Avon Sailboats

Small boats.  Right parts.  Fine service.  Since 1968.


Family fun on the Catalina Expo 14.2


  • Versatility

    Daysailers can carry one or several passengers and a fair share of gear including a motor which may give you more choice of launch sites, and enable you to access parts of a lake you couldn't otherwise. Find a perfect spot to anchor or beach, and picnic or swim. Motor home, in case the wind dies.

  • Comfort

    High sides and interior seats help keep passengers dry. Deep cockpits and high booms mean less ducking every time you tack.

  • Stability

    A daysailer's wider hull adds stability, and its heavier hull is not as sensitive to weight shifts as a dinghy or board boat , and though you can capsize, it's not as likely.

  • Value

    Because a daysailer is drier and less likely to capsize, its season may be longer. Dinghy, board boat and catamaran sailers often purchase personal gear to protect their bodies from the elements but this adds cost.

  • Ease of Trailering

    Most can be towed behind a small car, then rigged, launched, and sailed away by an average couple, unlike (even small) cabin boats, which are heavier, and often require a truck to retrieve them from a slippery ramp. Taller, heavier masts are harder to raise too.

  • Ease of Mooring

    Daysailers that self-bail by gravity won't fill up with water when moored, even if left uncovered. And a daysailer already in the water can be sailed single-handed—especially one with a SmartRig™. If you moor any fiberglass boat, protect her hull with bottom paint.

Keep in Mind

Few daysailers can be totally handled (rigged, launched, sailed, righted) by one person alone; most require two people. You may need help to step the mast, or retrieve the boat to its trailer.


Board boats right easily when capsized; daysailers are harder to right, and harder to climb back into. Consider a swim ladder.

Though most daysailers have built-in flotation in their hull, many have a tendency to turn completely upside down (turtle) when capsized, especially if not righted promptly. Few have provisions for slowing or stopping this action. Some, like the Catalina 16.5, have an optional flotation panel that attaches to its mainsail to prevent turning turtle.

Bigger is not always better, or safer.

Daysailers are great for couples, friends, or families. If you have teenagers, you might consider a board boat and take turns.

What's a daysailer?


Most range from 14–19 feet, are wide and deep, and have interior seating that runs along both sides of the boat. You sit in daysailers, not on them, unless it's windy, then you sit up on their (hopefully wide) side decks.

Most daysailers have a foredeck to keep spray from the cockpit with an open area underneath (cuddy), or a closed area with an access hatch to stow gear.

Daysailers have no sleeping quarters, thus the term daysailer.

Sail Rig

A daysailer has one upright pole (mast), and usually a horizontal pole (boom). Sails can be very simple: one roll-up sail like the Expo 14.2, or sophisticated, with multiple sails (sloop with spinnaker).


Daysailers are perfect for small inland lakes and protected bays.


Varies, depending on the size and weight of the people, but usually carry 2-6.


Equipped, prices range $6000–$18,000.

Sail in Michigan?

Connect with southeast Michigan sailing clubs and fleets, find sailing lakes in nearby Metro Detroit counties or learn to sail, even if you don't yet own a boat.

Need something else?

  1. Catalina Expo 14.2

    spry— or relaxing

    Rare on a daysailer, the Expo 14.2's SmartRig™ provides lots of headroom with an instantly controllable, roll-up sail making her exceptionally easy to singlehand. Just minutes to rig, even alone. Sporty with one or two on board, relaxing with a cockpit full. more

  2. Catalina 16.5

    two-tone deck at Avon Sailboats

    Traditional sloop with main and genoa. Pivoting mast, and forestay housed in her headsail make for easy set up. With her reefing main and furling genoa, she's novice friendly, can be sailed single-handed, or carry up to 6 people. more

  3. Used Daysailers ▼

    We stock new and used daysailers. Call or visit our showroom. Need directions to our shop?

Copyright © 2008 Avon Sailboats • SMALL SAILBOATS & KAYAKS, METRO DETROIT, SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN • 1033 East Auburn, Rochester Hills • r10.7.13