If you plan to own a sailboat, what do you think it costs to buy one? Most sailboats are surprisingly affordable. So if you want to adopt the sailing lifestyle, you are in luck!
What is the average price of sailboats?
The average price of used sailboats is around $21,000 but new boats cost $60,000 on average and up.
The good news is most sailboats are pre-owned and affordable.
With due diligence when shopping for a sailboat, you can get pure beauties that can sail the world for less than $10,000.
When calculating the average price of sailboats, it’s always better to use the numbers from used boats. This is because pre-owned sailboats take about 80 percent of the market share.
This shows that sailboats retain their value for longer.
You will find models from the early 1960s still racing across the Pacific and Atlantic like they are new.
So what are your options? Below, we provide a comprehensive list of enduring sailboat designs.
27 Good Examples When Looking At Sailboat Prices
1) Tayana 37
Marine designer Robert Perry is arguably one of the most prolific in the boatbuilding world.
His Tayana 37 is one of the most popular production sailboats of all time with over 650 built.
The Tayana 37 features a sturdy fiberglass hull and a balsa-cored deck for smooth and comfortable circumnavigation.
It comes with a variety of customizations including different rigs, decks, accommodation and more.
However, the early boats have V-berths, a high-aspect-ration rig, and a luxurious teak-trimmed interior.
Measuring 36’8″ in length with a displacement of 24,000 pounds, the Tayana 27 is one of the best world cruisers ever made. While production stopped in 2016, you can get one for $34,000.
2) Catalina 22
Depending on the year of production, the ubiquitous Catalina 22 can go for as low as $4000 or up to $15,000 for recent models.
This trailerable sailboat was first built in 1969 and continues to enjoy popularity thanks to its family-friendliness and compact design.
With over 10,000 boats commissioned, the Catalina 22 and its successors Catalina 27 and Catalina 30 are a permanent feature at lakes, rivers, and the high seas.
Despite its size, the Catalina 22 can hold its own in rough seas thanks to the hand-laid fiberglass hull. It is spacious below deck and comes with all the facilities you need to feel at home.
Whether you are a club racer or weekend cruiser, this dependable platform offers one of the best values for money when you want to spend quality time on the water.
3) Hunter 356
Starting in 2000, Glenn Henderson’s Hunter 356 took the sailboat industry by storm.
500 boats after, the 356 is still one of the best high-performance sailboats in its class.
This boat features a solid and balanced hull, shoal draft and exceptional sailing qualities.
It has a sleek design, a clutter-free cockpit and is easy to operate.
Early production Hunter 356s are available for less than $60,000.
Hunter Marine no longer produces the 356, but the sailboat is still popular among sailors old and young.
4) Contessa 26
The compact Contessa 26 was designed by David Sadler and Jeremy Rodgers in the 1960s. It blew into the limelight when it helped Tanie Aebi complete her solo circumnavigation.
This fiberglass monohull is a sturdy and dependable vessel and around 650 are voyaging across the oceans today.
She has a low freeboard and the rudder shaft is mounted on the hull.
While you may have to bend a bit to access the cabin, there is plenty of space and amenities to deliver a home-away-from-home feel.
This is one of the most popular British sailboats and is most sought after by racers.
You can get a well-kept boat of this type for as low as $18,000.
The sister ship Contessa 32 is also a well-built model popular among sailors.
5) Island Packet 31
If you love sailing in shallow waters, the Island Packet 31 is designed for the shoal draft needed to navigate Florida waters safely.
Featuring a solid fiberglass hull, the 31 has an end-grain balsa core deck which prevents delamination and rot.
The boat is roomy, comfortable, and is designed to be simple to use and maintain.
While her seagoing credentials might not be the best, the Island Packet 31 is a vintage liveaboard yacht with all the trappings of royalty.
This boat costs about $35,000 to $50,000.
6) Bristol 40
This Ted Hood design is one of the best cruising boat designs of all time.
Featuring a narrow beam and solid hull, the Bristol 40 has a low freeboard, large overhangs, and exceptional seaworthiness.
Its long keel carries a rudder for excellent underwater tracking and stability.
The Bristol 40 has a small interior with separate cabins, sea berths, and a closed head.
This boat was produced in keel or keel/centerboard configuration and comes with the powerful Atomic 4 gas engine.
If you want a vintage racing sailboat that can deliver an impressive pace in the water, consider one of these.
The Bristol 40 was produced from 1966 to 1986 and you can get one for $29,000 to $49,000.
7) Cape Dory 30
This 30-footer introduced in 1976 is a popular sailboat for people on a budget.
It boasts a robust design with a solid single hull, balsa-cored deck and extensive bronze and teak embellishments in the interior and exterior.
Like the Bristol 40, this boat has its rudder attached to the keel for stable tracking and safety elaborate overhangs reduce the space below deck. But this tried and tested design is still ruling the waves.
For more room and improved handling, you can check out the bigger Cape Dory MK11 which comes at over $50,000.
8) Gulf 32
If you live on the West Coast of the United States, chances are you’ve seen one of these beauties.
Over 400 units of the Golf 32 were produced and the boat’s durable construction and beautiful design make it a darling of many sailors.
It features a flush cambered deck, a sweeping sheer and a low profile pilothouse which make it stand out on the water.
Specifications for the boat differ because it was built by two different boatyards. However, all Gulf 32 boats have a cavernous interior, comfortable wood finishes, and motorsailer dimensions.
Good samples of this model go for $24,000-$39,000 but check the side decks for delamination.
9) Endeavour 37
The Endeavour 37 is the successor of the successful Endeavour 32.
It is available as sloops and ketches and comes with a powerful Perkins 4-108 diesel to compensate for its heavy design.
Because of its weight, the Endeavour 37 is slow in the upwind but offers comfortable and smooth rides.
The hull is single fiberglass, and the interior comes with plenty of plywood although the craftsmanship is exceptional.
The boat could have two aft cabins with a convertible dinette forward or a single aft cabin with a V-berth forward.
It sells for $20,000-$49,000.
10) Tartan 37
The Tartan 37 is one of the three 37-footers Tartan Marine built over the years and the most popular.
This boat has a balsa-cored hull and deck and external lead ballast. The bulkheads are firmly tabbed to the deck to prevent movement.
With over 500 built, the Tartan 37 is a fast boat ideal for racing.
You can still find these boats for $23,000 upward.
11) Islander 36
As the name suggests, the Islander 36 is a 36-footer sailboat designed by the Australian Alan Gurney for Islander Yachts.
It features a skeg-mounted rudder, fin keel and has a solid fiberglass hull.
Unlike most sailboats with end-grain balsa deck, the Islander 36 uses plywood which increases weight and the chances of rot.
What the boat excels at is the interior space.
The boat’s wide beam allowed the builder to provide more accommodation unlike other boats in its category.
Over 1,000 units of this boat were built and you can buy one for $22,000 and above.
12) Hallberg-Rassy 35 Rasmus
This Olle Enderlein design features a center cockpit, a huge windscreen and a full keel for improved stability and handling.
It has all the amenities of a small home including a saloon, galley, main cabin, v-berth among others.
The sailboat has a solid fiberglass construction and rides well in choppy waters.
A 75HP Volvo Pentad MD21 diesel supplements wind power, making this boat a reliable cruiser.
The boat sells for about $30,000.
13) Dufour Arpege 30
You might not hear of this boat builder often, but it was one of the most successful in France and beyond.
The Arpege 30 sports luxurious facilities include stylish sea berths, a large galley, plenty of forepeak storage compartments among others.
This 30-footer was so popular over 1,500 were sold from 1966 onward.
If you need a classic sailboat with high-end performance and fittings, this daysailer is it. One of these beauties goes for around $18,000
14) Mason 43/44
The Taiwan-built Maison 43/44 from Al Mason is a fast, comfortable and reliable oceangoing sailboat.
These boats were first introduced as the Mason 43 and upgraded to the Mason 44 in 1985.
The boat has a full keel and a cutter rig and rides well in the wind.
There are double-berth cabins fore and aft, a galley, and everything a small family or couple needs to cross any ocean in comfort.
These beautiful boats are still found in docks all over the world and come at a robust price of over $250,000.
15) Nor’Sea 27
This 27-footer designed by Lyle Hess is one of the most affordable and ocean-capable sailboats still in production today.
Despite being compact enough to move by trailer from one boating hotspot to another, the Nor’Sea 27 can take you safely across any ocean.
Don’t be fooled by its small size, this is a solid boat that can withstand a heavy bashing at sea.
It has a lapstrake fiberglass hull, a full keel, sturdy bulwarks, and a round stern for exceptional seaworthiness.
The Nor’Sea 27 features a bow pulpit and extended anchor roller, giving it a traditional sailboat appearance.
If you need an affordable sailboat that can circumnavigate the world on its own hull, the Nor’Sea 27 is a capable cruiser that won’t hurt your purse. You can get a 1981 model for less than $30,000.
16) C&C Landfall 38
If you need a sailboat that is highly maneuverable, fast and has exceptional cruising capabilities, one of the best examples is the Landfall 38.
This boat was produced in shallow draft and deep fin configurations and later versions gained 1700 pounds in weight.
However, this didn’t dampen the boat’s performance in bluewater environments.
The Landfall 38 was one of the first boats to feature a hull and deck with end-grain balsa coring, making it light and increasing stiffness.
There is a keel-stepped mast, through-bolted deck hardware and a spade rudder which provides improved control during gales.
The interior is lavishly finished in teak and the aft cabin has a double-berth.
These boats were equipped with a venerable Yanmar diesel engine and delivers lightning-fast moves in the upwind.
This boat costs around $33,000 and the last units were built in 1987.
The Gulfstar 50, a successor to the Gulfstar 32 mentioned above is one of the most comfortable family-sized sailboats in the world.
Despite its luxurious trims and excellent performance, the 50-footer from Gulfstar Yachts is affordable considering its features.
It features a center console cockpit which provides for a spacious owners stateroom aft.
There is plenty of accommodation for a family or a small group because it was designed for charter. With its solid fiberglass hull and exquisite interior finishing, this boat continues to be one of the most preferred liveaboards for people who choose the sailing lifestyle.
A 1978 model goes for around $99,000.
17) Beneteau 423
This Groupe Finot-designed sailboat is one of the best from the French boat builder Beneteau.
It has a solid construction, exceptional pace and is easy to handle even in rough waters. The interior is clutter-free, comfortable and spacious.
Plus, the 423 is a quality boat that delivers tremendous value for money considering the pedigree and quality. You can get one for around $195,000 or less based on the year of production.
18) Alberg 30
With over 750 of this boat built over 25 years, the Alberg 30 is one of the most beloved racing sailboats.
Featuring the classy look of wooden boats, the Alberg 30 has a full keel, long overhangs, and a low freeboard.
Despite production stopping since 1984, these boats are waxing strong thanks to durable fiberglass construction and attention to detail.
The Alberg 30 is not the most accommodating by modern standards. But it has a saloon, a V-berth forward, and an enclosed head aft.
There is also a small galley to starboard, and the design is clutter-free.
If you want to own one of these legendary club racers, you will be surprised they go for as low as $10,000 to $25,000.
Because it is lightweight, you may move the Alberg 30 on a trailer with the right vehicle.
19) Peterson 44
The Peterson 44 was designed by Doug Peterson of the Jack Kelly Yachts in 1975.
This fine boat was designed for long-distance cruising and its center-cockpit style provided ample accommodation and comfort.
You can still find these beautiful boats crisscrossing the oceans and many of them have circumnavigated the earth.
The Peterson 44 featured hand-laid fiberglass matt and polyester resin roving, making it a solid and dependable cruiser.
It has a three-cabin layout with V-berths, a dinette, and an enclosed head.
The boat is powered by a 62HP Perkins 4-152 Diesel although a few with 80HP Ford Lehman’s, allowing it to dash across ports.
It is estimated that over 600 copies of the Peterson 44 were built and price ranges from around $73,500 to $230,000.
20) Hinckley Bermuda 40
Few sailboats hold their value like the Bermuda 40 from Hinckley.
This elegant and capable boat was built to exacting specifications with its yawl rig, low freeboard, and sweeping overhangs.
Most used B 40s are still in mint shape because they are serviced by the boatbuilder. So they retain most of their value even after thousands of miles of the high seas.
Despite its 40-foot length, the Bermuda 40 is limited in space which makes it ideal for couples.
It has V-berths forward which you can convert to a comfortable double bed.
There is plenty of storage space and the head has a shower and a sink.
The deck is spacious, and the boat handles nimbly even in turbulent waters.
This boat is geared towards premium sailors as even a base model from 1975 goes for about$90,000.
21) Pacific Seacraft 37
Since its introduction in 1980, the Pacific Seacraft 37 has proven to be one of the best high-performance sailboats in its class.
This boat is fast, comfortable and solidly built for safe passages across the ocean.
It was offered in cutter and yawl configurations and its traditional stern style sits atop a modern skeg rudder underbody.
This boat has accommodation for six passengers and every amenity to ensure a comfortable time on the ocean.
She is a prominent feature at the Singlehanded Pacific Yacht Race and other top sail boating events.
This boat is still in production and goes for around $136,000.
22) Gemini 3000
A successor to the Gemini 31, the 3000 is the most popular American-built cruising cat on the market.
Featuring a simple design, this highly functional cat is affordable and fast.
Despite its narrow beam, the Gemini 3000 boasts a master stateroom with a queen-size double berth forward.
There are guest staterooms aft of both hulls with two small doubles.
It has a small saloon with a collapsible table and set of two settees and a galley which convert to form a double berth.
This 30-footer can sleep three couples comfortably and will accommodate a family with several small children without issues.
The Gemini 3000 has deep pivoting centerboards for improved underwater lift and directional stability.
Geminis are unsuitable for blue water cruising because they are not designed to withstand serious bashing.
However, these cats offer an affordable ticket for a family or group of friends to enjoy coastal cruising. This boat goes for around $35,000 to $65,000.
23) Gunboat 62 (catamaran)
The Gunboat 62 from the cat builder of the same name is one of the safest offshore sailing catamarans in its class. It’s also insanely expensive!
This high-performance cat is perfect for oceanic cruises.
Its innovative design opened up plenty of space for accommodation and recreation.
It features three private cabins each with queen berths and 2 roomy heads with a separate shower in each hull.
There is a galley, a lounge, and a folding dining table and a full pantry below deck.
The starboard bow has a crew head and the port bow houses the crew quarters.
This cat comes with air conditioning, refrigerator, deep freezer and dishwasher among others.
The cockpit is lavished with teak and every part of the boat oozes luxury.
This cat carries a premium price tag of over 2 million dollars.
24) Lagoon 380 (catamaran)
Lagoon 380 is a 4 cabin sailing cat built by Jeanneau.
This cat accommodates 10 passengers and is an excellent platform for cruising across the ocean or lounging on coastal waters.
With over 500 units cruising across the world, the Lagoon 380 has won the heart of many cat sailors as a comfortable and safe platform.
This workhorse comes with an exquisitely furnished interior at an affordable price.
It might not be the fastest catamaran, but the Lagoon 380 provides all the comfort and stability you need to have fun and memorable moments on the water.
These boats go for $400,000 or more so they may still be out of reach of many sailors.
25) Catana 50 Carbon (Catamaran)
If you need a light, fast and go-anywhere cat, the Catana 50 Carbon is one of the best on the market.
Using weight-saving carbon fiber, Catana reduced the weight, turning the boat into a racy oceangoing multi-hull.
With this vessel, you get a luxurious interior, ample deck space, superior performance, and easy handling.
This boat costs a whopping $1.3 million at a base price making it a choice of select premium sailors.
26) Prout Snowgoose 37 (Catamaran)
With an estimated 500 units built, the Prout Snowgoose 37 from Prout boatyard is one of the most popular cats from the UK.
This cats feature a solid construction that allows it to sail across oceans, and many are reported to have completed circumnavigations.
The Prout 37 may not be the best looking, but it has a comfortable deck interior.
Below deck, this boat has two large double cabins aft and a full queen berth forward.
There is a saloon with a large table and wraparound settees.
It has a changing station, a full-length bookshelf and a large storage starboard hull. And the galley is well-equipped to keep a family well-fed on long voyages.
There are hundreds of Prout Snowgoose 37s plying the world’s ocean and you can own one for less than $100,000.
2 Ways To Reduce the Cost of Buying a Sailboat
There are two main ways of saving cost when buying a sailboat or any boat. They include:
1) Buying Used Boats
If you’ve followed this article this far, you notice that the most affordable boats on this list are used.
Contrary to the belief of many novice sailors, you can buy sailboats for low prices as long as you do due diligence.
Many models from the last half of the 20th century are available for less than $30,000 dollars.
Because most serious sailors are passionate about their hobby, they take exceptional care of their boats. This makes most sailboats on the market retain their value for several years.
In fact, you can get oceangoing boats of 26-32 feet in almost pristine conditions under $100,000.
The best part is most popular sailboats have a strong following worldwide and sourcing spare parts won’t be a problem.
The other way to reduce the cost of a sailboat is to partner with someone.
Partners will share the purchase cost and other expenses related to the boat. However, this is often problematic.
Sometimes, a partner will not honor their commitment when it’s time to pay.
A partner may spend more time on the boat, and this can lead to conflict over responsibilities.
If you choose this route, it’s better to partner with a family or friend. And have a contractual agreement stipulating the rights and obligations of all the parties involved in the transaction.
Considering that most used sailboats are affordable and in good condition, you can save yourself the potential problems that come with co-owning a boat.
The best way to experience the sailing life is to own your boat.
Sailboats have come a long way since they became a serious pastime for people in the early part of the last century.
Because of the quality construction of early sailboats, new sailors have myriad options to choose from without hurting their finances.
You can get a pre-owned offshore capable sailboat for less than $10,000 in many parts of the world. If you have a fat purse, you can go for newer, premium sailboats in the hundreds of thousands.
But whatever your budget and sailing dreams, there is a sailboat out there for everybody who dares to explore the oceans.
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.