In the last article we explained various types of sailboats according to the three different criteria. In addition, we expressed some tips for buying the best sailboats for the beginners. In this article we are going to answer the question ” what are the best sailboats for the beginners and experts?”. We said that the small boats are the best for neophytes. But the most important point is what the best small boats are?
There are a wide range of small sailboats that you can choose from, depending on your tastes and the features that you want. It is not a good idea to even think of buying one of the many different types of small sailing boats if you have not actually hit the water and experienced any for yourself. When it comes to boats, it is the best to experience them first hand to see how they really work and perform, and to see if it is the perfect fit for you. Nothing can be replaced the experience of assessing the power and the comfort of the sailboat. You should also pay attention to which sailboats are well-known in your neighborhood.
The dinghies and the small yachts are becoming popular in small sailboat category as they are easy to steer and sail. That’s why, we suggest some sailboats that are the great choices for the beginners from the dinghy and the small yachts subsets. (3)
The best dinghies for the neophytes
These are safe and simple offering stepped levels of learning, manufacturing for training. There are a lot of different sailboats that are common in sailing clubs and training centers. Pico, Sabot, Harteley 10 and RS Quba are some of them. Additionally, the Laser Bahia and Laser Vago, Topper Xenon and Topper Topaz are larger training dinghies that are available.
These sailboats with various sails and trapeze options are made for the newcomers in sailing who never have had experience on the water for a long journey, intermediate skippers and definitely for the families to improve their sailing and steering skills. There are some differences between these types that you should pay attention before selection. For example, the all RS types have spinnaker as well as the trapeze options. But there are some differences in subsets like The RS Vision is manufactured for the family as a trainer, cruiser or club racer, although the RS Venture can carry more crew up to eight (the new launched RS Quest can carry up to four people) or the Hartley 12 meanwhile has a single sail, optional jib and roomy cockpit for one, two or three people, while the H12.2 can have up to three sails and has recently been joined by the Hartley 15 cruiser-trainer for up to five people. (4)
Laser Sailing Boat
The popular sailboats among young and old skippers are the Laser sailing boats. They are designed in 3 various sized rigs. That’s why they are suitable for various skill levels and weights. Their sails size is different from 4.7 to 7.1 square meters. The hull also is 4.23 meters in length and 1.37 meters in width. 60 kilograms is almost their weight.
These are the most popular sailboats among the beginners, people who are learning sailing and the kids. They are really easy to use and very reliable. That’s why they were the first choice of the clubs to teach the beginners for decades. (3)
Topper Topaz Argo
Topaz Argo is as similar as the roto-molded recreational dinghy in appearance, while it executes like a conventional high-performance double hander. Nowadays, the roto-molded boats aren’t available as much. However, they are necessary for training the newcomers in sailing. Thus, manufacturing these sailboats are always in the row of production in the companies like Topper. In addition to training, they are designed for the families and getting youth sailors on the wire.
Being firm, strong and well-priced along with attractive to sail are the features of these sailboats. Argo is really comfortable for staying either inside or on the deck and its buoyancy is good.
The size of the Argo is 14 feet beside the sufficient volume. Likewise, the boom is 6 feet in length. It can carry two crew for racing and four crew for recreational cruising. (5)
In single handers, only one person is needed for sailing. Thus, you can manage the boat as well as propel the boat yourself which increases your learning and experience. Additionally, you can do everything that you want without anyone else.
Lasers are the perfect primary single hander which are designed for beginners in racings as well as the entertainment cruising. Another type of the single hander is Solo that first have been manufactured in 1956. Similar to the Lasers, Solo also resides as a fleet at local clubs and many skippers use this type in regional and national circuit events. Not only the old dull sailors but also the young agile sailors choose the Solo for the racing. RS Aero is modern single hander which is launched in 2014. It is manufactured to have a manageable ultra-light hull and like the Laser has three rigs, offering a broad appeal across a wide weight and strength range of sailors, including youth sailors and women.
These sailboats need two persons for steering and handling. Most of these sailboats have a spinnaker, main sail and jib. In double handers, you can spend your time with another one on the sea and learn from him as well.
There are different types of the double hander dinghies, including the Enterprise, Miracle, GP14, Laser 2000 and …, are great for the neophytes. Enterprise is the double hander for whom are looking for improving their teamwork and sailing skills with just two sails. This sailboat is famous in several regions and has a great racing circuit. The Miracle and the GP14 are double hander dinghies with a conventional or symmetric spinnaker. But the Laser 2000 has a sporty asymmetric spinnaker. The Fireball is three-sail trapeze dinghy, designing for the adherents of the excitement of the trapeze boat. The flexibility to fit the boat out to suit the sailor is the feature of the Fireball, making it good for smaller helms or crews. “probably the highest performance dinghy that just about anyone can sail in almost any wind strength.” is the description of the Fireball from the class association.
4-Dinghy cruising boats
Dinghy cruising sailboats are exactly manufactured for the cruising. Thus, these are the best sailboats for cruising with your family or your friends in creek as well as the sea.
Getting relaxed is the purpose of the most people from sailing rather than racing. So, the Wayfarer is the best suggestion for them. One of the perfect sailboat in cruising offshore and on the ocean is the Wayfarer, although It is also used for training the beginners or racing with a spinnaker. The GP14 should be their another choice. It is also designed for cruising and racing with a wide range of features.
They are stable and fast as well due to have more than one hull (catamaran or trimaran). Their usage is in learning the new skills for sailing like trapezing.This stable platform led the multihulls popularity to increase among the beginners. But when these boats capsize, the situation is more challenging and more power is necessary to invert the boat.
Sprint 15 and Dart 18 are two common multihulls in the UK. The Sprint 15 is the largest singlehanded cat class and the Dart 18 is the famous double hander. Disabled Sailors who can’t sail with ordinary sailboats can sail with Challenger trimaran. Challenger trimaran offers freedom from capsizing and good racing. (4)
The best sailboats for the experts and sailing lovers
The above boats are not as satisfying as the more professional sailboats for the experts. That’s why we have some suggestion below that are astonishing.
Caliber 40 LRC
In 1991, the Caliber 40 was launched. Although it was changed to the 40 LRC, its popularity as an interesting cutter didn’t decrease. It is equipped with fin keel and the ballast in order to be stable on the water as much as possible. It has a lot of room inboard for a big family and its T-shaped cockpit is vast, deep and safe for recreation on the sea. Three large cockpit drains and high back rests also are arranged in the cockpit. The capacity of water tank is 156 gallons that is sufficient. But besides the pros, the fuel tankage is 46 gallons which is inadequate for the cruising. You can modify the fuel tankage if you want to go for a long journey on the sea.
Hylas 46 is a cutter-rigged sloop that attracts all the sailing fans to try itself at least once. Center cockpit with a modern underbody are brightened up with a companionway that ends to the engine. Being low, sleek, and fast, with almost no exterior teak and a great multi-step transom for easy boarding are the features of this sailboat. The interior has been designed with two cabins beside two heads.
Island Packet 420
This is a full-length keel boat which has a lot of advocates all around the world. It provides a comfortable and safe trip for you, while it doesn’t have a fast pace due to a solid glass and heavy hull. It is designed with two beautiful cabins and two heads along with solid aft cockpit. The capacity of the water and fuel tank is sufficient for cruising on the sea. There is also a shoal keel under the boat that is used for sailing in skinny water destinations. The 420 class of the Island Packet isn’t currently used and the 460/465 have been taking the place of it.
Primarily, Tartan 3700 was launched in 1970s. however, the current samples have modern and unique features that can be astonishing and attract a lot of people to sail on it. There are two cabins and a head in Tartan 3700. In the rearward of this boat, there is a beam that the stability of the boat owes to. A self-tacking jib is arranged for when the wind is up and a 150% reacher on a roller furler which will keep the boat moving in light air. Additionally, full-sized nav station in its saloon is useful in long-distance cruising.
Valiants haven’t been changed over the times since it was launched. Thus, when you are stepping inboard, it’s like getting back in time to the past and this is one of the reasons of the buyers. Valiant 42 is sturdy, double-ended and cutter-rigged sloop. The cockpit is located in the rearward of the boat which is suitable for ocean cruising. The light tanks of water and fuels with the capacity less than 100 gallons, little exterior teak and a very versatile aluminum toe rail lead the Valiant to be intensely useful in sailing. (1)
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 has demonstrated itself as a skillful ocean cruiser. So, it can obviate the demand of the charter market for the profitable deals. In the design of this sailboat, the space is extremely optimized as the detachable bulkhead divides the space in to two cabins in the rearward of the boat. A large cockpit beside versatile performance and easy sail plan to use are the options which stimulate the sailors to try this at least once. Cool features like a dedicated sail locker in the bow and a large nav station belowdecks don’t hurt either.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS
This is one of the most attractive sailboats all around the world due to its fabulous design. In its inauguration in 2003, the spectacular lines in its wonderful structure were felt by the spectators. Additionally, its sturdy and strong quality along with the excessive accommodations attracted a lot of people to write a purchase order with the owners.
A deep-draft keel and a standard in-mast furling mainsail are the features of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS designed by the Jacques Fauroux. an optional full-battened main was the choice of most long-distance cruisers.
Amel Super Maramu
Amel Super Maramu is the creation of the Henri Amel whose goal was, building the perfect cruising sailboat. There were approximately 500 boats of this kind worldwide until the Henri Amel put type 54 in place of them. This French sailboat is 53 feet in length. Maramu has the docile and practical ketch rig, electric furling gears on which the sails set and intelligent sail handling systems. You didn’t get much latitude when choosing equipment for this boat; it came as a turnkey ocean crosser, with little latitude for customization.
Its debut takes back to 2006 which converted the whole concept of complete-cruiser to a new level. These new alterations in the interior design led sailors to change their view about the efficiency and the comfortability of this boat, whereas the new form of the deck brought a contemporary look to the boat. On the other hand, the design quality and great inventory didn’t change. Over all, there are no shortages in necessities and amenities in this boat except to expert crew.
Hallberg-Rassy 42 and 42F
These sailboats were designed with the sturdy cockpit in the center. Two kinds of 42 are exist: firstly, the designer was Olle Enderlein and was manufactured from 1980-1991. Secondly, is the 42F which was made in 1991-2001 by German Frers. These sailboats are fourth and fifth in the numbers of rally competitors. German Frers maybe didn’t know that his design creates its own mystique in the near future and lives up to it as well. The quality of design of the 42F is ideal like its seakeeping capability. It is also built in efficient layout as there is no waste of space in belowdecks.
This is one of the sailboats in the wish list of the cruisers. The masthead sloop sail plan and the sturdy hull beside to the appropriate efficient deck are the outstanding features of this sailboat. Hylas 56 is the new version of this sailboat whose hull is as same as another. Additionally, it has excellent seakeeping and ease of handling.
Oyster 56, which is in the ideal ocean cruiser ranks, is the most well-known sailboat in the Britain. This is in the appropriate size: small enough to be handled by two people, big enough to cruise on the ocean as fast as possible and don’t need a full-time expert crew. This boat is always the winner in its class in every rallies and regattas. There is no deficiency in its form and design as it is built in highest quality.
The fast and beautiful hull, well-built cockpit in the center which is useful for the sailboats in this size and the extraordinary quality of systems and finish as well as the competitive price were paved the way for this boat to become popular all around the world and to draw other sailboat builders into the market of over 50-foot sailboats. The Beneteau 57 was a reasonable option for the rich skippers who couldn’t or didn’t want to make the leap into an Oyster.
Bavaria 42 demonstrated that the mass production boats can easily cruise on the ocean similar to the high-priced semi-custom yachts. It is manufactured to a price but in well design with two or three sleeping cabins in interior layout. 42 has an appropriate performance due to its long waterline and suitable sail area even when is loaded with a lot of equipment and burdens.
Lagoons are the most used sailboats in Atlantic Rally than the other catamarans and the 440 more than the other Lagoons have taken part in the Atlantic cruising competition. This is the popular choice for whom is going to go to the tropics. Large cockpit, vast saloon and the smooth deck provides best moments for the crew either when they need some silent place or when they gather for meals. The 440 isn’t the sport sailboat but you can take a lot of pleasure from cruising on the sea with no concern about the safety and comfort of the crew. (2)
Marblehead 22 Daysailer
Marblehead 22 daysailer, which designed by Doug Zurn and built by Samoset Boatworks in Boothbay, Maine, is the best sailboat for whom is looking for the excitement on the sea. Marblehead looks contemporary below the water and traditional above. Cold-molded hull, a deep bulb keel and a Hall Spars carbon-fiber mast with a wishbone rig and square-top main are the important aspects of this sailboat. There is also a 11-foot-9-inch cockpit and a small cuddy in front of the boat. (2)
To be continued …
1-Zuzana Prochazka. (2012) 5 Top Affordable Bluewater Cruising Sailboats. Retrieved August 19, 2012, from yachtworld
2-Mark pillsbury. (2012) Small Sailboat Reviews. Retrieved April 27,2012, from cruisingworld
3-The Thought Of. (2013) So many small sailboats – Which one is right for you?. Retrieved November 30, 2013, from lasersailingtips
4-Paula Irish. (2016) 25 best beginner sailing dinghies – boats.com. Retrieved May 2016, from boats
5-A David Reed. (2014) 2015 Boat of the Year: The Winners. Retrieved December 16,2014, from sailingworld