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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Sail Far Live Free

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

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

12th oct 2023 by samantha wilson.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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NorseBoat 12.5

Photo credit: NorseBoats

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

Beetle Cat official website

Beetle Cat Boat 12

Photo credit: Beetle Cat

The Best Small Sailboats for Beginners

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

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

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

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

Hobie boats for sale

Hobie 16

Photo credit: Hobie

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

Chuck Paine boats for sale

Paine 14

Photo credit: Chuck Paine

High-Performance Small Sailboats

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

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

Corsair boats for sale

Corsair 880

Photo credit: Corsair

Written By: Samantha Wilson

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


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Flagship of the new FIRST line, the First 27 is unquestionably  the fastest and safest cruiser  in this size range. Her  modern  and state-of-the-art design brings the magic of planing sailing to families, couples, and solo sailors alike, wherever the cruising ground and whatever the weather conditions. A true pocket yacht, she has an inboard Yanmar diesel, a working galley, a real head and plenty of storage, as well as room for up to six crew members for  overnight adventures . 

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

Best Pocket Sailor / Day Sailor 2022


fast pocket cruiser sailboat


A light vacuum-infused hull, a modern design and a deep low-center-of-gravity keel make the First 27 significantly faster, delivering stable and safe planing sailing to anyone who sails her.

Very high stability due to an unsinkable hull combined with three unsinkable chambers, a crash-box, an inboard engine, and balanced twin rudders for complete control make safety one of her strongest points. 


Carefully thought-out cockpit ergonomics, minimized and simplified deck controls, double winches, and a perfectly balanced steering system assure easy handling in single-handed, double-handed or fully-crewed setups.

A reliable 15 HP inboard engine coupled with simple linear shaft drive and foldable propeller guarantees high cruising speeds, ease of use and low maintenance.  

Even with a fixed keel, the First 27 is a fully trailerable boat offering you a new level of freedom. You can easily discover distant shores without long sea deliveries, save on marina costs, and store your boat in your backyard during the off season.


The main promise of the First 27 is her performance and unique sailing experience. Again and again, she will surprise you by getting to plane with as little as 12 knots of wind. Her stability comes from her wide, flat hull on the waterline and a lead T-bulb keel, and her easy handling comes from her carefully thought-out design and cockpit ergonomics. Increased bow volume, accompanied by a balanced twin-rudder steering system, keeps you in complete control, whether you are sailing upwind or safely planing downwind. The excitement of her lively planing and easy handling will become your afternoon sailing routine on the First 27!

fast pocket cruiser sailboat


On top of matching the speeds of most racing boats, she also offers a surprising level of comfort. The clean and minimalistic light-weight interior offers all essential amenities for onboard living. She is designed to sleep up to 6 adults, 2 in the bow cabin and up to 4 in a very bright and openly-spaced salon, and is also equipped with a removable table and fridge. At the midpoint, you'll find a galley with a gas burner and a sink with fresh water. Thanks to innovative, foldable magnetic doors, the midpoint can also be converted into a proper marine toilet with a black water tank or used as a front cabin extension. A large and open cockpit welcomes you with comfortable benches, a removable indoor/outdoor table and a swim ladder with a shower on the stern. 

fast pocket cruiser sailboat


Equipped with seanapps.

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

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


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

3902,18 lbs

Air Draft Max

Max. engine power

Cabin Number

Yanmar inboard

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. 

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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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Other models in the range

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4.3 m / 14’1’’

1.7 m / 5’7’’

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

7.29 m / 23’ 11’’

2.5 m / 8’ 2’’

fast pocket cruiser sailboat

10.97 m / 36'0"

3.8 m / 12'6''

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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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20 Best Small Sailboats for the Weekender

  • By Mark Pillsbury
  • Updated: August 4, 2021

In order to go cruising, most of us require a sailboat with a head, a galley, and bunks. The boat, likely a 30-footer and more often a 40-footer, will have electronics for navigation and entertainment, refrigeration if the trip is longer than a coastal hop, an engine for light wind, and, depending on our appetites for food and fun, perhaps a genset to power our toys and appliances.

To go sailing , however, all we really need is a hull, mast, rudder, and sail. To experience the pure joy of sheeting in and scooting off across a lake, bay, or even the open ocean, there’s nothing better than a small sailboat – we’re talking sailboats under 25 feet. You can literally reach out and touch the water as it flows past. You instantly feel every puff of breeze and sense every change in trim.

Some of the boats in this list are new designs, others are time-tested models from small sailboat manufacturers, but every one is easy to rig, simple to sail, and looks like a whole lot of fun either for a solo outing on a breezy afternoon or to keep family and friends entertained throughout your entire sailing season. This list is made up of all types of sailboats , and if you’re looking for a list of some of the best small sailboats for beginners, you’ll find exactly that here.

Any one of these popular boats could be labeled as a trailerable sailboat, daysailer, or even a weekender sailboat. And while most would be labeled as a one or two person sailboat, some could comfortably fit three or even four people.

Marblehead 22 Daysailer

Marblehead 22 Daysailer

If you have an eye for elegant lines and your heart goes pitter-patter over just the right amount of overhang beneath a counter transom, the Marblehead 22 daysailer, designed by Doug Zurn and built by Samoset Boatworks in Boothbay, Maine, will definitely raise your pulse. Traditional-looking above the waterline and modern beneath, the cold-molded hull sports a deep bulb keel and a Hall Spars carbon-fiber mast with a wishbone rig and square-top main. The 11-foot-9-inch cockpit can seat a crowd, and a small cuddy forward will let you stow your friends’ gear for the day. samosetboatworks.com

Catalina 22 Sport

Catalina 22 Sport

Many a harbor plays host to an active fleet of Catalina 22s, one of the most popular small sailboats over the years, given its basic amenities and retractable keel, which allows it to be easily trailered. Recently, the company introduced the Catalina 22 Sport, an updated design that can compete with the older 22s. The boat features a retractable lead keel; a cabin that can sleep four, with a forward hatch for ventilation; and a fractional rig with a mainsail and a roller-furling jib. Lifelines, a swim ladder, and an engine are options, as are cloth cushions; vinyl cushions are standard. The large cockpit will seat a crowd or let a mom-and-pop crew stretch out and enjoy their sail. It’s clear why the Catalina 22 is one of the best sailboats under 25 feet. catalinayachts.com

Hunter 22

With its large, open-transom cockpit and sloop rig, the Hunter 22 makes a comfortable daysailer for family and friends. But with its cuddy cabin, twin bunks, optional electrical system, opening screened ports, and portable toilet, a parent and child or a couple could comfortably slip away for an overnight or weekend. Add in the optional performance package, which includes an asymmetric spinnaker, a pole, and a mainsheet traveler, and you could be off to the races. The boat features a laminated fiberglass hull and deck, molded-in nonskid, and a hydraulic lifting centerboard. Mount a small outboard on the stern bracket, and you’re set to go. marlow-hunter.com

the Daysailer

Not sure whether you want to race, cruise or just go out for an afternoon sail? Since 1958, sailors have been having a ball aboard the Uffa Fox/George O’Day-designed Daysailer. Fox, who in the 1950s was on the cutting edge of planning-dinghy design, collaborated with Fall River, Massachusetts boatbuilder O’Day Corp. to build the 16-foot Daysailer, a boat that features a slippery hull and a small cuddy cabin that covers the boat roughly from the mast forward. Thousands of Daysailers were built by various builders, and they can be found used for quite affordable prices. There are active racing fleets around the US, and new Daysailers are still in production today, built by Cape Cod Ship Building. capecodshipbuilding.com

BayRaider from Swallow Boats

BayRaider from Swallow Boats

Easy to rig and trailer, the BayRaider from England’s Swallow Yachts is a relative newcomer to the small-boat market in the United States. Nearly all of its 19 feet 9 inches is open cockpit, though a spray hood can be added to keep the forward sections dry. The BayRaider is ketch-rigged with a gunter-style mainmast. The topmast and mizzen are both carbon-fiber, which is an option for the mainmast as well. The BayRaider can be sailed with a dry hull in lighter conditions or with 300 pounds of water ballast to increase its stability. With the centerboard and hinged rudder raised, the boat can maneuver in even the thinnest water.

$28,900, (904) 234-8779, swallowyachts.com

12 1/2 foot Beetle Cat

Big fun can come in small packages, especially if your vessel of choice happens to be the 12 ½-foot Beetle Cat. Designed by John Beetle and first built in 1921, the wooden shallow draft sailboat is still in production today in Wareham, Massachusetts at the Beetle Boat Shop. With a draft of just 2 feet, the boat is well-suited for shallow bays, but equally at home in open coastal waters. The single gaff-rigged sail provides plenty of power in light air and can be quickly reefed down to handle a blow. In a word, sailing a Beetle Cat is fun. beetlecat.com

West Wight Potter P 19

West Wight Potter P 19

With berths for four and a workable galley featuring a cooler, a sink, and a stove, West Wight Potter has packed a lot into its 19-foot-long P 19. First launched in 1971, this is a line of boats that’s attracted a true following among trailer-sailors. The P 19′s fully retractable keel means that you can pull up just about anywhere and go exploring. Closed-cell foam fore and aft makes the boat unsinkable, and thanks to its hard chine, the boat is reportedly quite stable under way. westwightpotter.com

NorseBoat 17.5

NorseBoat 17.5

Designed for rowing and sailing (a motor mount is optional), the Canadian-built NorseBoat 17.5—one of which was spotted by a CW editor making its way through the Northwest Passage with a two-man crew—features an open cockpit, a carbon-fiber mast, and a curved-gaff rig, with an optional furling headsail set on a sprit. The lapstrake hull is fiberglass; the interior is ply and epoxy. The boat comes standard with two rowing stations and one set of 9-foot oars. The boat is designed with positive flotation and offers good load-carrying capacity, which you could put to use if you added the available canvas work and camping tent. NorseBoats offers a smaller sibling, the 12.5, as well; both are available in kit form.

$19,000, (902) 659-2790, norseboat.com

Montgomery 17

Montgomery 17

Billed as a trailerable pocket cruiser, the Montgomery 17 is a stout-looking sloop designed by Lyle Hess and built out of fiberglass in Ontario, California, by Montgomery Boats. With a keel and centerboard, the boat draws just under 2 feet with the board up and can be easily beached when you’re gunkholing. In the cuddy cabin you’ll find sitting headroom, a pair of bunks, a portable toilet, optional shore and DC power, and an impressive amount of storage space. The deck-stepped mast can be easily raised using a four-part tackle. The builder reports taking his own boat on trips across the Golfo de California and on visits to California’s coastal islands. Montgomery makes 15-foot and 23-foot models, as well. If you’re in search of a small sailboat with a cabin, the Montgomery 17 has to be on your wish list.

CW Hood 32 Daysailer small sailboat

With long overhangs and shiny brightwork, the CW Hood 32 is on the larger end of the daysailer spectrum. Designers Chris Hood and Ben Stoddard made a conscious decision to forego a cabin and head in favor of an open cockpit big enough to bring 4 or 5 friends or family out for an afternoon on the water. The CW Hood 32 is sleek and graceful through the water and quick enough to do some racing, but keeps things simple with a self-tacking jib and controls that can be lead back to a single-handed skipper. A top-furling asymmetrical, electric sail drive and Torqeedo outboard are all optional. The CW Hood 32 makes for a great small family sailboat.  cwhoodyachts.com

Sun Cat from Com-Pac

Sun Cat from Com-Pac

Shallow U.S. East Coast bays and rock-strewn coasts have long been graced by cat boats, whose large, gaff-rigged mainsails proved simple and powerful both on the wind and, better yet, when reaching and running. The 17-foot-4-inch Sun Cat, built by Com-Pac Yachts, updates the classic wooden cat with its fiberglass hull and deck and the easy-to-step Mastender Rigging System, which incorporates a hinged tabernacle to make stepping the mast a one-person job. If you want a personal sailboat ideal for solo sailing, the Sun Can is a great choice. Belowdecks, the twin 6-foot-5-inch berths and many other features and amenities make this cat a willing weekender.

$19,800, (727) 443-4408, com-pacyachts.com

Catalina 16.5

Catalina 16.5

The Catalina 16.5 sits right in the middle of Catalina Yachts’ line of small sailboats, which range from the 12.5 to the 22 Capri and Sport, and it comes in both an easy-to-trailer centerboard model and a shoal-draft fixed-keel configuration. With the fiberglass board up, the 17-foot-2-inch boat draws just 5 inches of water; with the board down, the 4-foot-5-inch draft suggests good windward performance. Hull and deck are hand-laminated fiberglass. The roomy cockpit is self-bailing, and the bow harbors a good-sized storage area with a waterproof hatch. catalinayachts.com

Hobie 16

No roundup of best small sailboats (trailerable and fun too) would be complete without a mention of the venerable Hobie 16, which made its debut in Southern California way back in 1969. The company has introduced many other multihulls since, but more than 100,000 of the 16s have been launched, a remarkable figure. The Hobie’s asymmetric fiberglass-and-foam hulls eliminate the need for daggerboards, and with its kick-up rudders, the 16 can be sailed right up to the beach. Its large trampoline offers lots of space to move about or a good place to plant one’s feet when hanging off the double trapezes with a hull flying. The boat comes with a main and a jib; a spinnaker, douse kit, trailer, and beach dolly are optional features. hobiecat.com

Hunter 15

Novice sailors or old salts looking for simplicity could both enjoy sailing the Hunter 15. With a fiberglass hull and deck and foam flotation, the boat is sturdily built. The ample freeboard and wide beam provide stability under way, and the heavy-duty rubrail and kick-up rudder mean that you won’t have to worry when the dock looms or the going grows shallow. Both the 15 and its slightly larger 18-foot sibling come standard with roller-furling jibs.

$6,900/$9,500 (boat-show prices for the 15 and 18 includes trailers), (386) 462-3077, marlow-hunter.com

Super Snark

Super Snark

Under various owners, the Snark brand of sailboats, now built by Meyers Boat Co., has been around since the early 1970s. The Super Snark, at 11 feet, is a simple, easily car-topped daysailer that’s fit out with a lateen rig and sail. Billed as unsinkable, the five boats in the company’s line are built with E.P.S. foam, with the external hull and deck vacuum-formed to the core using an A.B.S. polymer. The Super Snark weighs in at 50 pounds, and with a payload capacity of 310 pounds, the boat can carry two.

$970, (800) 247-6275, meyersboat.com

Norseboat 21.5

Norseboat 21.5

Built in Canada, the NorseBoat 21.5 is a rugged looking craft that comes in a couple of configurations: one with an open cockpit and small doghouse, and another with a smaller cockpit and cabin that houses a double berth for two adults and optional quarter berths for the kids. Both carry NorseBoat’s distinctive looking carbon fiber gaff-rigged mast with main and jib (a sprit-set drifter is optional), and come with a ballasted stub keel and centerboard. Because of its lightweight design, the boat can be rowed and is easily trailered.

$36,000 (starting), 902-659-2790, norseboat.com

Flying Scot

Flying Scot

Talk about time-tested, the 19-foot Flying Scot has been in production since 1957 and remains a popular design today. Sloop rigged, with a conventional spinnaker for downwind work, the boat is an easily sailed family boat as well as a competitive racer, with over 130 racing fleets across the U.S. Its roomy cockpit can seat six to eight, though the boat is often sailed by a pair or solo. Hull and deck are a fiberglass and balsa core sandwich. With the centerboard up, the boat draws only eight inches. Though intended to be a daysailer, owners have rigged boom tents and berths for overnight trips, and one adventurous Scot sailor cruised his along inland waterways from Philadelphia to New Orleans.

RS Venture

Known primarily for its line of racing dinghys, RS Sailing also builds the 16-foot, 4-inch Venture, which it describes as a cruising and training dinghy. The Venture features a large, self-draining cockpit that will accommodate a family or pack of kids. A furling jib and mainsail with slab reefing come standard with the boat; a gennaker and trapeze kit are options, as is an outboard motor mount and transom swim ladder. The deck and hull are laid up in a fiberglass and Coremat sandwich. The Venture’s designed to be both a good performer under sail, but also stable, making it a good boat for those learning the sport.

$14,900, 203-259-7808, rssailing.com

Topaz Taz

Topper makes a range of mono- and multihull rotomolded boats, but the model that caught one editor’s eye at Strictly Sail Chicago was the Topaz Taz. At 9 feet, 8 inches LOA and weighing in at 88 pounds, the Taz is not going to take the whole crowd out for the day. But, with the optional mainsail and jib package (main alone is for a single child), the Taz can carry two or three kids or an adult and one child, and would make a fun escape pod when tied behind the big boat and towed to some scenic harbor. The hull features Topper’s Trilam construction, a plastic and foam sandwich that creates a boat that’s stiff, light, and durable, and shouldn’t mind being dragged up on the beach when it’s time for a break.

$2,900 (includes main and jib), 410-286-1960, topazsailboats.com

WindRider WRTango

WindRider WRTango

WRTango, a fast, sturdy, 10-foot trimaran that’s easy to sail, is the newest portable craft from WindRider International. It joins a line that includes the WR16 and WR17 trimarans. The Tango features forward-facing seating, foot-pedal steering, and a low center of gravity that mimics the sensation of sitting in a kayak. It weighs 125 pounds (including the outriggers and carbon-fiber mast), is extremely stable, and has single-sheet sail control. The six-inch draft and kick-up rudder make it great for beaching, while the hull and outriggers are made of rotomolded polyethylene, so it can withstand running into docks and being dragged over rocks.

$3,000, 612-338-2170, windrider.com

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7 Best Trailerable Sailboats for Cruising

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

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

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

trailerable sailboat

Table of Contents

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

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

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

What Is a Trailerable Sailboat, Exactly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trailerable sailboats are usually limited to the best paved ramps

7 Best Trailerable Cruising Sailboats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Do You Want Your Trailer Sailer To Do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trailer sailer adventures

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

What size sailboat is trailerable?

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

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

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

Is a Hunter 27 trailerable?

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

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

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

Is a Catalina 22 trailerable?

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

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

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

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.

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

MacGregor put pop tops on many of its trailerables

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4 Types of Pocket Cruisers

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The upcoming release of Steve Wystrachs outstanding documentary film Manry at Sea: In the Wake of a Dream about Robert Manry, the former copy editor who sailed across the Atlantic in a 13-foot sailboat, got me thinking again about the virtues of small cruising boats. In my view, there are at least four main types of pocket cruisers. Manrys modified lake boat fits somewhere in between the first two.

Types of Pocket Cruisers

Estuarine Elves -These are the maritime equivalent of the pop-top camper. The poster children are the popular West Wight Potters. The Victoria 18, the Sanibel 18, the ComPac Eclipse and other small catboats with any kind of cabin fall into this category.

These are boats that can creep up the lakes, creeks, and rivers of North America and still manage bay chop. They have enough cockpit space for family daysailing, but also offer a place to sleep, eat and be cozy when its wet and cold.

Trailer Sailers – These are small cruiser/racers like the Rhodes 22, San Juan 21, Catalina 22, Hunter 23, Tanzer 22, that can be Friday-night raced around the cans with other vintage boats, but also cruised.

Like the Estuarine Elves, these are easy to trailer fairly quick to rig and launch, but with longer waterlines, more sail and more efficient hull shapes, they generally perform better. There are too many boats in this category to list.

Auxiliary Pocket Cruisers – These boats can be trailered, but they require vehicles with big towing capacity and take much longer to rig. They usually have more ballast, built-in tanks, and can be equipped with inboard auxiliary engines-something you rarely find in the two smaller categories. Trailerability, in this case, means hauling the boat down to the Keys or Mexico for the winter, not down to the local ramp on a Sunday.

These can be fixed-keel boats like the Contessa 26, the Pearson Ariel, and Cape Dory 25D (both Carl Alberg designs); or swing keels like the Paceship 26 (also available with fixed keel), Yankee Dolphin 24, the Nimble 24, and the Lyle Hess-designed Balboa 26. Although some boats in this category have circumnavigated, going offshore in these boats requires a special breed of sailor.

Bahama-Mamacitas – Multihulls like the Corsair F-24, the Wharram Tiki 21, and the semi-custom trimarans like PS contributing editor Skip Allens new custom Wildflower probably could be shoehorned into the above group, but that would surely incite the wrath of the multihull crowd, so Ill give them their own group here.

Microships – Generally these are fixed-keel boats with hefty ballast- displacement ratios that make them capable of cruising offshore. They are trailerable, but with displacement pushing 10,000 pounds, they require a powerful tow vehicle. Some, like the Bill Crealocks Dana 24, have circumnavigated. Bruce Binghams Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, or Hesss Falmouth Cutter 22 are other examples of small boats that pop up in far flung ports.

If you have a favorite pocket cruiser, drop me a line at [email protected] .

For more preview of the film, check out the trailer on Vimeo . For more information on the film and related projects visit www.robertmanryproject.com , andclick the subscribe button for information on ordering DVDs and Blu-Ray.


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Better Sailing

Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

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

Catalina 22 Sport – The Best Trailerable Sailboat

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

Catalina 22 Sport - The Best Trailerable Sailboat

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

West Wight Potter 15

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

West Wight Potter 15 on a Trailer

>>Also Read: Best Pocket Cruisers Under 20 Feet

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

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

Hunter 27 Sailboat Trailer

>>Also Read: Best Sailboats Under 100k


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

bayraider Trailerable sailboat

>>Also Read: Most Popular Sailboats

Contessa 26

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

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

Hunter 22 Small Sailboat on a Trailer

Islander 24

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

>>Also Read: Best Sailboats Under 30 Feet

Macgregor 25

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

macgregor 25 sailboat

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

Cape Dory 28

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

>>Also Read: How Much Do Sailboats Weigh?

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

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

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


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

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Best Trailerable Sailboats Under 30 Feet

Best Trailerable Sailboats Under 30 Feet | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Trailerable sailboats are the perfect solution for weekend or day cruisers. They're easy to store, transport, and set up, which gets you on the water fast.

Trailerable sailboats come in many different shapes and sizes. Many trailerable sailboats even have retractable keels, which not only comes in handy for towing, but also for sailing around shallower waters. Depending on how you plan on sailing, there's sure to be a trailerable sailboat that suits you and your family.

Below are the best trailerable sailboats under 20 feet, separated into their best use: day sailing and cruising.

Table of contents

Best Sailboats Under 30' for Day Sailing

Small, trailerable sailboats are great for daily use because they're easy to set up, and you can take them anywhere within driving distance and explore new areas.

This category of sailboat won't have a cabin, instead, these sailboats have plenty of room on deck for the whole family to enjoy a sailing adventure together. Many of these sailboats are faster and have less amenities than a cruising boat, which makes them easy to set up for a day use and offer a fun, sporty day activity.


The Hunter 15 is designed for safety and versatility. Without a cabin, it can fit up to four people on its benches. The Hunter 15' features high sides and a self-bailing cockpit, which makes it a great option for novices and kids.

The sailboat tows at 750 lbs, which means most vehicles can tow it. The retractable keel makes it so even lower vehicles can tow the boat.

The retractable keel also makes it so you can beach the sailboat, something you can't do with a bigger sailboat. That makes sailing the Hunter 15 around coves and islands even more enjoyable. Explore hidden beaches by yourself or with friends and family. 


The Laser sailboat has been a favorite among dinghy racers for years. That's because it's super lightweight, really fast, and fun.

Not only is the laser a fun craft, but it's also very easy to use and transport. Its lightweight is due to the fiberglass hull construction and lack of a keel. You can either tow the Laser, or you can even strap it to the top of a vehicle.

While going fast is fun, you don't have to race the Laser to have fun. The Laser is great for leisure sailing. Thankfully, since it is so light, you don't need much wind to have a great sailing day.

Since it is so small, it fits one to two people in its cockpit. Also, it's lack of keel means it is very easy to tip over . But, it's also very easy to flip back. If you're someone who doesn't want to get soaked, the Laser might not be for you.

But if you're looking for a way to get on the water without much fuss and special towing equipment, the Laser is perfect for you.

Catalina 16.5


Catalina has been a popular sailboat brand for decades, and there's no question that their larger crafts are some of the most common sailboats you see at any marina.

They're popular for good reason. Catalina sailboats are made with lightweight fiberglass and include standard, good quality rigging. They're affordable sailboats to buy new and easy to find used.

The Catalina 16.5 came into existence in 1994 and has remained on the market ever since. It comes in at under 500 lbs, which makes it easy to tow with just about any vehicle, so don't worry about adding a massive truck to your purchase.

This trailerable sailboat has a storage compartment in the front (great for packing a picnic and extra supplies) and can accommodate up to four adults. If you're looking for a boat you can spend all day sailing comfortably and not break the bank to purchase, the Catalina 16.5 might be the one for you.


Chances are, you've seen a Hobbie 16 on a beach somewhere. They're popular anywhere there's a body of water because they're fast and easy to operate. They're one of the most popular small crafts for youth sailing and racing. They're so popular that they were recently inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame.

Hobbie 16s are recognizable because of their "banana-shaped" hulls and often colorful sails. Unlike the previously listed sailboats, these are catamarans. So, you get two hulls and a trampoline in between them. They also hold 1-4 people in their cockpits.

As a trailerable catamaran, you can't get much better. It's super lightweight, it has no keel, and it's easy to set up. Because of the catamaran style, you'll often see people having fun on these ocean beaches.

The two-hull design makes it less likely to capsize, and it's sturdy enough that you can take on bigger waves and stronger winds than some other trailerable sailboats .

Norseman 17.5


The Norseman 17.5 is one of the more attractive boats on this list. It's not a racing boat-in fact, it's an ideal day cruiser.

It's a handcrafted cruiser, and it's designers nicknamed it the swiss army knife of sailboats because it's a sailboat and a rowboat all in one.

If you want something that looks and feels seaworthy but is still trailerable, the Norseman 17.5 hits the spot. It's low maintenance and expertly designed to be as efficient as possible. Because it's designed to mimic a more traditional, larger sailboat, it does have a fixed keel. But, that doesn't mean you can't trailer it still.

The dual purpose of the Norseman 17.5 is appealing because no matter what setting you're in, the Norseman 17.5 can perform, not unlike a swiss army knife. First and foremost, this boat is for sailing, and it gives a great sailing experience, not unlike any larger sailboat.

Best Trailerable Sailboats Under 30' for Cruising

Sailboats for camping come with a few more amenities. Many people prefer this kind of sailboat because it offers more freedom to stay overnight on the boat and make longer trips. Most of the time, they come equipped with a cabin for sleeping and cabin lights for a comfortable sleeping experience.

Most trailerable sailboats for cruising and camping are over 20' and cost more than a daysailer. They also typically weigh more and require a towing vehicle and special trailer because of their larger cabin space and equipment. Many people opt to put a trolling motor on the back of their pocket cruiser for getting in and out of slips and docks.

Even though they're tiny, many people spend their entire weekends or days on a small cruiser. Since they're more equipped for extended trips, you can sail along the coasts comfortably.

Catalina 22 Sport


The Catalina 22 is one of the most popular sailboats in the United States. No matter where you are, you'll find a fleet of Catalina 22s at just about any marina. After they stopped making the original Catalina 22, the only way to find one (if you wanted to join a racing fleet) was to buy one used.

After years of demand, the sailboat manufacturer finally came out with the 22' Sport. It's just about the same as the original 22, so much so that you can join a Catalina 22 fleet among the original sailboats.

Catalina 22 Sport is a racing boat and a pocket cruiser. It's easy to trailer, easy to rig, and a great family sailboat.


Like its smaller relative, the Hunter 22 is known for being safe and sturdy, ready for adventure. It makes for an ideal daysailer or weekend tripper. Even though it's family-friendly, it's still capable of going fast. You can enter in a race or beach hop.

The Hunter 22 features a small cabin that's very comfortable for camping. It comes with a small stove, cooler, and toilet. There's a small dinette that converts to a bed, so you can go from breakfast to bed easily within the boat cabin.

The original Hunter 22 stopped production in 1985, but Hunter has since recently started making a new Hunter 22 that's even better than the original. Still, you'll find plenty of used Hunter 22s.


The Sage 15' is a good looking compact, abstract-style sailboat. It's almost identical to its bigger counterpart, the Sage 17, but this model has a retractable keel.

On the water, you wouldn't guess the Sage 15 was a trailer sailer . It's got all the charm of a classic sailboat, with many of the amenities desirable in a pocket cruiser.

One thing to note is the mast and its rigging only weighs 20 pounds, which makes it easy to raise and lower by yourself. When you're towing to and from your location, you want the set up to be as easy as possible, so this is a huge plus.

This boat has room for two people on the deck and in the cockpit. It's perfect for people who enjoy a solo voyage here and there or for couples looking to have a day on the water every once in a while.

West Wight Potter 19


According to the West Wight Potter website, it only takes 45 minutes to rig a simple setup and get on the water. As far as trailerable sailboats go, the Potter 19' has all the amenities you could want for comfortable weekend getaways on the water.

Like almost all the boats on this list, the Potter 19 has a retractable keel and a self-bailing cockpit. It's stable and very unlikely to heel over too far. The Potter 19 is one of the most responsive sailboats in its class.

What makes the Potter 19 a great trailerable sailboat for camping is the spacious cabin. The cabin features two berths that can sleep four and seating for up to five people. The cabin also comes with a burner stove and a cooler. Depending on what your plans are, you can get the boat customized to your needs.

The West Wight Potter 19 makes the most out of its compact space, which makes it versatile. Also, with the trailer, the Potter 19 fits inside the standard garage. So, don't worry about paying marina fees when you can store your boat right in your garage.


The last boat on this list is a trailerable sailboat that's proven seaworthy. The Moor 24 was famously sailed from Santa Cruz, California to Honolulu, Hawaii in 17 days. Not only is it seaworthy, but it's fast. The Moor 24 is a prime racing boat, and it's won many Cups.

The Moor 24 sailboat is not only a performance vessel. It also offers comfortable cruising with a cushioned v-berth for overnight or weekend trips. The Moore 24 is easy to handle and one of the smoothest sails. Experienced sailors will appreciate how it sails, and novice sailors will appreciate how easy it is to master.

It's such a gem of a sailboat, it's hard to believe it fits on a trailer.

Which Sailboat is Right for You?

Choosing to buy a trailerable sailboat is a good choice for people who don't want to break the bank or worry about marina fees and docking fees. For people who want to go on the occasional weekend sailing trip or day trip, there is no more affordable option.

To choose the right trailerable sailboat, consider what kind of sailing you want to do. A day sailor offers you a smaller boat that's easy to tow and that's more affordable. These boats are great for training kids to sail or learning how to sail yourself.

But, likely, you'll eventually want to graduate to a slightly more capable sailboat. That's because a trailerable cruising sailboat gives more of a traditional sailing experience, including overnight trips and more seaworthiness.

Thankfully, sailboats are easy to find used and cheaper than brand new. Trailer sailors especially are easy to come by and get a good deal on. Whether you're just starting out or just looking for some fun on the weekends, finding the right trailerable sailboat under 30 feet is a breeze.

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

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Russia Maps Show 25% of Moscow Without Power Amid Winter Freeze 'Emergency'

R ussian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the nationalization of an ammunition plant in Moscow after a mechanical failure caused tens of thousands of Muscovites to lose heat and water amid freezing temperatures beginning last week.

On January 4, a heating main burst at the Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant in the town of Podolsk, which is around 30 miles south of central Moscow. Since then, tens of thousands of Russians are reported to have no heating in their homes in the Moscow region amid subzero temperatures.

Affected areas include the cities of Khimki, Balashikha, Lobnya, Lyubertsy, Podolsk, Chekhov, Naro-Fominsk, and Podolsk, a map published by a Russian Telegram channel and shared on other social media sites shows.

Other Russian media outlets reported that in Moscow, residents of Balashikha, Elektrostal, Solnechnogorsk, Dmitrov, Domodedovo, Troitsk, Taldom, Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Krasnogorsk, Pushkino, Ramenskoye, Voskresensk, Losino-Petrovsky, and Selyatino are also without power.

That means that in total, more than a quarter of Moscow's cities have been hit with power outages and a lack of heating.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Foreign Ministry for comment via email.

Many residents have taken to publishing video appeals on social media to complain about their freezing conditions. In one clip, people living in Moscow say that they are left with no choice but to warm their homes with gas stoves, heaters, and "whatever else we can find." Others said they are lighting fires in the streets to keep warm.

Andrei Vorobyov, governor of the Moscow region, announced on Tuesday that Putin ordered the ammunition plant to be nationalized because two of its owners have been "located abroad." He didn't name the individuals.

"We received the right to take control of this boiler house within the framework of an emergency," Vorobiev said, adding that the plant's boiler room was managed "very poorly" and there was "virtually no qualified competent personnel."

Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case over Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant not meeting safety requirements.

On Tuesday, the committee said that because of the incident, the deputy head of Podolsk's administration, the head of the plant's boiler house, and the general director of the ammunition plant had been detained.

Residents of Selyatino have described the situation as "some kind of struggle for survival," Russian Telegram channel ASTRA reported.

Power outages have also struck St. Petersburg, Rostov, Volgograd, Voronezh, Primorsky Territory, and Yekaterinburg.

Do you have a tip on a world news story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine war? Let us know via [email protected].

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People walk on the Patriarch Bridge over the Moskva river, with the Kremlin seen in distance, during a snowfall in Moscow on November 24, 2023. Tens of thousands of Muscovites don't have heat and water in their homes.


  1. Best Pocket Cruisers Under 20 Feet

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat

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

    fast pocket cruiser sailboat


  1. Custom Yacht #finished! 🛥️👑

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  6. Small sailboat : Innovative High performance sailboat folded up in a car's trunk


  1. 2022 Boat of the Year: Best Pocket Cruiser/Daysailer

    From its twin rudders aft to a retractable bowsprit, the Beneteau First 27 is a race-ready sled or capable weekend cruiser. Jon Whittle. Simple but ample interior accommodations include a V-berth and settees that could sleep four. Jon Whittle. With its kite set, the First 27 hauls the mail in a brisk breeze.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 6 Pocket Cruisers Ready to Hit the Road

    Its new 26-foot Legacy has twin 250-hp Yamaha engines, or an optional 270- to 440-hp Volvo Penta diesel. The planing hull reportedly cruises at 28 to 50 knots. Designed for fishing and built by Nordic Tugs, the fiberglass boats are sold by Island Marine Center on Lopez Island in Washington state's San Juan Islands.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Pocket Cruisers That Sail Far

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. BENETEAU First 27

    Flagship of the new FIRST line, the First 27 is unquestionably the fastest and safest cruiser in this size range.Her modern and state-of-the-art design brings the magic of planing sailing to families, couples, and solo sailors alike, wherever the cruising ground and whatever the weather conditions.A true pocket yacht, she has an inboard Yanmar diesel, a working galley, a real head and plenty ...

  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. 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: August 4, 2021 In order to go cruising, most of us require a sailboat with a head, a galley, and bunks. ...

  13. Pocket Cruisers: The Perfect Boat For New Boat Owners

    Exterior styling comes in one of two major flavors: classic trawler and Downeast lobster boat. Swift, Ranger, and Helmsman (formerly Camano) will be appealing for devotees of the salty trawler aesthetic. Still, there are more modern profiles like the Cutwater that has optional outboard engine power. The Swift Trawler 35, Beneteau Antares 11 and ...

  14. Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse: Pocket Sailboat

    Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse: Pocket Sailboat. This tiny but cleverly designed cruiser packs much into its interior. "Cute as a button" is one way to describe Com-Pac Yachts' 23-foot pilothouse sloop, but the emphasis on the diminutive is misleading because the CP 23 PH is much more than just loveable and small. It's actually an innovative and ...

  15. 7 Best Trailerable Sailboats for Cruising

    Quick Setup Time. Towing Weight. 7 Best Trailerable Cruising Sailboats. Catalina 22/25 "Pop-Top". Com-Pac Horizon Cat for Classic Coastal Cruising. Marshall Sanderling — Small, Portable, Classy. West Wight Potter 19 — The Tiny Go-Anywhere Sailboat. Seaward 26RK with Retractable Lead Keel.

  16. 4 Types of Pocket Cruisers

    Types of Pocket Cruisers. Estuarine Elves -These are the maritime equivalent of the pop-top camper. The poster children are the popular West Wight Potters. The Victoria 18, the Sanibel 18, the ComPac Eclipse and other small catboats with any kind of cabin fall into this category. These are boats that can creep up the lakes, creeks, and rivers ...

  17. 9 Best Trailerable Sailboats

    These rather innocuous looking crafts are as fun and capable as they are easy to handle. The boat features a spacious cabin, comfortable cockpit, and plenty of available cruising upgrades. The rig is well-built and resembles the rig of a much larger boat. The Contessa 26 is an ideal pocket cruising setup for a moderately experienced sailor.

  18. Best Bluewater Pocket Sailboats

    Unlike other small boats, they are capable of offshore voyages. The best bluewater pocket sailboats include the Andrews 28, Ranger 26, Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, Pacific Seacraft Allegra 24, Pearson 35, and the Catalina 275 Sport. There are several others you can find on the market. But these are the top bluewater pocket sailboats.

  19. Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

    Cruising with a trailerable sailboat means that you can voyage in a small and comfy sailboat with the advantage of saving some serious costs. Having a trailerable sailboat saves you money for storage fees, boatyard haulout, and boat insurance, among others. There are two main categories of trailerable sailboats; performance-oriented boats and all-round pocket cruisers. So, if you're a part ...

  20. 10 Best Small Sailboats (Under 20 Feet)

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

  21. J/28

    A Stable & Fast Pocket Cruiser That's Easy-to-Handle and Comfortable for Two: Introduced: 1986 Built To Hull#: 71 Last Model Year: 1988. Top Ten Reasons to Own The J/28 Cruiser. 1. Best Built... Because we build more high performance sailboats, that are pushed to the limit in tough conditions than anyone else in the world, J/28 construction ...

  22. Best Trailerable Sailboats Under 30 Feet

    Catalina 22 Sport is a racing boat and a pocket cruiser. It's easy to trailer, easy to rig, and a great family sailboat. Hunter 22 ... Hawaii in 17 days. Not only is it seaworthy, but it's fast. The Moor 24 is a prime racing boat, and it's won many Cups. The Moor 24 sailboat is not only a performance vessel. It also offers comfortable cruising ...

  23. Russia Maps Show 25% of Moscow Without Power Amid Winter Freeze ...

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the nationalization of an ammunition plant in Moscow after a mechanical failure caused tens of thousands of Muscovites to lose heat and water amid ...