Cruisers vs Coastal

Cruisers versus production boats. Quite the debate. After much research here is a list of the differences the way I humbly see it. Most of the differences are below the waterline and in the interior of the boat. That is why a newbie may not notice these details until after an initial look:


  • Typically older as most are no longer in production

  • Very solidly built hull

  • Typically "full keel" protecting the hull and the rudder

  • Due to the full keel (+drag) they are slower than "production" boats

  • Their interior designs are more classic but well kept they are great.

  • Their "capsize" ratio is double that of production boats. More resistant to it

  • Their "comfort ratio" shows they can ride the waves more gently due to their roundish hulls and full keels.

  • They have large fresh water tanks and fuel tanks. Can spend weeks at sea without refueling or refilling the water tanks. More autonomy.

  • In summary: Sacrifice a bit of speed/comfort for a lot of "seaworthiness" and a lot of "sea kindliness".


  • Typically newer since most are still in production today

  • Hull built for speed and lower costs...i.e. they are lighter so weaker.

  • Typically have a "wing" keel and a spade rudder. Low drag and fast... but Grounding or collisions could cause severe damage to both.

  • Interior designs clearly aim for the "wow" factor by today's comfort standards.

  • Their Capsize ratios are half of Cruisers. Ergo higher risk in high seas.

  • Their "Comfort ratio" is also about half of cruisers. They "pound" on the waves because they are flat hulls. Ergo uncomfortable in typical waves out at sea.

  • They have much smaller fresh water tanks and fuel so their "autonomy" at sea is reduced...again they are more designed for coastal navigation where a port is always 1 or 2 days away tops.

  • In summary: Sacrifice of "seaworthiness" and "seakindedness" in search for higher speed, cheaper cost and more interior comfort.