Circumnavigation is an undeniably enjoyable experience made even more fun with the right sailboats. Read on to find the best sailboats for circumnavigation!
The best sailboats for circumnavigation include the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS, Neel 51, and Island Packet 349. These boats offer passengers a thoroughly enjoyable sailing experience and the reliability, efficiency, and luxury they need from a long-haul sailing vessel.
Circumnavigation is all about navigating the world oceans on a dream sailing trip across the world. The best high-performing sailboats can help circumnavigate the world with ease. They have the most reliable and functional facilities onboard, are easy to maneuver, have been fitted with the finest equipment, and have organized, spaced out deck and cabin areas for you to have a pleasant sailing experience.
Given the sheer volume of sailboats in the market, it’s not always easy to make the right decision for your sailing adventures. It’s why I have used my sailing expertise to create this list of the most reliable and high-performing sailboats ideal for sailing across the world!
8 Best Sailboats for Circumnavigating the World
Here are eight of the finest sailboats for travelling around the world:
1. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS is easily one of the finest and luxurious sailboats for circumnavigation. It’s a spacious and visually stunning vessel with large, swooping curves that give it its unique shape. When this sailboat debuted in 2003, its superstructure, with its quality desk hardware, was instantly recognized as one of the finest in the world, and that remains true today as well. Plus, the interior of the boat is designed with elegance in mind.
Moreover, this sailboat has a premium-quality, powerful build, which ensures that the Odyssey 54DS delivers top-quality, smooth performance, allowing you to travel in it around the world with ease. The 54DS has many notable features, including its standard in-mast furling mainsail and deep-draft keel. The vessel also comes with an optional full battened main.
The sailboat has a fancy leather-bound wheel that works smoothly and five to ten luxurious berths. It features a harbor cachet that is more or less the same size as the cachet of a custom yacht. All of its distinctive and contemporary features are designed to offer maximum comfort and a smooth sailing experience to long-distance travelers. It’s why the price of the sailboat is certainly a bit on the higher end. But the sheer quality and prowess of the boat make up for the higher price tag.
Here are some pros of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS:
- Sturdy construction
- Reliable sailing experience
- Luxurious interior for added comfort
- Attractive design that makes it feel like a small superyacht
Here are some cons of the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS:
- Price is a bit steep
2. Neel 51
Neel 51 is a popular choice amongst sailboat lovers due to its wide deckhouse. Its double headsail rig is conveniently accessible from the helm and is controlled by Harken 52 winches. This blue water yacht was introduced after the success of Neel 45 and Neel 65.
This sailboat also houses two center-hull staterooms with functional showers below the deck. The trim of this popular yacht is made of alpi wood, and the flooring has a hard-wearing polyester substance construction. The sailboat enjoys an overall length of 51 feet and a width of 29 feet and 18 inches. The live-aboard space equals 90sqm, and the tender garage technical room covers 18 sqm.
With that said, the headsail hinders visibility from the helm, which is a common pain point with multihulls. With that said, you can enjoy an unobstructed view from the spacious and elegant lounge space adjacent to the helm for resting and relaxing. This boat is fitted with an impressive Volvo diesel inboard engine with an HP sail drive of 75.
This sailboat can also carry up to 600L of water and fuel. It offers exceptional directional prowess and is easy to drive. With this vessel, you can sail from 6-7 knits up to 10-11 knots. It’s the ideal boat for individuals who wish to experience the joys of circumnavigation in a comfortable sailboat.
Here are some pros of the Neel 51:
- Sturdy, durable construction
- Excellent functionality and a smooth ride
- Incredible directional power
- Comfortable, spacious, and luxurious
Here are some cons of the Neel 51:
- Visibility is obstructed from the helm
3. Island Packet 349
The Island Packet 349 is widely regarded as the best midsize cruiser under 38 feet. Even in poor weather conditions, it offers its passengers a comfortable and safe long-haul sailing and cruising experience. From its harken furlers and winches to its fiberglass work, the build quality is brilliant. The vessel sails wonderfully well as well.
This vessel is designed as a two-cabin boat and features a separate shower compartment in a single head, a distinctive feature in a boat under 38 feet. It comes with a functional set of furniture and appliances, including an under-counter storage space for dry goods, refrigerators, a pull-out spice rack cabinet, various bulkhead mounted handholds and SS overhead spaces.
The saloon of the sailboat also contains an L-shaped built-in sofa/settee and a dining table that can be folded when not in use to make more space for the passengers. The Island Packet 349 has an overall length and water length of a little more than 38 feet and 31 feet, respectively. The draft is 4 feet, and the beamwidth is 12 feet and 6 inches long.
The vessel can carry up to 100 gallons of water and 55 gallons of fuel. It houses a strong engine of Yanmar diesel with 45 HP, which allows it to travel a distance of 500 miles at six knots cruising speed. The IP 349 offers a nominal hull speed of around 7.5 knots, thanks to its 32-foot waterline. This model is safe for sea travel due to its ballast-to-displacement ratio of 39% and full keel, 20,000lbs displacement.
Here are some pros of the Island Packet 349:
- Durable fiberglass and harken construction
- Excellent utilization of space despite the small size
- Strong engine and traveling speed
- Comfortable vessel for sailing across the globe
Here are some cons of the Island Packet 349:
- It’s a bit on the small side compared to other sailboats on the list
4. Amel Super Maramu
Amel Super Maramu is a loved vessel designed by the Frenchman Henri Amel. He designed it with the vision of creating a high-performance circumnavigating sailboat, and it’s safe to say he succeeded. This sailboat provides exceptional performance in deeper sea waters and is all about functionality.
The sailboat has an undeniably traditional circumnavigating sailboat-like appearance. However, it has many modern features to offer. It’s designed to be operated by a small crew of two people to ensure increased efficiency. The ketch rig has a simple yet exceptionally effective design, and the sails are electrically controlled, making the boat super manageable.
With everything said, the Super Maramu is not designed for external modifications. It’s a 53-feet-long boat with an optimally functional exterior and interior. It has an overall width of a little over 41 feet and a beamwidth of 15 feet. The sailboat has a water capacity of 264 gallons and a fuel capacity of 158 gallons.
Here are some pros of the Amel Super Maramu:
- Super-efficient design with maximum focus on functionality
- It doesn’t require a huge crew; designed for a two-person crew
- Explicitly designed for long-distance sailing
- Safe, reliable, and powerful vessel
Here are some cons of the Amel Super Maramu:
- Not as luxurious as some of the other options on the list
- Best for an experienced crew due to the complexity of some features
5. Bavaria 42
Bavaria 42 is a mass-produced, popular boat designed for cross-ocean traveling. It’s a no-nonsense, comparatively priced, adaptable sailboat that offers great features for its affordable price. The deck features a fairly spacious sail area and a long waterline to ensure good performance. However, the vessel can be super heavy when the cruising essentials are stored onboard.
The cockpit of the boat is placed centrally to free up more space for the passengers. Below the deck, the interior is as functional and practical as needed. Depending on the model you choose, you will benefit from two to three comfortable seeping cabins that are functional. It’s a standard go-to cruiser for circumnavigation.
This sailboat offers an overall length of almost 43 feet and a beamwidth of 13 feet. Depending on the model you choose, you can avail a fuel capacity of 210L to 230L and a water capacity of 360L. You will also have six to eight functional berths. The engine has an HP of 55. All in all, it’s a well-built, practical vessel that will enable you to have a relaxing cruise around the world.
The forward visibility of the sailboat is excellent at the helm, and the wide cockpit offers an unmatched sense of security even when the boat is listing. Moreover, the Bavaria 42 responds exceptionally well to the touch of an experienced sailor.
Here are some pros of the Bavaria 42:
- Responsive, functional sailboat
- Practically built to offer excellent performance
- Excellent front view
- Sense of security due to the spacious cockpit
Here are some cons of the Bavaria 42:
- Not as luxurious as some of the other options on the list
- Quite heavy when the cruising essentials are stored onboard
6. Beneteau 57
Beneteau 57 is easily one of the finest, most high-end sailboats for circumnavigation. It’s designed to be a stylish, high-performing, reliable vessel that you can take on a cruise around the world. It’s a luxury sailboat through and through!
The vessel’s hull has a monohull design and offers quick performance and a sleek appearance. The cockpit is also placed centrally to maximize the space on the deck and keep the vessel’s interior neatly organized under the deck. It is a powerful sloop rig with an impressively constructed cockpit.
The facilities below the deck are modern, comfortable, and wholly impressive. They are also quite spacious since the vessel’s overall length is more than 50 feet. The beamwidth of the vessel is a little over 16 feet, and the overall width is 56 feet. Moreover, its engine has an impressive 160 HP, and the fuel tanks have a capacity of 400L. The sailboat can carry 22,000 kgs of dry weight.
The synthetic glittering Glass blue countertops in the head and the brilliant stainless steel gallery appliances add a luxurious touch to the Beneteau 57. The boat has the most comprehensive list of features out of all the Beneteau boats. Considering the fantastic build-quality and luxurious experience that the Beneteau 57 offers to its passengers, its price is impressively competitive.
Here are some pros of the Beneteau 57:
- High-end, luxurious vessel with a fantastic build quality
- It offers an enjoyable cruising experience
- Well-organized and functional deck and below deck spaces
- Stainless steel appliances
- Competitive price
- Impressive dry weight capacity
Here are some cons of the Beneteau 57:
- Not as efficient as some of the other options on the list
7. Hylas 54
Hylas 54 has a German Frers design that offers the vessel a brilliant balance between efficiency and performance. The vessel’s hull is built exceptionally well, ensuring the boat to be driven seamlessly. It’s so easy to sail the boat that achieving more than 200 miles per day is achievable. On the deck, the compact and efficient design is ideal for an experienced sailor.
One of the finest features of the Hylas 54 is its spaciousness below deck, which is ideal for long-haul sailing across the world. The flexible below deck interior allows you to customize the layout however you want. It also enables you to use the finish quality you want. It also comes with a raised saloon version, which adds to its flexibility.
Like other Hylas sailboats, the passengers are typically satisfied with this 54-feet-long vessel for cross-ocean sailing. It’s because this vessel is super easy to handle and makes a great all-rounder for circumnavigation. It offers you the freedom you need to traverse the world oceans in comfort and style.
Here are some pros of the Hylas 54:
- Excellent customization options
- Efficient, high-performing vessel
- It offers an enjoyable cruising experience
- Easy to sail across the ocean, achieving maximum speed
Here are some cons of the Hylas 54:
- A relatively smaller deck compared to other vessels on the list
8. Beneteau Oceanis 46.1
The Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 is one of the most popular Beneteau models. It features a stepped hull design and incorporates some of the most loved features of the previous models. It also offers increased performance, quality, and top-tier design.
Oceanis 46.1 has a deep lead-bulb keel and a tall mast, allowing the vessel to offer 28% more sail area than the previous Beneteau models. It also has a “first Line” edition that offers comfort and speed. This sailboat offers a functional and roomy cockpit and a spacious forward owner’s cabin. It enables you to sail luxuriously and comfortably.
The overall length and width of the vessel are 46 feet and 47 feet and 43 feet. The hull length is an impressive 45 feet. The sailboat features a Yanmar power engine with 57 HP. You can also go for the Yanmar diesel with 80 HP. This sailboat comes with five varied layouts – three cabins with two heads, three cabins with three heads, four cabins with two heads, four cabins with four heads, and five cabins with three heads.
This Beneteau model enables you to sail short-handed and empowers you to control the winches from aft. It also has a beautiful design; the below deck interior is covered with brushed light oak veneer. It also houses wide sunbeds with separate head and shower compartments. The vessel has large hull portholes that allow natural light into its saloon, making your experience more comfortable.
Here are some pros of the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1:
- Beautiful and spacious below deck space
- Multiple below deck options
- Excellent performance and efficiency
- Spacious vessel with a powerful engine
- It offers an enjoyable cruising experience
Here are some cons of the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1:
- Not as roomy as some of the other sailboats on the list
Which Sailboat is the Best for Circumnavigation?
With today’s varied options, sailing worldwide is an exciting prospect. After all, there are many luxurious, well-performing sailboats that can help you have a grand time sailing across world oceans. However, only the best sailboats can offer you the most pleasing sailing experience that goes without a hitch.
The finest boats for circumnavigation offer lightweight speed and have a spacious hull and deck area that offers a grand view. They are also equipped with the finest, most functional and luxurious features for your comfort on your sojourn. That said, the best sailboat for you will also depend on the route you’re taking and your specific needs.
For instance, if someone is looking for a luxurious, competitively priced vessel for their circumnavigation trip, they will likely choose a Beneteau 57 for its luxurious interior and high-end performance. However, if you’re more inclined toward efficiently performing sailboats designed to offer optimal functionality, you will be drawn toward the Bavaria 42.
But if you need an incredible all-around performer in the world of sailboats ideal for circumnavigation, you will likely choose the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS or the Island Packet 349. These sailboats offer exceptional functionality, luxury, and comfort. They are also reliable in poor weather conditions and offer you a smooth, quick, and efficient sailing experience.
About THE AUTHOR
I'm Michael Moris. I've been sailing my whole life, and it has taken me to places I never imagined. From the Caribbean to Europe, from New Zealand to South America - there's nowhere that hasn't felt like home when you're on a boat!Read more about Michael Moris