My Top Yachts

Before long every sailor starts to dream about a long blue water adventure…and then the never ending discussions start about which is your "dream boat". Perhaps you have it already, but perhaps you are like me and have a lovely coastal cruiser, but perhaps you know in your heart that it probably is not the one to carry you across oceans, or out run a storm for days on end.

Of course if you are the next Robin Knox Johnson these matters would not concern you – but if you have spent most of your life behind a desk earning the money to even contemplate such an adventure, then you will probably need a vessel that is far tougher than you!.. and will look after you when your strength, and perhaps your nerve, are beginning to fail.

This set of pages represent my research into trying to assess which boat that may be “The One”. The one that I could afford (!), and the one that will keep me and my wife safe when we are far from a safe haven…

I have selected boats that have the following characteristics:

  • They can be bought in reasonable condition for about GBP150k (or less)
  • They are around 40ft LOA
  • They are already, or could be, cutter rigged
  • They have the load capacity for a blue water cruising
  • They could be handled by 2 people (husband and wife)
  • They score less than 1.99 on the “Capsize Ratio” see page on Ratios to see a full explanation.

There are two exceptions – I have included my current 32ft sloop (a Compromis 999) and the Discovery 55 – just for the comparison of two worthy “outliers” – both are classed as CAT A in the CE classification. The Compromis 999 I have included just because it is a great coastal cruiser – well built – and I already own it! The Discovery I have included because it is meant to be a “dream” blue water cruiser for 2 people and it is made in the UK…and it costs GBP650k !

I am in the process of redoing all this information. I hope to incorporate comparative ratios that can be used to indicate the relative merits of one boat over another in the context of blue water sailing. …your contributions are gratefully received just email me

I used two comparative ratios for my assessment – the Displacement/Length ratios and the Sail Area/Displacement Ratio. I used the sloop and cutter rigged configurations for sail area, to see the impact on these two ratios. I also used the manufacturers quoted figure for displacement and then an estimate for a “fully laden” displacement by adding 10% to represent the extra weight of equipment; spares; water; fuel; etc… needed for blue water cruising.

I have then listed all those boats that “qualify” within the optimal settings for blue water cruising as defined by leading yacht designers. Check out the sub-pages on Designers and also Ratios to see the full set of research that relates to this quest.

The summary of the results is set out below. The 4 criteria are

  • D/L (unladen)
  • D/L (cutter rigged + laden)
  • SA/D (unladen)
  • SA/D (cutter rigged + laden)

So boats that score “4 out of 4” have hit the optimal ranges for D/L and SA/D whether they are cutter rigged or not, and whether they are fully loaded or not.

4 out of 4 3 out of 4 2 out of 4

Ovni 385

Rustler 42

Bowman 42

Valiant 42

Regina 38

Oyster 406

Cambria 40
Bruckman 42
Christina 43
Moody 42 CC
Discovery 55
Nautor Swan 40
Gozzard 41
Sweden Yachts 41
Nordship 40 DS

Cabo Rico 40
Pacific Seacraft 40
Pearson 40
Najad 420
Malo 42
Jeanneau 42 CC
Southerly 42RS
Sabre 402
HR 42
Hunter 450
Saga 409
IP 420
Tartan 4100
Cambria 44
Morris 45


I will be publishing the full data on my pages “My Top Yachts” shortly….


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