Those with sailboats are very passionate about their interest, as well as many people who just enjoy seeing, knowing about and admiring the elegance of the vessels. As such, there is a great deal of debate which constantly goes on in this exclusive community, about the best cruising sailboats. This is the question that this article seeks to delve in to and examine in more detail.
This is not a list of sailboats by rank, as everyone will have a different personal opinion on that, but most people would agree that the following boats should be included in a “best of” list.
Moore 24 – this was designed by surfer and well known Californian, George Olson. The Moore 24 was one of the very first sailboats with the “ultra light” classification (ULDB). This was one vessel that launched a movement, particularly out of Santa Cruz, where it was soon common to see fast speedsters racing around. The production ran for sixteen years, with a few still being raced to this day.
Arpege – this 30-foot sailboat was designed by Michel Dufour, as it was one of his greatest inventions. It was brought to market in 1966 and only 1500 were ever built. They were hugely prized by their owners who still talk about them to this day. Based on the spacious galley and the very large forepeak stowage, they represented a big step forward. This is the reason it is included in the list of best of these type of sailboats.
Alerion Express – this was an incredibly successful sailboat, created by Carl Schumacher. It was based on other designs which he personally admired, and was known as the gentleman’s daysailor. This was another boat that was at the beginning of a new movement in the market. It actually set off a new category of inshore cruisers.
43DS – this was designed by French naval architect Daniel Andrieu, and it was one of the first from the company, in terms of making a raised deck have a plethora of windows. It also had a huge amount of space inside which was great for those who wanted to host guests. This was produced on a mass scale, and while other companies did follow the concept, none of them was ever as successful as this.
Mason 43 – this was created and launched to the market in 1978, and it soon became a sailboat that lots of people wanted to own. It was one that could cross barriers, between those who liked traditional lines and those who wanted something to sail across the ocean in safety. The designer, Al Mason, followed this up in 1985 with some new additions to the design. However, the original iteration is still held in high regard by many enthusiasts due to the comfortable living space and the double berth cabins.
While it is a challenge to rank the best cruising sailboats, those listed above represent some of the finest ever built and brought to market. They are timeless classics.