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Schooner Sailboat Buying Guide
What is a Schooner Sailboat?
A schooner sailboat is a sailing vessel with at least two masts, with the foremast shorter than the main mast (or sometimes the same height). The schooner rig can carry more than two sails fore and aft of both masts; historically, they were gaff rigged but some of the more modern builds have triangular sails. Today, there are classic schooners in the superyacht fleet – like 138ft S/Y MARIETTE OF 1915 – and if you study their lines, it’s easy to see the attraction. Other schooners built more recently, like 161ft S/Y ELEONORA and the 197ft S/Y GERMANIA NOVA, are replicas of classic schooners originally built in the early 1900s. More recently, Lürssen’s 305ft EOS was launched in 2006 and is a beautiful example of a modern schooner. Watching them sail is a reminder of the past when the schooner was a common sight.
What are Schooner Sailboats Made of (Construction Material/Hull Design)?
A schooner sailboat can be constructed from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, wood, or composites. Like most monohull sailing yachts, a schooner sailboat will typically have a displacement hull, which provides for more stability under sail. Many classic schooners have a full keel, too, although different configurations are possible in newer builds.
Why Should You Buy a Schooner Sailboat?
You should buy a schooner sailboat if you’re passionate about classics and sailing. Classic schooner sailboats had an important part in sailing history, so if you’re interested in preserving their beautiful history, you could find a home on the deck of a schooner. A schooner does have more sails to handle than on a simpler rig, but the sails are roughly equal in size, and sail handling is not as complicated as it may appear. But if you’re a dedicated sailor, then this might be just right for you – the sight of a schooner under full sail is impressively elegant, making them a popular tourist attraction for date nights around bustling places like NY Harbor.
What Is the Difference Between a Schooner and a Sailboat?
A schooner is a type of sailboat so not necessarily different than one. However, a schooner boat is the only sailboat style to have two or more masts with the front mast being the shortest of them all, while other sailboats with multiple masts have the largest mast in the front and smaller ones toward the aft.
Is a Schooner Sailboat Easier to Sail?
While each sailboat type will come with its own pros and cons with different sailors enjoying the feel and sailing technique offered by each, schooners are generally agreed upon as being slightly easier to sail. Thanks to the smaller mainsail, they are usually easier to handle and reef without the need for large winches nearer the cockpit to control. The sails on a schooner are all roughly similar size, so you don’t have larger ones overcrowding the smaller ones, and this makes it easier to balance the helm.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Schooner Sailboat?
The largest disadvantage to many when looking at schooner boats for sale includes the complicated rigging system. If you look at classic schooner sailboats of days gone by, they have multiple sails, with an intricate rigging system both across all the tops of the sails, and down through the lines. This can be cumbersome and a tricky task to maintain, not to mention, expensive. They are also outperformed when sailing upwind compared to other sailboat types.
Today, you are more likely to see these classic sailing ships cruising around places like NY Harbor for date night activities, or in faraway places like Indonesia where the phinisi style yachts share some similarities with schooner boats.
Can a Schooner Sail Across the Atlantic?
Yes, schooner boats can cross the Atlantic. In fact, classic schooner sailboats were the vessel of choice for many of the world’s first great explorers crossing the oceans in search of new land. For most crossing the Atlantic with their schooner sailing ship, you’ll want to be sure your boat is the right size to accommodate long stretches of time at sea, and that you have enough storage for provisioning. While you may not go as fast across the Atlantic compared to other larger motor yachts, you have the benefit of wind power to help you along.
What Is the Best Size Schooner Sailboat?
Before determining the best size schooner boat for sale for you, you’ll want to ask yourself a few things:
- Your plans and goals for this classic sailing ship style – Are you planning to cross oceans with it, or use it for gentle cruises around the lake or places like NY Harbor?
- How many people will be onboard – Is it just for you and a partner? For little date night cruises and the occasional overnight stay? Or do you want to sail around the world and accomplish long distances with the family onboard?
- Will you be solo sailing – If you are doing most of the work on your own, you’ll want to search for smaller schooner boats for sale so you can manage this on your own.
Most will agree that if solo sailing is your goal, you should be looking at schooner sailboats for sale around 30 feet maximum. However, if you want a larger vessel to cross oceans with, you shouldn’t be looking at schooners smaller than 40 feet.
What Is the Top Speed of a Schooner Sailboat?
As speed is tied to the size of the schooner, it is difficult to give an average speed, however, most schooners will have an average cruising speed of around 8 –12 knots, with the fastest schooner ever clocked was 350ft BLACK PEARL with a top speed of 30 knots.
How Much is a Schooner Sailboat?
Depending on the length, condition, year and builder of your schooner sailboat, you’ll discover a wide range of budgets when shopping for schooner boats for sale. As an example, YATCO currently has schooners starting at $65,000, to those sitting around the $500,000 mark. As the market fluctuates, you can expect to find prices above and below this threshold, and it’s important to keep in mind the yearly maintenance on a classic yacht like this.