best 100k yacht

16 Best Boats Under $100K (Each With Prices, Specifications & Photos!)

Explore top boats under $100K! Find the perfect blend of affordability & luxury with our list of 16 best boats, complete with prices, specs & photos. Ideal for travelers.

best 100k yacht

Boats are a great investment for people that enjoy spending time on the water. However, the price range of boats doesn't fit everyone's budget. When you're looking at the cost of different boats, you'll likely come across some that are just as expensive as a house. If you're on a budget, you might be wondering about more affordable models. So, what are the best boats under $100K?

The 2018 Regal 2100 is a great boat for families. It's comfortable and designed for water activities. One of the best sailboats under $100K to consider is the Hallberg-Rassy 352. It has a cabin that you can spend the night in. If you want a pontoon under $100K, you should check out the spacious Bennington Q25.

Buying a boat doesn't mean you have to clear out your life savings. There are several great boats on the market that won't break the bank. Today, we're going to introduce you to 16 of the best boats under $100K. Keep reading to find out which boats you should be looking at.

1. 2018 Regal 2100

best 100k yacht

Full Performance Marine / YouTube

Average Price:  $48,430  | Passenger Capacity:  7

The 2018 Regal 2100 is ideal for leisurely days on the water.  It's a preferred boat for watersports, like water skiing and tubing. This boat is high-performing and great for cruising. On top of that, it's a very sleek and stylish bowrider.

Why We Love The 2018 Regal 2100

The 2018 Regal 2100 has a great amount of storage space.  It feels a lot roomier than most 21' boats because there's enough space to put all of your belongings out of the way. The seating arrangement also provides enough space for all passengers to sit comfortably, even when the boat's at full capacity.

2018 Regal 2100 Specifications

  • Length:  21'
  • Width:  8'2"
  • Weight:  3650 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  40 gallons

2. Bennington Q25

best 100k yacht

Bennington Pontoon Boats / YouTube

Average Price:  $96,666  | Passenger Capacity:  18

Bennington is a popular boat brand, and many people want to be the owner of the Q25.  This pontoon boat allows people to enjoy the luxurious features of a premium boat at a much lower cost. This boat even features the same material for seating that's used on high-end yachts. You can expect a very comfortable ride.

Why We Love The Bennington Q25

Bennington is a name people trust when they are looking for a pontoon.  This boat provides all the luxuries that people want in a pontoon for less money, like reclining seats and wood accents. There are several different floor plans to choose from, allowing people to choose the best fit for their lifestyle. There's also the choice to include add-ons, like a performance package.

Bennington Q25 Specifications

  • Length:  27'3"
  • Width:  8'6"
  • Weight:  4519 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  50 gallon

3. Skeeter SX240

best 100k yacht

Skeeter Boats

Average Price:  starting at $58,500  | Passenger Capacity:  8

Skeeter SX240 is a favorite boat under $100K among boating enthusiasts.  This versatile boat is great for cruising along nearly any body of water. There is more protection on this boat, just in case you hit rough waters.

Why We Love The Skeeter SX240

There are several features that make the Skeeter SX240 one of the best boats under $100k.  There's more storage space than other boats of a similar size. The windshield is removable, which is a great feature for people looking to gain more clearance. This is also an excellent fishing boat because it comes with 2 wells.

Skeeter SX240 Specifications

  • Length:  24'1"
  • Width:  8'5"
  • Weight:  2925 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  75 gallons

4. Four Winns Horizon 210 RS Bowrider

best 100k yacht

Four Winns / YouTube

Average Price:  $64,385  | Passenger Capacity:  9

The Four Winns Horizon 210 RS Bowrider is an excellent choice if you're looking for a watersports boat.  This boat is a top-choice because it's stable and maintains a steady plane. Even at slower speeds, you can still get an amazing performance from this boat.

Why We Love The Four Winns Horizon 210 RS Bowrider

Four Winns Horizon  210 RS Bowrider is stylish and comfortable. The custom seats are just as comfortable as your living room furniture. They are even made using handstitched upholstery. For the boat itself, you can choose from 4 different color options. You'll be able to customize this boat to your own taste for less money.

Four Winns Horizon 210 RS Bowrider Specifications

  • Length:  21'7"
  • Weight:  3450 lbs

5. Boston Whaler 210 Montauk

best 100k yacht

Average Price:  $61,854  | Passenger Capacity:  9

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk has caught boaters' interest because it's unsinkable.  Even if the boat is deconstructed, the parts will still float above water. This boat has been constructed using some of the best parts on the market, including several stainless steel components.

Why We Love The Boston Whaler 210 Montauk

Boston Whaler wanted to make sure people could customize the 210 Montauk to their enjoyment.  You will have the option to add facilities to your boat for water activities, like water skiing and fishing. The design of the boat also allows users to enjoy more comfort and flexibility.

Boston Whaler 210 Montauk Specifications

  • Length:  21'4"
  • Weight:  2650 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  66.5 gallons

6. Hallberg-Rassy 352

best 100k yacht


Average Price:  starting at $39,169  | Passenger Capacity:  12

One of the best under $100K sailboats is the Hallberg-Rassy 352.  This is a great sailboat to consider if you want to have overnight adventures on the water. It's known for being a very steady boat, even if the water is rocky.

Why We Love The Hallberg-Rassy 352

The Hallberg-Rassy 352 features many of the amenities you have at home.  This is why it's one of the best choices for overnight cruising. In the cabin, there is a kitchenette and bathroom. The bathroom includes a toilet and shower, with running water. You can also enjoy luxuries, like the onboard stereo system.

Hallberg-Rassy 352 Specifications

  • Length:  35'
  • Width:  11'1"
  • Weight:  14,800 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  250 lbs

7. Yamaha 210 FHS Sport

best 100k yacht

Boating Magazine / YouTube

Average Price:  starting at $44,500  | Passenger Capacity:  10

One of the best center console boats under $100K is the Yamaha 210 FHS Sport.  Like most Yamaha boats, you can expect top-of-the-line performance from this boat. It's a great option to consider if you want to bring friends or your family out on the water to enjoy activities. This boat is excellent for tubing, water skiing, fishing, and more.

Why We Love The Yamaha 210 FHS Sport

One of the best features of the Yamaha 210 FHS sport is the twin engines.  You can pick up speed quickly, making this boat more exciting for water activities. It also features a jet-drive system to help propel the boat. This boat also features a curtained privacy area. You can use this area as a changeroom or bring a portable toilet on board for when you need to go.

Yamaha 210 FHS Sport Specifications

  • Length:  21'3"
  • Weight:  3003 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  50 gallons

8. Regal 28 Express

best 100k yacht

Regal Boats

Average Price:  starting at $84,900  | Passenger Capacity:  12

The Regal 28 Express is a fun motorboat that doesn't put people overbudget.  This stylish boat allows people to customize the exterior with 8 different color choices. It is one of the most comfortable boats from Regal for traveling to different destinations.

Why We Love The Regal 28 Express

The Regal 28 Express has all the luxuries for half the cost.  One feature we love is the Ultralounge. Guests can stay comfortable in this area while enjoying the surrounding view. The cabin is very sleek and spacious, with 6 feet of headroom and a queen-size berth. It also has picture windows that create amazing lighting in the cabin.

Regal 28 Express Specifications

  • Length:  28'9"
  • Weight:  7585 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  73 gallons

9. Sunseeker Tomahawk 41

best 100k yacht

SYS Yacht Sales

Average Price:  starting at $76,800   | Passenger Capacity:  9

One of the best Sunseeker Tomahawk boats is the #41.  This boat was built to remain steady in Mediterranean conditions, so you can expect easy cruising with good speed. It's an excellent boat for water sports or simply cruising and soaking up the sun.

Why We Love The Sunseeker Tomahawk 41

It's easy to see why the Sunseeker Tomahawk 41 keeps getting 5-star reviews after all these years.  This high-quality boat is also stunning, with lavish upholstery and beautiful woodwork. It uses a 2X250CV diesel engine, which gives the motor a lot of power. You can also spend the night in this boat because there's a double bed in the cabin.

Sunseeker Tomahawk 41 Specifications

  • Length:  42'1"
  • Width:  10'1"
  • Weight:  15,432 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  206 gallons

10. Nauticstar 191 Hybrid

best 100k yacht

NauticStar Boats

Average Price:  $40,381  | Passenger Capacity:  7

Nauticstar 191 Hybrid is one of the top modern boat models on our list today.  This affordable boat has a very stylish and functional design. The spacious seating plan allows for more room on board, so your guests won't feel cramped. This allows you to bring more friends along when you go fishing.

Why We Love Nauticstar 191 Hybrid

If you enjoy fishing, the Nauticstar 191 Hybrid is an excellent boat to consider.  It features an aft fishing deck, which includes rod holders. It's one of the best tournament-ready boats for anglers on a budget. This boat is also designed to remain sturdy, even when the water is choppy. It helps keep everyone on board dry throughout the ride.

Nauticstar 191 Hybrid Specifications

  • Length:  18'11"
  • Weight:  2160 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  32 gallons

11. Chaparral 250 Suncoast

best 100k yacht

Sunrise Marine / YouTube

Average Price:  starting at $60K  | Passenger Capacity:  14

Chaparral is one of the top boat brands in America.  Boat enthusiasts were thrilled to find out that they could be the owners of 250 Suncoast for a more affordable price.  Like most Chaparral boats, this model comes with all the features people really want when they're choosing a boat, like a polished spoke steering wheel and well-lit cockpit.

Why We Love Chaparral 250 Suncoast

While the Chaparral 250 Suncoast is a large boat, it's very easy to tow.  You don't have to be an expert on the water to be able to drive this boat safely. Another impressive feature is the spacious interior of this boat. While it has plenty of seating for all of your guests, it still doesn't feel crowded on board.

Chaparral 250 Suncoast Specifications

  • Length:  24'
  • Weight:  4100 lbs

12. Beneteau First 27

best 100k yacht

sailmoto / YouTube

Average Price:  $99,990  | Passenger Capacity:  6 to 10

Another great sailboat under $100K is the Beneteau First 27 . Some people are initially turned off by the very small fuel capacity of this boat. However, once they set sail, they are more than impressed by how fast of a cruiser this boat really is. It uses the wind to its advantage to pick up a good speed without going too fast.

Why We Love The Beneteau First 27

The interior of this sailboat feels very luxurious.  It's spacious with very good lighting from the windows. There's also plenty of storage space to stow away items that aren't in use. This boat also features a bathroom on board. You can bring guests out for longer journeys without having to worry about people's comfort. There are many amenities on this boat that you get at home.

Beneteau First 27 Specifications

  • Length:  26'
  • Width:  7'9"
  • Weight:  5291 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  7 gallons

13. Fairline Targa 34

best 100k yacht

Average Price:  starting at $50,943  | Passenger Capacity:  6

The Fairline Targa 34 has an excellent reputation in the boating community.  Even people that are extremely picky about their boat's features love this boat. Part of the reason this boat is a hit with nearly everyone that steps foot in it is that it was in production for a decade. There was time to iron out all of the issues and design the perfect boat.

Why We Love Fairline Targa 34

The Fairline Targa 34 has been a best-selling boat for several years.  While new models are introduced to the market, they aren't enough to convince loyal Targa 34 enthusiasts to make the switch. From the spacious cabins to the impressive cockpit design and incredible speed, it's easy to see why people love this boat.

Targa 34 Specifications

  • Length:  34'5"
  • Width:  11'4"
  • Weight:  14,330 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  156 gallons

14. Sea Ray 320 Sundancer

best 100k yacht

Average Price:  starting at $47,799  | Passenger Capacity:  4

If you don't have the budget for a yacht, the Sea Ray 320 Sundancer is the next best thing.  The floorplan on this motorboat is very spacious. It also features cabinets and stowage space, so your items won't be in the way.

Why We Love The Sea Ray 320 Sundancer

The luxury cabin has us in love with this boat.  The kidney-shaped sofa offers ample room for passengers to get cozy. You can enjoy beautiful details and finishes throughout the boat, including cherry-wood cabinets. However, you will be able to easily convert the cabin space so you can spend the night in the boat. It even includes a double bed.

Sea Ray 320 Sundancer Specifications

  • Length:  32'3"
  • Width:  10'8"
  • Weight:  13,305 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  170 gallons

15. Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite

best 100k yacht

Pontoon & Deck Boat Magazine / YouTube

Average Price:  starting at $40,999  | Passenger Capacity:  13

The Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite   is another fantastic pontoon boat for under $100K.  This stylish boat doesn't skip on any of the luxuries that pontoon enthusiasts are used to. You can enjoy a day on the water with family and friends for a fraction of the price. While most Avalon boats sell for over 6 figures, this boat stays budget-friendly.

Why We Love The Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite

We love the seating plan on this stylish pontoon.  While it does appear unusual at first, the seating allows you to comfortably fit more guests onboard. It even features a unique lounge area behind the captain's chair. In the rear, there are low-reclining chairs. They have been designed so that even tall adults can sit comfortably without feeling crowded.

Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite Specifications

  • Length:  25'5"
  • Weight:  2450 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity:  38 gallons

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10 Best Used Cruising Sailboats

  • By John Kretschmer
  • Updated: June 4, 2021

The appeal of offshore voyaging is difficult to explain to land people who can’t imagine life without basic human rights like copious quantities of hot water and unlimited data. It can even be challenging to explain to fellow sailors who think the notion of spending days or weeks at sea is a form of water­boarding, some kind of self-inflicted torture.

But for those of us who understand, who relish intimacy with the untamed wilderness that is the ocean and embrace self-­reliance and individual expression while accepting the ­dispassionate whims of Neptune, this is the good life.

There are two essential truths about this life: One, money does not matter. Cruising budgets and lifestyles reflect bank accounts with variously positioned commas; it’s the passages and landfalls that add up, not your investment portfolio. And two, a good bluewater sailboat — not necessarily an expensive boat, but a well-­designed, solidly built, imminently seaworthy boat that is only limited by your moxie and imagination — is the key to successful bluewater passagemaking.

So, to that second point, I’ve compiled a list of interesting and affordable cruising sailboats for serious voyaging. A list of 10 sailboats for any purpose, much less world cruising, is sure to evoke outrage from strong-minded sailors, who by nature tend to be a bit opinionated. Stand by before hurling insults my way, and let me explain. I have decided to stay away from the sailboats we know by heart, the iconic old boats that usually populate a list like this: the Westsail 32, Tayana 37, Shannon 38 and Valiant 40 (the last of which, with a bit of searching, can still be found at or just below $100,000).

My list of some of the best liveaboard sailboats is eclectic and includes a mix of well-known and obscure manufacturers, but all the boats are linked in three ways: All are top-quality vessels capable of crossing oceans. They’re affordable, although in a few cases you have to look for older models in less-than-stellar condition to stay below $100,000. Indeed, in some ways, this list of used sailboats is a function of age; most of the boats were priced at more than $100,000 when new but have dipped below our self-imposed threshold in middle age. And finally, they’re all boats that I have encountered in the past few years in far-flung cruising destinations .

Island Packet 35

Love them or loathe them, Island Packets are everywhere. To some, the beamy, full-keel, high-freeboard hull designs seem quaint, to put it charitably. To others, the robust construction standards, roomy interiors and overall user-friendliness make them the ideal cruising boat. More than most, sailing vessels are compromises, and Bob Johnson and his crew at Island Packet were brilliant in prioritizing the needs of sailors. The IP 35 was introduced in 1988 and features a huge cockpit, an easy-to-handle cutter rig with a jib boom, and a clever, comfortable interior with the volume of many 40-footers. It might not be the fastest boat upwind, but the long waterline translates to good performance off the breeze, meaning the IP 35 finds its stride in the trade winds. In all, 188 boats were built before production stopped in 1994.

Don’t confuse the IP 35 with the IP 350, which was launched in 1997 and included a stern swim step. You won’t find a 350 for less than $100,000, but you will have a choice among 35s, especially those built before 1990. With two nice staterooms, the 35 is ideal for family cruising. I know of a couple of 35s that have completed the classic Atlantic Circle passage. It’s perfect for a sabbatical cruise because it holds its value and there’s a ready market when it comes time to sell.

Prout Snowgoose 37

There’s no room for discussion: Catamarans are crossing oceans, and many sailors are choosing cats for world cruising. My last visits to the Azores and Canary Islands, the classic Atlantic waypoints, proved the point. I’m not much of a statistician, but by my count, at least a quarter and maybe a third of the boats I saw were catamarans. There would be more on this list, but they are just too expensive. Finding a quality catamaran for less than $100,000 is tough. One boat to consider is the classic workhorse multihull, the Prout Snowgoose 37.

When the Snowgoose 37 was launched in 1983, English builder Prout & Sons had already been in business for nearly 50 years. The 37 was an updated version of the Snowgoose 35, one of the most successful cruising cats ever. In 1986, the 37 was updated again; the Snowgoose Elite model included more beam and interior upgrades. These models are challenging to find for under $100,000, but it’s possible. A quick glance at shows several of both models available for less than $100,000. Again, the strong dollar makes European boats an excellent value.

The Snowgoose 37 is not sexy like go-fast cats, and not roomy like modern cruising cats. It is, however, seaworthy. Of the 500 built, many have circumnavigated. Older boats have solid fiberglass hulls, and more recent models are solid glass from the waterline down and cored above. The cockpit is rather compact by catamaran standards, and the bridgedeck is solid (no tramp). Many 37s and all Elites were rigged with staysails, a big plus in heavy weather. The masthead-­rigged Snowgoose 37 can be sailed like a monohull offshore, and it’s quite nice not having a huge, roachy mainsail to wrestle with in a storm. With a 15-foot-3-inch beam for the 37 and a 16-foot-3-inch beam for the Elite, it’s easy to find affordable dockage and yards for haulouts. Most boats have three double cabins, making the Snowgoose 37 an ideal family cruiser.

The Corbin 39 is not as well known as it should be. It’s a capable bluewater sailboat cruiser with many impressive voyages logged. My Quetzal spent several weeks moored alongside a handsome 39 in Corfu that had sailed around the world, and I also spent a winter in Malta in the same boatyard as another 39 that had recently crossed the Atlantic. A canoe-stern, flush-deck pilothouse cutter, the 39 was offered with either an aft or center cockpit. Designed by Michael Dufour and constructed by Corbin les Bateaux in Canada, hull number one was launched in 1977. Built in various locations in Quebec, 129 boats were launched before a fire destroyed the deck tooling in 1982. A new deck with a larger cockpit was designed, and 70 more boats were laid up before production ceased in 1990.

The rub on the Corbin 39 is that the majority of boats were sold as kits with owner-­finished interiors. Kits varied from just hull-and-deck to “sailaway,” with everything fitted except the interior. Only 15 boats were finished at the factory. Not surprisingly, the interior quality is unpredictable, from rough-hewn lumberyard specials to beautifully handcrafted gems finished by marine professionals. The difference is reflected in the price. A nicely finished, well-equipped model from the mid-’80s typically sells for between $60,000 and $80,000.

The hull shape features a long fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder. The hulls are heavily laid up and include Airex coring. Early decks were plywood-cored, but most boats have Airex in the deck as well. Ballast is 9,000 pounds of internal lead, translating to a 40 percent ballast-to-displacement ratio. The wide flush deck is spacious, and the sleek pilothouse usually includes inside steering. Massive double anchor rollers are incorporated into the bowsprit in later models. Most boats include a double-­spreader spar, and almost all were set up as cutters. There’s plenty of freeboard, which becomes obvious below. While interior arrangements vary considerably, there’s a lot of room to work with. I prefer the post-1982 aft-cockpit 39s; they’re generally of a higher quality than earlier boats.

Cabo Rico 38

“The Cabo Rico 38 hull shape is the one in which everything came together best,” wrote Bill Crealock in his design notes. He might have changed his mind later in life, considering that the Cabo Rico was introduced in 1977 and he designed many boats after that, but few will dispute that this 38-foot cutter, built in Costa Rica, is flat-out beautiful. From the clipper bow to the sweet sheer to the abundance of honey-colored teak, the Cabo Rico 38 is a boat to inspire the most practical among us to quit their job, buy this vessel, and head for the South Pacific.

Not surprisingly, many people have done just that. Cabo Rico built 200 full-keeled 38s, with most of the production occurring in the 1980s. There’s always a selection of boats for sale for less than $100,000. Cabo Rico was an outlier among manufacturers of the time, building serious cruising boats in Central America instead of Taiwan, but quality control was always excellent. The full keel is slightly cutaway, and the rudder is attached to the trailing edge. The prop is in an aperture and totally protected, but not well suited to backing into a slip. Full-keel boats may make some younger sailors cringe, but the CR 38 has a very soft ride in rough seas and heaves to effectively. It also has a solid fiberglass hull with a layer of balsa for insulation. Sometimes it’s noted that the hull is balsa-cored, but it’s not. After about hull number 40, lead was used instead of iron for internal ballast. The deck is balsa-cored, however, and there’s a substantial bulwark. Items to be wary of are the teak decks (most 38s have them) and the fittings supporting the bobstay.

A true cutter rig, the 38 has just under 1,000 square feet of working sail area and performs better than most people suspect. The staysail was originally set on a boom that cluttered the foredeck and limited sail shape. Many boats have been converted with furling staysails sans the boom — a nice upgrade. When the wind pipes up, the 38 tracks nicely with a reefed main and staysail. I encounter 38s all over the Caribbean. They’re easy to spot; they’re the beautiful boats in the anchorage.

Tayana Vancouver 42

Ta Yang, builder of Tayana sailboats, has been building capable cruising boats forever, it seems. The Robert Harris-designed Tayana Vancouver 42 has been a mainstay of the serious cruising fleet since the day it was launched in 1979, and is still in demand today. The company built 200 boats, mostly in the ’80s and early ’90s, although a few V42s were built into the 2000s. With a bit of digging and some haggling, you can find boats for less than $100,000, but they’re likely to be older models. As of this writing, has eight V42s listed, with three asking less than $100,000.

I’ve encountered the V42 all over the world, and in my yacht-delivery days, I had the pleasure of delivering a couple of 42s up the East Coast and down to the Caribbean. The double-ended hull shape with a fin-skeg underbody is stiff and seaworthy, if not wickedly fast. Considering the rugged construction, with a solid fiberglass hull and balsa-cored deck, nobody has ever accused Ta Yang of going light on its boats. Ballast is internal iron, a massive single casting that weighs in at 11,800 pounds. Ta Yang has evolved as a builder, and later models included upgrades like vinylester resin and larger Yanmar diesels.

A true cutter, the V42 has a double-spreader rig and is heavily stayed. The seagoing deck is cambered to shed water. Teak decks, with all their virtues and vices, were common; I’d look for a boat that’s been de-teaked. Like the Corbin 39, the V42 came with either a center or aft cockpit, although most boats were aft-cockpit models. The aft cockpit is deep and secure, if a bit tight due to volume sacrificed by the canoe stern. The center cockpit is cramped but offers excellent visibility. The interior is lovely, with exquisite Taiwanese joinery. Although interior arrangements vary because Ta Yang encouraged owner input, across the board, this is a friendly boat for living aboard. The aft-cockpit model includes one head and a traditional layout with excellent light and ventilation. The center-­cockpit model features a large owner’s stateroom aft.

Wauquiez Pretorien 35

The Pretorien 35 does not pay homage to tradition. The Euro-style low-slung wedge deck and flattish lines were thoroughly modern when the Pretorien was launched in 1979. Sure, there are IOR influences in this well-proven Holman & Pye design, including a slightly pinched stern, cramped cockpit, and a high-aspect, short-boom mainsail that results in a large fore­triangle. But a small main is easy to handle offshore, especially in squally conditions, and a large poled-out furling genoa provides a low-stress way to cross oceans. The test of a design is revealed long after the launch, and the Pretorien has aged brilliantly. It’s often mistaken for a Swan or Baltic. Famed voyager and author Hal Roth chose a Pretorien for his last boat.

Below the water, which is what really matters at sea, the Pretorien pushes the right buttons for serious sailing. A fine entry provides enough of a forefoot to prevent pounding in lumpy conditions, and as on the Valiant 40, the fin keel incorporates a stub to which the external ballast is fastened. The rudder is mounted well aft for excellent steering control, especially on a deep reach, and is tucked behind a narrow but full-length skeg. The Pretorien displaces 13,000 pounds, of which 6,000 pounds is ballast, translating to a stiff, seakindly boat.

The construction is superb. The solid fiberglass hull includes longitudinal stringers that stiffen the panels and encapsulate the bulkheads. Tabbing and fiberglass work is first-rate throughout. Wauquiez was one of the first builders to use solid laminate beneath high-load deck fittings. The side decks are wide and, with the chainplates well inboard, easy to navigate. The interior arrangement is conventional, but ample beam amidships helps create a surprisingly spacious feel below.

There were 212 Pretoriens built during a seven-year production run, so there’s usually a good selection of boats on the used market. Today’s strong dollar makes European Pretoriens an excellent value.

Gulfstar 44

Gulfstar had a terrible reputation in the early ’70s: It was infamous for producing wide-body motorsailers with tiny rigs and chintzy Formica interiors. Company founder Vince Lazzara was adept at reading market trends and upped his game in the late ’70s and ’80s. Lazzara, who also founded Columbia Yachts, was a veteran of the production-­sailboat wars and realized that buyers were demanding high-quality boats that sailed well. The Gulfstar 44 was launched in 1978, and 105 were sold before the company started producing the Hirsh 45 in 1985.

Some mistake the G44 for a Bristol, and it has a similar profile, right down to the teak toerail and raked cabin trunk. A sleek center-­cockpit design, the hull shape features a 5-foot-6-inch fin keel, a skeg-hung rudder and moderate proportions. I know the boat well, having delivered one from Bermuda to Annapolis and another from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. It has a nice ride in lumpy seas and powers up when the big genoa is drawing on a reach. The construction is typical of the time, with solid fiberglass hulls and cored decks. Gulfstars were known to blister, and it’s likely that any 44 you find will have had an epoxy bottom job along the way — and if it hasn’t, it will need one. The keel-stepped spar has an air draft of 55 feet. Some owners have modified the sloop rig with a staysail. The cockpit is roomy, especially for a center-cockpit design, although there’s not much of a bridgedeck. All sail controls are led aft. Lazzara was an early proponent of this feature, and the boat is user-friendly overall.

The interior sells the boat. It’s nicely finished in teak, and the layout is made for living aboard. The aft cabin includes an enormous double berth with an en suite head and stall shower. The main saloon is spacious and well ventilated, although beware of the plastic opening portlights. If you are looking for a comfortable, well-built center-cockpit cruiser but can’t find one that you can afford, track down a Gulfstar 44; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Any list of bluewater cruising sailboats must include a Robert Perry design. I could have easily put together nine Perry boats for this list. The Nordic 40 may surprise some, especially because 40 feet is an iconic length, bringing to mind such boats as the Valiant 40, Hinckley Bermuda 40, Bristol 40, Pacific Seacraft 40, Passport 40 and others. The trick is finding a 40-footer for less than $100,000. Nonetheless, the Nordic 40 and its larger sister ship, the 44, are among my favorite boats.

Based in Bellingham, Washington, Nordic produced world-class yachts during its brief production run in the 1980s. Only 40 Nordic 40s were launched between 1982 and 1987, but they’re worth seeking out on the used-boat market. The 40 features the classic double-ended Perry hull shape, with a fine entry, a deep and powerful fin keel, a skeg-mounted rudder positioned well aft, and a reverse transom. Freeboard is moderate and the sheer line is subtle, but to my eye, with its double-spreader rig and gently sloping deck line, the boat is poetry in the water.

The hull is solid fiberglass and the deck is balsa-cored, with solid laminates below loaded-up deck fittings. Original boats came with Navtec rod rigging and a hydraulic backstay, but many have been upgraded by now. Sail-control lines are led aft to the compact but functional T-shaped cockpit. The traveler is forward of the companionway, allowing for a cockpit dodger. The Nordic 40 is nimble in light to moderate breeze but can also stand up in a blow and heave to decently.

The interior is well suited to a cruising couple. It’s really a two-person boat, with a V-berth forward and large C-shaped galley aft, with plenty of counter space and a huge fridge. It includes the normal deft Perry touches — excellent sea berths, a separate stall shower and generous tankage. If you do find a Nordic 40 on the used market, be sure to take a hard look at the Westerbeke diesel and the V-drive transmission.

Pacific Seacraft 34

A handsome, nimble and capable double-ender by legendary designer Bill Crealock, the Pacific Seacraft 34 is well proven, with scores of ocean crossings in its wake.

After the boat was first launched as the Crealock 34 in 1979, Pacific Seacraft introduced a fifth model years later, a scaled-down version of the popular PS 37. Though expensive at the time, the 34 was another success story for one of America’s premier builders, and hundreds of boats were built in the company’s yard in Santa Ana, California. There is always a good selection of used boats available for less than $100,000. Another nice perk for used-boat buyers is that the 34 is back in production at the reincarnated Pacific Seacraft yard in Washington, North Carolina, providing an outlet for parts and advice. The company is now owned and operated by marine archaeologist Stephen Brodie and his father, Reid.

The 34 blends traditional values above the waterline with what was then a more modern underbody, with a long fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. A bit hefty at 13,500 pounds of displacement, the design otherwise is a study in moderation, and drawn with a keen eye toward providing a soft ride in a seaway and staying on good terms with Neptune in a blow.

The hull is solid fiberglass, and early decks were plywood-­cored before Pacific switched to end-grain balsa. The hull-to-deck joint incorporates a molded bulwark that offers added security when you’re moving about on deck, and a vertical surface for mounting stanchions.

Most 34s are cutter-rigged for versatility but carry moderate-­size genoas instead of high-cut yankees for more horsepower off the wind. Down below, the layout is traditional, but the 6-foot-4-inch headroom is a pleasant surprise. The Pacific Seacraft 34 is perfect for a cruising couple.

John Kretschmer is a delivery captain, adventurer and writer, whose own boat Quetzal , a 1987 Kaufman 47, has seen a refit or two over the years. His latest book is Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea , also available on his website .

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The best small cruising yachts in 2023

  • Theo Stocker
  • September 29, 2023

Despite bigger yachts dominating the new boat scene in recent decades, there are still any number of builders making new smaller cruisers. Here's our pick of the best small cruising yachts in 2023

best 100k yacht

We have seen a surprisingly large number of builders going against the grain to bring small cruising yachts to market in the last year or so, ranging from trailer0-sailers to smaller traditionally-styled options. Here, we’ve rounded up 4 of the best small cruising yachts launched in the last year.

Typically this size of yacht appeals to those who are looking for a day sailer or weekender and will often offer reduced draught in able to allow you to go creek crawling or nose your way into otherwise hard to get to anchorages.

The best small cruising yachts 2023

best 100k yacht

Once you’ve seen one, Bente yachts are unmistakable. We revisited the brand’s first boat, the Bente 24 , a couple of issues ago, which has been around for 10 years or so. The brand then launched the striking Bente 39 which was immensely innovative, but the company ran into financial difficulties. Now under new owners and a more stable footing, a third model has been launched, which I can’t wait to test sail. The Bente 28 is unlike any other 28-footer.

The hull is cutting edge with wide transom, double rudders and full bows providing a powerful hull form as well as volume below. Construction is polyester GRP foam sandwich, with the basic version being heavier hand lamination, and the more expensive Edition version being vacuum infused. While this is a boat designed to be fast, it’s a long way from a wild racing boat.

Displacement is a not outlandish 3.2 tonnes and draught is 1.6m (there’s an option for a 1.95m performance T-keel with lead bulb that’s 100kg lighter), so it fits well within the scope of a sensible cruising boat.

best 100k yacht

The Tide 25, built by MFH in north Germany – began its life as a Dehler SQ25, but the mould was sold off when that company hit hard times. Plumb bows and stern with a long hull chine, bevelled deck edge and twin rudders put her on trend, and maximise performance under sail and accommodation on board.

On deck, she has a large cockpit with benches forward and four decent lockers. Under the cockpit sole there’s access to what would be engine space for a diesel inboard, now housing batteries for the electric motors.

Opt for the sport version, and you’ll get beefed up deck hardware and a minimalist fit out, with the mainsheet traveller across the transom, while the comfort version has a smaller main with the mainsheet coming to a fixed point on the cockpit sole forward of the helm. The rig has aft-swept spreaders and no backstay.

best 100k yacht

The fact that the accommodation of the Pointer 30 is designed around a Nespresso machine, enshrined in glory, tells you a lot about this boat. It was conceived as a comfortable, fast and stylish weekend cruiser that you can take your friends down to for a coffee before a nice sail to somewhere for lunch. This is a boat that knows what it is about. Tea drinkers, don’t worry; there’s still a gas hob to boil a kettle.

The sail area isn’t vast, but this looks to be an easily driven hull. A below-deck furler setting a genoa that sheets to tracks on the coachroof is standard, with a self-tacker being optional.

The fixed bowsprit houses a bow roller, and a tack point for furling offwind sails – the gennaker takes her offwind sail area up to 100m2, set from an aluminium twin-spreader rig with adjustable backstay. She has a powerful kicker, but no traveller for the main, which is sheeted to a raised plinth in the cockpit sole.

Below deck the layout is simple, clean and quietly stylish. Headroom is restricted, dictated by the low freeboard and elegant lines.

To port, the heart of the boat is the ‘coffee bar’ on a shelf in the moulded hull liner, next to a small dinette-style table with two leather swivel armchairs. The forward of these chairs spins round to face a neat lift-top desk (though the drawer below isn’t large enough for a chart).

best 100k yacht

Swallow Yachts 32

Aimed at sailors who may have owned larger yachts before but want to downsize, Swallow Yachts owner Matt Newland explained that he ‘wanted to build a boat that was fun and easy to sail, simple to maintain and had timeless looks with as low an environmental impact as possible.’

Though not a true launch-and-sail trailer sailer, a four-by-four will still be able to tow the 32 on her own trailer, as boat and trailer come in at under 3.5 tonnes, and within the 2.9m overhang limit.

With a keel-down draught of 2.8m, a fine entry at the bow and broad aft sections, this boat promises to be a good performer. You can sail with the lifting keel in any position for shoal waters, but lift it all the way and you’ve got a draught of just 40cm for creek crawling and drying out.

Newland has tried to draw lines that are timeless rather than trendy while a retractable bowsprit, backstayless carbon rig and square-top mainsail ensure she is right up there in terms of her contemporary design and latest tech.

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Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $100k

Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $100k | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 28, 2023

You can find many sailboats to buy, but the choice becomes harder when you have a budget constraint. So, what are the best bluewater sailboats under $100k?

Bluewater sailing is a passion that many share but never fulfill because of the hefty prices of sailboats. Renting a sailboat is an option, but the experience of sailing your own boat is second to none. However, a budget limiting your choices can force you to give up on certain features. If you ask other sailors, their preferences might not align with yours, which makes buying your sailboat even more complicated.

To give you a simple answer to your question, the best bluewater sailboats under $100K include the Allied Princess 36, Cabo Rico 38, Celestial 48, Freedom 36, Corbin 39, Tayana Vancouver 39, Nordic 40, Hans Christian 38, Hinckley Bermuda 40, Prout Snowgoose 37, and Valiant 40.

Bluewater sailing needs the best sailboats – these need to be bigger, well-equipped, and most importantly, stable enough to withstand the roughness of the water. Smaller sailboats are a good start to getting acquainted with the water for longer periods, but they won't stand the test of being away from the shore for days. Besides that, you will need a bluewater sailboat if you're looking to go on the voyage with your family or friends.

As bluewater sailing enthusiasts, we have been sailing across waters for decades. Using our experience and research, we have compiled a list of the best bluewater sailboats under different price points, but well under $100K, so you can choose from a wide range of features and sizes.

Table of contents

‍ The Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $100k

Allied princess 36.


The Allied Boat Company built the Allied Princess 36 from 1972 to 1982. Given that it has been almost 40 years since the last Allied Princess 36 was manufactured, and it is still one of the best budget sailboats, you can imagine the reliability and robustness it boasts.

The Princess is a sober yet comfortable boat that only cruisers would appreciate.

Its keel measures only four feet and six inches, but the overall design makes the Princess one of the most stable options out there.

That's why it is a long-standing favorite among sailors of all generations and against sailboats such as the Luders 33, Seawind 30, and Seabreeze 35.

Although the Princess 36's design is slightly bland according to the manufacturing period, it is sufficient and not considered unattractive.

The Allied Princess 36 has a 40hp Westerbeke motor, a generator and Bilge Pump, and basic amenities such as the battery, anchor, and fire extinguisher. With two cabins, three berths, and a shower, the Allied Princess 36 is a comfortable sailboat.

Depending on the model year, Allied Princess 36's price ranges from $30,000 to $60,000. You can buy Allied Princess 36 from  Yacht World  for $34,000.


  • LOA: 36 ft.
  • LWL: 27.5 ft.
  • Beam: 11 ft.
  • Draft: 4.5 ft.
  • Displacement: 14,400 lbs.
  • Ballast: 5,000 lbs.
  • Sail Area: 632 sq.ft.
  • Engine: Westerbeke/Perkins, 40hp
  • Fuel Capacity: 40 gallons
  • Water Capacity: 80 gallons
  • Year Introduced: 1972
  • Year Ended: 1982
  • Designer: Wright/Allied Yachts
  • Builder: Arthur Edmunds

Cabo Rico 38


Cabo Rico 38 is one of the best sailboats you can get under 100K. This sailboat depicts luxury from every angle, which is hard to find under this price range.

Cabo Rico 38 has a long-keel cutter rig design which helps it maintain a reputation of a soft motion and stout offshore performance. This boat is built in Costa Rica, boasting a Bill Crealock design.

She has a sleek design with a bowsprit mounted foresail that results in acute cutting abilities. Moreover, the sailboat is perfect if you do not want any noise to be a part of your voyage.

With 38 of its models produced over the years, there are 200 Cabo Rico 38s manufactured to date with a combination of several features to make your ride comfortable.

A solid design crafted from Balsa woods ensures the boat's longevity, while the low swinging sheer line is sweet and keeps the ride steady. The older models are undoubtedly cheaper than the newer ones but are slightly noisier since the engine is more upfront.

The Cabo Rico 38 is not for winning races but for experiencing a comfortable and smooth sail. Moreover, the large water capacity of this sailboat makes it one for long voyages.

You can get the 1984 Cabo Rico 38 from  Yacht World  for $72,950.

  • LOA: 41 ft.
  • LOD: 38 ft.
  • LWL: 29 ft.
  • Draft: 5 ft.
  • Bridge Clearance: 50 ft.
  • Displacement: 20,000 lbs.
  • Ballast: 7,800 lbs.
  • Sail Area: 738 sq.ft.
  • Engine: Perkins
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 Gallons
  • Water Capacity: 150 Gallons
  • Year Introduced: 1977
  • Year Ended: -
  • Designer: William I. B. Crealock
  • Builder: Cabo Rico Custom Yachts

Celestial 48


Does a large size sailboat rank high on your priority list? If your answer to that question is a resounding yes, check out the Celestial 48 sailboat, the largest sailboat you can get under 100k.

With a 50 ft. overall length, the Celestial 48 is one of those boats that makes you feel superior among others in the water.

One outstanding feature of this boat is its tall cabin height. The cabin is six feet and two inches tall, about six extra inches than the average human height, 5.7 ft.

Even if you are taller than the average, the extra headroom space will make your cabin experience much more comfortable than other sailboats.

Celestial 48 offers fine handling with the fin-keel and shoal-draft design, plus the 62 hp engine makes this sailboat a powerful sailboat that performs exceptionally offshore.

Besides that, the large size of Celestial 48 allows you to stay in the waters for extended periods as you can haul 250 gallons of fuel and an equal amount of water.

However, there are only a few Celestial 48 in the market. So if you wish to buy this sailboat, you better start using it every minute from now.

The price range of Celestial 48 reaches well over $100k; luckily, it starts just under your budget. You can buy the 2000 year Celestial 48 from  Yacht World  for $90,000.

  • LOA: 50 ft.
  • LWL: 36.58 ft.
  • Beam: 13.50 ft.
  • Draft: 6 ft.
  • Displacement: 27,000 lbs.
  • Ballast: 12,000 lbs. (lead)
  • Sail Area: 803 sq.ft.
  • Engine: Yanmar, 37hp
  • Fuel Capacity: 250 Gallons
  • Water Capacity: 250 Gallons
  • Builder: Ziamien Celestial Yachts Ltd.


This sailboat's unusual but attractive design makes sailors want to have it despite its small size. Space is one of the top priorities of sailors because spending many days on a compact boat usually becomes overwhelming.

Freedom 36 provides ample interior space with a wide beam and a long waterline. An odd-looking carbon fiber mast is a unique feature of this bluewater sailboat. Without a forestay and backstay, it is quite flexible in the wind.

The hull and deck are mainly made of fiberglass, giving the boat a luxurious look. However, both the hull and deck are prone to water absorption.

In that case, you have to take a leap of faith and rely on the reputation of Tillotson-Pearson, manufacturers of the Freedom 36. Tillotson-Pearson is one of the best in the game and has a reputation for building robust and durable sailboats.

Although the engine exerts only 27 hp, it is adequate for a sailboat of this size, and the overall construction makes sailing the Freedom 38 exciting and comfortable.

The engine is lined with a foam sound deadener that cuts out the noise from your riding experience. Freedom 38 is perfect if you want an easy and simplistic experience and do not care about the size and your ability to stay out in the water for long periods.

On the other hand, Freedom 38 is a relatively expensive option to look at, given its size and capacity. The price of the Freedom 38 ranges from $40,000 to $80,000. You can get a 1986 Freedom 36 from  Yacht World  for $57,500.

  • LOA: 36.42 ft.
  • LWL: 30.63 ft.
  • Beam: 12.50 ft.
  • Displacement: 14,370 lbs.
  • Ballast: 6,500 lbs. (lead)
  • Sail Area: 568.67 sq.ft.
  • Fuel Capacity: 35 Gallons
  • Water Capacity: 64 Gallons
  • Year Introduced: 1985
  • Builder: Tillotson Pearson Inc.
  • Designer: Gary Mull


The Corbin 39 is another average-sized option on this list of bluewater sailboats under 100K. However, this one is a complete package with a robust build, easy sailing, light, and comfortable for a group of two to four people. The Corbin 39 is strong enough to take you around the world.

The Corbin 39 consists of a fiberglass hull and deck and a marine-grade plywood core that ensures that the boat is durable and there is little to no chance of water absorption.

Another advantage is the supremely easy maneuvering of the boat, thanks to a shallow fin-keel, canoe stern, and higher topsides.

On the downside, there are only 135 Corbin 39 globally, and only 15 of them were produced by Corbin itself. A  factory fire  broke out, damaging the original mold used to build the boats. The rest 39s were sold as kits and are built according to the boat owner's preference.

Therefore, there is a high chance of finding a vaguely different Corbin 39 than the original model.

Overall, Corbin 39 gives you a smooth sailing experience. Due to high demand, the later batches of Corbin 39 are priced around $80,000.

In comparison, you can get this sailboat starting from $33,000. You can get a 1980 Corbin 39 from  Yacht World  for $58,000.

  • LOA: 41.5 ft.
  • LWL: 32 ft.
  • Beam: 12.08 ft.
  • Draft: 5.5 ft.
  • Displacement: 22,800 lbs.
  • Ballast: 9,000 lbs. (lead)
  • Sail Area: 811.28 sq.ft.
  • Engine: Westerbeke, 39 HP
  • Year Introduced: 1979
  • Year Ended: 1991
  • Builder: Corbin le bateaux (CAN)
  • Designer: Robert Dufour/Marius Corbin

Tayana Vancouver 42


The Tayana Vancouver 42 sailboat is one of the strongest sailboats on this list, and it can take you far deeper into the sea than only a few sailboats can do under this price range. The design of this beauty is based on the prolific Tayana 37 designed by Bob Perry.

This boat is a sailor favorite under the $100K price tag. The start of manufacturing dates back to 1979, but it is still in the making. You can get your hands on a Vancouver 42 as 200 sailboats have been produced to date.

However, you should try to look for the later models. The initial models are nearly 40 years old. It is sufficient time for a boat to start wearing down.

Although the base design is a Tayana 37, the double-end hull cruiser has significant advancements making it more reliable than the former.

This sailboat comes in three different cockpit designs: pilothouse aft cockpit, regular aft cockpit, and center cockpit. However, the center cockpit is the most popular, and it has 130 hulls to itself – out of 200.

The yacht's construction is a long-lasting one. The fiberglass hull ensures your boat stays competent against rough weather conditions. On the other hand, the iron-cast ballast also ensures the longevity and reliability of the 42-ft sailor.

A modern type fin-keel, heavy displacement, and ability to cut through winds up to 30 Knotts keep your sailing experience comfortable and safe against rough weather. However, several hulls are seriously underpowered with a 33hp engine.

If you decide to get the Tayana Vancouver 42, ensure that you look for the ones that have engines ranging from 44hp to 75hp.

You can get 1981 Tayana Vancouver 42 from  Yacht World  for $98,000.

  • LOA: 41.75 ft.
  • LWL: 33 ft.
  • Draft: 5.8 ft.
  • Displacement: 29,157 lbs.
  • Ballast: 11,800 lbs. (lead)
  • Sail Area: 903.85 sq.ft.
  • Engine: Yanmar
  • Fuel Capacity: 120 Gallons
  • Builder: Tayana
  • Designer: Robert Harris

Hopefully, you now have a clear idea about the sailboats you can buy in your budget. This is merely a starting point. Several bluewater sailboats under 100K are worthy of your time and money. However, these are some of the best choices that you can consider.

It is also important to know the  aspects you should prioritize in a sailboat  to ensure you buy a good one.

These factors include seaworthiness, comfort, cockpits nature, rigs, sailplanes, navigation, water system, communication system, and more. Buy any of the above sailboats and have a happy sailing experience.

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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 Sailboats Under 100k

Best Sailboats Under 100k

There is a variety of sailboat types available for purchase all over the world today. If you are looking to buy a sailboat, be that a weekend sailing trip or a liveaboard, and you have a budget of 100k, this article is most definitely worth your time. We have realized many boats and sailing enthusiasts would like to go on boat cruises but do not have the means to afford extremely expensive sailboats. In this article, we are taking a look at the 10+1 of the best bluewater cruising sailboats with prices ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars. For this article, we looked at both list prices for new sailboats plus asking prices for used sailboats on various websites.

Here are Some of the Best Liveaboard Sailboats Under 100k: 

Hallberg-Rassy 352 

Price: Used From $65,000 to $100,000

The overall length of the Hallberg-Rassy is about 35 feet. This boat possesses a relatively tall rig. Although the design and building for this ship began in 1978, it has been upgraded and changed multiple times. However, there has not been an upgrade since the 2018 version. 

The hull length of this top-grade sailboat is 10.54m/34’9″. The weight of its keel is 3 tons, and its headroom salon is about six feet. Its keel is made up o At rest, the waterline of this sailboat is 8.70m/28’7″. The fuel tank and water tank of this vessel can hold 240 liters (about 63 US gallons)of diesel and 300 liters (about 86 US gallons)of water, respectively. With a 3.38m/11’1″-long beam, the Hallberg Rassy uses a Volvo MD 21, 2003 Turbo, MD 22 engine.

Hallberg-Rassy 352 - Best Cruising Sailboat Under 100k

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 – Best New Sailboat Under 100k

Price: New From $83,000

The Oceanis 30.1 simply takes on the appearance of a small yacht. Thin bow, optimized weight, bolina lining, and horn mainsail allow you to quickly move on to all gaits. Starting or sailing in a small crew, self-veering bows and unique winches provide the necessary simplicity.

Thanks to the precious inches in strategic points of the boat that can make a difference, the Oceanis 30.1 manages to reach 1.98m (6 feet 6 inches) interior height in all areas of the boat where it is comfortable to stand. The two square divas become two additional berths. The large bathroom is divided between a toilet on one side and a shower on the other. At the foot of the descent with a gentle slope, the L-kitchen has high and low cabinets, a 75-liter refrigerator, and a real oven under the gas stove.

Oceanis 30.1 - Best New Sailboat Under 100k

Beneteau First 24

Price: New From $85,000, Used From 50k

As stylish in regatta as in fast cruising, the Beneteau First 24 offers an unbeatable compromise in the category of efficient, transportable, and habitable sailboats. Ideal for sailing with a crew of four, it accommodates up to six people on a coastal cruise and can embark up to eight for day trips. At only 14 feet long, I wouldn’t recommend this sailboat as a liveaboard, but it is great for sailing trips a few days long.

Beneteau First 24

>>Also Read: Best Sailboats Under 30 Feet

Beneteau First 42

Price: User From 25,000 to 85,000 (Depending On Age and Condition)

This vessel was designed by German Frers in 1981. It doubles as a cruiser and a racer. This boat was undoubtedly designed by one of the best boat designers for one of the best brands in the industry. And, just as expected, it is of great quality. The Beneteau First 42 has a fiberglass hull and holds four berths. Its fuel tank can hold about 40 gallons of diesel, while its water tank holds 100 gallons of water. 

With a durable Perkins engine, this boat qualifies to be described as “old but gold.” It has a fin keel, a draft max of 1.8 meters (5 feet 11 inches), three cabins, and an overall length of 12.8m (42ft). One special feature of the Beneteau First 42 is that its cockpit is big enough to house eight people. It is a great boat if you are going to be at sea for a while.

Beneteau First 42 - A Great Liveaboard Sailboat

Nautor’s Swan 43

Price: Used Around $90,000

Designed by Olin Stephen and built by Nautor’s Swan, the Nautor’s Swan 43 weighs 10,220 kg (22,530 lb). The boat was produced constructed between 1969 and 1972, with 67 boats constructed. It has a 7.2 feet draft. With a hull length of 42.8 feet and a waterline length of 31.0 ft, the Nautot’s Swan is a perfect cruiser. This sailboat possesses the Volvo MD2B 25 hp engine – it can double as an offshore cruiser and a racer. Also, this sailboat can boast of a masthead rig with a foretriangle height adjustable from 15.24m to 15.71m, a mainsail luff adjustable from 13.81m to 14.03m, and a mainsail foot adjustable between 5.2m and 4.94m.

1986 Swan 43 For Sale For $92,500 - Liveaboard Sailboat

Catalina 42

Price: New From 150,000 But Used From 60,000

Designed chiefly by Gerry Douglas and the rest of the Catalina company design team, the Catalina 42 is quite popular among cruisers and “sailors.” The deck of this boat is made chiefly of fiberglass and balsa wood. 

The Catalina 42 is about 41 feet, and its draft is 4m to 10m long. Its cockpit has seats that are quite easy to relax on. This boat actually has two versions now, the Mk I and Mk II. At manufacture, about 700 Catalina 42s were produced. Hence, it is still very much available for sale today.

Catalina 42

Price: Used For Around 100k

The Hunter 410 was first designed and built in 1990. It was designed by the Hunter Design Team and built by the Hunter Marine. This monohull, fiberglass boat weighs about 20,200 lb (9,163 kg). It uses the Japanese Yanmar 50 hp diesel engine, and its hull draft is just about 5 feet long. This hull draft possesses a standard winged keel and an optional fin keel that is about 6.33 feet long. 

With a fuel tank that can hold 51 gallons, a full Hunter 410 tank can last for more than 1000 miles. The Hunter 410 has three cabins, and that is pretty impressive for the price tag.

Hunter 410

Oyster 39 

Price: Used From $50,000 to $80,000

The Oyster 39 was first specially designed for cruising. The 1981 boat possesses a ketch rig. Its beam is about 12.47 feet long. Overall, this boat is 39.33 feet long. The Oyster 39’s beam is 3.8m long, and its hull is made of fiberglass. Possessing a strong Perkins engine, the Oyster 39 is sure to meet your demands as a compact water vessel. This boat also possesses a fin keel, two cabins, and three berths.

Oyster 39 - Blue Water Sailboats Under 100k

Bavaria 38 

Price Used: 70,000

The Bavaria 38 Sailboat is perfect if you are looking to go on a boat cruise with your spouse. Its overall length is about 38 feet. Built-in 1997, the Bavaria 38 is relatively well known by yacht and sailboat enthusiasts. Its fuel tank and water tank can hold about 150 gallons and 300 liters, respectively. 

The Bavaria 38’s beam is s standard 4.0 m long. The overall length of this sailboat is a good 12 meters. Along with a strong Volvo engine, the Bavaria 38 sailboat possesses three cabins, six berths, and an engine horsepower of 40 hp.

This sailboat has been around for a while, so finding a new one is not very likely. However, it is a very sturdy, durable boat; hence there is a wide availability of fairly used ones.

Bavaria 38

Sparkman & Stephens S&S 34

Price: Used 50-100k

This boat was originally designed sometime in 1968 by Olin Stephens of the renowned boat manufacturers Sparkman and Stephens. It possesses a Bermuda rig and skeg-hung rudder. The draft of this boat is 1.78 meters long, its overall length is 34 feet long, and its beam is 3.08 meters. The waterline length of the vessel ranges from 7.45 to 7.7 meters. 

The S&S 34 has been involved in many racing competitions since its production, and it has won a good number of them. Examples of these competitions are Lord Howe Island Race and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. This is a testament to the efficiency of this boat. 

There are new productions of the S&S 34 that possess more modern features. They are lighter and are made up of materials like vinyl ester resins and multiaxial glass. Depending on the specific model, S&S 34 sailboats can go for 25,000 to 100,000 dollars. However, most of the more recent S&S 34 models cost between 50,000 and 100,000 dollars. 

Price: New From 95k

You might think that nowadays, Hanse is focusing on selling large yachts; and for a good reason. Hanse sells many 45 and 60-foot boats. However, the Hanse 315 is a very impressive sailboat. It is great to sail and very easy to maneuver. It is also a very fun sailboat that will never let you down. The interior is beautiful with a lot of headroom considering the length of the boat; the saloon, galley, and cabins are also excellent and very comfortable. This boat is proof that size doesn’t matter, at least when it comes to having fun and practicality when sailing.

Hanse 315

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

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Used Boats For Sale Under 100000

Finding a used boat for sale under $100,000 that fits your needs when it comes to number of passengers, horsepower, inside accommodations, and other features on board can be a challenge with so many options available on the market today. There are many types of boats available under $100k like center-consoles , cruising yachts , and fishing boats , but typically your options are going to be slightly older boats if you're looking in the above 40-foot range. Still, there are plenty of opportunities with brands like Sea Ray , Carver , Regal, Bertram , Ocean , Hatteras , Tiara , Boston Whaler , and more. The team at United Yacht Sales has decades of experience helping boaters like you find the right vessel that meets your requirements. Contact one of our yacht brokers today to get started on your search.

Yachts up to $ 100,000

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36' Custom Tumbleweed/Tony Skidmore 36 Fin Keel Cutter 2000

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35' Cigarette CRT 1993

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28' Regal 2800 Bowrider 2016

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28' Axopar 28TT 2018

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43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

Yachting World

  • January 5, 2022

How do you choose the right yacht for you? We highlight the very best bluewater sailboat designs for every type of cruising

best 100k yacht

Which yacht is the best for bluewater boating? This question generates even more debate among sailors than questions about what’s the coolest yacht , or the best for racing. Whereas racing designs are measured against each other, cruising sailors get very limited opportunities to experience different yachts in real oceangoing conditions, so what is the best bluewater sailboat?

Here, we bring you our top choices from decades of designs and launches. Over the years, the Yachting World team has sailed these boats, tested them or judged them for European Yacht of the Year awards, and we have sifted through the many to curate a selection that we believe should be on your wishlist.

Making the right choice may come down to how you foresee your yacht being used after it has crossed an ocean or completed a passage: will you be living at anchor or cruising along the coast? If so, your guiding requirements will be space, cabin size, ease of launching a tender and anchoring closer to shore, and whether it can comfortably accommodate non-expert-sailor guests.

Article continues below…

best 100k yacht

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All of these considerations have generated the inexorable rise of the bluewater catamaran – monohulls can’t easily compete on these points. We have a full separate feature on the best bluewater multihulls of all time and here we mostly focus on monohulls. The only exceptions to that rule are two multihulls which made it into our best bluewater sailboats of 2022 list.

As so much of making the right choice is selecting the right boat for the venture in mind, we have separated out our edit into categories: best for comfort; for families; for performance; and for expedition or high latitudes sailing .

Best bluewater sailboats of 2022

The new flagship Allures 51.9, for example, is a no-nonsense adventure cruising design built and finished to a high standard. It retains Allures’ niche of using aluminium hulls with glassfibre decks and superstructures, which, the yard maintains, gives the optimum combination of least maintenance and less weight higher up. Priorities for this design were a full beam aft cabin and a spacious, long cockpit. Both are excellent, with the latter, at 6m long, offering formidable social, sailing and aft deck zones.

It likes some breeze to come to life on the wheel, but I appreciate that it’s designed to take up to five tonnes payload. And I like the ease with which you can change gears using the furling headsails and the positioning of the powerful Andersen winches inboard. The arch is standard and comes with a textile sprayhood or hard bimini.

Below decks you’ll find abundant headroom and natural light, a deep U-shape galley and cavernous stowage. For those who like the layout of the Amel 50 but would prefer aluminium or shoal draught, look no further.

Allures 51.9 price: €766,000

The Ovni 370 is another cunning new aluminum centreboard offering, a true deck saloon cruiser for two. The designers say the biggest challenge was to create a Category A ocean going yacht at this size with a lifting keel, hence the hull had to be very stable.

Enjoyable to helm, it has a practical, deep cockpit behind a large sprayhood, which can link to the bimini on the arch. Many of its most appealing features lie in the bright, light, contemporary, clever, voluminous interior, which has good stowage and tankage allocation. There’s also a practical navstation, a large workroom and a vast separate shower. I particularly like the convertible saloom, which can double as a large secure daybed or pilot berth.

Potentially the least expensive Category A lift keel boat available, the Ovni will get you dreaming of remote places again.

Ovni 370 price: €282,080

best 100k yacht

There’s no shortage of spirit in the Windelo 50. We gave this a sustainability award after it’s founders spent two years researching environmentally-friendly composite materials, developing an eco-composite of basalt fibre and recycled PET foam so it could build boats that halve the environmental impact of standard glassfibre yachts.

The Windelo 50 is an intriguing package – from the styling, modular interior and novel layout to the solar field on the roof and the standard electric propulsion, it is completely fresh.

Windelo 50 price: €795,000

Best bluewater sailboat of 2022 – Outremer 55

I would argue that this is the most successful new production yacht on the market. Well over 50 have already sold (an equipped model typically costs €1.6m) – and I can understand why. After all, were money no object, I had this design earmarked as the new yacht I would most likely choose for a world trip.

Indeed 55 number one Sanya, was fully equipped for a family’s world cruise, and left during our stay for the Grand Large Odyssey tour. Whereas we sailed Magic Kili, which was tricked up with performance options, including foam-cored deckheads and supports, carbon crossbeam and bulkheads, and synthetic rigging.

At rest, these are enticing space ships. Taking one out to sea is another matter though. These are speed machines with the size, scale and loads to be rightly weary of. Last month Nikki Henderson wrote a feature for us about how to manage a new breed of performance cruising cats just like this and how she coaches new owners. I could not think of wiser money spent for those who do not have ample multihull sailing experience.

Under sail, the most fun was obviously reserved for the reaching leg under asymmetric, where we clocked between 11-16 knots in 15-16 knots wind. But it was the stability and of those sustained low teen speeds which really hit home  – passagemaking where you really cover miles.

Key features include the swing helms, which give you views from outboard, over the coachroof or from a protected position in the cockpit through the coachroof windows, and the vast island in the galley, which is key to an open plan main living area. It helps provide cavernous stowage and acts as the heart of the entertaining space as it would in a modern home. As Danish judge Morten Brandt-Rasmussen comments: “Apart from being the TGV of ocean passages the boat offers the most spacious, open and best integration of the cockpit and salon areas in the market.”

Outremer has done a top job in packing in the creature comforts, stowage space and payload capacity, while keeping it light enough to eat miles. Although a lot to absorb and handle, the 55 offers a formidable blend of speed and luxury cruising.

Outremer 55 price: €1.35m

Best bluewater sailboats for comfort

This is the successor to the legendary Super Maramu, a ketch design that for several decades defined easy downwind handling and fostered a cult following for the French yard. Nearly a decade old, the Amel 55 is the bridge between those world-girdling stalwarts and Amel’s more recent and totally re-imagined sloop designs, the Amel 50 and 60.

The 55 boasts all the serious features Amel aficionados loved and valued: a skeg-hung rudder, solidly built hull, watertight bulkheads, solid guardrails and rampart bulwarks. And, most noticeable, the solid doghouse in which the helmsman sits in perfect shelter at the wheel.

This is a design to live on comfortably for long periods and the list of standard features just goes on and on: passarelle; proper sea berths with lee cloths; electric furling main and genoa; and a multitude of practical items that go right down to a dishwasher and crockery.

There’s no getting around the fact these designs do look rather dated now, and through the development of easier sail handling systems the ketch rig has fallen out of fashion, but the Amel is nothing short of a phenomenon, and if you’ve never even peeked on board one, you really have missed a treat.


Photo: Sander van der Borch

Contest 50CS

A centre cockpit cruiser with true longevity, the Contest 50CS was launched by Conyplex back in 2003 and is still being built by the family-owned Dutch company, now in updated and restyled form.

With a fully balanced rudder, large wheel and modern underwater sections, the Contest 50CS is a surprisingly good performer for a boat that has a dry weight of 17.5 tonnes. Many were fitted with in-mast furling, which clearly curtails that performance, but even without, this boat is set up for a small crew.

Electric winches and mainsheet traveller are all easy to reach from the helm. On our test of the Contest 50CS, we saw for ourselves how two people can gybe downwind under spinnaker without undue drama. Upwind, a 105% genoa is so easy to tack it flatters even the weediest crewmember.

Down below, the finish level of the joinery work is up there among the best and the interior is full of clever touches, again updated and modernised since the early models. Never the cheapest bluewater sailing yacht around, the Contest 50CS has remained in demand as a brokerage buy. She is a reassuringly sure-footed, easily handled, very well built yacht that for all those reasons has stood the test of time.

This is a yacht that would be well capable of helping you extend your cruising grounds, almost without realising it.

Read more about the Contest 50CS and the new Contest 49CS


Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk II

For many, the Swedish Hallberg-Rassy yard makes the quintessential bluewater cruiser for couples. With their distinctive blue cove line, these designs are famous for their seakindly behaviour, solid-as-a-rock build and beautifully finished, traditional interiors.

To some eyes, Hallberg-Rassys aren’t quite cool enough, but it’s been company owner Magnus Rassy’s confidence in the formula and belief in incremental ‘step-by-step’ evolution that has been such an exceptional guarantor of reliable quality, reputation and resale value.

The centre cockpit Hallberg-Rassy 48 epitomises the concept of comfort at sea and, like all the Frers-designed Hallberg-Rassys since the 1990s, is surprisingly fleet upwind as well as steady downwind. The 48 is perfectly able to be handled by a couple (as we found a few years back in the Pacific), and could with no great effort crack out 200-mile days.

The Hallberg-Rassy 48 was launched nearly a decade ago, but the Mk II from 2014 is our pick, updated with a more modern profile, larger windows and hull portlights that flood the saloon and aft cabin with light. With a large chart table, secure linear galley, heaps of stowage and space for bluewater extras such as machinery and gear, this yacht pretty much ticks all the boxes.


Discovery 55

First launched in 2000, the Discovery 55 has stood the test of time. Designed by Ron Holland, it hit a sweet spot in size that appealed to couples and families with world girdling plans.

Elegantly styled and well balanced, the 55 is also a practical design, with a deep and secure cockpit, comfortable seating, a self-tacking jib, dedicated stowage for the liferaft , a decent sugar scoop transom that’s useful for swimming or dinghy access, and very comfortable accommodation below. In short, it is a design that has been well thought out by those who’ve been there, got the bruises, stubbed their toes and vowed to change things in the future if they ever got the chance.

Throughout the accommodation there are plenty of examples of good detailing, from the proliferation of handholds and grabrails, to deep sinks in the galley offering immediate stowage when under way and the stand up/sit down showers. Stowage is good, too, with plenty of sensibly sized lockers in easily accessible positions.

The Discovery 55 has practical ideas and nifty details aplenty. She’s not, and never was, a breakthrough in modern luxury cruising but she is pretty, comfortable to sail and live on, and well mannered.


Photo: Latitudes Picture Library

You can’t get much more Cornish than a Rustler. The hulls of this Stephen Jones design are hand-moulded and fitted out in Falmouth – and few are more ruggedly built than this traditional, up-for-anything offshore cruiser.

She boasts an encapsulated lead keel, eliminating keel bolts and creating a sump for generous fuel and water tankage, while a chunky skeg protects the rudder. She is designed for good directional stability and load carrying ability. These are all features that lend this yacht confidence as it shoulders aside the rough stuff.

Most of those built have had a cutter rig, a flexible arrangement that makes sense for long passages in all sea and weather conditions. Down below, the galley and saloon berths are comfortable and sensible for living in port and at sea, with joinery that Rustler’s builders are rightly proud of.

As modern yachts have got wider, higher and fatter, the Rustler 42 is an exception. This is an exceptionally well-mannered seagoing yacht in the traditional vein, with elegant lines and pleasing overhangs, yet also surprisingly powerful. And although now over 20 years old, timeless looks and qualities mean this design makes her look ever more like a perennial, a modern classic.

The definitive crossover size, the point at which a yacht can be handled by a couple but is just large enough to have a professional skipper and be chartered, sits at around the 60ft mark. At 58ft 8in, the Oyster 575 fitted perfectly into this growing market when launched in 2010. It went on to be one of the most popular models from the yard, and is only now being superseded by the newer Rob Humphreys-designed Oyster 565 (just launched this spring).

Built in various configurations with either a deep keel, shoal draught keel or centreboard with twin rudders, owners could trade off better performance against easy access to shallower coves and anchorages. The deep-bodied hull, also by Rob Humphreys, is known for its easy motion at sea.

Some of the Oyster 575’s best features include its hallmark coachroof windows style and centre cockpit – almost everyone will know at first glance this is an Oyster – and superb interior finish. If she has a flaw, it is arguably the high cockpit, but the flip side is the galley headroom and passageway berth to the large aft stateroom.

This design also has a host of practical features for long-distance cruising, such as high guardrails, dedicated liferaft stowage, a vast lazarette for swallowing sails, tender, fenders etc, and a penthouse engine room.


Privilege Serie 5

A true luxury catamaran which, fully fitted out, will top €1m, this deserves to be seen alongside the likes of the Oyster 575, Gunfleet 58 and Hallberg-Rassy 55. It boasts a large cockpit and living area, and a light and spacious saloon with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, masses of refrigeration and a big galley.

Standout features are finish quality and solid build in a yacht designed to take a high payload, a secure walkaround deck and all-round views from the helm station. The new Privilege 510 that will replace this launches in February 2020.

Gunfleet 43

It was with this Tony Castro design that Richard Matthews, founder of Oyster Yachts, launched a brand new rival brand in 2012, the smallest of a range stretching to the flagship Gunfleet 74. The combination of short overhangs and centre cockpit at this size do make the Gunfleet 43 look modern if a little boxy, but time and subsequent design trends have been kind to her lines, and the build quality is excellent. The saloon, galley and aft cabin space is exceptional on a yacht of this size.


Photo: David Harding

Conceived as a belt-and-braces cruiser, the Kraken 50 launched last year. Its unique points lie underwater in the guise of a full skeg-hung rudder and so-called ‘Zero Keel’, an encapsulated long keel with lead ballast.

Kraken Yachts is the brainchild of British businessman and highly experienced cruiser Dick Beaumont, who is adamant that safety should be foremost in cruising yacht design and build. “There is no such thing as ‘one yacht for all purposes’… You cannot have the best of all worlds, whatever the salesman tells you,” he says.

Read our full review of the Kraken 50 .


Wauquiez Centurion 57

Few yachts can claim to be both an exciting Med-style design and a serious and practical northern European offshore cruiser, but the Wauquiez Centurion 57 tries to blend both. She slightly misses if you judge solely by either criterion, but is pretty and practical enough to suit her purpose.

A very pleasant, well-considered yacht, she is impressively built and finished with a warm and comfortable interior. More versatile than radical, she could be used for sailing across the Atlantic in comfort and raced with equal enjoyment at Antigua Sailing Week .


A modern classic if ever there was one. A medium to heavy displacement yacht, stiff and easily capable of standing up to her canvas. Pretty, traditional lines and layout below.


Photo: Voyage of Swell

Well-proven US legacy design dating back to the mid-1960s that once conquered the Transpac Race . Still admired as pretty, with slight spoon bow and overhanging transom.


Capable medium displacement cruiser, ideal size and good accommodation for couples or family cruising, and much less costly than similar luxury brands.


Photo: Peter Szamer

Swedish-built aft cockpit cruiser, smaller than many here, but a well-built and finished, super-durable pocket ocean cruiser.


Tartan 3700

Designed as a performance cruiser there are nimbler alternatives now, but this is still an extremely pretty yacht.

Broker ’ s choice


Discovery 55 Brizo

This yacht has already circumnavigated the globe and is ‘prepared for her next adventure,’ says broker Berthon. Price: £535,000 + VAT


Oyster 575 Ayesha

‘Stunning, and perfectly equipped for bluewater cruising,’ says broker Ancasta International. Price: £845,000 (tax not paid)


Oyster 575 Pearls of Nautilus

Nearly new and with a high spec, this Oyster Brokerage yacht features American white oak joinery and white leather upholstery and has a shoal draught keel. Price: $1.49m

Best bluewater yachts for performance

The Frers-designed Swan 54 may not be the newest hull shape but heralded Swan’s latest generation of displacement bluewater cruisers when launched four years ago. With raked stem, deep V hull form, lower freeboard and slight curve to the topsides she has a more timeless aesthetic than many modern slab-sided high volume yachts, and with that a seakindly motion in waves. If you plan to cover many miles to weather, this is probably the yacht you want to be on.


Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

Besides Swan’s superlative build quality, the 54 brings many true bluewater features, including a dedicated sail locker. There’s also a cockpit locker that functions as a utility cabin, with potential to hold your generator and washing machine, or be a workshop space.

The sloping transom opens out to reveal a 2.5m bathing platform, and although the cabins are not huge there is copious stowage space. Down below the top-notch oak joinery is well thought through with deep fiddles, and there is a substantial nav station. But the Swan 54 wins for handling above all, with well laid-out sail controls that can be easily managed between a couple, while offering real sailing enjoyment to the helmsman.


Photo: Graham Snook

The Performance Cruiser winner at the 2019 European Yacht of the Year awards, the Arcona 435 is all about the sailing experience. She has genuine potential as a cruiser-racer, but her strengths are as an enjoyable cruiser rather than a full-blown liveaboard bluewater boat.

Build quality is excellent, there is the option of a carbon hull and deck, and elegant lines and a plumb bow give the Arcona 435 good looks as well as excellent performance in light airs. Besides slick sail handling systems, there are well thought-out features for cruising, such as ample built-in rope bins and an optional semi-closed stern with stowage and swim platform.


Outremer 51

If you want the space and stability of a cat but still prioritise sailing performance, Outremer has built a reputation on building catamarans with true bluewater characteristics that have cruised the planet for the past 30 years.

Lighter and slimmer-hulled than most cruising cats, the Outremer 51 is all about sailing at faster speeds, more easily. The lower volume hulls and higher bridgedeck make for a better motion in waves, while owners report that being able to maintain a decent pace even under reduced canvas makes for stress-free passages. Deep daggerboards also give good upwind performance.

With bucket seats and tiller steering options, the Outremer 51 rewards sailors who want to spend time steering, while they’re famously well set up for handling with one person on deck. The compromise comes with the interior space – even with a relatively minimalist style, there is less cabin space and stowage volume than on the bulkier cats, but the Outremer 51 still packs in plenty of practical features.


The Xc45 was the first cruising yacht X-Yachts ever built, and designed to give the same X-Yachts sailing experience for sailors who’d spent years racing 30/40-footer X- and IMX designs, but in a cruising package.

Launched over 10 years ago, the Xc45 has been revisited a few times to increase the stowage and modernise some of the styling, but the key features remain the same, including substantial tanks set low for a low centre of gravity, and X-Yachts’ trademark steel keel grid structure. She has fairly traditional styling and layout, matched with solid build quality.

A soft bilge and V-shaped hull gives a kindly motion in waves, and the cockpit is secure, if narrow by modern standards.


A three or four cabin catamaran that’s fleet of foot with high bridgedeck clearance for comfortable motion at sea. With tall daggerboards and carbon construction in some high load areas, Catana cats are light and quick to accelerate.


Sweden Yachts 45

An established bluewater design that also features in plenty of offshore races. Some examples are specced with carbon rig and retractable bowsprits. All have a self-tacking jib for ease. Expect sweeping areas of teak above decks and a traditionally wooded interior with hanging wet locker.


A vintage performer, first launched in 1981, the 51 was the first Frers-designed Swan and marked a new era of iconic cruiser-racers. Some 36 of the Swan 51 were built, many still actively racing and cruising nearly 40 years on. Classic lines and a split cockpit make this a boat for helming, not sunbathing.


Photo: Julien Girardot / EYOTY

The JPK 45 comes from a French racing stable, combining race-winning design heritage with cruising amenities. What you see is what you get – there are no superfluous headliners or floorboards, but there are plenty of ocean sailing details, like inboard winches for safe trimming. The JPK 45 also has a brilliantly designed cockpit with an optional doghouse creating all-weather shelter, twin wheels and superb clutch and rope bin arrangement.


Photo: Andreas Lindlahr

For sailors who don’t mind exchanging a few creature comforts for downwind planing performance, the Pogo 50 offers double-digit surfing speeds for exhilarating tradewind sailing. There’s an open transom, tiller steering and no backstay or runners. The Pogo 50 also has a swing keel, to nose into shallow anchorages.


Seawind 1600

Seawinds are relatively unknown in Europe, but these bluewater cats are very popular in Australia. As would be expected from a Reichel-Pugh design, this 52-footer combines striking good looks and high performance, with fine entry bows and comparatively low freeboard. Rudders are foam cored lifting designs in cassettes, which offer straightforward access in case of repairs, while daggerboards are housed under the deck.

Best bluewater sailboats for families

It’s unsurprising that, for many families, it’s a catamaran that meets their requirements best of increased space – both living space and separate cabins for privacy-seeking teenagers, additional crew or visiting family – as well as stable and predictable handling.


Photo: Nicholas Claris

Undoubtedly one of the biggest success stories has been the Lagoon 450, which, together with boats like the Fountaine Pajot 44, helped drive up the popularity of catamaran cruising by making it affordable and accessible. They have sold in huge numbers – over 1,000 Lagoon 450s have been built since its launch in 2010.

The VPLP-designed 450 was originally launched with a flybridge with a near central helming position and upper level lounging areas (450F). The later ‘sport top’ option (450S) offered a starboard helm station and lower boom (and hence lower centre of gravity for reduced pitching). The 450S also gained a hull chine to create additional volume above the waterline. The Lagoon features forward lounging and aft cockpit areas for additional outdoor living space.

Besides being a big hit among charter operators, Lagoons have proven themselves over thousands of bluewater miles – there were seven Lagoon 450s in last year’s ARC alone. In what remains a competitive sector of the market, Lagoon has recently launched a new 46, with a larger self-tacking jib and mast moved aft, and more lounging areas.


Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

Fountaine Pajot Helia 44

The FP Helia 44 is lighter, lower volume, and has a lower freeboard than the Lagoon, weighing in at 10.8 tonnes unloaded (compared to 15 for the 450). The helm station is on a mezzanine level two steps up from the bridgedeck, with a bench seat behind. A later ‘Evolution’ version was designed for liveaboard cruisers, featuring beefed up dinghy davits and an improved saloon space.

Available in three or four cabin layouts, the Helia 44 was also popular with charter owners as well as families. The new 45 promises additional volume, and an optional hydraulically lowered ‘beach club’ swim platform.


Photo: Arnaud De Buyzer /

The French RM 1370 might be less well known than the big brand names, but offers something a little bit different for anyone who wants a relatively voluminous cruising yacht. Designed by Marc Lombard, and beautifully built from plywood/epoxy, the RM is stiff and responsive, and sails superbly.

The RM yachts have a more individual look – in part down to the painted finish, which encourages many owners to personalise their yachts, but also thanks to their distinctive lines with reverse sheer and dreadnought bow. The cockpit is well laid out with the primary winches inboard for a secure trimming position. The interior is light, airy and modern, although the open transom won’t appeal to everyone.

For those wanting a monohull, the Hanse 575 hits a similar sweet spot to the popular multis, maximising accommodation for a realistic price, yet with responsive performance.

The Hanse offers a vast amount of living space thanks to the ‘loft design’ concept of having all the living areas on a single level, which gives a real feeling of spaciousness with no raised saloon or steps to accommodation. The trade-off for such lofty head height is a substantial freeboard – it towers above the pontoon, while, below, a stepladder is provided to reach some hatches.

Galley options include drawer fridge-freezers, microwave and coffee machine, and the full size nav station can double up as an office or study space.

But while the Hanse 575 is a seriously large boat, its popularity is also down to the fact that it is genuinely able to be handled by a couple. It was innovative in its deck layout: with a self-tacking jib and mainsheet winches immediately to hand next to the helm, one person could both steer and trim.

Direct steering gives a feeling of control and some tangible sailing fun, while the waterline length makes for rapid passage times. In 2016 the German yard launched the newer Hanse 588 model, having already sold 175 of the 575s in just four years.


Photo: Bertel Kolthof

Jeanneau 54

Jeanneau leads the way among production builders for versatile all-rounder yachts that balance sail performance and handling, ergonomics, liveaboard functionality and good looks. The Jeanneau 54 , part of the range designed by Philippe Briand with interior by Andrew Winch, melds the best of the larger and smaller models and is available in a vast array of layout options from two cabins/two heads right up to five cabins and three heads.

We’ve tested the Jeanneau 54 in a gale and very light winds, and it acquitted itself handsomely in both extremes. The primary and mainsheet winches are to hand next to the wheel, and the cockpit is spacious, protected and child-friendly. An electric folding swim and sun deck makes for quick fun in the water.


Nautitech Open 46

This was the first Nautitech catamaran to be built under the ownership of Bavaria, designed with an open-plan bridgedeck and cockpit for free-flowing living space. But with good pace for eating up bluewater miles, and aft twin helms rather than a flybridge, the Nautitech Open 46 also appeals to monohull sailors who prefer a more direct sailing experience.


Made by Robertson and Caine, who produce catamarans under a dual identity as both Leopard and the Sunsail/Moorings charter cats, the Leopard 45 is set to be another big seller. Reflecting its charter DNA, the Leopard 45 is voluminous, with stepped hulls for reduced waterline, and a separate forward cockpit.

Built in South Africa, they are robustly tested off the Cape and constructed ruggedly enough to handle heavy weather sailing as well as the demands of chartering.


Photo: Olivier Blanchet

If space is king then three hulls might be even better than two. The Neel 51 is rare as a cruising trimaran with enough space for proper liveaboard sailing. The galley and saloon are in the large central hull, together with an owner’s cabin on one level for a unique sensation of living above the water. Guest or family cabins lie in the outer hulls for privacy and there is a cavernous full height engine room under the cabin sole.

Performance is notably higher than an equivalent cruising cat, particularly in light winds, with a single rudder giving a truly direct feel in the helm, although manoeuvring a 50ft trimaran may daunt many sailors.


Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

A brilliant new model from Beneteau, this Finot Conq design has a modern stepped hull, which offers exhilarating and confidence-inspiring handling in big breezes, and slippery performance in lighter winds.

The Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 was the standout performer at this year’s European Yacht of the Year awards, and, in replacing the popular Oceanis 45, looks set to be another bestseller. Interior space is well used with a double island berth in the forepeak. An additional inboard unit creates a secure galley area, but tank capacity is moderate for long periods aboard.


Beneteau Oceanis 473

A popular model that offers beam and height in a functional layout, although, as with many boats of this age (she was launched in 2002), the mainsheet is not within reach of the helmsman.


Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49

The Philippe Briand-designed Sun Odyssey range has a solid reputation as family production cruisers. Like the 473, the Sun Odyssey 49 was popular for charter so there are plenty of four-cabin models on the market.


Nautitech 441

The hull design dates back to 1995, but was relaunched in 2012. Though the saloon interior has dated, the 441 has solid practical features, such as a rainwater run-off collection gutter around the coachroof.


Atlantic 42

Chris White-designed cats feature a pilothouse and forward waist-high working cockpit with helm position, as well as an inside wheel at the nav station. The Atlantic 42 offers limited accommodation by modern cat standards but a very different sailing experience.

Best bluewater sailing yachts for expeditions

Bestevaer 56.

All of the yachts in our ‘expedition’ category are aluminium-hulled designs suitable for high latitude sailing, and all are exceptional yachts. But the Bestevaer 56 is a spectacular amount of boat to take on a true adventure. Each Bestevaer is a near-custom build with plenty of bespoke options for owners to customise the layout and where they fall on the scale of rugged off-grid adventurer to 4×4-style luxury fit out.


The Bestevaer range began when renowned naval architect Gerard Dijkstra chose to design his own personal yacht for liveaboard adventure cruising, a 53-footer. The concept drew plenty of interest from bluewater sailors wanting to make longer expeditions and Bestevaers are now available in a range of sizes, with the 56-footer proving a popular mid-range length.

The well-known Bestevaer 56 Tranquilo  (pictured above) has a deep, secure cockpit, voluminous tanks (700lt water and over 1,100lt fuel) and a lifting keel plus water ballast, with classically styled teak clad decks and pilot house. Other owners have opted for functional bare aluminium hull and deck, some choose a doghouse and others a pilothouse.


Photo: Jean-Marie Liot

The Boreal 52 also offers Land Rover-esque practicality, with utilitarian bare aluminium hulls and a distinctive double-level doghouse/coachroof arrangement for added protection in all weathers. The cockpit is clean and uncluttered, thanks to the mainsheet position on top of the doghouse, although for visibility in close manoeuvring the helmsman will want to step up onto the aft deck.

Twin daggerboards, a lifting centreboard and long skeg on which she can settle make this a true go-anywhere expedition yacht. The metres of chain required for adventurous anchoring is stowed in a special locker by the mast to keep the weight central. Down below has been thought through with equally practical touches, including plenty of bracing points and lighting that switches on to red light first to protect your night vision.


Photo: Morris Adant / Garcia Yachts

Garcia Exploration 45

The Garcia Exploration 45 comes with real experience behind her – she was created in association with Jimmy Cornell, based on his many hundreds of thousands of miles of bluewater cruising, to go anywhere from high latitudes to the tropics.

Arguably less of a looker than the Bestevaer, the Garcia Exploration 45 features a rounded aluminium hull, centreboard with deep skeg and twin daggerboards. The considerable anchor chain weight has again been brought aft, this time via a special conduit to a watertight locker in front of the centreboard.

This is a yacht designed to be lived on for extended periods with ample storage, and panoramic portlights to give a near 360° view of whichever extraordinary landscape you are exploring. Safety features include a watertight companionway door to keep extreme weather out and through-hull fittings placed above the waterline. When former Vendée Globe skipper Pete Goss went cruising , this was the boat he chose to do it in.



A truly well-proven expedition design, some 1,500 Ovnis have been built and many sailed to some of the most far-flung corners of the world. (Jimmy Cornell sailed his Aventura some 30,000 miles, including two Drake Passage crossings, one in 50 knots of wind).


Futuna Exploration 54

Another aluminium design with a swinging centreboard and a solid enclosed pilothouse with protected cockpit area. There’s a chunky bowsprit and substantial transom arch to house all manner of electronics and power generation.

Previous boats have been spec’d for North West Passage crossings with additional heating and engine power, although there’s a carbon rig option for those that want a touch of the black stuff. The tanks are capacious, with 1,000lt capability for both fresh water and fuel.

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best 100k yacht

5 Best Liveaboard Boats

best 100k yacht

Table of Contents

Want to live aboard a boat? Maybe you’re looking for more affordable waterfront living, or an alternative lifestyle – either way – living on a boat has many rewards. That said, choosing the right boat will make all the difference to your happiness. Before you commit, consider these five best liveaboard boats : 

  • Motor yachts and cabin cruisers 
  • Trawlers 
  • Sailboats 
  • Catamarans 
  • Houseboats 

  Find Live Abroad Boats ready for rent here

Motor yachts and Cabin Cruisers

Motor Yachts and Cabin Cruisers

Motor yachts is a broad term that encompasses large(ish) motorboats with accommodations like a bed (sleeping cabin), a head (bathroom), and a galley (kitchen). These boats can be quite large such as an Absolute 50 with a flybridge that provides extra space for outdoor recreation/entertainment, like the backyard of a house. 

Models like these usually have three cabins and two heads to accommodate an entire family. Of course, big boats come with big price tags and lots of maintenance needs, so you may not save much over living in a condo. 

Consider how much space you need and check out some best liveaboard boats under 40 feet. Cabin cruisers like the Cutwater 32 are great choices. This boat has one cabin as well as a galley and lounge area (living room) with large windows that bring in lots of natural light and air. 

The twin outboard engines can transport your home to new surroundings in the blink of an eye. Best of all, boats under 40 feet may save you a million dollars (literally) over large motor yachts and provide many of the same amenities. 

2. Trawlers  

Trawler Liveaboard boat

Trawlers are a great option because they are built with the liveaboard lifestyle in mind. They’re typically slower boats designed for long-distance cruising, and they come in many sizes from a large Nordhavn 60 built for tough ocean conditions to a more compact Beneteau Swift 35 that’s ideal for coastal cruising. 

Most trawlers have good liveaboard layouts and will travel at speeds 8-10 knots, where they offer good fuel consumption , which is important with high diesel prices. 

Pro Tip: Not all trawlers are slow – the French Swift series is designed to run at planning as well as trawling speeds, so you get the best of both. 

READ MORE: Don’t Ignore Your Bucket List: Great Loop  

3. Sailboats

liveaboard sailboat

Perhaps you’re contemplating living aboard in preparation for long-distance cruising under sail. Sailboats come in all sizes, just like motor yachts, but they’re usually narrower, and most of the living aboard happens lower down in the boat, so they’re not as airy and light. 

On the plus side, because space is more premium, sailboat design is very efficient, so you can pile a lot into a sailboat and still have room for sailing necessities. 

Looking for a compact sailboat? Consider the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 with two or three cabins in just 38 feet. For something a bit roomier, check out the new Hanse 510 . This massive model can be spec’d with up to five cabins and even has a tender garage. 

The great thing about sailboats is that you can travel long distances when you want to change your neighborhood entirely – and with little money spent on fuel. 

4. Catamarans

liveaboard catamaran

Catamarans are boats with twin hulls and they can be both power and sail models. They have many advantages including more room aboard than the same-length monohulls with better cabin privacy and more system redundancy for backup options. 

They’re more stable both in motion and at anchor (dock) so they produce less seasickness and are more comfortable in a rolly anchorage at night. They’re roomy platforms for kids as well as older folks but due to their beam (width), it’s harder to find a slip for them in a marina. 

Sailing cat models come in various sizes and prices. Production boats like the Fountaine Pajot Isla 40 and the Excess 11 are both around 40 feet but feel much bigger than a monohull sailboat of equal length. 

Many cats come in an “owners’ version” where one entire hull is dedicated to the master suite which is like a bedroom at home. Models like these start around $500,000 but upmarket, carbon fiber, semi-custom designs like the HH55 will set you back multiple millions.

Powercats are growing in popularity and offer the same amenities as their sailing counterparts, except they have bigger engines to travel at much greater speeds. Powers can be on the smaller side, like the 32-foot Aspen C100, or quite sizeable, like the Aquila 54. Cats tend to be more expensive to purchase and to own since there are two of just about everything to maintain. 

5. Houseboats

liveaboard houseboats

If you want to live aboard but have little interest in being mobile, you may consider a houseboat. These boats usually maximize living space and are shaped more like houses than boats. Household-sized amenities, including side-by-side refrigerators, massive sofas, and large TVs can be had.

Because they don’t require much technical gear like engines, electronics, and advanced power systems, houseboats can be quite affordable and can make the best liveaboard boats under $100k. 

A few companies build houseboats like Eco-Sea Cottages, but many will be one-off and home-built designs. Although these boats don’t move (much), they must still have a solid floating foundation to be safe, and only some marinas will allow them to dock there.

One more thing to consider

There are no hard rules as to what makes a great liveaboard boat! You just have to find one that suits you and your budget. Read our Living on a Boat post for more insight, and be sure to browse through Boatsetter to find the perfect liveaboard boat. 

About Boatsetter 

Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or yyou’rejust renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat , book a boat , or make money as a captain .  

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter


Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin. 

A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide. 

Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico. 

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Best boats under £100,000 from the secondhand market

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Our resident used boat expert Nick Burnham picks out four of the best boats under £100,000 on the secondhand market…

While prices seem broadly steady, it is beginning to feel like a little more choice at least is beginning to creep into the used boat market. Where 12 months ago most of the good stuff was sold before it even got as far as broker’s websites, there is now more of a selection to choose from, which is good news for buyers and for anyone writing a used boat column.

What it means in particular is that we’ve been able to bring you a really interesting and varied selection for your delectation this month. Your £100,000 will put you behind the wheel of one of the best built and best-handling driving machines on the water, or at the helm of a mid-40ft Princess cruiser with home-from-home accommodation.

Or perhaps you’d opt for the brilliantly practical hard top Grandezza or the quirky but intriguing Nimbus 380 Commander? You pays your money and you gets plenty of choice.

4 of the best boats under £100,000


Grandezza 27OC

Built: 2012 Price: £89,950

Finnish company Grandezza makes two versions of this boat (to be precise, they currently make two versions of the 28, but it’s basically an upgrade of this 27 model).

There’s an open version with removable canopies over the cockpit, known as the 27DC and this, the enclosed (albeit open-backed) hardtop version known as the Grandezza 27OC. And it’s this version in particular that lends itself so very well to the British climate.

The lower deck of the 27 (in open or hardtop version) is a simple, cosy and nicely finished affair. Open plan, it sports a pair of double berths, one in the forepeak offset to port and another further aft that runs back beneath the cockpit.

It’s unusual in that most four-berth sub-30 footers require at least one bed to convert from seating but these are both permanent (as well as a small separate settee). There’s also a compact but perfectly functional heads down here.


Permanent double berth foward is unusual on a boat of this size and style

Those two permanent doubles are made possible by putting all of the living accommodation on the main deck in the cockpit, but sheltered by that hardtop. So the galley is to starboard behind a single seat alongside the helm, and the helm itself features a double seat with a small settee behind it facing aft across a table to a larger settee.

This starboard area is raised, which gives a better view, but also more headroom for the bed beneath it. All of this is protected by that hardtop which arches right back to the transom. And by giving that such a big roof, it’s created space for a pretty decent sliding opening section above the helm.


Grandezza offered various options, from a 320hp V8 petrol through three Volvo Penta diesel engines of 220hp, 260hp or 300hp. All are single installations mated to a sterndrive.

We tested this boat in the beautiful Finnish archipelago with the same specification mid-range D4-260 that this boat has, and it ran surprisingly well, giving us 34 knots flat-out which means that even with a bit of age and growth, 30 knots should still be on the cards.


Covered cockpit can be used all year round and is both practical and smartly finished

We also discovered that it was blesssed with a comfortable ride, sure-footed handling and a very sheltered helm position.


LOA: 27ft 2in (8.3m) Beam: 9ft 3in (2.8m) Draft: 3ft 3in (1.0m) Displacement: 3.3 tonnes Fuel capacity: 265 litres Engine: Volvo Penta D4-260 260hp diesel engine Location: Southampton Contact: Approved Boats

Article continues below…

Best boats around £150k: Our pick of the secondhand market

Secondhand boat buyers’ guide: 4 of the best boats for sale for under £80,000.


Princess 435

Built: 1991 Price: £99,950

Launched in 1987, the 435 is a rare beast, an aft cabin Princess that offers accommodation the full length of the boat. It wasn’t the first, it followed the Princess 414 (1981-1987) that evolved from the 41 (1977-1982), but it was the last.

When production ceased in 1992 it bought to a close a 15-year unbroken run of aft cabin models from what was then known as Marine Projects. The yard has never revisited the idea since.

That aft cabin layout is key because it creates space for a huge square owner’s cabin right at the back of the boat complete, of course, with its own en suite. Steps lead up forward to the main deck with a sizeable saloon, featuring a C-shaped seating area opposite a sideboard plus a lower helm – then further steps drop you down to the forward lower deck.

The galley was always placed to port, but opposite there was the option of either a dinette or a third cabin. The dinette of this boat is the preferred option as it opens this area out and can always be used for sleeping if required. Finally, cabin two is in the bow with its central island bed and en suite access to the day head.

best 100k yacht

The aft cabin is a wonderfully private space with its own en suite bathroom

While its predecessors had been John Bennett designs, Bernard Olesinski designed this one, having started penning Princesses just a few years earlier.

That aft cabin layout means a raised aft deck instead of a cockpit, but that does put it closer to the flybridge, meaning moulded stairs rather than the ladder that most flybridge boats of this era got. There are some neat design flourishes too, like the strakes around the aft cabin windows – very 1980s Ferrari Testarossa.

Twin Volvo Penta TAMD 61 306hp engines were standard, an upgrade to TAMD 71s an option. Originally these were 71A at 358hp but later boats (like this one) got the 380hp 71B motors for a top speed approaching 30 knots.

best 100k yacht

The galley is on the lower deck but so is the dinette, leaving the saloon free for lounging

Big boat, shaft drive and an Olesinski hull is now a proven formula, and it gained that reputation on the backs of solid performers like this boat.

LOA: 41ft 9in (12.7m) Beam: 13ft 11in (4.2m) Draft: 3ft 5in (1.1m) Displacement: 10 tonnes Fuel capacity: 1,364 litres Engines: Volvo Penta TAMD 71B 380hp diesel engines Location: Plymouth Contact: Ancasta


Windy 28 Ghibli

Built: 2008 Price: £92,500

When I was looking to buy my last boat, the one I wanted – really wanted – was a Windy 28 Ghibli, and six years later I still get slightly unnecessary when I see one. It’s a winning combination of looks, Scandinavian build quality, legendary seakeeping and very strong performance.

First the bad news. Although it’s nearly 30ft long, this is still very much a cuddy cabin boat. Forget mid cabins and standing headroom, what you get down here is a V-shaped dinette with a table that drops, allowing infills to make up a double, and a heads that you need to reverse into to sit down.

There’s also a small galley area. What it is, however, is beautifully trimmed with some great details like the embossed star in the deeply lacquered table.

best 100k yacht

The cabin is tight but nicely finished and comfortable enough for weekending

And now the good news. Since the cabin is so compact, it leaves the rest of the boat (perhaps 70% of the length) as a huge and comfortable outdoor space.

Helm and navigator seats sit deep, protected by a beautiful stainless steel rimmed wrap-around windscreen complete with trademark inner grab rail, while the centre of the cockpit is a comfortable lounging area around another (detachable) table.

Finally, a sunpad stretches back across the engine space with a walkway next to it to create an easy stroll to the bathing platform. A lack of side decks maximises space and the boat’s low profile might not do much for headroom but pays dividends for the boat’s looks – low, sleek and beautiful.

The majority of 28 Ghiblis are single-engine, most notably the KAD 44/300 series giving 260/285hp. When the D series engines came on stream, the D4-260 was available but most single engine customers opted for D6 350 and 370 motors.

Twin engines were also on the options list, initially a pair of D3 160s but later twin engine boats (including this one) had D3-190 diesels, which give well over 40 knots but also a very efficient 42 litres per hour at about 30 knots – both a corollary of its low profile, narrow beam and easily driven hull.

best 100k yacht

Driver-focussed helm and big open cockpit make this ideal for sunny days at sea

Legendary. A Hans J Johnsen hull like most Windy boats of this era, it’s a boat designed not to need to slow down when the sea gets up.

LOA: 27ft 9in (8.5m) Beam: 8ft 10in (2.7m) Draft: 2ft 9in (0.8m) Displacement: 2.7 tonnes Fuel capacity: 375 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta D3-190 190hp diesel engines Location: Lymington Contact: Berthon International

best 100k yacht

Nimbus 380 Commander

Built: 2001 Price: £105,000

The Nimbus 380 Commander is a (very) gentle evolution of the 370 Commander, the key visual difference being the far chunkier bathing platform of the newer model.

Beyond that and a few other tweaks, this is the same quirky lovable pilothouse cruiser we know and love – almost a cut-price Fleming in terms of the layout (although that sells it short as the Nimbus is a fine quality boat in its own right).

It’s inside where it earns its ‘quirky’ spurs because this is a layout unlike almost any other (except the aforementioned, far larger, far more expensive Fleming).

Enter the saloon through the aft doors and you’ll actually have to step down a couple of rungs despite this being ostensibly the main deck. There’s a dinette to port with a table that halves in size and lowers to turn this into a lounge area.

Opposite, the entire starboard side is taken up with a huge galley, meaning this can even double as a sort of kitchen diner. Move forward and it’s back up a couple of steps to a separate pilothouse with sliding doors either side and internal access straight up to the flybridge.

Down again to the lower deck forward for two cabins and the heads. It’s a layout that on paper shouldn’t work, yet it does. Brilliantly.

best 100k yacht

There’s room for two cabins and a heads compartment forward on the lower deck

The flybridge is interesting because it’s behind the lower helm rather than over it. Suddenly the reason for that sunken saloon makes sense, it keeps the flybridge low and stops the boat looking ungainly.

With all the doors (aft, two side and one directly between the two helm stations), access is probably the best you’re likely to find on any sub-40ft flybridge cruiser.

A pair of Volvo Penta KAMD 43 230hp six-cylinder diesel engines live beneath the aft deck, power driving forwards into vee boxes that then send it back through conventional shaft drives beneath the engines. The broker reckons on 25 knots flat-out with a 20-knot cruise.

best 100k yacht

The main saloon seating and dining area is actually a few steps down from the deck

Twin shafts combine with a shallow hull keel to make this a very steady boat at low speeds with excellent manoeuvrability. Pick up the speed to discover a solid and steady semi-displacement feel.

LOA: 37ft 8in (11.3m) Beam: 11ft 9in (3.6m) Draft: 3ft 7in (1.1m) Displacement: 7 tonnes Fuel capacity: 755 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta KAMD 43 230hp diesels Location: Swansea Contact:

First published in the October 2023 issue of MBY.

Four more boats under £100,000 from the October 2022 issue

Beneteau antares 10.80.

Built: 2002 Price: £89,995

Beneteau offers a variety of ranges, all subdivided into different sizes. Flyers are the sportsboats , Gran Turismos the sportscruisers , Swift Trawlers the, err, trawlers that are quite swift and so forth.

The Antares range has always been about practical living and pragmatic looks, and this Beneteau Antares 10.80 is no exception with upright conservative styling and sensible detailing. It’s also, according to the broker, “beautifully presented”, and if the photos are to be believed, it certainly looks to be in turn-key condition.

“Warm and traditional”, was how we described the interior of the 10.80 when we reviewed it in 2007, and it’s as true today, with its polished wood and cream leather. In fact this model dates back to 1998, which would explain the more traditional feel.

Beneteau eked out space for two decent cabins on the lower deck, one a twin and the other a double, which creates the perfect family configuration. There’s a heads on the lower deck too, but no galley – that lives on the main deck along the starboard side of the saloon.


Forward double cabin isn’t huge but provides a good set-up for familes of four

That 1990s styling is particularly evident on the outside but none the worse for it; although slightly dated in places by things like the eyebrow over the windscreens that extends down either side, this is a well proportioned, family-friendly boat.

There’s more than a nod to fishing in the plethora of rod holders but the cockpit includes a small bench seat, and scaling the flybridge ladder introduces you to more seating and a second helm position aloft.

A pair of Volvo Penta’s ubiquitous KAMD 44 EDC diesel engines lie beneath the saloon floor, pushing 285hp aside through a pair of new five-bladed propellers for a top speed of circa 30 knots and a low to mid 20-knot cruising gait.


Big windows and thin mullions maximise light and views in the traditionally styled saloon

Shaft drive is another nod to traditionalism, and a good one on a used boat as this is about the simplest layout available. It also keeps the weight of the engines further forward in the hull, which Beneteau combined with a fine entry for good upwind performance, while a shallow keel aids low-speed directional stability.

LOA: 35ft 5in (10.8m) Beam: 11ft 4in (3.4m) Draught: 3ft 4in (1.0m) Displacement: 6 tonnes Fuel capacity: 640 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta KAMD 44EDC 285hp diesels Location: Southampton Contact: Parker Adams Boat Sales


Built: 1998 Price: £99,950

Scandinavians are not afraid to do things differently, and this Nimbus 370, a model first launched in 1995, is a case in point. It might not follow established concepts and layouts, but it does offer something genuinely different and genuinely useful.

Specifically, three entrances to the interior, six berths, a separate wheelhouse as well as a flybridge – linked via an internal stairway – all within 40ft.

The interior of this boat is fascinating. Stepping from the aft cockpit into the saloon feels reasonably normal. The galley is on the starboard side, opposite a dinette which converts to create a double bed.

It’s when you head forward that things get interesting because, instead of stepping down to the lower deck, you step up to a proper little wheelhouse, complete with sliding doors on either side – great for access of course, but also brilliant for airflow on a warm day.

Forward again, and finally you head down to a lower deck that utilises the raised wheelhouse to create extra headroom in part of the second cabin, plus the owner’s cabin and the heads.


The forward cabin is one of three sleeping spaces on board the Nimbus 370

You’d think that the raised pilothouse might make the Nimbus 370 look top heavy, but cunningly, Nimbus positioned the flybridge behind the raised section and above the saloon so in fact there are no obvious flybridge sides, just stainless steel rails with canvas dodgers, the tops of which are level with the wheelhouse roof.

And it’s that low level position behind the wheelhouse that allows easy access from the flybridge straight down to the lower helm.

All twin installations, early versions of the 370, were powered by Volvo Penta’s TAMD 41 200hp. These were later replaced by the Yanmar 230hp motors fitted to this boat, and then Volvo’s KAMD 43 230hp engines with D4 260hp engines fitted to the last ones. Figure on up to about 26 knots, depending on engine option.


The saloon and galley have steps leading up to a raised pilothouse and cabins beyond

One of the many packaging tricks utilised was installing the engines right aft beneath the cockpit, leaving space for accommodation beneath the saloon floor. Although this shifts the centre of gravity aft, seakeeping is still good.

LOA: 37ft 8in (11.5m) Beam: 11ft 9in (3.6m) Draught: 3ft 6in (1.1m) Displacement: 7 tonnes Fuel capacity: 755 litres Engines: Twin Yanmar 4LH STE 230hp diesel engines Location: Mylor Contact: Ancasta


Four Winns 255 Vista

Built: 2017 Price: £98,500

Four Winns is a long established American boat builder based in Cadillac, Michigan, with a rich history of sportscruiser models marketed under the Vista label that once stretched as high as 45ft in length.

Interestingly, every Vista model has now been deleted from the line up, which currently consists entirely of bow-rider sportsboats and a solitary outboard powered wheelhouse model. The reason for this change of direction is down to the Beneteau Group’s takeover in 2014, meaning this Vista 255 is one of the last of an illustrious line.

The layout of the 255 Vista is an entirely conventional U-shaped dinette forward with a galley opposite the heads at the bottom of the companionway and a double berth running transversely beneath the forward section of the cockpit. What’s more interesting is the finish, because this is a surprisingly attractive and well-trimmed boat inside.

Dark woods, pale fabrics, cream leather and a hardwood floor lend it an entirely upmarket and contemporary vibe. It’s well specced too, although strangely, there appears to be no hob.


Smartly finished cabin is bright, modern and classy for a mass market production boat

In fact, there is a hob, but it’s in the cockpit, an electric unit mounted on the wet bar fitted behind the helm seat. It’s a pretty spacious cockpit, with aft seating that turns into a sunbed and a small dinette area.

In part this is due to the favourite American trick on boats of this size of taking the cockpit right to the edges of the boat – access to the foredeck is via an opening section in the windscreen rather than traditional side decks, but also the bathing platform is kept pretty short, again maximising the floorspace in the cockpit.

A single Mercruiser 4.3 litre V6 lives beneath the cockpit floor, producing up to 240hp on demand for a top speed of about 30 knots and a reasonably economical 20-knot cruise.


Cockpit wetbar includes an electric hob for cooking meals outdoors

Inevitably, tall and narrow boats such as these can be prone to being a little sensitive to a beam wind, but trim tabs are fitted to return it to an even keel again.

LOA: 25ft 2in (7.7m) Beam: 8ft 4in (2.5m) Draught: 3ft 0in (0.9m) Displacement: 3 tonnes Fuel capacity: 265 litres Engine: Mercruiser 4.3 litre V6 240hp petrol engine Location: Southampton Contact: Argo Yachting


Sealine S34

Built: 1998 Price: £89,950

The mid 30ft sportscruiser market, these days mostly the preserve of the French, was a hard fought sector for British builders back in the 1990s. Fairline fielded its Targa 35, Princess Yachts offered the excellent 346/366 Riviera and Sealine produced over 300 of these practical and likeable Sealine S34s .

Sealine always majors on interior space and practicality, and this model is no exception. The layout is the usual owner’s cabin forward with a second cabin aft, running beneath the cockpit. A galley, dinette and heads split them.

But it is noticeable for its storage solutions, such as a split mattress in the forward cabin making it easy to lift one section to access a huge locker beneath the berth.


The forward master cabin is complemented by a second guest cabin under the cockpit

Neat details include a clamshell opening to the radar arch, allowing the aft section of canopy to be simply rolled up in situ and stowed away, while at the other end of the boat the anchor is concealed by a neat ‘beak’ at the bow.

Unusually, the cockpit floor is one single level (most boats of this type have a raised forward section to increase headroom in the mid cabin) and there are excellent rails on deck, such as those along the edge of the windscreen, making access forward far easier.

Sealine fitted a huge range of engines to these boats, all twin installations, including petrol, diesel, Mercruiser and Volvo Penta. Some of the very last boats got the later D4 series engines but the vast majority were fitted with the earlier KAD series.

KAD 44 260hp motors were the largest, KAD 43 230hp were also popular. But most (about two thirds in fact) went out with the KAD 32 170hp motors that this boat has.

Whilst not as fast, they still achieve a respectable high 20-knot max and a low 20-knot cruise, and being four-cylinder engines they are lighter and smaller, offering more space in the engine room.


A full set of covers and plenty of seating make the cockpit useable in most weathers

The hull was shared with the Sealine F33 flybridge model. A lower profile and centre of gravity means that the S34 feels far more stable.

LOA: 34ft 6in (10.5m) Beam: 11ft 10in (3.3m) Draught: 3ft 1in (0.9m) Displacement: 5.3 tonnes Fuel capacity: 564 litres Engines: Volvo Penta KAD32 170hp diesel engines Location: Chatham Contact: Network Yacht Brokers

First published in the October 2022 issue of MBY.

Four more boats under £100,000 from the June 2021 issue

Fairline targa 37.

Built: 1997 Price: £94,950

Introduced as the Targa 36 in 1994, an extended bathing platform saw it quickly morph into the Targa 37, a successful addition to the Fairline range that ran until 2000, by which time almost 200 had been built.

The layout is entirely typical. A cabin each end of the accommodation, the forward one with a central double berth and the mid-cabin aft burrowing beneath the forward section of the cockpit and featuring a pair of single berths that convert to a double plus a tiny settee, dressing table and hanging locker.

Between them, a dinette (converting to take the sleeping to six) sits opposite the galley. But what sets this boat apart is the build quality — the fit out mirrors the more expensive Fairline Squadron boats of this period with beautifully formed cherry or maple woodwork.


High-quality finish of the woodwork in the lower saloon is a ture Fairline hallmark

The two arching GRP spars framing the side windows of the windscreen define Fairline Targas of this era. Hull topsides were available in white, teal or blue, the former the most practical (it hides marks and won’t fade), the teal the least popular and the dark blue the smartest and most sought after.

The cockpit layout works well, a lower entertaining area aft and then a raised section further forward that affords the helm a better view as well as adding a vital few inches of headroom to the mid-cabin below.

Twin V8 petrol engines were on the options list, which would give smooth lively performance at the expense (literally) of increased fuel consumption.

Which is why the majority of Targa 37s went out with a pair of Volvo Penta diesel engines, either the KAD 42 at 230hp aside for low to mid 30 knots performance or the slightly more powerful KAD 44 motors that pushed out 260hp and gave a couple more knots.


The forward owners’ cabin is supplemented by a twin guest cabin and convertible dinette

Fairline opted for a medium to deep-vee hull form and a wide beam to prioritise internal accommodation. But this is still a willing and able driver’s machine that handles well.


LOA: 36ft 6in (11.1m) Beam: 11ft 8in (3.5m) Draught: 3ft 2in (1.0m) Displacement: 6.5 tonnes Fuel capacity: 640 litres Engines: Twin 230hp Volvo Penta KAD 42 diesels Contact: TBS Boats


Finnmaster T8

Built: 2017 Price: £95,000

There are two distinct lines in the Finnish boat builder’s Finn-Marin stable. Finnmaster is its sensible range of smaller sportier craft whilst Grandezza is the flagship brand of larger and more glamorous sportscruisers .

Launched in 2014, the T8 was the first of a new ‘T-Series’ of Finnmaster sportsboats designed to fuse the practical of the former with the glamour of the latter.

Ostensibly a sportsboat rather than a cruiser, there is in fact more going on below decks than you might expect. Instead of the usual horseshoe dinette, there’s a proper fixed double bed forward, and a small settee opposite a usefully generous heads.

The surprise, however, is when you look aft as Finnmaster has squeezed a further double berth lengthways back under the cockpit. Normally you’d need a full on sportscruiser to get a mid-berth at this size point.


Seating for eight around the large folding table with easy to access storage lockers

There is no space sapping sunpad at the stern, the cockpit dinette extends right to the transom. In conjunction with a small seat to starboard and two swivelling helm seats, this allows eight people to sit around the large folding table, which also converts to a sunpad with the help of a cushion.

There are plenty of storage lockers under the seats, accessed by hinging the bases forward rather than having to remove them, and there’s a small galley to starboard, complete with a diesel hob, sink and fridge.

You’d expect 300hp to provide ample urge and it does. We tested this model with an equally potent 300hp Suzuki, which punted the T8 quickly onto the plane and wound out past 40 knots. Cruising at 30 knots was effortless at 4,700rpm — over 1,000rpm down on maximum.


Fixed double bed forward is complemented by another double under the cockpit

The T8 feels 100% sportsboat. Despite the slightly raised forward cockpit you still sit low and well protected by the high wraparound screen, giving you the confidence to exploit the performance of the 21-degree deadrise hull.

LOA: 26ft 7in (8.1m) Beam: 8ft 11in (2.7m) Draught: 2ft 0in (0.6m) Displacement: 2.2 tonnes Fuel capacity: 261 litres Engine: Yamaha F300 BETX 300hp outboard Contact: Approved Boats

Intercruiser Cabrio 28

Built: 2013 Price: £95,000

There seems to be a real desire amongst the Dutch (surely the most relaxed and laid back people in the world) to be outside in the fresh air, and it is reflected in their boats. Rather than the buttoned down closed-up go faster craft of the UK, where even sportscruisers are sporting lids these days, the typical Dutch boat is a small, low, and rather elegant displacement craft with the helm right aft like a yacht and a single diesel engine. They call them sloops and Holland’s massive waterway system is full of them.

The cabin top is low profile so as not to spoil the purity of the lines or the view from the cockpit. It keeps the air draft low for river cruising too. Inside, headroom is compromised as a result, but the deck hatch opening runs well forward so you can stand at the galley.

Opposite this is a simple heads compartment and at the front is a large dinette, the table dropping to create a double berth. It’s all very straightforward and sensible but the quality of finish and construction is superb, with solid feeling cabinetry and high grade upholstery.


The forward dinette next to the galley converts to a double berth for overnighting duties

With an elegantly rounded stern and a large bathing platform, the cockpit features a large comfy settee that loops around an aft-mounted centre console with a big vertical wooden wheel, instrumentation and engine controls.

It puts the helmsman right at the back of the boat, making for particularly social cruising. Side decks are wide and easily accessed, and there’s a full length canopy to protect the cockpit that can also be used as a spray hood.

The Vetus 52hp diesel engine gives a very river friendly 5-knot cruising speed with a top end a knot or two more. In fact Intercruiser fits a range of engines up to 170hp for offshore performance if you need it.


Sociable cockpit has the helm centre stage with a long settee looping all the way round it

A long keel aids directional stability and protects the propeller, which is particularly useful in the type of shallow inland areas this boat is likely to find itself.

LOA: 27ft 9in (8.5m) Beam: 9ft 10in (3.0m) Draught: 2ft 8in (0.8m) Displacement: 4.5 tonnes Fuel capacity: 100 litres Engine: Vetus 52hp diesel engine Contact: Val Wyatt Marine


Sealine S38

Built: 2003 Price: £97,500

Launched at the Earl’s Court Boat Show (remember that?) in 2003, the Sealine S38 replaced the long running S37 (itself previously the 360 Ambassador) in Sealine’s range. It sounds very similar but was actually a roomier and far more advanced boat — the traditional wiring loom replaced by multiplex technology, for example.

The layout is the typical owner’s cabin forward and mid-cabin aft, separated by the galley and dinette, but there are a couple of standout features rare in sub 40-foot boats.

The most obvious is in the mid-cabin, where the usual twin singles running athwartships are present and correct, but you’ll also discover a third berth tucked away in here, brilliant for anyone with more than two kids (or for children’s friends to be able to come along). Further forward, the heads is split between a separate shower cubicle on one side and a toilet on the other.


The lower saloon is big and bright enough for day time use but still cosy at night

There is seating for four at the helm, two on a double bench facing it, and two more adjacent on a port side settee, and back aft on the single level cockpit you’ll find a dinette that can convert to a sunpad. The oversized radar arch offers a little shade as well as canopy storage. Up at the bow, anchor storage built into the stem rather than hanging over the foredeck is a neat solution.

Engine choices were all based around Volvo Penta’s KAD 40 series sterndrive units. All twin installations, you could choose from 43 (230hp), 44 (260hp) or 300 (285hp). The largest option achieved 35 knots, the smaller 44 motors fitted to this boat should be within a few knots of this.


Forward owner’s cabin is generous in size with good storage and quality finishing

For our test we improvised by using the wash of a 42ft photo boat. Our helmsman said: “Whatever we threw at it, the boat remained controllable, responding to wheel inputs even through the wash.

“There was the odd muted complaint through the hull as we levelled it into a steep one, but by and large it gave an impressive performance”.

LOA: 37ft 1in (11.3m) Beam: 12ft 3in (3.7m) Draught: 3ft 1in (0.9m) Displacement: 6.3 tonnes Fuel capacity: 678 litres Engines: Twin Volvo Penta KAD 44 260hp diesels Contact: Hutchins Marine

First published in the June 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

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Tracking Today’s Fast-Paced Yacht Boating Market


Meridian 341 Sedan

Tiara 3500 Express


At a Glance: Yet another Tiara success story — a mix of conservative styling, quality construction, and beautiful teak interior. With a super-wide 13'9" beam, this is a big 35-footer with impressive cabin space, a huge cockpit, and tons of storage. The Tiara’s single-stateroom interior was available in two configurations: Plan A (sleeps six) has a portside dinette and head, while Plan B (sleeps four) trades the dinette in favor of an enlarged galley, head with stall shower, and a bigger stateroom with island berth and private access to the head. In both layouts, the salon L-lounge converts to a double berth with it’s own privacy curtain. Huge cockpit seats 8–10 people.  Extended swim platform can carry a PWC. A state-of-the-art boat in her day. Standard 385hp gas engines cruise at 16–18 knots. Cummins 370hp diesels cruise at 24–26 knots.

Best Feature: Traditional teak interior

Price Range: From the high $60s to low $100s.

At a Glance: This is an updated version of the original Meridian 341 Sedan (2003–04) with greater beam, better styling, and a spacious two stateroom interior. Built on a low-deadrise hull with a solid fiberglass bottom, the 341’s tiered cabin windows create the impression of great space in the salon. The galley is forward, on the same level as the salon, and the well-appointed decor is an attractive blend of leather seating, vinyl wall coverings, and cherry joinery. A head with a stall shower is to starboard, accessed from either the master stateroom or the passageway. If the interior of the 341 Sedan seems spacious for a 34-footer, the cockpit is small and the side decks are practically nonexistent. A molded staircase leads up to the extended flybridge with its wet bar and guest seating aft of the helm. A lower helm was optional. Twin 320hp gas inboards cruiseat 18–20 knots.

Best Feature: Sporty styling.

Price Range: From the low $100s to low $200s.

At a Glance: An enlarged version of the super popular Mainship 30 Pilot. Where the 30 Pilot was a day boat, the 34's larger interior provides the volume required for extended cruising. The first 34 Pilots were express models; in 2001 the Sedan version with an extended hardtop offered owners the added security of a semi-enclosed pilothouse. The well-appointed accommodations consist of a roomy main salon with full-service galley and convertible dinette, enclosed head with shower, and a single stateroom forward with bi-fold privacy door. A TV on a swivel platform is mounted forward in the cabin. In the cockpit, facing bench seats behind the helm and companion seats can double as extra berths. A centerline hatch in the cockpit sole provides access to the engine. A single 350hp Yanmar diesel will cruise at 14 knots (16–18 top). Twin 240hp Yanmar diesels cruise at 18 knots.

Best Feature: Affordable price.

Price Range: From mid $80s to mid $100s .

At a Glance: An innovative design from a company known for building a quality product.  As the name implied, a “window” is integrated into the forward cabin overhead. The result was (and is) a flood of natural lighting throughout the cabin. With an offset queen berth forward, convertible dinette to starboard, and twin berths aft, the 3360 sleeps six in a cabin that seems usually spacious for a boat this size. The midcabin area is a seamless extension of the main salon providing additional seating for entertaining. Note the handy floor locker in the galley area. Privacy curtains separate the fore and aft berths from the salon. A wet bar is to starboard in the cockpit, opposite an L-shaped (or C-shaped) lounge. The rear seat folds into the transom when not in use. Twin Volvo 320hp I/Os cruise at 24–26 knots (mid 30s top).

Best Feature: Bright and open interior.

Price Range: From the mid $60s to about $100K.


Carver 350/36 Mariner

Formula 34 PC

Mainship 34 Pilot

Regal 3360 Windows Express



At a Glance: Mega-popular entertainment platform with enormous single-level interior dwarfs anything her size on the water. Full-beam salon is made possible by elevating the side decks above the cabin windows — instead of leading aft to the cockpit, these walkways reach up to the bridge. The Mariner’s original layout features a U-shaped dinette to port in the salon, settee opposite, inside bridge access ladder, and an offset double berth in the forward stateroom. In 2004, the floorplan was modified to include a booth-style dinette in the salon, no interior ladder, and a centerline queen berth in the stateroom. Both configurations boast a large head with separate stall shower. The engine compartment is a tight fit. MerCruiser 300hp V-drive gas engines cruise at 14–16 knots.

Best Feature: Huge party-time interior

Price Range: From the m id $40s to the mid $90s.

At a Glance: Premium midcabin cruiser combines legendary Formula quality with timeless styling and impressive owner satisfaction. The elegant interior is notable for its beautiful cherry cabinetry, posh leather upholstery, and rich designer fabrics. A long crescent-shaped sofa dominates the salon which is wide open from the walkaround island berth forward to the U-shaped seating in the step-down midcabin aft. Draw curtains separate both sleeping areas from the main cabin for nighttime privacy, and the full-service galley features a concealed stove, generous storage, and Corian counters. Cockpit seating includes a double helm seat with flip-up bolsters, U-shaped lounge seating aft, and a companion seat opposite the helm. The 34’s extended swim platform makes boarding easy and safe. MerCruiser 375hp V-drive I/Os cruise at 26–28 knots.

Best Feature: Exceptional workmanship.

Price Range: $80K to $250K-plus.

At a Glance:   The first of two 310 Signature models from Chaparral in recent years. Built on a modified V hull with cored hullsides and a solid fiberglass bottom, the 310’s open-plan interior sleeps six in a layout a little different from most 30-foot cruisers. An offset double berth is forward in the salon, and the 310’s full-service galley includes a built-in microwave, Corian counters, and generous storage. Cherry cabinetry, designer fabrics, and upscale furnishings highlight her entire cabin and her galley is notable for its generous storage. As many as six can be seated comfortably in the cockpit where a full wet bar, transom shower, and portable cooler are standard. Additional features include a transom storage locker, extended swim platform, power engine hatch, walk-through windshield, double helm seat, and foredeck sun pad. Volvo 280hp I/Os cruise the in the mid 20s.

Best Feature: Surprisingly roomy interior.

Price Range: From $60K to the mid $90s .


At a Glance: This popular flybridge sedan (called the Camano 28 until 1997) combines salty lines with super-efficient operation. Built on a flat bottom hull with wide prop-protecting keel. The Camano’s no-nonsense interior is well finished and her trolly-style front windows are almost unique in the boating world. With the galley down, the salon is big for a boat this size. Visibility from the lower helm is excellent thanks to large front and side windows. The cockpit is on the small side and the bridge ladder is steep. Topside, there are three pedestal seats on the flybridge. Updates in 2003 included a standard bow thruster as well as a fuel increase to 133 gallons. Cruise at 12–14 knots with a single 200hp Volvo diesel. A sistership, the Camano 28 Gnome (1990–95) is the same boat without a flybridge.

Best Feature: Very distinctive character.

Price Range: From the low $75s to low $100s.


At a Glance: Another Sea Ray success story — this best-selling family cruiser combines the sleek styling and top-shelf amenities common to all recent Sundancer models. The Sundancer’s open-plan interior is notable for its oversized galley with cherrywood cabinets and more counter (and storage) space than many larger boats. There are berths for six including a comfortable kidney-shaped sofa opposite the galley that converts to a double bed. The sunken midcabin area aft serves as a secondary conversation area during the day and a guest stateroom at night. The cockpit sole lifts at the push of a button for access to the engines. Tiered dash with burlwood insets has space for electronic add-ons.The side decks are narrow. Offered with V-drive inboard or sterndrive power, MerCruiser 5.7L 300hp inboards cruise at 24–26 knots (low 30s top).  

Best Feature: Teriffic styling.

Price Range: From the high $50 to the low $100s.

Chaparral 310 Signature

Camano 28/31

Sea Ray 320 Sundancer

Sea Ray-320-Sundancer

April, 2016 (Updated February, 2018)

The $100,000 threshold is the entry point for many buyers today, and that’s especially true when it comes to the market for family cruisers. With hundreds of models to choose from, here are ten that stand out for their popularity, resale values and proven market success. Presented in no particular order, these ten models can usually be counted upon to deliver years of boating enjoyment together with good resale values.

Sea Ray 340 Sundancer

At a Glance: The top selling 34-foot express ever, Sea Ray found the sweet spot with this popular model. Considered a "big" express cruiser when she was introduced in 1999. Luxurious accents like high-gloss cherry cabinets, faux leather upholstery, and quality hardware and appliances set the 340 apart from most of the competition. Roomy open-plan interior with large galley, sunken mid-cabin area sleeps six. Note pull-out TV above the galley. Built on a solid fiberglass hull with an integrated swim platform and moderate 11'5" beam. Cockpit features include a removable rear bench seat, wet bar with sink, built-in ice chest, cocktail table, and companion seat with storage under. Power engine compartment hatch is a nice touch. On the downside, the side decks are narrow. MerCruiser 370hp V-drive inboards cruise in the mid-to-high 20s.

Best Feature: Impressive accommodations.

Price Range: From the low $40 to the low $100s.

Sea Ray-340-Sundancer


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Best Center Console Boats to Consider in 2024

  • By Rick Shackleton
  • February 8, 2024

In this article, we will describe a variety of center console boats. In so doing we will show that the center console suits a wide variety of boaters. There are large center consoles and small center consoles. Some center consoles are more expensive and some are less expensive. Originally developed for recreational fishing, center consoles now can be had for luxury, watersports, or fishing (or all three!). Center console boats may also feature a variety of power options. Read along as we provide examples in an attempt to show the breadth and depth of the center console boat type.

Article at a glance:

  • Best Center Console Boats by Size
  • Buying Considerations & Tips

Recommended Center Consoles by Size

A handy way to make the information about center console boats easier to digest is to break the category down by length. Know that for any length group, there will be center consoles of greater or lesser relative cost. 

Review recommended center consoles:

Best small center consoles (under 25ft).

Here are some great examples of center consoles under 25 feet long. It is not meant to be a definitive list, but rather to show the range in this size category. Note that we also offer a more complete list of Best Small Center Console Boats (Under 25ft) .

Scout 177 Sport

A small, but exceptionally-well finished and equipped fishing center console.

The Scout 177 Sport represents the high-end of the small center console market, both in price and in construction and features. Its Carolina-flared hull sheds spray. While it’s clutter-free decks, ideal for fishing, may seem barren, this boat comes with many standard features that may be optional aboard other boats. Evidence of its top construction can be seen and even felt.Check the clean design inside and out, all the way to the completely-finished bilges and underside of all doors, lids and hatches. This small center console is a high-bred fishing machine.

Pricing and Specs

What we like :

  • Flawless finish
  • Single-minded: designed and built to fish.
  • Rugged,comfortably, good looking upholstery.

What could be better :

  • Does not offer the extra (anglers might say ”excess”) seating of other models.
  • Low freeboard is great for fishing, but less so for families or recreating.
– LOWER YOUR RATES – Taking a boating safety course won’t just make you a better skipper. It could also help you save big on insurance. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Yamaha 255 FSH Sport H

A family fun center console powered by twin waterjets. 

Yamaha’s 24’5” long 255 FSH Sport H offers boat buyers a versatile center console with jet power. Twin supercharged Yamaha Vortex High Output engines driving waterjets propel this center console to a top speed of 54 mph. These also offer outstanding maneuverability around the dock and at the launch ramp. On the water, you’ll find the 255 FSH Sport H ready to pull a tube, catch a fish, hit the sandbar or just chase big smiles. It comes with a standard single axle, painted, trailer. 

What we like:

  • Helm Master joystick takes stress out of docking.
  • Twin engines and a lower price than many outboard-powered center consoles this size.
  • Eva decking throughout looks good, provides secure footing and makes maintenance easier.

What could be better:

  • The high RPM of the engines makes a whine some might find annoying.
  • Unlike most other CC’s this size, there is no fully-enclosed head compartment.

Starcraft SVX 231 OB CC

A 23-foot center console that emphasizes family fun. 

With its deep freeboard and broad bow, the Starcraft SVX 231 OB CC lends itself to a variety of activities, with friends and family on the lake, bay or river. It offers a big space inside the console for a “porta potty,“ the gunwales feature a unique shelf, complete with drink    holders, which will prove useful during entertaining. Sure, its fiberglass cockpit sole, livewell and rod holders allow it to fish. But large platforms, fore and aft, plus the generous, deep,  U-shaped seating in the bow place this center console firmly at the family fun end of the spectrum. 

  • Deep, safe cockpit with lots of seating.
  • Large platforms fore and aft for beaching or swimming or dockside entertaining.
  • Cool shelves with drink holders built into gunwales.
  • Deckboat hull form not suited for choppy ocean waters or running inlets.
  • High freeboard makes the crew feel safer but impedes fishing and adds windage.
  • Does not self-bail.
– CHECK THE WEATHER – The weather changes all the time. Always check the forecast and prepare for the worst case. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Best Center Consoles Boats (26-40ft)

Center consoles between 26- and 40 feet in length are large enough to truly offer the best of several boating worlds. Especially in the larger examples, one may find high-performance and fishability in equal measure, for instance. And, many boats in this range not only offer an enclosed head–there is often a Spartan berth, as well. Check out these center console boats as examples of what you can expect to find in this size range. 

Regulator 30 XO

This is finely-crafted center console is an excellent example of the “crossover” sub-category of center consoles.

With its 30-foot-7-inch length and 10-foot-2-inch beam, the Regulator 30 XO offers a large working platform for casting, trolling, jigging—you name it. The forward and aft raised-deck fishing platforms on the 30XO work perfectly for plugging for stripers, hitting the inshore wrecks or working the edges of flats. The 30XO also proves a home run for family fun at the sandbar. The standard features list is greater than the options list, and that says a lot about the forethought that went into this boat. It is one of the best finished boats you will encounter.

  • Equally adroit at fishing inshore and offshore; a caster’s dream boat.
  • Super fit and finish
  • 10-rod rocket launcher at helm
  • Awkward access to the optional upper station.
  • As a crossover, it’s wider, and offers less freeboard, than dedicated “ offshore” center consoles.
  • Buyers need to really know their use profile.

Solara S-310 CW

The offset console allows for a bigger cabin aboard this unique multi-tasker,

Solara’s S-310 CW offers a unique layout that it calls a center walkaround. The idea is you get bow-to-stern fishability–down one side of the boat. The helm extends to the other side, providing two things. One, more protection from wind and weather for the aft cockpit. And, two, with the port side closed off, there is more room for a bigger cabin. This boat is highly-versatile and with its stepped hull, will run efficiency with twin 300-hp outboards.

  • Unique layout offers a center console’s advantages combined with those of a cabin boat’s. 
  • Laminar flow interrupters incorporated into hull enhance speed and efficiency.
  • Lacks the full 360-degree fishability of most center console boats.

Cobia 350 CC

Fishing and comfort features for a moderate price.

The Cobia 350 CC is a purebred “offshore” center console, with its deep-V hull moderate beam-to-length ratio and high freeboard. It can be powered by up to triple 300-hp outboards, which provides 50-plus mph speed, but also the ability to carry a load of anglers, gear and ice through rough seas for a long distance. Fishing features abound, but you will also find plenty of comfort aboard the Cobia 350 CC.

  • Deep V hull and high freeboard allow for confident operation on the ocean and running inlets.
  • Electrically-rising bow table
  • Side cockpit door is as good for boating a trophy fish as it is for easy dockside boarding.
  • Snap-edge molding, rather than hand-finished edges, gracing the bottom of consoles, cabinets and cutouts is one reason this boat costs $100,000-plus less than more expensive examples of the type.

Grady-White Canyon 386

The Canyon 386 is packed with luxury and fishability.

The Canyon 386 slides through seas with ease and keeps the crew comfortable in aggressive turns or blistering speeds on its proven SeaV2 hull. The triple Yamaha 450 XTO engines are controlled from a wide helm. Finished in black, the helm keeps down glare and enhances visibility. Grady’s trademarked AirView2 (AV2) hardtop protects four captain’s chairs, and features an electric ­sunroof and a vented integrated full-height windshield. The throttle and wheel are centered, with the Yamaha Helm Master Full Maneuverability joystick alongside. The system makes docking easier, and allows the boat to maintain position and heading while bottomfishing. It can also maintain heading while allowing the boat to drift a rip or bottom contour.

  • Patented SeaV2 hull handles seas efficiently.
  • Wide 13’2” beam provides room to seat four abreast at the helm, plus other things.
  • Standard SeaKeeper gyro stabilizer smoothes out rolling seas.
  • Yamaha makes fine outboards, but we would like to see other choices offered as well, as different buyers have access to different dealers and have different engine brand loyalty.

Best Large Center Consoles (Over 40ft)

Large center consoles burst on the boating scene in the last 10 or 12 years. These boats allow their affluent owners to have it all: the size of the boats makes for very little compromise in combining fishing features with comforts. As an example, most center console boats in this size class offer luxurious weekend accommodations, in addition to acres of 360-degree fishing and entertaining space topside. Some models are full on fishing machines, though, while others are built for nothing but luxury. Suffice to say, center consoles over 40 feet LOA often cost more than one million dollars. 

Invincible 46 Center Console

A cat-hulled center console to get you to the fish–and back–fast. 

Seeking a huge cockpit, aboard a vessel that can travel at high speed to the far offshore grounds where pelagic gamesters live? Look at the Invincible 46 Center Console. The fishing cockpit has four livewells. Our tester, Randy Vance, wryly observed: ”There are so many rod holders on the gunwales and transom, you could just about close your eyes and slip a rod butt in one.“ Its two cat hulls, powered by four big outboards, provide speed and smooth going even in rough seas.

  • Incredible amount of fishability due to wide beam
  • Yes…cats can run super-fast in big seas.
  • Beautiful build and finish.
  • Those seeking weekend accommodations in their CC probably won’t like this dedicated fish boat.

Intrepid 51 Panacea

A sport yacht with a center console layout. 

With outboard power, the Intrepid 51 Panacea is a 71-plus mph luxury dayboat in a center console format. While one can fish from it, the true reason for this boat’s existence is performance combined with luxury. Steering from a center console helm delivers a feeling of being connected to a boat like no other, since you stand on the center of the boat, and at (or near) the center of gravity. Aboard the 51 Panacea, you’ll feel this boat-as-extension-of-yourself effect to the max. And when the fishing-diving-entertaining is done topside, you can retire to the swanky cabin below. 

  • Intrepid’s stepped hull is one of the most refined and running this boat will prove that.
  • As at home fishing, as diving…or pulling up to luxury docks from Miami to Monte Carlo.
  • Opulent cabin with spacious V-berth, roomy head with shower, vanity and sink, and a fully appointed galley.
  • The large cabin and expansive seating take away fishing room, so hardcore anglers should make another choice.
– TOW LIKE A PRO – Remember to leave extra stopping room when trailering your boat. At the ramp, be considerate of others but take the time you need to launch and recover your boat safely. Always check tie-downs, safety chains, lights – and the drain plug. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Things to Consider When Buying a Center Console Boat

When buying a center console,whether large or small, there are things to consider. Here is a list of considerations I feel is important for the center console buyer. 

  • Consideration #1: What do I want to do? Fish? Dive? Entertain? Center consoles are arranged and fitted out across this spectrum of use profiles. The better you know your boating habits, the easier it is to make a selection.
  • Consideration #2: On what type of water will I boat? Certainly boat size can play into this to a degree, but more important considerations are the amount of V in the hull, how much freeboard the hull offers and what kind of power is offered. 
  • Consideration #3: Do you want to trailer the boat? Of course shorter boats trail easier. But, then again, many people tow 35-footers regularly. 
  • Consideration #4: Do you want single or twin engines? A single is less expensive to run. Twins ( or more) offer more security–though the high reliability of new engines negates fears of breakdown compared to older engines. 
  • Consideration #5: How many people will you boat with? While this is related to size, it is also related to your use. For fishing, you want more clear cockpit space per person. For entertaining, tubing, going to the sandbar,etc., you may want a seat for every crewmember.
  • Consideration #6 : Cat or monohull? Cats are smooth riding with bigger cockpits and smaller cabins for the same length. Monohull boats can ride really well also, if they are Deep Vee, and offer smaller cockpits,but larger cabins, then a catamaran. Sea trial both before making a decision.
  • Consideration #7: Safety Gear Stowage. When shopping,  subtract the space needed to store required safety gear from what’s available and make sure it still fulfills your requirements for stowing other gear. (Tackle, bait, food, ice, etc.)

Other FAQs about Center Consoles

  • What are the best center console brands and manufacturers? Well-known builders of center console boats include Bayliner,Boston Whaler, Carolina Skiff, Cobia, Contender,Fountain, Grady-White, Intrepid, Invincible, Mystic, Pursuit, Scarab, Starcraft and Yamaha.
  • What is the most affordable brand of center console boats? Carolina Skiff probably offers the least expensive center console you can buy.
  • How long do center console boats normally last? Center console boats can last many years, even decades, though the motor or engine wil likely need to be replaced in that time period.
  • What kind of engines can you have on a center console boat? Center console boats are primarily powered by outboards, but my also be powered by waterjets, sterndrives or inboards.
  • How many engines can a center console boat have? A center console may have as many as six engines.
  • How fast can most center console boats go? The top-speed of center console boats ranges from 25- or 30-mph for small, single engine models, to over 100-mph, for larger, multi engine performance models.
  • Can center console boats hold a lot of passengers? Center console boats offer lots of deck space or an active crew.
  • Do center console boats have cabins or a head? Many center consoles offer an enclosed “head” (toilet) and larger versions offer cabins with sleeping and cooking capability.
  • What is the best hull design and construction for a center console boat? There is no best hull design for a center console, or any type of boat. Different hull types thrive in different water conditions and when used for different purposes with different owner expectations.
  • What is the best kind of center console for offshore fishing? A center console optimized for offshore fishing will offer either a Deep-V monohull or a catamaran hull. It will have two or more engines to provide security should one break down. It must have a self-bailing cockpit, one that drains water overboard by gravity, without the need for pumps. An offshore boat will have a deep cockpit and high freeboard.
  • More: Boating Safety , Boats , Center Consoles , coast guard , Water Sports Foundation

Boat Test: 2024 Nuova Jolly Prince 33 CC

Boat test: 2024 starcraft svx 231 ob cc, boat test: 2024 bass cat caracal sts, boat test: 2024 regal 38 surf, i learned about boating from this: capsize, rescue and lessons learned, using hydrofoils to improve boat performance.

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