14 Best Monohull Sailboats

14 Best Monohull Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Monohulls are among the most popular boats in the world accounting for over 75% of the total number of boats.

This means that choosing the best monohull sailboats for your sailing adventures can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we're here to help you by highlighting the best monohull sailboats.

Whether you're an accomplished sailor or just starting in the world of sailing, a monohull boat is an ideal option for anyone who wants a true sailing experience.

Unlike other types of sailboats, the level of adrenaline that a monohull brings to your sailing adventure is almost unmatched.

It doesn't matter whether the conditions are rough, wild, flat, or calm, a monohull is the perfect boat type for anyone looking for the thrills of the sail.

Unfortunately, you might not fully enjoy the thrills of sailing on a monohull sailboat if you do not choose the best monohull sailboat for you.

While a monohull cannot compete with multihull sailboats in terms of cabin size, anchoring closer to the shore, and comfort, it should hold its own if you are planning to spend more time at the sea and in unpredictable conditions.

A monohull sailboat will definitely be an ideal option if you're planning to go to more challenging places. This is exactly why you have to make the right choice when looking for the best monohull sailboat.

Over the years, we've sailed many monohull sailboats and that's precisely why we feel confident that we can help you choose the best monohull sailboats.

We've gone through various designs and launches, tested them, and sifted through many monohull brands to select the best monohull sailboats that we strongly believe should be on your bucket list.

So without further ado, let's walk you through them.


Table of contents

Best Monohull Sailboats

1. Amel 55


For several decades, Amel 55 has not only been the epitome of easy downwind handling but has developed a cult-like following among sailors. It was designed as the successor to the legendary Super Maramu and brings to the fore incredible features that every serious sailor will value. From a sturdily built hull, solid guardrails to a skeg-hung rudder, watertight bulkheads, and lush bulwarks, Amel 55 is built with anything you could ever want in a perfect monohull sailboat.

And even with a list of standard features, this monohull sailboat is truly designed for those who want to live comfortably on a sailboat for long periods. It comes with superb sea berths with lee cloths, a dishwasher, crockery, an electric furling main and genoa, and several practical items that will make sailing very comfortable.

We have to admit that the design might look old going by modern standards, especially with the advent of easier sail handling systems. For example, the ketch rig design is no longer ideal and is out of fashion. But even with this downside, the Amel 55 remains a phenomenon; a legendary monohull sailboat that ticks all the right boxes in the sailing world.

2. Bavaria Cruise 46


Probably the most popular monohull sailboat in recent years, the Bavaria Cruise 46 is a formidable monohull sailboat that was voted "European Yacht of the Year" in 2015. Well, this shouldn't be surprising as you'll probably never find another monohull sailboat in its class that offers more comfort, more space, more luxury, and easier handling.

You can transform the boat's 3 cabins into 4 cabins by transforming the huge forward cabin into two smaller cabins in a few simple steps. In the bow, you'll find a large and luxurious master cabin that can be easily divided using an innovative Flexi-bulkhead.

Its sporty design on the exterior, lightweight composite steering wheels, and a flexible selection of wood tones makes it look so good while offering the best dimensions for both short and long trips. In essence, the Bavaria Cruise 46 is an elegant monohull sailboat that redefines modern sailboats with its clever and innovative design.

3. Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk II


Following in the footsteps of the original Hallberg-Rassy 48 Mk that was launched a decade ago, the Mk II was launched in 2014 as an updated version thanks to its modern profile, incredible hull portlights, and larger and frameless windows. This Swedish monohull sailboat is solidly built, gorgeously finished, and is famous around the world and among sailors for its kind and smooth behavior at sea.

Its center cockpit is a true definition of what comfort should entail at sea. This is a monohull sailboat that will provide you with steady sailing both upwind and downwind. It can effortlessly cover 200 miles a day and doesn't require you to be a pro sailor to be able to handle it. If anything, it offers smooth sailing and can be perfectly handled by a casual sailing couple.

In terms of additional features, this monohull comes with a large chart table, lots of stowage and space, a secure linear galley, as well as extra machinery and gear that would be of great help when out on the water. This is a well-thought-out monohull sailboat and is perhaps the best Hallberg-Rassy ever built. This boat guarantees reliability, top-notch quality, and superb resale value.

4. Catalina 545


As one of the largest monohull sailboats in the game, the Catalina 545 stands out in the way it's engineered and designed to make it a truly excellent monohull sailboat. If you're an ardent Catalina fan, you'll notice that the 545 has some of the most eyebrow-raising features in bluewater cruising.

For example, the fiberglass collar is designed all-round the top of the hull and shaped like a construction beam. This is to give the hull a more enhanced rigidity while providing a sturdy base for the deck. It's also designed with solid stanchions and cleats, as well as strong sheer rails.

This superb monohull sailboat is constructed with a set of scuppers that play a crucial role in draining near the waterline so that you can perfectly eliminate any development of streaks or strains on the top side of the boat. As far as the bow is concerned, the sprit brings to the table an essential but unique anchor roller, a self-tacking jib, and a light displacement that makes the boat quick even in light or moderate wind. In essence, this monohull sailboat is designed with simple but reliable systems that are easily accessible. Better still, it remains one of the biggest monohull sailboats around.

5. Discovery 55


Having been launched two decades ago in 2000, the Discovery 55 has unquestionably stood the test of time and remains one of the most preferred monohull sailboats for families and couples around the world. This is a well-balanced and elegantly designed sailboat that brings to the sailing world immense practicality, comfortable seating, a deep and secure cockpit, dedicated stowage, and a self-tacking jib among many other things.

If you've been on a sailboat and bruised or stubbed your toes, you simply appreciate hos the superb monohull sailboat is designed to keep you safe and secure at all times. From the grab rails and handholds to deep sinks in the galley, the Discovery 55 is designed with plenty of nifty details and the inclusion of many practical ideas.

This sailboat will probably never disappoint you. It is well-mannered, comfortable to live on for days if not months, and a true definition of modern and luxurious. 

6. Contest 50CS


If you want a serious monohull boat that can help you extend your sailing ground with ease and perhaps without even realizing it, the Contest 50CS is the way to go. For close to two decades, this Dutch-made monohull sailboat has been a consistent performer even with its dry weight of 17.5 tons.

This monohull is designed with impeccable modern underwater sections and a completely balanced rudder. Although the in-mast furling may affect the boat's performance, this boat can still perform incredibly well without it.

The fact that this boat is designed with a mainsheet traveler and electric winches that can be easily accessed from the helm makes it an ideal boat for a small crew or if you're planning to sail shorthanded. The genoa is easy to tack and two people can easily gybe downwind under spinnaker.

In addition to having exceptional touches on the interior, you might be surprised to learn that the joinery finish of this boat is arguably among the best in the boating industry. This is a monohull sailboat that's easy to handle, well-built, and has weathered the test of time to still mix it nicely with the big boys of recent years. Well, the Contest 50CS might not be among the cheapest monohull sailboats around but its demand is still soaring even today.

7. Bénéteau Oceanis 45


Named yacht of the year in 2012, the Bénéteau Oceanis 45 remains one of the most popular monohull sailboats in the world and for a good reason. This is a sailboat that redefines the important themes that made the Oceanis 50 so popular in a much better way.

One of the most noticeable features of this boat is that the mainsheet is designed in such a way that it doesn't obstruct the cockpit as you tack or jibe. This just a start; the cockpit is nicely designed and will serve you just right during your sailing endeavors. This monohull sailboat comes with three or four cabins, two bathrooms, and has a larger cockpit than other boats in its class.

This is a boat that keeps up with the Bénéteau tradition of being ahead of the game in terms of innovation, attention to detail, and offering top-notch performance. Whether you're looking to live aboard or sail to the remotest of places, this gorgeous monohull sailboat has everything you need in place. 

8. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36i


Another French monohull sailboat that makes it to this list, the Odyssey 36i is a great monohull sailboat that is acknowledged for having some excellent assets in terms of sailing as it is faster and more agile than most sailboats. This is, without a doubt, an elegant monohull sailboat that brings to the sailing world an overall melodious package in terms of its modern design, power, and capability when sailing.

Even though its hull is of modest size, this monohull sailboat offers great value as it is easy to sail, easy to moor, and dock. Its magnificent electronics, folding prop, and electric anchor winch seem to make everything so easy that you do not even need a crew to sail this boat. The hull is lively and offers good acceleration. Imagine a monohull that can clock around 6.4 knots when sailing upwind.

To be honest, the interior of this boat is still very traditional but the exterior looks quite modern. The exterior is designed like an avant-garde sailboat and looks appealing from just about every angle. In terms of performance, this boat is designed with a deeper keel, spinnaker gear, taller rig, and a much better standing and running rigging.

On the interior, the most noticeable feature is the removable dining table that can be easily removed to accommodate extra bodies. Apart from that, there is nothing complex about the cockpit and deck layout. The double-roller bow fitting is nice and it comes with an optional electric windlass. In essence, this monohull sailboat is designed with lots of features. It is good-looking and reasonably priced.

9. Gunfleet 43


For many sailors who have the dream of spending most of their time sailing to exotic places, the prospects of downsizing and living most of your essentials at home can be daunting. In other words, it's almost impossible to pack all your life in a 40 feet vessel if you've lived your entire life in a 2,000 feet house. While you can't bring things like your hot bathtub to the ocean, the Gunfleet gives you the chance of bringing most of your essential onboard thanks to its immense spaciousness.

This British-built monohull sailboat is modern, sleek, but kind of feels like a classic sailboat. It comes with an efficient hull that's laid up by hand to enhance attention to detail. The reverse transom brings to the fore a three-step ladder leading to the deck and a small swim platform. It's also designed with a low coach roof and a windshield that seems to taper towards the aft of the cockpit.

Its impeccable low profile gives it a contemporary look but the center-cockpit design is the most attractive part of its design. The aft deck section is expansive and comes with excellent twin zones for sunbathing. They're divided by a skylight and a hatch that lead to the master stateroom that's located below. Its two cabins and two heads are essential if you're planning for long passages. The interior is posh and offers ample natural light.

As far as performance and acceleration are concerned, this monohull sailboat holds well. It accelerates nicely even when out of tacks since the helm is responsive no matter the point of sail. This is an outstanding monohull sailboat that has a solid feel and will most certainly boost your confidence if you're planning to go for long passages even in snobbish conditions.

10. Island Packet 35


Designed to offer top-notch performance, stability, and comfort, the Island Packet 35 is widely known for its spaciousness, modern interior, U-shaped galley, and a vast cockpit that certainly compares to most modern 40 feet sailboats while still holding to the classic lines.

This incredible monohull sailboat is designed with a short spoon, generous spring to the sheer, and a chopped off transom. It is perfectly designed bowsprit elongates the sheerline, which essentially makes the boat appear longer, lower, and much better than it is. As far as the keel is concerned, this is a full keel that's not heavy but very moderate.

The interior of this boat will probably make you think that you're looking at a 40-footer sailboat. It's so spacious that you can use it for your liveaboard sailing escapades. It also offers notable improvements in performance and certainly surpasses some of the company's earlier models. In ideal conditions, very few boats will match the Island Packet 35 in terms of performance. This is a very stable and comfortable monohull sailboat that doesn't hold back as far as performance is concerned.

11. Bowman 40


Thanks to its medium-to-heavy displacement structure, the Bowman 40 is designed to sail across open seas with ease. A modern classic, this monohull sailboat looks pretty much traditional thanks to its overhanging bow, deep-bilged, and narrow shoulders. This makes it very powerful on the waters and offers a lot easier motion during long passages.

Better still, this sailboat is perfectly stable and enjoyable since you won't be thrown about even in strong waves. It's designed with handholds within reach both above and below the deck, as well as no sharp edges to ensure that you don't injure yourself. This is enabled by the balanced hull and carefully integrated sails, as well as ample ballast that's neither heavy nor lightweight. In short, this is a solidly built monohull sailboat that will serve you diligently even when you are confronted with stormy conditions.

Honestly speaking, the Bowman 40 isn't a racing cruiser but neither is it a slouch. It has the ability to sail through the heaviest of oceans and might arrive at your destination just at the same time as other lightweight sailboats. This is, without a doubt, a sailboat that's designed to take you offshore in all weather and sea conditions. 

12. Bavaria Cruiser 51


Even though it is one of the largest monohull sailboats, you'll probably never notice this once you start sailing. Well, this is because it handles unbelievably so well and can easily and comfortably accommodate up to ten crew members thanks to its three cabins. To offer optimum luxury, this boat can be customized to have five cabins, which is clear evidence that it can meet various needs.

This boat isn't just about being spacious. Instead, it's designed with all functionalities to enable you to enjoy your sailing adventures. Whether you take a look at its exterior, interior, deck, or cockpit, you'll realize that every part of this gorgeous monohull sailboat oozes class. While the most striking of this vessel's interior is its enormous space, it's also designed elegantly and beautiful to ensure that you enjoy your sailing adventures.

In terms of its hull, you're getting a very agile boat that you can easily control even when the winds are extremely strong. In essence, this is a monohull sailboat that's well and generously proportioned in all aspects. It's modern, sleek, and will turn head whether at the dock or deep at sea. 

13. Wauquiez Centurion 57


Thanks to its exciting Mediterranean-style design and functionality, the Centurion 57 is a serious monohull sailboat that feels robust, solid, and truly marks the reincarnation of the legendary Centurion generation of luxury monohull sailboats. Designed as a racing sailboat, the Centurion 57 is thoroughbred, powerful, and impeccably maneuverable but that doesn't mean that you have to use it as a racing cruiser.

Instead, it's comfortable, luxurious, and elegant and brings to the fore everything that French boat makers are known for: class, beauty, and reliability. Its hull is unquestionably one of the most powerful and versatile. It's designed to withstand the harshest of sailing conditions.

It has a very spacious and large cockpit that's designed to afford you maximum versatility while out there. This means that you'll get lots of free space to efficiently maneuver the boat in the tightest situations and also to make things a lot easier if you're sailing shorthanded. From the electric winches to the helm position, you can easily access the transoms.

This is a monohull sailboat that guarantees calm, luxury, and comfort without compromising on performance and speed. It oozes modernity, solidity, and immense attention to details.

14. Rustler 42


If you've been looking for a monohull sailboat that combines serious performance attributes to other crucial blue water cruising elements, look no further than the Rustler 42. This is a gorgeous, fast, and reliable monohull sailboat that remains the benchmark of all monohull sailboats of its size. It not only offers directional stability but can also carry immense loads and is solid enough even for long passages.

This is a classing looking monohull sailboat that perfectly combines traditional style with modernity and innovativeness. It is not only elegant but also very stable and should be an ideal choice if you're looking for the best liveaboard monohulls.

Its spacious cabin is big enough to offer standing headroom and, of course, plenty of storage within the lockers. The hull is hand-laid using glass fiber reinforced polyester to ensure that it's solid, reliable, and durable.

In Conclusion

There you have it; the above-described vessels are the best monohull sailboats today. They are designed to enhance your sailing experience and ensure that you always enjoy your time out there on the water. Whichever boat you choose, it's essential to ensure that it's in good condition, well-maintained, and in perfect shape for your adventures.

Until next time, stay safe and happy sailing!

14 Best Monohull Sailboats
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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