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

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: May 16, 2023

We analyzed two-thousand bluewater sailboats to bring you a list of proven offshore designs


What are the best bluewater sailboats?

This was a question we asked a lot of experienced cruisers when we decided to sail across the Pacific. We needed a boat after all, and we wanted to buy the best bluewater sailboat we could afford.

We heard a lot of strong opinions.

Some sailors thought it was reckless to go offshore in any boat that didn’t have a full keel.

Others prioritized performance, and wouldn’t dream of going anywhere in a slow boat like the Westsail 32 (a.k.a. a “Wet Snail 32”).

Opinions like these left us feeling confused like we had to choose between safety and performance.  

If we learned anything from these conversations, it’s that what makes a bluewater boat is a hotly debated topic!

However, there’s a way to cut through all the opinions and get to the bottom of it. The solution is….

We analyzed just under 2,000 boats embarking on ocean crossings (over a 12 year time period) and came up with a list of the ten best bluewater sailboats.

Where did we get our data?

The data for our best bluewater sailboats list comes from 12 years of entries in the Pacific Puddle Jump (PPJ), an annual cross-Pacific rally. We took part in 2017 and had a ball!

You can read about the methodology we used to analyze this data at the bottom of the post.

What do we mean by “best”?

We know, that word is overused on the internet!

Simply, based on our data set, these were the most common makes and models entered in the PPJ cross-Pacific rally. There were at least 10 PPJ rally entries for every make of boat on our top 10 list.

So, these boats are 100% good to go?

No! A bluewater boat isn’t necessarily a seaworthy boat. Almost every cruiser we know made substantial repairs and additions to get their offshore boat ready, adding watermakers , life rafts, solar panels, and more.

Also, you should always have a boat inspected by a professional and accredited marine surveyor before buying it or taking it offshore.

But my bluewater baby boat isn’t on this list!?

There are hundreds of excellent bluewater yachts that are not on this list. For instance, we sailed across the Pacific in a Dufour 35, which didn’t even come close to making our top 10 list.

Choosing the right boat is very much an individual journey.

Where can I find these bluewater boats for sale?

We recognize that a top 10 list won’t get you very far if you’re shopping for a bluewater boat (especially if you’re looking in the used market).

So, to help you find your perfect boat, we’re going to create a big list of bluewater boats that you can use to refine your search on Yachtworld, Craigslist, or any other places to buy a used boat .

Sign up for our newsletter to get our big list of bluewater boats list as soon as it comes out.

We’re also working on a series of posts by size class. For example, if you’re looking for a smaller boat, you can narrow it down to the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet .

Takeaways from our analysis

There were no big surprises on an individual boat level. All of these makes are considered good cruisers, some of them are even best-selling designs! However, there were a few things that caught our eye.

“Go simple, go small, go now” still holds water

We were thrilled to see the smallest boat in our roundup at the very top of the list! Westsail 32 owners can take pride in their small but mighty yachts (and ignore all those snail-sayers).

While undoubtedly there’s been a trend towards bigger bluewater cruisers in recent years, small cruising sailboats seem to be holding their own. 60% of the monohulls on this list were under 40 feet (if you count the Valiant 40 which sneaks just under at 39.92 feet).

Cat got our tongue

So, we knew catamarans were a thing, but we didn’t fully appreciate HOW popular they’d become!

50% of our top 10 bluewater boat list consists of catamarans—a good fact to toss out the next time you’re trying to garner a happy hour invite on the party boat next door (which will undoubtedly be a catamaran).

Still got it!

We’ve got good news for all you good old boat lovers! 60% of the boats on our list were first built before 2000.

While these older models are less performance-oriented than modern designs, cruisers value these boats for their ability to stand up to rough seas and heavy weather. It just goes to show that solid bones and classic looks never go out of style.

Alright, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the 10 best bluewater boats!

The 10 best bluewater boats

best bluewater sailboats

1. Westsail 32

The Westsail 32 is an iconic bluewater sailboat

The Westsail 32 is one of the most iconic bluewater cruisers and 19 have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rally since 2009.

In 1973, this small cruising sailboat garnered a 4-page spread in Time magazine. The article inspired many Americans to set sail and the Westsail 32, with its double-ender design, set the standard for what a real bluewater cruiser should look like.

There were approximately 830 built between 1971 and 1980.

This small boat has taken sailors on ocean crossings and circumnavigations. Though considered “slow” by some, the heavily-built Westsail 32 has developed a loyal following for her other excellent offshore cruising characteristics.

If you’re interested in small bluewater sailboats, check out our post on the best small sailboats for sailing around the world .

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

2. Lagoon 380

Lagoon 380

The Lagoon 380 is a reliable, solidly built catamaran and considered roomy for its size. We counted 18 of them in our data set. With over 800 boats built , it may be one of the best-selling catamarans in the world. Like the other boats on this list, the Lagoon 380 has proven itself on long passages and ocean crossings, winning it many loyal fans.

LOA37.89 ft / 11.55 m
First built2000
BuilderJeanneau (FRA)
DesignerV. Peteghem / L. Prévost
 typeCat. twin keel
Rig typeFractional sloop
Displacement16,005 lb / 7,260 kg
More specifications

3. Lagoon 440

Lagoon 440 is a bluewater catamaran

18 Lagoon 440s have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rally since 2009.

Why leave the comforts of home, when you can take them with you? The Lagoon 440 is a luxurious long-range cruiser, offering beautiful wood joinery, spacious accommodations, and a deluxe galley. Oh, and you have the option of an electric boat motor !

SAIL and Sailing Magazine have both done in-depth reviews of the Lagoon 440 if you want to learn more.

LOA44.65 ft / 13.61 m
First built2004
BuilderLagoon (FRA)
DesignerV. Peteghem / L. Prévost
Hull typeCat. twin keel
Rig typeFractional sloop
Displacement26,786 lb / 12,150 kg

4. Amel Super Maramu (incl. SM 2000)

Amel Super Maramu is a popular bluewater sailboat

If you follow the adventures of SV Delos on YouTube, you probably know that the star of the show (SV Delos— in case the title didn’t give it away ) is an Amel Super Maramu. These classic bluewater sailboats can be found all over the world, proof they can go the distance.

We counted 16 Amel Super Maramus and Super Maramu 2000s in our list of PPJ entries.

Ready to join the cult of Amel? Read more about the iconic brand in Yachting World.

LOA52.49 ft / 16.00 m
First built1989
BuilderAmel (FRA)
DesignerH. Amel / J. Carteau
Hull typeWing keel
Rig typeMasthead ketch
Displacement35,274 lb / 16,000 kg

5. Valiant 40

The Valiant 40 is an iconic bluewater cruiser

When I interviewed legendary yacht designer, Bob Perry, for Good Old Boat in 2019, he told me that the Valiant 40 was one of the boats that most defined him and marked the real start of his career.

At the time, heavy displacement cruisers were considered sluggish and slow, especially in light winds.

Perry’s innovation with the Valiant 40 was to combine a classic double ender above the waterline, with an IOR racing hull shape below the waterline. The result was the first “performance cruiser”, a blockbuster hit, with over 200 boats built in the 1970s.

It’s no surprise we counted 16 Valiant 40s in our data set.

Cruising World magazine dubbed it “a fast, comfortable, and safe cruising yacht,” and there’s no doubt it’s covered some serious nautical miles.

It’s worth noting that there were blistering problems with hull numbers 120-249 (boats built between 1976 and 1981). Later models did not have this problem. Despite the blistering issues, the Valiant 40 remains one of the most highly thought of bluewater designs.

LOA39.92 ft / 12.17 m
First built1973
BuilderUniflite/Valiant (USA)
DesignerR. Perry
Hull typeFin keel, rudder on skeg
Rig typeCutter
Displacement23,520 lb / 10,668 kg

6. TAYANA 37

The Tayana 37 is a top bluewater boat

The Tayana 37 is another hugely popular Perry design. The first boat rolled off the production line in 1976 and since then, nearly 600 boats have been built. Beautiful classic lines and a proven track record have won the Tayana 37 a devoted following of offshore enthusiasts.

12 Tayana 37s have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rally since 2009. Read more about the Tayana 37 in this Practical Sailor review .

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

7. Lagoon 450

The Lagoon 450 is one of the best bluewater sailboats

If this list is starting to sound like a paid advertisement, I swear we’re not on Lagoon’s payroll! This is the third Lagoon on our list, but the data doesn’t lie. Lagoon is making some of the best cruising sailboats.

The 450 has been a hot seller for Lagoon, with over 800 built since its launch in 2014. While not a performance cat, the Lagoon 450 travels at a reasonable speed and is brimming with luxury amenities.

At least 12 owners in the PPJ rally chose the Lagoon 450 to take them across the Pacific. It’s no wonder SAIL had so many good things to say about it.

LOA45.80 ft / 13.96 m
First built2014
BuilderLagoon (FRA)
DesignerV. Peteghem / L. Prévost
Hull typeCat. twin keel
Rig typeFractional sloop
Displacement33,075 lb / 15,003 kg

8. Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46

Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46 Bluewater Sailboat

There were 11 Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46s in our data set.

Fountaine Pajot released the Bahia 46 in 1997, a sleek design for traveling long distances. Its generously-sized water and fuel tanks along with ample storage for cruising gear are a real plus for the self-sufficient sailor.

According to Cruising World , “Cruising-cat aficionados should put the Bahia 46 on their “must-see” list.”

LOA46.10 ft / 14.05 m
First built1997
BuilderFountaine Pajot (FRA)
Hull typeCat. twin keel
Rig typeFractional sloop
Displacement21,385 lb / 9,700 kg

9. Catalina 42 (MKI, MKII)

Catalina 42 bluewater boat

10 Catalina 42s (MKI and MKII) have set out to cross the Pacific in the PPJ rally since 2009.

The Catalina 42 was designed under the guidance of the legendary yacht designer and Catalina’s chief engineer, Gerry Douglas.

One of Catalina’s philosophies is to offer “as much boat for the money as possible,” and the Catalina 42 is no exception. According to Practical Sailor , Catalina aims to price its boats 15% to 20% below major production boats like Hunter and Beneteau.

Practical Sailor has a great in-depth review of the Catalina 42 .

LOA41.86 ft / 12.76 m
First built1989
BuilderCatalina (USA)
Hull typeFin keel, spade rudder
Rig typeMasthead sloop
Displacement20,500 lb / 9,299 kg

10. Leopard 46

Leopard 46 bluewater sailboat

Since 2009, 10 Leopard 46s have embarked on Pacific crossings in the PPJ rally.

Leopards have won legions of fans for their high build quality, robust engineering, and excellent performance.

The Leopard 46 also boasts something of a racing pedigree. It was built in South Africa by Robertson and Caine and designed by Gino Morelli and Pete Melvin, who came up with the record-breaking catamaran Playstation / Cheyenne 125 .

Read more about the Leopard 46 in this Cruising World review .

LOA46.32 ft / 14.12 m
First built2006
BuilderRobertson & Caine (RSA)
DesignerMorelli & Melvin
Hull typeCat. twin keel
Rig typeFractional sloop
Displacement24,206 lb / 10,980 kg


What the data is and isn’t.

The PPJ data was a real boon because it reflects a wide range of cruising boats: small, big, old, new, expensive, and affordable. We think this may be because the PPJ is a very financially accessible rally—the standard entry cost is $125 or $100 if you’re under 35 (age or boat length!).

We did look at data from other (pricier) rallies but found that the results skewed towards more expensive boats.

Needless to say, the data we used is just a sample of the bluewater boats that crossed the Pacific over the last 10+ years. Many cruisers cross oceans without participating in a rally!

Entries vs. completions

The data we used is a list of the PPJ entries, not necessarily the boats that completed the rally. In instances where we saw the same boat entered multiple years in a row, we assumed they’d postponed their crossing and deleted all but the latest entry to avoid double counting.

Boat make variations

The world of boat building and naming can get pretty complicated. Sometimes a manufacturer changes a boat’s name a year or two into production, other times the name remains the same but the boat undergoes a dramatic update.

For the most part, we’ve used SailboatData.com’s classification system (if they list the boats separately, then we have also), except where there are two separately listed models that have the same LOA, beam, and displacement.

Fiona McGlynn

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

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Editor’s Choice: 18 Bluewater Sailboats We Love

Advantages of bluewater sailboats, factors to consider when buying a blue water sailboat, allures 51.9, contest 55cs, discovery revelation 480, grand soleil 42 lc, hallberg-rassy 48mk ii, island packet 349, j/boats j/45, najad 395 cc, outbound 56.

Bluewater sailboats

Looking to sail the open seas? Bluewater sailboats are your answer. With their sturdy construction and ability to handle rough conditions, these boats are designed for serious offshore sailing adventures. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of blue water sailboats and provide you with everything you need to know. From their unique features to their advantages and considerations, we will explore it all.

Bluewater sailboats are known for their strength and durability. Built to withstand the challenging conditions of ocean crossings, these boats offer stability and safety on long voyages. Whether you’re planning a solo trip or setting off with a crew, a blue water sailboat is an excellent option to explore the depths.

We will discuss the key characteristics that make blue water sailboats stand out, such as their hull design, rigging, and navigation systems. Additionally, we’ll explore the various types and sizes available to help you find the perfect fit for your sailing aspirations.

So, if you’ve ever dreamed of embarking on a thrilling ocean adventure, join us as we navigate the world of bluewater sailboats and uncover everything you need to know.

Bluewater sailboats are designed to withstand the demanding conditions encountered during long ocean voyages. They possess several key characteristics that set them apart from other types of sailboats. 

bluewater sailboats

1. Sturdy Construction

Bluewater sailboats are built with robust materials and construction techniques to ensure their strength and durability. They feature reinforced hulls made of fiberglass, aluminum, or steel, which can withstand the impact of large waves and adverse weather conditions. These boats are designed to handle the constant stresses of offshore sailing without compromising their structural integrity.

2. Seaworthiness

One of the defining characteristics of bluewater sailboats is their seaworthiness. They are designed to handle rough seas and strong winds, providing a stable and comfortable ride even in challenging conditions. The shape of their hulls, with a deep V or modified full-keel design, allows them to cut through waves and maintain stability, minimizing the rolling motion commonly experienced on other types of sailboats.

3. Self-Sustainability

Bluewater sailboats are equipped with systems that enable self-sustainability during long voyages. They typically have large water and fuel tanks, allowing sailors to carry ample supplies for extended periods at sea. In addition, these boats often come equipped with renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, reducing the reliance on external power sources.

Bluewater sailboats offer numerous advantages for sailors looking to embark on offshore adventures. Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a blue water sailboat for your next sailing journey.

1. Safety and Stability

When sailing across vast oceans, safety is paramount. Bluewater sailboats provide a high level of safety and stability, thanks to their sturdy construction and seaworthiness. These boats are designed to handle adverse weather conditions and rough seas, ensuring the safety of the crew and the vessel. The robust hulls and well-balanced designs make them less prone to capsizing or taking on water, providing peace of mind during long voyages.

2. Long-Distance Capability

Bluewater sailboats are specifically designed for long-distance sailing. They have the capacity to carry ample supplies, including food, water, and fuel, allowing sailors to embark on extended journeys without the need for frequent resupply stops. With their self-sustainability features and efficient hull designs, these boats can cover long distances efficiently and comfortably.

3. Comfort and Liveability

Living aboard a bluewater sailboat for an extended period requires comfort and practicality. These boats are designed with spacious interiors, allowing for comfortable living quarters during long voyages. They often feature multiple cabins, a well-equipped galley, and ample storage space for provisions and personal belongings. The layout and design of blue water sailboats prioritize functionality and convenience, ensuring a comfortable living experience even in the middle of the ocean.

And now… it’s time to discover together our selection of 18 Bluewater sailboats we love!

The Allures 51.9 innovates with its full-beam aft owner’s cabin. This model disrupts the codes of the yard also outside with its cockpit of 6 meters long with sunbath and swim platform for comfort; the navigation space can be protected by a hardtop to navigate in any security. The boat has a length of 51.9 feet (15.8 meters) and a beam (width) of 15.4 feet (4.7 meters). It is equipped with a fixed keel and a composite hull, which provides good stability and seaworthiness. The Allures 51.9 is available in a variety of configurations, including a three-cabin layout with a spacious owner’s cabin and two guest cabins, or a two-cabin layout with a larger owner’s cabin and a smaller guest cabin. It is also equipped with a well-equipped galley, a large saloon, and a navigation station.  Allures official website .

amel 60 Bluewater sailboats

In a dynamic evolution and complementary to their range,  Amel  launched a larger model, with a higher specification and built with attention to details. Riding on the success of the  Amel 50 , the Amel 60 is an enhanced version of the new Amel design . The brand’s fundamental characteristics are well represented in this large yacht, with an additional 10 feet increasing her volume as well as her interior and exterior living spaces, while still ensuring ease of use for a small crew. 

Signed Berret-Racoupeau, the generous volumes of this large yacht have been designed to allow owners and their guests to fully enjoy life on board, while preserving everyone’s privacy: a large living space in the saloon, an ultra-equipped high-end galley three cabins each with a bathroom, an even larger protected cockpit, opening onto sunbathing areas ideal for relaxation.

contest 55cs Bluewater sailboats

The  Dutch specialist  in semi-custom constructions Contest Yachts presented the brand new 17-metre Contest 55CS at Boot Dusseldorf 2020. Don’t call it “simply” a  bluewater  yacht. The stunning lines both above and below water from star designers Judel/Vrolijk shall ensure a real sporty character. A newly conceived interior styling now features an even bigger flowing corner radius to the exquisitely finished timber work. There are also now more optional hull windows in up to four stations along the yacht’s length.

discovery revelation 480

Discovery Yachts  presented the new Revelation 480 at  Boot Dusseldorf 2020 . This is the first model of the new Revelation line and differs from the Southerly line for the fixed keel and the lowered saloon. Yes, the Revelation 480 is a lowered saloon boat based on the well-known Southerly 480. The Revelation 480 combines bluewater capability with a low, sleek coachroof that contributes to an interesting aesthetic. Down below, the single level interior is extremely light and exquisitely furnished.

grand soleil 42 lc

The Grand Soleil 42 LC is  Cantiere del Pardo ’s latest entry model of the bluewater line. Comfort and sailing autonomy are the main features of this 12-meter, designed by Marco Lostuzzi together with Nauta Design and Cantiere del Pardo’s Technical Office.

The 42 LC is available in two versions; standard or sport. The former is equipped with aft benches, and a carbon arch over the cockpit, designed to keep this area free of the mainsheet traveller. The GS 42 LC’s hull guarantees great stability thanks to greater hull volume. The well-proportioned sail plan optimizes the high-performance sailing standards. As with the rest of the Long Cruise range, the Grand Soleil 42 LC is designed to provide greater and more luxurious comfort on board.

The interior layout is available with either two or three cabins, to meet the client’s needs. Both versions include two heads with a shower. In the saloon, a three-seater sofa is found on the starboard side, while the central seat can be transformed into a chart table.

Hallberg Rassy 48 Mkll Bluewater sailboats

The Hallberg-Rassy 48 MK II is a true bluewater cruiser that offers more natural light, more comfort and more elegance than ever before. With three double cabins and a vast saloon, she offers great space for modern comfort aids. Known far and wide for sturdy construction, superb craftsmanship and signature seaworthiness, Hallberg-Rassy boats are globally respected for their elegant lines and spirited performance.

Hylas H60

Hylas Yachts has collaborated with German Frers for over 40 years and built a reputation for yachts that combine ocean sailing capability, classic lines and exquisitely finished interiors.  Now the company is staking out new territory with the H60. Still ocean capable, still with an exquisite interior but also embracing some of the contemporary demands of today’s cruising sailors. 

Longtime Hylas fans will not be disappointed by her performance. Built using the most advanced construction technologies, the H60 has been designed to excel in all conditions with excellent seakeeping ability. A plumb bow and broad transom make the most of her waterline length underway, providing speed with optimal comfort.

The builder partnered with Milan-based firm  Hot Lab , known for their elegant designs in the superyacht world, to offer interiors that immediately set the new Hylas on a new level.

ice yachts ice 70

The project of the ICE 70 by  ICE Yachts  has been realized using the most advanced modeling and analysis software available today. “ Thanks to the new virtual reality ‘tools’ ,” explains  Felci Yacht Design , “ we have been able to make the owner and the shipyard participant of many geometric and stylistic choices. It is a yacht with high technological potential, starting from the design of the hull and the appendices “. With this sporty bluewater sailboat, the Italian yard wanted to create a technologically avant-garde boat with large, comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces, which is easy to sail and entirely safe at sea. Like all ICE Yachts models, the ICE 70 is a semi-custom product with which the owner has many possibilities for customization and equipment. ICE Yachts official website

island packet 349 Bluewater sailboats

With this model, iconic Island Packet has returned to the Solent-style rig as standard, featuring a mainsail with a working jib and an optional lightweight 170% reacher or asymmetrical that mounts on the integral bow platform and furled with Harken systems. The working jib is fitted with a Hoyt Boom that is self-tending and improves performance with its close sheeting and self-vanging feature, while the large optional reacher or asymmetrical boost performance in light air or when off the wind.

The fully battened mainsail is equipped with a low friction Battcar system and drops easily into a stack pack with an integral cover and lazy jack system.  This rigging offers ease of use and versatility in the varied wind or sea conditions and increased speed and maneuverability.

j/boats j/45

The J/Boats J/45, is a true  bluewater sailing yacht, designed and built for the sea by life-long sailors. The  J/Boats  and  J/Composites teams have collaborated to create a special design for discerning sailors seeking an exceptional sailing experience. The J/45 can be sailed solo, cruised by 2-3 couples or large family, and pleasure sailed or raced with room for the whole crew. This is an investment-grade sailboat that won’t require a professional crew to sail, handle or maintain. J/Boats official website

kraken 50 Bluewater sailboats

The Kraken 50 is designed to be the short-handed bluewater cruising yacht. Due to her steady motion and stability, her crew will be equally comfortable at sea or in the anchorage, and special consideration has been given in the K50 layouts above and below deck to allow for short-handed ocean passage making. The Kraken 50 features the renowned integral  Zero Keel  and fully skegged rudder.

najad 395 cc Bluewater sailboats

N395 CC (centre cockpit) is part of the all-new Najad 395 range, designed in a joint venture by Najad, Farr Yacht Design, and Ken Freivokh Design – superyacht stylist, architects, and interior designers. The N395 CC is characterized by a well-protected large cockpit located close to the center of gravity. It has a well-designed interior and a very comprehensive options list that includes all equipment necessary to tailor the yacht to any individual needs. This model is available in two or three cabin layouts with one or two large heads.

outbound 56 bluewater

Welcome aboard the newest addition to Outbound’s impressive line of offshore passage makers. The new Outbound 56, built from German Frers timeless and proven design continues to fulfill our single mission of building great offshore yachts.  Fast, accommodating and gorgeous, the 56 will take you anywhere your heart desires in style and comfort.

oyster 565 Bluewater sailboats

The entry level yacht for the ‘G6’ range of seven models up to the Flagship Oyster 118.  Using the latest generation of Oyster hull shapes, developed with Humphreys Yacht Design, the Oyster 565 is designed for family sailing without professional crew.

A generous sail locker and lazarette, headroom and bunk lengths to match the larger Oyster Superyachts, the 565 can be configured with many different cabin layouts – and for the first time in Oyster Yachts – can have the master cabin forward and a dinghy garage in the transom.

rm970 Bluewater sailboats

The Brittany based yard is well known not only among ocean sailors but also to those who love short-handed sailing and are looking for seaworthy and easily driven bluewater sailboats, both safe and comfortable. This last aspect is where Fora Marine has made great progress in the last few years, shedding some of the spartan image that characterized their products for many years.

What has not changed, and what is still the RM range’s defining characteristic, is the twin-chined hull, made of Okumé plywood impregnated with epoxy resin (the deck is in fiberglass sandwich). Below the hull, the yard offers two options, a single deep keel or double shoal draft keels. The RM are designed by Marc Lombard, probably one of the architects most able to transform the fashionable chine into an important element in cruising design. A chined hull, when properly drawn, gives both better hull shape and interior volumes. ( Read our test )

rustler 42

The Rustler 42 is a classic looking yacht which combines style that is traditional yet modern. Her cruising layout results in a live aboard yacht that has stability and elegance with the same unique sea-kindly characteristics as the Rustler 36. Below the waterline, she looks conservative with a deep canoe body, long fin keel and a big skeg hung rudder.

Below the decks, this yacht has a spacious open plan saloon. The large, finished saloon table can comfortably seat eight. The aft cabin has standing headroom, a full-width double berth and plenty of storage within lockers and a vanity unit with seat. The aft head incorporates a shower unit and a ‘wet lilies’ locker. At the forepeak the grand master cabin has a 6 ft 6 in double V berth.

swan 58

Signed by  German Frers , the Swan 58 needs to combine the spaces of bluewater sailboats with a fast cruiser performances. Key details include a deck featuring soft and rounded shapes, a new cockpit design, a redefined coach-roof style and large swimming platform. The concept is easy: to give the maximum comfort and liveability at rest, together with maximum efficiency for short handed sailing, without losing the capability to race with a full crew. 

The interiors of the new Swan 58 , which is fitted with European oak, have been conceived as a combination between luxury and comfortable living spaces, storage and volumes for systems and safety features; we find here a large saloon, a galley with a 360 degree layout and three heads. Various interior styling layouts are available varying woods and materials. 

tartan 395 Bluewater

Designed by Tartan naval architect Tim Jackett, the 395 comes out of the Tartan factory in Fairport Harbor and is the perfect example of bluewater sailboats. Her hull shape is an evolution of tried and true concepts proven to deliver great stability and high interior volume while maintaining comforting manners throughout a wide range of sailing conditions. On deck Tartan 395 sports hallmark Tartan design elements such as a traditional cabin house fitted with functional polished stainless steel rectangular portholes.

Like her smaller sister 345, 395’s handcrafted interior is built in maple as standard, with cherry a no-charge option. The lighter maple opens up her interior in ways the darker cherry simply cannot.

New 23.5-metre Explorer Sailing Yacht Amundsen Launched

Mishi 88, the bluewater composite carbon superyacht from turkey, ice yachts unveils the advanced and sleek ice62, the new crossover clubswan 43 has been launched, live your passion, subscribe to our mailing list.

  • Yachting World
  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

How to pick your ideal bluewater yacht: ARC director explains all

Yachting World

  • January 6, 2020

Jeremy Wyatt, director of World Cruising and experienced ocean sailor, on what he’s learned helping thousands of crews cross the Atlantic


More than 250 yachts completed the 2018 ARC. Photo: James Mitchell

I often chat with prospective bluewater cruisers at boat shows and seminars and am frequently asked: “What is the ideal bluewater yacht?”

This is an impossible question to answer, since so much depends on the attitudes and ambitions (and budget!) of the person asking. So, how do I reply to this tricky question?

Firstly, in my view there are no bad boats these days; builders would go bust if they made bad boats. However, people considering bluewater cruising really do need to understand that not all boats are the same, and that different types are optimised for specific types of sailing.

Catamarans for example, have seen a huge growth over recent years. They offer acres of living space, easy access to swim platforms and dinghies, and are ideal for tradewind sailing on bluewater routes.

But – and this is an important but – they cost significantly more; they have two hulls, two engines (and frequently a genset as well).

Docking in a marina will come as a shock to the wallet when dock fees are charged by the square metre. Not to mention the difficulties of finding suitable lift-out locations for your ideal bluewater yacht.

So if you plan to spend your retirement gunkholing around little harbours in Brittany, Ireland and Scotland, then a catamaran is probably not the best boat for the job. Picking the ideal bluewater yacht is about choosing the right horse for your preferred course.

Article continues below…

bluewater yachting reviews

43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

Which yacht is the best for bluewater boating? This question generates even more debate among sailors than questions about what’s…

bluewater yachting reviews

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

Choosing a boat for offshore cruising is not a decision to be taken lightly. I have researched this topic on…

But how do you negotiate the labyrinth of boat choice?

  • Set your budget and stick to it. Remember that when buying older boats (ten-plus years), you will need to set aside more of your budget for refit costs: Between 30% and 40% of the purchase price is reasonable.
  • One hull or two (or three)? This comes down to personal preference. Just remember that where you plan to voyage will dictate your choice of boat.
  • Buy as much boat as your budget will allow. This bluewater yacht is going to be your home, possibly for years. You need it to be comfortable and easy to live on. The difference in internal volume between a 40ft and a 45ft boat is significant. You will need all that space.
  • Think about comfort. I would also suggest that, for cruisers, optimising comfort over outright sailing performance is a better choice.


Jeremy Wyatt is co-director of the World Cruising Club

I am sometimes asked what is my ideal bluewater yacht? Again, this depends on where I’d plan to sail.

If I was planning for the classic Atlantic Circuit from Europe/Med to the Caribbean and back, then returning to cruise in Europe, then I would certainly include modern production cruisers.

They sail well, have thoughtful, easy-to-live-with interiors and are affordable. There is a good reason why Beneteau is the world’s largest boatbuilder – and we see lots of their hulls in the ARC each year.

However, if I were planning a three- or four-year circumnavigation , then I would probably switch allegiance and go for a heavier displacement, semi-custom classic cruiser. The extra security of a solid boat can be very reassuring when caught out in a big blow, or bumping a coral head in an atoll.

Most popular ARC yachts in 2018

  • 10x Lagoon 42s
  • 7x Lagoon 450s
  • 5x Beneteau First 47.7s
  • 3x Lagoon 400s
  • 3x Fountaine Pajot Belize 43s

Article first published in the August 2019 edition of Yachting World.

Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

First look: Southerly 42 – bluewater beauty

  • Theo Stocker
  • October 25, 2021

Theo Stocker casts his expert eye over the Southerly 42, offering bluewater luxury in a yacht with a minimum draught of just 84cm

bluewater yachting reviews

There are few high-end bluewater cruising yachts that can boast a draught of just 84cm (3ft). While this increases to 2.7m (8ft 11in) while sailing, the trademark swing keel of the Southerly 42 means this boat will be able to access anchorages and creeks that most other boats of this size simply can’t get near.

What’s more, the iron grounding plate (doubles as ballast), twin rudders and skeg-protected prop all mean the Southerly 42 can take the ground and dry out. Whether in the Isles of Scilly or the Bahamas, that’s an appealing proposition.

bluewater yachting reviews

The aft cabin on the Discovery 42

Her makers claim that her sailing performance will still sparkle, with a tall fractional rig – 18.5m (60ft 7 in) air draught – and the additional draft helping her point at 30º to the apparent wind. Her polars suggest she’ll nudge 8.5 knots on a white sail reach in 20 knots of breeze. She comes with a self-tacking jib as standard, with sheet controls for both sails led aft to the helm, while halyard are on the coachroof. A furling offwind sail can be set from the fixed bowsprit.

The other key Southerly trait is the raised saloon to port, at the bottom of the companionway, with a lower-level galley to starboard, meaning you can sit inside and enjoy 270º views. Unusually the chart table-cun/workstationg is against the forward bulkhead, level with the mast. For this size boat, the aft master cabin is huge with a full-size island double bed and ensuite heads. The guest cabin forward, also ensuite, is generous too.

The hull is built of vinylester GRP, and reuses the Humphreys hull of the Southerly 42RST, but has received the Discovery treatment on deck and below, making this an appealing and modern-looking cruiser that is thoroughly capable.

Southerly 42 specifications

LOA: 13.3m (42ft 7in) Beam: 4m (13ft 3in) Draught: (UP/DOWN) 0.8m/2.7m (2ft 9in/8ft 11in) Sail area: 75m2 (811 sq ft) Displacement: 11,341kg (25,003 lbs) Price: ex yard £535,000 ex VAT Contact: discoveryshipyard.com

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7 Legendary Solo Bluewater Sailboats Worth Considering

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

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

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

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

bluewater yachting reviews

On this page:

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

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

Contessa 32 is a classic, compact, and seaworthy sailboat

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

Westsail 32 is known for its rugged construction

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

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

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

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

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

bluewater yachting reviews

Pacific Seacraft 37 is designed for serious cruising

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

Island Packet 38 is known for its spacious interior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bluewater yachting reviews

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

Size and stability of a solo sailboat

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

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

Ease of use and maneuverability of any solo sailboat

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

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

Durability and seaworthiness for long-term safety

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

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

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

Comfort and livability of a solo sailboat

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

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

Affordability and availability determine the sailboat's practicality

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

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

bluewater yachting reviews

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

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

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

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

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

bluewater yachting reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Embarking on a Seafaring Odyssey: Exploring the World of Bluewater Yachts and Cruising Sailboats

Are you ready to embark on a seafaring odyssey that will take you across the endless expanse of the open ocean? If the thought of navigating the deep blue waters on a luxurious boat has always been a dream, then you're about to set sail on an exciting journey. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the captivating world of bluewater yachts, sailing on top-tier vessels, and the exhilarating thrill of ocean-going expeditions. Whether you're an experienced sailor seeking new horizons or a novice with a thirst for adventure, this article is your compass to the enchanting realm of maritime exploration.


Imagine yourself standing at the helm of a majestic vessel, the wind whispering tales of distant shores, and the gentle rhythm of waves inviting you to set forth on a voyage of a lifetime. The allure of bluewater yachts encapsulates the essence of exploration, luxury, and freedom on the open sea.

Unveiling Bluewater Yachts: Masters of the Sea

Bluewater yachts are the maritime marvels designed to conquer the unpredictable waters of the open ocean. These vessels are engineered with a focus on resilience, safety, and comfort, making them the ultimate choice for those with a passion for venturing beyond the horizon.

Sailing Zenith: Reaching the Pinnacle of Seamanship

At the zenith of sailing prowess, a phenomenon known as the "sailing top" awaits the intrepid mariners. This pinnacle of seamanship represents the epitome of skill, where sailors harness the wind's energy to achieve unprecedented speed, precision, and navigational mastery.

Bluewater Yachts: Where Power Meets Elegance

The allure of bluewater yachts lies not only in their capacity to brave the open ocean but also in their opulent interiors and cutting-edge features. These vessels seamlessly blend power and elegance, offering a harmonious blend of performance and comfort.

Conquering the Vastness: Ocean-Going Yachts in Focus

Ocean-going yachts are the true conquerors of the sea, designed to tackle extensive journeys across the world's oceans. These vessels boast advanced technologies, robust construction, and top-notch safety measures, ensuring a smooth and secure passage, even in challenging conditions.

Oyster 56: A Symphony of Luxury and Performance

Amid the realm of bluewater yachts, the Oyster 56 stands as an emblem of sophistication and performance. With its impeccable balance of luxurious interiors and exceptional sailing capabilities, this yacht represents the zenith of modern maritime engineering.

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Navigating Blue Water Sailing: A Journey Beyond Horizons

Blue water sailing transcends the ordinary. It's a calling to embrace the unknown, revel in the ebb and flow of the tides, and cultivate a profound connection with nature. It's an experience that fosters self-discovery while immersing sailors in the grandeur of the world's oceans.

Market Insights: Bluewater Boats Await New Captains

For aspiring sailors, the market offers a treasure trove of bluewater boats, each with its unique blend of features and capabilities. From sleek sloops to robust ketches, these vessels cater to varying preferences and aspirations, ensuring a perfect match for every seafarer.

Sailing the UK Waters: Blue Water Yachts on Sale

In the United Kingdom, the dream of owning a bluewater yacht is well within reach. The market showcases an array of blue water yachts available for sale, providing enthusiasts with the opportunity to explore the British coastline and beyond in style.

The Bluewater Dilemma: Making the Perfect Choice

The decision to select the ideal bluewater yacht requires careful consideration. Factors such as size, layout, amenities, and budget play a pivotal role in ensuring that your chosen vessel aligns with your seafaring ambitions.

Sailing Redefined: Thriving Aboard a Blue Water Catamaran

The blue water catamaran introduces a paradigm shift in sailing dynamics. With enhanced stability, spacious living areas, and shallow-water accessibility, these vessels redefine comfort and freedom on the high seas.

Cruising Sailboats: Where Comfort and Exploration Intertwine

Cruising sailboats offer the best of both worlds: the thrill of exploration and the embrace of comfort. These vessels are thoughtfully designed with cozy interiors, expansive cabins, and efficient navigation systems, making extended voyages an absolute pleasure.

Ocean Sailboats: Harnessing Power with Grace

Ocean sailboats epitomize the harmony between human ingenuity and the raw power of nature. Crafted to navigate the vastness of the ocean, these vessels showcase the art of harnessing wind energy to propel them across boundless horizons.

Centre Cockpit Yachts: A Unique Perspective on Navigation

Centre cockpit yachts offer a fresh perspective on sailing. With their distinctive design placing the cockpit amidships, these vessels provide enhanced visibility, protection from the elements, and a strong connection between the sailor and the sea.

Ocean Sailing Essentials: Navigating the High Seas

Embarking on an ocean sailing adventure demands a comprehensive understanding of essential skills and knowledge. From celestial navigation to weather forecasting, mastering these elements is key to a successful and safe voyage.

Bluewater Yacht Lifestyle: Where Luxury Meets Freedom

The bluewater yacht lifestyle is synonymous with opulence, exploration, and liberation. It's a lifestyle that invites you to roam the world's most captivating destinations while indulging in the opulence of a meticulously designed yacht.

Navigating Choices: Finding Your Ideal Blue Water Cruiser

Selecting the perfect blue water cruiser involves aligning your aspirations with the characteristics of different vessels. Whether you prioritize speed, comfort, or versatility, there's a cruiser tailored to fulfill your maritime dreams.

Exploring Boundless Horizons: The Allure of Bluewater Yachts

In closing, the realm of bluewater yachts invites intrepid souls to embrace the call of the sea. The allure of navigating boundless horizons, the thrill of encountering nature's grandeur, and the serenity of sailing await those who are ready to embark on this extraordinary maritime journey.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite  sailing destinations.

FAQs: Bluewater Yacht Adventure: Your Questions Answered

Bluewater yachts are meticulously designed to handle long ocean voyages and challenging conditions, emphasizing durability, safety, and comfort.

Ocean-going yachts are best suited for experienced sailors due to their robust construction and advanced navigational systems.

The bluewater yacht lifestyle offers a unique blend of luxury, exploration, and the freedom to navigate the world's oceans at your leisure.

I am ready to help you with booking a boat for your dream vacation. Contact me.

Denisa Nguyenová

Denisa Nguyenová


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How is the quality of Bluewater boats?

  • Thread starter wink21
  • Start date Sep 11, 2009
  • Sep 11, 2009

So far, I've walked away from a couple of boats based on input from the forum and lost out on a couple of good ones that were snapped up quick. I just came across this one http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/boa/1369163351.html In all of my boat reading in past couple of months, I have not come across Bluewater. Does anyone know about these boats? It has one of the motors that has been highly recommended on the form - the 3L/130HP Mercruiser Any input or advice on this would be appreciated. I simply don't want to buy a boat with a bad trackrecord or that has a hard time with finding parts. Thanks Scott  


Supreme Mariner

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? Haven't heard anything particular bad about them. I don't believe they are in business any longer. That one has a reliable powerplant which should be good power in that sized boat and the price is certainly right. Check carefully for rot in the deck and transom. Could be a real nice find.  


Chief Petty Officer

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? My grandfather still to this day cruises his 1967 Blue Water all over the place, it is in great condition and has had no major problem with more that 3000 hours on it. They are like any other boat, if you take care of it it will last a lifetime.  


  • Sep 12, 2009

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? Blue Water is now owned by Kal Kustom boats, same folks that own Reinell. The two come off their plant in Oregon, and are still in business. The current boats usually share the same hulls at the Reinell boats, or use older molds. I see a number of Blue Water boats here in the NW. I'm not sure when they were bought by Kal Kustom.  

Bluewater Yachting

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One company. One complete service. Bluewater Yachting specializes in booking Yacht Charter Vacations, Yacht Brokerage, Crew Placement, Crew Training, and Yacht Management. We are an international full service luxury yachting company that creates strong and lasting relationships with our clients and crew. Wherever you choose to cruise, there is no better way to enjoy the world's most spectacular coastlines than from the beachclub aboard your own luxury yacht, whether for a day or for a few weeks. Let us plan your next dream holiday We believe that attention to detail is the key to ensuring the optimal luxury yacht charter experience. Your personal charter specialist will take care of everything, understanding your needs and offering expert advice to create an exceptional holiday experience from start to finish. For over 25 years, Bluewater Yachting has been providing the ultimate in yacht charter for both corporate entertainment and private vacations, up to 12 guests maximum, and we promise your yacht charter will be a success! …

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Photo of Marqus R.

What brought me to Blue Water Yachting was that I had received a phone call from some friends advising that they would be bringing their boat into Bahia Mar Marina prior to doing a Caribbean cruise and wanted me, for security reasons, to be the one to ask around about additional staffing. As soon as I walked in the door, though I had inadvertently entered through the back door, I was warmly greeted and rather impressed with the general bright décor and setup of their offices. I was also impressed to find out that they could handle all of my friends needs as they maintain a data base of over 100,000 professional crew with crew agents in various separate departments that would specialize in selecting those best suited for a particular yacht. I passed the information on to my friends for them to finalize any details, which they did, and have been advised that they couldn't have been more pleased. As I'm sure that the staff at Bluewater were aware that was an amateur handling such affairs, matters such as these are generally handled by a yacht's captain, they clearly went out of their way to accommodate me. They not only answered all of my questions but also advised me on a few points that I should have had questioned but failed to ask. I was also interested in the size of their operations, which are really big. They not only assist with crew placement but also handle yacht brokerage, are a yacht-training provider in Europe, have operations in Antibes, France, Mallorca, Spain, Moscow and Miami. Then, if you intend to have a Yacht designed and constructed, they offer new construction management. So no matter your needs when it comes to larger yachts, particularly those of the super or mega yacht categories, Bluewater seems to have you covered.

bluewater yachting reviews

Jan 29, 2018

Thank you, Marqus! What a great review, and so happy to have been able to help! Very much appreciate the business, and this above!

Photo of Jessica S.

I booked my STCW at Bluewater's Fort Lauderdale location and they cancelled my course less than a week before it was due to start. They have refused to provide me a refund and after 2 months of trying to contact them, they have completely ghosted me. If you're trying to pursue your dream in yachting, go somewhere where they actually care about their customers.

Photo of Niki S.

I loved my experience at Bluewater Yachting. I was looking at schools worldwide to get certified in Yachting and begin my new venture. What made them stand out is the fact they help you find a position. All of the instructors had been in the industry for years and their vivid stories of the field really helped me make the ultimate decision to make this change. Good stories and bad. It's a real adventure. Everyday. That life sounds amazing to me, but it's not for everyone. They were so knowledgeable about everything. I can't wait to proceed and continue my education at Bluewater. Plus, they are not a one and done. They educate you and help your whole career. Thank you Bluewater!

Photo of Kuya K.

13 years in the yachting industry, and over 8 different Yacht Crew Agencies, this one was the least likely to ever offer anything in regards to employment. One of their employees admitted to me that they had over 30,000 names in their data banks. Given that number and usually only 5-10 jobs available, the odds of getting a job through Crew Unlimited were lower than playing the lottery. They do have a fancy website, and do post jobs available, but again, in the 13 years I worked in the yachting industry, none of their job leads ever led to an actual interview with a Captain or owner looking for crew.

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To whomever can pass it along, My name is Jason, currently in the process of entering the yachting industry. As such, I have had many questions arise throughout my research, and can be quite eager for more knowledge. I have contacted many placement agencies and maritime schools with a thirst for information, moreover, acceptance. Granted my "acceptance" is premature and undeserved; not possible over the phone, or through email as I currently live in Los Angeles. However, recently I called Crew Unlimited with inquiry ranging from the information about the upcoming International Boat Show, to necessary certifications for my skill-set on a yacht and expectation upon my arrival. I was helped by Scott. I didn't get his last name, but what a gem. The guy sits on the other end of the line with unconditional patience at my interrogation. He was knowledgeable, well-spoken, and direct. This is a blessing for someone preparing to jump into a new profession, city, and world. He made me feel like it was possible. So, thanks to Scott. As suggested, I created a profile through the service, and hope to shake Scott's hand upon my arrival come Nov. Thanks again! Jason

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If you're looking to get into the yachting industry this Is the place to go! The staff here are super helpful and friendly. They know what they are talking about, and they are totally up to date on everything that's happening in the industry. If you want a job, and need good advice, come see the crew here!

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Best Single-Handed Bluewater Sailboats

Best Single-Handed Bluewater Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Sailing alone in racing or time on the water is a great experience. Finding the best single-handed blue water sailboat for those needs can be a tough task.

Regardless if you have a cruiser or racing sailboat, a single-handed one can offer many opportunities versus larger boats. So what are some of the best ones on the market?

The Hunter Channel 31, J/109, and West Wight Potter 19 are great budget-friendly, single-handed sailboats. Moving up in price, you can look at Hanse 371, Jeanneau Sunfast 3200, and even a Dehler 29. Depending on the size and the amount of features it has will determine what they are worth.

While the budget will play a role in finding the right single-handed boat for you, there are plenty of other factors to consider. These range between comfort, stability, and useful features.

According to experts in sailing, most prefer comfort over price as long as it is justifiable with the amount you are paying. As long as it is not too far over your budget, you could consider a slightly higher-priced boat if it has a few more bells and whistles to make your life easier.

Table of contents

‍ 12 Single-Handed Sailboats to Consider

Whether you are planning to cruise around or going out for the day sailing, there are a handful of sailboats to consider. You want to choose one that is best operated alone and would not need additional hands to make it work.


For a fun day out at sea, it is hard to pass up on a quality dinghy . This one, in comparison to other dinghies, is fairly light and takes hardly any time to set up.

The RS Aero is one of the more technologically advanced dinghies for one individual to use. This one in particular has amassed a handful of awards for the best performance overall.

Due to its popularity and quality, these range between $10,000 to $15,000. If you find it any cheaper than that, it could be worth the investment.

2. Beneteau Oceanis 62


If you are feeling a bit adventurous or feel confident in your ability to handle a large boat by yourself, then try out the Beneteau Oceanis 62 . This boat is slightly over 60 feet, so it is recommended that you have all your ducks in a row before setting sail.

Thankfully, the boat was designed with ease of use in mind. So this could easily be operated by one person if they have some experience with it.

If you purchased this one for the family, then you can still have the added benefits of taking people with you. But if you decide you want to be by yourself, that is an option too.

This boat is valued around $600,000, so it is arguably one of the more expensive options for just a single handed sailboat. But if you are looking for a family boat, you are killing two birds with one stone.

3. Hunter Channel 31


This British made sailboat debuted in 2001 with a twin keel, making it a great choice for solo sailing. While it has a rich history in racing, the design has gone through slight adjustments over the years to make it a solid cruiser.

With its incredible handling and quick turns, this sailboat has excellent handling. The hull structure allows it to have a low center of gravity and provide it with increased stability compared to other racing boats.

The deck layout, in combination of the self-tacking jib and tiller steering, allow this boat to be one of the best on the market if you can find it.

You can usually sail these fractionally rigged and reef with ease from the cockpit. For around $35,000, you are getting a great deal on a boat that has everything you need.


If you are not quite ready to venture out alone or want the availability to take people out with you, then the J/109 is a great sailboat to look into. These were first built in 2004, so you should be able to still find them today.

If you decide that you want to take it out by yourself, you could look into going offshore and into areas where other boats have difficulty reaching. You might be able to get it to plane on open water, but it is a little heavy.

With its asymmetric spinnaker, you should be able to jib from the cockpit with light wind. Even in heavier winds, this boat offers great stability.

Due to its high standards of construction and long term stability, these boats are still valued around $60,000. If you can find one a little less for that, it could be a steal.

5. West Wight Potter 19


This boat design has been around since 1979, which prioritized safety and handling. Those factors alone make it a quality solo handling boat.

This sailboat has grown on many over the last three decades. People have probably overlooked it due to its name, but you should definitely check it out if you find one.

The slight design changes over the years have turned this into a tough little boat. It has a Bermuda rigged sloop and can handle various conditions.

With its lifting keel, it allows it to navigate shallow waters. This boat might be one of the more versatile options out there if you plan on sailing in shoal drafts.

For the price, it is hard to beat something less than $10,000. If you are wanting a newer version with upgraded features, you could be spending around $25,000.

6. Hanse 371


For a mid-sized cruiser, it will be hard to pass up a Hanse 371 if you come across it. This boat design is geared towards single handed sailing, with a perfect mix of older and newer technology.

It has a furlong and self-tacking jib, along with an autopilot feature making it easy to use for one person. For a boat that was built around 2000, it was well ahead of its time.

Even though the boat is a bit larger than some others for solo sailing, you will have plenty of space to move around. With the large galley and quite a bit of cabin room, you will feel like you are in a mansion.

The look and handle of this boat is favored by many, which is why it still holds its value. You can potentially find ones for sale around $60,000.

7. Jeanneau Sunfast 3200


From the first glance at this boat, you can see that it has a traditional look compared to other sailboats. Since it is smaller and lighter, it makes it easy to handle through many conditions.

The boat was originally designed to be a racer, so you have stability and strength in addition to speed. These were built around 2008, but still offer some of the best technology you will find today.

For space, you will have plenty of room just for yourself. There are two double cabins, galley, and a head compartment.

This fractional sloop, along with the keel, can provide easy sailing in either direction of the wind. You can comfortably have the mast around 60 percent to reach a comfortable speed.

This boat is still modern, so you will see these a little bit more often than some others. You will likely find them for about $160,000 but you get all of the latest technology and a boat that is built to last.

8. Tartan 3700


The Tartan 3700 is another quality boat that you can live on and comfortably cross the sea with. Thanks to the self-tacking jib, it allows the boat to be used easily by one person.

This boat was originally designed in the 1970’s, but still has value today. It has been proven to be a great boat to cover long distances and with multiple people on board.

Even though this one might be a little bit older in comparison to other single handed boats, the price still ranges close to $150,000. Rest assured, there is still quality and reliability with this sailboat.

9. Dehler 29

While this boat is not as popular in America, the Dehler 29 is a popular German sailboat. This boat is starting to become popular as more sailors look for single handed boats.

In 1998, this boat earned the honors for boat of the year and sailing boat of the year in the Cruising World Magazine. Since then, it still performs with quality since day one.

Since it is equipped with a tiller, you can steer this boat with ease. This offers one of the best opportunities to steer a boat without having to have an extra set of hands.

For the price, you can still find these on the market for slightly under $60,000. This is what you will pay for top quality German sailboats.

10. Rhodes 19


The Rhodes 19 is another classic style sailboat that many will gravitate to when they see it. Not only is it perfect for solo sailing, but you can have a few people on board if you enjoy family time.

The hull design is meant to be forgiving on the water, allowing it to easily handle heavier conditions. Since day one, this boat’s design has stood the test of time whether you are experienced or a newbie when it comes to sailing.

You can sprit rig this boat or simply use a Bermuda rig to help push you along with the wind. Since it has a low center of gravity, you do not have to worry about stability with this one.

Depending on your location, you can still find these for about $20,000. Assuming it is in good condition, you might find them slightly higher priced.

11. Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20


This boat has a strong history of solo sailing , simply because having more than one or two people would be uncomfortable. These were very common around the 1980’s and there were roughly 400 of these built. If you can find one that was built in the late 90’s, that would be your best bet.

The reason this boat deserves some attention is that you can potentially find it for a great price and live on it. This boat is also towable, making it easy to take with you no matter where you go. For just under $20,000, you can find plenty in good condition.


The Laser is a specific boat that you have probably seen in the Olympics. This small boat is simple and ready to go exploring for solo sailing.

This is arguably one of the most popular single handed boats out there. If you want the simplest option for sailing by yourself, look no further than a Laser.

This boat can use various rig types, so whichever method you prefer. Most use cat rigging since there is no headsail and just one mainsail. It also helps that this boat is easy to set up, making it desirable for solo handlers.

For the price point, you cannot beat $7,000 compared to other single handed boats. Due to its popularity and quality, you might have to pay a little more.

Why You Should Solo Sail

Solo sailing is an experience like no other and even replicates similar adrenaline rushes in other sports. If you are not seeking the thrill, there are boats drained to take it a little bit slower on the water.

Regardless of your skill level, you should consider the experience at least once in your life. The beautiful thing about this is, it does not have to be the perfect boat to get it done.

There are even plenty of sailors that have sailed on much larger boats or ones that were designed for more people. It all depends on the adventure you are trying to seek, but there is clearly not another like it when sailing on your own.

Features to Look for in Single-Handed Boats

When solo sailing, there are plenty of features that can separate one boat from another. These can make a big difference in how your adventure goes for the day.

The conditions at sea are often unavoidable and something that everyone has to deal with. Whether you are solo saling or with a crew, everyone has to be aware of tough conditions.

If you sail alone, you are required to do everything in order to make it back safely. Having something with an automation system will be huge for solo sailors.

If you have a quality boat, the next best thing would be automation systems on board to help your life sailing much easier. Some of these systems include autopilot, electric windlass, roller furling, and even a radar.

Other sailors might want lines that run to the aft, a wind vane, or a hydraulic system for the bow or stern. Basically anything that you can do with a click of a button to reduce manual labor.

While this is an obvious option, you do not want to forget about stability. No matter how fast the boat is or how many cool features it has, those will be useless if you have issues with handling.

You want a boat that has wide beams and shorter waterlines. While this limits some speed, that is a much better trade off than having nothing at all.

Easy to Use

When picking out your single handed sailboat, you want one that is easy to use. If there are too many features that are required to get it going, you either need more experience or that boat is not right for you.

Try finding one that only requires a few steps in comparison to other ones. You might have to pick one that is a bit smaller in order to get used to it all, which is all you really need since your are by yourself.

Many sailors will have their preferred sails when going out on the water. A unique sail design that you could look for is the Bermuda sail with a gaff sail.

This allows you to have more sail area on a shorter mast. It also allows you to have better control and less heeling force that is common for longer sails.

It does make sense to choose the one that is right for your boat and what is most comfortable to you. After you find the right boat for you, you should strongly consider the sails it has.

Rigging Type

When it comes to solo sailing, the gaff rig is one of the best rig types. Even though the Bermuda is the most common, you lose some windward capabilities since it is lower.

The gaff rig makes the most sense because it is easier to use and has the best downwind performance. Each sailor will have their preferred rig type, but in solo sailing, the gaff stands out the best.

Price Point Makes a Difference

You do not have to break the bank when deciding what boat is best for solo sailing. There are boats that can fit within any budget, and you just have to know what you are looking for.

Just because a boat is priced over $100,000, does not guarantee that it is the best on the market. Depending on the brand, how many features it has, and how big the boat is will determine the price.

Some of the best single handed sailboats are priced less than $20,000. It all depends on the type of adventure you are seeking and how much money you are willing to spend.

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

  16. Bluewater Yachts

    Posts: 2,874. Re: Bluewater yachts. Several years ago, I was commissioned to move a Bluewater 52 from Marina Del Ray in LA to San Diego stopping first in Catalina with the owner, his wife and 2 children aboard. I had some misgivings but we left early one morning before the wind piped up and seas began to build.

  17. Exploring Bluewater Yachts & Ocean Sailing: Ultimate Guide

    Denisa Nguyenová. +420 730 188 100 / [email protected]. Discover the allure of bluewater yachts & ocean sailing. Explore luxury vessels, ocean-going yachts, tips for beginners, and more. Embark on a maritime adventure!

  18. How is the quality of Bluewater boats?

    Blue Water is now owned by Kal Kustom boats, same folks that own Reinell. The two come off their plant in Oregon, and are still in business. The current boats usually share the same hulls at the Reinell boats, or use older molds. I see a number of Blue Water boats here in the NW. I'm not sure when they were bought by Kal Kustom.

  19. Bluewater 6000: Sea Trial

    High Points Bluewater Yachts' 6000 Custom is built well by Americans — three generations of the Klapmeier family of boat builders and their 3,000 employees in Mora, ... Boat Reviews. Chaparral 256 SSi: 2004 Runabout of the Year . Staff. June 27, 2004. Boat Reviews. Azimut 55: Sea Trial. Tom Thompson. March 18, 2004.


    Specialties: One company. One complete service. Bluewater Yachting specializes in booking Yacht Charter Vacations, Yacht Brokerage, Crew Placement, Crew Training, and Yacht Management. We are an international full service luxury yachting company that creates strong and lasting relationships with our clients and crew. Wherever you choose to cruise, there is no better way to enjoy the world's ...

  21. 5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats

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

  22. Best Single-Handed Bluewater Sailboats

    The Hunter Channel 31, J/109, and West Wight Potter 19 are great budget-friendly, single-handed sailboats. Moving up in price, you can look at Hanse 371, Jeanneau Sunfast 3200, and even a Dehler 29. Depending on the size and the amount of features it has will determine what they are worth.

  23. Bluewater Yacht Specs, Tests and Reviews

    1971 Bluewater 47 I/O. 1971 Bluewater 47 IB. Get the latest Bluewater Yacht specs, tests and reviews featuring models, specifications, available features, engine information, fuel consumption, and information resources.