Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K

Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Many bluewater sailboats can be found in great condition for less than $50,000
  • Westsail 32, Bristol 40, and Wauquiez Pretorien 35 are a few examples for less than 50k
  • Consider your sailing goals for the type of bluewater boat you need before searching
  • You may not find a perfect boat so you might need to work on some for a good deal
  • Your budget, if under 50k, should be considered when attempting to buy these boats

There are a variety of sailboats that can fit within any budget. So what are some of the best bluewater sailboats under 50k?

The best bluewater sailboats that are under 50k include the Westsail 32, Bristol 40, Wauquiez Pretorien 35, Cape Dory 30, and the Sabre 28. These cruising boats are blue water capable and can likely be adjusted to fit your budget based on your sailing goals.

In my experience, there are plenty of affordable bluewater cruisers on the sailing market if you know where and what to look at. Doing enough research is crucial to finding what is best for you and what you can afford.


Table of contents

Top 18 Bluewater Sailboats Less Than 50k

A variety of factors play into the purchase price of a sailboat such as the condition, age, and the make or model. There are an abundance of bluewater sailboats that can likely fit within your budget if you can figure out what features you would like on the boat.

Westsail 32


The Westsail 32 is a perfect mid-sized sailboat that is ideal as a bluewater cruiser but the performance can be a little lacking. These boats typically are slow and steady which offers a level of safety when cruising. Depending on many factors you can find these boats anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000.

Bristol 40


Most of the Bristol 40 sailboats were built in the 1960’s and a handful were built a little later. Boat designs were different back then, especially since the waterline lengthened whenever the boat would heel and it was equipped with an Atomic 4 gas engine. A majority of these boats vary in price from $30,000 to $49,000.

Wauquiez Pretorien 35


The Wauquiez Pretorien 35 is a great example of a boat that can handle harsh conditions. It does not perform its best in light winds, but it becomes a true beauty when the wind becomes active. A lot of these boats have robust construction and you can begin finding these around $40,000 in good shape.

Cape Dory 30


Smaller bluewater cruising yachts such as the Cape Dory 30 feature a full keel that helped improve its stability on the water along with a spade rudder. These are great for coastal cruising, especially since it has an increased wetted surface that affects its speed. Expect to find these in the price range of $10,000 to $33,000.

Sabre 28


The Sabre 28 had a little over 500 boats that were produced and is a quality boat for ocean crossings. It might be a slow boat, but they used a fin keel with a skeg mounted rudder to help with a modest performance under sail. These boats typically hover in the range of $7,000 to $27,000 in price.

Island Packet 31


Island Packet is most famous for their 31 model since it provided a full keel in a smaller boat at the time of their production. These are perfect for shallow waters for those that need a shallow draft to enter various locations around islands or docks. You can still find many of these shoal draft boats in the price range of $35,000 to $50,000.

Islander 36


The Islander 36 is regarded as a recreational keelboat, meaning you can do just about anything you desire on this boat. Many improvements were made over the years to the design and allowed an increased performance, as around 1,000 were sold. The condition on these will vary but you can likely find them between $22,000 to $49,000.

Gulf 32


The Gulf 32 is a good bluewater cruiser that has had some adjustments over the years. These cruising boats actually had two different designers over the years and a handful of changes were made to the design, which might make it a headache to make repairs on the deck and other areas. The price ranges for these vary modestly between $24,000 and $39,000.

Tayana 37


The Tayana 37 has been a popular sailboat used for circumnavigation over the years. This is a performance cruiser that features a tough fiberglass hull and has had various changes made over the years to improve its solid build. Many sailors should be able to find these ranging between $34,000 and $49,000.

Endeavor 37


The Endeavor 37 was first built in 1977 with approximately 476 boats manufactured and is best known for it being a slow, heavy boat that is sturdy to last. Motion is desirable when sailing, but the upwind performance was a bit lacking. These can be found starting around $20,000.

C&C Landfall 38


C&C boats were considered pioneers in composite boat building, with the Landfall 38 being a prime example for how well they built boats. You can typically sail a little better with these, as they point higher and make it less likely that you will need to tack as much. Depending on condition and interior features, these can still be found around $33,000 and up.

Tartan 37


One popular Sparkman & Stephens boat design is the Tartan 37, which is an excellent bluewater racing boat under the right conditions. It is typically easy to handle and has top-quality construction throughout. The prices on these vary, as ranges are $22,000 to $49,000.

Valiant 40


It may be difficult to find a Valiant 40 since roughly 200 of them were ever built, making them a highly sought-after bluewater boat. Ocean crossings are much more tolerable due to its heavy displacement, fin keel, and a great build compared to other boats with a solid fiberglass hull. Prices can start near $45,000 for older ones, but will likely be more due to condition and age.

Shannon 38


There were two styles of the Shannon 38 built that featured an aft cockpit or it utilized a pilot house that makes it appealing to those that are used to having a forward cabin. These are arguably hard to find in comparison to the Valiant 40’s since only 100 were ever built. These can be either a ketch rig or cutter rig and the prices will vary around $40,000 and up.

Niagara 35


Many sailors have enjoyed the Niagara 35 over the years since it had two different styles and both were appealing on the interior. These were great family cruisers for bluewater conditions. Nearly 260 of these were ever built and you can likely find them at about $30,000 and beyond.

Prout Snowgoose


Many boats have been famous for circumnavigation and the Prout Snowgoose is one of those on the list to do it. It features a narrow beam that makes it easier to pass through canals, as well as less room while docking and taking up less space. These will run about $45,000 and up depending on condition.

Freedom 36


The Freedom 36 is a little bit on the smaller end when you compare it to other bluewater yachts. However, it has plenty of space and sails beautifully in the right conditions. These are still going for about $40,000 and more if you do not mind doing a little bit of work on them.

Corbin 39


The Corbin 39 created two different designs and they had plenty to hit the market as unfinished kits that sailors would often design as they wanted. This makes things interesting when deciding on one since each boat will likely be different from the next. It still offers a complete sailing package and prices will vary from $40,000 and up.

How to Find Bluewater Sailboats Less Than 50k

When thinking of purchasing a bluewater sailboat, you likely have an idea in mind of what you want to accomplish out on the water. There is an abundance of options to consider when looking for a bluewater sailboat under $50,000.


The location of the boat will make a difference in price, whether you have to travel a long distance to retrieve the boat and tow it back home or have it shipped. There are a few places to look when comparing your options such as the east coast in the United States like Florida or Maine.


Boatyards will look like a used car lot, except with boats, that are usually needing repairs or a place for storage. Restoring a sailboat might be more than it is worth, but if you do not mind getting your hands dirty and have the time, this could be an appealing option. There are some instances where owners had abandoned a boat and you can score one much cheaper.

Boat Shows

Boat shows are a great place to check out newer models of motor yachts, bluewater cruisers, or anything you desire to see them in action, if near the water. These will likely be higher priced since these are new boats on display. This is when doing your research in advance makes sense, as you want to go to one that will feature boats for your sailing goals and budget.

Local Marinas or Clubs

If you happen to live near spots on the water that have marinas or boating clubs, this is a great place to see boats potentially on sale by the owner. The harbor master could also recommend someone to you or they may have heard of a good boat for sale. Boating clubs are also nice to check out for a boat that you have in mind and see it in action.

Online Searches

Searching online for a boat is likely your first step in the buying process. This will also save you a ton of time when comparing prices and will allow you to contact people much sooner. You might even be able to find local ads placed online to find the boat of your dreams.

Auctions or Estates

Boat auctions and estate sales are an appealing opportunity to find unique boats for a good price. You are taking a risk when purchasing these boats, as the condition of the boat is likely not going to be known. However, these will likely be going for cheaper than retail prices.

Things to Consider for Bluewater Sailboats Less Than 50k

There are a few things to consider before you conduct research on a boat under 50k. You need to check into your finances to see how you can afford this transaction. There are a few different ways to think about this.


The reason you are likely searching for a bluewater boat under 50k is that you need to stay within a budget. There are many sailors that purchase boats solely on what they can afford and there is nothing wrong with that. Think about your current finances and see what you can work with or plan out for six months or more.

Trading in Old Boat

If you already have a boat and need to get rid of it, then trading your boat in will likely add value to the transaction. Trading in your boat not only helps you avoid meeting with random people, but you can shave the price off your new one. You will need to make sure your boat is in the best shape it can be or want to deal with to see what you can get out of it.

Financing with Dealer

Sometimes dealers will be able to give you deals or incentives for financing a loan through them. This could be lower interest or a cash bonus, but there may not be anything at all, so be sure to check before accepting this deal.

Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K
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.

Read more articles

by this author

Home /

Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K

Best Bluewater Sailboats Under $50K
7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat >>Can You Live On A Sailboat Year Round? >>

Most Recent

Important Legal Info

Similar Posts

Popular Posts

Get The Best Sailing Content

Welcome aboard! Check your email...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

(866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing
Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244
DisclaimerPrivacy Policy