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What Happened to Bluewater Yachts? The Inside Story

Julian Owen

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Bluewater Yachts, once a shining star in the yacht manufacturing industry, faced a tumultuous journey that ultimately led to its downfall. The story of Bluewater Yachts is a rollercoaster of success, challenges, and ultimately, bankruptcy. Let’s delve into the inside story of what happened to this iconic company.

History of Bluewater Yachts

Bluewater Yachts has a rich history that dates back to its founding in the early 1960s by a group of passionate yachting enthusiasts. The company quickly gained recognition for its commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovative designs, setting a new standard in the yachting industry. Bluewater Yachts’ early success can be attributed to its focus on creating luxurious and seaworthy vessels that captivated the hearts of yacht enthusiasts worldwide.

As the years went by, Bluewater Yachts continued to push boundaries with its cutting-edge technologies and forward-thinking approach to yacht design. The company’s dedication to excellence earned it a reputation as a trendsetter in the industry, with each new model showcasing the latest advancements and luxurious amenities.

Bluewater Yachts’ impact on the yachting world was profound, influencing design trends and setting new standards for performance and comfort on the open seas. The company’s legacy is one of innovation, style, and a commitment to creating unforgettable experiences for yacht owners around the globe.

Challenges Faced by Bluewater Yachts

Challenges Faced by Bluewater Yachts

Bluewater Yachts faced a myriad of challenges that ultimately contributed to its downfall. The company grappled with:

  • Economic Downturns: Fluctuating economic conditions impacted consumer spending on luxury items like yachts.
  • Intense Competition: Rival yacht manufacturers vied for market share, intensifying the competitive landscape.
  • Shifting Consumer Preferences: Changes in consumer tastes and preferences posed challenges in meeting evolving demands.
  • Management Issues: Internal struggles, leadership changes, and decision-making processes affected operations.

These challenges created a perfect storm for Bluewater Yachts, leading to a cascade of difficulties that the company struggled to overcome.

Financial Struggles and Bankruptcy

Bluewater Yachts faced significant financial struggles that ultimately led to its declaration of bankruptcy. The company’s journey from prosperity to insolvency was marked by a series of challenges that proved insurmountable.

One of the primary factors contributing to Bluewater Yachts’ financial woes was the accumulation of substantial debt burdens over time. These financial obligations, coupled with cash flow problems, placed immense strain on the company’s operations and ability to sustain itself in a competitive market.

The global financial crisis further exacerbated Bluewater Yachts’ financial predicament, as the economic downturn hindered consumer spending on luxury items like yachts. This downturn in demand, combined with increased competition from other yacht manufacturers, created a perfect storm for the company.

As a result, Bluewater Yachts was forced to file for bankruptcy, a move that had far-reaching repercussions for its employees, suppliers, dealers, and the broader yachting industry. The closure of the company had a ripple effect on the local community, highlighting the interconnected nature of businesses within an industry.

In hindsight, the financial struggles and eventual bankruptcy of Bluewater Yachts serve as a cautionary tale about the importance of financial management, adaptability in changing market conditions, and the need for strategic planning to navigate turbulent economic waters.

Impact on Employees and Stakeholders

When Bluewater Yachts faced financial turmoil and eventually declared bankruptcy, the impact rippled through its employees and stakeholders. Employees who had dedicated their careers to the company found themselves facing uncertainty and job loss. Suppliers and dealers who relied on Bluewater Yachts for business saw their revenue streams disrupted. The local community, which had benefitted from the company’s presence, felt the effects of its downfall in the form of lost jobs and economic downturn.

Stakeholders, including investors and creditors, faced financial losses as the company struggled to stay afloat. The once-thriving network of individuals and businesses connected to Bluewater Yachts now had to navigate the aftermath of its collapse. The emotional and financial toll on those involved was significant, highlighting the interconnected nature of the yachting industry and the broader implications of a company’s failure.

Lessons Learned from Bluewater Yachts’ Story

When delving into the , it becomes evident that adaptability was a key factor in the company’s success. Bluewater Yachts’ ability to innovate and evolve with changing consumer preferences allowed them to stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, financial prudence played a crucial role in sustaining the business during economic downturns. By managing debt burdens effectively and maintaining a healthy cash flow, Bluewater Yachts could have potentially avoided the path to bankruptcy. Strategic planning is another lesson to be learned from their story. A clear long-term vision and effective execution of plans are essential for any business to thrive in a competitive market.

Legacy of Bluewater Yachts

Legacy of Bluewater Yachts

Bluewater Yachts left a lasting legacy in the yachting world, shaping design trends and technological advancements for years to come. The company’s commitment to innovation and quality set a benchmark for the industry, influencing how yachts were built and designed. Bluewater Yachts also created unforgettable memories for its customers, providing them with luxurious and reliable vessels that stood the test of time.

Moreover, the legacy of Bluewater Yachts extended beyond its products. The company’s ethos of excellence and craftsmanship inspired a new generation of yacht builders and enthusiasts. Its influence can be seen in the continued pursuit of excellence in yacht design and construction, with many companies striving to emulate the standards set by Bluewater Yachts.

The Future of Bluewater Yachts’ Brand

As we gaze into the crystal ball to envision the future of Bluewater Yachts’ brand, one can’t help but wonder about the potential twists and turns that lie ahead. Will this once-revered name in the yachting industry rise from the ashes like a phoenix, or will it fade into obscurity like a forgotten relic of the past? Let’s delve into the possibilities and challenges that may shape the destiny of Bluewater Yachts:

  • Potential Revival: Despite its tumultuous history, there remains a glimmer of hope for the resurrection of Bluewater Yachts. With strategic planning, innovative marketing, and a fresh perspective, the brand could make a triumphant comeback, capturing the hearts of yachting enthusiasts once again.
  • Challenges Ahead: However, the road to redemption is fraught with obstacles. Intense competition, evolving consumer tastes, and the need to rebuild trust in the brand pose significant hurdles that must be overcome. It will require a Herculean effort to navigate these treacherous waters and steer Bluewater Yachts back to prosperity.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What led to the downfall of Bluewater Yachts? The decline of Bluewater Yachts was primarily caused by a combination of financial struggles, management issues, changing consumer preferences, and the impact of the global financial crisis.
  • Were there any lessons to be learned from the Bluewater Yachts story? Absolutely, the saga of Bluewater Yachts teaches us important lessons about the significance of adaptability, financial prudence, strategic planning, and maintaining strong customer relationships in the business world.
  • Is there a possibility of Bluewater Yachts making a comeback in the future? While it’s uncertain, there is always a chance for a brand to revive or reinvent itself. The potential revival of Bluewater Yachts would come with challenges, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
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Bluewater Yachts re-enter market

  • by Henry Fischer Local Government Writer
  • May 7, 2013
  • May 7, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013
  • Copy article link

Last week the Kanabec County Board approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will encourage a new owner of Bluewater Yachts to reactivate its boat manufacturing business in Mora, hopefully as early as this summer.

Doug Bassett, CEO of Aries Investments LLC, doing business as Bluewater Yachts, said the company hopes to restart the business with 14 employees and expand to about 30 over the course of this summer as the company builds models that could be featured at boat shows, and hopefully ramp up production next year.

Aries Investments LLC is owned and managed by Klapmeier Lending Company LLC, which intends to sell the company to a prospective new owner.

Since Bluewater has buildings located on county property, the memorandum will allow Bluewater to, in turn, lease that real estate to a successor in the boat manufacturing business.

Under terms of the memorandum, a lease would be developed between Kanabec County and Bluewater or its successor. The lease will extend a minimum of 25 years at a cost of $1.00 per year, and all real estate and personal property taxes must be paid on time and in full, including all delinquent back taxes. There would be no restrictions on how the property leased from the county could be used, except that such use must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations; and any hazardous waste must be cleaned up at the company’s expense.

In the event the lease is canceled or expires, the company would need to destroy any buildings located on county property at the company’s expense.

The company also must carry at least $1 million in general liability insurance and list the county as an additional insured on the policy.

The term of the MOU extends from now until Aug. 31, 2014, to give Bluewater adequate time to sell the business to a new owner. If a permanent lease is not signed by then, Aries Investments LLC doing business as Bluewater Yachts must remove buildings or other structures on county property at their expense.

Henry Fischer is a contributing local government writer for the Kanabec County Times and Pine City Pioneer. For questions or comments about this article, contact [email protected]

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Opinions on Bluewater Yachts

  • Thread starter roeloffs
  • Start date Jan 28, 2015
  • Jan 28, 2015

I have a nordhavn N46 and it is for sale. This decision came after realizing that our blue water days are over mainly due to age pure and simple. Now our boating days are not over and a few years on the great loop sound very appealing. I am looking at 51/52 foot Bluewater Yachts, diesel 1995 or newer. We would want more outdoor entertaining space than many double or triple cabins allow. Does anyone have opinions on the Bluewater yachts? Does anyone have a better suggestion with regard to a different brand ? Mainly I will need a max of 30 inch draft, 17 feet air draft reduceable to 15 feet. Thanks for any help on these issues. Kurt  

  • Jan 29, 2015

pilothouse king

pilothouse king

You might want to pay attention to their engine locations and fuel tanks. I would instead put my attention toward an all aluminum Lazy Days that were built in Buford Georgia. There's many sitting on Lake Lanier. They even built an ocean going version with a high bow. One actually finished the Miami -Nassau race in the 60s.. It came across the finish line with a party on the roof BBQing. I used to have a 8x10 photo, but gave it to the buyer of a sistership, which is now back up in Georgia. I also had factory photos of a Bluewater running back and forth across the Potato Patch in heavy seas. A partner of mine told me he was given a seatrial off Hatteras after a hurricane in a Bluewater. He was impressed with the ride. Many had Coast Guard certication for x amount of miles offshore. Also gave those to a buyer who uses her in river charters on the St. Johns in Jax. The construction issues of the Bluewaters came up later in their lives.  


Bluewater boats are rather common in the Upper Midwest. They are built in Mora MN, as I recall, is a northern suburb of Minneapolis. They are impressively styled but in my opinion are not more than a stylish houseboat. Some are styled to be very impressive to the not very astute consumer to look like a mega yacht but at the end of the day, end up being houseboats. most are gas engine powered, the owners not realizing the value of diesel, and not ever going to get to the usage level where a diesel(s) make sense. They are not a boat that typically holds its value 20 years after they are built. I am somewhat hesitant to post this as I don't want to offend blue water owners but my honest view of them is a boat for not very astute yacht wannabe's. When they are newish they are very impressive boats for the money but they don't age well.  

roeloffs said: I have a nordhavn N46 and it is for sale. This decision came after realizing that our blue water days are over mainly due to age pure and simple. Now our boating days are not over and a few years on the great loop sound very appealing. I am looking at 51/52 foot Bluewater Yachts, diesel 1995 or newer. We would want more outdoor entertaining space than many double or triple cabins allow. Does anyone have opinions on the Bluewater yachts? Does anyone have a better suggestion with regard to a different brand ? Mainly I will need a max of 30 inch draft, 17 feet air draft reduceable to 15 feet. Thanks for any help on these issues. Kurt Click to expand...

RT Firefly

Greetings, Boat options aside...WELCOME ABOARD.  


Moderator Emeritus

Bayliner 4788  



I do believe Bluewater did go out of business a few years ago. There's a short discussion on Hull Truth about it that I think I started. We used to live near Mora. Last I checked their website still existed but had frozen since about 2009. That said, there are a couple of them in our marina (South Dakota, Missouri River). One of them in particular called the Duchess is one of the nicest boats in the marina in my opinion (newer model). Yeah, I wouldn't cross the Atlantic in it, but it's much more capable and seaworthy than a typical houseboat box on the water. The newer models (2000's before they shut down) are a nicely designed hybrid between the comforts and space of a houseboat and a "real" boat you'd actually motor somewhere. Build quality looks pretty good to me. My wife loves the Duchess, if we weren't going to do the Loop someday or cross the Great Lakes, we would have seriously considered buying one.  

Following the houseboat theme Harbor Master made a few coastal models with elevated bows. May want to put that make into the Yachtworld search engine and see what you think. Some of them where diesel powered as some of the Bluewater brand are too. Good luck in your search.  


My experience has not been favorable The few I've worked on had serious deck delamination issues from the fly bridge back. They are not west coast capable coastal cruisers. Window leaks, deck delamination, wiring issues, dry rot. They do entertain a lot of people however. They are not even in the same league with a Bayliner 4788 which entertains as many and is coastal capable. My dockside neighbor owned a Blue water, there is no direct comparison between the two. If I was in the market for a house boat that is what I would get, a good quality aluminum houseboat.  

That could very well be true. The fresh water environment around here is pretty gentle on boats, relatively speaking. Our zincs and bottom jobs last for years, at the end of the season we can usually hose off a thin layer of hull slime and we're done. I'd agree with you on the 4788 too, not a close call in my mind, as nice as that Bluewater may be. The Bayliner is more boat than houseboat if we're talking about hybrids.  

If you visit the St Louis, Nashville or Louisville boat shows the houseboat of your dreams will show up. Some of them are amazing.  


You may want to take a look at Pluckebaum. They make some pretty substantial diesel powered house boats. Pluckebaum Coastal Yacht  

Senior Member

I had a rather lengthy discussion with a former Bluewater owner. I too was looking at them initially and was impressed with the comfortable layout. I mentioned that we were looking for something to live aboard full time, and travel to the Bahamas, T&C, and Eastern Caribbean. This lady mentioned that she and her husband owned one for about 6 years, and had plans for doing the Great Loop in it. They live here in Ft. Myers so we were both familiar with the waters around here. She mentioned to me that it was NOT a boat to take out in anything over 4' seas. She said it was a very rough ride - due to the extremely shallow draft, that it would really roll around. They ended up selling it - it took them nearly 3 years to sell it - and said that they got lucky as someone from China came over, wrote them a check and bought it (she laughed and said "yes, the check did clear the bank!"). She said that it was a nice comfortable floating condo, but that it really was a houseboat that looked like a yacht.  

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How is the quality of Bluewater boats?

  • Thread starter wink21
  • Start date Sep 11, 2009
  • Sep 11, 2009

So far, I've walked away from a couple of boats based on input from the forum and lost out on a couple of good ones that were snapped up quick. I just came across this one http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/boa/1369163351.html In all of my boat reading in past couple of months, I have not come across Bluewater. Does anyone know about these boats? It has one of the motors that has been highly recommended on the form - the 3L/130HP Mercruiser Any input or advice on this would be appreciated. I simply don't want to buy a boat with a bad trackrecord or that has a hard time with finding parts. Thanks Scott  


Supreme Mariner

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? Haven't heard anything particular bad about them. I don't believe they are in business any longer. That one has a reliable powerplant which should be good power in that sized boat and the price is certainly right. Check carefully for rot in the deck and transom. Could be a real nice find.  


Chief Petty Officer

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? My grandfather still to this day cruises his 1967 Blue Water all over the place, it is in great condition and has had no major problem with more that 3000 hours on it. They are like any other boat, if you take care of it it will last a lifetime.  


  • Sep 12, 2009

Re: How is the quality of Bluewater boats? Blue Water is now owned by Kal Kustom boats, same folks that own Reinell. The two come off their plant in Oregon, and are still in business. The current boats usually share the same hulls at the Reinell boats, or use older molds. I see a number of Blue Water boats here in the NW. I'm not sure when they were bought by Kal Kustom.  

  • Exploring the world of bluewater yachts

When it comes to experiencing the open sea and embracing the adventurous spirit of sailing, few things compare to owning a bluewater yacht. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the world of bluewater yachts for sale, helping you find the perfect vessel to make your maritime dreams a reality.

What are bluewater yachts?

Bluewater yachts are a category of sailboats or motorized vessels that are specifically designed and constructed for offshore and long-distance cruising, often in open ocean conditions. These yachts are built with robustness, seaworthiness, and durability in mind, making them well-suited for extended voyages, ocean crossings, and exploration of remote destinations.

These vessels are distinguishable by their features, which include:

  • Sturdy construction: Bluewater yachts are typically constructed with strong and durable materials, such as reinforced fiberglass, steel, or aluminum hulls, designed to withstand the rigors of ocean travel.
  • Seaworthy design: Their design often includes full keels or modified keels that enhance stability and tracking, allowing them to handle adverse weather and large waves with greater ease.
  • Safety considerations: Bluewater yachts are equipped with safety features and redundant systems to ensure the well-being of the crew during long journeys, including storm sails, multiple bilge pumps, and secure below-deck living spaces.
  • Self-sufficiency: These vessels are designed to be self-sufficient for extended periods at sea, featuring larger water and fuel tanks, efficient refrigeration systems, and ample storage for provisions.
  • Comfortable interiors: While their primary focus is on seaworthiness, bluewater yachts also offer comfortable interiors with well-appointed living spaces, sleeping quarters, and amenities for extended cruising.

Bluewater yachts are the preferred choice for sailors and adventurers who seek to explore distant coastlines, cross oceans, and embark on long-term cruising expeditions. Their design and capabilities make them reliable companions for those who value both the journey and the destination in their maritime pursuits.

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What makes a bluewater yacht different from other sailboats .

A bluewater yacht stands apart from other sailboats primarily due to its design, construction, and purpose. Here are the key factors that differentiate a bluewater yacht from other sailboats:

  • Purpose: Bluewater yachts are specifically designed and built for long-distance offshore cruising and ocean crossings. They are intended to handle the challenges and demands of extended voyages, often far from coastal regions. In contrast, many other sailboats are designed for coastal or inland sailing, focusing on comfort and ease of handling rather than the robustness needed for open-ocean adventures.
  • Design and stability: Bluewater yachts are characterized by their sturdy and seaworthy designs. They typically feature a full-keel or modified-keel configuration that provides excellent stability in rough seas. This design ensures that the boat can handle heavy weather conditions and maintain its course even in adverse situations. Other sailboats may have fin keels or shallow draft designs, which are better suited for shallower waters but may not offer the same level of stability in open oceans.
  • Build quality: Bluewater yachts are constructed with durability and strength in mind. They are built to withstand the rigors of extended passages, including high winds, large waves, and continuous exposure to saltwater. The materials used, such as reinforced fiberglass or steel hulls, are chosen for their resilience. In contrast, some other sailboats may prioritize lightweight construction and may not be as robust.
  • Safety features: Bluewater yachts are equipped with safety features and redundant systems to ensure the well-being of the crew during long journeys. This may include multiple bilge pumps, sturdy rigging, storm sails, and well-designed below-deck spaces for living and storage. Many other sailboats may lack these features, as they are designed for shorter and less challenging trips.
  • Seaworthiness: The seaworthiness of a bluewater yacht is a key differentiator. These vessels are built to handle heavy seas and adverse weather conditions, providing a safe and comfortable experience for the crew. Their deep and stable hull designs reduce the risk of capsizing or broaching, making them reliable choices for ocean voyages.

In summary, what sets a bluewater yacht apart from other sailboats is its focus on durability, stability, safety, and the ability to tackle long-distance offshore journeys. These vessels are purpose-built for adventurers who seek the thrill of open-ocean cruising and are willing to invest in a sailboat that can withstand the challenges of the deep blue sea.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite  sailing destinations.

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09-07-2011, 15:37  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
? In particular the 52?

I live off the Gulf Northwest of Tampa where we have lots of shallow flats. I currently run a 20 inch 40 foot houseboat here and it works great. I sailed this here from Atlantic City, NJ, 1700 miles and have logged hundreds and hundreds of miles along the coast and up rivers North of here.

I want to the , the Keys, and . My cannot do this safely.

Hence I am looking at the Bluewaters as a solution. They 23 inches, are beachable, and claim to be good in bad if ya get stuck in something by mistake. They also seem to have a strong and have been manufactured for several decades so you can get a at a good . Seems like the perfect boat to park on my for local thin waters and still be able to take some longer trips on occasion.

Some questions:

1. I know they are beachable, but can you park one in the shallows and leave it high and dry at low tide without damaging the running ?

2. Can you run one at slow , 7-8 knots, in bad and do they handle it well? Track well?

3. Any other issues or problems with these ????
09-07-2011, 16:42  
Boat: 58 Taswell AS
Yachts are not "bluewater yachts". They are built for calm river or lake use. The freeboard is minimal; they roll in seas of any size. A freind of mine had one on the St. John's river that he took to south in the through the not outside.
09-07-2011, 17:29  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
crossing the gulfstream during a weather window.

The manufacturer claims that these boats have survived hurricanes with neophytes at the - who got into the bad weather by mistake. However manufacturer claims are not always correct, to say the least.

The manufacturer claims that the low center of gravity and ability to plane at low speeds give the boat a good ride in the chop. I actually believe this. The boat has very little sail area in the superstructure, it is less than 12 feet high, to get blown around. The center of gravity of the boat is very low in the . There is little reason for the boat to bob around.

I don't buy that freeboard makes a boat a bluewater boat. The windows of the boat are stressed for the occasional big wave. I do not expect to try the Bering Sea in this boat. I am talking about the Bahamas with due consideration for the weather.

Magazine articles I have read give the boat decent marks plowing through rough , but most magazine articles are designed to elicit advertising revenue and have little credibility.

Doing the is a test of nothing. I'd do it in a rowboat. Like I said, I did the ICW from NJ to Tampa in a houseboat that looks like a on floats and with some sound judgment did not have any real problems with it.

Anyone actually operate one of these, or know someone who has operated one in the areas I am talking about, that is , Florida Bay, , Bahamas, etc?
09-07-2011, 17:34  
Boat: SAGA 27 AK
you will have to choose a serious boat.
09-07-2011, 17:49  
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
stopping first in with the owner, his wife and 2 aboard. I had some misgivings but we left early one morning before the piped up and seas began to build. By the time we got to , both parents were seasick, the mother was verging on hysteria and the were terrified.
I sent them all back to the mainland on the and had a crew join me in Catalina, left about 2:00am and made Marina Del Ray breakwater around 9:30am, docked at 10:00am.
Seas were running about 4-6 feet with the odd larger Pacific set, from the northwest at 10-15 knots, gusting to 20+ knots, a normal summer day on that trip across from the mainland.
Bluewaters are not suited for coastal passagemaking IMO.
If you are in the ICW or can harbor hop and are prepared to wait for perfect conditions, you might be OK.
The boats are very roomy, reasonably well powered with twin gas engines but not a decent sea boat by any stretch of the imagination... kind of like a floating condo.
As long as you don't venture out when a sea is running, you might be OK but they are basically a river/lake boat IMHO. Capt Phil
09-07-2011, 18:08  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
. The Pacific is the real deal. Even in that short .

I remember the weather kicking up big rollers nearly every afternoon.

The Gulf where I live is lake-like. The keys likewise on the protected side. Much of the Bahamas is also protected.

The key attribute of the boat in my book is the 23 inch draft which opens up and routes out here in the shallows. That is why I am even considering the boat.

99% of the time ya operate a boat in good weather and for that 1% which thereby spoils your ability to enjoy the 99% because of a deep draft just doesn't make sense to me. The is deep and I would never consider a Bluewater 52 for that.

Thanks for the story though. What I got from it was that it made it just fine. Was there any damage other than to the owners psych? Did the boat take on ? Was it uncontrollable? Did it track OK?

So far I have one guy who made a judgement to stay in the ICW which tells me nothing about the boat and another where some people got upset based on their limits not the boat's.
09-07-2011, 18:39  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
for use in these areas?

- I am not set on a Bluewater, they just seem pretty unique.

Another big consideration is that I have a 50 foot floating in the backyard but the out gets shallow, especially in and I really want a . The 20 inches I have now is never and issue and I'd like to keep it somewhere close to that.
09-07-2011, 18:48  
can get pretty ugly but if you're prepared to wait for the twice a year mirror flat day I'm sure you'll be fine. Once in the Bahamas the seas can still kick up pretty good most afternoons.
Not saying it can't be done just think there might be more suitable craft.
09-07-2011, 19:10  
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
log. I didn't any of the more interesting recollections like having several seas break over the bow which is very low to the water and some leakage around the forward (actually windows). I was a little concerned when we shipped white water over the bow but the windows held so no major damage.
The roll was significant because the seas were from the bow quarter which gave us a frightful roll and for last 1-2 hours until we were in the lee of the island (you probably this as the prevailing direction when you sailed across yourself). Reducing speed to around 6 knots helped but the was more pronounced. I never felt we were not under control at any time.
There was a fair amount of slewing around at the slower speed when the sea was running but a larger prop set may have reduced this.
Beyond that, I did notice that there was not as much windage in the as other boats of similar length but I'm going from memory on that issue.
I spent most of the trip up top where I was better able to judge the sea action than from the station below and a couple of times we took spray over the entire vesse but only white water over the bow.
Hope this additional info helps in your decision making... Capt Phil
10-07-2011, 18:36  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
Phil, good info. Anyone else with experience or suggestions?
19-07-2012, 20:05  
Boat: 50' houseboat
19-07-2012, 21:09  
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
to on it, and crossed to from North Florida. As well as lots of running locally.

Personally I think the Bluewater is fine for near coastal cruising, but I would be hesitate about ever being more than about 40 miles, or two hours, from protected water somewhere. This combined with its relatively small would be pretty restricting doing the Bahamas of south Florida.

Ours at least only has a 480 gallon tank, which doesn't take long to run through with twin 450C Cummins. I figure an honest range of 12 hours plus reserves at cruise is all the run time you get. Which for me would be pretty marginal for island hopping, probably ok for the Keys though.

The running is semi-protected by the tunnels, but you can't let it dry out. However the bow ladder, does make it easy to beach.

All in all I think it's a great party barge, near coastal cruiser, and light weather boat. But I wouldn't want to have to be out in really rough stuff in it.
20-07-2012, 11:28  
Boat: 50' houseboat
20-07-2012, 12:55  
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
21-07-2012, 15:44  
Boat: Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41
a for another 5-10 years.

The Bluewater seemed close to perfect but I think the best fit for what I want is going to be a used sailboat.

Unfortunately it will have to be a daggerboard boat, which brings the up quite a bit, for the shallow draft. Saving my pennies now.

There also are not many factory built choices for daggerboard/centerboard catamarans. I have looked at custom built choices out of and other places.

It may well end up me keeping my boat for a decade so of course I'm still hunting up what the best boat will be, which is a cheaper activity than actually and maintaining one.
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Who still makes a Bluewater boat?

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Who would you put on your short list of Bluewater boats still being manufactured today? Here is some general criteria: protected rudder, lead keel, good tankage, two double berths (not counting settee), less than 50 feet. The manufacture should also have a decent dealer in the US. Now the catch. It doesn't have to be cheap, but it does have to be a good value. Luxury yachts need not apply!!! Above all "It needs to be a good family boat for a couple and two kids". Just to get things going I will throw out Passport, Cabo rico, Island Packet, tartan, Pacific seacraft???, gozzard. What do you think?  

is bluewater yachts still in business

Hallberg Rassy, Valiant and Nauticat come to mind. While these boats are a bit on the higher price side, I wouldn't call them luxury...not like the Moodys or Swans. Amel is also out there... but ugly IMHO.  

is bluewater yachts still in business

I would also say Caliber yachts would fit your bill. Not sure why you excluded Island Packet, Cabo Rico and Passport other than their tankage for which than I would agree. Not sure why boat manufactures would not figure out how to put more fuel on the boat. 500 miles motor-sailing is a must in my opinion if bluewater cruising. I cannot count that high on how many cruiser logs I have read where they run out of fuel due to wind dies or wind on the nose and are forced to motor-sail. It seems like 20-35% of bluewater cruising is motor-sailing. Carrying fuel Jerry cans on deck is not my thing. I like a clean deck. Now for the more exotic boat, I would drool over a Vagabound 47'. Great family boat. Plus it looks soo cool. Can one say "Argggg matie"! Here is there link! http://www.contemporaryyachts.com/default.htm  

Melrna said: I would also say Caliber yachts would fit your bill. Not sure why you excluded Island Packet, Cabo Rico and Passport other than their tankage for which than I would agree. QUOTE] Click to expand...

is bluewater yachts still in business

Does Oyster qualify? The ones at our marina sure look like they can easily cross oceans in both luxurious comfort and style.  

Yea they qualify.  

Oyster is just what I am not looking for. While they are very nice, I was looking for a family cruiser not a luxury yacht. Valient is a good out though.  

Unless I am mistaken contest is also more of a luxury yacht. I guess I should have put in a price range of 500k or less. Not a million.  

Contest is a yacht and reasonably well appointed. But if you look at older models they are pretty basic. What is considered luxurious? Which is an interesting question. Some might say roller furling is a luxury... or self tailing winches... or an electric windlass... or hot water. I consider those necessities for cruising and I could go on. jef sv shiva  

is bluewater yachts still in business

If you're looking at $500k, you'll have a hard time keeping Passport and Cabo Rico on the list. You can't forget about Tayana either. Melrna - why do you think there is a problem with tankage on Passports? I carry 115 gals of fuel and 125 gals of water. I'd say that's pretty decent for a 40 foot 50hp iron genny bluewater boat.  

My three would be Cabo Rico, Passport, and Tayana.  

For a 33 footer, I've always been impressed by the tankage on my boat - 160 gals of diesel, split in two tanks, providing 800 nm motoring range, and a 140 gal water tank. We have no intentions of making any ocean passages over 200 nm though - coastal cruising fills our needs just fine. It's just comforting knowing that structurally, it can take a licking.  

is bluewater yachts still in business

TrueBlue said: For a 33 footer, I've always been impressed by the tankage on my boat - 160 gals of diesel, split in two tanks, providing 800 nm motoring range, and a 140 gal water tank. Click to expand...

TrueBlue, That is impressive tankage. My Tayana has 120 gallons of fuel and 150 of water.  

Guess the reason why some here call her "a tub with sails" is for accommodating all the stuff she comes with. (g)  

is bluewater yachts still in business

Sorry about putting Passports on my fuel list. The Passport boats are #3 on my list of bluewater boats I would buy. I was having a senior moment.  

is bluewater yachts still in business

You are not allowed to have a senior moment, you are much to young. I'm 88 and therefore am permitted senior moments.  

You might check out this builder http://www.eastsail.com/index.html Sometimes I just go to his site and dream..  

is bluewater yachts still in business

Jom's... You don't have to be Danish to like najads...great boats but unfortunately quit pricey here in the states due to the Euro/Dollar theses days. I don't like that Nordborg at all from what i can see for cruising blue water but I do like the "alternative fuel" auxillary power on that last one! (g)  

camaraderie said: I don't like that Nordborg at all from what i can see for cruising blue water but I do like the "alternative fuel" auxillary power on that last one! (g) Click to expand...

Cam, How does Camaraderie behave in heavy weather, and what's her tankage?  

Oh...her tankage is 100 fuel and 200 water. As to heavy weather, she just lays over a bit and cuts through the waves with an easy motion and no pounding...I've never had a boat anything like her at sea which is why we felt so safe on her. It would really take tropical storm type winds for me to start to get nervous on her...and a lot more for that nervousness to be justified! She is good to windward and on all points of sail thanks to Mr. Perry, and her only real weakness is that she really needs a bit of wind to get going. If I weren't selling her I probably would have bought an Asymmetric for lighter conditions (or a mizzen stay sail if I wanted to be a bit saltier!)  

Are there any big problems with Hans Christians? I don't see them on the list here, but I would put them in as my vote--so far, that is what Mr. E and I are leaning towards when we get the "big boat" (in the far off future)...  

DJ...with several different build locations and variable quality at times, HC has not been the most stable builder around but HC's CAN be great bluewater boats and belong on the list but you have to be careful on survey and love to varnish!  

On the Tiawanese boats, watch the teak decks... typically fastened right through the top layer of glass. It's a monster headache, later. Tankange can be poor. The one I have had a stainless tank welded with ordinary welding rods... can you imagine a mistake of that stupidity??? I had to see it as a reality.... it was with mine. I've got one, a Union 36, and still like it, now 15 years on (30 years old). It really can cope with the big seas, and they are very pretty indeed. Beware of short-cuts they make though. Some of them are shocking.  

The Custom 46 is a good boat ... http://www.customyachtbuilder.com/index2.html Cabots are as well... http://www.yachtsmiths.com/cabot38ph.htm  

Can you find used Amels for around $500K? I was on a new one two years ago in Miami, and if I just HAD to spend a cool million on a new boat, I'd pick the Amel 54.  

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is bluewater yachts still in business

Designer: Chris Hood/Stephen P. McNally

LOA:               60’           18.29 m

LWL:               53’           16.15 m

Beam:             17’3”        5.28 m

Water:             400 g       1514 l

Fuel:                350 g      1325 l

Grey/Black Water:            

                    230 g           870.6 l

Sail Area:  

              934 sq ft      179.68 sq m


                  140\HP          104.4kW

Mast Above Water:  

                           86’ 9”     26.44 m


Draft:                     8’ 0”                  2.45 m    

Displacement:      76,125 lbs (light)      34,530kg


Draft (Board Up)      6’0”                   1.83 m

Draft (Board Down) 13’ 0”                 3.98 m

Displacement           83,555 lbs      37,900 kg

is bluewater yachts still in business

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43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

Yachting World

  • January 5, 2022

How do you choose the right yacht for you? We highlight the very best bluewater sailboat designs for every type of cruising

is bluewater yachts still in business

Which yacht is the best for bluewater boating? This question generates even more debate among sailors than questions about what’s the coolest yacht , or the best for racing. Whereas racing designs are measured against each other, cruising sailors get very limited opportunities to experience different yachts in real oceangoing conditions, so what is the best bluewater sailboat?

Here, we bring you our top choices from decades of designs and launches. Over the years, the Yachting World team has sailed these boats, tested them or judged them for European Yacht of the Year awards, and we have sifted through the many to curate a selection that we believe should be on your wishlist.

Making the right choice may come down to how you foresee your yacht being used after it has crossed an ocean or completed a passage: will you be living at anchor or cruising along the coast? If so, your guiding requirements will be space, cabin size, ease of launching a tender and anchoring closer to shore, and whether it can comfortably accommodate non-expert-sailor guests.

Article continues below…

is bluewater yachts still in business

The perfect boat: what makes an ideal offshore cruising yacht?

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European Yacht of the Year 2019: Best luxury cruisers

Before the sea trials began, I would have put money on a Hallberg-Rassy or the Wauquiez winning an award. The…

All of these considerations have generated the inexorable rise of the bluewater catamaran – monohulls can’t easily compete on these points. We have a full separate feature on the best bluewater multihulls of all time and here we mostly focus on monohulls. The only exceptions to that rule are two multihulls which made it into our best bluewater sailboats of 2022 list.

As so much of making the right choice is selecting the right boat for the venture in mind, we have separated out our edit into categories: best for comfort; for families; for performance; and for expedition or high latitudes sailing .

Best bluewater sailboats of 2022

The new flagship Allures 51.9, for example, is a no-nonsense adventure cruising design built and finished to a high standard. It retains Allures’ niche of using aluminium hulls with glassfibre decks and superstructures, which, the yard maintains, gives the optimum combination of least maintenance and less weight higher up. Priorities for this design were a full beam aft cabin and a spacious, long cockpit. Both are excellent, with the latter, at 6m long, offering formidable social, sailing and aft deck zones.

It likes some breeze to come to life on the wheel, but I appreciate that it’s designed to take up to five tonnes payload. And I like the ease with which you can change gears using the furling headsails and the positioning of the powerful Andersen winches inboard. The arch is standard and comes with a textile sprayhood or hard bimini.

Below decks you’ll find abundant headroom and natural light, a deep U-shape galley and cavernous stowage. For those who like the layout of the Amel 50 but would prefer aluminium or shoal draught, look no further.

Allures 51.9 price: €766,000

The Ovni 370 is another cunning new aluminum centreboard offering, a true deck saloon cruiser for two. The designers say the biggest challenge was to create a Category A ocean going yacht at this size with a lifting keel, hence the hull had to be very stable.

Enjoyable to helm, it has a practical, deep cockpit behind a large sprayhood, which can link to the bimini on the arch. Many of its most appealing features lie in the bright, light, contemporary, clever, voluminous interior, which has good stowage and tankage allocation. There’s also a practical navstation, a large workroom and a vast separate shower. I particularly like the convertible saloom, which can double as a large secure daybed or pilot berth.

Potentially the least expensive Category A lift keel boat available, the Ovni will get you dreaming of remote places again.

Ovni 370 price: €282,080

is bluewater yachts still in business

There’s no shortage of spirit in the Windelo 50. We gave this a sustainability award after it’s founders spent two years researching environmentally-friendly composite materials, developing an eco-composite of basalt fibre and recycled PET foam so it could build boats that halve the environmental impact of standard glassfibre yachts.

The Windelo 50 is an intriguing package – from the styling, modular interior and novel layout to the solar field on the roof and the standard electric propulsion, it is completely fresh.

Windelo 50 price: €795,000

Best bluewater sailboat of 2022 – Outremer 55

I would argue that this is the most successful new production yacht on the market. Well over 50 have already sold (an equipped model typically costs €1.6m) – and I can understand why. After all, were money no object, I had this design earmarked as the new yacht I would most likely choose for a world trip.

Indeed 55 number one Sanya, was fully equipped for a family’s world cruise, and left during our stay for the Grand Large Odyssey tour. Whereas we sailed Magic Kili, which was tricked up with performance options, including foam-cored deckheads and supports, carbon crossbeam and bulkheads, and synthetic rigging.

At rest, these are enticing space ships. Taking one out to sea is another matter though. These are speed machines with the size, scale and loads to be rightly weary of. Last month Nikki Henderson wrote a feature for us about how to manage a new breed of performance cruising cats just like this and how she coaches new owners. I could not think of wiser money spent for those who do not have ample multihull sailing experience.

Under sail, the most fun was obviously reserved for the reaching leg under asymmetric, where we clocked between 11-16 knots in 15-16 knots wind. But it was the stability and of those sustained low teen speeds which really hit home  – passagemaking where you really cover miles.

Key features include the swing helms, which give you views from outboard, over the coachroof or from a protected position in the cockpit through the coachroof windows, and the vast island in the galley, which is key to an open plan main living area. It helps provide cavernous stowage and acts as the heart of the entertaining space as it would in a modern home. As Danish judge Morten Brandt-Rasmussen comments: “Apart from being the TGV of ocean passages the boat offers the most spacious, open and best integration of the cockpit and salon areas in the market.”

Outremer has done a top job in packing in the creature comforts, stowage space and payload capacity, while keeping it light enough to eat miles. Although a lot to absorb and handle, the 55 offers a formidable blend of speed and luxury cruising.

Outremer 55 price: €1.35m

Best bluewater sailboats for comfort

This is the successor to the legendary Super Maramu, a ketch design that for several decades defined easy downwind handling and fostered a cult following for the French yard. Nearly a decade old, the Amel 55 is the bridge between those world-girdling stalwarts and Amel’s more recent and totally re-imagined sloop designs, the Amel 50 and 60.

The 55 boasts all the serious features Amel aficionados loved and valued: a skeg-hung rudder, solidly built hull, watertight bulkheads, solid guardrails and rampart bulwarks. And, most noticeable, the solid doghouse in which the helmsman sits in perfect shelter at the wheel.

This is a design to live on comfortably for long periods and the list of standard features just goes on and on: passarelle; proper sea berths with lee cloths; electric furling main and genoa; and a multitude of practical items that go right down to a dishwasher and crockery.

There’s no getting around the fact these designs do look rather dated now, and through the development of easier sail handling systems the ketch rig has fallen out of fashion, but the Amel is nothing short of a phenomenon, and if you’ve never even peeked on board one, you really have missed a treat.


Photo: Sander van der Borch

Contest 50CS

A centre cockpit cruiser with true longevity, the Contest 50CS was launched by Conyplex back in 2003 and is still being built by the family-owned Dutch company, now in updated and restyled form.

With a fully balanced rudder, large wheel and modern underwater sections, the Contest 50CS is a surprisingly good performer for a boat that has a dry weight of 17.5 tonnes. Many were fitted with in-mast furling, which clearly curtails that performance, but even without, this boat is set up for a small crew.

Electric winches and mainsheet traveller are all easy to reach from the helm. On our test of the Contest 50CS, we saw for ourselves how two people can gybe downwind under spinnaker without undue drama. Upwind, a 105% genoa is so easy to tack it flatters even the weediest crewmember.

Down below, the finish level of the joinery work is up there among the best and the interior is full of clever touches, again updated and modernised since the early models. Never the cheapest bluewater sailing yacht around, the Contest 50CS has remained in demand as a brokerage buy. She is a reassuringly sure-footed, easily handled, very well built yacht that for all those reasons has stood the test of time.

This is a yacht that would be well capable of helping you extend your cruising grounds, almost without realising it.

Read more about the Contest 50CS and the new Contest 49CS


Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk II

For many, the Swedish Hallberg-Rassy yard makes the quintessential bluewater cruiser for couples. With their distinctive blue cove line, these designs are famous for their seakindly behaviour, solid-as-a-rock build and beautifully finished, traditional interiors.

To some eyes, Hallberg-Rassys aren’t quite cool enough, but it’s been company owner Magnus Rassy’s confidence in the formula and belief in incremental ‘step-by-step’ evolution that has been such an exceptional guarantor of reliable quality, reputation and resale value.

The centre cockpit Hallberg-Rassy 48 epitomises the concept of comfort at sea and, like all the Frers-designed Hallberg-Rassys since the 1990s, is surprisingly fleet upwind as well as steady downwind. The 48 is perfectly able to be handled by a couple (as we found a few years back in the Pacific), and could with no great effort crack out 200-mile days.

The Hallberg-Rassy 48 was launched nearly a decade ago, but the Mk II from 2014 is our pick, updated with a more modern profile, larger windows and hull portlights that flood the saloon and aft cabin with light. With a large chart table, secure linear galley, heaps of stowage and space for bluewater extras such as machinery and gear, this yacht pretty much ticks all the boxes.


Discovery 55

First launched in 2000, the Discovery 55 has stood the test of time. Designed by Ron Holland, it hit a sweet spot in size that appealed to couples and families with world girdling plans.

Elegantly styled and well balanced, the 55 is also a practical design, with a deep and secure cockpit, comfortable seating, a self-tacking jib, dedicated stowage for the liferaft , a decent sugar scoop transom that’s useful for swimming or dinghy access, and very comfortable accommodation below. In short, it is a design that has been well thought out by those who’ve been there, got the bruises, stubbed their toes and vowed to change things in the future if they ever got the chance.

Throughout the accommodation there are plenty of examples of good detailing, from the proliferation of handholds and grabrails, to deep sinks in the galley offering immediate stowage when under way and the stand up/sit down showers. Stowage is good, too, with plenty of sensibly sized lockers in easily accessible positions.

The Discovery 55 has practical ideas and nifty details aplenty. She’s not, and never was, a breakthrough in modern luxury cruising but she is pretty, comfortable to sail and live on, and well mannered.


Photo: Latitudes Picture Library

You can’t get much more Cornish than a Rustler. The hulls of this Stephen Jones design are hand-moulded and fitted out in Falmouth – and few are more ruggedly built than this traditional, up-for-anything offshore cruiser.

She boasts an encapsulated lead keel, eliminating keel bolts and creating a sump for generous fuel and water tankage, while a chunky skeg protects the rudder. She is designed for good directional stability and load carrying ability. These are all features that lend this yacht confidence as it shoulders aside the rough stuff.

Most of those built have had a cutter rig, a flexible arrangement that makes sense for long passages in all sea and weather conditions. Down below, the galley and saloon berths are comfortable and sensible for living in port and at sea, with joinery that Rustler’s builders are rightly proud of.

As modern yachts have got wider, higher and fatter, the Rustler 42 is an exception. This is an exceptionally well-mannered seagoing yacht in the traditional vein, with elegant lines and pleasing overhangs, yet also surprisingly powerful. And although now over 20 years old, timeless looks and qualities mean this design makes her look ever more like a perennial, a modern classic.

The definitive crossover size, the point at which a yacht can be handled by a couple but is just large enough to have a professional skipper and be chartered, sits at around the 60ft mark. At 58ft 8in, the Oyster 575 fitted perfectly into this growing market when launched in 2010. It went on to be one of the most popular models from the yard, and is only now being superseded by the newer Rob Humphreys-designed Oyster 565 (just launched this spring).

Built in various configurations with either a deep keel, shoal draught keel or centreboard with twin rudders, owners could trade off better performance against easy access to shallower coves and anchorages. The deep-bodied hull, also by Rob Humphreys, is known for its easy motion at sea.

Some of the Oyster 575’s best features include its hallmark coachroof windows style and centre cockpit – almost everyone will know at first glance this is an Oyster – and superb interior finish. If she has a flaw, it is arguably the high cockpit, but the flip side is the galley headroom and passageway berth to the large aft stateroom.

This design also has a host of practical features for long-distance cruising, such as high guardrails, dedicated liferaft stowage, a vast lazarette for swallowing sails, tender, fenders etc, and a penthouse engine room.


Privilege Serie 5

A true luxury catamaran which, fully fitted out, will top €1m, this deserves to be seen alongside the likes of the Oyster 575, Gunfleet 58 and Hallberg-Rassy 55. It boasts a large cockpit and living area, and a light and spacious saloon with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, masses of refrigeration and a big galley.

Standout features are finish quality and solid build in a yacht designed to take a high payload, a secure walkaround deck and all-round views from the helm station. The new Privilege 510 that will replace this launches in February 2020.

Gunfleet 43

It was with this Tony Castro design that Richard Matthews, founder of Oyster Yachts, launched a brand new rival brand in 2012, the smallest of a range stretching to the flagship Gunfleet 74. The combination of short overhangs and centre cockpit at this size do make the Gunfleet 43 look modern if a little boxy, but time and subsequent design trends have been kind to her lines, and the build quality is excellent. The saloon, galley and aft cabin space is exceptional on a yacht of this size.


Photo: David Harding

Conceived as a belt-and-braces cruiser, the Kraken 50 launched last year. Its unique points lie underwater in the guise of a full skeg-hung rudder and so-called ‘Zero Keel’, an encapsulated long keel with lead ballast.

Kraken Yachts is the brainchild of British businessman and highly experienced cruiser Dick Beaumont, who is adamant that safety should be foremost in cruising yacht design and build. “There is no such thing as ‘one yacht for all purposes’… You cannot have the best of all worlds, whatever the salesman tells you,” he says.

Read our full review of the Kraken 50 .


Wauquiez Centurion 57

Few yachts can claim to be both an exciting Med-style design and a serious and practical northern European offshore cruiser, but the Wauquiez Centurion 57 tries to blend both. She slightly misses if you judge solely by either criterion, but is pretty and practical enough to suit her purpose.

A very pleasant, well-considered yacht, she is impressively built and finished with a warm and comfortable interior. More versatile than radical, she could be used for sailing across the Atlantic in comfort and raced with equal enjoyment at Antigua Sailing Week .


A modern classic if ever there was one. A medium to heavy displacement yacht, stiff and easily capable of standing up to her canvas. Pretty, traditional lines and layout below.


Photo: Voyage of Swell

Well-proven US legacy design dating back to the mid-1960s that once conquered the Transpac Race . Still admired as pretty, with slight spoon bow and overhanging transom.


Capable medium displacement cruiser, ideal size and good accommodation for couples or family cruising, and much less costly than similar luxury brands.


Photo: Peter Szamer

Swedish-built aft cockpit cruiser, smaller than many here, but a well-built and finished, super-durable pocket ocean cruiser.


Tartan 3700

Designed as a performance cruiser there are nimbler alternatives now, but this is still an extremely pretty yacht.

Broker ’ s choice


Discovery 55 Brizo

This yacht has already circumnavigated the globe and is ‘prepared for her next adventure,’ says broker Berthon. Price: £535,000 + VAT


Oyster 575 Ayesha

‘Stunning, and perfectly equipped for bluewater cruising,’ says broker Ancasta International. Price: £845,000 (tax not paid)


Oyster 575 Pearls of Nautilus

Nearly new and with a high spec, this Oyster Brokerage yacht features American white oak joinery and white leather upholstery and has a shoal draught keel. Price: $1.49m

Best bluewater yachts for performance

The Frers-designed Swan 54 may not be the newest hull shape but heralded Swan’s latest generation of displacement bluewater cruisers when launched four years ago. With raked stem, deep V hull form, lower freeboard and slight curve to the topsides she has a more timeless aesthetic than many modern slab-sided high volume yachts, and with that a seakindly motion in waves. If you plan to cover many miles to weather, this is probably the yacht you want to be on.


Photo: Carlo Borlenghi

Besides Swan’s superlative build quality, the 54 brings many true bluewater features, including a dedicated sail locker. There’s also a cockpit locker that functions as a utility cabin, with potential to hold your generator and washing machine, or be a workshop space.

The sloping transom opens out to reveal a 2.5m bathing platform, and although the cabins are not huge there is copious stowage space. Down below the top-notch oak joinery is well thought through with deep fiddles, and there is a substantial nav station. But the Swan 54 wins for handling above all, with well laid-out sail controls that can be easily managed between a couple, while offering real sailing enjoyment to the helmsman.


Photo: Graham Snook

The Performance Cruiser winner at the 2019 European Yacht of the Year awards, the Arcona 435 is all about the sailing experience. She has genuine potential as a cruiser-racer, but her strengths are as an enjoyable cruiser rather than a full-blown liveaboard bluewater boat.

Build quality is excellent, there is the option of a carbon hull and deck, and elegant lines and a plumb bow give the Arcona 435 good looks as well as excellent performance in light airs. Besides slick sail handling systems, there are well thought-out features for cruising, such as ample built-in rope bins and an optional semi-closed stern with stowage and swim platform.


Outremer 51

If you want the space and stability of a cat but still prioritise sailing performance, Outremer has built a reputation on building catamarans with true bluewater characteristics that have cruised the planet for the past 30 years.

Lighter and slimmer-hulled than most cruising cats, the Outremer 51 is all about sailing at faster speeds, more easily. The lower volume hulls and higher bridgedeck make for a better motion in waves, while owners report that being able to maintain a decent pace even under reduced canvas makes for stress-free passages. Deep daggerboards also give good upwind performance.

With bucket seats and tiller steering options, the Outremer 51 rewards sailors who want to spend time steering, while they’re famously well set up for handling with one person on deck. The compromise comes with the interior space – even with a relatively minimalist style, there is less cabin space and stowage volume than on the bulkier cats, but the Outremer 51 still packs in plenty of practical features.


The Xc45 was the first cruising yacht X-Yachts ever built, and designed to give the same X-Yachts sailing experience for sailors who’d spent years racing 30/40-footer X- and IMX designs, but in a cruising package.

Launched over 10 years ago, the Xc45 has been revisited a few times to increase the stowage and modernise some of the styling, but the key features remain the same, including substantial tanks set low for a low centre of gravity, and X-Yachts’ trademark steel keel grid structure. She has fairly traditional styling and layout, matched with solid build quality.

A soft bilge and V-shaped hull gives a kindly motion in waves, and the cockpit is secure, if narrow by modern standards.


A three or four cabin catamaran that’s fleet of foot with high bridgedeck clearance for comfortable motion at sea. With tall daggerboards and carbon construction in some high load areas, Catana cats are light and quick to accelerate.


Sweden Yachts 45

An established bluewater design that also features in plenty of offshore races. Some examples are specced with carbon rig and retractable bowsprits. All have a self-tacking jib for ease. Expect sweeping areas of teak above decks and a traditionally wooded interior with hanging wet locker.


A vintage performer, first launched in 1981, the 51 was the first Frers-designed Swan and marked a new era of iconic cruiser-racers. Some 36 of the Swan 51 were built, many still actively racing and cruising nearly 40 years on. Classic lines and a split cockpit make this a boat for helming, not sunbathing.


Photo: Julien Girardot / EYOTY

The JPK 45 comes from a French racing stable, combining race-winning design heritage with cruising amenities. What you see is what you get – there are no superfluous headliners or floorboards, but there are plenty of ocean sailing details, like inboard winches for safe trimming. The JPK 45 also has a brilliantly designed cockpit with an optional doghouse creating all-weather shelter, twin wheels and superb clutch and rope bin arrangement.


Photo: Andreas Lindlahr

For sailors who don’t mind exchanging a few creature comforts for downwind planing performance, the Pogo 50 offers double-digit surfing speeds for exhilarating tradewind sailing. There’s an open transom, tiller steering and no backstay or runners. The Pogo 50 also has a swing keel, to nose into shallow anchorages.


Seawind 1600

Seawinds are relatively unknown in Europe, but these bluewater cats are very popular in Australia. As would be expected from a Reichel-Pugh design, this 52-footer combines striking good looks and high performance, with fine entry bows and comparatively low freeboard. Rudders are foam cored lifting designs in cassettes, which offer straightforward access in case of repairs, while daggerboards are housed under the deck.

Best bluewater sailboats for families

It’s unsurprising that, for many families, it’s a catamaran that meets their requirements best of increased space – both living space and separate cabins for privacy-seeking teenagers, additional crew or visiting family – as well as stable and predictable handling.


Photo: Nicholas Claris

Undoubtedly one of the biggest success stories has been the Lagoon 450, which, together with boats like the Fountaine Pajot 44, helped drive up the popularity of catamaran cruising by making it affordable and accessible. They have sold in huge numbers – over 1,000 Lagoon 450s have been built since its launch in 2010.

The VPLP-designed 450 was originally launched with a flybridge with a near central helming position and upper level lounging areas (450F). The later ‘sport top’ option (450S) offered a starboard helm station and lower boom (and hence lower centre of gravity for reduced pitching). The 450S also gained a hull chine to create additional volume above the waterline. The Lagoon features forward lounging and aft cockpit areas for additional outdoor living space.

Besides being a big hit among charter operators, Lagoons have proven themselves over thousands of bluewater miles – there were seven Lagoon 450s in last year’s ARC alone. In what remains a competitive sector of the market, Lagoon has recently launched a new 46, with a larger self-tacking jib and mast moved aft, and more lounging areas.


Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

Fountaine Pajot Helia 44

The FP Helia 44 is lighter, lower volume, and has a lower freeboard than the Lagoon, weighing in at 10.8 tonnes unloaded (compared to 15 for the 450). The helm station is on a mezzanine level two steps up from the bridgedeck, with a bench seat behind. A later ‘Evolution’ version was designed for liveaboard cruisers, featuring beefed up dinghy davits and an improved saloon space.

Available in three or four cabin layouts, the Helia 44 was also popular with charter owners as well as families. The new 45 promises additional volume, and an optional hydraulically lowered ‘beach club’ swim platform.


Photo: Arnaud De Buyzer / graphikup.com

The French RM 1370 might be less well known than the big brand names, but offers something a little bit different for anyone who wants a relatively voluminous cruising yacht. Designed by Marc Lombard, and beautifully built from plywood/epoxy, the RM is stiff and responsive, and sails superbly.

The RM yachts have a more individual look – in part down to the painted finish, which encourages many owners to personalise their yachts, but also thanks to their distinctive lines with reverse sheer and dreadnought bow. The cockpit is well laid out with the primary winches inboard for a secure trimming position. The interior is light, airy and modern, although the open transom won’t appeal to everyone.

For those wanting a monohull, the Hanse 575 hits a similar sweet spot to the popular multis, maximising accommodation for a realistic price, yet with responsive performance.

The Hanse offers a vast amount of living space thanks to the ‘loft design’ concept of having all the living areas on a single level, which gives a real feeling of spaciousness with no raised saloon or steps to accommodation. The trade-off for such lofty head height is a substantial freeboard – it towers above the pontoon, while, below, a stepladder is provided to reach some hatches.

Galley options include drawer fridge-freezers, microwave and coffee machine, and the full size nav station can double up as an office or study space.

But while the Hanse 575 is a seriously large boat, its popularity is also down to the fact that it is genuinely able to be handled by a couple. It was innovative in its deck layout: with a self-tacking jib and mainsheet winches immediately to hand next to the helm, one person could both steer and trim.

Direct steering gives a feeling of control and some tangible sailing fun, while the waterline length makes for rapid passage times. In 2016 the German yard launched the newer Hanse 588 model, having already sold 175 of the 575s in just four years.


Photo: Bertel Kolthof

Jeanneau 54

Jeanneau leads the way among production builders for versatile all-rounder yachts that balance sail performance and handling, ergonomics, liveaboard functionality and good looks. The Jeanneau 54 , part of the range designed by Philippe Briand with interior by Andrew Winch, melds the best of the larger and smaller models and is available in a vast array of layout options from two cabins/two heads right up to five cabins and three heads.

We’ve tested the Jeanneau 54 in a gale and very light winds, and it acquitted itself handsomely in both extremes. The primary and mainsheet winches are to hand next to the wheel, and the cockpit is spacious, protected and child-friendly. An electric folding swim and sun deck makes for quick fun in the water.


Nautitech Open 46

This was the first Nautitech catamaran to be built under the ownership of Bavaria, designed with an open-plan bridgedeck and cockpit for free-flowing living space. But with good pace for eating up bluewater miles, and aft twin helms rather than a flybridge, the Nautitech Open 46 also appeals to monohull sailors who prefer a more direct sailing experience.


Made by Robertson and Caine, who produce catamarans under a dual identity as both Leopard and the Sunsail/Moorings charter cats, the Leopard 45 is set to be another big seller. Reflecting its charter DNA, the Leopard 45 is voluminous, with stepped hulls for reduced waterline, and a separate forward cockpit.

Built in South Africa, they are robustly tested off the Cape and constructed ruggedly enough to handle heavy weather sailing as well as the demands of chartering.


Photo: Olivier Blanchet

If space is king then three hulls might be even better than two. The Neel 51 is rare as a cruising trimaran with enough space for proper liveaboard sailing. The galley and saloon are in the large central hull, together with an owner’s cabin on one level for a unique sensation of living above the water. Guest or family cabins lie in the outer hulls for privacy and there is a cavernous full height engine room under the cabin sole.

Performance is notably higher than an equivalent cruising cat, particularly in light winds, with a single rudder giving a truly direct feel in the helm, although manoeuvring a 50ft trimaran may daunt many sailors.


Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

A brilliant new model from Beneteau, this Finot Conq design has a modern stepped hull, which offers exhilarating and confidence-inspiring handling in big breezes, and slippery performance in lighter winds.

The Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 was the standout performer at this year’s European Yacht of the Year awards, and, in replacing the popular Oceanis 45, looks set to be another bestseller. Interior space is well used with a double island berth in the forepeak. An additional inboard unit creates a secure galley area, but tank capacity is moderate for long periods aboard.


Beneteau Oceanis 473

A popular model that offers beam and height in a functional layout, although, as with many boats of this age (she was launched in 2002), the mainsheet is not within reach of the helmsman.


Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49

The Philippe Briand-designed Sun Odyssey range has a solid reputation as family production cruisers. Like the 473, the Sun Odyssey 49 was popular for charter so there are plenty of four-cabin models on the market.


Nautitech 441

The hull design dates back to 1995, but was relaunched in 2012. Though the saloon interior has dated, the 441 has solid practical features, such as a rainwater run-off collection gutter around the coachroof.


Atlantic 42

Chris White-designed cats feature a pilothouse and forward waist-high working cockpit with helm position, as well as an inside wheel at the nav station. The Atlantic 42 offers limited accommodation by modern cat standards but a very different sailing experience.

Best bluewater sailing yachts for expeditions

Bestevaer 56.

All of the yachts in our ‘expedition’ category are aluminium-hulled designs suitable for high latitude sailing, and all are exceptional yachts. But the Bestevaer 56 is a spectacular amount of boat to take on a true adventure. Each Bestevaer is a near-custom build with plenty of bespoke options for owners to customise the layout and where they fall on the scale of rugged off-grid adventurer to 4×4-style luxury fit out.


The Bestevaer range began when renowned naval architect Gerard Dijkstra chose to design his own personal yacht for liveaboard adventure cruising, a 53-footer. The concept drew plenty of interest from bluewater sailors wanting to make longer expeditions and Bestevaers are now available in a range of sizes, with the 56-footer proving a popular mid-range length.

The well-known Bestevaer 56 Tranquilo  (pictured above) has a deep, secure cockpit, voluminous tanks (700lt water and over 1,100lt fuel) and a lifting keel plus water ballast, with classically styled teak clad decks and pilot house. Other owners have opted for functional bare aluminium hull and deck, some choose a doghouse and others a pilothouse.


Photo: Jean-Marie Liot

The Boreal 52 also offers Land Rover-esque practicality, with utilitarian bare aluminium hulls and a distinctive double-level doghouse/coachroof arrangement for added protection in all weathers. The cockpit is clean and uncluttered, thanks to the mainsheet position on top of the doghouse, although for visibility in close manoeuvring the helmsman will want to step up onto the aft deck.

Twin daggerboards, a lifting centreboard and long skeg on which she can settle make this a true go-anywhere expedition yacht. The metres of chain required for adventurous anchoring is stowed in a special locker by the mast to keep the weight central. Down below has been thought through with equally practical touches, including plenty of bracing points and lighting that switches on to red light first to protect your night vision.


Photo: Morris Adant / Garcia Yachts

Garcia Exploration 45

The Garcia Exploration 45 comes with real experience behind her – she was created in association with Jimmy Cornell, based on his many hundreds of thousands of miles of bluewater cruising, to go anywhere from high latitudes to the tropics.

Arguably less of a looker than the Bestevaer, the Garcia Exploration 45 features a rounded aluminium hull, centreboard with deep skeg and twin daggerboards. The considerable anchor chain weight has again been brought aft, this time via a special conduit to a watertight locker in front of the centreboard.

This is a yacht designed to be lived on for extended periods with ample storage, and panoramic portlights to give a near 360° view of whichever extraordinary landscape you are exploring. Safety features include a watertight companionway door to keep extreme weather out and through-hull fittings placed above the waterline. When former Vendée Globe skipper Pete Goss went cruising , this was the boat he chose to do it in.


Photo: svnaima.com

A truly well-proven expedition design, some 1,500 Ovnis have been built and many sailed to some of the most far-flung corners of the world. (Jimmy Cornell sailed his Aventura some 30,000 miles, including two Drake Passage crossings, one in 50 knots of wind).


Futuna Exploration 54

Another aluminium design with a swinging centreboard and a solid enclosed pilothouse with protected cockpit area. There’s a chunky bowsprit and substantial transom arch to house all manner of electronics and power generation.

Previous boats have been spec’d for North West Passage crossings with additional heating and engine power, although there’s a carbon rig option for those that want a touch of the black stuff. The tanks are capacious, with 1,000lt capability for both fresh water and fuel.

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  1. Bluewater Yachts(Boat/Yacht Rentals) in Dubai Marina (Marsa Dubai

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  3. 1984 Bluewater Yachts Coastal Cruiser 51 Power New and Used Boats for

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  1. 1987 Bluewater Yachts Coastal Cruiser

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  4. Southern Ocean Shipyard Ocean 60 Yacht For Sale Now SOLD By John Rodriguez Yachts

  5. Take a tour of this ocean-ready 2006 Farmont 70' Expedition Yacht with John Painter!

  6. 55' Bluewater 1989


  1. What Happened to Bluewater Yachts? The Inside Story

    May 31, 2024. 32. Bluewater Yachts, once a shining star in the yacht manufacturing industry, faced a tumultuous journey that ultimately led to its downfall. The story of Bluewater Yachts is a rollercoaster of success, challenges, and ultimately, bankruptcy. Let's delve into the inside story of what happened to this iconic company.

  2. Bluewater opens with new owners

    In the 1990s Bluewater Yachts produced lengths up to 70 feet. The product provides full and comfortable living space for several people, and can be used for both inland and coastal waterways. The ...

  3. Home

    Bluewater Yachts was founded by blue water sailors. We own and sail the boats we build. Call us crazy, but we loved our Frers designed 56 so much - we built our boats and then bought the mold and started BLUEWATER YACHTS. We have made her better, with an optional hard dodger, shown here, and we continue to work with leaders in the industry to ...

  4. Bluewater Yachts re-enter market

    Doug Bassett, CEO of Aries Investments LLC, doing business as Bluewater Yachts, said the company hopes to restart the business with 14 employees and expand to about 30 over the course of this ...

  5. Opinions on Bluewater Yachts

    Messages. 1. Location. USA. I have a nordhavn N46 and it is for sale. This decision came after realizing that our blue water days are over mainly due to age pure and simple. Now our boating days are not over and a few years on the great loop sound very appealing. I am looking at 51/52 foot Bluewater Yachts, diesel 1995 or newer.

  6. Bluewater Yachts owner seeks to restart production

    Jul 27, 2017. Original: May 9, 2013. Bluewater Yachts hopes to restart business and production after its new owner reached a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Minnesota county where it is located. The Kanabec County Board last week approved the memorandum, which will encourage new owner Aries Investments LLC to reactivate ...

  7. How is the quality of Bluewater boats?

    Blue Water is now owned by Kal Kustom boats, same folks that own Reinell. The two come off their plant in Oregon, and are still in business. The current boats usually share the same hulls at the Reinell boats, or use older molds. I see a number of Blue Water boats here in the NW. I'm not sure when they were bought by Kal Kustom.

  8. Bluewater Yachting

    BLUEWATER, One Company, One Complete Service Founded in 1991, Bluewater offers a wealth of experience and is the only major yachting company with dedicated and experienced teams in the five main ...

  9. Bluewater yachts vs. sailboats: Key differences

    A bluewater yacht stands apart from other sailboats primarily due to its design, construction, and purpose. Here are the key factors that differentiate a bluewater yacht from other sailboats: Purpose: Bluewater yachts are specifically designed and built for long-distance offshore cruising and ocean crossings. They are intended to handle the ...

  10. Bluewater Yachts for sale

    Bluewater Yachts is a yacht builder that currently has 11 yachts for sale on YachtWorld, including 0 new vessels and 11 used yachts, listed by experienced boat and yacht brokers mainly in the following countries: United States, Canada and Mexico. YachtWorld offers a diverse array of models, showcasing a comprehensive range of sizes and lengths ...

  11. Bluewater Yachts

    Posts: 2,874. Re: Bluewater yachts. Several years ago, I was commissioned to move a Bluewater 52 from Marina Del Ray in LA to San Diego stopping first in Catalina with the owner, his wife and 2 children aboard. I had some misgivings but we left early one morning before the wind piped up and seas began to build.

  12. Latest news from bluewater

    Keep up-to-date with our luxury yacht charter, yacht sales, crew training and crew placement latest news. Keep up-to-date with our luxury yacht charter, yacht sales, crew training and crew placement latest news. ... Bluewater Announces New Central Agency For Sale: M/Y LUMINOSITY. By: Sam Jurgensen • 8 days ago. 2024 Bluewater Photo And Video ...

  13. Bluewater Yachts, Mora, MN

    No phone number on the website, nothing comes up in the online yellow pages other than "Blue Water Pumping." When a company like that shuts down it usually leaves some kind of trail. I did find one local newspaper reference that a visiting group form Norway visited "Bluewater Boats" in Mora, MN in 2012 so maybe they're still alive on some basis.

  14. Bluewater Navigates Fifty Years of Success

    Still seeking more elbowroom, Bluewater bought an adjacent outboard service business and patched it onto their footprint. Chris started calling the group of three properties the Bluewater Yachting Center—which envisaged the future he was building—but with the Hampton Yacht Club next door, there wasn't much more room.

  15. Campion Marine Acquires Reinell and Bluewater Boats From Kal Kustom

    As a family business, Campion is constantly pushing the limits, exploring new technologies and investing in research to produce boats that are even more exciting and satisfying to drive. Brock Elliott, President of Campion Marine, welcomes the addition of Reinell and Bluewater to their family and invites all current and interested dealers to ...

  16. Who still makes a Bluewater boat?

    Who would you put on your short list of Bluewater boats still being manufactured today? Here is some general criteria: protected rudder, lead keel, good tankage, two double berths (not counting settee), less than 50 feet. The manufacture should also have a decent dealer in the US. Now the catch.

  17. Our Story

    Over 50 years later, Bluewater is still owned and operated by its founding partners and is one of the largest privately held, and financially sound, yacht dealerships in the world. Bluewater has literally been built on a backbone of service and a commitment to always put the customer first. The founders and partners of Bluewater are not just ...


    A luxury bluewater yacht specified to your dreams. Classic, elegant lines with contemporary touches and a proven bluewater yacht pedigree. top of page. Home. 56. 60. Videos. Brokerage. Contact. Gallery. More. BLUEWATER 60. Designer: Chris Hood/Stephen P. McNally ...

  19. Bluewater Yacht Sales

    Bluewater Yacht Sales. 23,657 likes · 660 talking about this. Representing yachting's finest new boat brands and exclusive brokerage opportunities.

  20. The Hull Truth

    10-18-2023 04:05 PM. Bluewave factory shut down. Heard the factory is shut down, anyone have details? chasfish. 10-19-2023 04:37 AM. There's some insight on the Blue Wave Owners facebook page. A couple of dealers claiming the plant has simply been 'idled for a while so dealers can work through a backlog of boats' while a couple of former ...

  21. New & Used Yachts For Sale

    Custom & Production Experts. Since 1968, the founders of Bluewater Yacht Sales have worked hand-in-hand with the most respected marine manufacturers and partners to provide exceptional sales and service to friends and customers.. At Bluewater, boating's best brands are sold and serviced by some of the East Coast's most experienced captains, craftsmen and support teams—over 300 people ...

  22. 43 of the best bluewater sailboat designs of all time

    Allures 51.9 price: €766,000. The Ovni 370 is another cunning new aluminum centreboard offering, a true deck saloon cruiser for two. The designers say the biggest challenge was to create a ...

  23. Getting to Know Cruisers Yachts

    Zenz continues, "With our current lineup of yachts and the direction of our new products, the team at Cruisers Yachts is excited about everything that Bluewater Yacht Sales brings to the table, including first class service, an elite sales team and an ownership group that is committed to the boat business." Bluewater Yacht Sales is excited ...

  24. SA's recreational fishers still banned from using drones after new

    For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page. It will remain illegal for recreational anglers to use drones or remote-controlled boats to assist them when fishing in South Africa, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) confirmed in a ruling this week.