What should you consider while reviewing cruising sailboats for sale for ocean voyages? When embarking on long-distance adventures, it’s crucial to have a vessel that meets your needs and ensures safety and comfort along the way. Let me list the top 10 things to consider when choosing cruising sailboats for sale — a vessel that will be your home on the open seas.
1. Solid Construction and Heavy Displacement
When it comes to ocean sailing, safety is paramount. Seek cruising sailboats for sale with solid construction and heavy displacement hulls. These qualities ensure stability and durability in challenging conditions, providing the safety and peace of mind you need for your ocean voyages.
When living on land, my husband, Simon, ensured we had a solid car. He wanted to make sure that if we got in an accident, we’d be more likely to survive. I never thought much about it until I was rear-ended.
After the accident, I got out to look at the damage. Fortunately, no one was harmed; however, the car that hit me was totaled. The entire front end was smashed in. Our car, however, had a slightly shifted bumper. You wouldn’t have thought I was hit if you weren’t looking for it!
When Simon decided on a sailboat for us, his first question was, if we’re in a storm or have challenging seas, what kind of boat is the safest for the sea? All our research led to heavy-displacement boats. Read this article for further details: Why Choose a Heavy Displacement Sailboat?
2. Well-Designed Power System
In your search for cruising sailboats for sale, prioritize those equipped with a well-thought-out power system. Look for features like lithium batteries, solar power, and reliable generators. These power systems offer electricity to run essential equipment on board, making your ocean journey more comfortable and convenient.
When we started, we had lead-acid batteries, no solar power, and an old and failing generator. Talk about constant power issues. We had to run the generator every day for three to four hours. Imagine sitting in a beautiful bay wanting to enjoy the sounds of nature, but you had to turn the genset on to charge the batteries, cook dinner, or make water.
Generators make noise, smelly exhaust, and use fuel!
Our generator use was reduced by half once we added a solar rack to Britican. We were laughing when we installed a brand new Northern Lights genset (that never failed us) and a full lithium battery bank. Now, we use the genset every few days, if that! Our solar tops our batteries by noon, and our invertor lets us cook, use our washing machine, and run all our lights and outlets without the genset.
3. Efficient Reverse Osmosis Water Maker
Freshwater is a precious resource while sailing the ocean. When considering cruising sailboats for sale, look for vessels equipped with efficient reverse osmosis water makers. These systems convert seawater into freshwater, ensuring a sustainable and reliable source of drinking water during your long passages at sea.
Going into a marina or hauling heavy bottles of water onto your boat every three days is not fun. When you’re in The Bahamas and find a secluded bay to enjoy, you don’t want to have to move so that you can get water! Having a watermaker increases your ability to stay on anchor or at sea for long lengths of time.
Furthermore, the water made from a reverse osmosis watermaker tastes fantastic. It has nothing in it—no bad smells or chemicals.
4. Sufficient Storage Space
Life at sea demands ample storage space. When exploring cruising sailboats for sale, pay attention to vessels with well-designed storage compartments and lockers.
These spaces organize your supplies, equipment, and personal belongings, ensuring a comfortable and clutter-free living environment.
When we moved to Britican, we didn’t bring much with us. The boat already had bedding, towels, dishes, kitchenware, safety equipment, spares, tools, etc. We brought some clothes and a few comfort items. Amazingly, it took us several years before we had to weed out some of our stuff to make more room.
On a boat, you want a place for everything so it doesn’t become cluttered. We loved our massive freezer (I can fit in it!). And having a proper front-opening fridge was great. When crossing the Atlantic, the fridge, freezer, and pantry space was more than ample to store food for seven passengers. We actually had so much food left over that it took us another two months after we crossed to eat it all.
5. Reliable and Redundant Navigation Equipment
Ocean voyages require reliable navigation equipment. Choose cruising sailboats for sale equipped with top-notch GPS, chart plotters, radar, and AIS systems.
Redundancy is key, as backup systems ensure accurate positioning and safe navigation, even in equipment failure.
Over the past year, we upgraded Britican to have new Raymarine chart plotters, Radar, and an AIS system. Previously, our systems would go down, reboot, or fail to start up, and it was always at the worst time.
Having reliable systems is an absolute must if you want freedom and adventure rather than stress and anxiety!
6. Comfortable and Functional Living Spaces
Your cruising sailboat is your floating home. Seek vessels among the available cruising sailboats for sale that offer comfortable and functional living spaces. Look for well-designed cabins, a spacious saloon, an ergonomic galley, and functional heads.
A note about an ergonomic galley. You want a galley that allows you to lean against something while cooking under passage. I’ve been on many boats that have a galley that’s central in the boat and wide open, making it impossible to find support.
On Britican, our galley is narrow and along the port side. When cooking, I can easily rest my backside on the sink. And when I’m doing the dishes, I can easily rest on the oven. Open-plan boats might look spacious and beautiful, but even on Catamarans, if there’s nothing to lean on in bigger seas, it is difficult to feel supported!
What else? Comfortable sleeping arrangements, standing room, and adequate ventilation are crucial for a pleasant living environment during extended ocean voyages.
Make sure you can lie down fully on the bed and in your cockpit. Stand tall in every room, ensuring you won’t have to bend or hunch down. Look at airflow. You must have windows at the front of the boat to provide fresh air throughout.
On Britican, while at anchor, our guests always comment about how breezy the boat is, whether they’re in the saloon, galley, or even the cockpit. Having a deck salon allows great big windows to let the airflow through the whole boat and cockpit.
7. Rigging and Sail Plan
A well-designed rigging and sail plan are essential for efficient sailing in the open ocean. When exploring cruising sailboats for sale, consider the type of rig, sail handling systems, and sail materials.
Choose a sailboat with a versatile sail plan that allows for efficient sailing in various wind conditions, enabling you to make the most of your ocean adventures.
One of the reasons we chose Britican was due to its rigging and sail plan. We have an open deck with a forward headsail. Many boats have two headsails. The issue with two headsails is that when you tack or gybe, you have to furl in the sail completely, turn, and then furl it out of the other side.
With only one headsail, you can turn and allow the sail to seamlessly flow to the other side.
On Britican, we, however, have the option to have that second headsail due to a removable stay. When we want to fly a smaller inner sail (for rough weather or more sails out), it takes a few moments to set it up.
Another rig option that made us fall in love with Britican is her slab reefing. Instead of the main sail furling into the mast (which can get stuck), it drops into the boom. The great benefit of slab reefing is batons. Our main has long poles that stretch horizontally along the main. These batons allow for a better-shaped sail and a much faster voyage.
8. Safety Equipment and Features
Prioritize cruising sailboats for sale that come equipped with essential safety gear. Look for life rafts, EPIRBs, emergency steering systems, and offshore-rated lifelines. Safety should always be a top priority when embarking on ocean voyages.
The cost of all the safety equipment adds up quickly. When looking to buy a boat, find one that already has it. Furthermore, find a boat that has been proactively maintaining and servicing the equipment.
When we took over Britican, we had all the equipment tested, and most of it failed! Imagine if we set sail across the Atlantic and most of our lifejackets didn’t inflate or hold their air?
Because we’ve been taking paying guests for the last five years, Britican is a coded vessel. That means that every year we’ve had to follow regulations to ensure our safety equipment is 100% working and in-date. Further, every two years, we’ve had to have a surveyor look Britican over with a fine tooth comb to ensure all her structures and systems are in top condition. Make sure to find a boat with working, well maintained, and up-to-date safety equipment!
9. Comfortable Cockpit and Deck Layout
A comfortable and well-designed cockpit and deck layout enhance your sailing experience. Seek cruising sailboats for sale with ergonomic helm stations, ample seating, and secure handholds. Easy movement and safe handling of sails and lines are essential for enjoyable and safe sailing on the open ocean.
In other words, don’t buy a boat that doesn’t have a seat behind the helm station or stations. Make sure you can lie down in your cockpit to enjoy that lazy midafternoon nap off a tropical island. Avoid cockpits with too much open space. You must hold onto or brace yourself against something while moving about on passage.
Open and spacious cockpits might look amazing, but they’re unsuitable for sailing in an ocean!
10. Capable Cruising Range and Tankage
When evaluating cruising sailboats for sale, consider their cruising range and tankage capabilities. Look for vessels with sufficient fuel and water capacity, allowing for extended voyages without frequent refueling or resupplying.
Being self-sufficient and well-prepared for long passages ensures you can confidently explore remote ocean destinations.
This comes back to consideration number one above. If you have a heavy displacement boat, you can carry more water and fuel. On Britican, we carry 1000 liters (254 US Gallons) of fuel, providing five full days of motoring use. We also carry 1000 liters of water.
Nothing’s worse than wanting to go somewhere and knowing that if the winds stop, you don’t have the fuel capacity to keep going.
As you search for cruising sailboats for sale for ocean voyages, keep these top 10 considerations in mind. Choosing the right vessel that prioritizes safety, comfort, and self-sufficiency will be the foundation of unforgettable sailing journeys.
Whether you’re looking for ocean sailboats for sale or bluewater yachts with offshore capabilities, these factors will guide you in finding the perfect cruising sailboat to fulfill your seafaring dreams.
Bon voyage, fair winds, and may your search for cruising sailboats for sale lead you to the vessel that becomes your gateway to the vast wonders of the ocean.
Britican is For Sale!
Get more information and learn how to request the price and specification here: Britican is For Sale
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