What Sailboats Are Made In The USA?

What Sailboats Are Made In The USA? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 13, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Catalina and J/Boats are proud of their American standard of creating sailboats
  • Sailboats made in the US follow a strict consistency to craftsmanship and performance
  • Many US branded sailboats rival top competitors across the world
  • There are various reasons why many sailors believe American made sailboats are best
  • The US has a long history of sailing and you could say it is in their blood

The United States has some of the best sailboats in the sailing world. But what sailboats are made in the USA?

Some of the most popular sailboat brands made in the US are Catalina Yachts, J/Boats, and Hinckley. Other top US made sailboat brand companies include Island Packet Yachts and Tartan Yachts. The US is known for its robust sailing manufacturing and rich maritime history.

In my experience, casual sailors or those wanting to explore more can find quality boats that are made in the US. Many of the boats made in the US have developed an outstanding reputation with some lasting over five decades.


Table of contents

Top 10 Sailboats Made in the USA

A lot of boaters want to know exactly where their sailboat was created. Many favor a boat that was made from an American company that sets an industry standard versus cheaper comparable overseas. Not to say that all boats made elsewhere are bad but consistency is key in the US.

In a lot of situations buying an American made sailboat is best for those that live near the company. It makes it a thousand times easier to order parts or to get first hand knowledge of your boat when the company that built it is right around the corner.


Image credit: Catalina

The Catalina lineup offers plenty of options to choose from when it comes to casual sailing boats or yachts. The company is located in Largo, Florida and has sustained a good reputation for their durable and performance on the water.

Since 1969 they have become America’s largest sailboat builder. They also rival top competitors such as Nautor’s Swan for the sailboat market.


Image credit: J/Boats

J/Boats are unique and set themselves apart from other types of sailboats like their J/22 and J/70 models. They have been established in Newport, Rhode Island since 1977.

They have everything you can think of for sailboats with the customer in mind. These luxury and sleek designs that they offer help to combat anything the water has in store.

Hinckley Yachts

Hinckley 35
Image credit: Hinckley 35

Hinckley had their sailing origins date back to 1928 in Southwest Harbor, Maine but is now headquartered in Rhode Island. Many sailors are drawn to the craftsmanship and luxury attributes of these sailboats.

The Bermuda 40 for example are timeless classics that use high quality materials. Many of their designs have proven to be fan favorites.

Island Packet Yachts

Island Packet Yacht
Image credit: Island Packet Yacht

Island Packet has been aiming towards making sailboats in Largo, FLorida that are treasured among various generations. Their IP 349 and IP 439 models are some of the best sailboats you can find on the market.

Sailors love these American made sailboats. These are typically due to their reliability and comfort you can achieve while exploring blue water areas.

Tartan Yachts

Tartan Yacht
Image credit: Tartan Yacht

Tartan has been around since 1960 in Ohio and has developed beloved sailboats. Their most popular models are the 3400 and 4000 but they also have new classics in the making.

They even have a program where you can bring your old Tartan and talk with the team to see about restoring your old classic for a given price. This allows you to hang onto your treasured sailboat and potentially one day have it restored to its former glory.

Morris Yachts

Morris Yacht
Image credit: Morris Yacht

Morris has roots in Maine around 1972. They are owned by Hinckley and they make some excellent modern models for sailboats.

The M36 and M42 are classics that many agree are excellent options for any level of sailor. They feature other models that are geared towards larger families or you are wanting more living space throughout the boat.

Viking Yacht Company

Viking Yacht
Image credit: Viking Yacht

Viking is based in New Jersey and has some of the best yachts you can possibly imagine. Their 44C and 48C are some of their best moderate sized models but they get even crazier with their 92C offering.

If you want a true American experience on a yacht you cannot go wrong with anything Viking has in store. They have a wide range of models to suit your needs for luxury on the ocean.

Oyster Yachts

Oyster Yacht
Image credit: Oyster Yacht

Oyster Yachts have been around for over 50 years and have dominated the Rhode Island area for yachts. One appealing feature that stands out compared to other sailboat brands is that you can customize a majority of your boat online before having to pick it up. Oyster has a boat for you that is able to handle blue water capabilities and luxury.

Broward Yachts

Broward Yacht
Broward Yacht

Broward is actually a superyacht builder that often gets lumped into the sailboat category since they are luxury boats that are blue water capable. This shipyard is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has designed over 300 yachts to date since 1948.

In fact they earn the business of sailboat owners that are on the fence about other sailboat brands that are looking for a yacht. They are a one of kind yacht brand that deserves a shout out from the sailboat community.

Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler
Boston Whaler

Boston Whaler is not exactly a modern sailboat either but is a blue water cruiser that is perfect for any situation out on the water. These boat builders from Florida helped make the perfect boat for fishing or cruising in blue water territories. You can find various models such as the Vantage or Conquest to help fit your blue water needs.

Are Sailboats Made Better in the US?

Quality and performance are very important for a sailboat brand to remain in business. Many boat brands in the US have been around for several decades and you do not do that by accident. Boat builders have to create something special for a good price or depending on the market value.

Rich History

The US has a rich maritime history that bodes well with their craftsmanship and dedication to making the perfect sailboat. Many companies such as Catalina and Island Packet have established themselves as some of the best in the US that many boat owners would agree with.

What Makes a Brand Unique

Many sailboat brands offer various models to cater to a wider range of buyers. These could be a cruiser series or sport series for example. Some even consider it their house on the water as long as it is seaworthy.

The design team will also need to factor in living space and effortless performance to be considered a luxury sailboat. If a brand offers a lot of options to fit many needs then that boat brand is one step ahead of the competition.

Rivals Across the Globe

It is important to understand that there are other top quality sailboat brands in the world and that some American made brands rival those found in France and Sweden. Nautor’s Swan and Dufor are to name a few.

Your Sailing Desires and Budget

Claiming that one brand is better than another is simply based on market opinion and your current situation. Your budget and sailing goals will ultimately help shape what you believe is the best sailboat or whether or not the US has the best ones period.

Why is Sailing Popular in the US?

Sailing has been popular around various parts of the world for centuries. As technology and attention to detail has evolved over the years it has created the foundation for the love of sailing.

Florida is Home to Sailing

Many boat builders aim to make the best boats in places where sailing should thrive. Florida for example is the highest rate of boat owners in the US. You will likely see many brands of boats especially a French brand or two.

People Love the Water

There are roughly 12 million registered boats in the US for recreational purposes. There are many purposes for boats on the water such as racing or fishing. A sailboat will help you cover a lot of those activities on the water and Americans tend to spend a lot of time on the ocean.

Recreational use is a driving force for Americans that want to spend more time on the water. Sailboats are likely the reason for most of these numbers especially in parts of Maine or further up the east coast of the US.

What Sailboats Are Made In The USA?
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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