Average Cost of Buying & Owning a Sailboat (2022)

Here are the 2022 data for our research on the average cost of buying and owning a sailboat.

Examples of Popular Sailboats, and How Much They Cost

What does it cost to buy a sailboat.

The average price of a new sailboat per foot in USD:

  • under 30 ft: $2,400 per ft
  • 30 - 50 ft: $5,700 - $8,500 per ft
  • over 50 ft: $11,900 - $65,400 per ft

On average, second-hand sailboats go at 1/3 - 1/4 of the cost of a new boat:

  • under 30 ft: $815 per ft
  • 30 - 50 ft: $3,020 per ft
  • over 50 ft: $5,100 - $17,000 per ft

Price of new sailboats

I've looked at the prices of thousands of yachts (really) on one of the largest yacht marketplaces in the world (- not manually, don't worry: with the help of their search function). This is what I came up with:

Source: Yachtworld Q2 2022

The price of new sailboats ranges from roughly $1,412 - $65,433 per foot. I've used these numbers to calculate the following list:

Prices per foot in USD

Here's the detailed price per foot for all lengths from 20 to 100 feet:

Price of used sailboats

We did the same for used catamarans, comparing thousands of listings. Here are the complete data:

The price of used sailboats ranges from roughly $471-$17,044 per foot.

Prices on Craigslist

To get an average of the price of a used sailboat, I went over to Craigslist. I took the first 10 relevant search results for sailboats under, and over 30 feet.

Of course, the averages here are very speculative, as prices vary from day to day. But it gives a broad range of what to expect.

Over 50 feet, listings become meagre. I believe people tend to not place their 80-ft sailboats on Craigslist, but sell it through a broker instead.

Median Craigslist price of a used sailboat:

  • under 30 ft: $7,900
  • over 30 ft: $96,900

Average Craigslist price-per-foot of a used sailboat:

  • under 30 ft: $354 per ft
  • over 30 ft: $1,845 per ft

This is what I found on Craigslist under 30 feet:

Washington dc.

Source: Craigslist Washington DC Q2 2022

Los Angeles

Source: Craigslist Los Angeles Q2 2022

Source: Craigslist Houston Q2 2022

South Florida

Source: Craigslist Miami Q2 2022

Source: Craigslist New York Q2 2022

Here's what I found for 30 feet and up:

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cost of a 25 foot sailboat

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Average Sailboat Prices: 27 Helpful Examples (With Pictures)

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The average price of used sailboats is around $21,000, but new boats cost $60,000 on average and upwards. Some used boats can be purchased for less than $10,000, depending on their age, size, and condition. This is because pre-owned sailboats have about 80 percent of the market share.

You will find models from the early 1960s still racing across the Pacific and Atlantic like new. So what are your options?

Below, we provide a comprehensive list of enduring sailboat designs:

You can also check out our in-depth guide for more information on general boat average prices. In this guide, we have included a long list of boat types

Table of Contents

27 Good Examples When Looking At Sailboat Prices

1) tayana 37.

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 37 is one of the best world cruisers ever made. While production stopped in 2016, you can get one for $34,000 to $65,000.

2) Catalina 22

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Depending on the production year, the ubiquitous Catalina 22 can be as low as $4,000 or up to $15,000 for recent models.

This trailerable sailboat was first built in 1969 and enjoyed 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.  If you get one with a trailer, that can save you a lot of money on marina and storage fees over time.

3) Hunter 356

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Starting in 2000, Glenn Henderson’s Hunter 356 took the sailboat industry by storm.

500 boats later, 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 handle.

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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 is attached to the keel in a strong, traditional manner.

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 long-distance ocean sailors or just someone who wants a classic sailboat.

You can get a well-kept boat of this type for less than $10,000 or over $20,000.

The sister ship Contessa 32 is also a well-built model popular among sailors.

5) Island Packet 31

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

If you love sailing in shallow waters, the Island Packet 31 is designed for the shoal draft needed to safely navigate Florida waters.

Featuring a solid fiberglass hull, the 31 has an end-grain balsa core deck, which gives it a powerful and solid feeling.

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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 an attached rudder for excellent tracking and stability.

The Bristol 40 has a relatively small interior with separate cabins , sea berths, and an enclosed head.

This boat was produced in keel or keel/centerboard configuration and came with the powerful Atomic 4 gas engine.  Many have been upgraded to diesel engines.

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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 hardware in the interior and exterior.

Like the Bristol 40, this boat has its rudder attached to the keel for stable tracking and safety, but not as much overhang in the stern.  The space below the deck uses a traditional design. 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.

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 Gulf 32 were produced, and the boat’s durable construction and beautiful design make it a good fit for many sailors.

It features a flush cambered deck, a sweeping sheer, and a low profile pilothouse, making 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 to $39,000 but check the side decks for delamination.

9) Endeavour 37

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

The Endeavour 37 is the successor of the successful Endeavour 32.

It is available as a sloop and ketch and comes with a powerful Perkins 4-108 diesel to provide good power for its heavy design.

The Endeavour 37 can be slow going upwind because of its weight 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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 provide good structural strength.

With over 500 built, the Tartan 37 is a fast boat ideal for racing.

You can still find these boats for $23,000 and upward.

11) Islander 36

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 can be stronger, but it can also get wet from leaks in the deck and 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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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, and enclosed head.

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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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, and plenty of forepeak storage compartments.

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 weekend cruiser is it.

One of these beauties goes for around $18,000

14) Mason 43/44

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 sea.

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 worldwide and go for $60,00 to over $120,000.

15) Nor’Sea 27

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 featured a bowsprit and extended anchor roller, giving it a traditional sailboat appearance.

If you need an affordable sailboat that can circumnavigate the world, 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

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

If you need a highly maneuverable sailboat, fast, and has exceptional cruising capabilities, one of the best examples is the Landfall 38.

This boat was produced in the 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 are a keel-stepped mast, through-bolted deck hardware, and a spade rudder, which provides improved control and sailing performance in all weather.

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 sails upwind like a racer.

This boat costs around $33,000, and the last units were built in 1987.

17) Gulfstar 50

Gulfstar 50 is one of the most comfortable family-sized sailboats in the world.  Gulfstar also made versions from 36 feet to 60 feet.

Despite its luxurious trims and decent performance, the 50-footer from Gulfstar Yachts is affordable considering its features.

It features a center console cockpit, which provides for a spacious owner’s 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.

18) Beneteau 423

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

This Groupe Finot-designed sailboat is one of the best from the French boatbuilder Beneteau.

It has a solid construction, exceptional speed 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 less than $100,000 to around $195,000, based on the year of production and condition.

19) Alberg 30

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

With over 750 of this boat built over 25 years, the Alberg 30 is one of the most beloved cruising-racing sailboats.

Featuring the wooden boats’ classy look, the Alberg 30 has a full keel, long overhangs, and a low freeboard.

Despite production stopping since 1984, these boats are going 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 sal0on, 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. 

The price will often depend on whether the original Atomic 4 gas engine has been upgraded to a diesel engine.

20) Peterson 44

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 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 have 80HP Ford Lehman’s, allowing it to run fast under power.

It is estimated that over 600 hulls of the Peterson 44 were built, and price ranges from around $73,500 to $230,000.

21) Hinckley Bermuda 40

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 their proud owners well maintain them, many serviced by the boatbuilder.  So they retain most of their value even after thousands of miles on the high seas.

Despite its 40-foot length, the Bermuda 40 is limited in space, making 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 traditional sailors who want a top-end boat, as even a base model from 1975 goes for about$90,000.

22) Pacific Seacraft 37

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Since its introduction in 1980, the Pacific Seacraft 37 has proven to be one of the best world cruising sailboats in its class.

This boat is fast, comfortable and solidly built for safe passages across the ocean.

It was offered in the 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 new for around $450,000, so an older used model for less than $100,000 is a good deal.

23) Gemini 3000

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 with two settees and a galley, converting to 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 performance and directional stability.

Geminis are not considered suitable for bluewater 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.

24) Gunboat 62 (catamaran)

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

The Gunboat 62 from the same name’s cat builder 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, a folding dining table, and a full pantry below the 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.

25) Lagoon 380 (catamaran)

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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 many sailors’ reach.

26) Catana 50 Carbon (Catamaran)

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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.

27) Prout Snowgoose 37 (Catamaran)

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

With an estimated 500 units built, the Prout Snowgoose 37 from Prout boatyard is one of the most popular cats from the UK.

This catamaran features solid construction that allows it to sail across oceans, and many are reported to have completed circumnavigations.

The Prout 37 may not look like the newest designs, but it has a comfortable deck and 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 many novice sailors’ belief, 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.

Because most serious sailors are passionate about their hobbies, they take exceptional care of their boats. This makes most sailboats on the market retain their value for many 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.

2) Partnerships

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 can be 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 sailing life is to own your boat.

Final Words

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 early sailboats’ quality construction, 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.

However, very inexpensive used boats may need many repairs and upgrades, so it is often more inexpensive in the end, too, but a well-maintained and upgraded vessel. 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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How Much Does An Average Sailboat Cost?

cost of a sailboat

If you have ever spent a glorious afternoon on the water on a sailboat, you know what a thrill it is. Sailing represents freedom, harnessing the wind to drive you forward. It is a quiet time on the water and developing the skills to sail well can be addicting. It doesn’t matter if you want to simply go out for a few hours, enjoy an occasional overnight or weekend cruise, join the racing crowd and be in the frenetic chaos at the starting line, or dream of tropical sunsets in paradise far over the horizon. Sailing has great appeal to those romantic souls who discover its pleasures. And sailing can be a lifelong passion.

The average cost of a sailboat for sale will vary all over the board, given the many sizes, complexities, and types of sailboats out there. New or used, they can range from small, open daysailers to large catamarans that have multiple staterooms and accommodations for the entire family. Modern speedy monohulls will provide the adrenaline rush for those athletic enough to push them to their limits, while heavier, slower sailboats provide a comfortable platform to sail safely around the world, or wherever your dreams take you.

A 22-foot sailboat may be close to $30,000 brand new, yet an older model of the same boat built in the late 1970s might be purchased for $5,500 or less. A shiny new 48-foot catamaran will cost you well over $1,000,000, while a similar boat built in 2008 may be purchased for $425,000, and be better equipped. This new-versus-used situation is going to be true for all sailboats, no matter if they are monohull, catamaran, motorsailer, daysailer, or racing machine. Is it best to always buy a brand-new boat? That depends. The key is to understand that there will be additional costs that may not be obvious.

(Seen below: The Hanse 315 is an approximately 30-foot sailboat that costs between $100,000 and $150,000 when purchased new.)

hanse 30-foot sailboat

The docks at all major boat shows showcase the diverse range of sailboats to satisfy everyone’s ideas, and it is easy to fall in love with one boat after another. Sailboats are funny like that, so similar, yet so different. How to choose the right one often comes down to what one can afford. That sail away special during the show may be enough to pull out your checkbook, but there is more to it than just the sale price. There is the obvious need to keep it somewhere, insure it, and maintain it.

Relevant: Frequently Asked Questions About Owning A Sailboat

One must have realistic ideas of what they are looking for, and an experienced yacht broker will be of great value to help determine that. A broker is key to weave the person’s sailing experience with the kind of sailing they hope to do, while working within their budget. But once the basic plan is in place, it becomes a fun adventure to look and learn from as many boats as possible. Some will appeal straightaway, for any number of reasons, while others may be intimidating in terms of size, complexity, and finishes that demand expensive maintenance. Boats with highly varnished brightwork will be much more labor intensive than white fiberglass, minimal interior appointments, and just basic systems. Low maintenance boats are literally a wash and wear proposition that live just fine during the season on a mooring.

For instance, most new production boats are built to the level of completeness necessary to satisfy most buyers. It is sufficient for how most people will use it. That is smart and intentional. It makes no sense to fully outfit a sailboat to the level where it can safely cross oceans, because the builders already know few owners have that desire and doing so drives up the costs significantly. So, the manufacturers complete the boats to around 80 percent of what would be necessary for a passagemaker ready to conquer the world.

If you have long-distance cruising plans, keep that in mind.

(Seen below: This is a very interesting video from a couple that lives on their sailboat. It gives you an idea of what you 'could' equipped with.)

What new boat buyers soon learn is the extent of associated costs that necessarily increase as the boats get bigger, more complex, with more systems for comfort and ease of sail handling…all intended to provide a higher quality living aboard experience.

A partial list of such items may include :

• Diesel engine propulsion system, including transmission, shaft and seal, and propeller • Additional standing and running rigging, such as whisker pole and inner forestay • A sail inventory beyond regular sails, such as spinnakers, Code Zero, and special purpose sails • Some form of renewable anti-fouling protection for hull and propeller • Batteries, which often must be replaced every six years or so • Ground tackle, which may include electric windlass, chain/rope rode and heavier anchor(s) • Navigation electronics and autopilot • Safety gear, such as PFDs, life raft, EPIRB, flares, harnesses • Dinghy and perhaps a gas or electric outboard • Comfort appliances, such as refrigeration/freezer, air conditioning • Generator • Bow thruster • Exterior canvas for bimini and covers for sun and weather protection • Additional fenders, dock lines, shorepower cords

One will also have to put together tool bags to maintain all the above, and there needs to be storage for these and other special tools that find their way aboard. In a harsh saltwater environment, tools typically must be replaced every so many years. (Read Our 4-Part Series On Boat Tools )

On a new or almost new boat, it is generally agreed that 10 percent of the value of the boat will be needed for recurring annual maintenance costs, for things like varnish, bottom paint, zincs, cleaning supplies, fuel filters, oil, grease, and other consumables. If one can do the work themselves, it will be much cheaper than paying the going yard rates.

On an older boat, the budget for keeping things working will generally be higher, unless the boat is simple and does not have lots of winches, systems, or complexity. The gaff-rigged Tahiti ketch comes to mind, as does the Westsail 32. Once a boat reaches 10+ years, things just start to wear out, hoses get brittle, plumbing cracks, wires corrode, pumps fail, and seacocks deteriorate. While older sailboats have the obvious appeal of a low initial price, a false sense of value can be shattered when it is determined that the engine must be replaced, all the leaking ports need major work, or it’s time for a new mast and rigging. Old roller furling gear goes into the dumpster.

That romantic cutter, all covered in teak decks and gleaming brightwork will cost you thousands of dollars to maintain the varnish. Unless you want to do it yourself, of course, but most find it tedious and time consuming.

Many younger people go the old, fixer-upper route, and they figure they can make it work while learning new skills. But they are still in their prime, don’t mind a little discomfort by roughing it, and their dreams and vision cuts through the cloud of difficulties to get the boat that much closer to begin living the dream. There are scores of YouTube channels that celebrate this lifestyle theme of living the experience.

While there are compelling reasons to buy a new boat, the sweet spot for managing the cost of buying a sailboat, I believe, is to find one that is neither brand new nor very old. Searching for a boat that fits one’s needs and is under 10 years old can result in a purchase that has the best all-around value. The boat’s propulsion, plumbing, steering, and electrical components are still working, the equipment still current and good for the foreseeable future. One does not expect the same service from an autopilot that is 30 years old, assuming it even works.

Look at the popular Beneteau Oceanis series sailboats, for example. Keeping it under 10 years old, one finds a 2015 Oceanis 41 around $178,000, and a 2018 Oceanis 41.1 at $198,000. These are not bad prices for newer boats that are also well equipped. The same holds true for other main brand manufacturers, such as Jeanneau and Hanse .

Many of the classic, proven sailboats are still out there, though, and worth a look if you can find one. While the design is now 50 years old, the Valiant 40/42 remains a popular choice for cruisers. The older, original Valiant 40s come on the market for around $75,000, while the newer V42s built in Texas still hold their value about $225,000. The same is true with established designs from other top yards, such as the Swedish and English builders of Hallberg-Rassy, Malo, Rustler, and Oyster.

(Seen below: This 2000 Jeanneau 45 Sun Odyssey is a good example of a used sailboat on the brokerage market. It is listed for under $200,000.)

Jeanneau sailboat

For performance and fun, a five-year-old J/22 can be bought for $9000 and offers a lot of sailing pleasure in a small package. A 10-year-old J/105, a more capable sailboat, is right around $70,000.

Not surprising, the age of the boat has as much to do with the asking price as its condition and how well it is equipped. A 1977 Catalina 30 can be purchased for $15,000, while a five-year-newer boat is listed for $25,000. A Catalina 30 built in 1993 is asking $29,000.

Ultimately, the cost of buying a sailboat must be balanced with the value it brings. Newer boats aren’t just fresher and cleaner, they are arguably better boats, as the technology of boat building has made great strides in improving the product. Vacuum infusion is now commonplace and is far better for building a strong hull that is lighter than traditionally hand laid fiberglass, where it was difficult to control the resin to glass ratio.

Diesel engines are now much cleaner, lighter per horsepower, have better fuel economy, and overall, propulsion systems have greatly improved with electronic controls. The same is true for most other components, from appliances to steering systems. And today’s electrical systems are lightyears better than what is found in older boats. LED fixtures, lithium-ion batteries, regeneration gear, and much improved wiring practices add to the marvelous systems of today.

Across the board, hull shapes have changed, and they are more powerful, more easily driven, and the sailing systems that power them are also much improved, while being safer and easier to use. Some builders, such as Tartan Yachts, even promote that they have put the fun factor back into sailing, as their sail handling systems are a joy to use.

If you are ready to join the sailing world, find yourself an experienced broker to share your ideas and plans, and get real. Dreaming is fun but being at the helm of your own sailboat is better than any fantasy.

The world awaits. Good luck.

Enjoy these other boating and cruising articles:

  • The Unexpected Side Of An Aging Sailor
  • What Is The Safest Sailboat?
  • Is Sailing A Cheap Hobby?
  • What Are The Different Types Of Sailboats?
  • How Big Of A Sailboat Can One Person Handle?
  • What Is The Best Size Sailboat To Live On?
  • Moving From A Sailboat To A Trawler
  • Sometimes It's All About Simplicity
  • The Bucket: A True Story
  • Essential Supplies For Extended Cruising
  • The Exhausting Need To Keep Up With New Technology
  • Have A Backup Plan!
  • Northern Marine Exhaust Systems Are Better
  • Cruising Boats Come Of Age
  • Changing Rituals
  • Did Wisdom Come To The Ancient Mariner?
  • Going World Cruising? Not So Fast
  • What Engines Are In Your Boat?
  • Letting Go But Still In Control
  • Learning To Handle A New Boat
  • Improving The User Experience
  • A Paradigm Shift In Cruising
  • Consider Buddy Boating
  • A Matter Of Staying Safe While Boating
  • Should I Carry A Gun While Cruising?
  • A Boater's 3-to-5 Year Plan
  • Provisioning Your Yacht For Extended Cruising - Bahamas
  • Provisioning Your Yacht For Extended Cruising - Alaska
  • The Evolution Of The Trawler Yacht
  • Getting Ready For The Great Loop
  • A Winning Great Loop Strategy
  • Tips For Cruising South
  • The Great Loop

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Better Sailing

Best Sailboats Under 25 Feet

Best Sailboats Under 25 Feet

Love fishing, going out on open water, and love the gentle rocking of waves? Then, now is the time to think of investing in a sailboat. Sailboats are silent, eco-friendly, and a great mode of transportation for water lovers. In addition, you can choose smaller boats for family sailing excursions. 

Why Get a Sailboat Under 25 Feet?

Owning a sailboat can be amazing for those who like an adventure. Having a small sailboat for some weekend fun can be a big achievement for people who like boats, water, and adventurous outings. These sailboats are a great way to have fun on the water, but they can also often accommodate a couple or a small family for a weekend. Here are some reasons why owning a sailboat is not a bad idea:

  • Eco-friendly : Sailboats use wind energy to sail on water. This makes these boats eco-friendly because it is safer for the environment. This keeps the water clean and the marine life safe from any pollutants. The sailboats are also less noisy. 
  • Power : Modern sailboats are quite different from the older versions. These days, boats have engineer power included. Yes, most of the navigation is done manually using the sails. Still, the engine gives a certain boost to the performance. This makes sailing an easier task and also provides more enjoyment for people on board.
  • Right-of-Way : When it comes to sailboats, they do not stop easily. That means they are required to have the right-of-way while on the water. You can easily pass through the water because nobody expects the sailboat to stop.
  • Affordable:  Most sailboats in the 25-and-under feet category are affordable and much cheaper to have fun with than pretty much any other weekend vehicle. You do not have to worry about fuel expenses or anything like that and 
  • Travel : A small sailboat under 25 feet can be a great way to go through the water for those who like to travel. Those who love sailing the water’s calmness and want to drift through less traffic should invest in a beautiful sailboat. Also, you can take your family with you without having to pay for separate tickets. 
  • Variety : Lastly, you can choose from a large variety of boats. There are hundreds of types to pick from based on their size, features, and ability to sail in various water bodies. This gives you a choice based on your budget, making it a convenient mode of transportation without spending too much. 

Here Are The 5 Best Sailboats Under 25 Feet:

Catalina 22 sport.

Catalina 22 is a very popular choice for smaller sailboats that can be trailered easily. The Catalina 22 sport is the updated version that has some added features. This sailboat is perfect for the weekend sailing excursion. 

  • Retractable keel made of lead
  • Roller furling jib
  • The fractional rig has the mainsail
  • The large cabin that can sleep four people
  • Engine, cloth cushions, and swim ladders are optional

Catalina 22 Sport Sailboat

>>Also Read:  Best Sailboats Under 100k

Montgomery 17

This is another smaller pocket sailboat. This sailboat can be trailered easily when required. It is a bit stout in looks, and the entire body is made of fiberglass. 

  • The deck-stepped mast can be used with a 4-part tackle
  • The boat is about 2 feet in depth
  • Comes in 15 and 23-foot models
  • Bunk beds in the cabin
  • Has a portable toilet
  • The boat has a lot of storage space
  • DC power is optional

montgomery 17 sailboat

>>Also Read:  Best Small Sailboats To Sail Around The World

This is one of the best family vacation sailboats in a smaller size. It has an open transom cockpit, which is quite large and comfortable. This is a perfect two-person sailboat:

  • Hull and deck have laminated fiberglass
  • The centerboard can be lifted through hydraulics
  • The deck is molded as nonskid
  • Has a cuddy cabin with a bunk bed 
  • Portable toilet screened ports and an optional electrical system 

Hunter 22 Sailboat

>>Also Read: Best Small Sailboats Under 20 Feet

Norseboat 17.5

This is Canadian-made and is fit for both sailing and rowing. This is a comparatively recent addition to the sailboat market. It has an open cockpit that is enough for a two-man team.

  • The rig has a curved raff type
  • Two rowing stations
  • Carbon fiber mast
  • Fiberglass hull with ply interiors 
  • 9-foot oars as well

Norseboat 17.5 Sailboat

>>Also Read: Best Small and Trailerable Sailboats

Small Sailboat Buying Guide

Finding the right sailboat is not child’s play. These are not some simple appliances for the kitchen. Sailboats are large vehicles with many components and specifications. That is why you should pay attention to the overall features and details regarding the sailboat before. Choosing the right sailboat is about the size and the power, navigation controls, space, deck, and durability. Here are a few things that should be paid attention to when picking a sailboat for traveling:

  • Used or new : The first question you need to ask is whether to choose a new boat or a used one. New sailboats are expensive and are going to cost more than buying a used one. Also, the new ones will depreciate quickly as compared to the older boats. With new boats, you can take them to the water almost immediately. But with old ones, you will probably have to hire someone to make repairs and maybe upgrades. This will cost you some extra money too. It is always wiser to check the engine; the hull and deck should be dry and intact. Also, you should hire an experienced electrician to get the electric system upgraded. I am always a big believer in used sailboats, but you need to shop around for a good deal.
  • Small or big : Another big question that needs to be answered is whether the boat should be small or big. You can easily find smaller-sized boats under 25 feet, but also lavish 40-foot sailboats. Yes, the bigger ones do look great and enticing. But the larger the boat, the larger the expenses on it. If you are new to sailboats, then buying a smaller one is the best option. It will be easier to learn. Another thing to keep in mind is that larger boats are not that safe and beginner-friendly. It requires a lot of practice to navigate a bigger boat.
  • Ocean or lake : You should also consider where you will sail. Sailing on a calm lake is much different than sailing on an open ocean. Therefore, the boat choice should be decided based on that. You should ask whether you will sail inland or offshore. If you will sail on the ocean, then choose one sturdy and built for ocean sailing. Smaller sailboats work just fine if you plan to sail on a lake because they don’t need to be too bulky or fancy.
  • Leisure or adventure : Some people are serious sailors who like to reach the bigger waves and have an adventure on rough ocean waters. Others like to go fishing with their family on a lake. Now, the choice of sailboat should be made, considering the purpose of the sailboat. You should also consider how many people will be on board before buying a boat. Users should pick a boat that will be comfortable for everyone, especially for longer vacations. 
  • Cheap or expensive : Lastly, consider the cost of owning a sailboat. The sailboat cost is not just the buying price you need to pay. The cost of owning a sailboat will include all the upkeep, maintenance, and upgrading costs that the sailboat will incur over time. Always keep in mind the time you are planning to keep the sailboat. If the sailboat is for a shorter time, then investing too much is not smart. Also, you should be careful of the repair costs for older sailboats that need to be paid. 

Best Sailboats Under 25 Ft – Final Thoughts

Sailboats are a great way to have memorable vacations even when they are under 25 feet long. You can enjoy open waters, comfortable sailing, and some fun and quality family time on them. The best thing is that there are so many of them to choose from. Smaller sailboats are best for inland water sailing, weekend trips, and during holidays for a great fishing experience. Get ready to become a sailboat owner!


Peter is the editor of Better Sailing. He has sailed for countless hours and has maintained his own boats and sailboats for years. After years of trial and error, he decided to start this website to share the knowledge.

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Home » Blog » Buy a boat » 5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

5 best small sailboats for sailing around the world

By Author Fiona McGlynn

Posted on Last updated: April 19, 2023

sailing around the world

A small sailboat can take you big places

Small sailboats are the ticket to going cruising NOW — not when you retire, save up enough money, or find the “perfect” bluewater cruising boat. In fact, it’s the first principle in Lin and Larry Pardey’s cruising philosophy: “Go small, go simple, go now.”

Small yachts can be affordable, simple, and seaworthy . However, you won’t see many of them in today’s cruising grounds. In three years and 13,000 nautical miles of bluewater cruising, I could count the number of under 30-foot sailboats I’ve seen on one hand (all of them were skippered by people in their 20s and 30s).

Today’s anchorages are full of 40, 50, and 60-foot-plus ocean sailboats, but that’s not to say you can’t sail the world in a small sailboat. Just look at Alessandro di Benedetto who in 2010 broke the record for the smallest boat to sail around the world non-stop in his 21-foot Mini 6.5 .

So long as you don’t mind forgoing a few comforts, you can sail around the world on a small budget .

dinghy boat

What makes a good blue water sailboat

While you might not think a small sailboat is up to the task of going long distances, some of the best bluewater sailboats are under 40 feet.

However, if you’re thinking about buying a boat for offshore cruising, there are a few things to know about what makes a small boat offshore capable .

Smaller equals slower

Don’t expect to be sailing at high speeds in a pocket cruiser. Smaller displacement monohulls are always going to be slower than larger displacement monohulls (see the video below to learn why smaller boats are slower). Therefore a smaller cruiser is going to take longer on a given passage, making them more vulnerable to changes in weather.

A few feet can make a big difference over a week-long passage. On the last leg of our Pacific Ocean crossing, our 35-foot sailboat narrowly avoid a storm that our buddy boat, a 28-foot sailboat, couldn’t. Our friend was only a knot slower but it meant he had to heave to for a miserable three days.

pocket cruiser

Small but sturdy

If a pocket cruiser encounters bad weather, they will be less able to outrun or avoid it. For this reason, many of the blue water sailboats in this list are heavily built and designed to take a beating.

Yacht design has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Today, new boats are designed to be light and fast. The small sailboats in our list are 30-plus year-old designs and were built in a time when weather forecasts were less accurate and harder to come by.

Back in the day, boat were constructed with thicker fiberglass hulls than you see in modern builds. Rigs, keels, rudders, hulls and decks – everything about these small cruising sailboats was designed to stand up to strong winds and big waves. Some of the boats in this post have skeg-hung rudders and most of them are full keel boats.

The pros and cons of pocket cruiser sailboats

Pocket cruiser sailboats present certain advantages and disadvantages.

More affordable

Their smaller size makes them affordable bluewater sailboats. You can often find great deals on pocket cruisers and sometimes you can even get them for free.

You’ll also save money on retrofits and repairs because small cruising sailboats need smaller boat parts (which cost a lot less) . For example, you can get away with smaller sails, ground tackle, winches, and lighter lines than on a bigger boat.

Moorage, haul-outs, and marine services are often billed by foot of boat length . A small sailboat makes traveling the world , far more affordable!

When something major breaks (like an engine) it will be less costly to repair or replace than it would be on a bigger boat.

how to remove rusted screw

Less time consuming

Smaller boats tend to have simpler systems which means you’ll spend less time fixing and paying to maintain those systems. For example, most small yachts don’t have showers, watermakers , hot water, and electric anchor windlasses.

On the flip side, you’ll spend more time collecting water (the low-tech way) . On a small sailboat, this means bucket baths, catching fresh water in your sails, and hand-bombing your anchor. Though less convenient, this simplicity can save you years of preparation and saving to go sailing.

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll become a complete water meiser? Conserving water aboard becomes pretty important when you have to blue-jug every drop of it from town back to your boat.

Easier to sail

Lastly, smaller boats can be physically easier to sail , just think of the difference between raising a sail on a 25-foot boat versus a 50-foot boat! You can more easily single-hand or short-hand a small sailboat. For that reason, some of the best solo blue water sailboats are quite petite.

As mentioned above small boats are slow boats and will arrive in port, sometimes days (and even weeks) behind their faster counterparts on long offshore crossings.

Consider this scenario: two boats crossed the Atlantic on a 4,000 nautical mile route. The small boat averaged four miles an hour, while the big boat averaged seven miles an hour. If both started at the same time, the small boat will have completed the crossing two weeks after the larger sailboat!

Less spacious

Living on a boat can be challenging — living on a small sailboat, even more so! Small cruising boats don’t provide much in the way of living space and creature comforts.

Not only will you have to downsize when you move onto a boat  you’ll also have to get pretty creative when it comes to boat storage.

It also makes it more difficult to accommodate crew for long periods which means there are fewer people to share work and night shifts.

If you plan on sailing with your dog , it might put a small boat right out of the question (depending on the size of your four-legged crew member).

boat galley storage ideas

Less comfortable

It’s not just the living situation that is less comfortable, the sailing can be pretty uncomfortable too! Pocket cruisers tend to be a far less comfortable ride than larger boats as they are more easily tossed about in big ocean swell.

Here are our 5 favorite small blue water sailboats for sailing around the world

When we sailed across the Pacific these were some of the best small sailboats that we saw. Their owners loved them and we hope you will too!

The boats in this list are under 30 feet. If you’re looking for something slightly larger, you might want to check out our post on the best bluewater sailboats under 40 feet .

Note: Price ranges are based on SailboatListings.com and YachtWorld.com listings for Aug. 2018

Albin Vega 27($7-22K USD)

small sailboats

The Albin Vega has earned a reputation as a bluewater cruiser through adventurous sailors like Matt Rutherford, who in 2012 completed a 309-day solo nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas via Cape Horn and the Northwest Passage (see his story in the documentary Red Dot on the Ocean ). 

  • Hull Type: Long fin keel
  • Hull Material: GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:27′ 1″ / 8.25m
  • Waterline Length:23′ 0″ / 7.01m
  • Beam:8′ 1″ / 2.46m
  • Draft:3′ 8″ / 1.12m
  • Rig Type: Masthead sloop rig
  • Displacement:5,070lb / 2,300kg
  • Designer:Per Brohall
  • Builder:Albin Marine AB (Swed.)
  • Year First Built:1965
  • Year Last Built:1979
  • Number Built:3,450

Cape Dory 28 ($10-32K USD) 

small sailboat

This small cruising sailboat is cute and classic as she is rugged and roomy. With at least one known circumnavigation and plenty of shorter bluewater voyages, the Cape Dory 28 has proven herself offshore capable.

  • Hull Type: Full Keel
  • Length Overall:28′ 09″ / 8.56m
  • Waterline Length:22′ 50″ / 6.86m
  • Beam:8’ 11” / 2.72m
  • Draft:4’ 3” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type:Masthead Sloop
  • Displacement:9,300lb / 4,218kg
  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio:52
  • Displacement/Length Ratio:49
  • Designer: Carl Alberg
  • Builder: Cape Dory Yachts (USA)
  • Year First Built:1974
  • Year Last Built:1988
  • Number Built: 388

Dufour 29 ($7-23K)

small sailboat

As small bluewater sailboats go, the Dufour 29 is a lot of boat for your buck. We know of at least one that sailed across the Pacific last year. Designed as a cruiser racer she’s both fun to sail and adventure-ready. Like many Dufour sailboats from this era, she comes equipped with fiberglass molded wine bottle holders. Leave it to the French to think of everything!

  • Hull Type: Fin with skeg-hung rudder
  • Length Overall:29′ 4″ / 8.94m
  • Waterline Length:25′ 1″ / 7.64m
  • Beam:9′ 8″ / 2.95m
  • Draft:5′ 3″ / 1.60m
  • Displacement:7,250lb / 3,289kg
  • Designer:Michael Dufour
  • Builder:Dufour (France)
  • Year First Built:1975
  • Year Last Built:1984

Vancouver 28 ($15-34K)

most seaworthy small boat

A sensible small boat with a “go-anywhere” attitude, this pocket cruiser was designed with ocean sailors in mind. One of the best cruising sailboats under 40 feet, the Vancouver 28 is great sailing in a small package.

  • Hull Type:Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Length Overall: 28′ 0″ / 8.53m
  • Waterline Length:22’ 11” / 6.99m
  • Beam:8’ 8” / 2.64m
  • Draft:4’ 4” / 1.32m
  • Rig Type: Cutter rig
  • Displacement:8,960lb / 4,064 kg
  • Designer: Robert B Harris
  • Builder: Pheon Yachts Ltd. /Northshore Yachts Ltd.
  • Year First Built:1986
  • Last Year Built: 2007
  • Number Built: 67

Westsail 28 ($30-35K)

small sailboat

Described in the 1975 marketing as “a hearty little cruiser”, the Westsail 28 was designed for those who were ready to embrace the cruising life. Perfect for a solo sailor or a cozy cruising couple!

  • Hull Type: Full keel with transom hung rudder
  • Hull Material:GRP (fibreglass)
  • Length Overall:28′ 3” / 8.61m
  • Waterline Length:23’ 6” / 7.16m
  • Beam:9’ 7” / 2.92m
  • Displacement:13,500lb / 6,124kg
  • Designer: Herb David
  • Builder: Westsail Corp. (USA)
  • Number Built:78

Feeling inspired? Check out the “go small” philosophy of this 21-year-old who set sail in a CS 27.

Fiona McGlynn

Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.

Saturday 1st of September 2018

Very useful list, but incomplete - as it would necessarily be, considering the number of seaworthy smaller boats that are around.

In particular, you missed/omitted the Westerly "Centaur" and its follow-on model, the "Griffon". 26 feet LOA, bilge-keelers, weighing something over 6000 pounds, usually fitted with a diesel inboard.

OK, these are British designs, and not that common in the US, but still they do exist, they're built like tanks, and it's rumored that at least one Centaur has circumnavigated.

Friday 31st of August 2018

This is a helpful list, thank you. I don't think most people would consider a 28' boat a pocket cruiser, though!

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How Much Do Sailboats Cost 2024? The Average Prices

The cost of a sailboat can vary greatly depending on a number of features, so it’s hard to give a definitive answer without knowing requirements.

Although it’s common to think sailing’s for the rich , that isn’t always the case. In fact, you can pick up project boats for as little as $1! This is unusual though, so what can you expect to pay?

To give a rough idea, a small, basic sailboat can start at around $10,000, while high-end, luxury boats can easily exceed $1 million.

Additionally, the cost of owning and maintaining a sailboat should also be considered. This can include expenses for docking fees, insurance, repairs and upgrades, and essential sailing gear and equipment.

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

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When we bought our sailboat four years ago we had no idea if we would like living aboard or how long we would want to cruise for. We knew we wanted a boat under 40ft so we could manage it as a crew of two (or even one if needs be), but bigger than 35ft so we had enough room to live comfortably.

Because we had a very small budget we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford a sailboat that was fully fitted out and ready to go, so we had to factor in upgrades and maintenance that we would complete ourselves as and when we could afford to.

We bought our 38ft sailboat for under £30,000, which was one of the cheapest sailboats that was ‘ready to sail’ in the size and age range at the time. Just like houses, sailboats go and up and down in price based on demand, and in today’s market it is much harder to find a boat like this in that price range.

So now that you have a bit of context, let’s dive into the factors that affect the cost of a sailboat and some average prices below.

‍W hat Factors Affect The Cost Of A Sailboat?

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Before buying a sailboat you will want to consider many different factors, such as what you want your sailboat for, where you intend to sail it and how many crew you are likely to have onboard.

You will want to look at the existing equipment onboard and make a list of extras you will need to fit in order to make it meet your requirements. These extra costs can quickly add up! You should also factor in any maintenance that needs to be done before you start sailing.

Let’s take a look at some of the main factors that impact the price of a sailboat.

New or Used

This is an obvious one. Used sailboats are a lot cheaper than brand new versions. Sailboats are similar to cars and lose their value over time, no matter how much work you put into them. The most common opinion is that new sailboats lose their value on a bell curve, and you will make the most of your investment if you sell a new boat within four years.

Buying a much older boat is cheaper initially, but may cost you ten fold in maintenance and upgrades if it hasn’t been looked after well by the previous owner. You should always use a well regarded surveyor before buying a sailboat to make sure you are paying a fair price.

Larger sailboats typically cost more than smaller ones. You can buy a small used sailing dinghy for around £1000, which will be suitable for hobby sailing for a few hours on lakes or close to shore in calm weather. This is a great option if you’re keen to learn to sail on a small budget.

Here are a few price comparisons on new boats of different sizes.

Average Prices Of 22ft yachts

  • Catalina 22 Sport:  $27,000 + VAT
  • Marlow Hunter 22:  $30,000 + VAT
  • Marblehead 22:  $84,000 + VAT

Average prices of 40ft – 45ft yachts

  • Lagoon 40:  $400,000 + VAT
  • Hanse 418:  $200,000 + VAT
  • Ovni 445:  $600,000 + VAT

Monohull or Multihull

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

With two engines, two hulls and a lot more space multihulls fetch a premium. In recent years they have become more popular than ever, and therefore they are a lot more expensive both new and used than monohulls. They are also more expensive to upkeep and more expensive to run.

Well-known, high-end brands often come with a higher price tag. As you can see from the chart above, even sailboats of the same or very similar size can vary hugely in price. This is partly down to the reputation of the brand and boat manufacturer. If the boat has the reputation of being of excellent build quality then it will undoubtedly demand a higher price tag!

Additional amenities and technology can increase the cost. If you’re buying a new boat then it will likely come with all the essentials like depth souder and wind gauge (or this may be something you will need to add on as an extra). Used boats will come with whatever they come with, which may mean outdated or broken equipment, or none at all.

When we bought our used boat we drew up a spreadsheet of all the equipment we considered essential and we added missing equipment onto the cost of the sailboat, so that we knew how much extra we would have to spend after purchase.

Some things, like our sailboat watermaker , might not be essential to others but have changed our lives aboard.

Even things like our lithium marine batteries would now be on our ‘essentials’ list, as they are so power and cost effective compared to the alternatives.

⚡ We use BattleBorn batteries and recommend them highly. You can check them out here. ⚡

A used sailboat may be less expensive, but will almost certainly require more maintenance and upkeep. You can tackle a lot of boat maintenance yourself with the help of YouTube sailing channels and a decent sailboat toolkit , and this will keep costs down considerably.

‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍Overall, it is important to carefully consider all factors and do thorough research before making a purchase decision for a sailboat

The Average Cost Of A New Cruising Sailboat

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

We’ve classed a cruising boat as one you could live on comfortably as a couple, so ranging from around 38ft to 50ft.

On average, a new cruising sailboat can cost anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million . Some popular brands, such as Beneteau and Jeanneau, offer models in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.

Luxury cruising sailboats from well-known brands like Hanse or any catamarans can easily exceed $500,000.

Of course, the cost will also depend on the size and features of the boat. A smaller, basic cruising sailboat may be closer to $100,000 while larger boats with more amenities can easily surpass the million-dollar mark.

Keep in mind that these prices do not include additional expenses for maintenance and upkeep.‍‍

Here are some examples:

  • Beneteau Oceanis 40.1 : $300,000 + VAT
  • Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 : $400,000
  • Amel 50:  $1,100,000 + VAT
  • Hallberg Rassy 57:  £1,400,000  VAT

Used Cruising Sailboat Prices

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

The cost of a used cruising sailboat will depend on factors such as age, condition, and previous ownership.

A well-maintained, newer model used sailing boat can range from $50,000 to over $200,000. Older boats or those in need of repairs may be less expensive, but require more investment in upkeep and maintenance. You could pick up a used 38ft sailboat for around $40,000, though it will likely need some attention before it is ready to sail.

It is important to thoroughly inspect a used sailboat before purchasing and factor in potential repair costs. As with buying a new boat, the cost of owning and maintaining a used sailboat should also be considered. ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

Overall, the price of a used cruising sailboat can vary greatly and it is hard to give an average price, but expect to pay around $50,000 to $100,000 and then extra for maintenance.

  • Tayana 37:  $30,000-90,000
  • Moody 44:  €60,000-100,000
  • Lagoon 380:  $150,000-350,000
  • Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42:  $130,000-200,000
  • Ovni 445:  $300,000-500,000
  • Hans Christian 48:  $120,000-180,000

How Much Does A Small Sailboat Cost?

Small sailboats, also known as dinghies or day sailors, can range from around $10,000 to $50,000. This cost will depend on factors such as size, brand, and features.

Used small sailboats may be less expensive, but it is important to carefully consider the condition and potential repairs that may be needed. A well-maintained, newer model used dinghy or day sailor can range from $5,000 to $20,000. Again, small catamarans tend to be more expensive than monohulls.

In addition to the initial purchase cost, owning a small sailboat also includes expenses for storage, maintenance, and necessary gear and equipment.

  • Hobie 16:  $11,000 + VAT
  • Catalina 22 Sport:  $28,000 + VAT
  • Catalina 22:  $3,000-22,000
  • Cape Dory 25:  $2,000-10,000
  • Catalina 27:  $4,000-15,000
  • Bristol 27:  $3,000-10,000

How Do People Finance Sailboats?

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Sailboats can be a major financial investment, and many people choose to finance their purchase through a loan from a bank or other lending institution. It is important to carefully consider the terms of the loan and make sure that monthly payments fit into one’s budget.

Some boat dealers may offer financing options or payment plans. However, it is important to thoroughly research these options and compare them with outside lenders before making a decision.

In some cases, people may also use savings or sell assets in order to pay for a sailboat.

In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a sailboat, it is important to also factor in expenses for maintenance, storage, insurance, and necessary gear and equipment. Owning a sailboat can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to carefully plan for all associated costs before making a financial commitment. ‍‍‍‍‍‍

You can find out the cost of owning a sailboat before you decide to buy, and don’t forget it is possible to make money living on a sailboat to keep the kitty topped up. ‍‍

Overall, the cost of owning a sailboat varies greatly and depends on personal preferences and budget. It is important to thoroughly research all financing options and consider the ongoing expenses before committing to a purchase.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Sailboat?

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

The cost of building a sailboat can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the boat. Hiring a professional to build a custom sailboat can range from $50,000 to over $200,000.

Alternatively, some people may choose to build their own sailboat with materials and tools. This option can be less expensive, but also requires considerable time and effort. The cost of building a sailboat oneself will also depend on the materials used and any necessary equipment or hired help.

Overall, the cost of building a sailboat is quite personal based on budget, sailing needs, and willingness to DIY or hire professionals. Remember that if you choose to build the boat yourself you will need a covered space big enough to do so, and a way to transport it to water when you’re finished. All these costs can add up considerably!

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Buy A Sailboat?

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Prices can vary by region and market demand. When we were first looking for a sailboat we realised they were a lot cheaper in the US. The only problem with buying there was that we wouldn’t have been able to get a visa long enough to give us time to work on the boat before leaving the country.

Another top tip is to look for sailboats in places that are ‘jump off points’. For example, many people will cross the Atlantic and sell after achieving their dream of crossing an ocean, or reach the beginning of a daunting ocean crossing like Panama to cross the Pacific, and realise it’s something they don’t have an appetite for. There are also cheaper boats in more remote, harder to get to places.

Some people may choose to purchase their sailboat in a different country or region in order to find a lower price, but it is important to factor in any necessary transportation and import fees.

Keep an eye on prices of boats around the world to get a good idea of where you can snap up the best bargain.

Conclusion: How Much Do Sailboats Cost?

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

All in all, the cost of a sailboat can vary greatly depending on factors such as size, age, and whether it is purchased or built. It is important to thoroughly consider all financing options and ongoing expenses before making a commitment to purchase or build a sailboat.

Find out how much new sails cost as an example of something you might have to budget for when purchasing a new sailboat.

Ultimately, owning a sailboat can be a rewarding experience but careful planning is necessary for successful budgeting and enjoyment. ‍‍‍‍‍‍If you’re looking for more sailing or liveaboard tips then follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest articles.

Happy sailing!

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10 New Cruising Sailboats Under 35 Feet

  • By Cruising World Staff
  • Updated: November 3, 2020

It wasn’t so long ago that 30- to 35-foot cruising sailboats were likely to be the largest yachts found in many a harbor. And while 40-something and even 50-something footers are all the rage at boat shows today, there’s a lot to be said for setting sail on a boat big enough to carry family and friends, but still small enough to be easily maintained and handled alone from time to time. Small cruising sailboats are simple to dock or tie up to a mooring, and finding long-term marina space is easier as well.

Choosing a cruising sailboat, no matter the size, is a big decision. And it helps to have a trusted list of boats to get started. Here, then, is a look at 10 of the best daysailers , weekenders and coastal cruising sailboats under 35 feet that are all in production and can be purchased new.

Alerion Sport 30

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

A quarter-century ago, Garry Hoyt launched what would come to be known as the daysailer genre with the introduction of the Alerion Express 28, a boat designed by the late Carl Schumacher that featured a minimal interior and a large cockpit where an owner and guests could enjoy the simple joy of sailing. Traditional and lovely looking—but with a quite modern underbody and a powerful sail plan—Hoyt, ever the marketer, proclaimed the boat to be “the prettiest girl at the dance.”

Since then, a number of siblings ranging from 20 to 41 feet have been added to the Alerion family, including the Alerion Sport 30, which retains the graceful sheer line, oval ports and stylish overhangs of the original Schumacher design. Yet with input from naval architect Langan Design Partners, it also embraces a solid measure of performance-oriented DNA.

Read more about the Alerion Sport 30 »

Bavaria Cruiser 34

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

In every Boat of the Year contest, it seems, a boat rises up after sea trials to make a lasting impression on the judges. For 2018, that boat was the Bavaria Cruiser 34.

Says Boat of the Year Judge Tim Murphy, “The Bavaria was a lovely boat to sail. It has a single rudder, and she answered her helm just beautifully in the conditions we had today. We started off with around 10 knots of breeze that built to 13 to 15 knots. As a sailboat, it was just a pleasurable sailing experience, among the best we had during our judging. It was among the boats that felt like a really happy sailing experience.

Read more about the Bavaria Cruiser 34 »

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1

Sailed as part of the 2020 Boat of the Year sea trials, the 31-foot-3-inch Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 was the compact yacht best-equipped and spec’d out as a dedicated cruising boat, and not coincidentally, it was also awarded the title of Best Performance Cruiser for 2020. But don’t let her cozy interior accommodations fool you; this is also one peppy little vessel.

Read more about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 »

Dehler 34

The 2017 Boat of the Year (BOTY) contest featured a stellar crop of crossover cruiser/racers; however, when all the testing was said and done, our independent panel of judges was sold on the Dehler 34, naming it the year’s Best Performance Cruiser. Designed by the highly regarded Judel/Vrolijk naval-architecture consortium, whose reputation was fostered by longtime success in international yacht-racing circles, the 34-footer combined contemporary good looks and a sweet turn of speed with better-than-average comfort and accommodations below. It didn’t hurt that the boat, nicely equipped at $215,000, was the least-expensive entry in the entire 2017 fleet. All in all, it proved to be a winning formula.

Read more about the Dehler 34 »

Dufour Grand Large 360

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Dufour Yachts introduced its new 360 Grand Large model to CW’s Boat of the Year team in 2018 as a coastal cruiser intended for a couple or perhaps a small family. With that in mind, judge Alvah Simon found numerous clever elements to praise within the boat’s 35-foot-2-inch hull—a relatively modest LOA compared to the many 40-, 50- and 60-footers on display at the U.S. Sailboat show in Annapolis, Maryland.

Read more about the Dufour Grand Large 360 »

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

After a roughly 10-year hiatus from the U.S. marketplace, the Slovenian builder Elan is back in a big way. For the 2017 Boat of the Year contest, the company launched a pair of new boats in the States, including the Elan E4, a 34-foot-9-inch performance cruiser with an emphasis on performing, designed by renowned British naval architect Rob Humphreys. The brand has been in business for seven decades and lately is perhaps even better known in America for its skis. Not surprisingly, given its complementary product lines—lots of sailors are fine skiers—its boats are as sleek and sporty as its boards.

Read more about the Elan E4 »

Grand Soleil 34

Grand Soleil 34

Way back in the 1970s, when the well-known Italian boatyard Grand Soleil was just getting started, its first model was a Finot-designed 34-footer. With over 300 units sold, it was an instant success, and launched the company on an upward trajectory that spanned the intervening decades, mostly with an ongoing series of much larger, more complex racer/cruisers. For 2020, the builder decided to return to its roots with a completely revamped Grand Soleil 34, and it’s a terrific boat.

Read more about the Grand Soleil 34 »

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Value. How does one determine it? Price is most certainly a factor. In the case of new boats, and our Boat of the Year competition, it means something more. As sailors, we wish to recognize good boats that not only are affordable but offer other, tangible rewards. The ability to get couples and families out on the water, to have a weekend escape, to take them on coastal vacations and even maybe a sabbatical to the islands, all without breaking the bank. For 2019, the judging panel determined that one boat had the potential to do these things better than the rest, which is why they awarded the Best Value prize to the Hanse 348.

With a price tag under $200,000, during sea trials the Hanse 348 wowed the judging team from the get-go. “In only about 8 knots of breeze, we were seeing 5.7 knots upwind and pointing very nicely, and even registered 6.5 knots once we cracked off,” said Tim Murphy. “It’s a pretty sweet little boat.”

Read more about the Hanse 348 »

Italia 9.98

Italia 9.98

Of the performance cruisers that made their North American debut in 2020, in terms of sheer appearance, the futuristic 34-foot Italia 9.98 was easily the most distinctive. There are actually two versions of the boat: the 34 Club—which is the cruising alternative, the primary features of which are its twin wheels—and the 34 Fuoriserie—the racing model, and the one we tested, with its tiller steering being the identifying characteristic.

Read more about the Italia 9.98 »


Beginning with the popular little J/24 way back in 1977, J/Boats has become famous for its steady introduction of terrific racing and cruising boats, almost all of which shared one main characteristic: They sailed like a witch. More than four decades later, having built more than 50 separate, mind-boggling models, the Johnstone family that designs, markets and sells the brand shows no signs of slowing down. Their latest offering, for 2020, was another fast and fun racer/cruiser: the 32-foot-7-inch J/99.

Read more about the J/99 »

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  • Sailboat Reviews

The Catalina 25

Like most catalinas, the 25 represents good value for the money, but sailing performance and construction quality are average at best..

[Updated December 6, 2018]

catalina 25 specs

The Catalina 25 is not exceptionally fast, stylish, or spacious compared to newer widebody models, and while the construction and workmanship are adequate, they too are not exceptional. But because of the builders strict adherence to a philosophy of offering a relatively spacious design, relatively well made, at a reasonable price, and backing up the product with generally good customer service, the Catalina 25 has turned out to be one of the most successful small cruising sailboats ever built, with 5,332 boats sold between 1976 and 1990, when the company ceased producing the model as demand tailed off.

The Catalina 25 Design

During those 14 years of production, the design went through a complete metamorphosis, starting out as a very simple and inexpensive trailerable swing-keel design, and ending as a relatively sophisticated minicruiser. As vice-president and chief designer Gerry Douglas says, The last boats we built had diesel inboards, hot and cold pressure water systems, and extremely complex electrical systems. They were like little Catalina 34s. It was what people wanted in the late 1980s.

If you consider all model years, you can find Catalina 25s with five different keel configurations: cast iron swing-keel, cast iron fixed keel, cast lead wing keel, cast lead fin keel without glass jacket, and in later boats, a lead keel encased in fiberglass. In the later boats there was a choice of fin keel, wing keel, or swing keel, and standard rig or tall rig. However, the swing-keel model, with a board-up draft of 2′ 8″, accounted for well over half of total production. Most Catalina buyers over the years have been cruisers rather than performance-oriented racers, and for many cruisers, the attractiveness of a boat suitable for shoal waters and trailering is undeniable. Relatively few Catalina buyers are avid racers, it seems. If the hundred or so owners who answered our survey request are an indicator, only a small percentage rate as important either the fin keels much more efficient foil shape and lower turbulence, or the greater light-air efficiency of a two-foot longer tall rig mast that increases sail area by almost 10 percent.

As the design developed over time, features changed enough so that in a number of respects the early boats are very different than 1987 and later model years. As a consequence, its imperative for prospective buyers to know what model year theyre looking at when shopping for used boats. Prices can vary from less than $5,000 to more than $16,000, not only dependent on condition, but also model year and features.

catalina 25 hull

For example, at various times there was a choice of two different interiors: a dinette arrangement, and opposing settees. A flip-top (Catalinas version of the pop-top), which provided standing headroom, was a popular feature that was optional until 1987, at which time it became standard. In fact, in 1987 the entire boat underwent a major design change, yielding among other things a more contemporary deck and a more refined interior, with less teak and more fiberglass.

Performance and Handling of the Catalina 25

The Catalina 25, with a PHRF rating of around 228 for the standard rig or 222 for the tall rig, is not especially fast for its size. In fact, the swing-keel version, which is noticeably slower upwind than the fin-keel version, probably deserves an even higher time allowance than its been given. The fin keel is generally acknowledged to sail close to its rating, at least once the breeze pipes up to 10 knots or so. The swing keel is not as hydrodynamically sleek, and the keel lifting cable is out in the open where it causes extra drag, intensified if seaweed gets hung up on it.

The boat (especially the keel version) balances relatively well, tracks satisfactorily, and is quite maneuverable if sails are properly trimmed; it can be unforgiving if they are not. Several owners com plained to us of a heavy weather helm in a breeze.

The tall rig is a bit more tender than the standard rig, but definitely adds speed in light air. One just reefs a little earlier to maintain helm balance. But despite its virtues, the tall rig has a drawback mentioned by several owners: Unless you have a sailmaker chop off the bottom 12″ of the sail, the boom swings too low over the cockpit. This, however, may be the fault of some sailmakers; the consensus is that Catalina-supplied sails were not as well-made or well-shaped as those obtained from other sailmakers.

Under power, the Catalina 25 will make about 5- 1/2 knots with a 6-hp. outboard, and you can coax an extra 1/2 to 3/4 knot or so out of the boat with an 8- hp. or 9.9-hp. engine. (Theoretical maximum hull speed in ideal conditions is around 6.3 knots.)

The outboard is mounted on a fold-up transom bracket mounted off center to accommodate the outboard rudder. Some owners complained that the motor is difficult to raise and lower. Others observed that, in rough seas, when the boat pitches, an ordinary 20″ shaft outboard prop has a tendency to ventilate, particularly if the auxiliary is used under sail and the boat heels away from the side on which the engine is mounted. The owner consensus is that a 25″ extra long shaft largely solves that problem.

An inboard diesel engine would also solve the problem, but is not recommended; an owner of a 1986 model equipped with a 10-hp. Universal engine reports his boat is very slow under power, at least with the two-blade prop hes currently using. A three-blade prop might help, but would also significantly increase drag under sail.

Another disadvantage of the transom-mounted outboard is that its difficult for the helmsman to control. One owner who told us hed rigged remote engine controls in the cockpit said, Its the best thing weve done.

The boat needs to be reefed in 15 knots of wind (a jiffy reefing main was standard in later boats, though a roller furler for the jib was not). Above 15 knots, weather helm becomes very heavy if the main is left unreefed; one owner observed that she tends to round up in strong winds, or if heeled more than 15 degrees.

A short traveler is integrated into the stern pulpit, and although this works well while cruising, and

permits use of a bimini to protect crew from too much sun, mid-boom sheeting and a mid-cockpit traveler work better for single-handed daysailing and racing. Consequently, many owners have added the inboard traveler, some with a snap-on mainsheet block so they can switch back and forth.

A peculiarity of the design is that the distribution of the boats components evidently caused listing, in some boats to starboard, in others to port. For example, in the 1981 dinette model, owners complained that the dinette, engine, fuel tank, galley, and head were all on the port side, causing the boat to list noticeably to port. Catalina evidently took these complaints to heart, but the results were not totally effective; an owner of a 1982 model complained that batteries, holding tank, and outboard on the starboard side produced a list in that direction.

Other owner responses to our questionnaire included the following:

The absence of a bridge deck is a possible safety hazard when sailing offshore in a big following sea.

Narrow (7″ wide) sidedecks make going forward somewhat difficult. So do the 22″ high stanchions when the boat is heeled, impeding passage forward on the high side; shorter stanchions would help, but wouldnt be as safe.

The lifelines don’t lead to the top of the bow pulpit, but instead run to the deck at the bow to provide a slot for a deck-sweeping genoa. This can make the foredeck area insecure in adverse weather conditions. Bails on the top of the pulpit and pelican hooks on the lifelines would be an improvement, since it would then be possible to raise the lifelines in heavy weather or when a high-clew jib is being used.

Catalina 25 Interior

Compared to other boats available in the 1970s an early 1980s, the Catalina 25 is relatively spacious below, though some readers complained that the aft double is really only a single quarter berth and that the port side settee berth is not long enough for an adult. Newer beamier designs, of course, have the advantage of more elbow room below.

At least one owner improved sleeping accommodations by building a plywood platform which fits between the table on the port side and the settee on the starboard. The aft berth cushion, under the cockpit sole, was shortened slightly to fit on this platform. When in place, the platform results in an athwartships berth about 6′ 4″ long and 5′ 1″ wide, big enough for a double sleeping bag. When not in use, the plywood platform stows on the aft berth.

catalina 25 specs

Light and ventilation below is very adequate, as long as theres a breeze from forward. Because the forward hatch slopes down the forward edge of the cabin trunk, when open it becomes a very effective windscoop. Boats with pop-tops have additional ventilation.

The pop-top was an extra-cost option, and a very popular one. Reader praise of the pop-top is almost universal, with comments from Buyer interest is much higher on boats with pop-tops to Contrary to what some folks say, this pop-top does not leak in the rain or spray. Headroom is 6′ 4″ with the pop-top raised.

Until the 1983 model year, when the company redesigned the icebox so it would, as one owner reported, keep block ice for three days, the icebox was severely under-insulated; many owners reported that it would only hold ice for less than a day. Another complaint was that the icebox drains directly overboard, and as a consequence, if the drain is left open when the boat heels, water enters the icebox. One reader killed two birds with one stone: We keep our trash in the built-in cooler where it is out of sight, and use an Igloo cooler which is bigger and works better.

Construction of the Catalina 25

The Catalina 25 has a full fiberglass hull liner, which makes it easier to keep the boat clean but at the same time can make repairs and adding owner-installed custom components more difficult.

Several owners judged that Florida-built Catalina 25 hulls, though adequate in strength, are not as well finished as the California-built boats. And several others commented on gel coat chipping and cracking, voids, pits, and crazing, particularly in stressed areas such as at sharp changes of direction in the cockpit, and corners of hatch covers, though these problems didnt seem to be a function of builder location.

Bottom blistering seems to have been a fairly common problem on Catalina 25s when an epoxy bottom coat had not been applied under the antifouling paint to prevent water incursion. Catalina now has a 10-year no-blister warranty, but during the era of the Catalina 25, the company had a five-year warranty with gradually diminishing payments during the period. Judging from reader response to our questionnaire, some owners were not entirely satisfied with that arrangement.

In the swing-keel version, Catalina used an ordinary galvanized steel trailer winch to hoist the keel, and although there are no doubt some 20-year-old boats that still have the original winch, many owners have had to repair or replace some or all of it, particularly when the boat is sailed in saltwater.

Another problem with early swing keel models involved breaking the pennant. At the lifting point on the trailing edge of the swing-keel there is a tapped hole on a flat area into which screws a stainless steel eye. A swaged fork fits over the eye and pivots on it as the keel swings up or down. The factory fixed the eye in place with Loctite, but over the years the eye could rotate, so that the clevis pin became parallel to the keel instead of perpendicular to it. Then it would bind, and eventually end up bending and then breaking the wire at the joint of the wire and the swaged fitting. To solve the problem, Catalina came up with a device to keep the eye from rotating, but some older boats may not be retrofitted. Owners and prospective buyers of older boats should examine the swing keel to be sure the eye is solidly fixed in place.

Several owners complained that there is no mechanical lock to stop movement of the swing keel,

which even at anchor can move laterally in its trunk, banging, thumping, and making it, according to one owner, hard to sleep through the night. Catalina offers a retrofit kit to alleviate the problem, composed of nylon or neoprene washers -but according to some owners, this cure is only partially effective.

The surface of the cast iron swing keel was said by some of the performance-oriented owners to be comparatively rough as it came from the factory. They advise filling and sanding fair and smooth for better sailing speed. We would add that the keel should be checked regularly for corrosion, and an epoxy barrier coat should be maintained on the surface to prevent excessive rusting and deterioration.

Deck and cabin hardware, while generally adequate, is considered sub-par by some owners, particularly on the early models. For example, the type of closed-barrel turnbuckles Catalina used are hard to inspect without disassembly, and as a result tend to corrode internally, sometimes freezing or completely failing. Later models have the open-barrel type, which is preferable.

The forward hatch for several model years was attached with self-tapping screws rather than throughbolted, causing the hatch to become loose in some cases. By 1983, bolts had replaced the screws. Other relatively common complaints include rusty screws on deck fittings, broken boom goosenecks, insufficient bow eye backing plates, tillers splitting (on one boat the tiller split twice), and problems with rudders delaminating and splitting along the edge.

A particularly common problem noted is that rudder gudgeons and pintles break or come adrift

from the transom. The repair involves installing a handhole inspection port on the inside of the transom to gain access to the fastening bolts. One reader said his lower pintle had broken under racing conditions, but that he had cured the problem by adding a third pintle and gudgeon halfway between the top and bottom fittings.

Several other readers reported that their boats had loose gudgeon bolts, stress cracks in the transom at the gudgeon attachment points, and transom leaks. One owner reported the transom cracked below the motor bracket because of lack of reinforcement behind the bracket.

The hull-deck joint on some models used selftapping screws rather than through-bolts. Several readers experienced rain and spray leaks along the rail. Portlights also have been a source of leakage problems, as have cockpit scuppers, rudder gudgeons, and various pieces of dealer-installed deck hardware, mostly due, we guess, to inadequate bedding procedures and backup plates.

Trailering the Catalina 25

Despite the fact that a bare Catalina 25 weighs approximately 4,150 lbs., the boat plus trailer, loaded for a weeks cruise, can easily weigh over 6,000 pounds. That means its necessary to tow with a big pickup or van equipped with a towing package, and virtually eliminates prospective trailer-sailors who only have access to an ordinary passenger vehicle, no matter how powerful. (An exception: Big cars built before the advent of downsizing and integral frames. For example, one reader says he pulls his 6,000-lb. rig successfully with a 1973 Olds 98).

The Catalina 25s mast is deck-stepped on a hinge, but several readers complained that no factory method is offered to make mast-raising safer and easier. Still, some owners have devised their own systems, with which they seem to be satisfied. One who made extensive modifications figures it takes him a mere 45 to 60 minutes from the time he pulls into the parking lot at the launching ramp until hes sailing away-and only a little longer than that to reverse the procedure.

One reader pointed out that with the swing keel model the rudder is deeper than the retracted keel (unless its a folding rudder, which Catalina offered as an option in some model years), which can produce problems at the launching ramp under some conditions. Another owner feels that his fin-keel is as easy to ramp-launch as a swing keel, provided an extra-long trailer tongue extension is used. We think that might be true on some ramps, but not on others.

If youre shopping for a Catalina 25 already equipped with a trailer, check the GVWR (Gross

Vehicle Weight Rating) decal before you buy. It indicates the loaded weight of the trailer in pounds, i.e. the sum of the carrying capacity of the trailer plus the weight of the trailer itself. One reader ordered (from a Florida dealer) and paid for a trailer with a 7,000 lb. capacity rating. What he got was one rated for only 5,000 lbs. He was prompted to check the decal because, he says, The trailer looked skimpy. He weighed the combination with the boat stripped and it came to 5,620 lbs. The dealer claimed it was the same trailer they always use for this boat an the dealer passed me off to the Florida plant, who passed me off to the trailer manufacturer, who finally made good after Frank Butler got into the act-after seven months of hassling.

New or unseasoned sailors making their first or second foray into the boat-buying game may find that the Catalina 25 is an attractive choice. The boat is relatively easy to handle, can be single-handed without too much trouble, and while not fast in the racing sense, is fast enough to satisfy many cruisers. The interior is big enough for two to cruise in relative comfort, while the overall size of the boat is not daunting to most newcomers to the sport. Other advantages for new sailors are that Catalina, in most cases, does a good job with customer service, and theres a quarterly 100-page glossy publication for all Catalina owners (from 8′ Sabots to all the way to Catalina 42s) called Mainsheet which offers support and helps to keep communications open between owners.

Asking prices on used Catalina 25s range from around $4,000 for older (late 1970s) models that probably need some work, to around $16,000 for newish (late 1980s) models fully equipped and in like-new condition, probably with an inboard engine and a trailer included. A price of $7,000 to

$8,000 is typical for early to mid-1980s boats, though we noticed a wide range, presumably based on condition and accessories.

Prospective buyers should check for bottom blisters (which can be expensive to repair), evidence of problems around the keel bolts or pivot on the swing keel, rudder connection problems, cracks in turnbuckles or rigging terminals, leaks around windows and hull-deck connection, and other common (and correctable) flaws.

Also check for which of the many extra-cost options have been installed-options which many experienced sailors would say should have been standard: boom vang, genoa winches, pop-top with canvas enclosure (originally two separate options), basic electrical system with running lights and cabin lights, galley equipment, head, lifelines and stanchions, and sails. Check especially the brand of sails; many readers report that they have been dissatisfied with Catalinas own brand of sails.

Overall, we think the Catalina 25 is not fancy or fast, but is economical, a fair sailer, and roomy for its size-a good boat for non-racers who don’t have a big budget and for relatively new sailors who want to get their feet wet in the sport.



Mr Nicholson,

Thank you for the report on the Catalina “25” I’ve Been searching for an older (less expensive) under 30’ single handed sailboat for the past several months and finally today someone posted a Catalina 25’ on buy, sell, or trade in the Destin Florida area. The elder gentleman wanted to restore it but a bad hip has preventing that, so he sold it to me. I started sailing about 20 years ago with a Balboa 27’ with a swing keel (what a life saver). Lost it in the divorce. There are many sand banks and shoals here in Choctawhatchee Bay and a swing keel is what a newbie needs. I don’t think this Catalina has a swing keel, at least I don’t see the crank in the cabin. The ships dimensions in your report help immensely. I have not done an inventory yet on board (they left a lot of stuff) I hoping the main is useable and I have already inspected and cleaned the storm jib, I don’t see a Genoa (Bimini) or any other jib sail hidden away. Anyways, thanks for your report I look forward to getting it under sail.

We’ve had a 1985 Catalina 25 swing keel since 2006. I’ve sailed a lot of different boats over more than fifty years. This boat has been a good investment for fun and reliability. I’ve never reefed in the near fifteen years sailing it on the Monterey Bay. We’ve burried the rails on more than one occasion and while it does weather helm in heavy winds, it’s easily managed and I’ve never been worried about a knockdown.

Have 1985 Catalina 25 swing keel, #K4978. I don’t know if it’s the standard or tall rig. Can I tell from the HIN#?

i am new owner of a 25ft 1981 catalina and i need 1 simple measurement .. height of wing keel from the bottom of keel to the bottom of the boat as i am building a trailer to get it home with..

sorry fin keel

I am looking to buy a fixed keel Catalina 25. The keel seems short ar 4 ft when I would have expected 5 ft for a boat this size. My question is does this make the boat more tender with ballast less lower in the keel. And how does this affect performance say against the swing keel model

Did you get to sail ‘er this summer? We have a 1980 fin keel and as long as your co-captain doesn’t mind 10 to 15 degree heel, you’re not afraid to reef the main in a blow and you’re not sailing in a hurricane, you’ll find that 4 feet of keel is plenty.

Hi Peter, We’ve had our 1986 C25 SR SK for four years now. Our mooring mates have an 81 TR FK and we oftentimes run them together. While the Tall Rig makes theirs a little tender, proper trim seems to mitigate most puffs. As for our Swing Keel, typically deployed fully, we notice we cannot point as high but routinely we are keeping up around 6kts. I do notice in the SK, with the other owners aboard, that we have gain positive comments for our sails so I guess that is where you have a tough time making scientific comparisons, lots of variables. We have an even less fair comparison, a C25 Capri who has newer nicer sails and a seasoned skipper who wins most regattas and that fin easily allows him to point with a larger sail plan. The more I write, the less I think this will help you; however, for a swing keel, we’re plenty happy from a non-competitive perspective and don’t have envy/regrets when looking on those with fixed.

We have a Catalina 25 from 1983. We are in a humid area. We love the boat! Our son wants to add an air conditioner of some form to make it more tolerable to sleep on hot nights. I do not want to overwhelm the interior where I sit at the table to prepare meals and do artwork. What suggestions might you have for our situation? Thank you!

Pardon it is an 89 not an 83 Catalina !

I have a 1985 22ft and the cable for the keel broke can this be loaded onto a trailer?

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Catalina 25

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

The Catalina 25 is an American trailerable sailboat, that was designed by Frank Butler and first built in 1978. The boat was built by Catalina Yachts in the United States, between 1978 and 1994. It is the most popular sailboat in this size range ever built in the US with 5866 examples completed.

The Catalina 25 is a small recreational keelboat built predominantly of fiberglass with wood for structural support and trim. It has a masthead sloop rig, a transom-hung rudder, and a fixed fin keel, fixed winged keel, or swing keel. The fin keel model has a displacement of 4,550 lb (2,064 kg) and carries 1,900 lb (862 kg) of ballast. The wing keel version has a displacement of 4,400 lb (1,996 kg) and carries 1,750 lb (794 kg) of ballast. The swing keel version has a displacement of 4,150 lb (1,882 kg) and carries 1,500 lb (680 kg) of ballast.

The boat has a draft of 4.00 ft (1.22 m) with the standard keel fitted and 2.83 ft (0.86 m) with the optional wing keel. The swing keel version has a draft of 5.00 ft (1.52 m) with the keel extended and 2.66 ft (0.81 m) with the keel retracted into the keel slot, which allows operation in shallow water and easier ground transportation on a trailer. There is also a tall rig version with a mast about 2.00 ft (0.61 m) higher.

Internal accommodations have two layouts, one with a traditional double settee and fold-down table, and the other a "dinette" table arrangement. There is a forward "V" berth and a double berth under the cockpit. The galley is located on the port side just forward of the companionway ladder. The galley is equipped with a stove, ice box and a sink. The head is located just aft of the bow cabin and includes a sink. Cabin headroom is 66 in (170 cm).

The boat is normally fitted with an outboard motor of 4 to 9.9 hp (3 to 7 kW) for docking and maneuvering. The higher horsepower outboard is useful for motoring in a current or offshore. A few of the later models were offered with inboards.

The design has a PHRF racing average handicap of 225 and a hull speed of 6.3 kn (11.7 km/h).

Source: Wikipedia . Image Credit: Wikipedia

LOA: 25.00 ft LWL: 22.17 ft Beam: 8.00 ft Draft: 4.00 ft Displacement: 4550.00 lbs Ballast: 1900.00 lbs Hull type: Fin w/transom hung rudder Hull construction: FG Rigging type: Masthead Sloop

Catalina 25 for sale in the last 12 months

Below you'll find the latest Catalina 25 listings for the last 12 months. We compare the listing price with boats listed in the past and the color coding indicates if the price is good (green = below the average listing price) or more on the expensive side (red = seller is asking more than the average listing price).

Catalina 25 listing prices over time

Listing details.

Sail Away Blog

The Ultimate Guide: The Cost to Maintain a Sailboat Explained

Alex Morgan

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

Maintaining a sailboat involves several factors that contribute to the overall costs. Whether you own a small sailboat for recreational purposes or a larger vessel for extended cruising, understanding the various aspects of sailboat maintenance costs is crucial. Here are the factors to consider when estimating the cost of sailboat maintenance:

1. Size and Type of Sailboat: The size and type of sailboat play a significant role in determining the maintenance costs. Larger sailboats often require more expensive equipment, larger haul-out facilities, and more extensive repairs.

2. Age and Condition of Sailboat: Older sailboats may require more frequent repairs and maintenance due to wear and tear. The overall condition of the sailboat affects the costs associated with routine maintenance and necessary upgrades.

3. Location and Mooring Fees: The location of your sailboat and mooring fees can vary greatly. Marina fees can be a significant expense, especially in popular sailing destinations.

4. Insurance Costs: Insurance is necessary to protect your sailboat from potential damages. The cost of insurance depends on factors such as the sailboat’s value, coverage options, location, and your sailing experience.

5. Regular Maintenance and Upkeep: Routine maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, bottom cleaning, sail inspection, and engine servicing, are essential for the longevity of your sailboat. These costs may vary depending on the size and complexity of your vessel.

6. Marina or Boatyard Fees: Marina or boatyard fees are associated with docking your sailboat and accessing necessary facilities and services. These fees can include amenities like electricity, water, showers, and waste disposal.

7. Fuel and Docking Fees: Fuel costs and docking fees are additional expenses to consider, especially during extended cruising or traveling to different marinas.

8. Equipment and Spare Parts: Sailboats require various equipment and spare parts, including sails, rigging, navigation systems, safety equipment, and maintenance tools. These costs can add up, particularly for older sailboats.

9. Haul Out and Bottom Painting: Hauling out your sailboat for maintenance tasks such as bottom painting, inspecting and repairing the hull, and replacing zinc anodes can be a significant expense.

10. Professional Services: Hiring professional services for sailboat maintenance, repairs, and upgrades can contribute to overall costs. Services may include sail repairs, rigging inspections, engine repairs, and electrical system maintenance.

11. Winterization and Storage: Winterization costs and storage expenses should also be factored in if you live in a climate with harsh winters. Properly preparing your sailboat for winter and storing it securely ensures its longevity.

12. Unexpected Repairs: Unexpected repairs can occur at any time, and their costs can significantly impact your budget. Having a contingency fund for unexpected repairs is essential.

While sailboat maintenance costs can add up, there are ways to minimize expenses. Regularly maintaining your sailboat, performing minor repairs yourself, comparing prices for equipment and services, and being proactive in addressing maintenance issues can help reduce costs in the long run.

By considering these factors and implementing cost-saving strategies, you can estimate and manage your sailboat maintenance expenses more effectively.

Key takeaway:

  • Size and type of sailboat impact maintenance costs: The size and type of sailboat can greatly affect the cost of maintenance. Larger boats with complex systems may require more upkeep and expenses compared to smaller, simpler sailboats.
  • Location and mooring fees add to maintenance costs: The location and mooring fees for a sailboat can contribute significantly to the overall maintenance costs. It’s important to consider the expenses associated with keeping the boat in a marina or other designated areas.
  • Regular maintenance reduces long-term costs: Regular maintenance and upkeep of a sailboat can help prevent major issues and costly repairs in the future. Performing routine checks, cleaning, and servicing can extend the lifespan of the boat and save money in the long run.

Factors to Consider for Sailboat Maintenance Costs

Considering the factors that influence sailboat maintenance costs can save you from any unexpected financial waves. From the size and type of sailboat to insurance costs and regular upkeep, each aspect contributes to the overall expenditure. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a novice, understanding the impact of factors such as age, location, and professional services is essential for budgeting effectively. So, let’s dive into the depths of sailboat maintenance costs and discover what lies beneath the surface.

Size and Type of Sailboat

  • The size of your sailboat will affect the amount of maintenance required. Larger sailboats typically have more equipment and systems onboard, which can increase maintenance needs. On the other hand, smaller sailboats are generally easier and cheaper to maintain.
  • The type of sailboat you own or are interested in will also play a role in maintenance requirements. Different sailboat types have different upkeep needs. For instance, a monohull sailboat may have different maintenance demands compared to a catamaran. Consider the type of sailboat when assessing maintenance costs.

To minimize sailboat maintenance expenses, it is important to regularly clean and inspect your vessel. Regular cleaning of the hull and deck helps prevent the accumulation of algae, barnacles, and other marine growth, which can lead to costly repairs. Make sure to inspect your sailboat for any signs of damage or wear, and promptly address any issues to avoid more expensive fixes.

Age and Condition of Sailboat

When considering the age and condition of a sailboat, several factors should be kept in mind:

Hull Integrity: The hull’s age and condition are crucial. Look for damage such as cracks, blisters, or delamination, which can be costly to repair and may indicate structural problems.

Rigging: Inspect the standing and running rigging for signs of wear and damage. Check the mast, boom, and rigging components’ condition. Replace any worn or damaged parts for safe sailing.

Sails: Examine the sails for wear, tear, or UV damage. Older sails may have reduced performance and might need replacement. Consider the cost of sail repairs or replacements when evaluating overall maintenance costs.

Mechanical Systems: Assess the age and condition of the engine, plumbing, electrical systems, and other mechanical components. Older boats may require more frequent repairs or upgrades for proper functioning.

Interior and Exterior Upkeep: Evaluate the cleanliness and maintenance of the boat. Look for leaks, mold, or rot. Consider refurbishing or upgrading the amenities if needed.

Previous Maintenance: Review the sailboat’s maintenance records to understand its past care. Regular maintenance and proper upkeep significantly impact a sailboat’s longevity and cost.

By considering a sailboat’s age and condition, informed decisions about repairs, upgrades, and overall maintenance costs can be made. Ensuring the sailboat’s good condition is essential for safety and enjoyment on the water.

Location and Mooring Fees

Location and mooring fees are crucial considerations for the upkeep of a sailboat. These fees are influenced by factors such as the sailboat’s location, the popularity of the marina, and the size of the boat.

To illustrate the range of fees for different sailboat sizes at renowned marinas, refer to the table below:

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the specific marina and the amenities it provides. Additional charges may apply for services such as electricity, water, and Wi-Fi.

To make an informed decision about selecting the most suitable marina for your sailboat, conduct thorough research and compare different options in your desired location. Take into account factors such as location, mooring fees, and other relevant considerations to effectively plan and budget for sailboat maintenance.

Insurance Costs

Insurance costs play a significant role in maintaining a sailboat. Insuring your sailboat is crucial to safeguard your investment and ensure peace of mind while on the water. Various factors, including sailboat size, type, age, condition, and location, can affect the cost of insurance.

The size and type of the sailboat directly impact insurance costs. Larger sailboats , owing to their higher value and potential risks, typically come with higher insurance premiums. The type of sailboat, whether it’s a mono-hull or a catamaran , can also influence insurance expenses.

Considering the age and condition of the sailboat is crucial. Newer sailboats often have higher insurance costs due to their increased value and potential for costly repairs. Well-maintained older sailboats may attract lower insurance costs.

The sailboat’s location and mooring fees are significant factors in determining insurance costs. Insurers take into account geographical risk elements such as weather conditions and the likelihood of theft.

It is vital to note that insurance costs can vary depending on the chosen provider and coverage options. Factors such as the deductible, liability limits, and additional coverage for equipment or personal property can impact the overall insurance expenses.

To determine the specific insurance costs for your sailboat, it is recommended to contact insurance providers and request quotes based on your unique needs and sailboat details.

Regular Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential for maintaining a sailboat and preventing expensive repairs in the long term. Regularly inspect the hull and deck for damage or wear and address any issues promptly. Clean the boat regularly to remove dirt, grime, and salt deposits that can cause damage over time. Check and replace the sailboat’s lines and rigging as needed to ensure safety and proper functionality. Maintain the engine and other mechanical systems regularly by changing the oil, filters, and spark plugs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep the bilge clean and free of debris to avoid water damage and ensure proper drainage. Inspect and maintain the electrical system, including batteries, wiring, and lights. Check and maintain safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and flares, to ensure they are in working order and up to date. Regularly check and service the boat’s navigational and communication equipment, including GPS, radios, and radar. Check and maintain plumbing systems, including fresh water tanks, pumps, and faucets.

Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential to keep your sailboat in excellent condition and ensure safe and enjoyable sailing experiences. In history, sailor John Smith followed a regular maintenance and upkeep routine for his sailboat. He inspected the hull and deck for damage, taking immediate action to prevent further deterioration. Smith kept his sailboat clean, removing dirt and salt deposits. He also checked and replaced any frayed or damaged lines. Smith’s dedication to inspecting and maintaining the engine and other systems paid off, as his sailboat always performed well. By regularly checking and servicing safety equipment, navigational systems, plumbing, and electrical components, Smith ensured a safe and worry-free sailing experience. Thanks to his commitment to regular maintenance and upkeep, Smith’s sailboat remained in excellent condition and provided him with many memorable adventures at sea.

Marina or Boatyard Fees

Marina or boatyard fees play a crucial role in the upkeep of a sailboat. These fees can vary depending on the location and the range of services offered. Marinas typically charge monthly or annual fees for mooring, and the cost can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The exact amount hinges on factors such as the size and type of the sailboat.

Apart from the mooring fees, marinas may also impose charges for haul out and bottom painting . Hauling out incurs a separate fee, covering inspections, repairs, or general maintenance. Bottom painting serves as a protective measure for the hull but may necessitate an additional fee.

Sailboat owners can minimize their expenses by selecting a marina that offers competitive rates or by considering alternative mooring options like anchorages. Some owners even opt for DIY maintenance and repairs to save money.

Based on a survey, it is estimated that the average annual fee for a 30-foot sailboat is between $3,000 and $5,000 . Actual prices will depend on the location and the specific services provided.

Fuel and Docking Fees

Using a table, let’s break down the costs of fuel and docking fees for sailboat maintenance:

Docking fees for a sailboat usually range from $10 to $30 per foot per day. The cost depends on the size, type of sailboat, and location of the marina or harbor. It’s important to consider docking fees when planning for sailboat maintenance.

Fuel costs also play a significant role in sailboat maintenance. On average, sailboats use about 1 gallon of fuel per hour when the engine is in use. Fuel prices can vary, but the current average is around $4 per gallon. It’s essential to estimate fuel costs accurately by considering the duration and distance the sailboat will be using the engine.

Fact: Proper maintenance and care can optimize fuel efficiency and minimize fuel expenses for sailboats. Regular engine maintenance, hull cleaning, and propeller checks contribute to smoother sailing and reduced fuel consumption.

Equipment and Spare Parts

Equipment and spare parts play a significant role in sailboat maintenance. Conducting regular inspections and replacing these components is essential to guarantee the safety and proper functioning of the sailboat.

In this regard, the following table outlines the importance of such practices:

By considering these factors, sailors can ensure the longevity and efficiency of their vessels while enjoying a safe sailing experience.

Haul Out and Bottom Painting

The first step in sailboat maintenance is hauling out the boat. This involves removing the sailboat from the water and securing it on land or in a dry dock for easy access to the bottom of the boat for inspection and repairs.

Once hauled out, a thorough inspection of the hull and bottom is conducted. This includes checking for damage, such as cracks or blisters, and assessing the condition of the paint or antifouling coating.

If marine growth is present, it needs to be cleaned during the bottom painting process. This can be done by scrubbing or pressure washing the hull to remove algae, barnacles, and other organisms that negatively impact the boat’s performance.

If damage is found during the inspection, repairs should be carried out before starting the bottom painting. This may involve patching up cracks, filling holes, and replacing damaged parts.

Before starting the bottom painting process, the bottom of the boat needs to be properly prepared . This typically involves sanding or scraping off the old paint or antifouling coating to create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to.

Once the surface is prepared, a new coat of bottom paint or antifouling coating can be applied to prevent marine growth and keep the boat’s hull in good condition. The type of paint or coating used will depend on factors such as the boat’s material and the waters it will be sailing in.

After the paint has dried, the boat can be launched back into the water. It is important to ensure that the boat is properly aligned and balanced to ensure optimal performance.

During World War II , haul out and bottom painting played a crucial role for the military. Sailboats were used for coastal patrols, transportation, and combat. Regular haul outs and bottom painting were conducted to remove underwater obstructions and maintain smooth sailing. These maintenance efforts were vital for the safety and effectiveness of the sailboats during the war. Today, haul out and bottom painting continue to be essential for sailboat maintenance, preserving the boat’s integrity and ensuring a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience.

Professional Services

When it comes to maintaining a sailboat, it is crucial to enlist the help of professional services. These services are essential in order to keep your vessel in excellent condition . Some of the professional services to consider include:

– Inspection and Survey: Hiring a marine surveyor is highly recommended. They can identify any hidden issues or potential problems, which allows for necessary repairs or maintenance to be carried out.

– Mechanical and Electrical Services: It is important to rely on professional technicians for tasks such as engine servicing, electrical wiring, and system troubleshooting.

– Yacht Management: If you lack the time or expertise, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a yacht management company. They can oversee the maintenance of your vessel, from routine checks to coordinating repairs.

– Sail and Rigging Services: Opting for professional services in this area can greatly benefit you. They can assist with sail repairs, replacements, and tuning, ensuring optimal performance and safety.

– Painting and Refinishing: For hull painting, varnishing, and fiberglass repairs, it is best to trust professional painters and refinishers.

– Navigation and Electronics: When it comes to installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of navigation systems and electronic equipment, professional services are highly recommended.

In order to keep costs down, it is worth considering the following tips:

– Regular Maintenance: Stay on top of routine tasks to catch any issues early on and avoid costly repairs.

– Learning DIY Skills: By developing basic DIY skills, you can handle some maintenance tasks independently and reduce the need for professional services.

– Comparing Quotes: Gathering quotes from different providers allows you to get the best value for your money.

– Preventive Measures: Taking proactive steps, such as using covers or investing in protective equipment, can help prevent common issues and minimize wear and tear.

Winterization and Storage

Winterization and storage are vital aspects of sailboat maintenance. When it comes to the winter months, it is crucial to winterize and store the boat correctly to safeguard it from harsh weather conditions. This process typically includes draining the water systems, adding antifreeze , and securing the equipment.

The cost of winterization and storage may vary depending on the size and type of the sailboat. On average, it ranges from 1% to 3% of the boat’s value. To give an example, if your sailboat is valued at $100,000 , you should anticipate spending around $1,000 to $3,000 . If you possess the necessary skills and equipment, you can minimize costs by considering storing the boat in a do-it-yourself facility.

Properly maintaining the sailboat throughout the year can contribute to reducing the risk of damage during the winter and potentially decrease storage expenses. It is important to regularly inspect and clean the boat to promptly address any maintenance issues.

By adhering to these recommendations and properly winterizing and storing the sailboat, you can preserve its condition and minimize maintenance costs in the long run.

Unexpected Repairs

Unexpected repairs can happen anytime and can be costly. Common issues include engine problems, rigging problems, and hull damage. The cost of unexpected repairs can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the required parts or labor. It is crucial to have savings or insurance coverage to handle these unexpected costs. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent unexpected repairs by identifying potential issues early on.

David , a sailor, embarked on a solo ocean voyage. He prepared his sailboat carefully and performed regular maintenance tasks. During his journey, he encountered a severe storm that damaged his rigging, resulting in unexpected repairs . With no other boats nearby, David used his sailing skills to navigate to safety. Once he reached land, he immediately sought a professional sailor’s assessment of the unexpected repairs. The unexpected repairs turned out to be expensive . Fortunately, David had prepared financially for such unforeseen circumstances and had enough savings to cover the costs. This experience taught him the valuable lesson of being financially prepared for unexpected repairs while sailing.

Tips for Minimizing Sailboat Maintenance Costs

When it comes to minimizing sailboat maintenance costs, there are several tips that can help you save money in the long run.

  • Regular cleaning: Clean your sailboat regularly to prevent damage from dirt, salt, and other substances.
  • Perform routine inspections: Check for wear and tear, cracks, leaks, and loose fittings, and address them promptly.
  • Proper storage: Store your sailboat properly when not in use to protect it from the elements. Consider using a boat cover or finding secure storage.
  • Regular maintenance: Keep up with oil changes, filter replacements, and sail inspections to prevent costly repairs.
  • Do-it-yourself projects: Take on small repair tasks to save money on labor costs, but seek professional help for complex issues.

Pro-tip: Attend workshops or join sailing communities to educate yourself about sailboat maintenance and acquire basic repair and maintenance skills. This will help you save money and better understand your sailboat’s needs.

Some Facts About How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Sailboat:

  • ✅ The average annual maintenance cost of sailboats is between $2,000 to $3,000. (Source: improvesailing.com)
  • ✅ Larger boats can cost up to $7,000 per year for maintenance, including docking and insurance fees. (Source: improvesailing.com)
  • ✅ It is possible to maintain a boat for just $1,000 per year if on a budget. (Source: improvesailing.com)
  • ✅ Seasonal maintenance tasks include winterizing, costing around $500 to $1,000, and winter storage at an average price of $50 per foot. (Source: improvesailing.com)
  • ✅ Incidental maintenance costs may include hull repairs, electronics updates, sailboat mast replacement, and keel repairs. (Source: improvesailing.com)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how much does it cost to maintain a sailboat on a month-to-month basis.

Living on a sailboat can have varying costs, with some people spending less than $1,000 a month and others spending upwards of $10,000. The average cost of living on a sailboat is around $2,424 per month. The biggest expense is sailboat maintenance, which can cost around $1,006 per month.

2. What are some specific maintenance costs for a sailboat?

Specific maintenance costs for sailboats include regular expenses such as hull and engine repair, as well as potential costs for replacing rigging, sails, deck hardware, and safety equipment. The frequency and cost of these maintenance tasks will depend on factors such as boat usage and age.

3. How much does it cost to replace rigging on a sailboat?

The cost of replacing rigging on a sailboat can vary depending on the size of the boat and the type of rigging required. On average, replacing standing rigging every 10 years can cost around $4,000, while replacing running rigging every 5-10 years can cost around $5,000.

4. What are the options for sailboat owners when it comes to paying taxes?

Sailboat owners typically need to pay taxes on their boats, and the specific amounts will vary by state and country. Taxes are usually calculated based on the purchase price of the boat and can range from 4-10%. Boat owners should check with their local tax authorities for more information on tax obligations.

5. What are the average sailboat maintenance costs?

The average annual maintenance cost of sailboats is between $2,000 – $3,000, but larger boats can cost up to $7,000 due to other recurring costs like docking and insurance fees. It really depends on the type of boat and its usage. For those on a budget, it is possible to maintain a boat for just $1,000 per year.

6. How can sailboat owners save on maintenance costs?

Sailboat owners can save on maintenance costs by doing as much maintenance as possible themselves, learning DIY skills, and avoiding costly gear failures. Being in a country with lower labor costs and properly maintaining the boat can help avoid expensive repairs. Regular inspections and addressing smaller issues promptly can also prevent more severe damage and costly repairs in the long run.

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Baltimore bridge collapse wasn't first major accident for giant container ship Dali

Propulsion failed on the cargo ship that struck the Francis Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday as it was leaving port, causing it to collapse into the frigid Patapsco River. Its crew warned Maryland officials of a possible collision because they had lost control.

“The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel” and a collision with the bridge “was possible,” according to an unclassified Department of Homeland Security report. “The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.”

An official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed to USA TODAY that the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is working with federal, state, and local officials “to understand the potential impacts of this morning’s collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.”

Clay Diamond, executive director, American Pilots’ Association, told USA TODAY power issues are not unusual on cargo ships, which are so large they cannot easily course correct.

“It’s likely that virtually every pilot in the country has experienced a power loss of some kind (but) it generally is momentary,” Diamond said. “This was a complete blackout of all the power on the ship, so that’s unusual. Of course this happened at the worst possible location.” 

The ship in Tuesday's crash, Dali, was involved in at least one prior accident when it collided with a shipping pier in Belgium.

That 2016 incident occurred as the Dali was leaving port in Antwerp and struck a loading pier made of stone, causing damage to the ship’s stern, according to VesselFinder.com, a site that tracks ships across the world. An investigation determined a mistake made by the ship’s master and pilot was to blame.

No one was injured in that crash, although the ship required repair and a full inspection before being returned to service. The pier – or berth – was also seriously damaged and had to be closed.

VesselFinder reports that the Dali was chartered by Maersk, the same company chartering it during the Baltimore harbor incident.

The 9-year-old container ship had passed previous inspections during its time at sea, but during one such inspection in June at the Port of San Antonio in Chile, officials discovered a deficiency with its "propulsion and auxiliary machinery (gauges, thermometers, etc)," according to the Tokyo MOU, an intergovernmental maritime authority in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report provided no other information about the deficiency except to note that it was not serious enough to remove the ship from service.

Follow here for live updates: Baltimore's Key Bridge collapses after ship strike; construction crew missing: Live Updates

Why did Dali crash into the Baltimore bridge?

Officials said Tuesday they’re investigating the collision, including whether systems on board lost electricity early Tuesday morning, which could be related to mechanical failure, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Accidents at sea, known as marine casualties, are not uncommon, the source told USA TODAY. However, “allisions,” in which a moving object strikes a stationary one with catastrophic results, are far less common. The investigation of the power loss aboard the Dali, a Singapore-flagged vessel, will be a high priority.

In a video posted to social media, lights on the Dali shut off, then turned back on, then shut off again before the ship struck a support pier on the bridge.

Numerous cargo and cruise ships have lost power over the years.

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea requires all international vessels to have two independent sources of electricity, both of which should be able to maintain the ship's seaworthiness on their own, according to a safety study about power failures on ships , citing the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

The Dali's emergency generator was likely responsible for the lights coming back on after the initial blackout, Diamond said.

“There was still some steerage left when they initially lost power,” he said. “We’ve been told the ship never recovered propulsion. The emergency generator is a diesel itself – so if you light off the generator, that’s also going to put off a puff of exhaust.”

Under maritime law, all foreign flagged vessels must be piloted into state ports by a state licensed pilot so the Dali's pilot is licensed by Association of Maryland Pilots .

Diamond described the incident based on information from the Maryland agency that licensed the pilot aboard the ship. His organization represents that group and all other state piloting agencies in the US.

“The pilot was directing navigation of the ship as it happened,” he said. “He asked the captain to get the engines back online. They weren’t able to do that, so the pilot took all the action he could. He tried to steer, to keep the ship in the channel. He also dropped the ship’s anchor to slow the ship and guide the direction.

“Neither one was enough. The ship never did regain its engine power.”

How big is the Dali ship?

The Dali is a 984-foot container vessel built in 2015 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. With a cruising speed of about 22 knots – roughly 25 mph. It has traveled the world carrying goods from port to port.

The ship, constructed of high-strength steel, has one engine and one propeller, according to MarineTraffic.com.

The Dali arrived in Baltimore on Sunday from the Port of Norfolk in Virginia. Before that, it had been in New York and came through the Panama Canal.

It remains at the scene of the collapse as authorities investigate.

Who owns and operates the Dali?

It is owned by the Singapore-based Grace Ocean Pte Ltd but managed by Synergy Marine Group, also based in Singapore. It was carrying Maersk customers’ cargo, according to a statement from the shipping company.

“We are deeply concerned by this incident and are closely monitoring the situation,” Maersk said in the statement. 

Synergy, which describes itself as a leading ship manager with more than 600 vessels under its guidance, issued a statement on its website acknowledging the incident and reporting no injuries among its crew and no pollution in the water. There were two pilots on board and 22 crew members in all, according to Synergy, all of them from India.

USA TODAY reached out to Synergy on Tuesday, but the company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Contributing: Josh Susong

Here's who could be responsible for paying for the Baltimore bridge disaster

  • The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship collided with it.
  • Several entities could be on the hook to foot the bill in the aftermath of the disaster.
  • The maritime insurance industry will likely be saddled with the highest costs. 

Insider Today

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed on Tuesday after a large container ship ran into it, leading to six presumed deaths and millions of dollars in possible damage.

It's still too early to estimate the total economic impact of the disaster, but between the cost of rebuilding the decades-old bridge, compensating the victims' families , and paying out damages for disruptions to the supply chain, the eventual cost of the disaster is expected to be significant.

Who will pay to rebuild the bridge?

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the federal government should be responsible for paying to reconstruct the damaged Francis Scott Key Bridge.

"It is my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect Congress to support my effort," Biden said.

The bridge was built in the 1970s for about $60 million, but the cost of rebuilding it could be 10 times its original price tag, an engineering expert told Sky News. 

Baltimore is among the busiest ports in the nation , with more than a million shipping containers passing through each year. The collapse — which closed the port to all maritime and most road traffic until further notice — is already beginning to wreak havoc on the supply chain.

The cost of building the bridge back fast enough to offset diversions as much as possible could saddle the government with a more than $600 million bill, David MacKenzie, the chair of the engineering and architecture consultancy COWIfonden, told Sky News.

Who will pay for damages to the ship and its cargo?

The container ship, the Dali , is owned by a Singapore-based firm. The ship's charterer, Maersk, confirmed to Business Insider that vessel company Synergy Group operates the ship. 

However, the companies with cargo aboard the Dali could ultimately be responsible for some of the ship's damages and cargo costs, according to Ryan Petersen , the CEO of the supply-chain-logistics company Flexport, which had two containers on the ship.

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The Dali was carrying 330 containers that must now be rerouted, Petersen said in an X thread.

An ancient maritime law known as " general average " dictates that companies with even a single container aboard a ship split certain damages pro rata based on the number of containers they had on board, ensuring all the stakeholders benefiting from the voyage are splitting the risk, Petersen said.

General average situations can occur when a ship is stranded or when cargo is damaged or thrown overboard to save the vessel, according to Flexport . The concept helps ensure that all parties who have a vested interest in the vessel share the cost and concern of protecting it.

It's too soon to know whether damages incurred to free the Dali in the coming days will qualify as a case of general average.

Who will pay for everything else?

The majority of the financial fallout is likely to lay primarily with the insurance industry, according to media reports.

Industry experts told the Financial Times that insurers could pay out losses for bridge damage, port disruption, and any loss of life.

The collapse could drive "one of the largest claims ever to hit the marine (re)insurance market," John Miklus, the president of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters, told Insurance Business.

He told the outlet that the loss of revenue from tolls while the bridge is being rebuilt will be expensive, as will any liability claims from deaths or injuries.

The Dali is covered by the Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Ltd., known as Britannia P&I Club, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In a statement to Business Insider, Britannia said it was "working closely with the ship manager and relevant authorities to establish the facts and to help ensure that this situation is dealt with quickly and professionally."

Britannia is one of 12 mutual insurers included in the International Group of P&I Clubs, which maintains more than $3 billion of reinsurance cover, sources familiar with the matter told Insurance Business.

Britannia itself is liable for the first $10 million in damages, both FT and Insurance Business reported. Whatever remains is dealt with by the wider mutual insurance group and Lloyd's of London, a reinsurance market in the UK, the FT reported.

Update: March 28, 2024 — This story has been updated to include additional information about general average and clarify that it is too soon to know whether general average will apply in the case of the Dali.

Watch: The container ship that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge has crashed before

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Baltimore bridge collapse: What happened and what is the death toll?

What is the death toll, when did the baltimore bridge collapse, why did the bridge collapse, who will pay for the damage and how much will the bridge cost.

NTSB investigators work on the cargo vessel Dali, which struck and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Baltimore


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The 1.6-mile (2.57 km) long Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland collapsed into the water overnight after a cargo ship collided with it on March 26.


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Transport a Sailboat - Costs & How To Ship

Transport a Sailboat: Costs & How To Guide | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Sailboat transport is an essential and very well-established boating service with numerous options.

Sailboats can be transported by single-axle trailers, multi-axle trailers, cargo ships, and occasionally trains. Sailboats can also be transported across an ocean on their own with the help of a hired captain and crew. Costs vary widely based on size and type, and they range from $200 to more than $15,000.

In this article, we’ll cover several of the most common sailboat transportation methods. We’ll cover the details and requirements of each method, along with the required method by sailboat size and type. Additionally, we’ll explore the average costs of each method for a typical production cruising sailboat.

We sourced the information used in this article from sailboat transport agencies along with government towing and transportation guides. We carefully researched pricing to help you get a basic idea of what it’ll cost to transport a sailboat.

Table of contents

‍ Is Transporting a Sailboat Difficult?

It’s not necessarily difficult to transport a sailboat, but it does require care and careful planning. Your responsibilities as the sailboat owner range from trailer maintenance and careful driving to the organization of international logistics. In this article, we’ll discuss ways to streamline the process and make it easier.

Is Sailboat Transport Expensive?

Sailboat transport can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Obviously, moving a small sailboat is relatively cheap in comparison, especially if you already have a truck and a trailer.

The cost of transporting a larger boat is higher, as you’ll probably need to hire a shipping company or a crew.

There are multiple ways to transport a large sailboat, and the more economical method isn’t always immediately evident. Some boats may be cheaper to ship on a specially-designed yacht carrying vessel, while others may be cheaper if you hire a delivery crew.

Pricing varies between boats, locations, and destinations, so it’s essential to research all available methods and request multiple quotes. If you do, you could save thousands on transport and delivery, not to mention insurance costs to protect your vessel from possible damage.

Sailboat Transport Methods

There are several ways to transport a sailboat, and the ideal method depends upon the size and dry weight of the vessel. Dry weight is distinct from displacement, so it’s important to ensure that you have the correct number. Here are the most common ways to transport sailboats short and long distances.

Self Towing

Some sailboats can be towed, though the vehicle, trailer type, and license requirements vary based on size. The smallest and lightest dinghies and pocket cruisers can be towed by most typical cars, provided you have a heavy-duty tow hitch installed.

Larger sailboats, in the 20-foot range and longer, usually need to be towed by a pickup truck or SUV. A half-ton gasoline pickup truck is sufficient for lighter vessels, as long as the dry weight doesn’t exceed the vehicle’s towing capacity.

Also, remember that some automakers determine towing capacity under ideal test conditions, so your truck’s actual towing ability may be slightly lower than its rating.

You’ll have to collapse or remove the mast, boom, and standing rigging of the sailboat and secure it, regardless of its size.

Most trailer sailers can be towed by half-ton or 3/4 ton single rear wheel trucks. Larger sailboats, such as towable coastal cruisers, may require a multi-axle trailer and a gooseneck. This setup is often found with a dually 3/4 ton or 1-ton truck.

The Basics of Towing Rules in the United States

The rules of the road are clear when it comes to towing. With a Class C license (a standard driver’s license), the maximum overall trailer length you can tow is 60 feet. The maximum length of a Class C trailer surface is 53 feet.

Length usually isn’t the issue when it comes to towing sailboats. The maximum width of a class C trailer is 8 ft 6 in, which includes the items on the trailer. The regulations mean that the beam of your boat can’t exceed about 8 feet, give or take a couple of inches.

With a more advanced license or a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you can tow a much larger trailer and drive a semi-truck. Some larger sailboats with greater beam width can be towed this way, though only if they remain below the maximum height.

Height requirements for trailers vary between 13 ft, 6 inches to 14 ft, depending on the location. This is measured from the ground to the top of the item on the trailer.

Be sure to plan your route carefully if you’re towing a boat with a full keel, as some older overpasses and railroad bridges are much shorter than 13 feet. 

Professional Towing Services

It’s usually best to leave the towing to professionals, especially if you’re towing a large boat. Experienced drivers with big rigs and commercial licenses can transport surprisingly large vessels safely but at a cost. The benefit of using a professional service is that you’re taking the risk off your shoulders.

Many professional towing services offer insurance, which is essential. Insurance protects the loading and unloading of the boat and covers any damages that occur en route. For the price, it’s a no-brainer.

In most cases, the tow company will not be able to help you launch your boat. You’re responsible for arranging boat crane services at your destination. It’s best to plan carefully, as you may end up paying more if you make the driver wait too long.

Cost of Professional Sailboat Towing Services

Cost varies widely based on the company, location, and size of the load. Most towing companies have a base fee, a fee of the assessed load, and then a per-mile charge. Some companies have different fee structures.

Companies that offer quotes usually predict a charge of between $500 and $1,000 for typical trips, though it can cost as little as $300 if you have a relatively small boat and it only needs to travel a short distance.

Shipping a Sailboat on a Cargo Ship

Large and small sailboats are frequently sent across oceans via cargo ships. This method is time-tested and relatively cost-effective, though it’s not as straightforward as just sailing the boat across.

Some people hire an agent to arrange shipping, which is the easiest and most reliable way to have a headache-free experience.

Shipping a sailboat by sea is slower than over-the-road transport, and schedules are less flexible. Often, you’ll have to wait for a spot to open up on a specifically-designed yacht carrying ship.

Once the ships are loaded, they set out at predetermined times that might be months ahead of when you booked. The best way to ensure you get a spot on a yacht shipping vessel is to plan well in advance of when you actually need to transport the vessel.

Logistics are the greatest challenge of shipping a boat on a larger ship. If you don’t work with an agent or an accommodating shipping company, you could have to work out the following and more:

  • Transportation to the shipping yard
  • Loading and securing instructions
  • Shipping destination
  • Payments to various services
  • Customs in the destination country (if outside of the U.S.)
  • Taxes and import fees
  • Declarations
  • Inspections
  • Unloading at the destination
  • Transportation from the destination port to the marina

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to hire a professional to manage the minutiae of shipping a sailboat. The last thing you want is to have your boat seized at customs or have it dropped off in an unguarded yard in the wrong location.

Cost to Ship a Sailboat on a Cargo Ship

Shipping costs for ocean-going boat transport are lower than many people expect. A lot of factors are involved, including the size of the boat, its height (from keel to mast top), its displacement, and the distance it needs to be shipped.

The lowest prices you’ll find to ship an average-sized boat are around $3,000 to $5,000. A more typical estimate for an average sailboat is between $6,000 and $10,000. Some vessels and destinations cost upwards of $15,000. Costs tend to increase with the size and distance, and the value of your sailboat also plays a part.

Prices in the yacht shipping industry are competitive, which is why it’s relatively affordable to ship a boat over an ocean. It’s surprisingly popular as well, and there are more than a dozen shipping companies offering long-distance ocean transport specifically for yachts of various sizes.

Hired Delivery

Hired crews for boat delivery is the other way to transport a sailboat over the water. Crew services find a captain and a small professional crew to sail your boat for you.

This is a great option for large boats, as it’s often less expensive and time-consuming than shipping it on a larger vessel.

Hired crew delivery services are offered by companies and experienced individuals. You can even find a trusted friend to crew your boat for you, and they can hire a crew member or two to accompany them for the journey.

While under hire, the crew will be living in your boat. Crew members come from all backgrounds, and many sailors spend a summer or two working for a charter service to make some money or get free transportation to other countries.

Cost to Hire a Delivery Crew

Hired crew delivery costs vary, though the more hands you need, the more it costs. Crews and captains usually charge daily rates for yacht delivery services. A fast sailboat is almost always cheaper to transport than a slow sailboat.

As an example, we’ll use the services of Captain James Lowe , who is a USCG licensed 200-ton Master. As of the writing of this article, Captain James Lowe charges between $350 and $425 per day for his services, depending on the size of the vessel. Deckhands cost $175 per day per person, which is in addition to the Captain’s charges.

These are the base rates, and they’re a good representation of what professional crewed delivery costs. You may find cheaper rates with other groups or individuals, but it’s worth the cost if you want a trustworthy and experienced crew.

Additional charges often include transportation costs (to and from the destinations), fuel costs (for heating, cooking, and motoring), and a deposit is usually required for fuel. These costs are impossible to predict without knowing your specific plans, so it’s best to reach out to Captain James Lowe for a specialized quote.

Hired crew delivery services usually have a minimum crew requirement for different boat sizes and types. In this case, sailboats require a minimum of one deckhand in addition to a captain. Larger sailing vessels of 65 feet or greater require two or more additional deckhands.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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March 28, 2024 - Baltimore Key Bridge collapse

By Antoinette Radford, Maureen Chowdhury , Tori B. Powell , Elise Hammond and Aditi Sangal , CNN

Our live coverage has ended. Follow the latest news on the Baltimore bridge collapse or read through the updates below. 

Here's what we learned from the authorities this evening

From CNN staff

The sun sets on the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Thursday, March 28.

The federal government has given Maryland officials the $60 million requested to cover the first steps of responding to  the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge , according to a Federal Highway Administration news release.

Federal Highway Administration chief Shailen Bhatt said the emergency funding would go toward removing debris, rerouting traffic and ultimately rebuilding the bridge.

Here's what else the authorities said in a news briefing this evening:

  • Four directives to recovery: Gov. Wes Moore outlined four main priorities as Maryland looks to recover after the bridge collapse. The directives include: Continued focus on efforts to recover the construction workers presumed dead "to bring a sense of closure to these families," open the channel and restart traffic to the port, taking care of those affected, rebuilding the Key Bridge.
  • Murky water conditions: Moore said the " water is so dark , and debris is so dense, that in most instances our divers cannot see more than a foot or two in front of them."
  • Major resources mobilized: The Army Corps of Engineers is moving the largest crane in the Eastern Seaboard to Baltimore to help clear the channel, and it is expect to arrive later on Thursday evening, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said. Clearing the channel has been an important goal so trade and traffic through the port can resume. The Army Corps of Engineers plan to cover the full cost of clearing the channel where Baltimore's Key Bridge collapsed, Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday.
  • One larger vehicle detected underwater: There's at least one vehicle of a large size that has been detected underwater, and it is encapsulated by the superstructure of the bridge, concrete and other things, according to Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., the superintendent of Maryland State Police.
  • Monitoring possible leaks and pollution: Over 2,400 feet of boom have been deployed to contain any leaks of pollution in the aftermath of the collapse of the Key Bridge, Moore said. Separately, 14 containers on the ship were impacted , and they contained items like soap and perfume, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said, adding that he did not have information on whether any of those materials went overboard. Air monitors are in place to track any potential threats and they have not picked up any threats so far, Gilreath said.

There's at least 1 larger vehicle underwater, official says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

There's at least one vehicle of a large size that has been detected underwater, according to Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., the superintendent of Maryland State Police.

"There's at least one vehicle, larger in size, that is completely encapsulated by the superstructure of the bridge, concrete," among other things, Butler said Thursday evening. "It's going to take some time to get to that, and it's going to take some time to do that carefully" before divers can go to recover that vehicle, he added.

2,400 feet of boom was used to contain possible toxic materials, Maryland governor says

Wreckage lies across the deck of the Dali cargo vessel in Baltimore on Wednesday.

There have been over 2,400 feet of boom deployed to contain any leaks of pollution in the aftermath of the collapse of the Key Bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Thursday.

He said he personally did not see any sheen on the water when he went to assess the situation on site.

Remember: 56 containers with hazardous materials were found on the vessel.

There are 14 containers on the ship were impacted, and they contained items like soap and perfume, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said at the briefing, adding that he did not have information on whether any of those materials went overboard.

Air monitors are in place to track any potential threats and they have not picked up any threats so far, Gilreath added.

Baltimore mayor says he remains hopeful bodies of other workers will be recovered

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Baltimore's mayor said he is still "hopeful" the bodies of the other workers presumed dead will be recovered.

Authorities announced on Wednesday they were pausing search and recovery efforts  for the four other workers presumed dead because debris made it unsafe for divers to continue. Once this next phase of salvage operations is complete and the debris is cleared, divers will search for more remains.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said that during the salvage operation, he hopes "we are able to recover those who remain missing and bring them home to their families.

The mayor said he directed his administration to work with the governor’s office “on any and every effort that must be taken.”

Army Corps of Engineers will bear the full cost of clearing the channel, Sen. Chris Van Hollen says

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen speaks at a press conference Thursday.

The Army Corps of Engineers will cover the full cost of clearing the channel where Baltimore's Key Bridge collapsed, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday.

"We all recognize that getting the Port of Baltimore running again at full speed is a priority given all the jobs that are associated with it, all the small businesses, all the other businesses," Sen. Van Hollen said at Thursday's news briefing. "And as the governor pointed out, this is not just a Maryland issue, it's a national and global question."

The largest crane in the Eastern Seaboard is expected to arrive in Baltimore later today, governor says

The Army Corps of Engineers is moving the largest crane in the Eastern Seaboard to Baltimore to help clear the channel, and it is expected to arrive Thursday evening, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

"Under the leadership of Col. (Estee S.) Pinchasin, the Army Corps is moving the largest crane in the Eastern Seaboard to Baltimore to help us," Moore said at a news conference. "It is estimated that will arrive later this evening."

"It's a 1,000-ton crane coming around midnight," Sen. Chris Van Hollen said at the same news conference. "And another 400-ton crane coming Saturday for the operations to clear the channel."

The post was updated with information about the crane from Sen. Van Hollen.

Officials are assessing pieces of the bridge before they pull them out of the water, Coast Guard says

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath speaks at a press conference Thursday.

Officials working to remove the collapsed Key Bridge from the channel are conducting a full assessment of all pieces of debris before they can lift them out of the water, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath.

This assessment is critical in figuring out how to cut the bridge into the right size pieces so cranes can lift them out, he said.

“We are doing those assessments right now with underwater surveys, with engineering teams back in unified command,” Gilreath said, adding that the assessment is in coordination with several other partners, including the US Army Corp of Engineers.

“That is our number one priority is to reopen the Port of Baltimore as fast as we can, and do it safely,” he added.

Murky conditions are hindering divers' vision during underwater operations, Maryland governor says 

Water conditions are hindering divers' visibility as they conduct recovery operations, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Thursday.

"That water is so dark, and debris is so dense, that in most instances our divers cannot see more than a foot or two in front of them," Moore said at a news briefing. "So much of the operation is simply feel."

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Live updates: Biden wants the federal government to fund Baltimore bridge repairs

The container ship Dali is seen after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore early Tuesday.

Editor's note: This page is no longer being updated. Follow the latest at npr.org and wypr.org.

Part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday morning after a nearly 1,000-foot-long container ship, the Dali , crashed into it, sending people into the water in what authorities are calling a "developing mass casualty event." Here's what we're following:

  • Officials say eight construction workers were repairing potholes on the bridge at the time of the collapse. Two people have been rescued, one of them seriously injured.
  • The Dali, which was traveling from Baltimore to Sri Lanka, had issued a "mayday" warning before the collision, which helped authorities reduce traffic on the bridge.
  • The 1.6-mile Key Bridge is a vital transit route for both Maryland commuters and drivers traversing the East Coast. It also has a rich and patriotic history .
  • Ship traffic is suspended in the Port of Baltimore , one of the largest shipping hubs in the country. At least six high-capacity commercial vessels are essentially trapped inside the harbor.
  • Authorities say the search and rescue mission is their sole focus and will continue until divers determine they have reached the "non-survivability point."

Gov. Moore says the situation is still an 'active search and rescue mission'

By Jonathan Franklin

During an afternoon news conference, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told reporters the Baltimore bridge situation is still an “active search and rescue mission" as six people remain missing.

Moore said he spoke to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris following the bridge collapse, and the two voiced their “full-throated” support.

The governor added that air, land and sea resources are being deployed to Baltimore to assist in the search and rescue efforts.

“There is not a single resource that we will hold off on deploying,” Moore said.

“This will not be short, there’s going to be a long road,” he added. “There's going to be a long road, not just as we go from search and rescue. There will be a long road as we talk about what does the future of this region, the future of the area looked like.“

‘Search and rescue is still underway,’ NTSB chair says

"What I can tell you is, a search and rescue is still underway," National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a mid-afternoon update from the shore near Baltimore’s harbor.

Investigators are also working to verify how many crew members were on board the Dali container ship, and what their status is, Homendy said.

In an incident that has brought a large number of state, local and federal agencies to bear, Homendy laid out who’s doing what.

The NTSB is leading the investigation into the bridge collapse, she said, while the Coast Guard is leading the search and rescue effort. And for now, she said, her teams are staying away from the ship to give the search operation room.

A main priority, she said, will be to acquire the ship’s recorders, which could provide more insights into the catastrophic collision.

NTSB has 24 people on site, including her, Homendy said. She added that her counterparts in Singapore, where the Dali is flagged, are also sending people to Baltimore to help with the inquiry.

Shippers are scrambling to reroute cargo

By Scott Horsley

The Dali cargo ship is seen in the background of the ramp to the Key Bridge after its collapse on Tuesday.

Some $80 billion worth of cargo passes through the Port of Baltimore each year. With the port’s shipping channel closed indefinitely by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge, shippers are scrambling to find alternate routes.

Some vessels have already been diverted to Norfolk, Va., said Margie Shapiro, who runs a century-old freight handling business in Baltimore. Other traffic could be rerouted through New York or Philadelphia.

Cargo already at the port will have to travel overland, but truck traffic will also be snarled by the loss of the bridge, which severed an important interstate highway.

“The whole ecosystem is going to be a little bit off,” Shapiro said. “Removing the Port of Baltimore from the equation just changes the whole chemistry. And we’ve lived that before with the Suez Canal disruption. When the ecosystem gets messy, things get messy. Freight rates go up. The world gets a little bit chaotic.”

Cargo traffic through the Suez Canal has been curtailed due to attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen, while shipping through the Panama Canal has been limited by drought.

“We never get a break,” Shapiro said. She's been hearing from many of her clients, concerned about delayed deliveries and higher expenses.

She's heard an unofficial estimate that it could take two months to clear the shipping channel so cargo vessels can resume sailing.

President Biden also stressed the importance of reopening the port as quickly as possible.

“Fifteen thousand jobs depend on that port, and we're going to do everything we can to protect those jobs and help those workers," Biden said.

In the meantime, shipping companies are expected to declare a force majeure, invoking a clause in their contracts that allows them to drop Baltimore-bound cargo in other ports, leaving the recipient to bear the cost of additional transportation.

Baltimore's mayor says the state is in touch with construction workers' families

By Rachel Treisman

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott talks with the media on Tuesday.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, who has been at the scene of the bridge collapse all morning, told NPR's Morning Edition that the focus remains on trying to save lives "until it's no longer a search and rescue mission."

Scott said crews are still looking for the six construction workers known to be in the water.

They were "simply just working, providing for their families, trying to make transit for other folks in Baltimore and Maryland better," he said.

He said Maryland officials are in contact with the families of those unaccounted for, and "will continue to lift them up and support them in every way."

Scott said authorities do not believe there was anyone driving on the bridge as it collapsed, though that could change.

He credited transit personnel with shutting down traffic in both directions after the ship put out its mayday call, saying they are "heroes for doing that."

Scott himself had just gotten off the phone with President Biden, and has been talking to members of the administration all day. He reiterated that Baltimore is getting strong support from local, state and federal agencies and is confident that will continue.

"We're going to continue to do the work," he said. "Anything that we need, we will ask for for sure."

Listen to his conversation with Morning Edition 's Leila Fadel.

Biden wants federal government to pay 'entire cost' of rebuilding bridge: 'We're not leaving until this job gets done'

By NPR's Washington Desk

In an address from the White House about the bridge collapse in Baltimore, President Biden said he intends for the federal government to “pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge. And I expect the Congress to support my effort.”

He vowed, “We're not leaving until this job gets done.”

“This is going to take some time,” he said, “the people of Baltimore can count on us, though, to stick with them at every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt.”

He said prayers are with the families waiting to hear about their loved ones who are still unaccounted for.

He said every indication so far is that the event was an accident and not intentional.

Biden said ship traffic in the Port of Baltimore has been suspended until the channel is cleared. He noted that it is one of the largest shipping hubs in the U.S.

“We're gonna get it up and running again as soon as possible. Fifteen thousand jobs depend on that port, and we're gonna do everything we can to protect those jobs and help those workers,” Biden said.

Asked if the company that owned the ship should be held responsible, but he said, “That could be, but we’re not going to wait for that to happen. We’re going to pay for it to get the bridge rebuilt and open.”

He said he plans to go to Baltimore “as quickly as I can.” Biden is scheduled to fly with Vice President Harris to North Carolina this afternoon.

The White House says Biden spoke with the following federal, state and local officials:

  • Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Department of Transportation
  • Governor Wes Moore (MD)
  • Senator Ben Cardin (MD)
  • Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD)
  • Congressman Kweisi Mfume (MD-07)
  • Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Baltimore, MD
  • Johnny Olszewski, Executive of Baltimore County, MD

'It could've happened to us:' A Baltimore couple discuss losing a landmark bridge near their home

Miamonique Brooks, 38, and Travis Brooks, 36, both of Baltimore, spoke to NPR near the site of the bridge collapse in Dundalk, Maryland.

Miamonique and Travis Brooks of Baltimore were stunned when they heard the news of the bridge collapse.

They told NPR's Laurel Wamsley in Dundalk that they used to drive over the Francis Scott Key Bridge to get to work every day until they moved downtown several months ago — and they just happened to take that route again yesterday.

"It's crazy, we were just on that bridge," said Travis. "It could've happened to us."

Miamonique called the experience "an eye-opener to appreciate life." She said it was bittersweet, knowing that she and her husband are safe but that others are not.

"It's very sad to hear of tragedy," she added. "But as far as for my husband and I, it's just a blessing that we are here today and it just showed us that we have purpose."

The couple ended up back at the site of the bridge on Tuesday morning on their way to work. Miamonique said they tried to take a route that would be out of the way, "but we got right in the way because of the trucks." She said a drive that would normally take no more than 20 minutes stretched into nearly an hour.

They also stopped to take pictures for her family back in Georgia, who had checked in on them earlier.

"It is London Bridge falling down, just in Baltimore," said Miamonique, marveling at the crumpled structure. "'Cause it's so long — well, it was — and now it doesn't look like that anymore."

She said the bridge was not only a beautiful sight and a Baltimore landmark, but also a critical route for trucks that can't fit through highway tunnels closer to downtown. For people who live in their area outside of the city, Miamonique said, the "shorter route won't be shorter anymore."

"That's gonna be wicked," she said of the traffic. "Because that bridge is literally the only way out if you have to come over to this area."

President Biden to speak about the Key Bridge collapse

By Bill Chappell

President Biden was briefed earlier Tuesday about the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The White House said he would speak about what looks to be a tragic accident before departing for a trip to North Carolina.

Track the Dali’s path to calamity; at least 6 large ships are trapped in harbor

The stunning collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Md., severed an important highway — and draped a ribbon of steel and concrete across a vital waterway used by freight and civilian craft.

The container ship Dali had been escorted from its docking and out toward the large bridge by two tugboats, the Eric McAllister and the Bridget McAllister, according to a re-creation of its path from the Vessel Finder marine tracking website.

Transponder data shows the Dali quickly speeding up as the two tugboats leave it, eventually reaching 8.8 knots on a southeast bearing of around 140 degrees. It slows slightly as it nears the bridge — but the ship also veers some 15 degrees further south — sending it into a large support column in the Patapsco River.

The two tugboats then rush back toward the stricken ship. A Coast Guard craft arrives shortly after, as emergency and rescue vessels flock to the scene.

The bridge is now blocking the harbor’s entrance, and at least six high-capacity commercial vessels are essentially trapped, according to live data from Vessel Finder.

The vessels include the cargo ships Balsa 94 and Saimaagracht; the bulk carriers Klara Oldendorff; Jy River; and Phatra Naree; and the vehicle carrier Carmen.

Three large inactive naval auxiliary ships are also in the harbor, along with dozens of passenger, charter and pleasure craft that use moorages in the Inner Harbor area.

The busy Port of Baltimore is suspending vessel traffic until further notice

Cargo containers are readied for transport at the Port of Baltimore in 2021.

Vessel traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice, port officials announced late Tuesday morning .

"This does not mean the Port of Baltimore is closed," they wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "Trucks are being processed within our marine terminals."

They added that they do not know how long the suspension will last, but will provide an update as soon as that is determined.

"Until then please keep those involved in your prayers," they added.

The port is the deepest harbor in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, with five public and 12 private terminals. It's also within an overnight drive of one-third of the nation's population, according to the state .

And it ranks 9th in the nation for both total dollar value and tonnage of international cargo.

It collectively handled more than 847,000 autos and light trucks in 2023, the most of any U.S. port for the 13th consecutive year. It also ranked first in the nation last year in handling automobiles, light trucks, farm and construction machinery and imported sugar and gypsum.

The Port of Baltimore generates about 15,300 direct jobs, with another nearly 140,000 linked to port activities, per the state.

And it continues to set records: Gov. Wes Moore announced just last month that the port handled a record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo, worth $80 billion, in 2023.

In other words, the suspension of this busy Baltimore port is likely to have ripple effects far beyond the city.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the bridge collapse. It announced on X , formerly Twitter, that it is launching a "go team" and will hold a press briefing later Tuesday.

The NTSB website says a go team consists of "technical experts needed to solve complex transportation safety problems." When on duty, they must be reachable 24 hours a day.

"Most Go Team members do not have a suitcase pre-packed because there's no way of knowing whether the accident scene will be in Florida or Alaska, but they do have tools of their trade and necessary safety equipment such as hard hats, goggles, steel toed shoes," it added.

Ship’s mayday signal allowed officials to stop many vehicles before bridge collapse

Video footage moments before the collapse shows cars and trucks traveling over the bridge — but traffic seems to halt roughly 30 seconds before a large pillar gives way, triggering the structure’s rapid failure.

The crew of the Dali container ship alerted authorities that it was losing power, officials said in an update late Tuesday morning.

“We're thankful that between the mayday and the collapse that we had officials who were able to begin to stop the flow of traffic, so more cars were not up on the bridge,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told reporters, adding that the intervention saved lives.

It was “shocking and heartbreaking” to learn the Key Bridge had collapsed, the governor said.

Moore also said no structural problems had been reported in the span: “In fact, the bridge was actually fully up to code.”

As bad as the catastrophe was, it could have been even worse — if the ship had hit the bridge at morning rush hour, for instance.

“Roughly about 35,000 people a day” use the bridge, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said.

There have been reports that vehicles fell into the water when the bridge gave way — and it's possible that those belonged to the eight-person construction crew.

When Wiedefeld was asked if searchers think any people might be in a vehicle in the water, he replied, "No, we do not believe so."

Authorities are still searching for six people, likely all construction workers

The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of the container ship Dali after the bridge collapsed in Baltimore on Tuesday.

Authorities said at a mid-morning briefing that search and rescue operations remain underway, with six people still unaccounted for.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said an eight-person construction crew had been working on the bridge, but stressed that there were no structural issues and that they were "basically repairing potholes."

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore also said at the briefing that the bridge was "fully up to code."

As of around 10 a.m. ET, the number of people rescued remains at two, one of whom is hospitalized.

"Response teams are doing everything in our power to rescue and recover the victims of this collapse literally as we speak," Moore said.

Authorities did not provide a timeline but stressed that their sole priority is search and rescue at the moment and that state and federal agencies are working together to get resources where they're needed.

U.S. Sen Chris Van Hollen, D-M.D., spoke about how the federal government is supporting the state, from the Coast Guard to the Army Corps of Engineers.

William J. DelBagno, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore Field Office, said the FBI is contributing crisis response resources, victims services and underwater search evidence recovery teams. He said the agency will provide resources as long as necessary and help take the investigation "to its logical conclusion."

He also emphasized that "there is no specific or credible information to suggest that there are ties to terrorism in this incident."

Officials are asking the public to be patient as more information becomes available and to keep those affected in their thoughts.

The Key Bridge has a rich and patriotic history

Artwork of Francis Scott key Composing "Star- Spangled Banner."

The Key Bridge isn't just a vital transportation route. It also has a special historical significance.

The structure itself was built between 1972 and 1977, opening to the public on March 23 of that year.

But its history goes much deeper than that, according to the state. Scholars believe it stood within 100 yards of the site where its namesake, Francis Scott Key, witnessed the failed British bombardment of Fort McHenry in September 1814.

The bombardment was a key turning point in the War of 1812, forcing the British to abandon the land assault on the crucial port city of Baltimore. The two sides reached a peace agreement later that year.

In short: British warships fired thousands of exploding mortar shells, cannonballs and rockets at the fort for more than a full day, but inflicted only minor damage because it was so heavily fortified. The Americans raised their garrison flag the next morning.

Key, an American lawyer, watched the battle from the British warship he had boarded to negotiate the release of a detained American civilian. The awe he felt at seeing the flag rise the next morning inspired him to write "Defense of Fort McHenry," which was renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and became the U.S. national anthem in 1931.

The Key Bridge is vital for Maryland drivers and anyone traversing the East Coast

The Key Bridge is a vital transportation route, not just for Baltimore-area commuters but anyone driving up or down the Eastern Seaboard.

The four-lane, 1.6-mile bridge sees a traffic volume of some 11.3 million vehicles each year, according to state data.

It's the outermost of only three interstate crossings of the Baltimore Harbor into downtown Baltimore, and the only one that's a bridge. The other two are tunnels.

Matt Bush of member station WYPR told Morning Edition that it's heavily trafficked by Maryland residents and anyone who drives along the East Coast, particularly between New York and Washington, D.C.

"This is one of three ways to get through Baltimore on the interstate, and this is the one that's furthest away from downtown, so many people trying to avoid downtown traffic end up using this," he explained.

Bush said he was not aware of any recent safety concerns involving the bridge, adding that the most recent debate about it was over an increase in toll prices.

In the wake of its collapse, the Maryland Transportation Authority is asking commuters to avoid the southeast corridor of I-695, colloquially called the Baltimore Beltway. Drivers should use the I-95 or I-895 tunnels to cross the harbor instead and prepare for delays.

Further complicating some drivers' morning commutes, vehicles transporting hazardous materials (including propane over 10 pounds) are prohibited in those tunnels. They should use the western section of I-695 around the tunnels, authorities say.

A team of construction workers was on the bridge

The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge is shown over the Patapsco River after being struck by a cargo ship on Tuesday.

Search and rescue teams were working early Tuesday to find anyone who was on the Francis Scott Key Bridge — and that includes a crew of construction workers who were working on the structure, says Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J Wiedefeld.

“They were basically doing some concrete deck repair,” Wiedefeld said.

When asked how large the work team was, the transportation head said that on such projects, “other workers show up sometimes. So that’s what we’re investigating.”

It’s too early to know precisely how many people in total were on the bridge when its central steel structure gave way, Wiedefeld said.

The water is approximately 50 feet deep in the area beneath the bridge, he said. Wiedefeld also said that officials have set up a facility where family members who believe they’ve lost a loved one in the bridge collapse can come for information and counseling.

Catastrophic bridge collapse was caught on video

The moment that the Dali container ship struck a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge — causing a large portion of the bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River — was caught on video. 

After the collapse, rescue crews at the scene began trying to reach anyone who was on the bridge at the time, from vehicles that were caught on the bridge’s roadway to construction workers who were doing repairs to the bridge’s concrete deck.

Officials say it’s too early to know how many people were on the bridge.

The ship management company says all crew members are accounted for

The container ship Dali is seen with debris from the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday.

The company that manages the ship says all of its crew members are accounted for, and there are no injuries or pollution resulting from the crash.

Synergy Marine Group said in a statement that the Dali collided with one of the Key Bridge pillars around 1:30 a.m. ET "whilst under pilotage with two pilots onboard."

It said there were 22 crew members on board, "all Indian." The ship was heading from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

"Whilst the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, the ‘DALI’ has now mobilised its Qualified Individual Incident response service," it added. "The US Coast Guard and local officials have been notified, and the owners and managers are fully cooperating with Federal and State government agencies under an approved plan."

The vessel is managed by Synergy but owned by a different company, Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private Ltd.

Maryland's governor has declared a state of emergency

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency over the bridge collapse, he announced on the platform X early Tuesday.

"We are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration," he wrote .

Moore said his office is in communication with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and will remain in close contact with the various local, state and federal entities "that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy."

Moore visited the area himself later in the morning.

. @GovWesMoore is on site at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. pic.twitter.com/4nC12WQAz5 — Carter Elliott, IV (@CarterElliottIV) March 26, 2024
. @GovWesMoore with @MayorBMScott viewing the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. pic.twitter.com/9lneOzVtC1 — Carter Elliott, IV (@CarterElliottIV) March 26, 2024

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration announced flight restrictions around the area of the bridge on Tuesday morning, with a radius of five nautical miles and up to 2,000 feet above mean sea level.

"Do not interfere with rescue operations," it wrote on X. "If you fly, emergency response operations cannot."

Sun rises to show bridge wreckage is strewn across the river

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is seen early Tuesday morning from Riviera Beach, Md., hours after a container ship rammed into the bridge. (AP Photo/Nathan Ellgren)

Images from the scene Tuesday morning along the interstate’s path on land show segments of the bridge leading up from the highway and jutting into the open sky. A central portion of the bridge was snapped off at the points on either side where steel support beams once spanned the waterway.

Aerial photos show those beams are now part of a tangle of metal stretching across the water — and heaped onto the container ship’s prow.

Baltimore's mayor says the focus should be on the people, not the bridge

Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley, with Mayor Brandon Scott (R) and Fire Department Chief James Wallace (L), speaks at a press conference early Tuesday.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott called the bridge collapse an "unthinkable tragedy," comparing it to something out of an action movie.

At Tuesday morning's press conference, he urged people to pray for everyone impacted, from the people "we have to try to find and save" to family members and first responders.

"We're going to continue to work in partnership with every part of government to do everything that we can to get us to the other side of this tragedy," he said.

When asked about plans for rebuilding the Key Bridge, Scott said that's not the priority right now.

"There will be time to discuss the bridge and how to get the bridge back up," he said. "But right now there are people in the water, and that's the only thing we should be worried about."

Darkness, tides and cold temperatures complicate the search and rescue mission

The wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on Tuesday, with the cargo ship Dali in the background.

Authorities said at sunrise Tuesday that a search and rescue mission will continue for at least the next eight to 12 hours.

But there are some complicating factors, as Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace explained.

"We're battling darkness," he said before 7 a.m. "It's quite possible we may have somebody there that we've not seen yet."

Even in daylight, he said the water of the Patapsco River is "current-influenced," and the incoming tide adds an additional challenge.

"We can certainly dive in these conditions, but we have to take a lot of factors into play," he said, including that people may have been in the water for a significant time.

The water temperature in the area is 48.2 degrees just before 8 a.m., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . That's slightly warmer than the current air temperature of almost 42 degrees.

The Weather Channel forecasts a high of 58 degrees in Baltimore today, with partly cloudy skies in the morning to become overcast in the afternoon. The National Weather Service has a coastal flood advisory in place for the Baltimore area until 5 p.m., warning of "tides two and a half to three feet above normal."

The sun will set at 7:25 p.m.

Wallace stressed there is no set end time for the search and rescue mission yet.

"We're going to rely on the experts, which are our dive masters that are here, our dive team, to tell us when they believe we've reached that non-survivability point," he said.

Authorities are in touch with the ship and investigating a possible fuel spill

Authorities also spoke at the briefing about the Dali, the ship responsible for the collision and collapse.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said search and rescue crews must examine the ship's deck but need to complete a damage assessment before they can board.

He said the ship's crew remains on board and has been communicating with authorities via the Coast Guard. The rescue operation has not interacted directly with the pilot, he added.

It is not known whether any crew members are among those in the water.

Authorities from multiple agencies are also working to determine whether there is an active fuel spill from the vessel, now that the sun is up. Wallace said there have been reported diesel odors, but no confirmation yet.

While the exact details of the collision remain unclear, Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said at the briefing that law enforcement's early investigations show "absolutely no indication this was done on purpose."

Two people have been rescued from the water so far

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said emergency responders removed two individuals from the water after the bridge collapsed.

Speaking to reporters early Tuesday morning, he said the first 911 calls about the bridge collapsing came around 1:40 a.m., and the first responders on the scene arrived some 10 minutes later.

"Our first unit arrived on scene and reported a complete collapse of the Key Bridge," he recounted. "We were also given information at that time that there were likely multiple people on the bridge at the time of the collapse and that, as a result, multiple people were in the water."

He said responders were able to remove two people from the water. One individual refused service and transport: "Essentially, that person was not injured."

The other was transported to a local trauma center in "very serious condition," Wallace said.

He said authorities don't have information on the ages and genders of those two individuals, or whether they should be included among the seven people in the water that the search and rescue mission is looking for. He said the second patient is injured severely enough that law enforcement has not been able to debrief them.

A reporter asked whether as many as 20 people could be unaccounted for. Wallace said authorities believe the number is at least seven, but didn't rule out the possibility of more.

A search and rescue mission is underway for 'upwards of seven individuals'

Parts of the Francis Scott Key Bridge remain after a container ship collided with its support structure early Tuesday.

Maryland authorities said at a Tuesday morning briefing that a search-and-rescue mission is underway and will remain active for "some time" once the sun comes up.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said authorities believe they are looking for "upwards of several individuals," but stressed that the incident involves a "very large footprint" and information is subject to change.

He said state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders are on the scene to search the surface of the Patapsco River, as well as the deck of the ship and underwater.

"Over the next eight to 12 hours you can expect to continue to see our air and maritime assets functioning out on the water and in the air above," he said.

That effort involves various types of sonar, unmanned aerial vehicles and — throughout the night — infrared technology.

Wallace said that sonar has detected the presence of vehicles submerged in the water, but did not specify how many. It is unclear how many cars were on the bridge when it collapsed shortly before 2 a.m.

A container ship hit a Baltimore bridge, sending parts and people into the water

By Ayana Archie

The sun rises over the collapsed portion of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on Tuesday.

A part of a Baltimore bridge serving as both an essential highway artery and a hub for shipping along the East Coast collapsed early Tuesday morning after a container ship crashed into it, sending people into the water.

The collision spurred a large search-and-rescue operation, and it was unclear how many people were in the Patapsco River. However, Kevin Cartwright, the Baltimore City Fire Department's director of communications, told NPR that seven people had fallen into the river and were being searched for. He called the collision and collapse a "developing mass casualty event," The Associated Press reported.

Emergency personnel have been dispatched to the scene, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott added .

The ship that collided with the bridge was the Dali, a nearly 1,000-foot-long container ship, U.S. Coast Guard public information officer Matthew West told NPR. The Singapore-flagged ship left Baltimore at 1 a.m. and was heading to Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to MarineTraffic , a marine data platform.

Traffic was closed in both lanes after the collision and before the collapse, the Maryland Transportation Authority posted on X.

The bridge is part of I-695, an arterial of Interstate 95, a major route running north-south along the Eastern seaboard of the U.S.

The 1.6-mile long bridge, named for the writer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," opened in 1977 and is located about 45 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.

‘Mayday’ call from ship stopped Baltimore bridge traffic, saved lives

As a cargo ship the size of a skyscraper drifted dangerously close to a major Baltimore bridge that carried more than 30,000 cars a day, the crew of the Dali issued an urgent “mayday,” hoping to avert disaster Tuesday.

First responders sprang into action, shutting down most traffic on the four-lane Francis Scott Key Bridge just before the 95,000 gross-ton vessel plowed into a bridge piling at about 1:30 a.m., causing multiple sections of the span to bow and snap in a harrowing scene captured on video .

Baltimore bridge collapse

cost of a 25 foot sailboat

“C13 dispatch, the whole bridge just fell down!” someone shouted on an emergency channel.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) hailed those who carried out the quick work as “heroes” and said they saved lives, but the scale of the destruction was catastrophic and will probably have far-reaching impacts for the economy and travel on the East Coast for months to come.

Much of the 1.6-mile bridge fell , sending at least eight construction workers repairing potholes into the 48-degree waters of the Patapsco River. Two were rescued, including one who was seriously injured. Authorities announced Tuesday night that six were presumed dead and suspended the search. Authorities planned to resume the hunt for the victims at 6 a.m. Wednesday .

The collapse halted shipping at the Port of Baltimore — one of the nation’s largest — and severed a crucial portion of Baltimore’s Beltway, which is also a major artery in the busy corridor between Washington and New York.

President Biden pledged that the federal government will foot the bill for the repairs and work quickly.

The impact led to a scene of utter destruction — mangled bridge trusses, shipping containers split open like tin cans and the cargo ship wedged under fallen debris. Officials turned to Hollywood to register the magnitude of what happened.

“This is a tragedy you can never imagine,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D) said at an early-morning news conference. “Never would you think that you would see … the Key Bridge literally tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie .”

Video showed a crumpled piece of the 47-year-old bridge draped across the bow of the ship, which was laden with shipping containers and had a large gash across its hull. Helicopters buzzed overhead, and boats with emergency lights flashing searched the waters. Divers plunged into the river, which is about 50 feet deep.

Moore said a preliminary investigation indicated that the wreck was an accident. The governor said the Dali had lost power and propulsion shortly before striking the bridge. In video, the Dali’s lights could be seen turning off and on before the crash, and the ship appeared to be drifting.

Other state and federal officials said there was no indication of terrorism or intentional sabotage. Moore and Scott declared states of emergency, and the National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene. They said they hoped to recover voice and data recorders on the vessel.

Biden said in an address to the nation that he was pledging all resources necessary to rebuild the bridge and reopen the Port of Baltimore, where Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stood with Maryland leaders and vowed to address any supply chain impacts caused by the closure. Biden said he will soon visit, too.

“I’m directing my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible,” Biden said.

Officials said it was too soon to say when either of those things might happen, or how much they could cost.

Marquis Neal, 48, who lives in the Turner Station community near the bridge, said the crash jolted him awake.

“It sounded like a huge bomb,” Neal said. “The house was shaking. The wind — there was a huge gush. Then it just stopped. I thought, is it an earthquake? Then not only five minutes later, all you heard was sirens. Everything was going crazy.”

Neal, who said he used the bridge several times a day, said it is a lifeline for this small, isolated community, whose residents almost exclusively worked at Bethlehem Steel in nearby Sparrows Point before that industry came to an end.

“We’re on that bridge every day,” Neal said. “That could’ve been you. It could’ve been anybody.”

Jesus Campos, who works for Brawner Builders, based in Cockeysville, Md., was anxiously awaiting word about the fate of six colleagues who had plunged into the Patapsco. He paced back and forth at a meetup spot at a Royal Farms parking lot.

Campos said he was not working Monday night but was rustled out of bed around 5 a.m. by a colleague, who told him about the tragedy. Campos, who speaks only Spanish, said the workers had been on a meal break, sitting in or near their vehicles, when the bridge collapsed. He said all six of the missing men were Latino.

“I’m very sad right now,” Campos said in Spanish. “These are my co-workers and friends.”

Campos said working on the bridge is harrowing. Construction crews are constantly worried about speeding motorists, and the bridge “moves a lot” because of its design and engineering. Even so, Campos said he never could have imagined that the structure would collapse.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said that the construction workers were employed by Brawner but that the company might also subcontract work. Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president at Brawner Builders, said in a brief telephone interview that the bridge collapse was “a totally unforeseen event which no one could have predicted.” He said the company had seven employees working on the bridge overnight; one of them survived and six were still missing, he said. Authorities have described eight victims as “workers.”

“The company is upset, families are distressed, this is a terrible tragedy,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know what more I can say.”

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said in an interview on CNN on Tuesday that sonar showed five vehicles on the bed of the Patapsco River: three passenger vehicles, a cement truck and one unknown vehicle. Other officials said later in the day that they were still trying to determine whether vehicles plunged into the water , and they did not have clear details on whether any people other than those working on the bridge might have been in those vehicles.

The Singapore-flagged Dali left the Port of Baltimore around 1 a.m. and was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka, where it was scheduled to arrive on April 22, according to MarineTraffic, a marine data platform.

Clay Diamond, the executive director of the American Pilots’ Association, said the ship experienced a “full blackout” around 1:20 a.m., meaning it lost both engine power and electrical power to its control and communications systems.

When the Dali lost power, the pilot guiding the ship out of the Port of Baltimore ordered its rudder turned hard to the left and its left anchor dropped in an effort to slow the vessel and stop it from swinging to the right, Diamond said.

The ship never regained engine power, but a diesel backup generator kicked in, restoring the electrical systems. Unable to slow the ship, Diamond said, the pilot, who had more than a decade of experience, radioed an emergency message to have the bridge closed.

Around 1:24 a.m., security video showed lights on the Dali switching off, possibly indicating the power problem. A minute later they flicked back on. Seconds later, thick black smoke could be seen pouring from a smokestack, and then the Dali appeared to begin turning to the right.

At 1:27 a.m., the lights on the Dali winked off again, before coming back on seconds later, video shows. Shortly after, radio traffic indicated efforts to evacuate the Key Bridge. The Dali struck the bridge at 1:28 a.m.

Moore said the vessel was traveling about eight knots — or nine miles an hour — when it hit the span. Diamond said the pilot on board had given a statement to investigators from the Coast Guard and the NTSB.

Synergy Marine Group, which owned and managed the ship, said in a news release that the Dali was under the control of two harbor pilots at the time of the wreck, as required under Maryland law. Synergy said all 22 sailors, who were Indian nationals, were uninjured. Authorities said they remained on the ship Tuesday.

Wallace said rescue crews on the scene had smelled diesel fuel, but Synergy said there was no evidence the wreck had polluted the river. The company said it was cooperating with authorities investigating the disaster.

Inspection records indicate that the Dali previously had problems. A deficiency in the Dali’s systems was discovered when the ship was inspected in June last year, records show. Inspectors at the port of San Antonio, Chile, discovered a problem categorized as relating to “Propulsion and auxiliary machinery,” according to an intergovernmental shipping regulator in the Asia-Pacific region.

The problem was not serious enough to warrant detaining the ship, according to the records. After a follow-up inspection was carried out later the same day, the Dali was found to have no outstanding deficiencies, the records show, indicating that the problem was addressed.

Synergy was involved in at least three seafaring tragedies since 2018 that led to the deaths of crew members, according to investigation records from transportation safety agencies and government statements.

The incidents involved an elevator malfunction that killed a technician in 2018; an officer who fell overboard and died in 2019, who was not wearing a flotation device; and a tanker partly managed by Synergy that collided with a dredger, killing two seafarers.

Synergy, based in Singapore, controls a fleet of nearly 400 vessels and employs more than 14,000 sailors, according to its website. Its office in Singapore was dark when a Washington Post reporter visited Tuesday evening local time.

Moore said the Key Bridge was up to code at the time of the collapse. The span is a major part of I-695, carrying traffic north-south around Baltimore and connecting Baltimore to Dundalk, Md. Maryland transportation officials said the loss of the bridge could cause transportation issues in the area for the foreseeable future.

The $60 million bridge was hailed as an engineering marvel at the time it was built in the 1970s. The American Society of Civil Engineers called it one of the largest continuous truss bridges in the United States.

Ian Firth, a British structural engineer and bridge designer, noted that the bridge was erected at a time when ships were not as big as they are now and the flow of traffic was not as busy. These days, structures are designed with better protective measures in place, he said, though he noted that even a brand-new bridge would have “come down in the same way” if it were hit by such a large vessel traveling at speed.

Dan Frangopol, a bridge engineering and risk professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who is president of the International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety, said the catastrophic failure was not surprising.

“If the pier was destroyed like it was, the bridge has to collapse,” Frangopol said. “It’s not possible to redistribute the loads.”

Michael Laris, Sarah Cahlan, Imogen Piper, Erin Cox, Ian Duncan, Teo Armus, Maria Sacchetti, Jon Swaine, Scott Dance, Jacob Bogage, Joyce Sohyun Lee, Dan Diamond, Rebecca Tan, Jennifer Hassan, Toluse Olorunnipa, Martin Weil, Andrew Jeong and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.

How it happened: Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by a cargo ship . The container ship lost power shortly before hitting the bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said. Video shows the bridge collapse in under 40 seconds.

Victims: Divers have recovered the bodies of two construction workers , officials said. They were fathers, husbands and hard workers . A mayday call from the ship prompted first responders to shut down traffic on the four-lane bridge, saving lives.

Economic impact: The collapse of the bridge severed ocean links to the Port of Baltimore, which provides about 20,000 jobs to the area . See how the collapse will disrupt the supply of cars, coal and other goods .

Rebuilding: The bridge, built in the 1970s , will probably take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild , experts said.

cost of a 25 foot sailboat


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