August 22, 2018
How do you choose a sailing boat?
What type of sailing boat you should choose for the voyages of your dreams: Here is our advice to guide you on choosing the vessel best suited to your plans and your budget.
Band of Boats lists more than 6000 sailing boat manufacturers all over the world.
To help you find the boat in which you will sail the seas, we have compiled a dedicated "my ideal boat" section to help you find your way amongst the wide variety of designs.
Before you begin, here are some initial tips to guide your search.
Define your budget
Defining your budget will allow you to quickly evaluate the approximate size and age range of your future vessel
The smallest boats will make the joy of sailing accessible to everyone. You will find a wide choice of used sailing boats from 7 to 9 m for under €10,000.
Only you can decide on the appeal of each boat, but Band of Boats has evaluated them according to the criteria that boaters appreciate.
You will therefore find ratings for comfort, luxury, performance, and regatta potential. They will help guide your search in accordance with your budget.
Evaluate your plan
Your sailing plans will determine what qualities you are looking for in a boat.
For dropping anchor in a cove on a sunny day, you will be looking for a boat that sits low in the water and has an open cockpit. A higher boat with protected cockpit, on the other hand, will help you cope with heavy seas.
You have varied plans? No need to worry: most sailing boats have a very versatile design.
Imagine your crew
The number of crew members who will need a cabin and their expectations in terms of comfort will determine the size of vessel you need.
Small vessels still have a large capacity, but your guests will sleep in the saloon, a modular living area with banquette seating that can be converted into bunks.
A real cabin requires space, so a multi-cabin boat will be bigger or wider, or will leave less space for living areas.
What is the accessibility in terms of handling a sailing boat?
The smaller the sailing boat, the easier it is to handle, but boats with additional equipment such as bow thrusters to manoeuvre in port or sail furlers can facilitate the handling of a large boat, so you can add them to your search parameters.
If you would like to build up your confidence before trying some tacking, there are many sailing schools that offer brush-up courses. Find them in our menu of nautical services
The Catamaran, another way to sail
Multihull cruising boats offer unrivalled stability and space compared to single-hull vessels, but their width is a disadvantage with regard to access to certain ports where there is a shortage of space. You need to allow around €120,000 to start sailing in a second-hand 38-foot catamaran.
Small boat sailing: easily-accessible one-day sailing
If you see sailing as a sport first and foremost and you are ready to forget about the habitability of your boat, small boat sailing (boats that can launch from the beach or small slipways) should be of interest to you.
The sailing boats are smaller and more affordable, and after a few sailing lessons you will be able to sail at high speed, over 20 knots, with a crew of 2 or 3 in a hobie cat 18 on a budget of €2000 to €5000
Which make is dependable?
There are many boatyards and most of them produce a few dozen vessels a year. The people best placed to talk about their boats are the owners, who will know how to describe the qualities and faults they have found in their boats. For this purpose, Band of Boats has created a section dedicated to reviews and discussions about each model.
If you are looking for a sure thing, however, there are a few brands found all over Europe with a network of dealers who can advise you and service your future boat. You can find them on the map of professionals.
Let your heart decide
Your budget and your plans are quantifiable, but adopting a boat is above all an emotional choice. Sharing your plans with your friends who already sail, or those you have chosen to go with you, will be extremely helpful in finding the boat for you.