10 great cottage sailboats

We’ve assembled a fleet of great sailing dinghies for cottage use that vary in basic design, capacity, cost, and performance. Here is our review of 10 sailboats for the cottage.

Albacore

Designed in the UK after the Second World War and still popular in England and North America; most hulls are fibreglass but a surprising number of the old wood versions are still sailing.

Length: 15′
Beam:
60″
Hull weight
: 240 lbs
Crew
: 2-3
Why we like it:
A two-man racing dinghy that offers great performance and adapts well to family use
The downside:
Round bottom makes it tippy at the dock
Expect to pay:
$12,000–$14,000

Byte

Designed by Canadian Ian Bruce for lighter-weight sailors as an alternative to the Laser

Length: 12′
Beam:
51″
Hull weight:
105 lbs
Crew:
1-2
Why we like it:
Well-engineered and simple to sail; a good choice for two kids or lighter women and teenagers
The downside:
Too cramped for larger, heavier sailors
Expect to pay:
$5,900

CL-16

Based on a UK design, it has been produced in Canada for 40 years.

Length: 16′
Beam:
73″
Hull weight:
365 lbs
Crew:
2-4
Why we like it:
Well-built, good performance, and a comfortable cockpit
The downside:
Heavy; self-bailers are optional
Expect to pay:
$10,500

Flying Scot

Popular in a few pockets of cottage country for racing and picnicking, this boat can seat eight adults.

Length: 19′
Beam:
81″
Hull weight
: 700 lbs
Crew:
2-4
Why we like it:
Very stable and surprisingly quick and competitive; will happily cruise with a family of four
The downside:
Heavy; must be ordered from the US
Expect to pay:
$15,000-$18,000 with trailer

Hobie 16

Designed by Hobie Alter, this is the boat that popularized catamaran performance sailing.

Length: 16’7″
Beam:
93″
Hull weight:
200 lbs
Crew
: 1-4
Why we like it:
Strongly built; suits both beginners and experienced sailors
The downside:
Large sail plan for its size makes boat harder to control in a strong wind
Expect to pay
: $9,500


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