Toby Hodges looks at the best daysailer yachts on the market, from ultra-modern cruisers to classically-styled masterpieces

Modern-classic daysailers

best-daysailer-yachts-Eagle-388. Eagle 38

The Boersma brothers founded Leonardo Yachts in the northern part of the Netherlands to build top quality gentleman’s daysailers and weekenders.

Its range of gorgeous designs are inspired by the timeless lines and overhangs of the J Class, but with modern appendages.

The new Hoek-designed Eagle 38 is the smallest of a range that now extends to 70ft. It is devised for easy handling, with jib winches in reach of the helmsman/tiller, in a deep self-draining cockpit that can seat six in comfort.

The varnished mahogany interior can sleep three and includes cooking facilities and a neatly hidden toilet.

Price ex. VAT: €177,500.

best-daysailer-yachts-Wallynano-MKII

9. Wally Nano MkII

Wally stunned us with the unveiling of its incomparable Nano in 2009. The Andre Hoek-designed masterpiece certainly elevated the standard of extravagance (and price) for a daysailer. This Wally Nano MkII model released eight years later is a refined version of the achingly cool design, which marries Italian styling with Dutch workmanship and ingenuity.

A pilot cutter-influenced plumb bow, bowsprit and low, squared coachroof set off a retro style, finished by an elegantly overhanging counter. These classic lines meet contemporary construction and attention to detail at Joop Doomernik’s traditional Dragon building yard. The top class composite work includes a keel grid built from 33 layers of carbon.
Believe me, the result on the water is a truly intoxicating ride, both upwind and down!

Price ex. VAT: €390,000.

best-daysailer-yachts-Rustler-3310. Rustler 33

The Stephen Jones design has the elegant lines and overhangs of the Cornish yard’s earlier Rustler 24, but with a comfortable handmade interior that makes it enticing to overnight on too – there is a proper heads compartment including wet hanging area.

With the addition of stanchions, this becomes a Class B offshore yacht. It’s a stiff boat to sail with a deep, dry cockpit, in which it is comfortable to sit, perch on the chunky coaming or stand to handle the tiller.

Rustler says recent clients for the Rustler 33 are ordering them with carbon masts and electric engines.

Price ex. VAT: £165,000.

best-daysailer-yachts-Morris-29

11. Morris 29

Fusing S&S lines with modern lightweight materials such as carbon and epoxy, the Morris 29 is a quintessential daysailer that’s easy to rig and maintain, a witch to sail and is as handsome as they come.

And there’s a deep, long cockpit and comfortable saloon below to keep any guests content while you hog the tiller. Now built by Hinckley and priced from US$266,500.

best-daysailer-yachts-alerion-33

12. Alerion 28 / 33

Cleverly marketed as ‘the 90-minute’ getaway, the iconic Alerion daysailer fleet, from 20-33ft, is designed to get people afloat easily and with the most enjoyment possible. Above is the Alerion 33.

Often seen sporting optional Hoyt jib booms, the models are easy and a delight to sail and have inviting and well-finished interiors.

Rarely do beauty, speed and single-handed ease combine this fluidly and successfully. Prices are available on application only.

best-daysailer-yachts-Friendship-40

13. Friendship 36 / 40

The elegantly timeless look of the Friendship 40, its classic lines, including pronounced tumblehome and wineglass counter, are by Rhode Island’s Ted Fontaine. A Friendship’s deep cockpit and wonderfully inviting and well-appointed interior invite you to sail on through the weekend and beyond.

Fontaine says both the 36 and 40 are still available to order, but at top prices: “The Friendship 40 would be built by Yachting Developments in New Zealand where the moulds are presently stored,” (priced in the region of US $1,350,000).

“And the Friendship 36 is being offered as a cold-moulded wood epoxy built boat that would be built by Rockport Marine in Maine – the yard that built the first 36.”

First published in the June 2020 edition of Yachting World.

  1. 1. Modern daysailers
  2. 2. Modern-classic daysailers
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