10 Best Newer Center Cockpit Sailboats

Name this fantastic bluewater cruiser.

In a previous post, I considered the best sailboats with a price restriction of $200,000. By specifying a maximum price, I was necessarily limited to vintage designs. Now I would like to concentrate on newer designs that really I see more often in Fort Lauderdale on the brokerage market. All the below yachts are available post-2000 models

This emphasis on new construction makes me think. What is life span of fiberglass? Glass certainly deteriorates. Cosmetically as a broker you acquire a sixth sense for the condition of fiberglass. In general after 10 years, glass yachts lose a certain crispness. But do the cosmetics correspond to structural changes? I once spoke with Cecil Lange, an old boat builder of the Cape George series, and his comments affected my worldview. In essence, he noted that not only does glass loose strength but quickly. A 10 year old hull has much less strength that a new one; extrapolate that for 20 year; when you get towards 30 to 40 years, the fiberglass can have little strength left. And you cannot repair or reverse the loss of strength. There is a life span to fiberglass.

Anyways here is my short list of 10 newer center cockpits to look at for an offshore trip:

  • Amel 53 – Evolution of the 48 Maramu with U-shaped galley, enlarged aft lazarette, and larger engine room. Nuanced French design by Henri Amel.
  • HC Explorer 475 – Maybe my most favorite design. Collaboration between Chuck Paine and Tony Seifert. Whole different animal than older Hans Christian character boats. This is a no nonsense, raked bow’d, reverse transom’d, fin keeled sailing machine.
  • Hallberg Rassy 43 – Or any of the HR 53 or 46. You only see a few brands of yachts around the world and HR’s are one. European style accommodations with split berth aft.
  • Hylas 49 – Evolution of the legendary 47 by Sparkman & Stephens with two inches more sheer. Her Frers Hylas 54 sistership is another option.
  • Najad 460 – Swedish high quality builder. Close competition to Hallberg Rassy and likewise rare in USA.
  • Outbound 52 – Intriguing new manufacturer with yard in China. Anybody own one of these? I would love to learn more about the design. Has an aft cockpit 44/46 sistership.
  • Oyster 47 – Or 53 Oyster. Although these are overrated, these British boats have a following for quality build materials and classical design accents.
  • Passport 456 – And also 470 which come in both center and aft cockpit arrangements. There is nice Passport currently at Royale Palm.
  • Tayana 48 – Bob Perry design by venerable Taiwanese yard. Comes in both 2 and 3 stateroom versions.
  • Swan 46 – There is a nice one in Royale Palm Marina. Athletic boat that needs more of a crew. Sexy with her low freeboard and flush wide deck. An aft cockpit/ aft stateroom arrangement.

As always I hope to hear any suggestions for additions or criticism. I appreciate feedback. Please let me know by using the comment form below.

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