Find the book "20 small boats to take you anywhere". While these boats could all cross oceans, you will at least see that certain features and standards are set for venturing away from land.
Here are a few of my short-list of small boats (25' or less) I'd love to own for coastal cruising and island hopping through the FL Keys, Bahamas
, and maybe even the Caribbean
. These are not the most amazing small boats ever built (like the Aquarius Pilot Cutter
or the Flika) but instead very budget-minded, simple, stout boats. I've seen all of them sell for $1,000 or less in sail-away condition (except the Seawind), but this is by no means the average deal for these boats.
25- at the top of this list even though it doesn't have standing headroom
1964-1972 Bristol Corsair
(24')- has 6' of standing headroom
and beautiful lines. I briefly owned one of these but never got it to sailing condition.
196x-197x Lapworth Gladiator, Columbia
Contender, and Islander Bahama- all of these 24' boats are extremely similar so I'm just lumping them together.
Electra- the "cruising" version of the Ensign! I almost bought a nice one for $500 with 7 good sails
in the FL Keys, but I was on vacation
and my g/f would have shot me if I made her drive home alone (and I had no outboard
during the wind-less summers there).
24- it's a catamaran
with very spartan accommodations but I'd still coastal cruise
the heck out of this boat. I have more hours on cats than anything so far and do not fear them!
You may notice that I'm very fond of flush-deck designs.