Discover Types & Styles

Schooners For Sale: Top Picks and Buying Guide

Schooners are a classic type of sailing vessel known for their beauty and impressive sailing capabilities. With their multiple masts and sails, they have a long history of being used for trade, racing, and exploration. Today, many enthusiasts still appreciate their elegant lines, exceptional performance, and unique charm, making them a popular choice for sailboat aficionados looking to purchase a vessel.

For potential buyers, the schooner market offers a variety of options, from vintage models to more modern designs. Prices can range from $23,735 for smaller, more affordable yachts, up to $24,500,000 for bespoke, unique options, according to YachtWorld. The availability of schooners for sale varies, but popular brands in the market include Custom, Custom-Craft, Herreshoff, Schooner, and Sutton Boat Works, as found on Boat Trader.

When exploring schooner offerings, buyers can select from an array of sizes and styles to suit their preferences and sailing goals. Some notable examples of schooner sailboats available in North America include the Shock Staysail Schooner and the Alden Schooner, listed on YachtWorld. No matter the specific model or design, owning a schooner offers a distinctive sailing experience, merging history with modern-day adventure.

History of Schooners

Schooners are a classic type of sailing vessel that have a rich history and diverse range of uses. In this section, we will explore the origins of schooners and how their design has evolved over time.

Traditional Sailing Vessels

The schooner is a type of sailing vessel characterized by having at least two masts, with the main mast being longer than the foremast. Schooners first emerged in the early 18th century, and their split-rig design offered enhanced speed and versatility. Traditionally, schooners were primarily used as fishing vessels, cargo carriers, and private yachts.

One of the key features of a schooner is its ability to navigate shallow waters, which made it an ideal choice for use in coastal regions. Many schooners were built around Gloucester, Massachusetts, starting around 1713, with large holds for fish and supplies but also designed for speed to reach fishing grounds quickly (National Museum of American History).

Evolution of the Schooner Design

Over time, the schooner design has evolved to accommodate changes in technology, materials, and maritime needs. While the basic characteristics of a schooner have remained consistent, there are now various styles and configurations available. Modern schooners may have more than two masts, and while many still maintain the classic gaff rig, others have adopted the more modern triangular sails (YATCO).

One interesting development in the world of schooners is the rise of replica vessels, which seek to recreate the appearance and functionality of traditional schooners. These replicas offer a combination of the classic schooner aesthetic and charm with updated building materials and techniques.

Understanding Schooner Types

Schooners are versatile sailing vessels, offering various features and configurations that cater to different preferences and uses. This section will discuss the different types of schooners, focusing on the hull types, masts, and rigging, as well as sail area and configuration.

Hull Types

There are several hull types to consider when buying a schooner, including:

  • Monohull: A traditional single-hulled vessel that relies on the ballast and hull shape for stability.
  • Multihull: Includes catamarans and trimarans with two or more hulls that provide increased stability and speed compared to monohulls.

Choose the hull type that best suits your needs and sailing preferences, taking into consideration aspects such as speed, stability, and interior space.

Masts and Rigging

Schooners are characterized by having at least two masts, with the mainmast being taller than the foremast. While most schooners feature only two masts, some versions have three or more, depending on the desired performance and aesthetics. Rigging options for schooners include:

  • Gaff Schooner: Features a four-cornered mainsail (fore-and-aft-rigged) on a gaff, which is a spar that extends from the mast.
  • Marconi or Bermuda Schooner: Has a triangular mainsail (fore-and-aft-rigged) without a gaff, which allows for a taller mast and larger sail area.

Consider the performance, practicality, and historical authenticity when selecting the desired mast and rigging type.

Sail Area and Configuration

The sail area and configuration of a schooner impact its performance and handling characteristics. Factors to consider include:

  • Total Sail Area: A larger sail area generally provides more power, but may require more crew to manage, especially if the vessel is equipped with multiple masts.
  • Sail Balance: Proper distribution of the sail area across the masts ensures efficient performance and easier handling. Common configurations are a split-rig, which divides the sail area evenly between the masts, and a yawl rig, which places more sail area on the mainmast.

Choose the sail area and configuration that align with your sailing goals, the intended use of the schooner, and the size of the crew that will be aboard.

Popular Schooner Builders and Manufacturers

Schooners have a rich history and are admired by sailing enthusiasts around the world. Some of the most popular builders and manufacturers of schooners include Herreshoff, Sutton Boat Works, Ada Yacht, and Scheepsmakelaardij Fikkers BV.


Herreshoff is a renowned name in the sailing world, known for its high-quality craftsmanship and exceptional designs. They have built a variety of schooners over the years, offering both classic and modern styles. Herreshoff schooners have become a symbol of elegance and tradition in the sailing community.

Sutton Boat Works

Sutton Boat Works is another well-established builder, known for creating high-quality schooners with a focus on durability and performance. Their custom-built schooners are crafted to meet the unique specifications of each client, ensuring a vessel that exemplifies excellence in both design and functionality.

Ada Yacht

Ada Yacht is a Turkish shipyard that specializes in the construction of custom sailboats, including schooners. They employ a team of skilled craftsmen with decades of experience in boatbuilding, resulting in well-crafted and seaworthy vessels. The dedication to quality and customization makes Ada Yacht a trusted name among schooner admirers.

Scheepsmakelaardij Fikkers BV

Scheepsmakelaardij Fikkers BV is a Dutch shipyard with a history dating back to the early 20th century. They are known for building custom schooners using traditional methods and materials, paying close attention to detail in every aspect of the construction process. This commitment to quality and craftsmanship has earned them a strong reputation in the sailing community.

In conclusion, Herreshoff, Sutton Boat Works, Ada Yacht, and Scheepsmakelaardij Fikkers BV are some of the most respected builders and manufacturers of schooner sailboats. Each offers unique features and customizations that cater to the preferences of sailing enthusiasts while maintaining a strong focus on quality and craftsmanship throughout the building process.

Schooner Models and Specifications

Schooners are elegant sailing vessels with a rich history in maritime tradition. This section will briefly discuss the various models and specifications of schooners currently available for sale.

Draft and Beam Measurements

The draft and beam measurements are crucial for understanding how a schooner will perform in water and the space available onboard. A schooner's draft refers to the vertical distance between the waterline and the lowest point of the vessel, while the beam refers to the widest part of the boat.

Some popular schooner models include the Schooner Phinisi, Schooner Classic Gaff, and the Schooner Eldorado. These models have a range of draft and beam measurements, making them suitable for different sailing conditions and purposes.

Passenger Capacity

Passenger capacity is a significant factor in determining the suitability of a schooner for various purposes. Schooners can be used for private cruises, charter operations, or even as liveaboard vessels.

The capacity of a schooner can vary dramatically based on its size and design. For example, schooners on YachtWorld can range in size from 33 feet to 216 feet in length, impacting the number of passengers they can accommodate.

Model Variations

Various schooner models cater to different sailing preferences and needs. Here's a list of popular schooner models and their specifications:

  • Schooner Phinisi: Known for their Indonesian heritage, these boats are typically handcrafted from wood and outfitted with modern equipment for sailing and navigation.
  • Schooner Classic Gaff: Featuring a gaff rig setup, these traditional schooners are designed for efficient and comfortable sailing.
  • Schooner Eldorado: These luxurious boats provide ample space for passengers and crew, making them ideal for private charters or long-distance cruising.

For detailed information on specific schooners currently available for sale, it's best to consult YachtWorld or other reputable yacht brokerage websites.

Materials and Construction

Schooner sailboats are known for their beauty and elegance, with construction materials playing a significant role in the overall performance and longevity of the vessels. The primary materials used in the construction of schooner sailboats are wood, steel, and aluminum. Each material has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages, so the choice of materials rests on the intended use and personal preferences of the buyer.

Wooden Schooners

Traditional and popular, wooden schooners are usually made of materials like mahogany, teak, iroko, and pine. Wooden schooners not only have an aesthetic appeal, but they are known for their warmth and ability to handle a variety of sea conditions. However, these boats may require more maintenance than their steel and aluminum counterparts, as wooden components are more susceptible to weathering and decay over time. A good example of this construction style can be seen in most modern schooners found on iNautia.

Steel Schooners

Steel construction brings durability and resistance to the modern schooner sailboat. With a steel hull, these vessels can withstand harsh weather conditions and provide increased stability under sail. Steel is also more resistant to damage from collisions or grounding. A downside to steel construction can sometimes be the added weight, which may affect the boat's speed and maneuverability. The schooner named COLUMBIA is an example of a steel-hulled schooner that combines history with modern shipbuilding techniques.

Aluminum Schooners

Aluminum is another material used in the construction of schooner sailboats, offering a lightweight and rust-resistant alternative to steel. Aluminum boats are known for their ability to balance strength and lightweight construction, allowing for increased speed and agility on the water. However, aluminum may not provide the same level of durability as steel, particularly in extreme weather conditions, and care must be taken to avoid galvanic corrosion from dissimilar metal components. Examples of aluminum construction can be found among the schooners listed on YATCO.

Regardless of the chosen material for a schooner sailboat, proper care, and maintenance is essential to ensure that these vessels maintain their performance, beauty, and value for years to come.

Propulsion and Fuel Systems

Schooners for sale come with different propulsion and fuel systems to cater to various preferences and needs. This section will discuss inboard and outboard motors, electric systems, as well as gas and diesel options.

Inboard and Outboard Motors

Inboard and outboard motors are the two primary choices for propulsion systems in schooners. Inboard motors are installed within the hull, providing excellent center of gravity and balance. Outboard motors, on the other hand, are mounted outside the hull, offering more flexibility in terms of space and maintenance. Both types of motors have their advantages, and schooner builders produce vessels with either or both systems, depending on the specific requirements of the buyer.

Electric Systems

Electric propulsion systems are becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel-based systems. An electric schooner typically has an electric motor powered by batteries, which can be recharged from shore power or regenerated through solar panels or wind turbines. This system is generally quieter, more reliable, and requires less maintenance compared to gas and diesel engines. However, electric schooners may have limited range and power, which can be a concern for long-distance sailors.

Gas and Diesel Options

Gas and diesel engines are the most common fuel systems for schooners. Diesel engines tend to be more fuel-efficient, provide greater torque, and offer more reliability for long-range cruising. However, they are usually heavier and more expensive than gas engines. Gas engines are often more affordable and easier to maintain, but they may not be as fuel-efficient as diesel options. Buyers should consider factors such as intended usage, budget, and personal preferences when choosing between gas and diesel systems for their schooners.

Buying a Schooner

When it comes to buying a schooner, there are several factors to consider including the type of yacht, new or used options, and boat sales locations. Schooners come in various sizes and styles, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

New and Used Options

Both new and custom schooners are available for purchase. These vessels come with the latest technology, designs, and comforts that any sailing enthusiast may desire. The price range varies depending on the ship's specifications, make, and size. Some of the most popular schooner sailing vessels brands are Custom, Freedom, Herreshoff, and Southern Ocean.

On the other hand, used schooners can be an affordable alternative to new vessels. You can find a variety of pre-owned schooners on Boat Trader with prices starting as low as $23,735. Make sure to evaluate the yacht's materials, construction, and equipment to ensure it meets your expectations.

Boat Dealers and Sales Locations

The process of finding a schooner for sale may require some research and patience due to their specialized nature. Several online platforms and dealerships focus on selling sailboats, including schooners.

  • YachtWorld offers both new and used options as well as detailed information about the vessels.
  • Boat Trader has a wide selection of used schooners at varying prices and conditions.
  • is another useful platform for finding schooners for sale and exploring different styles and sizes.

When assessing boat dealers, it's essential to review their expertise, reputation, and any available warranties or guarantees. This information will help ensure you have a positive and seamless purchasing experience.

Sailing Destinations and Activities

Schooner sailing vessels are a popular choice for those seeking adventure and luxury on the open seas. These beautiful ships offer a unique combination of classic design and modern amenities, making them perfect for a variety of yachting and recreational boating activities. In this section, we will explore some of the top sailing destinations and activities perfect for schooner enthusiasts.

Recreational Boating Activities

Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a casual enthusiast, schooners open up a world of recreational boating activities. One of the most popular activities is exploring the beautiful and diverse waters of the Caribbean. These tropical islands offer crystal-clear water, vibrant marine life, and advanced marina facilities, making them the perfect destination for a schooner vacation.

Other popular recreational activities aboard a schooner sailing vessel include scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and even yoga sessions on deck as you sail through the azure waters. The spacious decks and comfortable cabins provide a luxurious experience for all guests, making every excursion a memorable one.

Yachting Events

Schooner sailing vessels are an impressive sight on the water, and as such, they often participate in a variety of yachting events worldwide. One of the most prestigious events for schooners is the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, which showcases these beautiful ships in a friendly race through the Caribbean waters.

Other events, such as the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in France and the Newport Bucket Regatta in the United States, offer opportunities for schooner owners to engage in friendly competition while showcasing their unique vessels. Participating in these events allows schooner enthusiasts to connect with others who share their love for classic sailing ships.

Offshore Sailing Vessels

Schooner sailing vessels are not just limited to coastal cruising and island-hopping adventures; they are also capable of taking on offshore sailing endeavors. Thanks to their sturdy and stable design, schooners make excellent offshore sailing vessels for those looking to push beyond the horizon and explore the farthest reaches of the world's oceans.

From expeditions to remote archipelagos to mastering the challenging waters around Cape Horn, schooners are more than up for the task. They provide a comfortable and exhilarating sailing experience, even in the most demanding conditions, allowing sailors to explore the world with confidence and style aboard these magnificent ships.

Schooner Maintenance and Refit

Schooners, like all sailing vessels, require regular maintenance and refits to keep them in top condition. Maintenance and refitting can range from minor repairs and equipment upgrades to major overhauls that can extend the vessel's lifespan.

Condition and Age Factors

The age and condition of a schooner greatly influence the maintenance and refit work required. A newer vessel will typically need less attention, while older schooners may require more extensive maintenance or refits. Factors like usage, sailing environment, and maintenance history can significantly affect the condition of the boat. Regular checks and preventative maintenance help maintain a schooner's integrity and prevent problems from escalating.

Deck and Rigging Upgrades

Upgrading the deck and rigging of a schooner can greatly enhance its performance, safety, and aesthetics. Some common deck and rigging upgrades include:

  • Replacing worn or damaged parts such as ropes, pulleys, and fittings.
  • Updating sails, masts, and booms for improved sailing performance.
  • Refitting or installing new winches, cleats, and other deck hardware.
  • Adding or improving safety equipment like lifelines, stanchions, and liferafts.
  • Replacing or upgrading navigation and communication equipment.

Refitting a schooner's deck may also involve more significant work, such as removing the old deck and installing a new one. In a notable example, the 2000 Cherubini Schooner underwent a significant refit in which the old teak deck was removed, a layer of glass was installed on the stripped deck, and new teak decks were fitted in 2021.

In conclusion, regular maintenance and refit work ensure the longevity and performance of schooners. Owners should consider factors such as age and condition, along with possible deck and rigging upgrades, when planning and budgeting for their vessel's maintenance and refit needs.

International Schooner Market

The international market for schooners offers a wide range of options for sailing enthusiasts and collectors alike. With a global presence and a variety of sizes and prices, buyers can find the perfect schooner to fit their needs and budget.

Top Countries and Regions

It's worth noting that some of the top countries for schooners include the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, each offering numerous options for schooner enthusiasts. In Europe, some particularly popular regions for sailing vessels are the Alpes-Maritimes in France and Mallorca, a Spanish island well-known for its sailing culture.

Outside of Europe, Canada also possesses a strong sailing community and provides opportunities for schooner ownership. Other countries, such as Indonesia and Portugal, have also made their mark in the international schooner market.

Monohull Popularity

Among the various types of sailing vessels, monohull schooners have continued to maintain their popularity due to their historic appeal and sailing performance. These boats often showcase timeless designs and quality craftsmanship that can be found in famous models such as the Invader and Eldorado. In addition, monohull schooners provide better stability and easier navigation compared to multihull designs, especially in rough water conditions.

Overall, the international schooner market remains strong, with a variety of options available for those in search of a classic, elegant sailing vessel. The multitude of countries and regions that produce and maintain schooners ensures that this elegant type of boat will continue to grace our waters for years to come. 

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