7 Bluewater Cruising Sailboats We Love

Our editorial staff selected 7 bluewater cruising sailboats from 26 to 42 feet, from all over the world. Bluewater sailing is a type of ocean cruising: it refers to long-term open sea cruising, for example, passages (ocean crossings). Bluewater sailing implies a lack of support and requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency, since you’re away from land for long periods of time. An example is crossing the Atlantic. But you can’t just stock up any boat and go at it: not all boats can handle ‘blue water’. You need a different boat type and also some add-ons. Which is your preferred among these bluewater cruising sailboats?

Cal 40

Bluewater Sailboats cal 40

Designed by Bill Lapworth and built by Jensen Marine, the Cal 40 was nothing less than revolutionary, and displaced a mere 15,000 pounds, unheard of when first launched in 1964.

Contessa 26

Bluewater Sailboats
Photo Pinterest

This cruiser was designed by David Sadler, built by J.J. Taylor & Sons of Toronto, Canada and a few other builders, and made forever famous by then 18-year-old Tania Aebi, who completed her solo circumnavigation aboard Varuna at the age of 21.

Dufour Arpège 30

Bluewater Sailboats dufour arpege 30

The Arpege 30 was introduced in 1966 and had a fairly long production run of approximately 1,500 boats. The Dufour Arpege hull is solid fiberglass and the deck may or may not have been cored.

Hinckley Bermuda 40

Bluewater Sailboats Hinckley Bermuda 40
Photo Yachtworld

This Bill Tripp-designed sailboat, produced in Maine by one of America’s greatest Builders, might just define elegance afloat. Production began in 1959 and continued into the 1990s with a few changes.

Island Packet 420

Bluewater Sailboats island packet 420
Island Packet 420

Island Packet builds distinctive, full-keel bluewater sailboats that have almost a cult following. They’re solid glass, heavy cruisers that won’t set any speed records but will get you there in safety and comfort. Designed by Bob Johnson, it is not offered as a new build anymore.

Tartan 3700

Bluewater Sailboats tartan 3700

On-deck, the 3700 features details that deliver excellent aesthetics, comfort and security. Wide side decks provide safe and secure fore and aft movement, while abundant ventilation offerings include all-opening stainless steel house side portlights, cockpit portlights, stainless steel deck hatches and 2 stainless steel dorade ventilators with stainless guards.

Westsail 32

Bluewater Sailboats westsail 32

The Westsail 32 was a production fiberglass sailboat built between the years of 1971 and 1980. Approximately 830 were built, about half of them in kit form. The “W32”, as they are often referred to, was very heavily built and has taken many people on trouble-free voyages and several circumnavigations.




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