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Deck Saloon Sailboats Guide: Comprehensive Insights for Enthusiasts

Deck Saloon Sailboats have gained popularity in recent years due to their innovative design and the comfort they offer to sailors. These sailboats feature a raised saloon, providing panoramic visibility and increased natural light compared to traditional sailboat designs. As more people seek to avoid the closed-in feeling of some cabins, deck saloon sailboats have become an attractive option for overnight cruising and day sailing.

Notable manufacturers of deck saloon sailboats include Jeanneau, Oyster, Moody, Custom, and Hunter. These builders offer a variety of options, including secondary inboard and electric propulsion systems with diesel and electric fuel systems available. The length of the deck saloon sailboats can range from 25 to 80 feet, and they often have 2-4 cabins to accommodate the needs of various sailors.

For those considering a deck saloon sailboat, it is essential to understand the unique features and benefits of this type of vessel. With their spacious layouts and ample visibility, deck saloon sailboats are perfect for those who desire a comfortable and enjoyable sailing experience. As the market for these innovative sailboats continues to grow, prospective buyers have a range of options to consider when selecting the perfect deck saloon sailboat to suit their needs.

Fundamentals of Deck Saloon Sailboats

Deck saloon sailboats offer a unique and comfortable sailing experience by providing generous living spaces and a seamless connection to the outdoors. They come in various sizes and specifications, catering to different sailing needs and preferences. This section will discuss the fundamentals of deck saloon sailboats, focusing on their key features and functions.

Deck Saloon Sailboat Features

One of the main features of a deck saloon sailboat is the spacious, split-level accommodation that increases the floor space by 4-6㎡ (40-65 sq ft) compared to a traditional monohull, giving it more space for the same length of the vessel (Sirius-Yachts). The saloons have large windows to take advantage of natural lighting and provide panoramic views, enhancing the connection with nature and the outdoors even when you're indoors.

Deck saloon sailboats may have an indoor helm station, offering protection from the elements and allowing sailors to maneuver the boat in adverse weather conditions (Moody Decksaloon 41). Additionally, they come with customizable options for heating or air conditioning for a more comfortable experience (Moody Decksaloon 41).

Deck Saloon Yacht Functions

Deck saloon sailboats come in various lengths, making them suitable for a wide range of sailing activities. They cater to overnight cruising and day sailing, providing a luxurious and comfortable experience for all aboard (

These sailing vessels offer versatile spaces, often with 2-4 cabins for sleeping arrangements and ample storage space, making them ideal for longer journeys and liveaboard situations (

In summary, deck saloon sailboats provide an enhanced sailing experience by offering increased living space, better connection to the outdoors, and a comfortable environment that caters to various activities and sailing needs.

The Design and Construction

Hull Types and Materials

Deck saloon sailboats are typically designed as monohulls for cruising and day sailing. The hull shape is essential for stability and maneuverability, regardless of the boat's size. The overall draft and beam affect performance and speed, while displacement and ballast play a significant role in maintaining stability when sailing in various sea conditions.

The most commonly used materials for constructing hulls are fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. Fiberglass is popular for its lightweight properties and relative ease of maintenance. Aluminum hulls offer increased durability and are often seen on custom-built sailboats or bluewater sailing vessels like the Ovni 370. Steel is used for heavy-displacement offshore cruising sailboats that need extra strength and resilience.

Deck Layout and Inside Helm

Deck saloon sailboats feature an elevated cabin or saloon area, providing panoramic visibility and increased natural light (source). The deck layout is designed for ease of movement and sailing, with essential components such as winches, sail control lines, and traveller tracks positioned within easy reach.

The inside helm is a key feature of deck saloon sailboats, offering sailors protection from the elements and comfortable seating while navigating and sailing. It typically includes a steering wheel or tiller, engine controls, navigation equipment, and instruments. A well-designed inside helm should provide excellent visibility and easy access to essential sailing controls.

Superstructure and Interior Volume

The superstructure of deck saloon sailboats includes the deck, cabin, and all other structures built above the waterline. These are designed to provide adequate headroom and interior volume while maintaining the boat's stability and overall performance. The length of the waterline is also an important consideration, as it influences the boat's speed potential.

Deck saloon sailboats usually feature two to four cabins, offering varying degrees of comfort and space. The galley layout should be practical, providing ample counter space and storage for extended voyages. Amenities such as air conditioning and heating systems help enhance onboard comfort during different weather conditions. Design elements like a lifting keel or centerboard help increase the boat's adaptability, allowing it to access shallow waters or make landfall more easily.

In summary, the design and construction of deck saloon sailboats take several factors into account, from the hull type and materials to the superstructure and interior layout. Balancing these aspects ensures a comfortable, functional, and safe sailing experience for those aboard.

Rigging and Sails

Main and Foresail Configuration

The configuration of the main and foresail is an essential aspect of Deck Saloon Sailboats' performance and usability. In most cases, these sailboats feature a sloop rig, characterized by a single mast with a mainsail and foresail attached.

The mainsail on these boats plays a crucial role in driving the vessel forward and maintaining stability, while the foresail (typically a genoa or jib) helps achieve higher speeds and offers better upwind performance.

Sail Area and Performance

One crucial factor in determining the performance of a Deck Saloon Sailboat is the total sail area. This measurement considers the area of both the mainsail and the foresail, giving an indication of the boat's potential for speed and power.

It's important to note that larger sail areas generally provide more driving force but can also make the boat more challenging to handle in stronger winds. In contrast, smaller sail areas might be easier to manage but could lead to slower speeds in lighter winds.

Furling and Handling Systems

Furling and handling systems simplify the task of managing sails on Deck Saloon Sailboats. These boats typically feature roller furling systems for their foresails, making it easier to hoist, trim, and reef the sail as needed. The forestay length also plays a role in achieving proper tension and sail shape.

For the mainsail, there are several furling options available, such as in-mast or in-boom furling systems. These systems allow for quick and easy reefing or stowing of the mainsail, which can be a significant advantage in changeable weather conditions or when sailing with a small crew.

In conclusion, understanding the rigging and sails of Deck Saloon Sailboats, including their main and foresail configuration, sail area and performance, and furling and handling systems, will enable sailors to make informed decisions about selecting the most suited sailboat for their needs and sailing skills.

Propulsion and Fuel Systems

Deck Saloon Sailboats offer various propulsion and fuel systems to suit the needs and preferences of every sailing enthusiast. This section focuses on inboard and electric propulsion systems, as well as diesel and electric fuel systems commonly used in these types of vessels.

Inboard and Electric Propulsion Systems

Inboard propulsion systems are a popular choice for Deck Saloon Sailboats, as they provide reliable power and efficiency. These systems typically consist of a diesel engine, such as Yanmar, which drives a propeller shaft connected to the boat's hull. Inboard engines are known for their durability and low engine hours, making them a trusted option for many sailors.

Electric propulsion systems are gaining traction in the sailing world due to their environmentally-friendly nature and quiet operation. These systems convert electrical energy into mechanical energy to power the boat's propeller. Various Deck Saloon Sailboats brands have started integrating electric propulsion systems, giving boaters more options when selecting their ideal boat.

Diesel and Electric Fuel Systems

Deck Saloon Sailboats typically employ fuel systems that cater to diesel or electric power sources. Diesel fuel systems are often chosen for their efficiency and high energy density. Diesel-powered vessels typically have fuel capacities ranging from 37 to 46 gallons, providing ample range for extended voyages. Boats equipped with diesel fuel systems will also have water and holding tank capacities to accommodate the needs of the crew.

Electric fuel systems, on the other hand, utilize an array of batteries to store and supply energy to the boat's electric motor. These systems have several advantages, such as reduced emissions and lower noise levels. Additionally, electric fuel systems allow for regenerative charging, enabling the batteries to recharge during sailing as the propeller rotates due to water flow.

When choosing a Deck Saloon Sailboat, it is essential to consider the boat's propulsion and fuel systems, as they can significantly impact the vessel's performance and efficiency. Both reliable inboard engines and innovative electric systems offer unique benefits to sailors, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preferences and sailing goals.

Comfort and Livability

Living Space and Natural Light

Deck saloon sailboats offer an enhanced living space due to their elevated cabin or saloon areas. This design provides panoramic visibility and increased natural light compared to traditional sailboat designs, giving passengers a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.Source

As larger windows and skylights are incorporated in the design, the interior becomes brighter and more spacious. The living space often includes 2-4 cabins and is suitable for overnight cruising and day sailing(

Heating and Air Conditioning

Many deck saloon sailboats are equipped with heating and air conditioning systems to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the vessel. These systems are essential for boats that travel in different climates or during seasonal changes.

Proper insulation and temperature regulation not only enhance comfort but also prevent condensation and moisture-related issues, ensuring a more pleasant onboard experience for passengers.

Settee and Chart Table

Deck saloon sailboats often feature a comfortable settee area for relaxation and socializing, as well as a practical chart table for navigation. The settee is typically placed close to the main saloon windows, offering excellent views and natural light.

The chart table is an essential component of the sailing experience, serving as a dedicated space for organizing navigational tools, charts, and instruments. Its placement within the deck saloon allows easy access and monitoring of sailing conditions while staying protected from outdoor elements.Source

Safety and Stability

Deck saloon sailboats are designed with safety and stability in mind, offering a secure and comfortable experience for sailors of all levels.

Visibility and Autopilot

One of the main advantages of a deck saloon sailboat is the increased visibility from the raised saloon area. The panoramic windows provide an excellent view of the surroundings, allowing the crew to navigate safely and confidently. Autopilot systems can also be integrated into the control systems, making it easier to maintain course during longer ocean passages. The use of an autopilot system not only reduces the workload of the crew but also enhances overall safety by maintaining a steady course, particularly during night watches or periods of reduced visibility.

Seasickness Prevention

Seasickness is a common concern for both seasoned sailors and novices alike. Deck saloon sailboats are designed to minimize the motion experienced by the crew, helping to reduce the risk of seasickness. By having a lower center of gravity and wider beam, these boats offer greater stability and resistance to rolling, making for a smoother sailing experience. In addition to the boat's design features, it is essential to consider equipping the galley with anti-slip mats and secure storage for cookware to prevent accidents during rough conditions.

Extreme Conditions Handling

When facing extreme weather conditions, deck saloon sailboats are designed to provide increased safety and stability. These boats often have a reinforced hull and rigging, capable of withstanding strong winds and high waves. Their cockpit area is usually well protected, with high coamings and a solid dodger to shield the crew from wind, spray, and waves. Sailing equipment on deck, such as winches and lines, should be easily accessible and secure to ensure optimal performance and safety under challenging conditions.

Overall, deck saloon sailboats offer a secure, stable, and enjoyable sailing experience for those who prioritize safety and luxury on their ocean adventures.

Popular Deck Saloon Sailboat Brands

When looking for deck saloon sailboats, it's important to consider the brands that are known for their quality and innovation in this specific boat design.


Jeanneau is a popular French brand, offering a range of deck saloon sailboats for both day sailing and overnight cruising. With a reputation for combining functionality with elegance, Jeanneau's deck saloon models are sought after for their raised saloons, providing a comfortable and spacious interior while maximizing light and visibility.

Their extensive line of deck saloon sailboats cater to various needs, from smaller models in the 30-foot range to impressive 50-foot vessels offering luxurious amenities and advanced sailing features.

United States Sailboat Companies

There are also several well-regarded United States-based sailboat companies that produce quality deck saloon sailboats. For instance, Hunter is a renowned American brand that offers comfortable, versatile, and high-performance deck saloon sailboats.

An alternative to consider is Oyster, a British manufacturer with a strong presence in North America. Known for their luxurious blue-water cruising yachts, Oyster's deck saloon models evoke a sense of style and excellence that appeals to discerning sailors.

It's important to research and compare different brands when choosing a deck saloon sailboat, as each offers unique features and characteristics to suit individual preferences and sailing needs.

Buying and Selling Deck Saloon Sailboats

When exploring the world of Deck Saloon Sailboats, it is essential to be well-informed about the various aspects of the buying and selling process. This guide focuses on new and used listings, prices and market trends, and magazines and online resources to help make your purchase or sale a smooth experience.

New and Used Listings

Deck Saloon Sailboats can be found in both new and used conditions on various platforms. Websites like YachtWorld, Boat Trader, and offer a comprehensive range of new, used, and custom yachts to cater to different preferences and budgets. Be sure to thoroughly research and compare listings to ensure you make an informed decision.

Prices and Market Trends

Deck Saloon Sailboats are available at a wide range of price points. Entry-level models can start from as low as $25,300, while the most luxurious models may go up to $5,717,472, as seen on YachtWorld. The average price for these sailboats is around $800,000 ( It's essential to keep an eye on market trends and fluctuations, as prices can vary depending on factors such as the make, model, age, and condition of the vessel.

Magazines and Online Resources

When venturing into the realm of Deck Saloon Sailboats, it is important to stay informed using reputable sources. Magazines and online resources can provide valuable insights into the boating world, including the latest models, design innovations, and sailing adventures. Some popular magazines in the sailing industry include:

  • SAIL Magazine
  • Yachting Monthly
  • Boat International Magazine
  • Cruising World

Furthermore, various online resources and forums dedicated to sailing can offer first-hand experiences from fellow sailors, expert advice, and opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. These resources can help enrich your knowledge base and make you better equipped to navigate the world of Deck Saloon Sailboats.

Sailing Adventures and Uses

Deck Saloon Sailboats offer a unique experience when it comes to sailing adventures. With the versatility and comfort they provide, these boats are perfect for activities such as day sailing, overnight cruising, ocean passages, and expeditions.

Day Sailing

One popular use for Deck Saloon Sailboats is day sailing. These boats are designed with spacious and well-lit saloons that provide excellent visibility and allow passengers to enjoy the beautiful views while sailing. Day sailing on a deck saloon sailboat ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all on board.

Overnight Cruising

Deck saloon sailboats, with their 2-4 cabins, are perfect for overnight cruising adventures, as they offer ample space and comfort for passengers to relax and sleep in at night. The raised saloon design creates a cozy and homey atmosphere, making it ideal for families and friends to share unforgettable experiences while cruising on the water at night.

Ocean Passages

For those seeking long-distance sailing adventures, deck saloon sailboats are an excellent choice. These boats are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, and their spacious cabins provide ample room to store provisions and equipment for long ocean passages. Additionally, the raised saloon offers the benefit of more natural light and improved ventilation, ensuring a comfortable journey.


Finally, deck saloon sailboats make for an excellent choice when it comes to sailing expeditions. Their robust design enables them to handle rough seas and challenging weather, while the spacious interior allows for the storage of necessary supplies, equipment, and scientific instruments. Adventurers and researchers alike can appreciate these sailing yachts for their durability, comfort, and versatility when undertaking exciting expeditions.

Speed Calculations and Performance

When evaluating the performance of deck saloon sailboats, it's crucial to analyze various factors such as speed and comfort. In this section, we will discuss three key concepts: the Classic Hull Speed Formula, Dave Gerr's Displacement/Length Ratio, and the Speed/Length Ratio.

Classic Hull Speed Formula

The Classic Hull Speed Formula is a simple method used to estimate the maximum hull speed of a sailboat, taking into account its waterline length. The formula is:

hull speed = 1.34 × √LWL

where LWL (Length at Waterline) is the length of the boat at the waterline in feet. This formula assumes that the boat's speed is primarily limited by its length, and its efficiency decreases as its speed approaches the hull speed.

Dave Gerr's Displacement/Length Ratio

Deck saloon sailboats exhibit a combination of speed, handling, and comfort, which can be assessed using the Displacement/Length Ratio (D/L ratio) according to Dave Gerr in "The Propeller Handbook." The formula for calculating D/L ratio is:

D/L = (Displacement / 2240) / (0.01 × LWL^3)

where Displacement is the weight of the boat in pounds, and LWL is the length at the waterline in feet. A higher D/L ratio indicates a heavier boat relative to its length, which generally correlates with better load-carrying capacity and a more comfortable motion. On the other hand, a lower ratio indicates a lighter boat that requires less power to achieve hull speed or beyond. Sailboat Guide provides a detailed explanation of this concept.

Speed/Length Ratio

Another indicator of a sailboat's performance is the Speed/Length Ratio (S/L). The formula for calculating the S/L ratio is:

S/L = boat speed / √LWL

This factor assesses a boat's capability to overcome wave-making resistance as it travels through water. A higher ratio indicates that the boat is more capable of reaching higher speeds, while a lower ratio suggests that the boat might struggle to overcome resistance at higher speeds.

In conclusion, knowing these formulas and ratios can help you understand the performance of deck saloon sailboats in terms of speed and handling capabilities. This knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions when choosing the right boat to match your needs. 

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