Best Sailboats You Can Beach

Best Sailboats You Can Beach

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Sailing is a unique experience unlike any other, especially in shallow waters. There are plenty of sailboats you can beach to enjoy these opportunities.

Beaching a sailboat allows you to park the boat right along shallow waters so you can explore where other large boats cannot. So what are some of the best sailboats you can beach?

The Catalina 22, Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40, Hunter 22, and Lagoon 39 are great examples of sailboats you can beach. Others include Nautitech 40, Hobie 16, and the Hunter 15. Essentially, every catamaran trimaran, and full keel sailboats are capable of being beached as long as you use caution.

The beauty of beaching a sailboat can help save you time and money. Instead of anchoring and using a dinghy to get closer to shore, a beachable sailboat can skip that entire process.

According to experts in the industry, you want to make sure you are capable of beaching your sailboat first before trying it out. Failure to know if your boat can safely do it can result in expensive damages or potential injury.


Table of contents

10 Sailboats You Can Beach

When sailing on a boat that you can beach, you have a luxury like no other sailboat. Whenever you want to explore shallow waters, you simply head that direction and ease it into the sand. A handful of variables come into play, but generally lower draft boats are capable of doing so.

Catalina 22


The Catalina 22 is an excellent option and is one of the most popular sailboats in use. Due to its retractable keel, this makes all the difference in the world when trying to beach your sailboat.

For a sailboat under 25 feet, it is hard to beat the comfort and ease of use of a Catalina 22. Whether you are day sailing or sleeping in it overnight, you can easily go back and forth between beaching and to deeper waters.

Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40


The Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 is a relatively newer design for catamarans. The Lucia 40 debuted in 2016 and has received very positive reviews.

This 40 footer offers plenty of space on board for several people to live on. It has plenty of power and stability to handle any conditions. In addition, the sailboat can be beached since catamarans are two long hulls.

Hunter 22


The Hunter 22 is everything you need to get out on the water and is completely beachable. This sloop rig is comfortable enough for family and friends without compromising anything.

Some include a performance package that you can use to make it in a racing sailboat. Either way, you can safely beach it since it has a hydraulic lifting centerboard.

Lagoon 39


The Lagoon 39 has very similar features compared to other Lagoon models. However, the mast and center of buoyancy are different since the hulls are further apart.

For a 38.3 foot sailboat, some sailors might find it intimidating to beach one of these. Luckily this is a catamaran, which is easy to beach and has no risk of damaging your boat if you do it correctly.

Nautitech 40


Another good size catamaran right at 40 feet is the Nautitech 40. The fractional sloop and open design is a great set of features that many gravitate to when looking for a sailboat.

For the perfect balance of speed and comfort, this one is up there with the best. The biggest difference between the Nautitech 40 and other competing catamarans is that it uses foam composite instead of balsa cores, which saves a ton of weight. Beaching this catamaran is easy, especially with its four foot draft.

Hobie 16


The Hobie 16 is an excellent sailboat that is trailerable, fun, and can be beached. This boat’s design debuted in 1969 and offers one of the best options for getting your feet wet with a catamaran.

With its kick up rudders and a mix between fiberglass and foam hulls, you should have no problems beaching it. If you are wanting to sail with a companion for the day or want to sail by yourself, the Hobie 16 is a great size to do either one.

Hunter 15


The Hunter 15 provides simplicity when you need it, whether you are an expert or newbie to sailing. The fiberglass hull and foam floatation, it is a very sturdy sailboat for its size.

With its stability in addition to its kick up rudder, you can safely take this one to the beach to explore your surroundings. They also make this one in an 18 footer for those that want a little more room.

Montgomery 17


A boat that has surprised many in the pocket cruiser category is the Montgomery 17. The masthead sloop and swing keel make it a unique sailboat for around 18 feet.

When the swing keel is up, the boat is just shy of two feet max on the draft. This allows you to beach it or explore shallow waters with ease. They also make these in 15 and 23 foot editions, whether you want more or less space.

Flying Scot


This 19 footer is one of the most popular daysailers of all time, dating back to 1957. The sloop rigged design remains popular to this day and has been competitively raced in over 130 fleets across the U.S.

When the centerboard is up, the boat glides gracefully at just eight inches and can be beached or used in shallow water. Many have used this boat to sleep on with some accommodations, even though it was designed to be a daysailer.

WindRider 10


The Wind Rider 10 is a trimaran that is fast, stable, and has an extremely low draft. This particular model joins the likes of other Wind Riders, like the 16 and 17, but is not as large for those wanting to have something smaller.

The six inch draft and weight of about 125 pounds makes it easy to transport and beach. The beauty of this trimaran is that you can go anywhere you want without having to worry about size.

What Does Beaching a Boat Mean?

Beaching a boat is when a sailor decides to park their boat on the beach in the event that they do not have a marina to tie off to or if they want to explore the area. There are two ways to beach your boat, which is stranded or partially stranded.

When stranded, the boat is completely out of the water. This allows for repairs to be made on the hull or to inspect it periodically if you travel full time with it.

As for partially stranded, this means the boat is still in the water but the majority of the bow is in the sand. This allows you to take a break from traveling or to go ashore for a while. Both beaching methods have their advantages depending on why you need them at that moment.

Compatible Boat Types for Beaching

The lowest section of your boat needs to be tough if you want to beach it. This needs to be a strong material because you are hitting against something firm every time you are wanting to stop your boat.

If the lowest part of your boat has a propeller, rudder, or anything that sticks out too low, it is not a good candidate for beaching. This is why it is important to know what is underneath your boat and what it is made of.

Fixed keels usually have a better chance at standing up to the wear and tear of beaching since they are made with the hull. They are more sturdy and provide stability while beaching.

Full keels, twin keels, multi-hulled boats, and a few varieties of bulb or wing keels are good candidates for beaching. Doing your research based on what boat you have is the most important thing before attempting to beach.

Boat Types to Avoid Beaching

A boat with dagger boards is not quite strong enough to handle beaching. Since the keels are not fixed, it might cause damage if it has any pressure in the wrong direction.

If your boat has skegs, it might be wise to avoid beaching. If your boat takes on a wave and slightly gets lifted while in shallow water, the chance of damaging the rudder is much higher when the boat comes back down and there is no water to stop it.

Tips for Beaching Your Sailboat

If you are curious about beaching your sailboat, you are not alone. Most likely you have seen other sailors do it or have seen pictures online showing boats of all shapes and sizes tackle this feat.

The problem is that beaching your boat is not good, especially if you are rough on your boat in the process. However, when done properly, beaching your boat will not harm anything.

Pick Flat Areas

When you want to beach your boat, you have to choose a section that is relatively flat. While this sounds like common sense, it should always be your first choice when given the opportunity.

It is also important to note that you do not want a lot of rocks or debris in your way. If you can safely navigate to the shore without anything potentially stopping you underneath, that is your best bet.

Position the Boat

You will need to take into account your environment while trying to beach your boat. The wind and ranges are going to act a bit differently closer to shore than they are in deeper waters.

When positioning your boat to the beach, you have to have the same mentality as if you were trying to park it in a packed marina. Paying attention to your surroundings is going to be key.

Slow Speeds and Kill the Engine

If the conditions allow you to safely drift to the beach, allow enough momentum to carry you there at a nice pace. After that, you should turn off the engine or propeller in case you hit shallow water faster than you anticipate.

If you hit the beach a little harder than you would have liked, it could potentially damage your prop or hull. Navigating using slow speeds and turning off the prop will stop it from trying to turn in the sand.

Make Sure You Have Good Conditions

Unless you are in an emergency, you should wait for the right time to beach your boat. If the wind and waves are not in the best place, you should consider waiting it out. Your environment does not have to be completely perfect, but it would be best to have desirable conditions while trying to beach your boat.

Use a Dinghy if Needed

The whole purpose of beaching your boat is that you can park it on shore and then simply get out of your boat. However, there are times when the tide comes in or the water is extremely shallow for a section of the beach.

During this time, you might have to consider walking a bit until you get where you want to be or use an inflatable dinghy to help you out the rest of the way. In addition, the dinghy can be used to help deploy your anchors on your main boat.

Dangers of Beaching Improperly

Beaching is a great way to explore shallow waters or to hit up a nice looking area. There are plenty of reasons to beach your boat. However, there are plenty of dangers associated with beaching that you need to be aware of.

Being Stuck

This happens a lot more than you would think, especially when waves or the conditions change while you are beached. Waves can carry your boat further into the beach where you cannot move it.

If this is the case, you would have to try and pull or push it out by hand or wait for the water to come back to you. This could potentially damage your boat too.

Damaging Your Boat

If you get stuck, the dangers of damaging your boat go up. In addition, you could damage your boat before the chance of getting stuck even occurs.

Over time, you are effectively rubbing the hull into sandpaper. This means you will need to periodically check your hull out to make sure it is not wearing down too fast.

Failure to locate rocks or anything in the water beforehand is going to ensure your boat is damaged. If you damage your hull, you definitely would have to beach it in order to make repairs.

You could also mess up the prop, rudder, or whatever you have that sticks out lower than the boat. These delicate, but essential parts of your boat do not need to be beaten up.

Losing Your Boat

If you do not beach your boat properly, there is a chance you could lose your boat. This is why picking a flat surface and checking out your boat after you beach is important.

If you beach your boat onto a rocky surface, there is a good chance that the material is not supported underneath. This could potentially wiggle your boat loose or mess with your anchor. Taking your time while beaching your boat is crucial to making sure your boat does not take off anywhere.

Best Sailboats You Can Beach
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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