Sailing cruisers are designed for the long haul, offering a vessel that is capable of day sailing, overnight cruising, and long-distance journeys. What differentiates these boats from normal sailing vessels is their wider beams and increased stability. The interior volume is also bigger, allowing for bunks and other living space necessities required for overnight travel. They also have sails and rigs that are designed to generate maximum power with easy handling for one- or two-person trips.
A sailing cruiser is a yacht designed primarily for cruising, where living accommodation and comfort are given precedence over performance and speed. They will be more comfort-focused than racing craft, they tend to be heavier and not as fast, but more comfortable to live aboard. They can range from very small, creek crawling type craft with very basic accommodation and facilities, to yachts fully kitted out for cruising round the world.
For shallow waters, bilge keeled or lifting keeled cruisers will allow you to navigate shallow waters, while a long keel or fin keel is better suited to deeper waters, will enable the boat to sail more efficiently upwind and cope better in bigger seas.
How are Sailing Cruisers built?
Sailing cruisers are typically built in a catamaran style with dual hulls and have a fiberglass exterior. Some models are made with premium marine wood for a luxurious finish, but they do require much more upkeep and have a higher price tag than many mass-produced fiberglass models. Sailing cruisers will feature shallow hulls and rigging systems that generally only use one mast, with a closed or partially open cabin on most models to offer protection from the elements.
What types of engines power Sailing Cruisers?
While most vessels primarily generate power from wind through gennakers and other rigging systems, most sailing cruisers also include their own inboard diesel engine to assist with propulsion when the wind dies down or when navigating into and out of ports. Some “performance” models are available with more powerful inboard or outboard motors, but these boats are primarily designed for cruising, not racing.
What optional equipment is available for Sailing Cruisers?
As these vessels are designed for long-term travel, there is a variety of additional equipment that can be added to enhance the journey. Generators are popular for additional power, as are head systems, premium sails and rigs, and navigation systems designed for use in the open water. Boaters will typically outfit their vessels with additional safety gear for open water cruising and satellite systems for communication, as well.