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13 Best Small Catamarans For Cruising 2024

The best small catamarans for cruising are affordable and comfortable, making great sailboats for a number of different purposes. If you’re looking for the best small catamarans to start your cruising life then look no further!

When searching for a catamaran for our adventures we scoured the internet for any and all information we could find on just about every size, shape, and model!

Although in the end, we opted for a bigger catamaran, in the hopes of having more family and friends on board, we did heavily research the best small catamarans as an option.

One of the best small catamarans for cruising out at anchor.

Each small catamaran has different pros and cons. As with every sailboat, there will be compromises, but hopefully, this post will help you firm up what you’re really looking for in a multihull and find the right smaller catamaran for you!

Here are what we consider the best small cruising catamarans out there, costing anywhere from $40,000 to $300,000. You can also read up on the average costs of sailboats here.

Why choose a small catamaran for cruising?

The downsides to small multihulls for cruisers

The best small catamarans for ocean sailing

The best small catamarans for coastal cruising

Why Choose A Small Catamaran For Cruising?

a small multihull on an ocean passage, cutting through the water.

The main advantage to choosing a small catamaran for cruising has to be the cost. Not only are smaller sailboats cheaper to buy initially, but they are also cheaper to maintain and to dock in marinas or dry storage.

Why buy a small catamaran over a monohull? This isn’t the post to go into the pros and cons of multihulls vs monohulls, but a few of the main reasons you might prefer to buy a small cat over a bigger, cheaper monohull is the living space and the comfort underway and at anchor.

Living on a sailboat is very different from taking the boat out for a sporty sail every now and again. Having a catamaran over a monohull means you won’t be heeling or rolling at anchor half as much, you can leave out your coffee cup, and you have the space you need to spread out a little.

A small catamaran will enable the more comfortable lifestyle you’re seeking at a more reasonable price tag. So what’s not to love about small cruising multihulls?

The Downsides To Small Multihulls For Cruisers

a sailboat with its sails up, goosewinged.

Of course, just with everything in sailing, there are always compromises to be made when it comes to small multihulls.

One of the biggest downsides for cruisers is the weight issue smaller catamarans present. You won’t be able to carry half as much as you would on a larger catamaran or monohull, which might be a problem if you live onboard full time.

The other negative is that smaller boats usually aren’t quite as seaworthy as larger ones. You might find you’re limited to coastal cruising if you choose a small catamaran, so make sure you have your cruising intentions in mind before you buy.

the sails of a sailboat against the blue sky.

Another big thing to look out for when it comes to choosing the right small cat for you, is the bridge deck clearance. This is often worse on smaller catamarans, and can cause nasty slamming in any sort of sea, both when sailing and at anchor.

With these downsides in mind, we’ve split this post into the best small catamarans for ocean sailing and the best for coastal cruising. Obviously this is a little subjective, as many people have sailed around the world in much smaller and less seaworthy vessels!

The Best Small Catamarans For Ocean Cruising

#1 wharram tiki.

  • Suitable for: Bluewater sailing
  • Fixed Keels
  • Draft (max): 2.08′
  • Engines: Single outboard, though some versions have twin inboards
  • Price: Roughly $100,000

small catamarans sailing with the sunset behind

We have lusted after the Wharram catamarans since our adventures began and would have opted for one of these if we had found one for sale this side of the pond.

Designed by the legendary James Wharram, these small multihulls are pretty unique. They are based on the Polynesian catamaran design, and the plans enable you to self-build these boats if you have the time, money, and space for a project of this magnitude.

If you aren’t keen on taking on a project then you can commission a boat builder to complete the design for you, or buy one second-hand. The advantages of having one made yourself are that you can tweak things to your personal taste, and you can even contact the Wharrams themselves to see if they can adjust the designs for individual requests.

The Wharram catamarans have a lot of charm dues to their traditional design, and the old-fashioned appeal continues inside the boat too. You won’t find the same huge hull space as some of the modern design catamarans now have, but the outside entertainment space is perfect for entertaining.

One of the best small multihulls for ocean cruising

These small catamarans don’t have an inside space across the hulls, so all of your inside living space is below. If you’re used to monohulls then this won’t be a problem but if you like the idea of a galley-up then these boats aren’t for you.

Wharram catamarans, especially the Tiki 38, have great reputations as around the world, bluewater boats. They have fantastic bridge deck clearance so slamming is minimum and they sail well.

Most models have a double cabin and two singles, a galley, a head, and a small salon area below. They are smaller catamarans than many newer 38ft multihulls but this does make them more affordable.

small catamarans in the Caribbean with a beautiful white sand beach behind

A big appeal for us was the fact these boats are designed to be self-made. Although a secondhand model could potentially come with a lot of problems (get a decent survey before you buy!) it does mean that almost everything onboard can be self-fixed. This is a huge bonus if you plan on sailing your small catamaran around the world.

Another thing we loved about these smaller catamarans is the fact they have outboard engines, which we felt would be easier to maintain and replace if necessary. This is a personal choice though so consider this before you get your heart set on one!

One of the downsides to the Tiki 38 is that there aren’t many of them around. These are unique boats and they don’t come on the market frequently. When they do, they tend to be scattered all over the world so you’ll have to be prepared to travel to find one!

#2 Prout Snowgoose 37 : Small Catamaran For Ocean Cruising

a sail on a cruising catamaran and the ocean in the background.

Prout catamarans are a popular choice for cruisers, and you’ll find many owners who have circumnavigated in them. The Snowgoose is no exception. Prout no longer exists as a company, as it was bought by Broadblue in the 90s.

Broadblue still makes catamarans today, and they have very similar features to the original Prouts, though obviously they are far fancier and have all the benefits of a more modern design!

The Snowgoose is a great small multihull to go for as you get quite a lot of space inside and out. We weren’t sure about the berth in the salon area, but it might make a great space for a baby or small child while underway!

The compromise in the Prout Snowgoose is the bridge deck clearance and this was something that put us off these smaller cruising catamarans. A low bridge deck clearance makes the boat slam in waves, both at anchor and underway.

#8 PDQ 36 : A Small Catamaran Without Too Much Slamming

  • Suitable for: Bluewater
  • Draft (max): 2.82′
  • Engines: Twin inboard or outboard
  • Price: Over $100,000

best small catamaran 2022

These small catamarans have an excellent reputation among cruisers because of their solid build and use of decent materials. They come with either outboard engines for coastal cruising or inboard engines designed to withstand offshore use.

If you like the sound of the PDQ 32 but need a little more room then you’ve got that here! It’s also a boat that people have crossed oceans in, though you might want to consider something more tried and tested like the Prout Snowgoose or the Wharram if you’re planning longer ocean sails.

The boat has three cabins, a galley, salon and head, but there’s a more spacious feel compared to the smaller model. Again, the bridge deck clearance is good so you shouldn’t experience too much slamming.

#9 Lagoon 380 : One Of The Most Popular Small Multihulls

best small catamaran 2022

  • Fixed keels
  • Engines:  twin diesel engines
  • Price:  from $100,000, used

The Lagoon 380 is one of the most popular catamarans out there, and you’ve probably already spotted a lot of them in your search! This is a great option if modern cats appeal to you, as it’s pretty ‘with the times’ as far as smaller catamarans go!

There are lots of different layouts of this boat available all over the world. Some were built for charter with numerous berths and others were commissioned for couples or families with differing cabin and head options.

This is a proven catamaran from a reputable company, but obviously with so many of these boats out there, they come in a range of conditions. Make sure you get a thorough survey done before purchase!

Lagoon 37 TPI

  • Draft (max): 4′
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels 
  • Price: Over $100,000 USD 

This is the smallest catamaran built by Lagoon, and unfortunately there aren’t many of them out there. These boats were built mainly for the charter market, and have a smaller rig than some similar sized catamarans.

There are two big queen-size forward doubles port and starboard and a smaller double in the starboard hull aft. The galley and salon are designed to be simple and timeless, with none of the fancy trims you’ll find in the newer Lagoons.

As this boat was intended for charter it probably wouldn’t make a great ocean-going vessel. For starters, it isn’t designed to carry too much in the way of provisions. That’s not to say it won’t be a suitable bluewater boat with a few tweaks. Sailors who have circumnavigated in them have increased sail area and added folding props to get more speed from the vessel.

#11 Catalac 9M/30

best small catamaran 2022

  • Draft (max): 2.5′
  • Engines:  two outboard engines or one diesel engine
  • Price:  from $50,000

The Catalac 9M is a little different to a lot of the catamarans on this list, as it was built for sailing in the North Sea! This is a great small catamaran for anyone wanting a boat built to be safe!

The bridge deck clearance is reasonable but the boat is light, which can make it more prone to slamming. The unique feature of this small sailboat is the hard dodger, designed as somewhere safe and dry to stand in bad weather.

It sails well, though like a lot of catamarans there is technique involved in getting it to tack smoothly. Once you’ve got the hang of though, this boat will make good speeds for its size.

The Best Small Catamarans For Coastal Cruising

  • Suitable for: Coastal
  • Draft (max): 3.62′
  • Engines: Twin inboard
  • Price: Up to $300,000 for a newer model

The Mahe 36 is the smallest of the Fountaine Pajot range, and these small catamarans can go for a heafty budget if you find a newer model!

This tiny multihull packs a lot into a small space, and because of its modern features, you’ll feel like you’re in a much bigger boat when you step aboard.

This boat is a fast mover, with an ok bridge clearance and some attractive upgrades compared to their last small catamaran design. Most notably the full-length hard top bimini which has the reviewers raving!

If you have the money to splash out on a newer, more expensive small catamaran then this should definitely be on your list to consider! Although they come with a large price tag, these small catamarans are considerably cheaper new than some of the bigger models.

#4 Gemini 105Mc (34ft)

best small catamaran 2022

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Centreboards Draft (max): 5′ Engines:  Single inboard Price:  from $80,000

The Gemini 105Mc is still in production in the US, which speaks to its popularity. Obviously if you buy new you’ll pay a much higher price! This is one of the smallest catamarans on the list, but it’s still a great option for coastal cruising (or some have even successfully completed ocean passages on them in relative comfort).

For a small multihull this boat sails pretty well and is fast for a coastal cruiser. The living space is decent with good headroom. It has two double cabins and a master bedroom, and the interior finishes are nice too.

A big negative to this boat is the bridge deck clearance which really isn’t amazing, but as we said at the start, there’s always a compromise! This is a sporty-looking little catamaran that’s a good contender for the top smallest catamarans out there!

#5 EndeavourCat 36

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Fixed keels Draft (max): 3′ Engines:  two inboard Price:  from $100

best small catamaran 2022

Designed and built by Endeavour Catamaran, these American built boats are great cruising catamarans. A big advantage to this little multihull is that it will fit into most monohull slips, so if you anticipate using marinas a lot then this might be the small catamaran for you!

This isn’t a slow boat, and owners report speeds of 8-9 knots. Bear in mind though that the narrow beam does make it less suitable for any offshore passages. It has good interior space with 6′ standing headroom throughout, three double cabins, and a decent-sized galley below. The salon area can seat 6 people comfortably.

This cat is great for single-handed sailors, as all the lines lead to the cockpit and the main and jib are completely self-tacking.

#6 Prout Event 34

best small catamaran 2022

Suitable for: Coastal/bluewater Fixed keels Draft (max): 2.72′ Engines:  Single inboard Price:  from $30,000

These multihulls are quite hard to find, but if you like the Snowgoose but are on a tighter budget then they might be just what you’re looking for. They share lots of features with the Snowgoose and look very similar, only smaller!

There are three cabins, one head, a salon, and a galley, only they are rather squeezed in compared to the larger model. Personally, we thought there was plenty of space for a smaller sailboat but it’s worth seeing them in person if you’re keen on this model.

They do have the same downsides as the Snowgoose though, with limited headroom and low bridge deck clearance. These boats are known for their slamming!

Coastal Engines:  twin outboards Price:  from $80,000, used

best small catamaran 2022

The PDQ 32 is a great budget option catamaran and should be cheap(ish) to buy second hand and maintain. With two outboards that are easy to replace on a smaller budget, you’re looking at some of the usual pinch points on a boat becoming a lot more affordable!

This small catamaran only has two cabins, so sleeps less than a lot of the boats on this list, but it is roomier than you’d imagine inside with a decent galley and salon area. It has decent bridge deck clearance so shouldn’t slam too much in any waves.

This isn’t a boat for longer passages as it is a little small (and perhaps underpowered) to face serious weather. If you’re searching for something to potter around in then this is a fun boat to sail and live in!

#12 Dean 365

best small catamaran 2022

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  • Suitable for: Coastal cruising
  • Draft (max): 3′
  • Engines:  one or two inboard
  • Price:  from $45,000, used

These South African catamarans are great little coastal cruising catamarans that are hard to come by anywhere other than South Africa!

They’re pretty tiny, but have enough space for a galley, 3 or 4 cabins, and 1 or 2 heads. Some of the designs even have a bathtub, which speaks of their liveaboard suitability rather than their sail performance!

These boats are some of the smallest multihulls on this list, so don’t expect much in terms of headroom or bridge deck clearance. That being said, if you’re looking for a tiny catamaran to live on and you are prepared to compromise on sailing ability then these are a solid choice.

We have heard that the build quality can vary somewhat with these multihulls, so make sure you do some solid research and get a good surveyor when buying one of these. If you get a good version then they can make really solid boats.

#13 EndeavourCat 30

the lines of small catamarans tied off to a cleat

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Fixed keels Draft (max): 2.1′ Engines:  single or twin outboard Price:  from $70,000

This is a boat built for comfort over all else, so if you’re looking for a budget catamaran to live in then take a look at the endeavourcat 30. Some people don’t like the boxy design, but we quite liked how it looked in the water. I guess it’s personal taste!

This sailboat has two double cabins, a decent sized galley and salon for the size of the boat, and a head. The bridge deck clearance is low so that’s something to bear in mind before you buy, but the headroom is good (another reason why this would make a good liveaboard catamaran).

Hopefully this has given you some inspiration when searching for small catamarans for cruising, and helped you to find your dream boat!

We’re passionate about helping people live this incredible cruising lifestyle, so if you’re planning your dream liveaboard life make sure you check out our guide on how to run away to sea, with everything you could possibly need to know before, during, and after starting this adventure of a lifetime!

best small catamaran 2022

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Such small mention of probably the best catamaran for overall cruising, focusing on ease of helming, speed and livability. Simple rig, great ergonomic features, style and definitely a pedigree on the water. The FP Mahe duo! Sea proven. Most delivered on their own bottoms from France. Wide beams and light. Beautiful interior arrangements and easy to maintain. I’m confused about so little mention of probably the best entry level and beyond real cruiser out there.

You forgot the edelcat 35. Great boats, and have circumnavigated!

I wonder why Broadblue 346 is not on the list.

Appreciate it’s a bit more expensive than most cats listed here but what about the Aventura 37? Technically a small cat but with ocean going abilities and an actual live aboard!

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The Boat Galley

making boat life better

Small Catamarans

10 Small Catamarans for Cruisers

Published on January 23, 2021 ; last updated on November 7, 2023 by Carolyn Shearlock/Rick Marcarelli

Is a cruising catamaran your dream? Check out these 10 small but sturdy boats you might want to consider.

I hear from many readers interested in small catamarans. Recently, the folks at reached out to interview me about our experience cruising on our Gemini 105, Barefoot Gal and we began chatting about the various small catamarans on the market. One thing led to another and I’m pleased that Rick Marcarelli was willing to contribute a guest post sharing information comparing ten of the most popular small catamarans on the market.

When most buyers think of catamarans these days, they think of designs by Lagoon, Leopard, and Fountaine Pajot. 

These are all fine vessels. But they were built to cater to the charter markets. And so they may not be the best boats for long-term, liveaboard cruisers. 

Charter vs Liveaboard Cruising

The typical charter catamaran accommodates three or four couples sailing for one to two weeks in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Usually they will provision once, sail a few daylight hours, eat out more than a typical cruiser, and anchor or moor for the night.

Compare that itinerary to the typical liveaboard cruiser. 

Most cruisers spend over 90% of their time at anchor or a dock. They provision repeatedly and usually for many months at a time. Many cruisers rarely eat out at restaurants. And most importantly, cruisers sometimes sail non-stop through the night for multiple days or weeks when making a passage between cruising destinations. 

best small catamaran 2022

The differences between charterers and cruisers cause them to desire different cabin layouts and amenities.

For charter boats, the focus is on several small cabins, each having its own accompanying head. They also have minimal storage space and enormous salons and cockpits. 

Long-term liveaboards generally desire a large master cabin, fewer heads, and significant storage space. They are usually willing to compromise space for superior sailing performance to reduce passage making days and increase safety by avoiding severe weather. 

Affordable Catamaran Market

Unfortunately for liveaboard cruisers interested in catamarans, the market is dominated by enormous, often very expensive, four cabin-four head charter models. In fact, our analysis of sales data suggests that about 38% of the market consists of Lagoon catamarans and over 50% are Lagoon or Fountaine Pajots. In addition, 90% of the market consists of catamarans over 38 feet in length. Please see the infographic. 

While a majority of catamarans for sale are large, expensive, charter catamarans, our site’s traffic suggests that 40% of buyers are looking for smaller, simpler, affordable catamarans under 38 feet in length. 

These are buyers like Carolyn was when she purchased S/V Barefoot Gal . And they are buyers who may be like you and are looking for something affordable that is suited to your liveaboard needs. 

Modest Cats for Cruisers

Consider widening your net. Here are some additional models to consider in your search:

Prout 37 Snowgoose

  • Cruising Grounds: Bluewater
  • Underbody: Fixed Keels
  • Draft (max): 2.08′
  • Mast Height: 40’ (Standard) / 50’ (Elite)
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabins, 1 head; galley down; open version has larger salon while private stateroom has larger master cabin
  • Speed: Slow
  • Engines: Usually single outdrive; rare versions have twin inboards
  • Availability: Relatively common all over the world
  • Ballpark Price: Around $100,000 USD

best small catamaran 2022

  • Cruising Grounds: Built for North Sea
  • Draft (max): 2.5′
  • Mast Height: tabernacle mast
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Above Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabins, 1 head; galley down
  • Engines: Single gas outboard or twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Somewhat rare; usually a couple on the market or 8M sister ship; more in Europe
  • Ballpark Price: Under $50,000 USD

Lagoon 37 TPI

  • Draft (max): 4′
  • Mast Height: 55’
  • Layouts: 3 or 4 cabin; 2 heads; galley down
  • Speed: Fast 
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels 
  • Availability: Very rare; cult classic 
  • Ballpark Price: Over $100,000 USD 

best small catamaran 2022

PDQ 36 Capella

  • Draft (max): 2.82′
  • Mast Height: 47’ (Standard) or 55’ (LRC)
  • Layouts: 2 or 3 cabin; 1 or 2 heads; galley down
  • Engines: Single gas outboard, twin gas outboard, or twin diesel inboard
  • Availability: Usually a few on the market and more likely in USA
  • Ballpark Price: Over $100,000 USD

Seawind 1000

  • Draft (max): 3.2′
  • Mast Height: 47’
  • Layouts: 4 cabins; 1 head; galley down
  • Speed: Fast
  • Engines: Twin gas outboard
  • Availability: Usually a few for sale; newer models still being built; originally built in Australia
  • Ballpark Price: Over $150,000 USD

best small catamaran 2022

  • Cruising Grounds: Coastal
  • Draft (max): 3.35′
  • Layouts: 4 cabins or 2 cabin Maestro; 2 head; galley up
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels with saildrives
  • Availability: Usually a couple on the market often in Caribbean
  • Ballpark Price: Around $150,000 USD

Endeavour 36

  • Draft (max): 2′ 9″
  • Layouts: 3 cabin; galley down
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Rare and likely in the USA

best small catamaran 2022

  • Draft (max): 3.62′
  • Mast Height: 55′
  • Layouts: 3 cabin / 1 head; 2 cabin / 2 head; galley up
  • Availability: More common especially in Caribbean
  • Ballpark Price: Newer version up to $300,000 USD
  • Underbody: Centerboards
  • Draft (max): 5′
  • Mast Height: 47’ (M) or 48’ (MC)
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Below Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabin; 1 head; galley down but open
  • Engines: Single inboard diesel with retractable outdrive
  • Availability: Common especially in the USA

best small catamaran 2022

  • Draft (max): 3′
  • Mast Height: 46′
  • Layouts: 4 cabin / 1 head; 3 cabin / 2 head; galley down; bathtubs on some
  • Engines: Single or twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Rare model
  • Ballpark Price: Around $50,000 USD

Rick Marcarelli is the webmaster of featuring cruising catamarans for sale by owner as well as educational articles. Rick is the owner of S/V Catalpa , a Catalac 8M based out of Merritt Island, Florida. The site also functions as the owner’s website for Catalac catamarans. If you are planning on buying a catamaran, might save you a considerable amount of money and lead to years of happy sailing.

best small catamaran 2022

And check out our other courses and products

best small catamaran 2022

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Reader Interactions

January 31, 2021 at 5:58 pm

I would think draft on the fixed keel boats would be important to many who are considering cats.

Carolyn Shearlock says

February 1, 2021 at 12:49 pm

I’ll see if we can perhaps add that.

Richard says

February 9, 2021 at 11:03 am

Good addition. I have provided drafts to Carolyn, so please watch this article for that to be updated. Any questions or additional information you would like added please comment again.

Drew Frye says

February 20, 2021 at 11:46 am

The best way to look at speed ratings is the PHRF rating or other handicaps. I used to own a PDQ 32 and never found a Gemini I couldn’t pass rather easily on autopilot, so I don’t think it rates slow if well handled. Granted, mine was turboed a bit and carried a 120 rating.

Florida ratings, according to US Sailing

PDQ 32 135 Seawind 1000 137 PDQ 36 156 Gemini 105 MC 168 Snowgoose 250 The others rate around 130-145

And of course, this is only fast or slow within the class. Fast multihulls cruising (?) multihulls rate 0-60.

February 21, 2021 at 7:59 am

Thanks! Good info.

September 10, 2023 at 5:55 am

I have an Edel 35′. For their price, they are a good option, for this size of catamaran. They are not slow, by any means. Disadvantage: clearance under nacelle.

Erin Michaud says

February 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

Great info, we met an owner of a Catalac 9M in Key West Garrison Bight Marina a couple of weeks ago. His name is Eric & he moved his boat to the Boca Chica Navy Marina. I will send the contact info for Rick to him specifically for the Catalac boats! Thanks!

February 24, 2021 at 5:54 am

Catalacs are great boats. We saw a couple for sale around the time we bought Barefoot Gal but they were sold the same day they were listed so we didn’t get to even look at them.

January 6, 2022 at 11:32 am

Hello. I was wondering if you can identify this open catamaran which boasts a GRP cockpit with seating?

Bruce Bayne says

February 20, 2022 at 9:57 am

I noticed that the Privilege 37 and 39 were not mentioned in your 10 list of catamarans. Is there a reason? How do they stack up to the others with regard to speed and bridgedeck clearance?

June 6, 2022 at 10:44 am

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2022 Boat of the Year: Best Multihull

  • By Dave Reed
  • December 17, 2021

Sailing World Magazine’s annual Boat of the Year tests are conducted in Annapolis, Maryland, following the US Sailboat Show. With independent judges exhaustively inspecting the boats on land and putting them through their paces on the water, this year’s fleet of new performance-sailing boats spanned from small dinghies to high-tech bluewater catamarans. Here’s the best of the best from our 2022 Boat of the Year nominees »

Life, like sailing, is all about balance, says Phil Berman, who, as a teenage Hobie class champion, wrote the authoritative book on catamaran racing. That was way back in the 1980s, but for our Boat of the Year tests, he’s on board the tropical-sunset-wrapped Balance 482 performance catamaran. This South African-built 48-footer is a sabbatical cruiser for sure, but it’s just the sort of cruiser a competitive sailor like Berman would just as well take across a starting line and go for the hardware.

His story may sound familiar, but it’s also the story of this boat. He started a multihull brokerage long ago, and after surveying and selling so many boats, he came to the inevitable conclusion: “I said, ‘You know, I think I can design a better production catamaran, one that isn’t designed for the charter trade, but one that’s going to be a boat that’s as comfortable to sail as it is on anchor.”

That’s the equilibrium Berman strives to achieve in all of his boats, and it is this lens through which our judges evaluated Hull No. 1 of the Balance 482 in Annapolis. “This is a boat that’s fun to sail, but has space to live and is robust enough to sail in the Southern Ocean,” he tells the judges, “and easily sailed singlehanded, if required.”

And with that said, he draws the judges’ attention to the boat’s helm station—the one and only—to starboard. Here, he shows them how he has full command of the engine throttles, and sail trim controls and halyards led through banks of low-profile clutches to three powered winches. Every line—literally every line—leads to this workspace, with the tails disappearing neatly into line boxes. From this vantage point at the helm, he can also see everything forward and above without having to look through a dodger or crazed vinyl. Such protection from the elements, Berman says, isn’t necessary. When the wind and water in your face get to be too much, you can simply disengage the plunger lock on the pedestal and pivot your helm downward into the salon, where there’s a bank of instruments at the ready and great visibility through the boat’s gigantic thick-glass windows.

Balance 482

The Versa Helm, which Berman says he invented and others have adopted, places the inside steering station in the aft cockpit, unlike many other catamaran designs that have the inside helm forward, next to a door that leads to a mast pit and cockpit. With the helm station located aft instead, the Balance’s salon can better utilize the space to fit an expansive galley, a roomy nav station desk, and a convertible queen-size berth when the dinette table is lowered. With dual 48-volt alternators, rigid solar panels on the roof, and all the low-draw galley appliances you could ever possibly need, this is a boat where you could certainly keep the fuel tanks light for racing and disappear off the grid for a while when you’re done banging around the buoys.

“The open layout in the salon is a nice change from what we normally see,” Greg Stewart says. “The up-down steering system actually worked really well, and it was an interesting place to steer a catamaran like this—it was something we’d never done on any of the other cats we’ve sailed. Because you don’t have all the friction of a second helm, the steering was amazingly light and responsive.”

At roughly 26,000 pounds (the stated weight with the cruise-package equipment), the judges deemed the light-ship displacement was about right for a boat of its length and purpose. Cored vinylester hulls and composite cabinetry throughout the interior help keep the weight down while allowing for storage compartments that practically run stem to stern in both hulls. “We’re not doing our laminate schedules on the thin edge of survival,” Berman tells the judges. “We’re building a boat that’s robust and capable of sailing in the Southern Ocean.”

Balance 482

The philosophy of the 482, he adds, is that a couple (“typically in their 50s and 60s”) would be capable of taking the boat on extended cruises or daysailing it with ease. For the latter purpose, the 82 percent working jib is self-tacking, and the 964-square-foot mainsail is set on a bridle instead of a transom-mounted traveler. “Rather than dealing with a traveler, you set the bridal stoppers for the wind you have,” Berman says, “and with that, you can short-tack all day long.”

The 482’s ability to tack efficiently and track well upwind is mainly due to the deep, high-profile carbon daggerboards, Stewart says. “The foil profiles are good, and the boards are plenty deep.”

The judges sail-tested the boat with the working jib in 6 to 10 knots of breeze, and Chuck Allen felt it was a bit underpowered, but Stewart said a few more knots of breeze would have made it come alive. Even with the small jib, the boat was matching wind speeds, he adds, and sailing at decent angles upwind. When they rolled out the screecher—no surprise—the fun meter shot up instantly.

Furling spinnakers, of course, require careful handling to ensure a proper roll, and on the Balance, there’s good working space on the foredeck to snake and stow these sails. Berman points to the raised aluminum longeron as a key feature; it eliminates a tripping hazard on the forward trampoline and provides a wide and firm runway to access headsail tack fittings.

Approximately 35,000 man-hours go into making the Balance as strikingly good-looking on the outside as it is inside, and squeezed into 25 feet of beam are sophisticated systems that are all easily accessible for maintenance, from the steering quadrant, to the engines and alternators, to the watermaker and the meticulous electric panel.

“The interior is what really struck me as being really, really well done,” Dave Powlison says. “It fits into the luxury category, with the beautiful wood laminate and all the high-quality systems. The hull lines too were perfectly clean without any bump-outs [for the steps down into the hulls], and that also makes it a lot quieter.”

Allen agrees: “The whole boat is really clean, everywhere I looked. And I thought, for the boat we saw, it would be a lot more than $1.3 million. It hits its stated purpose, and for me, the value is what put this one to top of my list. The balance that [Berman] talks about—good sailing and good livability—definitely makes this one a winner.”

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10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

  • Post author By Rick
  • Post date September 11, 2020
  • 3 Comments on 10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

best small catamaran 2022

Smaller cruising catamarans are an excellent entry level gateway into cruising catamarans and of late have become very popular. This is an effort to select some of the most well respected of these smaller catamarans. This was a difficult task, as many of these boats, designed and built some time ago, are still found in all the popular cruising grounds, and a list like this is subjective after all. All I can do is apologize in advance for leaving a boat off this list.

  • Prout Snowgoose 37

best small catamaran 2022

The Snowgoose  (all iterations) was the first truly popular mass produced catamaran with more than 500 built. Known as safe, strong and capable of being sailed off shore, which some say is because of the position of their main mast, they make a perfect coastal cruiser or circumnavigator for an adventurous couple. This is a lot of boat for the money. These boats began their model run as a 35’ boat but as time went on Prout changed the mould by extending them to 37’. The Snowgoose can be found in every ocean on the planet.

The interior is simple and lightweight in order to maintain good sailing performance. A combination of classic woods and modern materials give the boat a spacious and open feeling that is hard to find on a boat this size.

Under sail, the Prout Snowgoose 37 is consistent, and it doesn’t need to be micromanaged, making it an ideal passagemaker. During passages,150 miles per day can be expected without pushing the boat. The Snowgoose 37, with its flexible cutter rig, balances easily and handles well under autopilot.

The Snowgoose is renowned for its rugged construction and sea kindliness as these boats were built to cross oceans, and not as additions to Caribbean charter fleets. Somewhere around 500 boats were built, and, although statements like this are impossible to confirm, its been said that nearly 100 have completed circumnavigations. True or not, Prouts have probably done more circumnavigations than any other catamaran of their era. The Prout designs have proven themselves time and again as tough, reliable cruisers and if a sailor wants a cat to sail around the world, there’s a good chance he’ll probably end up in a Snowgoose.

  • Gemini 105M

best small catamaran 2022

The most popular American line of catamarans with over 1100 deliveries, this Gemini 105MC is one of the most affordable catamarans on the market. The Gemini’s performance is legendary yet they still manage to surprise unsuspecting newcomers.

These boats squeeze 3 cabins, a head and full Galley (in starboard hull) and a deck layout and rig which offers a stable, safe, and well-reasoned platform for whatever comes your way. And the ingenuity of lifting centerboards and kick-up rudders will have you sailing through less than 2′ of water, making this boat the ultimate Island hopper. All this and more at 33′ 6″ length and a 14′ beam that can dock in a standard slip or truck across the country.

The Gemini 105M has plenty of room, is an excellent value, with outstanding accommodations, and solid sailing performance.

  • The Lagoon 37 TPI

best small catamaran 2022

The Lagoon 37 TPI catamaran was built by the famed boat yard Tillotson Pearson in Rhode Island. They were introduced in 1993 following the success of the Lagoon 42 in the US charter market and draws from a long lineage of great multihull designs and continues the collaboration of Jeanneau of France, and TPI (American). With the same designers and builders as the forerunner model and targeting the same market, these boats have achieved cult status among catamaran sailors. Their pointing ability, and comfort aboard are legendary.  These boats were designed with the much preferred straight propeller shafts instead of sail drives and were sold as 3 cabin 2 head laid out as an Owner’s Version.

A French design, built in the USA by TPI in Rhode Island, they have become a very sought-after catamaran. These boats are fast and comfortable both at sea and at anchor with ample storage room and comfortable accommodations.

best small catamaran 2022

The PDQ 36 was a Canadian built catamaran offered in two arrangements. The LRC (Long Range Cruiser) is a legend among cruising catamarans and included 2 Yanmar diesel engines coupled to straight shafts. The PDQ 36 Capella, was built with pods for two Yamaha extended shaft outboards.

These are solid boats with excellent construction as the expert use of materials and construction techniques results in a strong boat yet keeps the hull weight low. With twin inboard diesels, she’s designed for coastal cruising. They aren’t seen for sale very often.

These are well-built and well-regarded catamarans, designed with a gracious entertaining area, and two luxurious staterooms complete with queen-size beds. At 36′ the boat is the ideal size for single-handing, as the twin engines contribute to excellent maneuverability in tight spaces while the diesel engine version offering considerable charging capability.

Two equal staterooms with plenty of storage throughout the boat. The head and shower stall are one piece for easy cleaning. The galley is located in the port hull, has dual sinks, a Force 10 oven with two burner range and refrigerator for easy access. The salon seats six for dining.

The cockpit is spacious with pilot and co-pilot seats and an aft bench seat. The engines are either inboard diesels or in pods and retract out of the water for no drag when under sail. 

best small catamaran 2022

The Catalac 9M was a British built, 30 foot design, with a modest rig, high coach roof, large  cockpit and 5 berths in four sleeping areas which provided lots of sun bathing deck space, a shallow draft, and had reasonable performance. In a good blow (>20 knots of wind speed) 10 knots at 45 degress apparent can be expected from the Catalac 9M and in enough wind the boat will tack inside of 45 degrees. In strong quarterly winds speeds of 12-14 knots under sail has been documented with the outboard engine configuration in a lightly loaded boat. Remarkable performance from such a boxy design  given that it’s design priority was comfort rather than speed

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These were designed be raised and lowered single handed. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to increase windward ability. About 250 boats were built.

best small catamaran 2022

EndeavourCat 36 cruising catamaran is an American designed and buit boat by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL. The EndeavourCat 36 draws less than 3 feet and can go most places that others can’t. These boats are very easily docked with twin diesel engines. They were built with three staterooms with queen-size beds. There are identical staterooms aft in each hull with a bedside table, hanging locker and drawers. Each stateroom has a ceiling light, reading lights, large hatches, opening ports. The bright, airy salon can comfortably seat 6-8.

The Galley is located in the port hull and is large enough for two people to prepare a gourmet meal side by side. Designed to be sailed single-handed without ever leaving the cockpit, all lines lead to the cockpit, two two-speed winches make easy work of sail handling. Both main and jib are completely self-tacking.

best small catamaran 2022

The Endeavour 30 was built by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL and features spacious Salon, Massive Galley, Huge Head with separate two-person shower with a built-in seat. Twin Queen births with full hanging cedar lined closest and plentiful storage space.  The hull, deck, and structural bulkheads are manufactured of biaxial fiberglass with isophathalic vinylester resins and NidaCore (a polypropelene honeycomb) coring. Vacuum bagged construction was used to enhance stiffness, strength, and reduce weight. There is a full interior fiberglass grid used as the interior mold for strength and rigidity. The headliner is a full fiberglass molded piece. The hulls and decks are fastened both chemically and mechanically for strength. Twin fiberglass molded keels are foam filled and have integral sumps. The balanced rudders are constructed of high denisty foam/fiberglass.

These boats have a very unique layout merging the cabin with the cockpit with broad companionway doors. Tons of features packed into her 30 foot length. A lot of catamaran for the money.

  • Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36

best small catamaran 2022

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 was based on an Olivier Flahault design and with a Joubert/Nivelt hull, The Mahe 36 is built for safe navigation with comfortable, bright living areas and a fully protected cockpit alongside the salon.

The Mahe 36 features an open-plan / sheltered cockpit and saloon and raised helm station.  Entering the main salon through the sliding cockpit door the well-appointed galley is to starboard and the Nav station and storage is to port. Down into the starboard hull is the master stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports, a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors.

Forward to starboard is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. Down from the saloon to the port guest stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports , a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors. Forward to port is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. The large windows forward, Port and Starboard in the saloon make for an airy, open feeling.

These boat offers great comfort both sailing and at anchor while at the same time offering excellent performance. The Mahé 36 allows you to move around freely onboard, enjoying comfort when navigating (at the helm, in the cockpit or down below) or while moored. Everything has been thought out so that you can move about on this 36 ft yacht without anything getting in the way.

best small catamaran 2022

The Catalac 8M is a pocket cruising catamaran which has a solid reputation for quality, strength and durability. Many of the boats found in North America today, were sailed there from Great Britain. The Catalac 8M, although classified as a pocket cruiser was designed with blue water sailing in mind. Offered in two versions, twin diesels or a single outboatd engine. The twin inboard diesel models can easily motor almost 1000 kilometers without refueling. The 70 amps of charging and 70 gallons of stock water tanks in the Catalac 8M and 9M make even these smaller boats terrific coastal cruisers. The Outboard versions sail a bit quicker as the engine can be raised during sailing, reducing drag. Constructed with solid fiberglass hulls, these are quality boats which were built like battleships. Chuck Kanter calls them one of the catamaran brands that live on through the decades.

The Catalac 8M is masthead rigged with a relatively short, but thick mast. As with all boats in the Catalac production lineup, this contributes to a stable boat with a low center of effort. No Catalac has ever been known to fly a hull under any circumstances.

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These can be raised and lowered single handed. The standing rigging is over sized to withstand the extra loading experienced by catamarans. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to improve windward ability. 

Designed with a single full size berth forward, a large 8 foot long galley in the starboard hull, a quarter berth, nav station and head in the Port hull, these small catamarans pack a lot of features in a small package. Their cockpits are as large as a 38 – 40 foot catamaran. Most of these boats are in Europe but a fail number were either imported or sailed to North America.

best small catamaran 2022

The Seawind 1000 is an Australian built 37′ catamaran. These Australian designed and built catamarans have won world wide acclaim and awards for their stability, spaciousness, luxury and performance.  The Seawind 1000’s blend of simplicity and sophistication is an example of what a modest cruising catamaran needs to serve the minimum needs of its crew, and what it should have to make sailors want to use and keep their beloved catamaran.

She has a well equipped galley with plenty of bench space and storage and the large open saloon. Featuring 2 cabins, 4 berths, large bathroom, and very nice galley. They feature a large double bed, additonal bunk and bathroom portside. On the starboard side, kitchen, additional bunk, desk and seperate cabin. The saloon features a large table that can convert to a huge daybed for lounging while under sail. Her large trampolines up front are perfect to laze around and for sun baking. The large open saloon with seating and table is fully open to the cockpit for plenty of space for the guests to move around.

The functional galley is loaded with fridge, a small oven and gas 2 burner stove top making meal preparation hassle free. She has a galley bench top w/ integral double sink and drain.

The Seawind 1000 is a solid, safe cruising catamaran that moves beautifully in the water and more than comfortable to live on.

  • Tags Buying Advice


Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

3 replies on “10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)”

Thank you, Rick. My wife and I are planning on cruising the Med in a few years and the boats profiled give a good starting point for the “perfect” boat. ?

Excellent work…

Gerry Gray hear from Pointe Claire Yacht club looking to buy a super clean pocket cat on the east coast or in the carribean or central america….under 100k cad please.

Cheers Gerry

Hi Gerry: Best thing to do is sign up for our mailing list to be first to hear of new catamarans.

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best small catamaran 2022

13 Best Catamarans for Cruising (Buyer’s Guide With Prices)

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If you’ve spent many a pleasant weekend chartering or helming a cruising catamaran on the open sea, perhaps, just like me, you’ve started thinking about buying your own cruising catamaran . However, purchasing a cruising catamaran is no small decision; it’s essential to research the range of models to decide which will be best for you. 

Some of the best catamarans for cruising are the Sunreef 60, the Leopard 45, the Saona 46, the Manta 42, and the Antares 44i. A good cruising catamaran offers plenty of space, extended range and is optimized for comfort and safety. A cruiser is slower and less exciting to sail than a performance cat.

If you would like to own a catamaran, but your budget doesn’t stretch to purchasing a new one, look for a used, older model. You should also think about whether you’d prefer a power or sailing catamaran. This article explores the best cruising catamarans on the market and gives you an insight into what model will work best for your circumstances.

Are you looking for a specific price range or size? Check out my other articles, such as Best catamarans under 200k or 20 top performance catamarans!

Sunreef 60 (Power/Sail)

The Sunreef 60 is the epitome of luxury. It offers both powerful sailing performance and, with 60 feet (18.3 meters) in length, has an abundance of amenities for passengers. 

The Sunreef 60 has been commended by several industry experts, including SailWorld and YachtingWorld . Some of the best features of the Sunreef 60 include : 

  • A large semi-open saloon that leads into the aft cockpit, the main deck, and the dining space 
  • An aft hydraulic platform that can be used for water sports and sunbathing 
  • A large flybridge that can house a pool, bar, and dining area 
  • An aft garage that can be used as extra storage space 
  • The ability to host up to 12 guests, with the owner’s cabin offering a spectacular front view 

The Sunreef 60’s sailing specifications are equally impressive. Some of the catamaran’s specs include: 

Power version:

  • An advanced navigation system that allows the Sunreef 60 to operate both with and without a crew 
  • A fuel capacity of 1585.03 gallons (6000 liters) 
  • A water capacity of 211.34 gallons (800 liters) 
  • A draft of 5.90 feet (1.80 meters)

Sail version:

  • A fuel capacity of 463 gallons (1750 liters) 
  • 2*110HP Engines

In 2020, Sunreef launched a variation of the Sunreef 60 – the 60 Sunreef Power Eco . This catamaran is equipped with a state-of-the-art solar power system and wind generators. Eco-responsible finishing materials have been used to construct several parts of the catamaran.  

Both the Sunreef 60 and the eco version are excellent sailing crafts built for luxurious, long-distance cruises. They are still in production, so you can order a new vessel from Sunreef 60 . Used Sunreef 60s can be found on . 

As the Sunreef 60 is such a high-end vessel, be prepared to pay a premium price for one – new or used. 

Sunreef 60 are priced between $1 488 000 and $2 914 000

Nautitech 47 Power or Nautitech 46 Sail

The Nautitech 47 Power is a sleek power catamaran, designed by Nautitech Catamarans and architected by Marc Lombard.

Catamaran enthusiasts applaud the Nautitech 47 for its short extended hardtop, modern navigation station, and excellent bridge deck clearance . This Nautitech 47 Power has similar attractive features, including: 

  • A large saloon with a 360-degree panorama 
  • Optimized hulls and an optimized hardtop 
  • A comfortable navigation station area that can seat two 
  • A spacious gallery with large benches for working on 
  • A generous flybridge and cockpit that provides plenty of room for lounging 
  • The flybridge can also be enclosed, protecting it from bad weather
  • A lifting platform that can be lowered into the water to create a ‘beach’ in the middle of the sea
  • Three cabins which can be converted into four depending on how many guests you are entertaining 

The Nautitech 47 Power was launched in 2018 and is based on the Nautitech 46 Sail. It employs modern cruising and technical features, including:

  • A draft of 3 feet 11 inches (1.20 meters) 
  • A fuel capacity of 2 x 170 gallons (2 x 645 liters) 
  • A water tank capacity of 2 x 79 gallons (2 x 300 liters) 
  • Two Volva Penta engines with a power of 225 HP

Nautitech 46 Sail offers :

  • Two Volva Penta engines with a power of 40 HP
  • A fuel capacity of 2 x 79 gallons (2 x 300 liters) 

The only potential drawback of the Nautitech 47 Power is that it has exposed helms. However, you can fix this with a bimini, which will incur an additional cost. 

If you’re interested in buying a Nautitech 47/46, visit to find your nearest dealer. The dealer may offer you a sea trial where you can take the catamaran out to sea and judge its performance for yourself. You can also buy a Nautitech second-hand; browse to see some options. 

Leopard 45 (Sail)

The Leopard 45 is a luxury catamaran that is popular with both charter companies and private owners. Simonis-Voogd designed the external shell while Robertson and Caine did the internal interiors. As its name suggests, the Leopard 45 is 45 feet (13.72 meters) long. It has been recommended by Gregor Tarjan, author of ‘ The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors ’ and the president of Aeroyacht Ltd. 

The Leopard 45 was launched in 2017 and carried forward some of the most popular features and design aspects of earlier Leopard models. For instance, the Leopard 45 has a flybridge lounge which includes space for a seating area, a sunbed, and a table. This feature won an award when it was included in the Leopard 50. Other positive attributes of the Leopard 45 include: 

  • An increased aft area with floating stairs lead up to the cockpit
  • The option to have three or four cabins depending on the number of guests you have 
  • An open plan saloon and galley, adding to the catamaran’s overall spaciousness 
  • A protected helm station 
  • Hardtop lounge in the most recent models 

Some of the technical specifications of the Leopard 45 include: 

  • A minimum draft of 4 feet 11 inches (1.5 meters) 
  • A bridge deck clearance of 2 feet 9 inches (0.83 meters) 
  • A freshwater capacity of 206 gallons (780 liters)
  • A fuel capacity of 185 gallons (780 liters) 
  • Two engines with 45 HP each 

A new Leopard 45 will be available for purchase directly from Leopard Catamarans in 2022. However, if you can’t wait or want one at a lower price point, consider buying a used one. A range of used Leopard 45s is available on . 

A Leopard 45 costs between $957 000 – $234 000

Lagoon 440 (Sail)

The Lagoon 440 is a catamaran recognized for its large interior volume, making it a popular catamaran for charter companies. However, the volume also makes it an excellent catamaran for families or owners looking to host large parties. Lagoon also made a power-cat version called the Lagoon 44.

At 44 feet (13.7 meters) long, the Lagoon 440 is relatively heavy. However, it has several functional advantages, including: 

  • Four cabins with four en-suite heads 
  • A bimini top 
  • A cockpit with speakers and a shower that is easily accessible by guests 
  • A large galley with potential for island top benches 
  • Lazy jacks and a canvas catchment system that allows for easier sail handling 
  • Additional storage space in the aft and cockpits 

Meanwhile, some of the technical specifications of the Lagoon 440 include: 

  • A maximum draft of 4.3 feet (1.30 meters) 
  • One engine capacity with a total power of 54 HP 
  • Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 237 gallons (897 liters) 
  • A fuel tank capacity of 172 gallons (651 liters)

While the Lagoon 440 has an excellent collection of features, it does have some drawbacks that users have noted. Some flybridge models of the Lagoon 440 have a high boom position that may make it difficult to access the sail bag. The saloon’s leading edge has a slight squaring, which may be challenging to get aesthetically used to. 

Despite these drawbacks, the Lagoon 440 is still a great option if you are on a strict budget. The Lagoon 440 had a six-year production run, where over 400 of the models were produced. As a result, several Lagoon 440s are always available in the second-hand market. Visit to explore catamarans of this model that are currently for sale. 

A Lagoon 440 can be purchased at $290 000 – $525 000

Saona 47 (Sail)

Made by Fountaine Pajot, the Saona 47 is a luxury catamaran that is 45.7 feet (13.94 meters) long. Designed by Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design, it has received several industry and maritime awards, including SAIL magazine’s award for the best multihull cruising boat (40-50 feet). 

Launched in April 2017, the Saona 47 is relatively new on the market. As a result, it features a modern design and modern amenities. Some of the most enticing features of the Saona 47 include: 

  • Several spaces for passengers to lounge and relax, including a large sunbathing area, a lounge deck, and an open plan cockpit
  • A lift that can also be converted into a swimming platform
  • A large galley with an island bench 
  • Three cabins, with the master cabin having an en-suite bathroom. If you’re looking to charter it, there is a four-cabin version with space for a crew.
  • Good visibility from the helm and the opportunity to engage with other passengers 

The Saona 47 also offers an excellent sailing performance. It has a carefully planned weight-to-value ratio, which allows for both speed and stability. Some of the technical features of the Saona 47 are: 

  • A draft of 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) 
  • A sail area of 828.8 feet (77 meters)
  • A fuel capacity of 2 x 124 gallons (2 x 470 litres) 

To buy the Saona 47 new, you can lodge an inquiry on . However, you can also visit to see if you can find a used Saona 47.

A used Saona 47 may cost between $600,000 – $999,000.

Excess 12 (Sail)

The Excess 12 was launched in 2019 by Groupe Beneteau, the same group which designs Lagoon catamarans. The Excess range has been created for performance-oriented sailing vessels. The catamarans in the range have been applauded for their sailing prowess and their space. The Excess 12 was the first of the range and has been named the best cruising multihull under 40 feet by Sail Magazine. 

Designed by VPLP Design, the Excess 12 is considered a ‘sporty’ catamaran. It is 38 feet and 6 inches (11.74 meters). It has an open bimini and a light helm that gives it a feel similar to a monohull. Other attractive features of the Excess 12 include: 

  • A cockpit with a retractable roof that allows for direct access to sunlight 
  • The cockpit also has dining space for up to 8 people 
  • Room for two to three people in the helm
  • The option between three or four cabins 
  • A high aspect rig ratio 
  • An aft double steering station 
  • Most areas of the Excess 12 are constructed with cedar and white blend woodwork and united windows, making for a beautiful, natural aesthetic

Reviewers of the Excess 12 note a minor drawback of the twin aft helm. Its location in the corner of the cabin can create a blind spot. Other than this, many of the sailing features of the Excess 12 are positively received. These include: 

  • A draft of 4 feet and 5 inches (1.35 meters) 
  • An upwind sail area of 82 meters (269 feet)
  • A fuel capacity of 2 x 53 gallons (2 x 200 liters) 
  • The freshwater capacity of 79 gallons (300 liters) 

If you’re interested in buying the Excess 12 new, visit the dealer’s page on, or visit to look for a secondhand model.

Manta 42 (Sail)

The Manta 42 is one of the most popular models from Manta, an older brand known for its high-quality catamarans. 

The Manta 42 was launched in the late 1990s and was in production until the late 2000s. It received the ‘Best Value Overall’ prize in CW’s 2001 Boat of the Year. Even though it is an older model, it remains a beloved model today and is an excellent option if you are on a tighter budget. 

Designed by Eric Lerouge, a French naval architect, the Manta 42 has a variety of attractive features: 

  • Great sail to area displacement ratio, which makes for smoother sailing
  • A spacious aft cockpit area that can be upgraded and customized to suit your own particular design needs 
  • High bows and curved forward crossbeam make for a streamlined appearance
  • Room for three cabins and two heads. The owner’s cabin has its own en-suite bathroom with a large shower. 
  • Glass-enclosed cockpit
  • The interior finish is made with maple and teak wood 

Meanwhile, some of the technical and sailing features of the Manta 42 are as follows: 

  • A draft of 3.8 feet (1.2 meters) 
  • One engine with a total power of 60 HP 
  • Two holding tanks with a fuel capacity of 120 gallons (454 liters)
  • The freshwater capacity of 100 gallons (379 liters)

If you decide to take the plunge and buy a Manta 42, you will become a member of the Manta Owners Association . This association connects you to other manta owners who offer advice and conversations about Manta maintenance and sailing. 

You cannot buy the Manta 42 new. However, there are plenty of used Manta 42 models available on . 

A used Manta 42 will cost you somewhere between $239 000 – $325 000

Antares 44i (Sail)

The Antares 44i is another older model that offers excellent value for money if you’re working with a lower budget. Its production began in Argentina in the late 2000s. This yacht was built with round-the-world sailing in mind, and it has excellent amenities from both a technical and passenger perspective. 

Some of the best passenger facilities the Antares 44i offers are: 

  • An extended galley with plenty of storage space 
  • Three cabins, with two at the hulls and one forward cabin on the port side 
  • Stainless steel arch aft with plenty of space for dinghies 
  • A cockpit with room for a BBQ and room for lounging 

While it is an older model, the Antares 44i still has plenty of modern sailing features and storage room, making it a great long-distance cruiser. Here are some of the attractive technical features: 

  • A maximum draft of 4 feet (1.2 meters) 
  • A bridge clearance of 62 feet (18.9 meters) 
  • Two engines with a total power of 80 HP 
  • Fuel tanks with a capacity of 120 gallons (454 liters) 
  • Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 150 gallons (568 liters)

Today, the Antares Catamarans company has built a newer version of the Antares 44i – the Antares 44 , which you can consider if you want to buy a new catamaran. However, the Antares 44i continues to be a great option. You can buy a used Antares 44i on . 

Price: $495 000 – $860 000

Catana 50 (Sail)

The Catana 50 is another older model that can hold its own against many more modern cruising catamarans. Like the Antares 44i, it is a more pocket-friendly option that doesn’t compromise sailing quality and passenger amenities. 

Catana is one of the world’s best catamaran producers, known for creating stable yet fast boats and for their quality finishes. Besides being produced by Catana, the Catana 50 has been architected by Christophe Barreau, a world class naval architect. Some of the best features that the Catana 50 boasts are: 

  • A length of 50 feet (15 meters)
  • Deep daggerboards allow for excellent windward performance
  • Made with carbon fiber which allows for stability and speed 
  • Hardtop over cockpit 
  • Twin aft helm stations 
  • Three cabins which can sleep 6 
  • Satin oak interior finishes 

Meanwhile, the technical specifications of the Catana 50 include: 

  • A draft of 4 feet (1.2 meters) 
  • A bridge clearance of 23.7 feet (7 meters) 
  • Two engines with a total power of 150 HP 
  • Fuel tanks with a capacity of 227 gallons (860 liters) 
  • Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 211 gallons (800 liters)

Catana does not produce the Catana 50 anymore. However, you can look for a pre-owned Catana 50 on the CatanaServices website or . There are models of the Catana 50 available for secondhand sale across the world.

A Catana 50 will set you back somewhere between $644 000 – $692 000

Atlantic 42 (Sail)

Like the Manta 42, the Atlantic 42 is a smaller-sized catamaran. It is 42 feet (12.8 meters) long but is spacious and fuel-efficient. It was designed by Chris White , who specializes in designing high-performance catamarans.

The Atlantic 42 was in production in 1999 but boasts many classic features found in modern-day catamarans. The Atlantic 42 has been the recipient of Cruising World magazine’s Boat of the Year award. Noteworthy features in the Atlantic 42 include: 

  • A high waist and forward cockpit 
  • Custom aft deck allowing for easy access to the dinghy storage
  • Interior design constructed with teak and holly wood
  • Navigation station with space for two seats
  • A secure, raised pilothouse that allows for excellent visibility in stormy weather 
  • A galley with enough space for long-distance cruises 
  • Two double cabins and two single cabins 

In addition to good passenger amenities, the Atlantic 42 has some excellent sailing specifications, including: 

  • Water capacity of 80 gallons (302.8 liters) 
  • Fuel capacity of 80 gallons (302.8 liters) 
  • A bridge deck clearance of 62 feet (18.9 meters) 
  • Engines with a total power of 58 HO 

The Atlantic 42 is no longer in production but can be custom ordered from Chris White designs . However, they can also be found on resale platforms such as .

Price: $325 000 – $450 000

Seawind 1160 (Sail)

The Seawind 1160 is a long-distance cruiser produced by Seawind Catamarans , a leading catamaran manufacturer designing and building catamarans for over 35 years. 

This catamaran is available in two styles : the lite Seawind 1160 and the deluxe Seawind 1160. The deluxe catamaran operates with diesel sail drives that allow for excellent torque and fuel capacity. Meanwhile, the lite version works with outboard motors that reduce the catamaran’s overall weight. It also has more storage internally on the boat, and lower maintenance and replacement costs.

The Seawind 1160 has won Cruising World’s ‘Most Innovative Boat’ award in 2007. It won this award thanks to its tri-folding door, which opens the saloon and the cockpit to form a living or lounging area. Other significant design aspects and passenger amenities include: 

  • Twin helm stations 
  • 360-degree visibility from the cockpit 
  • Grey wash and timber interior to make for a highly modern interior 
  • Three cabins in the owner’s version of the catamaran with a queen-sized bed in the master cabin
  • Hulls made of fiberglass 

Meanwhile, the sailing and design specifications of the Seawind 1160 are as follows: 

  • A diesel fuel capacity of 95 US gallons (360 liters) 
  • A freshwater capacity of 185 US gallons (700 liters) 
  • A draft of 3 feet and six inches (1.1 meters) 

To buy a Seawind 1160 new, you can lodge an inquiry with . However, you can also look for secondhand Seawind 1160s on websites like .  

Price: $230 000 – $460 000

Bahia 46 (Sail)

Produced by Fountaine Pajot, the Bahia 46 has a sophisticated design that makes it an excellent choice. The Bahia 46 was also designed in conjunction with Joubert-Nivelt and Oliver Flahault.

Some of the stand out features of the Bahia 46 include: 

  • Larger than usual hulls
  • Daggerboards are strategically placed to minimize draft 
  • A six post-bimini that can hold dinghies 
  • Isolated engines that prevent passengers from being disturbed by the house and smell of the engines 
  • Generous cabin area with an enclosed space that provides protection from severe weather
  • A large cockpit with a dining space that can seat 10 

As well as offering excellent passenger and design amenities, the Bahia 46 has some attractive sailing features and specifications. These include: 

  • A draft of 4 feet 3 inches (1.30 meters) 
  • A fuel capacity of 100 gallons (378 liters) 
  • A freshwater capacity of 220 gallons (833 liters) 
  • Two engines with a total power of 80 HP

The Bahia 46 is no longer being produced. However, you can look to buy it secondhand on portals like or . 

Price: $170 000 – $328 000

Aquila 48 (Power)

The Aquila 48 is a state-of-the-art power catamaran. While production of the Aquila 48 was discontinued in 2020, it is still an incredibly popular catamaran in the resale market.

The ambient and design features of the Aquila 48 include: 

  • A hardtop flybridge made with stainless steel and with air conditioning 
  • A forward cockpit with a removable table 
  • The choice between a four or three-cabin version 
  • A helm station with a canvas cover that offers weather protection 
  • An expansive galley with room for a range of facilities, including a microwave, a fridge, and a double sink 
  • Interiors finished with olive wood

The Aquila 48 is a power catamaran that allows for easy, stable, and fast cruising. Other specifications include:

  • A maximum draft of 3 feet (0.91 meters) 
  • Two engines with a maximum of 330 HP 
  • A freshwater capacity of 103 gallons (389.9 liters) 
  • Fuel tank capacity of 178 gallons (673.8 liters) 

You can buy the Aquila 48 second hand on websites like or .

Price: $550 000 – $699 000


Depending on your budget and sailing style, there is a range of cruising catamarans you can choose from. Some of the best power catamarans include the Aquila 48, Sunreef Power, and Nautitech 47 Power. Meanwhile, some of the best luxury catamarans are the Saona 47 and Leopard 45. If you’re after an older catamaran that you can buy secondhand, the Manta 42, Antares 44i, and Lagoon 440 are excellent options . 

The next step in your catamaran journey is to see some of the models in their real-life glory. Contact some of the owners or dealers of these catamarans to see the catamarans up close and take them out for a trial! 

  • AntaresCatamarans: Antares Brand 
  • Catana Services: Pre Owned Boats 
  • CruisersForum: Nautitech 47 
  • Chris White: Atlantic 42 Catamaran 
  • CrusingWorld: 40 Best Cruising Catamarans 
  • Excess Catamarans: Excess 12
  • FlagstaffMarine: International Awards and Nominations for 2020 
  • Flagstaff Marine: Excess 12 
  • Fountaine Pajot: Saona 47
  • Leopard Catamarans: Model Availability
  • MantaOwners: Manta Owners Association 
  • Multihull Solutions: Award Winning Catamarans 
  • Multihull Central: Seawind 1160
  • Nautitech Catamarans: Nautitech 47 
  • Robertson and Caine: Leopard 45
  • SailTahiti: Catana 50 
  • Sail Magazine: 10 Great Cruising Cat
  • Sail Magazine: Boat Review – Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 
  • SailWorld: 60 Sunreef Power
  • Seawind Catamarans: History
  • Staten Island Yacht Sales: Aquila 48 
  • Sunreef Yachts: Eco Sunreef 60 Power
  • Sunreef Yachts: Sunreef 60 
  • YachtingWorld: The Sunreef 60 
  • YachtWorld: Antares Boats for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Atlantic 42
  • YachtWorld: Catana 50 for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Nautitech 47 Boats for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Leopard 45 for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Lagoon 440 for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Saona 47 for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Excess 12
  • YachtWorld: Fountaine Pajot for Sale 
  • YachtWorld: Aquila 48
  • YachtWorld: Manta 42 Boats for Sale 

Owner of A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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14 Great Pocket Cruisers in 2023

  • By Victor Tan
  • Updated: July 20, 2023

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

Best Cruising Boats Under 50-Feet

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

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

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

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

Hood 35 LM

Quick Specifications

350 Gal.
60 Gal.
19,000 lbs.

Galeon Yachts 375 GTO

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

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

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

Galeon Yachts 375 GTO

396.25 Gal.
53 Gal.
27,270 lbs.

Aquila 42 Yacht Power Catamaran

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

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

Aquila 42

290 Gal.
132 Gal.
41,895 lbs.

Azimut Verve 42

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

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

Azimut Verve 42

462 Gal.
66 Gal.
30,865 lbs.

Hinckley Yachts 35

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

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

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

Hinckley 35

250 Gal.
35 Gal.
13,174 lbs.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 45

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

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

Beneteau Gran Turismo 45

238 Gal.
106 Gal.
24,782 lbs.

Solaris Power 48 Open

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

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

Solaris 48 Open

396 Gal.
114 Gal.
37,037 lbs.

Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS

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

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

Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS

403 Gal.
50 Gal.
27,000 lbs.

Back Cove 34O

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

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

back cove 340

242 Gal.
60 Gal.
17,000 lbs.

Picnic Boat 40

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

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

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

hinckley picnic boat 40

375 Gal.
80 Gal.
25,000 lbs.

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

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

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

aquila 36

330 Gal.
52 Gal.
21,572 lbs.

Boston Whaler 350 Realm

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

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

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

Boston Whaler 350 Realm

385 Gal.
45 Gal.
18,830 lbs.

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

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

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

MJM 35z

250 Gal.
58 Gal.
13,279 lbs.

Greenline 39

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

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

Belowdecks, scissor berths provide accommodations for long weekends.

Greenline 39

185 Gal.
105 Gal.
15,432 lbs.
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Ranking Top New Pocket Cruisers and Daysailers of 2022

Best New Daysailer 2022 Pocket Cruiser Beneteau

Ranking Top New Pocket Cruisers and Daysailers of 2022:

True to its name, Cruising World Magazine gives out an annual award for the best pocket cruiser / daysailer.  In competition this year were 27 different boats looking to be recognized as the best in their market.

In an unusually competitive year for pocket cruisers and daysailers, the team of independent judges were put to the task of deciding between three hot vessels: the Tartan 245, the J/9, and the Beneteau First 27.

Click HERE for the full article

Best Daysailers:

The Tartan 245 was intentionally rigged to enable students to practice more fine-tuning and racing operations on a small scale.

In contrast, the J/9 positioned itself for unadulterated enjoyment of an afternoon of stress-free sailing.  She boasts a cockpit that’s plenty long to sleep in (see picture for scale) yet thoughtfully managed to enable ease of sailing.

best small catamaran 2022

Below was a smaller cabin with room for an open V-berth, opposing settees, a marine head, and space for a small portable cookstove and cooler.

best small catamaran 2022

Beneteau First 27

With the J/9 and the Tartan 245 fitting nicely into their respective niches, the third boat looked to sail away with Cruising World’s award for best daysailer pocket cruiser of 2022.  The Beneteau First 27 is a race-ready sport cruiser, delivering thrilling performance in a comfortable, well finished package.

This boat was originally named the Seascape 27 but has been revamped by Beneteau into an award winner.

Respectable in all capacities, the First 27 boasts a nicely proportioned cockpit of her own.  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.  The First 27 cockpit is designed with versatility to give sailors the option to comfortably sit inside or on top of the cockpit.

New Beneteau First 27 Ranking Top Cruisers Daysailers 2022 Murray Yacht Sales

Stanton Murray aboard the New Beneteau First 27 at the Annapolis Boat Show

With a surprisingly large cabin below, the First 27 can sleep up to 6 adults, with 2 in the bow cabin and up to 4 in the openly spaced salon.

Beneteau First 27 Cabin New 2022 Best Pocket Cruiser Daysailer

The Beneteau First 27 is designed with plenty of room for crew

Thanks to innovative, foldable magnetic doors, the midsection can be converted into a proper marine toilet with a black water tank or used as a front cabin extension.

In the end, it was the little things that swayed the judges. “The fit-and-finish for the price point is at a different level,” judge Gerry Douglas said. “The equipment level was higher.”

Reviewing Best New Daysailers of 2022:

Tartan 245 vs. j/9:.

The Tartan 245 was originally conceived as a training boat for sailing schools. J/Boat’s J/9 is an unabashed daysailer, meant to provide exciting spins around the harbor, even under mainsail alone.

Tartan 245 vs. Beneteau First 27:

Obviously, the Tartan is smaller, and more geared towards an afternoon sail or instructional sailing.  Meanwhile, the First 27 has a roomier and more finished cabin, a serviceable head, galley and berths, and a Yanmar diesel. and multiple places for crew or a family to sleep below.  A couple could easily liveaboard for short periods of time, as well as expect to seriously compete in regattas.

J/9 vs. Beneteau First 27:

The two boats compete on purpose, with the J/9 being geared towards sailors who want to relax and enjoy time on the water by themselves or with family and the Beneteau First 27 being a versatile sport cruiser capable of competitive racing as well as some live-aboard accommodations.

Beneteau First 27 Available Now: Link Here

J/9 available now: link here, search for brokerage sailboats 26-30 foot range: here.

To unlock full pricing and options, fill out the form below:

Unlock Full Option and Pricing Guide on J/9 and Beneteau First 27

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#First27, #Award, #2022, #Beneteau, #GulfCoast, #Dealer #TopNewDaysailers #BestPocketCruisers

What are the best new daysailers for 2022

With the J/9 and the Tartan 245 fitting nicely into their respective niches, the third boat looked to sail away with Cruising World’s award for best daysailer pocket cruiser of 2022.  The Beneteau First 27 proved to be a race-ready sport cruiser, delivering thrilling performance in a comfortable, well finished package.


Best Small Cruising Sailboats

Best Small Cruising Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

February 20, 2024

‍ Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

Table of contents

‍ Best Budget Small Cruiser Sailboats

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

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

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

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

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

1. Catalina 22


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


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


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

What Sets It Apart

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

Recent Updates

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

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

Who Should Buy It

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

Where To Buy It

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

2. Hunter 27


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Beneteau First 20


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. West Wight Potter 19


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Compac Sun Cat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. MacGregor 26


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349

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

Dimensions & Measurements:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sustainability in Small Cruiser Sailboats

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

Renewable Energy on Deck

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

Sustainable Materials and Practices

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

The Ripple Effect of Sustainable Sailing

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Best Cruising Catamarans

  • By Cruising World Editors
  • Updated: July 1, 2021


Cruising catamarans have been around for decades, but early models—often plywood and fiberglass vessels built by their owners from plans and kits, kept the boats on the fringes of mainstream sailing. That all changed, though, as big roomy cats were discovered by sailors who went off to charter in the Caribbean, where the multihulls proved their worth as comfortable liveaboard and party boats.

Today’s bluewater catamarans roam the globe, carrying families to exotic destinations across the Pacific and beyond. Just as with their monohull cousins, there is no best catamaran. Instead there is a wide variety of designs, ranging from small catamarans that offer the ease of maintenance a couple might enjoy to performance catamarans capable of easily knocking off 250-mile days. Today, the best catamaran brands offer a range of size models and layouts that can be optimized for an owner sailing with family and friends, or for the charter market, where there’s a demand for four, five and even six cabins worth of accommodations.

The most prolific catamaran manufacturers are in France and South Africa where yards include both large-run production builders and niche companies building fewer than 10 boats a year.

The best cruising catamarans offer good load-carrying ability and respectable performance. As with any sailboat , a modern catamaran’s design is a result of compromises. Daggerboards or keels? Galley up or galley down? Spacious owner’s cabin or extra bunks? There are lots of options to choose from—and that’s what makes looking at these sailboats fun!

Here, then is an eclectic A to Z list of some of the best catamarans that have helped shaped the evolution of how we live and sail on two hulls.

Antares 44i

Antares 44i catamaran

Now built in Argentina as a full-fledged, bluewater catamaran and cruiser that can be safely operated by a shorthanded couple or family crew, the Antares 44i features a fully covered cockpit with a quartet of big, standard solar panels recessed within the hardtop, one example of a yacht capable of long-range passagemaking.

Atlantic 42

Atlantic 42 Catamaran

Almost 30 years ago, yacht designer Chris White revolutionized catamaran design with the first in his series of Atlantic cats, the primary feature of which was the innovative mid-ship sailing cockpit forward of the main cabin. The smallest in the Atlantic line, the 42 remains White’s most popular design ever.

Bahia 46 catamaran

Fountaine-Pajot has built so many outstanding cruising catamarans that it’s difficult to narrow down any single boat, but we’ve always been fans of the good-looking, well-thought-out Bahia 46. At 46 feet, the boat is large enough for offshore forays and has plenty of volume; with its simple but powerful sail plan, it’s also an excellent performer.

Catana 471 catamarans

Beginning around 1996, the French builder Catana was one of the first companies to manufacture fully found cruising cats for private ownership, and this Christophe Barreau design, which enjoyed a nearly 10-year production run from 1997-2006, was emblematic of this first generation of safe, fun, long-legged offshore voyagers.

Click here to see more cats from Catana.

Catana 50 catamaran

When it comes to speed, light boats are fast ones. And if you wish to save weight, that means exotic modern materials like carbon. Catana now infuses the laminates of their entire production line with carbon fiber, and for this list, we’ve chosen the Catana 50 Carbon, one of the zippiest cats now crossing oceans.

Click here to read about a couple’s charter aboard a Catana 50.

Gemini 105M

Gemini 105M catamaran

Pioneering catamaran sailor, builder and designer Tony Smith launched the first of his 33-foot Gemini 105M’s (10.5 meters = 33′) in 1993, and soon after found a ready and willing stream of sailors enamored of the boat’s compact size, affordable price tag, and such innovations as the nifty lifting rudder and transom steps.

Click here to read about the Gemini Legacy 35.

Gunboat 62 catamaran

Built between 2000-2005, the Gunboat 62 firmly established the Gunboat brand: go-anywhere cats that applied race-boat technology to a world-cruising platform. Hull no. 1, Tribe, was built for company founder Peter Johnstone, who then spent a year-and-a-half cruising with his family, smiling all the way.

Kronos 45 catamaran

French builder Henri Wauquiez is best known for his long career building monohulls, but the Kronos 45 cat, which he launched in 1992, was ahead of her time. Classic lines, the aft “targa bar” over the cockpit, the louvered coach roof windows, even the distinctive stripes on her hull: the Kronos 45 remains timeless.

Lagoon 380 catamaran

No roundup of cruising cats would be complete without several Lagoon entries, and the best of that impressive bunch might well be the Lagoon 380. Originally launched in 1999, and revered for its combination of quality, volume and performance, with over 740 boats built the 380 is still going strong.

Lagoon 440 catamaran

Launched five years after the breakthrough 380, the Lagoon 440 was an evolutionary design that featured a raised flybridge helm station, a unique “gullwing” configuration below the bridge deck, expanded windows in the hull and much more. With 400 boats built in a 6-year production run, the 440 was an unqualified success.

Lagoon 620 catamaran

How big can a production cat, still operable by a short-handed crew, really be? The builders at Lagoon discovered that 62-feet hit a sweet spot in the marketplace, and have sold over 70 boats since its introduction in 2010. The centerpiece of this design is the sensational steering station atop the flybridge, with expansive views of the sea and sky.

Click here to see more cats from Lagoon.

Leopard 40 catamaran

With an unmatched pedigree – designed by premier multihull naval architects Gino Morelli and Pete Melvin, built by the prestigious Robertson & Caine boatyard in South Africa, and commissioned by chartering giant The Moorings – the Leopard 40 was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Cruising World ’s Import Boat of the Year in 2005.

Louisiane 37

Louisiane 37 catamaran

Based on the famous French racing cat Charente-Maritime, the Louisiane 37, designed by Joubert/Nivelt and launched by builder Fountaine-Pajot in 1983, was a light, fast liveaboard cruiser with full accommodations that represented a radical departure from the hefty British cats that preceded it.

Maine Cat 30

Maine Cat 30 catamaran

One of the more versatile and clever cats ever created, the central feature of the cool Maine Cat 30 is the open bridge deck/living room sandwiched between the hulls and canopied by a rigid, permanent hard top (the comfortable accommodations/ staterooms are stationed in the hulls). Ideal for a winter in the Bahamas but with the ability to sail offshore, it’s a boat for all seasons and reasons.

Manta 42 catamaran

Built in Florida and beloved by the owners of the over 120 boats built during the company’s existence from 1993 to 2009, the Manta Catamarans range included 38-, 40- and 44-foot cats. For this exercise, however, we’re heralding the original Manta 42, which won the Best Value Overall prize in CW’s 2001 Boat of the Year contest.

Moorings 4800/Leopard 48

Leopard 48 catamaran

Another Leopard/Moorings collaboration built by the wizards at Robertson & Caine (though this boat was designed by fellow South African Alex Simonis), the Leopard 48 was another CW Boat of the Year winner with all the contemporary bells and whistles: forward cockpit, flybridge helm station and solid hardtop dodger, just to name a few.

Click here to read more about the Leopard 48, and click here to see more images.

Nautitech 441

Nautitech 441 catmaran

The Best Multihull Under 45 Feet: So said the CW judging panel in the 2013 Boat of the Year competition, regarding the Nautitech 441. But what makes this versatile platform so intriguing are the different helm set-ups. The 441 employs a single wheel, to starboard, ideal for solo sailors, while the 442 has a pair of helm stations aft.

Click here to see more Nautitech Catamarans.

Outremer 5X


A state-of-the-art all-oceans cat that exemplifies how far multihull design has come, the 59-foot Outremer 5X was a winner on both sides of the Atlantic, taking top honors in the European Boat of the Year competition in 2013, and following up as the Best Full-Size Multihull in CW ’s contest a year later.

Click here to see more cats from Outremer.

St. Francis 50

St. Francis 50

The flagship of the proud St. Francis line – built in South Africa since 1990 to designs by local legends Lavranos Marine Design – the St. Francis 50 is another “luxury cat” that shares much in common with an earlier 48-foot sister-ship, but packs even more payload into its roomier lines.

Click here to read more about the St. Francis 50

Seawind 1000

Seawind 1000 catamaran

Founded by Aussie surfer and sailor Richard Ward in 1982, the 33-foot Seawind 1000 is easily the most popular cruising cat ever built in Australia (the company has since moved its manufacturing and management operations to Vietnam). Roomy and airy, these cats dot the coastline of eastern Oz.

Seawind 1160

1160 catamaran

If the Seawind 1000 was a minimalist approach to cruising cats, the 38-foot Seawind 1160 is the flip side of the coin, a full-fledged long-range voyager. Among the reasons it was named CW ’s Most Innovative boat for 2007 is the unique “tri-folding” door that stashes overhead to open up the saloon and cockpit into a spacious living area.

Click here to read more about the Seawind 1160.

Sunsail 384

Sunsail 384 catamaran

Every sailboat is a compromise, and in the case of the Sunsail 384 (also sold privately as the Leopard 38) that’s a good thing, because designers Morrelli & Melvin and builder Robertson and Caine got the balance just right with this relatively small catamaran. With four cabins, the 384 can carry the same size bareboat charter crowd as her larger siblings, but does so with a decided bounce in her step. Named CW’s Import Boat of the Year in 2010, you can gauge the success of the design by the grins on the crew as they barrel down Sir Francis Drake channel in the British Virgin Islands.

Victoria 67

Victoria 67 catamaran

The French design office of Berret Racoupeau drafted the lines of Fountaine-Pajot’s new flagship, introduced in 2013, a magnificent world-girdling voyaging catamaran. Like other giant cats launched in recent years, the boat features a sensational upper deck with all sail controls, helm and lounging stations.

Click here to see more images of the Victoria 67.

Wharram Tanaroa

Wharram catamaran

No list of influential multihulls would be complete without the work of James Wharram, and while Tangaroa wasn’t a production cat by any means, it showcases the British designer’s respect for ancient Polynesian craft. Wharram sailed this 23-foot-6-inch “double-hulled canoe” across the Atlantic in the 1950s, and sold countless plans for similar boats for decades afterwards.

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Best small cruising trimaran revealed

Oct 22, 2020

less than a min

Best small cruising trimaran revealed

A trimaran is a boat categorized as a multihull. What it means is that this particular vessel is composed of three hulls that aid the boat during sailing but also provide interior spaces for the crew and guests to enjoy.

Trimarans are very popular in the sailboat market. They are mainly appreciated for their speed but also for their cruising character that can address families’ interests as well. Trimarans allow for leveled sailing, ample deck space, stability, comfort, shallow draft, and most importantly the good old family fun time.

A small cruising trimaran is probably one of the most popular boats nowadays as it provides an affordable but also an interesting way how to spend your free time and enjoy what nature has to offer. Let’s get to the gist of it then. Which is the best small trimaran nowadays?

Most popular small cruising trimaran

The best small cruising trimaran so far remains the F22 . The F22 Trimaran is designed by Ian Farrier and built by Farrier Marine company. It features a swan design and can be purchased in two versions, racing or cruiser form. This is a small trimaran that includes many interesting features within a compact space. It has a slightly offset centerboard trunk that allows for an ample interior.

In addition, it has an ama folding system. This is an advantageous feature as it allows the ama beam strength to remain to a maximum while the interior is free from any structural support structure for the beam. Fly spray is also reduced due to the folding struts being carried higher than before in case of deployment. This feature allows the F22 trimaran to have a greater performance under sail.

This small cruising trimaran comes in two versions, either with a carbon mast or an aluminum one. In addition, it is equipped with a boomless mainsail furling rig which makes sail handling easier. Most importantly, sailing efficiency is not sacrificed in any case.

What makes this boat the best small cruising trimaran is the fact that it can be used as a cruiser due to its interior. The galley has a two-burner Origo stove, a small sink, and a stow for sailing. In addition, the companionway has a pop-top that increases the headroom. Moreover, the F22 is equipped with a small chemical toilet that is quite private due to a roll-up screen and bulkhead that can be folded. All in all, the F22 contains 4 berths and can be used by families as well.

Compare the best small trimaran with other multihulls

You can learn more about the F22 trimaran on TheBoatDB . TheBoatDB provides an organized platform that anyone can use for free with a no time limitation account or what we like to call a “Forever free account”.

You can compare the F22 to other trimarans or even catamarans and single-hull boats and see for yourself whether this boat is up to the challenge for you. In addition, you can shortlist this trimaran or select a few different boats for future references. All in all, you will get your boating life on one platform as we like to say!

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9 Best Small-Cap Stocks to Buy in 2024

Get in on the ground floor with these companies worth less than $2 billion.

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Small-cap stocks often offer more dramatic growth potential than their larger counterparts.

Many investors find comfort in large blue-chip stocks with deep pockets and established brands. But while dominant, some mega-cap companies can also be a bit complacent. After all, if you have billions in revenue and millions of customers, simply acting as caretaker to an existing business is sometimes enough for a management team.

Small-cap stocks, on the other hand, often offer more dramatic growth potential. After all, some big-name stocks you know and love famously got their start in a founder's garage somewhere … and wouldn't it be nice if you could have gotten in on the first step of that journey?

This list of the nine best small-cap stocks to buy now offers picks in a variety of sectors that potentially have bright futures ahead of them. There is admittedly more risk in these nascent firms, but if you're after growth and profit potential, then they're certainly worth a look.

For the purpose of this article, the best small-cap stocks must be under $2 billion in market value and have recorded a year-to-date return of 30% or better. That's compared with the 12.7% return for the S&P 500 over the same period.

Stock  Market cap Year-to-date return through June 11
Aris Water Solutions Inc. (ticker: ) $880 million 80.2%
Blue Bird Corp. ( ) $1.9 billion 107.6%
Endeavour Silver Corp. ( ) $880 million 83.2%
GigaCloud Technology Inc. ( ) $1.3 billion 80.0%
Gran Tierra Energy Inc. ( ) $310 million 75.5%
Land's End Inc. ( ) $460 million 47.0%
MoneyLion Inc. ( ) $985 million 33.1%
Orion Group Holdings Inc. ( ) $350 million 108.1%
Pennant Group Inc. ( ) $700 million 66.6%

Aris Water Solutions Inc. ( ARIS )

  • Market cap: $880 million
  • Sector: Utilities
  • YTD return: +80.2%

Aris refers to itself as an "environmental infrastructure and solutions company," but that's a glamorous way of saying its a for-profit water utility . Interestingly enough, however, it does not service water and sewer connections for residents but rather is among the top water providers for the oil and gas industry operating in the Permian Basin of West Texas. The company's unique specialty helps it keep a steady core of customers that reliably fuels a sweet dividend of 2.8% annually. That's on top of tremendous share performance lately, based on the generally favorable environment fueled by the health of the Texas oil and gas industry these days, which has caused shares to log returns that are more than six times the S&P 500 thus far in 2024.

Blue Bird Corp. ( BLBD )

  • Market cap: $1.9 billion
  • Sector: Consumer discretionary
  • YTD return: +107.6%

While technically in the consumer discretionary sector, as it is classified as a vehicle manufacturer, it's not fair to call Blue Bird an automaker. It specializes in the design and sale of school buses for local governments and institutional use, including diesel-powered buses as well as alternative drivetrains, including electric, compressed natural gas and propane. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many districts all but shut down their transit acquisitions across 2021 and 2022, as there simply wasn't the wear-and-tear they expected on their fleet, and it seemed wise to save that cash instead.

Some schools started ramping up spending again in 2023, but many were reluctant to spend if they didn't have to. Well, now they have to, thanks to the age of their fleets – and spending has been hot and heavy in recent months as school districts play catch-up. Case in point: BLBD reported total sales increased by 15% in the first quarter while net income more than tripled compared to the previous year. Blue Bird raised its full-year guidance as a result, a great sign for the future prospects of this small-cap stock.

Endeavour Silver Corp. ( EXK )

  • Sector: Materials
  • YTD return: +83.2%

With silver prices up roughly 20% from the prior year, small mining stocks hunting for this precious metal have seen serious gains lately. Endeavour also mines for gold to a small extent, which has only added to its performance. Small wonder that the company has seen better numbers lately, thanks to rising precious metals prices. The company is projecting roughly 30% sales growth in fiscal 2024, and earnings are forecast to soar from just 3 cents per share to 16 cents, thanks to expanding margins. Analysts expect a 30% top-line growth rate for fiscal 2025 as well, amid projections of 38 cents in earnings per share. Commodity prices can be volatile, so if we see a rollback in silver then we may also see trouble for EXK. But all forecasts are looking good, meaning this could be a small-cap miner with the wind at its back for the next several months.

GigaCloud Technology Inc. ( GCT )

  • Market cap: $1.3 billion
  • Sector: Technology
  • YTD return: +80%

GigaCloud is a technology company that powers e-commerce and logistics solutions, specializing in "large parcel merchandise" – meaning home appliances, fitness equipment, furniture and other goods that can be very costly and complex to deliver. What's more, as Inc. ( AMZN ) continues to dominate categories such as consumer electronics and apparel, it has not quite figured out a way to squeeze out competitors in some of these other categories. GigaCloud is making the most of this opportunity right now, with a massive 60% jump in revenue projected this fiscal year as it continues to rapidly acquire new customers. Furthermore, a 20% top-line growth forecast for 2025 hints there's more room to run in the years ahead, too.

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. ( GTE )

  • Market cap: $310 million
  • Sector: Energy
  • YTD return: +75.5%

As with aforementioned miner Endeavour, GTE is a commodity-focused small-cap stock that depends on market pricing to determine its profit margins. And thanks to firm prices for fossil fuels lately, the oil and gas exploration firm has been on a significant uptrend. It's important to keep in mind that while integrated oil giants don't see the same immediate uptrend based on energy pricing news, they also don't carry the same risk of crashing and burning if oil prices cool off. So while GTE has delivered a big-time gain since the beginning of the year, it could also deliver big-time pain and should be held only as an aggressive part of your portfolio.

That said, it's hard to argue with its performance, as this small-cap stock has swung back to profitability and has nearly doubled from its 52-week lows.

Land's End Inc. ( LE )

  • Market cap: $460 million
  • YTD return: +47%

Land's End was spun off from Sears in 2014 as a stand-alone apparel firm, and like many parts of the crumbled empire of this once-dominant department store, it has certainly seen better days. But lately LE has been reconnecting with younger customers and rejuvenating its brand, including making inroads with vendors like Amazon to ensure it gets in front of new customers to make them believers. The result is a projected profit in fiscal 2024 after posting a significant loss of $3.92 per share last fiscal year. Revenue growth is still admittedly hard to come by in the crowded apparel marketplace. Simply by streamlining its business it has stopped the bleeding, however, and we've seen a massive vote of confidence from Wall Street lately as this small-cap stock looks to re-enter growth mode.

MoneyLion Inc. ( ML )

  • Market cap: $985 million
  • YTD return: +33.1%

Another small-cap stock that is part of a broader " fintech " revolution, MoneyLion is a New York-based software firm that provides personalized loans, banking products and educational content for American consumers as well as access to cryptocurrency markets. It's at the center of a megatrend where consumers are looking outside of traditional banks to help take control of their financial future – and unlike some other startups, has found a way to be significantly profitable in short order. Though founded in 2013 and only publicly traded since 2021, ML is now comfortably profitable after moving from a moderate loss to a projection of $1.57 in earnings per share this fiscal year. What's more, that earnings figure is set to more than double in fiscal 2025. There's a lot of risk and dynamism in fintech, but this small-cap stock has a strong wind at its back right now based on both financials and near-term performance.

Orion Group Holdings Inc. ( ORN )

  • Market cap: $350 million
  • Sector: Industrial
  • YTD return: +108.1%

Orion Group is a specialty marine construction company that performs dredging around and maintenance of pipes, bridges and other structures. Structures it services include everything from cruise terminals, working ports and piers, buried water and wastewater pipelines, and more. Business is booming these days, with projected 20% growth in fiscal 2024 revenue over the prior year. That favorable sales environment has helped the company move comfortably into profitability, and strong spending from key customers has created an "opportunity pipeline" that is almost four times larger than it was a year ago. With key partners allocating more budget to projects and Orion's boasting deep expertise in an admittedly niche area of engineering, investors are very bullish on the outlook for this stock for the rest of the year.

Pennant Group Inc. ( PNTG )

  • Market cap: $700 million
  • Sector: Health care
  • YTD return: +66.6%

Some of the most popular small-cap stocks in the health care sector are development-stage biotechnology companies, startups that are burning cash as they chase regulatory approval for potential breakthrough treatments. It's difficult to research those on your own given the complexities of these new drugs, but one type of company that's simpler to analyze is a service provider like Pennant. The firm operates home health care, hospice services and senior living facilities mainly in California and the Mountain West. The demographic tailwind lifting its business is substantial, and the company continues to grow at a steady clip – as evidenced by expectations for 16% revenue growth and 21% earnings growth this fiscal year.

If you don't want to get bogged down in organic chemistry and Food and Drug Administration trials, Pennant is a great small-cap stock with growth potential that's a bit easier for the everyday investor to understand.

Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold

Wayne Duggan May 8, 2024

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6 top-rated portable air conditioners to keep you cool this summer

Want to avoid the hassle of a more permanent installation? A portable air conditioner might be your best option. 

If you want fresh, breezy air without the stress of window installation , a portable air conditioner can be a great solution. Think of them as AC units on wheels, able to cool a single room without semi-permanent installation in your home and windowsill.

To help you find the best portable air conditioner, we spoke with cooling and appliance experts and selected top-rated models based on their advice, including budget-friendly, smart-connected and premium options for different sized rooms.

SKIP AHEAD Top-rated portable air conditioning units in 2024 | How to shop for a portable air-conditioning unit

Selected. Our top picks

Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

How we picked top-rated portable air conditioning units

To pick the best portable air conditioners on the market, we spoke with experts on what to look for in specs and features. Following their guidance, we selected top-rated units that met the following criteria:

  • BTUs (British Thermal Units) : An air conditioner’s cooling ability is typically measured in BTUs — the higher the number, the more powerful the AC. Per expert guidance, we selected portable ACs with a range of BTUs and recommended room size, so you can pick the most appropriate option for your space. (More on BTUs in our FAQ section.)
  • Functionality : All of our selections have additional fan and dehumidifier functions, as well as washable dust filters.
  • Portability : Portable air conditioners often weigh over 50 pounds. We only selected units with built-in wheels that make them easier to move around.
  • Top-rated : We selected portable AC units with at least a four-star average rating from customers on Amazon.

best small catamaran 2022

select Best fans that'll actually keep you cool

Top-rated portable air conditioning units in 2024.

Our top picks come from large brands like Black+Decker, Midea and Honeywell. Below each recommendation, we highlight important specs like size, cooling power and more.

For small spaces: Black+Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Black+Decker 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

This unit from Black+Decker is best suited to smaller rooms up to 350 square feet — think bedrooms and offices. While there are a few size options available, this 8,000 BTU version is the most affordable. Like all of our picks, you can adjust the settings on the unit itself or via the remote. Bonus settings include a timer, sleep and auto mode.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 8,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 350 sq ft | Hose type : Single hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 52.9 lbs | Dimensions : 15.3 D x 14 W x 24.8 H in

For large spaces: DeLonghi 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

DeLonghi 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

DeLonghi 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

With 14,000 BTUs of cooling, this powerful unit from DeLonghi is designed to cool large spaces up to 700 square feet. The unit monitors temperature and humidity, and will automatically adjust its settings to create a good balance between the two, according to the brand. It also has motorized fan slats that can oscillate to more evenly spread cool air around your space.

This is the largest, heaviest and priciest unit on our list, but it also cools the largest sized space of our top picks.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 14,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 700 sq ft | Hose type : Single hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 83 lbs | Dimensions : 18.3 D x 34.3 W x 20.1 in

Most affordable: Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

This unit from Shinco is a good pick for anyone looking to cool a small space on a budget. It has a swing mode that automatically oscillates the fan grille up and down to better distribute cool air. And like other other picks, you can control the AC via the on-unit controls or the wireless remote.

The low price does mean some compromises on features. There is no smart connectivity and the remote does not have a temperature readout like our picks from Black+Decker and Midea. While this AC is powerful for the price, light sleepers may want to avoid it — some reviewers on Amazon say it is loud, even on low fan settings.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 8,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 200 sq ft| Hose type : Single hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 46 lbs | Dimensions : 13.4 D x 14.7 W x 37 H in

Small and portable: Honeywell 10,000 BTU Smart Wi-Fi Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell HF0CESVWK6 Smart Wi-Fi Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell Smart Wi-Fi Portable Air Conditioner

Select editorial director Lauren Swanson and I have both used Honeywell portable air conditioners in the past, but both of our units have been discontinued. This more up-to-date model is rated for medium-sized rooms and is slightly more compact than most of our other picks.

It also has smart connectivity — you can connect the unit to your home Wi-Fi and control it through your phone via the Honeywell Air Comfort app and Amazon Alexa.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 10,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 450 sq ft | Hose type : Single hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 62.8 lbs | Dimensions : 16.3 D x 13.6 W x 28 H in

For dual hose efficiency: Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

This Whynter model is a dual-hose unit: one hose pulls fresh air into your home, the other pushes hot air outside. Dual-hose units are generally more powerful and efficient, but can be louder and more complicated to install. (More on hose type in our How to Shop section.)

It has both a dust filter and a carbon filter that work together to block dust, clear gas and eliminate odors, according to the brand.

Otherwise, it is similar (albeit heavier) to our other picks, with three operating modes, three operating speeds, wheels and a wireless remote control.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 14,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 500 sq ft | Hose type : Dual hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 73 lbs | Dimensions : 16 D x 19 W x 35.5 H in

For premium features: Midea Duo 14,000 BTU Inverter Portable Air Conditioner

Midea Duo 14,000 BTU Inverter Portable Air Conditioner

Midea Duo 14,000 BTU Inverter Portable Air Conditioner

This portable unit from Select-favorite brand Midea is a high-end, dual-hose model with energy-efficient inverter technology and smart connectivity. Inverter air conditioners are more energy efficient than non-inverters — they typically cost more up front, but can save you money on your energy bill long-term.

The Midea Duo can be connected to Wi-Fi and synced with the Midea Air app , letting you control it remotely or with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There are six versions of the Midea Duo across multiple price points, including lower-priced options that retain smart connectivity and a higher-priced model that can heat as well as cool your space.

Modes : Cool, fan, dehumidify | Cooling power : 14,000 BTUs | Room size : Up to 550 sq ft | Hose type : Dual hose | Speeds : 3 | Weight : 77.2 lbs | Dimensions : 16.73 D x 19.53 W x 34.48 H in

best small catamaran 2022

select BTUs? CEER? Inverter? Experts answer your air conditioning questions.

How to shop for a portable air-conditioning unit.

Portable air-conditioners are generally pricier than window ACs. However, they’re much easier to install and are typically more compact, so you can move the unit from room to room without much effort, says Dr. John McKeon , CEO of Allergy Standards — an organization that works with brands and manufacturers to improve indoor air quality science and standards.

If a portable AC sounds right for your needs, keep the following in mind as you shop:

Placement and maintenance

A portable air conditioner has to be close to a window and an electrical outlet to work. They also require some maintenance, including draining the water from the unit as needed and cleaning the air filters every couple of weeks. This will help avoid mold growth in your unit, which can decrease your room’s air quality, said McKeon.

Smart connectivity

Some portable air conditioners can connect to your Wi-Fi and be controlled via smartphone app, though these models will typically cost more, says McKeon. Decide if this is a worthwhile feature for you before adding a model to your cart.

Portable air conditioners either come with one or two hoses that vent through your window to the outside. Single hose models are more common: they pull and cool the air inside your room, pushing hot air out. Dual-hose units have one hose that pulls and cools fresh air into your home and another that pushes hot air out.

Dual-hose units are typically louder and more expensive than single hose units, says Carl Prouty , a tech expert at electronics and appliance retailer Abt . You’ll also have to empty the water in dual hose units more often, as pulling in outdoor air produces more condensation. But dual-hose units are typically faster, more powerful and more energy-efficient, according to manufacturers.

Frequently asked questions

A portable air-conditioning unit stands on the floor of your space and has a large, typically plastic vent that connects from the unit to a window. The unit pulls in ambient air from either inside your home (single hose) or outside (dual hose), cools that air down, and pushes it out into your room, says Prouty. Hot air is then vented through the window hose outside, keeping your indoor space cool.

An air conditioner’s cooling ability is typically measured in British thermal units, or BTUs. The higher the number of BTUs, the more powerful the air conditioner. Portable ACs with a higher BTU capacity are generally larger, heavier and more expensive.

On average, an air-conditioning unit needs about 20 BTUs per square foot of space to keep things cool, says McKeon. To figure out how many BTUs you need for your room size, multiply the square footage of your room by 20.

Below is a breakdown of the number of BTUs needed to cool different-sized spaces. These calculations are averages — it’s still important to refer to the square footage rating referenced on an AC unit.

  • Up to 250 square feet: 5,000 to 6,000 BTUs
  • 250 to 350 square feet: 7,000 to 8,000 BTUs
  • 350 to 450 square feet: 9,000 to 10,000 BTUs
  • 450 to 550 square feet: 12,000 BTUs
  • 550 to 700 square feet: 14,000 BTUs

Using an AC with the right amount of power is extremely important, says Prouty. A unit that is too powerful might cool the room too quickly. This is bad for two reasons: it won’t do an efficient job of dehumidifying the room and it will cycle on and off too frequently, causing undue stress on the AC, which will likely lead to a premature breakdown. On the other hand, a unit that’s not powerful enough won’t cool your room effectively — it will run continuously, meaning a higher energy bill and, in all likelihood, a premature breakdown.

If you plan on putting your portable AC unit in a sunny space, you should add about 10% to the ideal number of BTUs based on the room’s size, says Prouty. If the room gets little to no sun, you’ll need about 10% less. If there are more than two people typically occupying the room, you’ll need to add 600 BTUs for each additional person, and if it’s going in a kitchen, you’ll need to add 4,000 BTUs to “counteract the additional heat [that] kitchen appliances produce,” says Prouty.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. John McKeon , CEO of Allergy Standards — an organization that works with brands and manufacturers to improve indoor air quality science and standards.
  • Carl Prouty is a tech expert at electronics and appliance retailer Abt .

Why trust NBC Select?

Harry Rabinowitz is a reporter at NBC Select who covers technology including guides to fitness trackers , air purifiers and streaming devices . To better understand the nuances of portable air conditioners, he spoke with industry experts and used their advice to help pick top-rated options across price points.

Catch up on NBC Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance , tech and tools , wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

best small catamaran 2022

Harry Rabinowitz is a reporter for Select on NBC News.

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6 Beaches for Budding Swimmers, Surfers and Castle Builders

For families with children, we found half a dozen beaches in the United States and Mexico, each tailored to a particular summer activity.

The small hands of two children can be seen building sand castles with pails and molds in fine, beige beach sand.

By Freda Moon

A family beach vacation is an American classic. But depending on their children’s ages and inclinations, some families may be drawn to different kinds of shorelines: those featuring clear, calm water for snorkeling and learning to swim; or, for shell collectors and young naturalists, sandy stretches carpeted with seashells or bordered by tide pools. For castle builders, fine sand is a must, while would-be surfers need tidy waves, ready to ride. Here are six great beaches in the United States and Baja California for family-favorite summer activities.

For castle builders: Mission Beach , San Diego

San Diego’s temperate climate allows for barefoot beach days year-round. For those who’d rather build with sand than lie in it, Mission Beach has another advantage: San Diego Sand Castles and the sand sculptor JT Estrela. Mr. Estrela, a former math teacher, offers lessons in the art of sand castle construction on this family-friendly Southern California beach, where the sand is perfect for castle building: The grains are fine but not too silty, clean below the tide line, free of shells and rocks, and pack hard.

In his two-to-three-hour sessions (starting at $160 for two people, $20 for each additional person), Mr. Estrela works with families to build elaborate five-foot-tall castles. The goal is for participants to “feel like this insider of arcane knowledge,” he said.

While the best sand in the San Diego area is at the offshore city of Coronado in San Diego Bay, Mr. Estrela prefers working with families at Mission Beach. Known for its boardwalk amusement park, Belmont Park ; historic beachfront swimming pool, the Plunge ; and excellent playgrounds, it’s particularly fun for kids. The smell of cotton candy and hot dogs hangs in the air, mingling with shrieks from the Giant Dipper, Belmont’s 1925 wooden roller coaster, squawking sea gulls and salt spray. Its biggest downside is its popularity, which means parking can be a challenge.

For new swimmers: Onekahakaha Beach Park , Hilo, Hawaii

In an archipelago known for spectacular beaches, Onekahakaha Beach Park , on the rugged, volcanic coast of the Big Island, may seem a counterintuitive choice. At Onekahakaha, with its two large, sandy-bottomed ocean pools enclosed by lava rock walls and backed by palm trees and an expansive grassy lawn, the sand is mostly below the surface.

Separated from the Pacific Ocean’s notoriously powerful waves and rip currents, the seawater within the pools is warm and placid, protected and shallow, which makes it excellent for little kids learning to swim, as well as for older kids to snorkel. It’s also home to nonthreatening marine life (no sharks here), including green sea turtles.

Though the water is only about waist-deep on an adult, there are lifeguards, adding to Onekahakaha’s reputation for safety. And without a wide swath of sand between the pools and the shoreline path, the water is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. There’s also a swing set, picnic tables and proximity to the lush Hilo area.

As long as you’re on the Big Island, the site of several active volcanoes, visit the thermal pools alongside some of its beaches, including Pohoiki Black Sand Beach at Isaac Hale Beach Park , 40 miles south of Onekahakaha. The ocean there may be a bit rough for young swimmers, but it’s a great place to show children a fresh lava flow.

For would-be surfers: Wrightsville Beach , N.C.

Wrightsville Beach is considered by many surf historians to be the home of East Coast surfing and one of the first places outside Polynesia and the Pacific Rim for the sport to catch on .

It also has some of the best beginner’s breaks in the United States , said Sean Griffin, 37, a surfing instructor and the father of a 5-year-old, who started riding the local break when he was 8.

He points out that Wrightsville is the only surfing beach in the state that has clear, blue water. Being able to see one’s hands and feet and the sandy bottom “makes anyone feel more comfortable in the ocean,” he said.

At Surf With Sean , Mr. Griffin offers private 90-minute lessons ($95 to $120) to surfers as young as 3 and into their 80s, as well as surf camps for kids ($425 per week). “There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to learn or give it a shot,” said Mr. Griffin, who provides all gear in all sizes, including adaptive equipment.

There’s more to the area’s kid appeal than its waves. Mr. Griffin points to Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier , at the center of the beach, where his son “loves seeing all the salty fisherman pulling in fish,” and the big, modern playground at Wrightsville Beach Park .

For tide pool explorers: Carkeek Park , Seattle

Naomi Tomky — a lifelong Seattleite, author of “ The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook ” and mother of two daughters, 6 and 8 — recommends Carkeek Park in Seattle for an immersive experience in Puget Sound marine life. At low tide, Ms. Tomky said, the narrow beach “just goes out for ages,” exposing tide pools filled with starfish, sea snails, anemones and “many, many crabs, from the size of your fingernail to the size of your hand.”

Unlike tide-pooling elsewhere on the West Coast, where the powerful Pacific Ocean requires caution because of dangerous sneaker waves , Puget Sound is rich with life but calm enough for Ms. Tomky to let her daughters explore on their own.

Just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, Carkeek is part of the Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalist Program , which sends naturalists to various shorelines around the area.

Along with the below-the-tide-line intrigue, Carkeek is also known for an annual spectacle: spawning salmon. In the fall, it’s possible to stand over the park’s Piper’s Creek and watch the fish — a sacred Indigenous symbol of the Pacific Northwest — on the run.

“It’s one of the coolest things you can see,” said Ms. Tomky, “to understand how these fish share the city with us as they swim back into their former home.”

For shell hunters: Tigertail Beach , Marco Island, Fla.

Sanibel Island, a barrier island just off Fort Myers, Fla., is one of the most famous shelling destinations on the planet. That popularity comes with a downside: It’s often picked over by enthusiasts who hit the shoreline at dawn. The island is also still recovering from Hurricane Ian, which badly damaged its infrastructure in 2022.

As an alternative, the shelling guide Evan Kuperman (a.k.a. Captain Evan) recommends Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, about an hour south.

Mr. Kuperman, a Florida master naturalist , operates Sand Dollar Shelling Tours . His tours ($125 per adult, $90 per child, and families of up to six people for $650) take guests by boat to places like the Ten Thousand Islands , a mangrove mud flat habitat and National Wildlife Refuge.

For visitors unable to join one of his trips, Mr. Kuperman said that Tigertail, a publicly accessible beach ($8 parking fee), offers exceptional shelling.

Marco Island is more built up than Sanibel, but Tigertail, at the island’s north end, is a county-owned park with a lagoon and a position facing the Gulf of Mexico that lends itself to accumulating seashells, including rare and striking ones, like the spiny ornamented lace murex and reddish brown banded tulip .

But everyone is hoping for a junonia, or Juno’s volute, a sea snail that has to travel far in churning waters to reach the beach intact. “You don’t find it,” said Mr. Kuperman, “it finds you.”

For young snorkelers: Playa el Chileno , Los Cabos, Mexico

About halfway between bustling Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, Playa el Chileno is no longer an undeveloped local secret. Now backed by the sprawling Auberge resort Chileno Bay Resort & Residences , the beach remains public and comparatively tranquil. Awarded the Blue Flag certification for meeting stringent environmental standards, Chileno is exceptionally well maintained.

While catamaran snorkeling tours come and go from Chileno Bay, it’s also possible to reach the reef from the shore, which makes it good for inexperienced snorkelers who might find it intimidating to leap into deep water without easing their way in. High Tide Sea Expeditions offers snorkeling excursions via kayak that start at nearby Playa Santa Maria, hug the coast and arrive at Chileno by water. For younger kids and anyone who prefers more time in the water, there’s a guided two-hour tour that visits both beaches by car ($95 to $130 per person, including equipment).

Among the roughly 50 species of fish that snorkelers might encounter along Chileno’s rocky outcroppings and coral reef, there are large tuna, sea turtles, puffer fish, Panamic green moray eels, Cortez angelfish and blacknosed butterflyfish — among many other colorful creatures. The coral here is less vibrant than some places, but the number and variety of fish are thrilling.

Freda Moon, a frequent contributor to the Travel section, lives on a boat in San Francisco Bay with her husband and two kids. Her upcoming National Geographic book with the coauthor Ashley Harrell, “100 Beaches of a Lifetime,” will be published next year.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Get Out on the Water This Summer

3 6 Hours in Traverse City, Mich.:  Explore the laid-back city loved for its annual cherry festival, unspoiled lake vistas and access to epic dunes .

6 Great Beaches for Families:  For families with children, we found half a dozen beaches in the United States and Mexico , each tailored to a particular summer activity.

Surfing in Texas: A wave pool in Waco offers consistent conditions, affordable prices and a friendly vibe for beginner surfers .

Hidden Island Treasures: Being far from everywhere is the point in the Magdalens, a colorful and tranquil Quebec island chain  north of Prince Edward Island.

A Famous Massachusetts Inn: A writer returns to a classic Nantucket hotel, where he worked 50 years ago, to ponder how he, the island, and the newly refurbished inn have changed .

5 Waterfront Hotels : Whether it’s by a river, lake or ocean, or in a castle, cottage or on the site of a former torpedo factory, here are places to stay where the water is never far away .

Ukraine war: Key events in the Russian invasion

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Russian President Putin visits North Korea

Putin, Kim agree to develop 'strategic fortress' relations, KCNA says

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to develop their nations' relations, which have emerged a strategic fortress, during a meeting on the first day of Putin's visit to Pyongyang on Wednesday, North Korean state media.

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