Sailors and sailing enthusiasts all over the world often have an opinion on what the best sailboat is for them. And so we say there are indeed different strokes for different folks because what is good for one might not be as great for another. Even so, there are certain boats that do stand out from the rest of the crowd. In this post we will look at yachts rather than dinghies, as often sailors will migrate into a yacht sometime in their sailing career, whether to own or to crew on.
Similarly to dinghies, there are so many different types of yachts that it makes choosing the right one a difficult decision. There are countless different shapes and sizes available, with varying price tags to match. There are so many variables that can influence your decision, including of course budget, but also where you plan to sail (eg. Bay, lake, ocean), crew ability and availability, whether you want to cruise or race, comfort level you desire, long term plans, etc, etc.
Below is a list of some of the different types to give you an idea what makes a particular sailboat more appealing to some than others:
The Melges 32
This one-design sailboat has taken the racing world by storm. Because of its popularity, this light-weight class racer is raced in regattas world-wide. The clean and functional deck layout has resulted in simplified and enjoyable sailing. This, together with the close and very competitive racing that is enjoyed by many, has ultimately led to its success. It is one of the fastest monohulls for its size, and once you hit the upwind mark, turn the corner and pop the big masthead asymmetrical spinnaker, you’re bound to be in for a great ride. For this reason, it is thought of by many as the best sailboat around at present.
The Alberg 30
This boat has been considered by many as the best because of its competitive class racing due to its one design nature, similar to the Endeavour 24 & 28 (and of course the best sailboat of all – the laser dinghy). Because of this, sailing skill is one of the major factors in determining who wins races.
This boat is made of fiberglass construction methods thereby ensuring longevity for a number of decades now. However its looks are reminiscent of the era when boats were made of wood because of the low freeboard and full keel. It also features long overhangs as well as a low-aspect rig.
The Catalina 315
Some people say that the Catalina resembles traditional values and conservative themes in sailing. However if you consider the unpretentious things in life as important and impressive, then the Catalina 315 would be an excellent choice. It is considered by many as the best sailboat for couples with one or two kids because it sails very well and the quality is unquestionable. It is a great cruising boat, and has been awarded as such.
The Beneteau Sense 50
Moving up the scale, the Beneteau Sense 50 has to be seen to be believed. A stunning boat in every aspect, this boat is relatively new and features a deep, low, open wide cockpit. It has twin wheels and helm seats that conveniently hinges up and kept out of the way when not in use. The seating area could also be used as a sun deck when the boat is at anchor. Its large 830L/219 US Gal fuel tank will allow you to cruise to your heart’s content. Its innovative design has shown that monohulls need not look boring.
The Bristol 40
A lot of sailors consider this as the best sailboat because of its combined elegance and sea worthiness. First built in the mid-1960’s, it boasts a sleek body shape and graceful lines. Despite the presence of newer designs, this boat remains unchallenged for its beautiful design. And if you are a couple who loves the water, this boat could give you the privacy, stability, proper sea berths and the elbowroom you desire.
The Moody 41
This boat is a great choice if you are interested in an all-around vessel that can cater for longer voyages. Sailors who have experienced this boat commend this sailboat for good visibility, ample storage, good layout, dodgers that provide protection from harsh weather, and quality construction. Aside from that, the interior has elegant mahogany and teak finishes, as well as functional and spacious galley and toilet.
The Columbia 50
If you are still looking for the best sailboat, you may want to look at the Columbia 50, a modern classic. For some sailors, this is one of the prettiest boats you can find that combines sea worthiness and comfortable interiors. Designed specifically in its day for racing, this boat is popular because of its excellent performance in big league races, winning many first places. Yet despite its hard driving capability, cruisers are in for a comfortable ride because of its well furnished interior.
Hinckley Bermuda 40
For a lot of sailors, Hinckley Bermuda 40 is a reflection of sleek lines and elegance in water. This is because of its apparently faultless proportions that are depicted in its low freeboard, extensive overhangs, and well defined yawl rig. This well constructed classic is at the top of many cruising sailor’s list of dream yachts.
The Neel 45
This trimaran is a true picture of innovation. It has a design that has maximized the use of interior space featuring a large engine room and cabins. It is believed to be the best sailboat for many because it is easily manageable, it has a versatile and controllable sailing plan, and most of all it features a reliable double-digit potential in speed. Its other amenities include a good emergency tiller, well designed dinghy davits, as well as sufficient walkways.
What makes a boat the best sailboat?
Again, every sailor may have his or her own preferences when it comes to boat choice. The boat’s make, size, look, or features may influence a sailor’s choice depending on how he or she intends to use it. The sailboats mentioned above are just examples – they may not necessarily represent what you think would be best for your specific preferences and requirements. It is impossible to come up with a best sailboat for all. So shop around, listen to the advice of more seasoned sailors, and those who actually own or have experience with any particular boat that catches your eye, and investigate thoroughly before you finally buy the best sailboat for you.
What do you consider the best sailboat?
Why is it your pick, over the thousands of other designs out there? I’d love to know what you think. Please share your thoughts on what is the best sailboat below…