Pocket cruisers and mini yachts are generally vessels under 50 feet in length overall, and can include express cruiser designs, flybridge yachts as well as either monohull or catamaran hull forms. They are cruising boats easily handled by a small, or even shorthanded, crew. Pocket cruisers generally have wave-taming hull designs and have the ability to take on sporty seas, offer comfortable accommodations belowdecks with one or two staterooms for extended voyages, “homelike amenities,” and the ability to cruise as slowly or as quickly as an owner desires with inboard- and outboard-power options. These pocket-cruising boats have the range for longer voyages, can pull up in skinny water at the sandbar thanks to shallow drafts, and head over the horizon where cruising adventure awaits. Pocket cruisers are true multitasking yachts. When it comes to family and couples cruising, it’s hard to beat a well-built and well-equipped and pocket cruiser.
Best Cruising Boats Under 50-Feet
The following 14 pocket cruisers and mini yachts are all vessels we’ve seen, been aboard, and tested. They are listed in no particular order.
- Hood 35 LM: high-tech, family-friendly pocket cruiser
- Galeon Yachts 375 GTO: mid-size boat with plenty of below-deck space
- Aquila 42: sleek power catamaran ready to entertain
- Azimut Verve 42: small, yet mighty yacht ready for open water
- Hinckley Yachts 35: luxury picnic cruiser with range
- Beneteau Gran Turismo 45: sleek cruising yacht with all the amenities
- Solaris Power 48 Open: eye-catching power yacht with 360-degree views
- Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS: luxury cruiser yacht with powerful outboard options
- Back Cove 34O: modern outboard power combined with classic Downeast styling
- Picnic Boat 40: speedy and fuel-efficient vessel with great looks
- Aquila 36: comfortably seat up to 20 guests for fun on the salt
- Boston Whaler 350 Realm: multitasker built for fishing and entertaining
- MJM 35z: sporty, aesthetically pleasing, cruising-conscious features and elegant lines
- Greenline 39: sturdy-looking lines and environmentally-friendly power
Hood 35 LM
When Android co-founder, Rich Miner, wanted a new family-friendly pocket cruiser, he turned to a custom-penned C.W. Hood design and a Lyman-Morse-built 35-footer, which has a timeless Down East profile matched to seriously modern technology under the hood.
This yacht looks like a traditional, cold-molded Down East dayboat, but actually, it has everything, from Hamilton HJX Series water-jet drives to a planned Sea Machines autonomous command-and-control system. Top speed: 40-plus knots.
|Fuel Capacity:||350 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||60 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||19,000 lbs.|
Galeon Yachts 375 GTO
Even the remnants of Hurricane Ian, couldn’t dissuade the Galeon Yacht 375 GTO from its cruising mission. The small yacht’s wave-splitting hull form is paired to torque-filled 600 hp Mercury Verado outboards, giving this fun-in-the-sun boat a 47-knot top hop.
The 375 GTO is a speedster, to be sure, but it’s also so much more. Just about every aspect of the main deck seating is transformable and multifunction, from the aft seating to the alfresco dining abaft the helm, and beyond. It also has a family-size and eminently cruise-worthy belowdecks space for four guests, all while providing a foredeck entertaining lounge too.
The Galeon Yachts 375 GTO ticks all the boxes for an easy-to-handle and sporty cruiser.
|Fuel Capacity:||396.25 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||53 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||27,270 lbs.|
Aquila 42 Yacht Power Catamaran
Following the success of its 44-, 54- and 70-foot power catamaran models, Aquila has launched the stable-as-a-table, owner-operator-ready Aquila 42 Yacht Power Catamaran.
The Aquila 42 is the entry point into the builder’s yacht line and is noteworthy for its ability to accommodate anywhere from a two- to four-stateroom layout, depending on the owner’s cruising requirements. There are alfresco spaces to manage the sunset cruise with friends and family, including a foredeck lounge area that can be accessed via centerline steps from the flybridge. The Aquila 42 is available with several Volvo Penta diesel-engine options.
|Fuel Capacity:||290 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||132 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||41,895 lbs.|
Azimut Verve 42
Want to cruise from Florida to Bimini in about an hour? The Azimut Yachts Verve 42 can do that thanks, in part, to triple 450 hp Mercury Racing outboards and a hull designed to dice-and-slice a seaway. Top hop: 45 knots. The Verve 42 also has style for miles with a fine entry, raked hardtop, and a razorlike sheerline accented by sweeping hull glass from bow to stern. It’s striking.
With accommodation for a family of four, the Verve 42 is also solid under the hull tokeep everyone safe on those passages. The Verve 42’s hull is built of fiberglass and uses vinylester resins for blister protection. The yacht’s deck and hardtop are comprised of carbon fiber for strength without added weight. This all means that the Azimut Verve 42 is built to CE Classification Type A, making it suitable for sea voyages where winds can exceed 45 mph and seas to 13 feet.
|Fuel Capacity:||462 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||66 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||30,865 lbs.|
Hinckley Yachts 35
The Hinckley Yachts 35 takes everything that yachtsmen like about this pedigreed-brand’s classic profile and infuses today’s modern outboard power to create 40 knots of sheer fun wrapped in sheer luxury.
This 35-foot Hinckley is built on a Michael-Peters-penned hull form with a fine entry, wider-than-average chines and a moderate deadrise. While the boat is built to sprint when desired, it’s also a relatively economical cruiser. For instance, a comfortable 24-knot cruise the Hinckley Yachts 35 has a 276-nautical-mile range.
It also has a tech-build thanks to vacuum-infused carbon-fiber composites and epoxy resin. An integrated interior structure is infused with the hull adding rigidity. The hull is then post-cured in an 80-foot oven, further strengthening the structure.
|Fuel Capacity:||250 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||35 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||13,174 lbs.|
Beneteau Gran Turismo 45
The Beneteau Gran Turismo is the flagship of the builder’s four-model GT series, which also includes 32-, 36- and 41-foot models.
The Gran Turismo 45’s cruise-centric layout includes two staterooms and two heads belowdecks, as well as a galley down. There is also a dinette for meals and a settee for rainy-day lounging. Entertaining guests and enjoying the sun is the primary mission of the main deck.
|Fuel Capacity:||238 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||106 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||24,782 lbs.|
Solaris Power 48 Open
The Solaris Power 48 Open was the first powerboat from this longtime builder known for its sailing yachts, ranging from 40 to 110 feet length overall. The Solaris Power 48 Open is notable for its wave-slicing plumb-bow design, high freeboard forward and 32-knot-plus speed. Power is twin 480 hp Volvo Penta IPS650 diesels.
The high freeboard keeps the deck dry and help creates sizable volume belowdecks with an average 6-foot-6-inch headroom. This enables real estate for either one or two staterooms. With the single-stateroom setup, there is a forepeak master stateroom while an L-shaped settee converts to sleeping accommodations for family or occasional guests. Interior wood options are oak or walnut.
|Fuel Capacity:||396 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||114 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||37,037 lbs.|
Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS
Outboard-power cruising aficionados will appreciate the triple-engine options for the Cruisers Yachts 42 GLS. The 42 GLS we got aboard had the triple 400 hp Mercury Verados, which produced a top hop of 45 knots, but triple 450 hp Verados are available. Triple 350 hp Mercury Verados are the standard engine option. No matter the power arrangement, this express cruiser can easily be used for wakeboarding and tube towing. The 42 GLS is designed to handle the rough stuff too, with a fine entry and 21-degree transom deadrise.
For cruising enthusiasts, the 42 GLS has a master stateroom with an athwartships and a nearly queen-size berth, and the lower salon’s U-shaped dinette converts to a queen-size berth for the kids.
|Fuel Capacity:||403 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||50 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||27,000 lbs.|
Back Cove 34O
Combining modern outboard power with classic Downeast styling, the Back Cove 34O touts award-winning standards with cruising in mind. The 34O is equipped with twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards, engines that allow the Newport International Boat Show’s 2018 Best Powerboat Under 35 Feet winner to travel up to 214 nautical miles at 24 knots on a 250-gallon fuel tank.
Belowdecks, the 34O has an island double berth and a split-head arrangement with the toilet to port and a separate shower stall to starboard. On the main deck, a U-shape dinette to port accommodates four or more guests on the Back Cove Yachts vessel. The 34O’s galley is equipped with a Cuisinart microwave, a two-burner Kenyon electric cooktop and a Vitrifrigo fridge and freezer.
|Fuel Capacity:||242 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||60 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||17,000 lbs.|
Picnic Boat 40
Hinckley Yachts unveiled its first Picnic Boat more than two decades ago. Now, after two previous, sub-40-foot models, the Maine-based boatbuilder has developed its largest and most advanced model to date: the Picnic Boat 40.
Twin 480 hp Cummins diesel engines paired to twin Hamilton 322 jet drives propel the yacht to a 30-knot cruising speed and 34 knots on the pins. With optional twin 550 hp Cummins diesels, cruise and top-end speeds jump to 35 and 38 knots, respectively.
There is an L-shaped settee with a table and a wet bar on the main deck to port. The helm station is forward and to starboard with a benchseat for two. There is also a companion seat across from the helm. Belowdecks, there is 6-foot-2-inch headroom, and the dinette table drops to form a California-king berth for overnights and weekending.
|Fuel Capacity:||375 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||80 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||25,000 lbs.|
Aquila Power Catamarans started its line with 44- and 48-footers, and now the builder’s Aquila 36 takes the line into the midsize market.
The 36 features a single, main-living area from bow to stern, helped in part by the vessel’s 14-foot, 7-inch beam. The boat can comfortably seat up to 20 guests for fun on the salt. Several Mercury Verado engine options are available for the Aquila 36, including twin 250-, 300- and 350-hp four-strokes. With the 350s, the Aquila has a top-end speed of 37 knots.
Other notable features include a fiberglass hardtop, a dinette, a cooktop, a fridge, a sink and a smokeless grill. Belowdecks, there are two staterooms with nearly queen-size berths, en suite heads and 6-foot-6-inch headroom in each.
|Fuel Capacity:||330 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||52 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||21,572 lbs.|
Boston Whaler 350 Realm
From fishing and entertaining guests to diving and overnight cruising, Boston Whaler‘s 350 Realm is a multitasker. And it’s fast, too. It’s powered with either triple 300 hp or triple 350 hp Mercury Verados. The 350 Realm can reach a top speed of 46 knots.
At the helm, two Raymarine displays provide vital navigation data. The captain can take in the displays’ view from a doublewide helm seat. There’s a flip-down platform for standing when needed and a footrest when desired.
There is a V-shaped berth that converts into a double berth with a filler cushion. The separated head has a VacuFlush MSD and a hot-and-cold shower. Owners also have the option to add a microwave and a flat-screen TV.
|Fuel Capacity:||385 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||45 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||18,830 lbs.|
The MJM 35z can reach a top speed of 44 knots and a cruising speed of 33 knots on its optional 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards; twin 300 hp outboards are standard on this MJM Yachts vessel. Additionally, the 35z can travel up to 304 nautical miles on its 250-gallon fuel tank.
The 35z has a flush-deck layout and to port is space for an electric grill, a baitwell, a sink, an ice maker and a fridge. There are two Stidd helm seats—one for the helmsman and the other for a copilot—that rotate to face the rest of the seating aft. In the cabin is V-shaped seating forward that can be converted to a berth.
Owners also have the option of adding a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer and a full-length Bimini top to shade the cockpit.
|Fuel Capacity:||250 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||58 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||13,279 lbs.|
Greenline Yachts‘ vessels are aptly named for their environmentally friendly means of moving about; the Greenline 39 is no different. The Slovenian yacht manufacturer produces two types of this model: hybrid and solar.
If owners opt for the latter, the 39’s four solar panels atop the salon power all of the vessel’s systems for three hours. With the power of the sun, the 39 can achieve a max speed of 6.5 knots and a cruising speed of 4 knots. The hybrid type uses those same panels to help power a 220 hp Volvo Penta D3 with a Mahle electric-drive system. Owners have the option of replacing the standard engine with a 370 hp Yanmar 8LV diesel.
Belowdecks, scissor berths provide accommodations for long weekends.
|Fuel Capacity:||185 Gal.|
|Freshwater Capacity:||105 Gal.|
|Displacement Est.:||15,432 lbs.|