Best Sailboats For Charter (Popular Options)

Best Sailboats For Charter (Popular Options) | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Families and adventurists that want a taste of the ocean can use a charter sailboat. Finding the best sailboats for charter is debated among various factors.

Some of the best selling sailboats that are larger tend to be a good option. So what are some of the best charter sailboats?

You have plenty of choices when it comes to a charter sailboat since they can be either a monohull or catamaran. The Bali Catspace Sail, Fountaine Pajot Isla 40, and Lagoon 42 are great catamaran options. As for monohulls, look for Bavaria C45, Beneteau 46.1, and Dufour 530 Grand Large.

The beauty of having different sailboat options to choose from is that you can accommodate any situation. If you have a large group and want to feel what it is like on a catamaran, you can kill two birds with one stone.

Experts in the sailing charter industry recommend using a boat that is over 40 feet. This allows you to split costs between other guests, and you are likely to have more people on board to help out.


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Charter Sailboats to Choose

If you want the best sailing experience on a charter, you will have to make some decisions as to what you want the boat to be like. This means the choice between a monohull and catamaran, how many cabins it has, and what the cost of the trip will be.

Each boat type will have its own unique advantages over the other. While neither one is going to be a wrong choice, you certainly have the opportunity to make your situation better with a charter.

Five of the Best Charter Monohulls

Bavaria C45


The Bavaria C45 is a popular option that you will see if you use a charter service in Europe and the Caribbean. It is steadily growing to become one of the more popular monohulls for charters worldwide. If you want a home away from home, this is the monohull for you.

The self-tacking jib offers some relief for a shorthanded crew. The galley was designed with space in mind, so guests can comfortably eat.

There is even a folded-down platform to allow access to the water and a garage for the dinghy. Depending on how big you need it, you can get this model in either a three, four, or five-cabin layout.

Beneteau 46.1


The Beneteau 46.1 is one of the best selling monohulls that you will find in Europe and in North America. Charter companies cannot get enough of this excellent design and its sailing capabilities.

It features cockpit seats that convert to sunbeds so your guests can lay out and enjoy the sun. The fractional sloop allows it to go at a comfortable speed and is easy to handle.

It is one of the smoother monohulls to sail over 10 knots, so be prepared to fall in love. You can find this one with three cabins and two heads or just five cabins.

Dufour 530 Grand Large


The Dufour 530 is the best selling monohull for that brand, with charter companies being a top buyer. It has excellent sailing capabilities and tons of comfort to fit many people on a charter.

Since Dufour has made various sized models over the years for charter companies, many sailors are used to this boat. Therefore, it is easier to find someone to sail it and you can typically jump up in size from 40 feet to 50 feet without any issues for the captain. So for those that want a taste of a larger boat, stepping up in size will not be a problem.

For guests, there is plenty of space depending on the model. Some are equipped with three cabins, while some vary up to six. You can accommodate plenty of guests no matter what cabin size you go with.

Hanse 458


Another popular monohull that you will see in charter fleets in Europe or the Caribbean is the Hanse 458. With its self-tacking jib and a double-ended mainsheet, it is quite easy to sail shorthanded and achieve fast speeds. Everything is controlled by the wheel by the connections, especially when jibbing.

The interior offers plenty of room, assuming you can organize it properly for large parties. On the stern, there is a large swimming platform for simple access on or off the boat. You can find these in either a three or four-cabin layout.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440


The Sun Odyssey 440 boasts an innovative design that other boats do not have, making it unique compared to other monohulls. They are equipped with side decks to walk on, while underneath are two cabins.

There are many accommodations to make this a comfortable experience. This model has three cabins with a larger forward berth or two double berths.

You can fold out the cockpit coamings to make two large sunbathing beds or you could spend some time practicing your sailing skills if you are looking for this particular design. Also, a spacious galley with comfortable seats makes eating more enjoyable.

Five of the Best Charter Catamarans

Bali Catspace


The Bali Catspace is a beautiful catamaran that was designed to have all the room you need while offering a smooth ride on the water. When sailing, the self-tacking jib makes life a lot easier for whoever is running the boat.

Depending on what model a charter program might have, you can find this with either a three or four-cabin layout. These also include a variety of additional features such as a watermaker, good size refrigerator, and electric winches.

Fountaine Pajot Isla 40


The Fountaine Pajot Isla 40 is one of the most versatile catamarans out there, despite being a little smaller in size. Even at 40 feet, you can still find models that include either a three or four-cabin layout. You can even make the bow another room if you decide to add more people to a charter.

Due to its size, it is easy to handle by one experienced person or a shorthanded crew. This might be one of the best bang-for your-buck catamarans since it is not as large as other popular models.

Lagoon 42


The Lagoon 42 is one of the most popular catamarans in charter fleets all across the globe. This model in particular, is the best selling one in the lineup.

You cannot go wrong with the price and size in comparison to other brands. It offers either a three or four-cabin layout depending on the year of the model. It is also easy to handle, meaning one person can take over while everyone else enjoys the charter.

Moorings 4500


The Moorings 4500 is a great option for charter companies because of the number of options. It can either have three or four cabins, accommodating up to 11 guests, and has tons of room on the 45-foot boat to stretch out.

No matter where you sit on this boat, it has some of the best views all the way around. Due to the boat having plenty of windows in all of the rooms, you will not miss out on views anywhere.

Nautitech 46 Fly


The Nautitech 46 Fly is one of the more interesting-looking catamarans on the market for charters. This one in particular, has what is known as a flybridge, which is basically a balcony where you steer the boat.

From the flybridge, the captain has a 360-degree view at the helm and can see everyone on deck. It also has everything needed to control the ride, so others can enjoy it while one person does the work.

These come in four-cabin layouts, so there is plenty of room to accommodate a handful of guests. With it just shy of being 46 feet in length, you have a well-designed catamaran with tons of space.

Why You Might See More Monohulls

In the Mediterranean, monohulls have a hold on the market in just about every category. Due to sailing preferences across those regions, consumers’ tastes are different than those that might opt for a catamaran.

When looking at crowded harbors, it is also easier to tie up a monohull. Catamarans take up twice the space and cost more to park. In addition, this is also double the maintenance costs for charter companies so those prices will reflect on your adventure.

While catamarans have just as much room as monohulls, monohulls tend to have more cabins in some models. European boat makers know what charter companies want, so they try to make it work with more cabins and heads. This has allowed monohulls to dominate the market for various charter companies around the world.

As mentioned, many sailors are used to sailing a 40-foot monohull sailboat. Some brands are so similar that it would be easy to step up to a 50-footer, assuming the captain is fine with it.

For larger catamarans or potentially larger boats, you might have to outsource to try and find a captain that can handle that. This means more costs for the charter or potentially risking it having any sales since it is limited on who can sail.

Why You Might See More Catamarans

In North America, you are likely to see a mix of both catamarans and monohulls. It is difficult to pinpoint which one is better than the other in the opinion of Americans. However, Americans tend to purchase vacations or items out of comfort or luxury.

A catamaran will rival the same amount of space and features that a monohull has. However, catamarans are often more comfortable and offer a smoother ride. For Americans that have never sailed or do not like the feeling of a monohull, a catamaran is a way to go.

Catamarans are generally displayed as luxury sailboat, meaning they are advertised for vacations as you would see in a charter. Even though a monohull could be plentiful in your area for charters, a catamaran might have more of an appeal for those that want luxury.

What Sailboat is Right for Charter?

Depending on your situation for a holiday or a day out, a charter monohull or catamaran can help with your sailing goals. When choosing what works best, you need to break it down into four categories.

These include price, number of people attending, you are trying out boats, and whatever makes you happy. More options can be added once you narrow down your sailing goals.


Some charters charge several hundred dollars per day, up to potentially several thousand dollars per day. Depending on the year and brand of the boat, you could be spending a lot of money.

Catamarans are slightly more expensive, likely due to supply and demand for customers wanting to book one. If all you want is the sailing experience, monohulls offer slightly cheaper options. You do not have to break the bank to get out on the water, but just make sure your budget allows for the trip.

Number Attending

The number of people attending makes a huge difference in the type of boat you need and the overall price. For one, the size of the boat needs to accommodate however many people are in your party.

If you have a group of three people and you want to spend three days on a charter, the prices drop quite a bit versus just one or two people. The prices could be given a discount if the charter company needs more people to go or allows group rates.

Try Before You Buy

Sailors that want a taste of either a monohull or catamaran can go on charters to try them out first. If there is a specific brand in mind or you want to try out a different size, this is the perfect opportunity to test sail a potentially new addition to your family.

If you are interested in the Lagoon 42 but not many people have them where you live, a charter can help you get a feel for it if you are thinking about buying one for yourself. Instead of driving hours away to find one that someone is selling, you can test it out first on a charter.

Makes You Happy

If you are considering going on a charter and still do not know what boat you want to go with, just go with what makes you happiest. If the price is not that big of an issue and you have most of what you need in either boat, simply go with what you think could bring you the most fun for you or your group.

Should You Go With a Charter?

Charters are a great alternative to getting out on the water and experiencing life at sea. Even better, you allow someone else to sail you around while you get to enjoy the sun, waves, and scenery.

Using a charter also lets you experience life on certain sailboats that might be hard to find these days. These include classic schooners or even famous sailboats that were used for racing.

Charters are positive experiences assuming you have your sailing goals in place. Whether you go with a monohull or catamaran, a charter is a great start to explore.

Best Sailboats For Charter (Popular Options)
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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