Top sailing boats will allow family and friends to enjoy sailing on the water
We've compiled a list of great sailboats based on their design, feature, price, safety, size and ease of use.
The best sailboats under 40ft are:
- Best For Cruising: Hunter e33
- Best Bluewater Sailboat: Najad 355
- Best Liveaboard: Hanse 388
- Best Budget Friendly: Catalina 38
- Best For Racing: J/122e
These sailing vessels can be purchased new or preowned. They can be used in different sailing conditions from calm cruising marine environments to harsh weather conditions.
These top sailboats are compatible with inshore sailing, offshore sailing and ocean sailing.
1. Hunter e33
The best sailboat under 40ft for cruising is the Hunter e33 sailing vessel. This sailboat is manufactured by the boat manufacturer Marlow-Hunter, formerly known as Hunter Marine. This sailboat is built in Florida, America and sold worldwide.
The Hunter e33 sailboat was first introduced in 2011. It is also called Marlow-Hunter 33. It should not be confused with the previous Hunter 33 model which was sold between 2004 and 2011.
The Hunter e33 sailboat was awarded "Best Compact Cruiser" by Cruising World in 2012.
The price of a brand-new Hunter e33 ranges from $148,889 to $155,000. The price of a preowned Hunter e33 ranges from $79,000 to $120,000. The price varies based on the optional extras added to the vessel.
A brand new Hunter e33 comes with a 5-year limited hull warranty.
This sailboat's overall length is 33.6ft. The hull length of this boat is 33.1ft. Its total weight is 12,400 lbs. (5,625kg).
The Hunter e33 comes in 1 color which is white. It comes with one 21-horsepower Yanmar diesel inboard engine. There is an optional upgrade to a 29HP Yanmar diesel inboard engine that buyers can choose if they want to upgrade the motor.
The features of the Hunter e33 include 2 cabins, 1x 3/4 settee, stainless steel sink, 1 stove with two burners, 4 storage cabinets in the galley, 1 built-in waste bin, 1 microwave, 1 icebox, corian countertop, 1 aft cabin with double berth foam mattress and cabin lighting, 1 forward cabin with double berth foam mattress and cabin lighting, 2 under-berth storage spaces in the cabins, propane gas system for cooking, 1 bilge pump, pressurized fresh water system, Raymarine depth sounder with alarm, Raymarine knot meter with log, VHF radio and stainless steel antenna, 1 water heater, nonskid deck, stainless steel deck handrails, Lewmar cobra direct drive steering mechanism, helm seat, inboard jib tracks, jib furling system, 2 winch handles, 1 dinette table convertible to berth, walk-through transom with stainless steel swim platform, 1 toilet with 1 waste holding tank, 1 transom shower, 1 television, 2 stern rail seats with drink holders, navigation light package and maxguard gelcoat with UV protection.
The Hunter e33 boat was designed by a boat designer named Glenn Henderson and the Marlow-Hunter design team.
A total of 6 people can sleep onboard a Hunter e33 sailing vessel.
The Hunter e33 is constructed of FRP monolithic and balsa sandwich hull and plywood sandwich deck.
The benefits of the Hunter e33 are:
- Folding swim platform: This fold-down swim platform helps extend the length of the cockpit when folded down while the boat is docked or at anchor
- Improved safety: The Hunter e33 comes with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, 2 fire extinguishers, an emergency tiller, handheld flares, 4 life jackets, an air horn, a manual bilge pump and an automatic engine room fire extinguishing system for improved safety
- CE classified A/8: This is a CE classification stating that the Hunter e33 boat is certified to operate in the ocean with winds of over Beaufort Force 8 (over 40 knots) and wave heights of 13 feet
- Single-handed sailing: With the cockpit traveler arch sheeting system, this sailboat can be sailed single-handed
- NMMA certified: The Hunter e33 is NMMA certified which means it meets boat industry safety and construction standards
- Increased space: The Hunter e33 sailboat has 40mm more cockpit length than the previous Hunter 33 model. The drop-down swim platform increases lounging space too
One disadvantage of the Hunter e33 is air conditioning is not standard on the Hunter e33 and it is an expensive optional extra costing $1,800 more.
The specifications of the Hunter e33 are below.
|Prop Type||Fixed 2 Blade Prop|
|Displacement (Shoal)||12,400 lbs|
|Mast Height (Standard)||46.7ft|
|Mast Height (Furling)||51.11ft|
|Sail Area (Standard)||581 sq. ft.|
|Sail Area (Furling)||542 sq. ft.|
|Sleeping Capacity||6 People|
|Maximum Capacity||7 People|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||25 Gallons|
|Water Tank Capacity||50 Gallons|
|Water Heater Capacity||6 Gallons|
|Holding Tank Capacity||15 Gallons|
|Battery Capacity||60 amps|
|Engine||1x Yanmar 21HP|
|Average Speed||5.5 knots|
|Displacement Length Ratio||216|
The Hunter e33 can be purchased through boat dealerships, classified boat websites like Boattrader or it can be ordered directly through the Marlow Hunter website.
For more information on this sailboat, read our Hunter e33 review.
2. Najad 355
The best sailboat under 40ft for bluewater sailing is the Najad 355 sailing vessel. This sailboat is manufactured by the boat manufacturer Najad Yachts. This sailboat was built in Henan, Sweden and sold worldwide.
The Najad 355 is CE classified "A" which means it is rated safe for bluewater (ocean sailing).
The Najad 355 sailboat was first introduced in 2007 and it was manufactured until 2014.
In 2008, the Najad 355 was awarded the best small cruiser by Cruising World.
The price of a preowned Najad 355 ranges from $170,000 to $240,000.
A Najad 355 sailboat comes with no warranty.
This sailboat's overall length is 35.76ft. Its total weight is 15,211.9 lbs. (6,900kg).
The Najad 355 comes in 1 color combination which is off-white main color with a black water line across the hull. It comes with one four-cylinder marine 28.4 horsepower Volvo Penta diesel inboard engine.
The features of the Najad 355 include 2 cabins with double berths in each cabin, 1 dinette table convertible into a double berth, corian countertops, 1 walk-in shower, 1 toilet, 1 fridge, 7 interior perspex windows, 2 deck hatches, teak & holly floor, 1 gas cooker, 1 manual bilge pump, 1 electric bilge pump, Raymarine VHF, navigation lights, Raymarine depth sounder, Raymarine radar, mahogany storage cabinets, 1 television, 1 stainless steel sink, 1 washbasin, teak deck finish, teak cockpit finish, L shaped galley, emergency tiller, 1 stainless steel boarding ladder, cockpit speakers, aluminum mast, windscreen, wooden rubbing strake, 6 life jackets, teak grab rail and 2 interior settee seating areas capable of seating 6 people.
The Najad 355 boat was designed by Najad Varvet, Judel & Vrolijk.
The Najad 355 hull is constructed of epoxy resin reinforced with glass fibres.
A total of 6 people can sleep onboard the Najad 355 boat.
The benefits of the Najad 355 are:
- Beautiful mahogany interior: The Najad 355 interior is made of a hand-polished glossy mahogany material and dark wood joinery which gives a luxurious look and feel to the vessel
- Spacious headroom: This sailboat offers headroom up to 6ft 4" in height which means most adults can comfortably stand below the deck on this boat with sufficient headroom
- Easy & efficient reefing: In mast furling allows for easy and efficient reefing which helps improves stability when sailing
One disadvantage of the Najad 355 is it is a heavier sailboat with a weight of 15,211.9 lbs.
The specifications of the Najad 355 are below.
The Najad 355 can be purchased through boat dealerships or classified boat websites like Boattrader.
3. Hanse 388
The best liveaboard sailboat under 40ft is the Hanse 388 sailing vessel. This sailboat is manufactured by the boat manufacturer Hanse Yachts. This sailboat is built in Greifswald, Germany and sold worldwide.
The Hanse 388 sailboat was first introduced in 2017 and it is manufactured to the present day. It was designed by Judel/Vrolijk & co team.
The price of a brand-new Hanse 388 ranges from $280,000 to $350,000. The price of a pre-owned Hanse 388 ranges from $150,000 to $250,000. The price varies based on the optional extras and upgrade packages included on this vessel.
A Hanse 388 sailboat comes with a 1-year warranty. Some specialized boat dealers may offer different warranty lengths.
This sailboat's overall length is 37.50ft. Its hull length is 36.10ft. Its total weight is 19,092 lbs. (8,660kg).
The Hanse 388 comes in 52 topcoat color options and 24 metallic base coat colors.
It comes with 8 synthetic teak color options which are teak black, teak grey, teak white, weathered black, weathered white, scrubbed black, scrubbed grey and scrubbed white.
It comes with 13 gennaker color options which are black, red, natural, light blue, ocean blue, green, dark blue, navy, purple, red, orange, coast gold and yellow.
It comes with one four-cylinder marine 27.3 horsepower Yanmar diesel inboard engine.
The features of the Hanse 388 include 6 hull windows (3 on each side), cast iron keel, grp rudder, 1 master cabin with double v-berth and storage space, 1 aft cabin with double berth and storage space, saloon with L-galley, 1 foldable saloon dining table with pull out bar, family saloon lounge, 1 burner gas stove, 1 waste bin, 1 twelve volt fridge, double stainless steel sink with mixing table, Acacia floorboard, mahogany style furniture, 1 toilet with seawater flush, 1 walk-in shower, 1 retractable bathing ladder on the drop-down bathing platform, 3 deck hatches, stainless steel railings, illuminated compass, LED navigation lights, twin wheel steering system with an emergency tiller, 2 stainless steel steering wheels with leather covers, teak on cockpit benches, 4 mooring cleats, self-tacking jib system, 1 water heater, cabin and deck lighting, ergonomic 90° adjustable helmsman seats, 1 32-inch flat screen tv and 2 Lewmar EVO manual halyard winches.
The Hanse 388 hull is constructed of a GRP hull material with an isophthalic gelcoat and a vinyl ester resin and solid laminate. This sailboat is CE-certified A/6.
A total of 6 people can sleep onboard the Hanse 388 boat. The maximum passenger capacity for a day sail on the Hanse 388 is 8 people.
The benefits of the Hanse 388 are:
- Bright interior: With 6 hull windows and glass skylights, this sailboat's interior is bright with plenty of natural lighting
- Increased stability for better performance: The fast cruising laminate sails of the Hanse 388 provides increased stability at faster speeds
- Integrated self-tacking jib system: The Hanse designed self-tacking jib system with all lines going to the helm means a boat captain can sail this vessel single-handed
Two disadvantages of the Hanse 388 is there is very little maneuverability when sitting on the toilet and the windows in the hull cannot be opened which is bad for ventilation.
The specifications of the Hanse 388 are below.
The Hanse 388 can be purchased through boat dealerships or classified boat websites like Boattrader or it can be ordered directly from the Hanse Yachts website.
4. Catalina 38
The best budget-friendly sailboat under 40ft is the Catalina 38 sailing vessel. This sailboat is manufactured by the boat manufacturer Catalina Yachts. This sailboat was built in Largo, Florida, America and sold worldwide.
The Catalina 38 sailboat was first introduced in 1978 and it was manufactured until 1990. It was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and Frank Butler.
The price of a pre-owned Catalina 38 ranges from $20,000 to $70,000. The price varies based on the condition and extras on the vessel. This is the cheapest top sailboat under 40ft.
A Catalina 38 sailboat comes with no warranty.
This sailboat's overall length is 38.20ft. Its total weight is 15,900 lbs. (7,212kg).
It comes with a 30-horsepower Universal M-30 diesel inboard engine.
The features of the Catalina 38 include an aluminum boom, keel-stepped aluminum mast, 1 manual bilge pump, pressurized hot & cold water, 1 automatic electric bilge pump, 1 fridge, 2 burner stove with oven, cockpit speakers, 1 television, GPS/Chart plotter, VHF radio, Raymarine depth sounder/speedometer, radar, bow thruster, 2 cabins with two double v berths, 1 head with walk-in shower, 40-inch steering wheel, storage lockers in both cabins, 1 cockpit table, marine plywood sandwich construction deck surface, interior teak veneer material, 2 settee seating areas and 1 dining table in the galley.
The Catalina 38 hull is constructed of fiberglass material.
A total of 6 people can sleep onboard the Catalina 38 boat. The maximum passenger capacity for a day sail on the Catalina 38 is 8 people.
The benefits of the Catalina 38 are:
- Great value for money: This sailboat is the cheapest top sailboat under 40ft and skippers get great value for money with this vessel
- Plenty of storage space: This sailboat comes with plenty of storage space with storage units on the deck, storage lockers in the cabins and storage cupboards in the galley
One disadvantage of the Catalina 38 is it has not being in production since 1990 which means getting certain spare parts can be difficult.
The specifications of the Catalina 38 are below.
The Catalina 38 can be purchased through boat dealerships or classified boat websites like boat.com.
The best sailboat under 40ft for racing is the J/122e sailing vessel. This sailboat is manufactured by the boat manufacturer J Composites.
This sailboat is built in Les Sables d'Olonne, France and sold worldwide. It has a top speed of 10 knots.
The J/122e model sailboat was first introduced in 2013 and it is manufactured to the present day. It was designed by Roseo and Rod Johnstone.
The price of a brand-new J/122e boat ranges from $500,000 to $600,000. The price of a pre-owned J/122e vessel ranges from $250,000 to $450,000.
A J/122e sailboat comes with a 10-year hull warranty when purchased brand new.
This sailboat's overall length is 40ft. Its length at the waterline is 34.60ft. Its total weight is 14,900 lbs. (6,758kg).
It comes with one four-cylinder marine 40-horsepower Volvo D2 Saildrive inboard diesel engine.
The features of the J/122e include 1 forward cabin with a large double v berth and overhead lockers, 1 emergency tiller, a 59-inch racing wheel with leather cover, 2 side lockers in the cockpit, a VCG keel with cast iron fin & lead bulb, 2 reef lines, 1 spinnaker halyard with snap shackle, a jib furling system with integrated furler drum into the deck, 1 walk-in electric shower, 1 toilet, 1 sink in the toilet, 1 aft cabin with a large double berth and locker/storage area, large forward facing chart table, navigator's seat, L-shaped galley, gas stove with 2 burners, double sink in galley, 150 liter fridge, 2 utensil drawers, 4 hull windows with 2 on each side, 1 foldable table, 2 settees with seating for 6 people, 1 manual bilge, 1 electric bilge, LED navigation lights, 1 five gallon hot water tank, stainless steel handrails, 1 removable swim ladder, 1 compass on wheel pedestal with stainless steel binnacle guard, harken mainsheet system and 1 TV.
The J/122e hull material is constructed of infusion molded sandwich construction using uni-and multi-directional fiberglass, low-density balsa core and vinylester resin. The hull material has a gelcoat finish.
A total of 6 people can sleep onboard the J/122e boat. The maximum passenger capacity for a day sail on this sailboat is 10 people.
The benefits of the J/122e sailboat are:
- High top speed: This sailboat can reach a top speed of 10 knots which is ideal for racing
- Easy trimming and tacking: The mainsail with furling jib configuration of the J/122e makes trimming and tacking a simple process
- Easy maneuverability: This sailboat is lightweight at 14,900 lbs. which makes it easy to maneuver while sailing on the water
One disadvantage of the J/122e is there is not much headroom around the head area of the bed.
The specifications of the J/122e are below.
The J/122e can be purchased through boat dealerships, classified boat websites like Boattrader or it can be ordered directly from the J Boats website.
Top Sailboats Under 40ft Comparison Table
Frequently Asked Questions About Top Sailing Boats Under 40ft
Below are the most commonly asked questions about top sailing boats under 40 feet.
What Are The Top Sailboats Under 40ft Brands?
The top sailboats under 40ft brands are:
- J Boats
How Much Do Top Sailing Boats Under 40ft Cost?
The best sailing boats under 40 feet cost between $20,000 and $600,000
What Is The Cheapest Top Sailing Boat Under 40ft?
The cheapest best sailing boat under 40ft is the Catalina 38 which costs between $20,000 and $70,000.
What Is The Most Expensive Top Sailing Boat Under 40ft?
The most expensive best sailing boat under 40ft is the J/122e which costs between $250,000 and $600,000.