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Considerations for a Trailerable Sailboat
The limits and dimensions of American roads impose certain standards on trailerable sailboats. The first is width (otherwise referred to as the beam). The sailboat and its accessories and the trailer it's towed on must fit in normal traffic lanes. Another important factor to consider is the overall weight of the boat. The ideal trailerable sailboat is light enough that a modestly equipped truck or suv can tow it.
There are definitely boats out there on the longer side, but the longer the sailboat, the wider it has to be for stability purposes. However, it would be difficult for such a long boat to meet the width standards because sailboats of that length are typically much wider. In practice, the longest trailerable sailboats are usually 30 feet or less in length. The average is about 20 to 25 ft long, with a few exceptions at 27 feet in length.
Keel Draft And Type
The keel design is also significant, since it influences the boat's height above the ground. Sailboats that are trailerable feature a smaller centerboard that can be pulled within the hull to make towing more manageable.
This is a big one. Sailboats are tall and need a collapsible mast in order to be transported on a trailer.
In most states, a trailer load may not exceed 14 feet in height. Sailboat masts are incredibly tall and unwieldy at reasonable towing speeds. The mast must be broken down, and the keel and boat height combined can't exceed 14 feet tall.The height of the trailer must also be considered, since a tall boat may not be able to fit under highway bridges.
Weight's a consideration as well. Most trailers are limited to around 3,300 pounds per axle. A triple axle trailer will allow around 9,000 lbs of weight capacity, but you might have a hard time finding a reasonable heavy duty truck to tow this boat size around.
As mentioned, The most width/beam for a sailboat that may be trailered is just under nine feet. This is due to the fact that the typical trailer in the United States has a maximum width of 12 feet. The logistic behind rowing a larger boat are a nightmare, and its worth mentioning that unless you plan on keeping a larger boat in one place, a trailerable sailboat might be a better option.
Most sailboats fall below this upper limit to make them easier to trailer and handle on the road.
12 of the Best and Largest Trailerable Sailboats
Trailerable sailboats tend to be on the smaller side, but it doesn't mean you can't find a roomy, weekend cruiser for fun with the family. The vessels we chose range in length, but all of the are under 27 ft, and are great for cruising around the bay. We'll take a look at two of the larger boats in the series then work our way down from there. Here are twelve of the best large trailerable sailboats.
1. Catalina 27
This might be a controversial one as the weight of Catalina's 27 is just shy of 7,000 pounds, but it's technically trailerable and might be the best boat on this list for sheer fun and pleasant sailing.
The Catalina 27 is a roomy cruiser with a comfortable interior and a spacious cockpit. There's plenty of storage, and the boat is rigged for single-handing. The wide beam and stable platform make the Catalina 27 an ideal boat for coastal cruising and long-distance sailing.
The Catalina 27 has a fixed keel that draws 2 ft 6 in, making it easy to tow. The mast folds down for highway travel, and the overall length is just shy of 30 ft.
- Ubiquitous design
- Great cabin space
- Fun weekend cruiser
- Fast for its age
- The cabin lack storage space
- Not sealed well against the elements
2. Hunter 27
This 27 footer is also on the heavy side and would require a much heavier duty truck for towing, but it's doable if needed.
This trailerable sailboat is a roomy coastal cruiser that's perfect for weekend getaways and family sailing. The Hunter 27 has a wide beam and a comfortable interior with plenty of headroom.
The Hunter 27 is a sturdy cruiser with an easy-to-sail short-keeled sloop rig. The mast and boom are made of aluminum, making them corrosion resistant and lightweight. The boat has a swing keel that draws 3 ft 9 in, allowing it to ride low on the highway.
The Hunter 27 isn't the best boat for bluewater sailing, but it's a great vessel for weekend trips and coastal cruising. The overall length is just shy of 30 ft, and the boat has a beam of 8 ft 3 in.
- Great cabin space
- Wider beam makes this boat luxurious compared to the others on this list
- Many sub models to choose from
- Large on a trailer
- Heavy on a trailer as well
3.West Wight Potter 19
This sailboat is a fantastic, small, lightweight sailing dinghy that's perfect for weekend getaways and easy to tow behind a standard car. The boat has a fixed keel that draws 1 ft 6 in and this boat can be easily sailed by one person.
This trailerable boat is made of fiberglass and has an open transom that makes it easy to get in and out of the water. The mast can be quickly be lowered for transport, and the overall length is just shy of 20 ft.
This boat also has a great cabin with berths and storage to make your weekend trips more comfortable.
Our third addition to this list is a great sailboat for beginners, and it can be sailed solo or with a partner. This smaller boat is a joy to sail, is fast, easy to use, making it a great choice for weekend sailing trips.
- Lightweight and easy to tow
- Can be sailed solo or with a partner
- Fast and easy to sail
- Not the best choice for long-distance sailing
4. Cape Dory Typhoon
One of America's best selling sailboats and the "Littlest yacht"
The Cape Dory Typhoon is a trailerable sailboat that's perfect for weekend cruising and long-distance sailing. The boat has a fixed keel that draws 2 ft 6 in, and the mast can be lowered for transport. The overall length is just shy of 30 ft, and the boat has a beam of 10 ft.
The Cape Dory Typhoon has a comfortable cabin with berths for four people. The boat is also equipped with a head. The cockpit is spacious, and the boat has plenty of storage space for all your gear.
The Typhoon can be sailed shorthanded, but it's best enjoyed by a crew of two. The boat is well-suited for light bluewater sailing, making long trips or offshore passages easy and safe.
- Cabin with berths for four people
- Spacious cockpit
- Well suited for bluewater sailing
- Can't carry much in terms of gear for those long trips
This is a great sailboat that’s been available for over 30 years, and it's a great choice for coastal cruising. In the right hands, this trailerable boat is capable of plenty more, as the Cal 20 is well regarded as an ocean crossing race boat.
This hull is renowned for its interior and ease of use while trailering. It has a fixed keel that draws 2 ft 6 in, and the mast can be lowered for transport. The overall length is just shy of 21 ft, and the beam is 7 ft.
This sailboat has a comfortable interior with berths for four people. The boat also has a head, sink, and galley. The cockpit is spacious and well-suited for coastal cruising.
This boat is a great choice for all types of sailors, and it can be sailed solo or with a partner. The boat is fast and easy to sail, making it a great choice for weekend sailing trips.
It's not the lightest trailerable sailboat on our list, but it should be towed without issue by a well-equipped truck.
- Cabin isn’t all that
6. Catalina 22
This boat is a bit of a legend and one of the first boats I sailed.. Considered by many to be one of the best selling sailboats in America, and for good reason. This trailerable boat is perfect for weekend cruising and coastal sailing. The boat has a fixed keel that draws 2 ft 6 in, and the mast can be lowered for transport. The overall length is just shy of 25 ft, and the beam is 7.67 ft.
For a twenty two foot boat the interior is comfortable with berths for four people. The original boat also has a head, sink, and galley. The cockpit is spacious and well-suited for coastal cruising.
This vessel is a great choice for all types of sailors, and it can be sailed solo or with a partner. The boat is fast and easy to sail, making it a great choice for weekend sailing trips.
This sailboat has one of the best interiors in its class, but the mast requires regular maintenance.
Despite its age, the 22 is still in production.
Production began in 1969, with over 16,000 built in total. Catalina 22’s have been made to differing specifications. As a result, it is a popular sailboat made in great numbers and across the states. At any time, thousands may be available on the secondhand market at reasonable costs.
- Looks great
- Thoughtful cabin design
- Available everywhere
- The cabin isn't tall
This boat is rugged and is a great choice for those looking for a trailerable sailboat that can handle more than just coastal sailing. This boat has a fixed keel that draws 3 ft 6 in, and the mast can be lowered for transport. The overall length is just shy of 26 ft, and the beam is just over 8 ft.
The boat looks great. It’s wide and this contributes to its ease of use and stability while underway.
The O'Day 240's interior is particularly distinctive. It's packed with features, including a great berth in the shape of a V, galley, and room for a head. There’s also room in the rear for more berths. There's plenty of headroom in the cabin, which is rare in this size of boat. This boat is great for longer trips!
- Beamy which means more cabin space
- Great coastal cruiser
- Cabin design might be off putting to some
8. Islander 24
Islander's are renowned for their larger sailboats and are known for their great coastal cruisers. This boat is a great trailerable example by the company.
Built in a time when manufacturer's understood less about fiberglass, the hull is made thicker than modern sailboats. This gives the boat a sturdier look and adds substantial weight to the platform.
This fiberglass sailing boat is well-crafted and suitable for coastal cruising across a variety of conditions..
- Thicker fiberglass means stronger hull
- Great performance qualities
- Coastal cruising
- Heavy, Heavy, Heavy
The Helms 25 is a trailerable sailboat of exceptional quality, design and a swing keel. The boat has a fixed keel that draws 3 ft 6 in, and the mast can be lowered for transport. The overall length is just shy of 26 ft, and the beam is 8 ft.
The boat is well-appointed and has a nice layout. There's a small galley, two seats at the table, a berth in the shape of a V, and has room for more aft.
This boat is a comfortable, seaworthy, and trailerable boat. There is a lot of information available about this yacht. It's inexpensive to maintain and has a high resale value post new sale, making it an excellent investment opportunity.
- Cabin Layout
- Not great for extended trips
10. MacGregor 26
It seem we all have opinions about MacGregor. The 26 is no exception.
It's not quite like anything you've seen before. It looks blocky, wide and tall. This unique appearance might be off putting to some but it makes the boat much easier to handle and stable in conditions that would put other boats to shame.
The MacGregor 26 is loaded with options and a variety of models are available. With varying cabin layouts, window designs, and color schemes you're sure to find a MacGregor out there for you. If you're into the non traditional look, this is a great option as a trailerable sailboat!
- Modern design may be a trend setter
- Excellent headroom
- Stable across many conditions
- The look might put some people off
11. Nor'Sea 27
This boat might be one of the only true offshore sailboats with cabin amenities that might put some of the larger sailboats out there to shame. This 27 footer is a well designed, full-keel displacement sailboat. While underway, this boat feels safe and comfortable. A full keel allows this boat to weather more than others on this list.
This boat has a fantastic and large cabin, which is unique for these vessels. The interior’s paneled in attractive wood, and the whole ship has an elevated feel with quality materials throughout.
This boat’s a cruising sailboat that's ideal for extended travel and offshore sailing. If you're searching for a genuine cruising sailboat that'll trailer well, this boat is the one for you. Because of its size, weight and capabilities, towing this boat safely will require a vehicle that’s a bit more hefty.
- Large cabin
- Extended offshore trip capable
- Large and heavy
12. Catalina 25
The Catalina 25 is a sailboat that has been around for a while and is known for its great performance and easy handling. It's one of the most popular trailerable sailboats on the market, and it's easy to see why.
At just over 25 feet, the Catalina 25 is an easily handled sailboat that's perfect for weekend getaways. It has a spacious cockpit, a well-appointed cabin, and is capable of handling a wide range of wind and sea conditions.
The Catalina 25 is also one of the most affordable sailboats on the market. You can find them used for as little as $2,000, and they hold their value well. If you're looking for an affordable, trailerable sailboat that's perfect for weekend getaways, the Catalina 25 is a great option.
- Spacious cockpit
- Well-appointed cabin
- Not ideal for long-distance sailing or rough seas