13 Most Popular Bilge Keel Sailboats Worth Considering

Written by Desiree Vilar in Sailboat Keels Explained

One of the main advantages of bilge keel sailboats is their ability to maintain lateral resistance, allowing them to sail close to the wind and perform well in choppy conditions. They also have two keels that provide stability and allow the boat to stand upright even when the tide goes out. If you're looking for a sailboat that can handle shallow waters and dry out on the beach, let me introduce you to 13 of the most popular bilge keel sailboats worth considering.

The 13 most popular bilge keel sailboats that are worth considering are the following: Snapdragon 747, Snapdragon 890, Snapdragon 600, Achilles 24, Westerly Centaur, Westerly Griffon, Westerly Pageant, Sadler 32, Moody 33, Westerly Konsort, Moody 346, Hunter Horizon 26, and Fisher 25.

The Westerly Konsort is a bilge keel sailboat that is known for its stability and comfort. It is a popular choice for family cruising. Let's learn more about each sailboat, including its features, specifications, and performance.

Summary

  • The Snapdragon 600 is a smaller bilge keel sailboat that is known for its good performance and easy handling.
  • The bilge keel design of Westerly Centaur can help reduce heeling and improve upwind performance, but it may also create additional drag and reduce overall speed.
  • The bilge keel design of Westerly Konsort provides excellent stability and allows the boat to sit upright on the mud or sand when the tide goes out.
  • The bilge keel of Westerly Griffon provides excellent lateral stability, which makes the boat less prone to rolling in rough seas.
  • The Sadler 32 is another bilge keel sailboat designed for easy handling, even for novice sailors, with a simple rigging system and a responsive helm.

Below is a table summarizing why you should consider the following bilge keel sailboats:

Sailboat model Why it's worth considering Specifications Performance
Snapdragon 747 Affordable, easy to handle LOA: 24'6", LWL: 19'6", Beam: 8', Draft: 2'6", Displacement: 3,500 lbs Cruising speed: 5-6 knots Estimated pricing
Snapdragon 890 Spacious interior, good performance LOA: 29'2", LWL: 23'6", Beam: 9'6", Draft: 3'6", Displacement: 7,400 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $10,000 - $20,000
Snapdragon 600 Affordable, easy to handle LOA: 20'6", LWL: 17'6", Beam: 7'6", Draft: 2'6", Displacement: 2,500 lbs Cruising speed: 4-5 knots $3,000 - $7,000
Achilles 24 Good performance, spacious interior LOA: 24', LWL: 19'6", Beam: 8', Draft: 2'10", Displacement: 4,000 lbs Cruising speed: 5-6 knots $6,000 - $12,000
Westerly Centaur Spacious interior, good performance LOA: 26', LWL: 21'6", Beam: 8'6", Draft: 3'3", Displacement: 6,800 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $8,000 - $15,000
Westerly Griffon Good performance, spacious interior LOA: 28', LWL: 23'6", Beam: 9'3", Draft: 3'3", Displacement: 7,000 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $10,000 - $20,000
Westerly Pageant Affordable, spacious interior LOA: 23', LWL: 19'4", Beam: 8'3", Draft: 2'6", Displacement: 4,100 lbs Cruising speed: 5-6 knots $5,000 - $10,000
Sadler 32 Good performance, spacious interior LOA: 32', LWL: 25'6", Beam: 10'3", Draft: 3'9", Displacement: 11,500 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $20,000 - $40,000
Moody 33 Good performance, spacious interior LOA: 33', LWL: 27', Beam: 11', Draft: 4'3", Displacement: 12,600 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $15,000 - $30,000
Westerly Konsort Spacious interior, good performance LOA: 29', LWL: 23'6", Beam: 10'9", Draft: 3'3", Displacement: 9,500 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $12,000 - $25,000
Moody 346 Good performance, spacious interior LOA: 34'6", LWL: 28'6", Beam: 11'6", Draft: 4'3", Displacement: 13,000 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $25,000 - $50,000
Hunter Horizon 26 Affordable, easy to handle LOA: 26'2", LWL: 22', Beam: 9'1", Draft: 3'2", Displacement: 5,500 lbs Cruising speed: 5-6 knots $5,000 - $10,000
Fisher 25 Seaworthy, good performance LOA: 25', LWL: 20'6", Beam: 9'3", Draft: 3'3", Displacement: 6,500 lbs Cruising speed: 6-7 knots $15,000 - $30,000

Snapdragon 747

The Snapdragon 747 is a popular bilge keel sailboat that is known for being easy to handle and comfortable to sail. It has a spacious cockpit and a cozy interior that can accommodate up to six people. The boat has a length of 24 feet and a beam of 8 feet, making it a good choice for day sailing or weekend trips.

In terms of performance, though it is not the fastest sailboat on the water, it is reliable and stable. Its bilge keels provide good stability and allow the boat to sail close to the wind, making it easy to handle in a variety of conditions. The boat's sail area is around 240 square feet, which is sufficient for most sailing needs.

Snapdragon 890

The Snapdragon 890 is a bilge keel sailboat designed by Thames Marine in the 1970s. Instead of having a single keel in the center of the boat, it has two keels that are located on either side of the hull. This design allows the boat to sit upright on the ground when the tide goes out, which can be useful for coastal cruising and exploring shallow waters.

Get to understand more about bilge keel in this article.

In sailing, the Snapdragon 890 is known for being stable and easy to handle. The bilge keel design helps to reduce heeling and increase stability, which can be especially helpful in choppy or windy conditions.

The boat has a moderate sail area, with a mainsail of around 200 square feet and a genoa of around 150 square feet. This means that it can be easily handled by a small crew or even single-handedly.

Snapdragon 600

Like the Snapdragon 890, the Snapdragon 600 has a bilge keel design that allows it to sit upright on the ground when the tide goes out. This can be useful for coastal cruising and exploring shallow waters. The boat has a displacement of around 2,500 lbs, making it lighter than the Snapdragon 890.

The boat has a moderate sail area, with a mainsail of around 100 square feet and a genoa of around 70 square feet so it is perfect for a small crew or even for solo sailing.

Achilles 24

The Achilles 24 is a bilge keel sailboat that was designed by Oliver Lee in the UK in the early 1960s. Like other bilge keel sailboats, the Achilles 24 is designed to be stable and easy to handle.

The boat has a moderate sail area, with a mainsail of around 140 square feet and a genoa of around 150 square feet. One of the key features of the Achilles 24 is its spacious interior.

The boat has a large saloon area, a galley, a chart table, and a separate head compartment. It can accommodate up to four people, making it a great choice for weekend cruising or short trips.

In terms of sailing performance, the Achilles 24 is known for being a responsive and well-balanced boat. It can be easily driven by its sails and can handle a variety of wind conditions. The boat has a relatively narrow beam, which helps to reduce drag and increase speed.

Westerly Centaur

The Westerly Centaur is a bilge keel sailboat that was designed for coastal cruising and has a reputation for being a sturdy and reliable boat. The bilge keel design is intended to provide greater stability and the ability to take the ground, which can be useful for exploring shallow waters and anchoring in tidal areas.

Although the Centaur is not known for being a particularly fast or performance-oriented boat, it is a comfortable and safe cruiser that can handle a variety of conditions. The bilge keels can help to reduce heeling and improve upwind performance, but they may also create additional drag and reduce overall speed.

Want to weigh the pros and cons of bilge keels? Here's an article you might find helpful.

The design of the Centaur is fairly traditional, having a spacious interior with good headroom that can accommodate up to six people. The cockpit is also roomy and well-protected, which can make it comfortable for extended cruising.

Westerly Griffon

The Westerly Griffon is a popular bilge keel sailboat designed by Ed Dubois and built by Westerly Yachts in the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1989. It is known for its stability and ease of handling.

The bilge keels provide excellent lateral stability, which makes the boat less prone to rolling in rough seas. The Griffon also has a relatively shallow draft, which allows it to access shallow anchorages and marinas that are off-limits to deeper-draft boats.

The Griffon's design is characterized by its spacious and comfortable interior, which features a large saloon, a galley, and two private cabins. The boat is also equipped with a head and shower, which makes it suitable for longer trips. The cockpit is also well-designed, with ample seating and good visibility.

In terms of features, the Griffon is equipped with a number of standard amenities, including a roller furling genoa, a mainsail with lazy jacks, and a self-tailing winch. The boat also has a variety of optional features, such as a diesel engine, a windlass, and a chartplotter.

Westerly Pageant

The Westerly Pageant is a bilge keel sailboat, which means it has two keels instead of one. This design allows the boat to sit upright on the ground or on a low-tide seabed, making it easier to access shallow waters.

In terms of performance, the Westerly Pageant is known for being a stable and sturdy boat, with good handling and maneuverability. It has a moderate sail area and a relatively low displacement, which makes it a good choice for cruising and day sailing.

The design of the Westerly Pageant features a spacious cockpit and a comfortable interior with two cabins, a saloon, and a galley. The boat can accommodate up to six people, making it a good choice for families or small groups.

Sadler 32

The Sadler 32 is a bilge keel sailboat designed by David Sadler in the 1970s. It is known for its excellent sailing performance and sturdy construction, making it a great choice for cruising and offshore sailing.

The bilge keel design allows the boat to be more stable and sail in shallow waters. The boat is also able to handle strong winds and rough seas with ease.

Despite its relatively small size, the Sadler 32 has a spacious interior that can comfortably accommodate up to six people. The boat has a large saloon area, a well-equipped galley, and plenty of storage space. The Sadler 32 is designed to be easy to handle, even for novice sailors, with a simple rigging system and a responsive helm.

Moody 33

The Moody 33 is a popular bilge keel sailboat designed for cruising and coastal sailing. It was first introduced in 1974 and remained in production until 1985. This boat is known for its sturdy construction, excellent performance, and spacious interior.

Since the Moody 33 has a bilge keel design, this means that the boat has two keels, one on each side of the hull, which provide excellent stability and allow it to stand upright on a hard surface. This design also allows the boat to sail closer to the wind and makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

The Moody 33 has a spacious cockpit with ample seating for the crew, and the deck is designed for easy handling of sails and rigging. The boat is powered by a reliable diesel engine and has a fuel capacity of 20 gallons (76 liters).

Below the deck, the boat has a comfortable living area with a full galley, a head with shower, and sleeping accommodations for up to six people. The interior is finished in teak and offers plenty of storage space for extended cruising.

Westerly Konsort

The Westerly Konsort is a popular bilge keel sailboat that was designed and built in the UK. It is a sturdy and reliable cruiser that is well-suited for coastal and offshore sailing.

One of the key features of the Konsort is its bilge keel design which provide excellent stability and allows the boat to sit upright on the mud or sand when the tide goes out. This makes it easy to explore shallow waters and anchor in tight spots.

The Konsort has a moderate displacement and a relatively low sail area, which makes it easy to handle even in rough conditions. The boat is also known for its good upwind performance and its ability to maintain speed in light winds.

It has a spacious and comfortable interior that can accommodate up to six people. The boat has a large saloon with a U-shaped seating area, a galley, and a navigation station. There are also two private cabins, one forward and one aft, as well as a head with a shower.

Moody 346

The Moody 346 is a popular bilge keel sailboat that was designed by Bill Dixon and built by Moody Yachts. This boat is known for its excellent performance, design, and features, making it a great choice for sailors of all levels.

In terms of performance, the Moody 346 is a fast and responsive sailboat that is easy to handle in a variety of conditions. It features a long waterline, which helps to provide excellent stability and maneuverability. The bilge keels also help to reduce the boat's draft, making it easier to navigate in shallow waters.

The design of the Moody 346 is both practical and elegant. The boat features a spacious cockpit and a comfortable interior, with plenty of room for living and entertaining. The interior is finished in high-quality materials and features a range of amenities, including a galley, a head, and sleeping accommodations for up to six people.

In terms of features, the Moody 346 is well-equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable sailing experience. The boat comes with a range of navigation and communication equipment, as well as safety features like a life raft and safety harnesses. It also features a range of storage compartments, making it easy to stow gear and supplies.

Hunter Horizon 26

The Hunter Horizon 26 is a popular bilge keel sailboat that was designed and built by Hunter Boats in the UK. It is a versatile and practical boat that is ideal for coastal cruising and day sailing.

It is a stable and responsive boat that is easy to handle. Its bilge keels provide good stability and allow the boat to sail in shallow waters. The boat also has a moderate sail area and a well-balanced rig, which makes it easy to control and maneuver.

In terms of design, the Hunter Horizon 26 has a classic look with a sleek and modern profile. It has a spacious and comfortable cockpit that can accommodate up to four people.

The boat's interior is well-designed and features a large saloon, a galley, and a separate head compartment. The boat also has plenty of storage space, making it ideal for longer trips.

Fisher 25

The Fisher 25 is a classic bilge keel sailboat that was designed by Wyatt and Freeman in the late 1960s. It is a popular choice among sailors who are looking for a sturdy and reliable cruising boat that can handle a variety of weather conditions.

This boat is known for its stability and seaworthiness. The bilge keels provide excellent stability both at sea and in harbor, and the boat's heavy displacement and full keel design make it easy to handle in rough weather. The boat has a moderate sail plan that is easy to handle, and it can be sailed single-handed or with a small crew.

The Fisher 25's design is classic and timeless, with a traditional look that is both elegant and functional. The boat has a spacious cockpit that provides plenty of room for relaxing and entertaining, and the interior is cozy and comfortable, with ample storage space and a well-designed galley.

The boat is also built to high standards using high-quality materials, and it is known for its durability and longevity. The hull is made of solid fiberglass, and the deck and cabin are constructed of marine-grade plywood and fiberglass. The boat's rigging and hardware are also of high quality, and the boat is designed to withstand the rigors of offshore sailing.


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