruisers

    A sweet-looking pocket cruiser that was designed in Argentina and built in California by Ventura Sport Boats (venturasportboats.com), the Malbec 18 is the newest of this field of trailer sailers. Able to sleep four people in its roomy cabin, the Malbec will float in less than a foot of water.

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  18. What Is a Pocket Cruiser Sailboat?

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