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Top 6 Trawlers For Cruising With Families [Yacht Buyer’s Guide]

Fast, slow, large or small — these are the best trawler yachts for family fun on the water..

Looking for a boat to accommodate your family? Look no further than the trawler, boating’s distinct type of vessel that’s designed for long distanced cruising or extended vacations. Livability and practicality make trawlers a perfect family yacht . They offer spacious accommodation and versatility in performance while being easy for the captain to maneuver.

We’re featuring the top 6 trawlers for cruising with families, currently for sale with Denison Yachting. No need to pack light when setting out on an unforgettable boating adventure aboard one of these vessels.

1. Beneteau Swift Trawler 41

best motor yacht for family cruising

The Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 is a new addition to the swift trawler fleet and an excellent option for families. She’s affordable, spacious, and great on fuel — at a top speed of 23 knots, she can drive to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale with plenty of fuel left to cruise around and return without a refill.

Large interior windows create an ideal galley for parents to watch the kids play in the water while making lunch. She can accommodate up to seven people with three cabins, two heads, and fully equipped amenities to enjoy long-distance cruises or weekend trips with family and friends. She’s available in a flybridge or sedan style.

The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 exudes safety and luxury while preserving performance and comfort. The ST 41 will be featured at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2020 — stop by to check her out or contact a Denison yacht broker for a private showing of this seaworthy cruiser.

2. 86’ Outer Reefs Yacht 2017

best motor yacht for family cruising

This 86′ Outer Reef Yacht , named Simon Says , was designed for travel. Her systems were built and optimized for sea conditions that would otherwise prevent a similar size yacht to seek shelter in the closest port. This trawler is made to accommodate a family, plus crew with eight cabins in total.

Her 3,500-gallon fuel reserve lets her sail comfortably for an extended period of time at a cruising speed that ranges from 8.5 knots to 14.5 knots. Her standout features include a sky lounge, beautiful teak, and spacious country kitchen that makes her the perfect trawler for accommodating families.

3. 70’ Marlow 2008

best motor yacht for family cruising

Pappy’s Toy is an elegant used trawler for sale with Denison Yachting. This family trawler was recently updated with a new bottom paint job, hull compound and wax, and new stabilizer seals. She’s equipped and built for long-range cruising with the help of a crew.

This 70’ Marlow is made for cruising with families because she’s comfortable, spacious, and homey. Her standout features include a wet bar, a large entertainment center, and a VIP guest stateroom. Pappy’s Toy is ready to take you on a luxury family adventure along the coasts.

4. Beneteau Swift Trawler 47

Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 — Boldly Designed

Another new addition to the Swift Trawler range is Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 47 . She offers more room and more power than your typical trawler. The ST 47 provides a true sense of comfort and the ability to take you farther and faster.

The new ST 47 features an open-deck layout, with large walkways and handrails to help passengers move around safely. Her generous cabin space can accommodate up to eight people on board the vessel. She combines those familiar characteristics of a classic long-range cruiser with the speed and convenience of a yacht twice her size.

5. 70’ Marlow 2005

best motor yacht for family cruising

Marlow Yachts were built with performance and innovation in mind. Bravo Zulu is the most well-equipped and meticulously maintained used Marlows for sale with Denison Yachting. Her updates were made with a family in mind, including a brand new electronics package, new teak decks on the swim platform, and a flybridge enclosure to protect from the elements.

Her three-stateroom, four-head layout with separate crew quarters makes her a comfortable trawler to live in. The master suite includes a king-size berth, office, and plenty of storage — there’s even a separate washer and dryer. You can easily spend weeks on Bravo Zulu and feel pleasantly at home on the water.

6. 65′ Hampton 2009

best motor yacht for family cruising

This 69′ Hampton 2009, named FeuryUs , is for sale in Old Saybrook, Connecticut with Denison Yachting. She’s in excellent condition with over $300,000 in upgrades, including new Garmin electronics, joystick dockmate remote control, and stabilizers with larger fins. FeuryUs is perfect for families or entertaining guests as she’s fully equipped with four cabins, four heads, a cozy salon, and a large aft deck. She’s stable and reliable, with plenty of space for storage and entertaining.

FeuryUs has the capability of a 1,500-mile range at 8 knots (900 rpm), but can be pushed up to 19 knots at full throttle (in case you need to outrun a storm or want to get back in time for happy hour on the dock). She’s is one of those yachts that make you feel unstoppable on the water, and she’s ready to make memories with you and your family.

Trawlers are an excellent choice if you’re in the market for a comfortable and spacious boat. Their large fuel capacity makes them ideal for long-distance cruising and overnight vacations. Contact a Denison yacht broker to find the right trawler for you and your family.

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best motor yacht for family cruising

NEWS | March 18, 2024

120 northcoast 2000 sold by peter quintal [120 rph].

120 Northcoast 2000 Sold by Peter Quintal [120 RPH] A 120′ Northcoast built in 2000 was sold by Peter Quintal, who represented the Seller along with Tom George of OneWater Yacht Group, who also introduced the Buyer. This 120′ North Coast is a spectacular yacht, benefitting from an extensive

best motor yacht for family cruising

85 Princess 2009 Sold by Paul Denton & Jace Kizzier [NO CURFEW]

85 Princess 2009 Sold by Paul Denton & Jace Kizzier [NO CURFEW] NO CURFEW, an 85′ Princess built in 2009, was sold by Paul Denton, who represented the Seller, and Jace Kizzier, who introduced the Buyer. NO CURFEW includes a four stateroom, five head interior layout with accommodations up to eight people.

best motor yacht for family cruising

76 Viking 2011 Sold by Eric Burke [CODE BLU]

76 Viking 2011 Sold by Eric Burke [CODE BLU] CODE BLU, a 76′ Viking built in 2011, was sold by Eric Burke, who introduced the Buyer. Doug Donohue with HMY represented the Seller. CODE BLU features an interior layout of 5 staterooms and 5 heads, plus an additional dayhead

best motor yacht for family cruising

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Best family boats: 6 quality options for saltwater cruising

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Once you’ve been bitten by the boating bug, it’s only natural that you’ll want to take the whole family with you, but what are the best family boats for saltwater cruising?

Boating can be a lot of fun as a solitary pursuit, but once you start taking the family with you, your horizons start to expand rapidly.

Here at MBY, we’ve tested hundreds of top-quality family boats – the below is our selection of sub-40ft boats that would suit a family making their first foray into the exciting world of saltwater cruising.

Brig Eagle 8

BRIG is the largest RIB manufacturer in the world – not bad for a Ukrainian company that emerged 25 years ago from the ashes of a former Soviet fighter jet factory.

So when it launched a new 8m model aimed squarely at the family boats market rather than the high-performance niche which RIB builders tend to favour, we couldn’t resist taking a closer look.

Key features ticked off in this design include flexible seating and a large heads compartment, which can double as storage for watersports gear and cushions.

Read more about the Brig Eagle 8

Article continues below…

Absolute 47 Fly review: Impressive all-rounder would make an excellent family boat


Princess F45 yacht tour: A (relatively) small but perfectly formed family boat

The smallest model in Nimbus’ outboard-powered sportsboat range could actually be the best of the bunch, and a top option for a family boat.

One major selling point is that it’s just narrow enough to fit on a trailer, meaning you don’t have to shell out on marina fees.

It’s an exceptionally safe, easy craft to move around with deeply bulwarked decks, sturdy guard rails, grab handles exactly where you’d expect to find them and an attention to detail rarely found on this size of craft.

Read more about the Nimbus T8


Jeanneau Merry Fisher 895 Marlin

One of the most popular ranges from the world’s biggest boatbuilder, the Jeanneau Merry Fisher has been a family boats favourite for decades, but we think they hit the sweet spot last year with the launch of the 895 Marlin.

With two cockpits, you can easily seat six for lunch back aft, before moving forward to enjoy the wind-in-your-hair experience from the bow while powering along at more than 37 knots.

The enclosed wheelhouse makes this a true all-weather boat, while two cabins below decks mean you can spend the whole weekend on board.

Read more about the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 895 Marlin


Beneteau Flyer 10

Crowned as the European Powerboat of the Year in 2020, the flagship of Beneteau’s Flyer range is a highly versatile design.

Part sunny weather plaything, part family boat, the Flyer 10 fits in a six-person cockpit with adjacent galley and a four-seat helm station, as well as a watersports tow arch.

Below decks there’s enough room for six adults to sit around the dinette, which can convert into a double bed, and there’s a second double berth amidships.

Read more about the Beneteau Flyer 10

Only just launched in September at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival , the new Marex 330 has all the hallmarks of a future family boats classic.

Finished to a typically high Norwegian standard, the 330 includes Marex’s famous curtain canopy system, which requires just the pull of one bungee to become rain and windproof without the need to fiddle with numerous tie points.

We’re very excited to test drive this new model and will be publishing a full review in the coming months.

Read more about the Marex 330

Sealine C330

The oldest design on our list, but still winning over family boat buyers six years after its launch, the British-designed and German-built Sealine C330 delivers excellent packaging and fun handling for a competitive price.

The spacious accommodation is the star here, making the C330 a genuinely usable weekender for four and week-long cruiser for a couple with kids or visiting friends.

But that’s not to say it’s not fun to drive – the twin sterndrive setup, linked to a pair of Volvo Penta D3 220s, makes for a fun, agile and safe driving experience and should make the C330 a treat to thread through a following sea.

Those are just a few of the reasons why we bestowed one of our much-coveted Motor Boat Awards on the Sealine C330 back in 2016.

Read more about the Sealine C330

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Best Yachts – Top 15 Picks for 2024

Carver 52 Command Bridge

Carver 52 Command Bridge

Hatteras M75 Panacera

Hatteras M75 Panacera

Sabre 58 Salon Express

Sabre 58 Salon Express

Chris Riley

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a yacht? Probably those huge luxury cruisers reserved for the high society folks, right? Well, that’s true, but those are a special group of ships referred to as luxury yachts.

The questions you need to be asking are – What is a yacht? At what point is a yacht regarded as a ship? And, what exactly makes a yacht a yacht? Here’s a little boating lesson for you.

A yacht is any fast cruising watercraft used for pleasure or sport. Yachts can be classified into cruisers, superyachts, and mega yachts. The difference between them all boils down to their respective sizes.

Luxury vessels that are less than 12 meters long fall in the class of cabin cruiser yachts – or simply, cruisers. Those that measure more than 24 meters are classified as superyachts. Anything that’s 50+ meters long is a mega yacht. Anything larger than a mega yacht is generally referred to as a ship and generally describes a working vessel as opposed to something recreational.

So, as you can see, you don’t necessarily have to be swimming in a ton of money to become a yacht owner. The only difference will be in the size of the craft you get. Clear enough?

Without further ado, here are the 15 best yachts, as well as a few useful tips on how to choose the best one.

Top on our list of best yachts is the Carver 52 Command Bridge. Its unique design, spacious salon, expansive foredeck seating area, and well-thought-out amenities make this one the best yachts bar-none.

It comes with a master head, a spacious stall shower, and a full-beam master stateroom that even has its own private entrance. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 Carver  →

● Designed for long-range cruising ● Ample living space ● Comes with loads of convenience amenities

● Not ideal for use in icy waters

The Hatteras M75 Panacera yacht is the perfect embodiment of superior craftsmanship and timeless elegance. One look at it, and you can tell that it was built with impeccable attention to detail.

Everything from the galley layout and the open-concept deckhouse salon to the 360-degree panoramic windows and state-of-the-art amenities adds a completely new dimension to luxury yachting.

 Hatteras  →

● Ample space ● Exquisite interiors and exteriors ● Fully-customizable

● High maintenance

Yachts don’t exactly come cheap. So, the term “budget” yacht might be a bit of a stretch when referring to the price. Nonetheless, if you’re shopping for a watercraft that delivers excellent value for money, the Sabre 58 Salon Express is a great option to consider.

It has an open yacht design that seamlessly merges the interior with the exterior and has large windows that flood the interior spaces with lots of natural light. The Sabre also has three en-suite cabins, abundant storage, and several other great features that make it stand out from other boats in its class.

 Sabre Yachts  →

● Great value for money ● Spacious interior ● Ample storage

● Not ideal for use in the high seas

Tiara Yachts 53 Coupe

Tiara Yachts 53 Coupe

The Tiara Yachts 53 Coupe is the perfect family watercraft. It is designed for indoor and outdoor living. The bridge deck space and salon offer breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the ocean. It also has comfortable living quarters below deck that are guaranteed to give the entire family an exceptional cruising experience.

 Tiara  →

● Great for making memories ● Comfortable living quarters ● Offers panoramic views all round

● High maintenance costs

60 Cantius

The 60 Cantius from Cruiser was built for long-distance passages. It has spacious living quarters both above and below deck, as well as lots of comfort and convenience amenities that allow you to spend extended periods out on the water.

You’ll particularly enjoy the retractable sunroof that allows you to bask in the sun while enjoying breathtaking panoramic ocean views as you cruise along.

 Cruisers Yachts  →

● Ideal for long-distance passages ● Beautiful, elegant design ● Spacious living areas above and below deck

● Pricier than other boats in its class

93 Motor Yacht

93 Motor Yacht

If you’re looking for a watercraft that can go the distance, it doesn’t get any better than the 93 Motor Yacht from Viking Yachts. First impressions: It is gorgeous.

Its beauty isn’t skin-deep either. The 93MY was built to navigate the rough, choppy waters of the high seas, making it the perfect vessel for anyone who wants to go on an ocean-crossing adventure of a lifetime.

 Viking Yachts  →

● Stunning exterior and interior design ● Built to navigate rough water conditions ● It is pretty massive

● Requires a small crew to operate it

Jeanneau NC 37

Jeanneau NC 37

The Jeanneau NC 37 is an excellent beginner boat. Its fluid layout and ergonomic design make movement in this yacht a breeze. It comes with large panoramic windows with an open sunroof that bathe the living space in lots of natural light.

There’s an owner’s cabin, as well as a guest cabin that both offer ample standing headroom. Its well-proportioned interior alongside the multitude of comfort and convenience amenities it comes with makes it one of the best beginner yachts in the market today.

 Jeanneau  →

● Ample living space and storage ● Great value for money ● Open ergonomic layout

● Not ideal for ocean crossing

Regal 36 XO

Regal 36 XO

If you’re looking for a yacht that combines both comfort and functionality, the Regal 36 XO delivers on both fronts. This beauty is powered by two outboard engines and offers multi-bow seating that also doubles up as casting decks.

It has a spacious cabin, open-air salon, seamless galley that integrates the aft seating area with the roomy saloon, and a windshield walk-through that provides easy access to the bow.

 Regal  →

● Versatile ● Spacious interiors and exteriors ● Fully-customizable

Back Cove 390

Back Cove 390

If you thought yachts were reserved for ocean-use only, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several models specially designed for lakes. The Back Cove 390 yacht is the perfect example.

Its smaller size makes it ideal for lake cruising. It has a fully-enclosed helm, as well as an owner and guest cabin below-deck, making it perfect for overnight stay.

 Back Cove Yachts  →

● Perfect size for lakes ● Ideal for entertaining ● Delivers optimal handling and maneuverability

● May not be ideal for a long extended stay

Formula 45 Yacht

Formula 45 Yacht

The Formula 45 Yacht is the perfect liveaboard watercraft. It has all the comfort and convenience amenities you would expect to find in any standard land-based home. It is spacious with a well-thought-out practical layout that makes movement on the yacht easy. It has enough room to comfortably accommodate a small family of four.

 Formula  →

● Best yacht for the money ● Spacious interior ● Comes with lots of convenience amenities

Ocean Alexander 36L

Ocean Alexander 36L

If you’re thinking of venturing out into the rough seas, you’re going to need a yacht that can hold its own in the sloppiest of weather conditions. The Ocean Alexander 36L is built to do just that.

Beyond its stunning exterior and interiors, this yacht’s overall rugged construction is focused on giving passengers the smoothest ride possible regardless of the water conditions outside. Its deep V-hull design and its 324,500 lbs. displacement capacity are largely responsible for the exceptional stability it displays when cruising through the high seas.

 Ocean Alexander  →

● Exceptionally stable ● Packed with loads of comfort and convenience amenities ● Expansive interior and exterior

● Needs a crew to run it

Westport 112 Motor Yacht

Westport 112 Motor Yacht

As far as luxury yachts go, the Westport 112 Motor Yacht is in a class of its own. This 111 ft. 8 in. long watercraft is built to deliver extraordinary performance inside and out.

It has four en-suite staterooms that sleep eight individuals and can accommodate up to five crew members, including the captain. The interior oozes luxury, sophistication, and a timeless elegance that’s hard to come by these days.

 Westport Yachts  →

● Spacious indoor and outdoor living areas ● Exquisite interiors ● Suitable for cruising the high seas

● Expensive

Beneteau Oceanis 60

Beneteau Oceanis 60

The Beneteau Oceanis 60 is by far the best sailing yacht we’ve come across. It is built on a hull that guarantees safety and unmatched performance at every turn.

This luxury sailing yacht has a unique deck plan that allows for single-handed maneuvering across the water. The glossy woodwork, cozy upholstery, and the spacious living quarters below-deck make it the perfect sailing yacht for your ocean getaway.

 Beneteau  →

● Exceptional fuel economy ● Spacious living areas ● Ideal for single-handed sailing

● May not be as fast as other non-sailboat yachts

Antares 9

Having a crew is great and all, but it’s also nice to have a yacht that you can operate on your own for that measure of added privacy when you need it. The Antares 9 is the perfect owner operator yacht.

It is modern, stylish, and compact, allowing you to run it on your own and discreetly slip away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life anytime you need to.

● Elegant design ● Can be operated solo ● Comfortable and safe navigation

● Not ideal for the rough, choppy waters of the high seas

Prestige 690

Prestige 690

Let’s get to what yachts are best known for – hosting memorable parties. The Prestige 690 has everything you need to keep the party going all day and all night.

Its open design layout and its expansive deck make it the perfect yacht for entertaining. The elegant, timeless design of its exterior, alongside the breathtaking finishing, are just a few of the 690’s attributes that add to its appeal.

 Prestige  →

● Massive open deck ● Comes with lots of comfort and convenience features ● Sleeps up to 10 people

How to Choose the Best Yachts – Buyer’s Guide

A yacht is a pretty big purchase. So, you need to know what to look for when choosing the right one for your needs. Here are a couple of pointers that might come in handy.

Type of Yacht

The type of yacht you buy depends in large part on your intended use for it. Most yachts tend to fall into one of three categories – For water sports like wakeboarding , fishing motor yachts, or the overnight cruising variety. Once you know what kind of recreational activities you plan on engaging in, that should help narrow down your choices.

Next, you need to consider what size of yacht you should get. Do you have a young family that you intend to expand in the coming years? Do you plan to use the vessel for day cruising, or do you intend to spend a couple of nights on board from time to time?

Will the yacht be just for you and your significant other, or do you plan to frequently entertain several guests on board? This will advise whether you should buy a cabin cruiser yacht, a superyacht, or a mega yacht.

In a perfect world, you would have all the money you need to buy any kind of watercraft you want. Sadly, that’s not the reality we live in. Keep in mind that yachts don’t exactly come cheap. So, even if you’re planning to purchase a small yacht, you’ll still need to spend quite a bit of cash to get it.

The best thing to do would be to set a budget and compare the different models on offer from different manufacturers . Aside from the boat’s purchase price, you also need to think about the costs associated with owning a yacht. These include insurance, repairs, maintenance, cleaning, and the vessel’s general servicing.

Figure out what kind of comfort and convenience features are a must-have for you. How many cabins should it have? Do you need it to have a summer grill up top? Or will the one in the mini kitchen below-deck suffice? Ensure that the yacht you get has all the amenities you need.

Last but not least, before you sign any purchase contract, ensure that you schedule a sea trial with the dealer. That way, you get a true feel for the boat before you buy it.

Look Before You Leap

If you’re in the market for a shiny new yacht, any of the 15 vessels we’ve detailed in this guide will make an excellent choice. Do your homework beforehand, and make sure your desired craft has all the features and amenities you seek.

Use the tips we’ve outlined in this guide to help you choose the best yachts from all the different options that are hot on the market right now. Happy yachting!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for the best aluminum fishing boat , we’ve got you covered. Check out our review for our top picks.

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About Chris

Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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The 10 Most-Exciting Yacht Debuts at the Palm Beach International Boat Show

Besides the debut of smaller vessels, more than 60 yachts over 100 feet will be at palm beach this week. it promises to be a banner event., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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Palm Beach International Boat Show

For superyacht shoppers, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, kicking off its four-day run this week, is set to break records with more than 60 yachts over 100 feet long on display. Last year was also a banner year for superyachts at the show. 

Headliners will include the likes of the 295-foot Corsair Nero ,  the 278-foot Victorious by AKYacht, the 230-foot Turquoise-built Talisman C , and 213-foot Benetti Triumph among brokerage yachts, and in new yachts, the 113-foot Ocean Alexander Puro 35 is making its world debut.  

There are so many gleaming white vessels over 100 feet, in fact, that the fleet will be split between the Palm Harbor Marina at the main show site on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and the Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina two miles north. 

Now in its 42nd year, PBIBS will also showcase hundreds of models of dayboats, cruisers, and fishing boats, as well as marine accessories. Running from this Thursday through Sunday, the show coincides with the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art show, a fortuitous opportunity for yacht owners wanting to add new art to their collections.

Here are 10 must-see boats at this year’s show.

Corsair Yachts ‘Nero’

best motor yacht for family cruising

The undisputed star of this year’s Palm Beach show? That would be the 295-foot, classically styled superyacht Nero , built in 2007 and inspired by American financier J.P. Morgan’s legendary 1930s steamer Corsair IV . Nero ‘s attendance at PBIBS marks its return to the charter market after an extensive refit in 2021. Now better than new, the boat is being managed by Burgess. With weekly charter rates from $497,000, the vessel offers five-star accommodations for 12 guests in six cabins, with pampering from a crew of 20. Part of the refit included a full interior refresh by Italian interior designer Laura Pomponi, plus a major focus on wellness. That meant the construction of a new, state-of-the-art gym and spa, the assistance of a certified onboard trainer, a masseuse and beautician. After PBIBS, Nero will spend the winter in the Caribbean before returning to the Med for the summer season.

Ocean Alexander Puro 35P

best motor yacht for family cruising

Ocean Alexander is debuting the first of its new Puro superyacht series at PBIBS. The 113-foot Puro 35P comes from the drawing board of Italian designer Giorgio M. Cassetta and is a step back from the polarizing lines of OA’s recent Revolution and Explorer series with their bold, vertical bow designs. Aimed at long-distance cruising, the 35P can carry over 5,000 gallons of fuel and is powered by twin 2,000 hp MAN V12s for a 24-knot top speed. Twin 55kW Kohler generators can also keep the yacht powered at anchor for long periods. Other standout features include extensive glazing in the chiseled fiberglass hull, a forward deck plunge pool, and spacious accommodations for 10 guests. 

best motor yacht for family cruising

Think of it as the “starter” Sirena. Aimed at a younger demographic, the Turkish builder’s brand-new Sirena 48 is making its U.S. debut at PBIBS after a global reveal at last fall’s Cannes boat show. Such is its appeal that 27 hulls have already been sold, with 13 of the orders coming from North America. Looking like a scaled-down version of Sirena’s popular 58, its distinctive, trawler-style lines are from Argentinian designer Germán Frers. With more interior space than a typical 48-footer, the yacht offers three staterooms—plus a crew cabin—a spacious, light-filled salon, a large cockpit, an oversized flybridge, and a vast forward social area. Take your pick from twin 550 hp Cummins QSB, or 670 hp Volvo D11 turbo diesels. Or the builder is also offering hybrid power with twin 285 hp electric motors charged up by variable-speed generators that are good for a 30-mile battery-only range.

Feadship ‘Olympus’

best motor yacht for family cruising

Picture purchasing a classic 180-foot Feadship superyacht, and then getting a $10 million bill for a major refit. That was the case with Olympus , built by the Dutch masters at Feadship in 1996 to a design by Britain’s Andrew Winch and the celebrated naval architect Frits De Voogt. Sold in 2022, the new owner sent it to the Monaco Marine refit center in La Ciotat, France for a major makeover. It included overhauling the 2,600 hp Caterpillar engines and generators, repairs to the structure, substantial upgrades to the guest areas and crew quarters, and new paint throughout. With the work completed just last year, the vessel is said to be in mint condition. Offered jointly by brokers Fraser and Edmiston, Olympus has an asking price of $28.5 million. With accommodations for 16 guests in eight cabins, the boat’s highlights include two primary suites, tropical-spec air conditioning, and Palm Beach-chic decor.

Benetti ‘Triumph’

best motor yacht for family cruising

Italian yachting powerhouse Benetti is showing off its superyacht-building skills with the 213-foot Triumph . Delivered in 2021, this Giorgio M. Cassetta-designed steel-and-aluminum world girder features six decks, a 1,400-square-foot primary suite with outdoor terrace and adjoining lounge, a 750-square-foot beach club, and a touch-and-go helipad. What sets Triumph apart, however, is its lavish interior furnishings put together by the owner along with Benetti Interior Style and Monaco-based Green & Mingarelli Design. It includes pieces by French glassmaker Lalique, marble from Marfil, Statuario and Armani, furs, silk and wool carpets, plus a collection of cool black-and-white wildlife photographs by British fine art photographer David Yarrow. The pièce de résistance? That would be the owner’s Triumph Bonneville motorcycle displayed in the salon.

Fjord 39 XP/XL

best motor yacht for family cruising

Germany’s Fjord Yachts, part of the Hanse Group, has a new 39-foot day boat that it’s unveiling at the Palm Beach show. The 39 XP and XL keep all the bold design cues of the bigger Fjord 41 XP and XL, like a big, open cockpit, walkaround center console, vertical bow, mile-high windshield and stretched hardtop. As for the differences between the XP and XL, it’s all about power. The XL comes with a choice of twin 320hp Volvo D4 diesels, or bigger 440 hp D6 versions, both with Volvo stern drives. Likely more appealing to U.S. buyers will be the XP powered by twin 400 hp Mercury Verado V10 outboards giving a 50-knot top speed. Pricing starts at around $500,000.

Turquoise ‘Talisman C’

best motor yacht for family cruising

Chandeliers don’t come more dramatic than this. Cascading down the central spiral staircase of the Turkish-built, 231-foot superyacht Talisman C , this jaw-dropping piece of art comprises an array of multi-colored glass balls threaded on stainless-steel rods and illuminated by hanging fiber-optic strands. It’s the creation of Prague-based Crystal Caviar and is one of a number of glass installations on this sleek, low-profile superyacht. Built in 2011 by the Proteksan Turquoise shipyard, Talisman C was designed inside and out by London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, with naval architecture by Italy’s Hydro Tec. With cabins for 12 guests, one of its highlights is a huge primary suite, which boasts more crystal chandeliers and a private library. Twin 2,447 hp Caterpillar diesels give a top speed of 18 knots and a transatlantic range of 7,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. It’s listed with Burgess for $59.9 million. 

Sanlorenzo 44 ‘Kamakasa’

best motor yacht for family cruising

Delivered in 2020 and sold to a new buyer just last August, the 146-foot Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy Kamakasa will be for sale at PBIBS. The asking price, through the Italian Yacht Group, is $23.75 million. Lack of use might also be the issue here; the yacht’s twin 2,600 hp MTU V16 diesels have a mere 289 hours on the clock. Built in aluminum to a design by Rome-based Zuccon International Project, Kamakasa was the second hull in the Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy series. One of the top features is a primary suite that spans three levels and almost 1,600 square feet; it also comes with a private Jacuzzi, separate bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a private study. The yacht’s lightweight construction and MTU power combine to deliver an impressive 20-knot top speed.

Bahama 41 GT2

best motor yacht for family cruising

As ultimate, reel-’em-in, fishing center consoles go, the Bahama 41 from West Palm Beach-based Bahama Boat Works is as hard-core as they come. But when owners kept asking for a little more comfort for the family, the builder responded. The result is the brand-new flagship 41 GT debuting at PBIBS. While the proven, wave-slicing hull stays the same, the cockpit layout is new. In place of the single bench seat, there are now three-across bucket seats with a second row behind. The wider console now has space for a pair of 22-inch Garmin screens, while the new extended hardtop features sun shades and even a rain shower. Outboard choices stay the same with either twin Mercury V12 600s, or four 400 hp Mercury V10s, good for a 65-knot-plus top speed. Pricing is from around $920,000.

Heesen ‘Book Ends’

best motor yacht for family cruising

Launched in 2022, this 164-foot Heesen is part of the Book Ends collection, owned by an American couple who have had more than 18 yachts with the same name. The exterior design of this Heesen was by Omega Architects, while Dutch studio Van Oossanen did the naval architecture. The yacht is part of Heesen’s fast cruising series, which is more efficient than other vessels its size, and can reach 23 knots at full speed with its MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines. The yacht is listed through Ocean Independence for 42 million Euro, or about $45.7 million.

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Best Sailboats For Families

Best Sailboats For Families | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Sailing has always been a family activity and a great way for families to bond. But what sailboats are best (and safest) for the whole family?

Family sailboats are spacious, easy to sail, heel gently, and safe in rough weather. The best production family sailboats are the Catalina 22, the Catalina 30, the Lagoon 470 catamaran, and the Beneteau 49.

In this article, we’ll cover in-depth four of the best sailboats for family cruising. We’ll go over what to look for when choosing a family sailboat, along with what to avoid. Additionally, we’ll compare single and multihull designs and cover the benefits and drawbacks of each.

We sourced the information in this article from the sailing community and specifically sailing families who’ve embarked on extended voyages.

Table of contents

‍ Family Sailboat Sailing Characteristics

Beyond obvious considerations (such as size and accommodations), what is the most important aspect of a family sailboat? It’s sailing characteristics—and this is especially true for monohulls. Sailing characteristics play a large part in the safety of the vessel and also the comfort of its less experienced crew.

There are several factors that contribute to sailing characteristics and a family-friendly boat. First and foremost, a boat’s heeling tendencies should be taken into consideration. Boxier modern boats tend to heel (lean over under sail) much less dramatically than older, more rounded designs. This is also true for wider boats, which are more stable.

Heeling is natural under sail, but it can be alarming to kids and inexperienced sailors. Additionally, it makes it much more difficult to cook or move around the boat safely—especially out on the deck but also in the cabin. A boat with milder handling is much better suited to families.

Another factor to consider is seakeeping. A comfortable boat is one that doesn’t pound excessively and takes waves gracefully—and this is not always the case. Some sailboats (particularly narrow and flat-bottomed versions) are notorious for being dreadfully uncomfortable in rough weather.

Larger, wider, and more rounded hulls handle waves much better than flat-bottom boats, though other factors also contribute to seakeeping abilities. The best family boats are a bit sluggish due to their increased displacement but far more comfortable when the weather gets rough.

Family Sailboat Size

What’s the ideal size for a family sailboat? Well, the answer clearly depends on the size of your family—however, we can start with a simple rule that a family sailboat should be able to accommodate at least four people comfortably.

Four people should be able to be in the same place at the same time—for example, in the cockpit or in a common area in the cabin. Some sailboats may accommodate six or more people in the cockpit, but only two or four around the dining table—which is not the ideal arrangement for a family.

The average size of a family sailboat is between 30 and 40 feet. This applies to both monohull and multihull sailboats. Sailboats of this size generally have standing headroom and enough sleeping spaces for the whole family. Additionally, virtually all sailboats of the size have a shower and toilet, and sometimes two.

Monohull Vs Multihull Family Sailboats

Monohull sailboats are vessels with a single hull. Monohulls are probably what you think of when you picture a typical sailboat. Multihull sailboats have multiple hulls, and the most common types are two-hull catamarans and three-hull trimarans.

Monohull sailboats are significantly less expensive than multihull sailboats. This makes them the most common choice for families who are more budget-sensitive when it comes to recreational equipment.

But when it comes to handling and cabin comfort, the multihull has several distinct advantages over the monohull. These sailboats distribute the force of the wind between multiple hulls and a wide stance, which makes them extremely safe and stable.

Additionally, virtually all cruising catamarans and trimarans have extensive center cabin space and several private stateroom areas in the hull. This allows families to give each person adequate space on long voyages. Many cruising families opt for a multihull, as the additional space is paramount to long-term comfort.

Best Family Sailboat Models

Hundreds of sailboat designs have been sold over the years, and a few stand out as spectacular family coastal cruising and long-distance sailboats. This list will include an example of each common family sailboat type, and we’ll specify the best uses for each vessel. Here are four of the best and safest family sailboats on the market today.

1. Catalina 22 Trailer Sailboat


The Catalina 22 is one of the most popular sailboats of all time. It was introduced in the 1960s as a family sailboat for lakes and coastal waters, and it was produced in many variations over the years. Thousands of Catalina 22 sailboats are still on the market today, which serves as a testament to their robust design and timeless utility.

Most Catalina 22 sailboats are trailerable, which means you don’t need to rent a permanent slip to store it. The vessel is 22 feet in length and can be towed by a reasonably sized SUV or standard pickup truck. It’s constructed with marine fiberglass, which is low maintenance and extremely durable.

The Catalina 22 is not designed for extended cruising. Instead, it’s a day boat with a reasonably sized cabin for short overnight trips. It is a perfect alternative to camping, and there’s usually enough space to sleep four.

All things considered, the cabin space aboard a Catalina 22 is generous. Some versions of the boat came with a pop-up companionway hatch, which turned sitting headroom into standing headroom towards the aft end of the cabin. This is exceedingly rare on small trailer sailers, and it’s a big perk of having a Catalina 22.

The Catalina 22 is the perfect starter boat for a family. It’s heavy and stable and offers excellent sailing characteristics (even in higher winds). Additionally, it’s easy to rig and small enough to be handled by one or two people. Kids can learn the basics of sailing and get experience piloting a “big” boat—at least when compared to a dinghy or a Sunfish.

The Catalina 22 can be found on the used market for between $5,000 and $15,000. Outliers exist, and you may be lucky enough to find a Catalina 22 in operable condition for less than $3000–trailer included.

2. Catalina 30 Cruising Sailboat


Catalina makes the list again with its extremely popular 30-foot sailboat. The Catalina 30 is a fiberglass sloop that was introduced around the same time as the Catalina 22. Unlike the Catalina 22, the Catalina 30 is more than capable of open ocean sailing—but it’s also easy to handle on short trips in coastal waters.

Catalina 30 sailboats have a wide beam which makes them stable under heavy sail and in rough water. They also have a high freeboard, which keeps the cockpit relatively dry and prevents excessive spray over the bow. These characteristics also minimize heeling, which makes it a comfortable boat for inexperienced sailors.

The cabin is another huge selling point of the Catalina 30. These vessels have standing headroom throughout, along with enough sleeping space for six adults or more. Additionally, the Catalina 30 features a full kitchen (or galley) along with a sitting area and table that’s large enough for the entire family to sit down for dinner.

This vessel is more complex than the Catalina 22. However, anybody who can handle a Bermuda-rigged sailboat that’s larger than 20 feet can easily transition to a Catalina 30. Like the 22-foot model, this sailboat was produced in great numbers during the 20th century, and hundreds are available on the used market in excellent condition.

The Catalina 30 is ideal for a family who wants to take an occasional bluewater voyage. A trip between Florida and the Bahamas is well within the capabilities of the sailboat, and more adventurous sailors frequently sail it between San Francisco and Hawaii.

It’s also a great day boat for coast cruising, as it absorbs bad weather better than smaller boats and handles surprisingly well in low winds.

3. Lagoon 470 Cruising Catamaran


Do you have a large family, or do you place a premium on space and comfort for long-distance sailing? If so, the Lagoon 470 could be your best option. It’s a large, 47-foot cruising catamaran that offers better speed and stability than any similarly-sized monohull.

The Lagoon 470 is a typical catamaran in many respects—it has a large center cockpit area that’s covered and features communal spaces such as the galley and a large sitting area. This space alone is wider than most monohull cabins and offers the family a great place to hang out.

Below decks in the hulls, the Lagoon 470 has several separate bedrooms and private bathroom/shower combinations. This gives family members their own space and reduces the risk of conflict when it comes to showering and sleeping.

Catamarans like the Lagoon 470 have many advantages but also a few drawbacks. This vessel is more difficult to operate in tight spaces and requires more docking space than a traditional monohull. That said, if you can manage the additional stress during docking, you’ll enjoy a much safer and more pleasant time on the water.

Due to its spectacular sailing characteristics and large size, the Lagoon 470 is best suited for long-haul sailing or full-time living. It’s definitely not a day boat—and its high price makes it an unreasonable choice of occasional sailing.

If you want to travel the world with your family, this is the boat for you. If you’re cruising around the bay on the weekends, you may want to consider something like the Catalina 30.

4. Beneteau 49 Bluewater Monohull Sailboat


Here’s an exceptional monohull that stacks up with the best multihulls in terms of space, comfort, and seaworthiness. The Beneteau 49 is nearly 50 feet long and provides accommodations fit for the largest families.

The Beneteau 49 is the quintessential cruising sailboat. It’s wide, fast, and agile—and it has handling characteristics that put it in line with the hardiest recreational sailboats. Plus, the cabin is modern and spacious and includes everything you need to spend weeks (or months) aboard comfortably.

Separate enclosed sleeping areas give each family member privacy, and a sense of ownership over their space—which many families affirm is key when living in tight quarters. Plus, it’s a recent Beneteau design, which means it comes equipped with the latest technology and amenities.

Many of the more difficult aspects of rigging and sailboat control are automated on the Beneteau 49, meaning you can control them from the cockpit without sending anyone out on deck. This keeps the family safe and comfortable in foul weather and reduces the grunt work associated with sailing.

And when it comes to safety, it’s hard to beat a big hardy monohull like the Beneteau 49. This vessel has a wide stance and a semi-flush deck, meaning it’s well-balanced and designed to take on the toughest weather conditions. Additionally, its extended length increases hull speed, reducing the time it takes to get between stops.

As far as price is concerned, you’ll probably pay about the same for a Beneteau 49 as you would for a mid-ranged multihull. This can easily enter the $100,000+ price point, which is steep—but worth it if you and your family intend to live aboard and do extended cruising.

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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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Flotilla Radisson Royal

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best motor yacht for family cruising

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Flotilla Radisson Royal - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia’s capital

best motor yacht for family cruising

There’s hardly a better way to absorb Moscow’s atmosphere than on a ship sailing up and down the Moskva River. While complicated ticketing, loud music and chilling winds might dampen the anticipated fun, this checklist will help you to enjoy the scenic views and not fall into common tourist traps.

How to find the right boat?

There are plenty of boats and selecting the right one might be challenging. The size of the boat should be your main criteria.

Plenty of small boats cruise the Moskva River, and the most vivid one is this yellow Lay’s-branded boat. Everyone who has ever visited Moscow probably has seen it.

best motor yacht for family cruising

This option might leave a passenger disembarking partially deaf as the merciless Russian pop music blasts onboard. A free spirit, however, will find partying on such a vessel to be an unforgettable and authentic experience that’s almost a metaphor for life in modern Russia: too loud, and sometimes too welcoming. Tickets start at $13 (800 rubles) per person.

Bigger boats offer smoother sailing and tend to attract foreign visitors because of their distinct Soviet aura. Indeed, many of the older vessels must have seen better days. They are still afloat, however, and getting aboard is a unique ‘cultural’ experience. Sometimes the crew might offer lunch or dinner to passengers, but this option must be purchased with the ticket. Here is one such  option  offering dinner for $24 (1,490 rubles).

best motor yacht for family cruising

If you want to travel in style, consider Flotilla Radisson. These large, modern vessels are quite posh, with a cozy restaurant and an attentive crew at your service. Even though the selection of wines and food is modest, these vessels are still much better than other boats.

best motor yacht for family cruising

Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

How to buy tickets?

Women holding photos of ships promise huge discounts to “the young and beautiful,” and give personal invitations for river tours. They sound and look nice, but there’s a small catch: their ticket prices are usually more than those purchased online.

“We bought tickets from street hawkers for 900 rubles each, only to later discover that the other passengers bought their tickets twice as cheap!”  wrote  (in Russian) a disappointed Rostislav on a travel company website.

Nevertheless, buying from street hawkers has one considerable advantage: they personally escort you to the vessel so that you don’t waste time looking for the boat on your own.

best motor yacht for family cruising

Prices start at $13 (800 rubles) for one ride, and for an additional $6.5 (400 rubles) you can purchase an unlimited number of tours on the same boat on any given day.

Flotilla Radisson has official ticket offices at Gorky Park and Hotel Ukraine, but they’re often sold out.

Buying online is an option that might save some cash. Websites such as  this   offer considerable discounts for tickets sold online. On a busy Friday night an online purchase might be the only chance to get a ticket on a Flotilla Radisson boat.

This  website  (in Russian) offers multiple options for short river cruises in and around the city center, including offbeat options such as ‘disco cruises’ and ‘children cruises.’ This other  website  sells tickets online, but doesn’t have an English version. The interface is intuitive, however.

Buying tickets online has its bad points, however. The most common is confusing which pier you should go to and missing your river tour.

best motor yacht for family cruising

“I once bought tickets online to save with the discount that the website offered,” said Igor Shvarkin from Moscow. “The pier was initially marked as ‘Park Kultury,’ but when I arrived it wasn’t easy to find my boat because there were too many there. My guests had to walk a considerable distance before I finally found the vessel that accepted my tickets purchased online,” said the man.

There are two main boarding piers in the city center:  Hotel Ukraine  and  Park Kultury . Always take note of your particular berth when buying tickets online.

Where to sit onboard?

Even on a warm day, the headwind might be chilly for passengers on deck. Make sure you have warm clothes, or that the crew has blankets ready upon request.

The glass-encased hold makes the tour much more comfortable, but not at the expense of having an enjoyable experience.

best motor yacht for family cruising

Getting off the boat requires preparation as well. Ideally, you should be able to disembark on any pier along the way. In reality, passengers never know where the boat’s captain will make the next stop. Street hawkers often tell passengers in advance where they’ll be able to disembark. If you buy tickets online then you’ll have to research it yourself.

There’s a chance that the captain won’t make any stops at all and will take you back to where the tour began, which is the case with Flotilla Radisson. The safest option is to automatically expect that you’ll return to the pier where you started.

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Empire Yachts Sets Sail with Exclusive Themed Cruise Nights

best motor yacht for family cruising

Empire Yachts launches Exclusive Themed Cruise Nights, offering romantic dinners, cultural nights, and family fun on the sea from 20 March 2024.

Dubai, UAE--(Newsfile Corp. - March 13, 2024) - Empire Yachts today announced the launch of its Exclusive Themed Cruise Nights, adding a new dimension to luxury seafaring. With an ambitious line-up of themes, every voyage promises an unparalleled experience as the horizon unfolds before our esteemed guests.

Catering to diverse tastes, Empire Yachts' thematic cruises range from the enchanting 'Under the Stars' Romantic Dinners that offer couples an evening of gourmet dining with panoramic ocean views, to lively Cultural Nights that celebrate the world's vibrant traditions with music, food, and dance. The Family Fun Cruises turn the ocean into a playground for guests of all ages with activities that ensure everyone has a wave of a time.

Adding to the allure, every themed night is embellished with hand-picked entertainment, meticulously chosen to resonate with the theme. From live bands tailored to each cultural night to exclusive performances that light up the romantic dinners, the onboard entertainment galvanizes the thematic essence. Guests can expect sumptuous dining options where every bite is a burst of local and international flavors, prepared by onboard chefs with the freshest ingredients.

Booking for these thematic extravaganzas is set to open on 20 March 2024, with various pricing tiers designed to accommodate the bespoke needs of our guests.

Feedback from pilot events has been overwhelmingly positive with patrons describing their experience as "a dream at sea" and "a voyage beyond expectations." The luxurious yachting experience, combined with special event planning, have garnered applause from attendees eager for the official launch.

Empire Yachts invites revelers and adventurers alike to join us on this sailing odyssey.

"Each themed night is a celebration, a world of its own set against the vast beauty of the ocean. We are excited to share this novel experience with our guests," says John Silverwood, CEO of Empire Yachts.

About Empire Yachts:

Empire Yachts has carved a niche within Dubai's maritime industry as a charter company owning its fleet, enabling it to set benchmarks and provide the highest quality yacht rental Dubai . Based in the United Arab Emirates, it prides itself on delivering exclusive charter experiences aboard hand-picked, top-tier yachts.

Empire Yachts' renowned crews consist of highly skilled individuals from around the globe, boasting over 20 years of global yacht rental company experience. The company excels with a strong ethos of safety, luxury, and exceptional customer service. Each crew member is rigorously trained to exceed expectations, ensuring a seamless, safe, and luxurious voyage for all guests. Contact Information:

Empire Yachts Media Relations Email: [email protected] Phone: +971 588193579 Website: https://empireyachts.com/

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/201606

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River Cruise on Luxurious Radisson Boat

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River Cruise on Luxurious Radisson Boat

Equipped with ice-breaking technology, these huge fancy yachts are the only river cruisers running all year around. The round trip journey takes two and a half hours and floats past all the big sights like the White House, Novodevichy monastery and the Kremlin. There’s a large open air observation deck up top, while the main body of the ship houses a restaurant with a dance floor for a romantic post dinner dance. For a particularly romantic experience take one of the evening boats and admire the bright lights of the city skyline at night.

The most relaxing and picturesque tour that Moscow can offer: a great way to see the city center and its main attractions. This is a perfect alternative to exploring the city by car, if you only have time to do sightseeing during weekday rush hours.

Your English-speaking guide is eager to share every bit of their knowledge about the surrounding landscape, the architecture and historical details.

We conduct Moscow river tour on Radisson Flotilla boats all year around!  It’s warm inside during winter months, while there’s air conditioning during hot summer days. You may also treat yourself to drinks, lunch or dinner on board (drinks and food are not included in tour price).

The cost of an excursion with a personal guide for 1 person

Quay at Radisson Collection Hotel

Government Headquarters ("the White House")

Kievsky Railway Central

Novodevichy Convent

Luzhniki Stadium

Academy of Sciences

Monument to Peter I

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Moscow Kremlin

St.Basil's Cathedral

Novospassky Monastery

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What’s the right yacht for an Atlantic crossing? The one you’ve got now

  • Elaine Bunting
  • May 20, 2015

What sort of yacht do you need to sail across the Atlantic? There’s no black art, says Elaine Bunting, you just need a bit of preparation

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Numerically, the most common yachts for sailing across the Atlantic are ordinary production cruisers with standard kit, usually with upgrades of safety and power generation equipment. The happy truth is there’s no black art to sailing 3,000 miles downwind; the toughest part can be getting across the Bay of Biscay.

So whatever boat you have right now, the chances are that she’ll be fine for an Atlantic crossing with a bit of extra preparation. You don’t have to let waiting for the ‘right’ boat put you off going.

However, this doesn’t apply so much if you intend to complete an Atlantic circuit and sail from the Caribbean to Europe . The return route can be very tough, with a real chance of rough windward work, and a yacht that is wonderfully comfortable and spacious at anchor can slam and be very uncomfortable on the way back. Shipping back or delivery are both alternative options.

I’ve found that skippers tend to focus on equipment that adds comfort, but also complication: watermakers, generators, comms equipment. All are undoubtedly useful, but remember that every additional item adds complication, spares and service cost/time.


Apart from a sound boat, all you really need is water, food, fuel and a (paper) chart of ‘North Atlantic, Southern Part’.

Whatever else you do, don’t let those extras distract you from ensuring the integrity of the rig (including the boom and gooseneck fittings), rudder and hull. These are paramount. Rudders, in particular, are subjected to very high side loads in big following seas. I’ve seen people about to set off across the Atlantic on boats that were sporting the latest luxury kit, from ice cream makers to air conditioning, but with split pins not bent back or a clevis pin working out.

What sails are best?

The simple answer is reasonably recent, quality sails that aren’t liable to break. However expensive, good sails are worth every penny. As to what combination is best on a long downwind passage, that’s a complicated and potentially long-winded debate. Let’s just say that, for the average family crew, a smart crossing is all about consistent speed, 24 hours a day. The key is not to have downtime.


There is absolutely no need to sail hot angles downwind unless you are sailing to polars on a high-performance design. A spinnaker or code sail is great in lighter winds, but in stronger winds you will need several crew on watch at a time and if you blow the sail in a squall or a sudden reload it will be a costly choice.

There is nothing wrong with the old ‘barn doors’ arrangement of mainsail and poled-out genoa. Sure, it’s unflashy and unheroic, but it’s also easy, trouble-free and you’ll trot along in any conditions with minimal drop in speed for the occasional gybe. Just keep an eye out for chafe and be sure to set up a preventer on the boom and a foreguy topping lift and downhaul when poling out the headsail, so you can furl in quickly when that night-time squall hits (which it will).

Power planning

However much power you expect to use on an ocean crossing, you will need more. Nav lights, radar, radio scheds, autopilot, watermaker, fridge, freezer, computer, fans – you name it, they all add up. Last year, when we carried out our annual survey of ARC skippers , we found that yachts of between 46ft and 55ft had a battery capacity, on average, of 700ah, rising to 1,000ah for yachts over 56ft.

Since the design life for marine batteries is five years, it makes sense to set off with new batteries – it’s easier and may be cheaper than replacing them later. A majority of people in our survey had an extra house or domestic battery bank and one or two had boosted the battery used for their windlass.

Interestingly, when we asked about the power equation again in our follow-up survey a few months later , numerous skippers said that they had increased battery capacity yet again or planned to do so in future.

A water generator could be a useful addition

A water generator could be a useful addition

Rather than adding to machinery with a diesel generator, it’s worth looking at wind generators, solar panels and the Watt & Sea or Sea-Gen water turbines . These alternative power generation sources have advanced a lot in recent years. A larger alternator may be worth fitting too, and if only one is fitted to the engine, carry a spare.

Be prepared for gear failure

Be prepared for key equipment to fail because sooner or later it probably will. If it’s gear you normally rely on, like an autopilot or watermaker, have a contingency or a workable plan to do without. Of all the gear problems that give most stress and trouble, the most pressing is autopilot failure. That will start to put a small crew under strain by robbing everyone of rest time.

For the same reason, it’s a good idea to make sure most or all of your crew are decent helmsmen downwind in following seas. If not, spend some time on passage tutoring them.

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best motor yacht for family cruising

The 5 best cruise lines for families

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The best cruise lines for families allow parents and kids to have fun together and apart while taking the stress out of group travel.

Our favorite family ships mix wow-factor activities with attractive kids clubs, plentiful and convenient dining and thoughtful touches like bathtubs and babysitting.

Your family might be happy anywhere there’s a beach or pool, but if you want an at-sea family vacation you’ll always remember, book a sailing on one of our top five cruise lines for families.

Interested in more tips and tricks for cruises? Sign up for  TPG’s free cruise newsletter .

Disney Cruise Line

No one will be surprised that entertainment juggernaut Disney offers an amazing family cruise experience.

Disney Cruise Line ships are known for meet-and-greets with Mickey Mouse and Disney princesses, interactive movie-themed dining experiences and enormous kids clubs and play areas.

What might surprise the uninitiated is how good the line is at taking care of the whole family, not just the Mouse-obsessed little ones.

Disney thinks of all the little things that can help parents have a stress-free trip with kids in tow. From split bathrooms (allowing one family member to take a bath while another uses the toilet) to waiters who will cut up your child’s food, Disney Cruise Line takes the pressure off parents.

While other cruise lines limit water play to kids who are toilet trained and drop-off child care to ages 3 and up, Disney caters to all kids with onboard splash areas and nurseries.

It also offers adults-only pool decks and restaurants, a nightlife scene and couples spa treatments to revive exhausted parents who haven’t had a date in months.

Teens might roll their eyes at the ever-present Mickeys, but Disney Cruise Line does not ignore its older kid guests. Tweens and teens get their own cool hangouts, Edge and Vibe, with video games, foosball and hip seating areas.

Additionally, first-run movies and Broadway-caliber musicals, waterslides, teen spa treatments and grab-and-go food options (and free room service) keep older kids busy and happy.

The new Disney Wish features a sports area for free play and competitions attractive to this age group.

Royal Caribbean

With some of the biggest ships at sea and an amusement park-like private island in the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean is one of the best cruise lines for active families.

Want to try surfing, sky diving, rock climbing, laser tag, go-karts or zip lining? Families don’t have to leave the ship to get their adrenaline highs.

Even the sedentary pursuits are high-octane on Royal Caribbean. Broadway musicals, festive parades, water acrobatic performances and ice skating shows wow the crowds on sea days.

Expansive play spaces for kids include separate clubs for teens and tweens, plus drop-off nurseries for babies.

Parents can sneak off to the adults-only solarium or thermal suite while the kids live it up at cruise camp.

After a hard day of play, worn-out families can refuel at a variety of restaurants, including burger and milkshake mecca Johnny Rockets, Italian and Mexican eateries and an all-day buffet.

Family cabins and connecting staterooms give larger families their needed space. The Ultimate Family Suite on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas can sleep eight, but parents and kids alike might be tempted to stay up late playing air hockey, scrambling up the climbing wall, soaking in the private outdoor hot tub or watching the giant TV.

When Icon of the Seas debuts in 2024, the new megaship will offer an entire section of the ship devoted to family-friendly accommodations and an outdoor dining-and-play space targeted at parents with young children.

Carnival Cruise Line

Practicalities first: Carnival Cruise Line is an affordable and convenient cruise line for families who don’t live the jet-set lifestyle. With home ports all around the U.S., Carnival puts its ships within driving distance of many Americans.

A variety of short-cruise destinations, affordable-yet-spacious inside cabins (they can sleep four) and lots of onboard attractions and restaurants included in the fares combine to make it one of the best-value cruise lines afloat.

Carnival doesn’t dub its fleet the Fun Ships for nothing. The whole family will have a blast on board, whether you like getting down to live music, busting a gut at family-friendly comedy shows, getting soaked at an onboard water park or eating green eggs and ham with Dr. Seuss characters.

The cruise line also embraces simple pleasures like free-flowing soft-serve ice cream and pizza and a day spent lounging by the pool.

Families don’t need to pull out their wallets to feed ravenous teens or sugar-fueled children. Guy Fieri burgers and barbecue, burritos for breakfast and lunch and Shaquille O’Neal’s fried chicken are all included in your cruise fares. No one’s going to make you dress up for dinner, either.

Carnival ships have plenty of cabins that can sleep four or five passengers, but its newest ships truly treat families right. Book a Family Harbor suite or stateroom and get access to a family lounge stocked with all the essentials — snacks and coffee, games, Wi-Fi, movies and a concierge to make bookings so mom and dad can spend more time playing with the kids.

MSC Cruises

The underdog on our list, MSC Cruises might not be a household name yet, but any cruise line that has a partnership with Lego should be on every family’s radar.

As the Mediterranean line grows its U.S.-based fleet, it is staying attuned to the needs of traveling families.

Case in point: Larger family groups don’t have to cram into one cabin or be scattered across the ship. Instead, they can select from a variety of connecting cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people.

Families keen on rooming together can take advantage of frequent “kids sail free” fares and pay only the taxes and fees for children under 18 who are the third and fourth passengers in a cabin.

Speaking of kids clubs, MSC’s ships offer play spaces for babies, kids, tweens and teens. Its ships not only offer a drop-off Baby Club with educational toys by Chicco but also a special baby laundry service to take care of that pile of dirty onesies.

Kids club activities go beyond arts and crafts and video games to include cooking events, sports competitions and hi-tech interactive games. Teens can sing karaoke, dance at the onboard disco and attend themed parties with their new friends.

Outside of the kids club, families can race in a Formula One simulator, experience virtual reality, get soaked in a water park or brave their fear of heights on a suspension bridge.

One of the line’s newest ships, MSC Seascape, features Robotron, a three-seat robotic amusement ride that’s a hit with thrill-seeking families.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is all about giving cruisers options to create different versions of the perfect cruise vacation, all within the same ship.

The flexibility and choice make it one of the best cruise lines for families, especially those who need to satisfy diverse interests or get bored with the same activities day after day.

Kids clubs and adults-only sun decks allow for age-appropriate fun time apart, but Norwegian wants families to have fun together. Teaming up for laser tag, mastering a ropes course, singing along to a Broadway musical or live concert or screaming down a waterslide are guaranteed to create those unbreakable family bonds.

Norwegian’s flexible dining system and a plethora of onboard eateries let families plan meals to suit their schedules and tastes.

Also, free kids meals at extra-charge restaurants mean parents can sample Brazilian, Japanese, French or seafood dishes while the littles gobble up pasta and chicken fingers. Casual all-day options suit fussy eaters who need unfussy dining areas.

The cruise line also gets a shoutout for its family-friendly Hawaii itineraries. The only big-ship cruise line that sails weeklong itineraries round trip from Honolulu, Norwegian provides an easy way for families to visit multiple islands.

Beach time, boat rides, water sports, luaus and volcano tours combine for an epic family trip, with the ship taking the stress out of meals and transportation.

Bottom line

Families can have a great time on any cruise line, hanging out by the pool, visiting exciting new destinations and simply spending time together. But if you’re looking for a ship that really caters to kids and their adult companions, you’ll want to book a vacation on one of these five best cruise lines for families.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • Top ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin

SPONSORED:  With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

The 5 best cruise lines for families


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