under sail alone. Clearly, under motor/sailing conditions,
the Schucker 440 is a very economical boat to operate.
Two of these classic boats recently came on the market,
and both were sold within a few weeks.
Nauticats and Schuckers are just two lines of
motorsailers among many that are available used
through brokers and owners. Another quick search of
Yacht World.com brought up a list of over a hundred
motorsailers, 20 of which appealed to me personally,
ranging from 30 to 80 feet. The smallest, a 30-foot
1980 William Garden design, was listed for $37,500.
The largest, a 77-foot Don Brooke design, had an
asking price of $990,000, substantially out of my reach.
I also found more than a dozen new motorsailers,
ranging from a 25-foot Fisher to a 65-foot Ted Hood
design. Most of these yachts fall clearly within the
definitions discussed above. As fuel prices continue
to climb, you can expect this list to grow. Look at
what is happening in the automobile market: dealer
lots are clogged with unwanted SUVs and trucks as
manufacturers shift production to smaller vehicles.
Likewise, the marine market will cater to more efficient
cruising options. For illustrative purposes, I have selected
some representative examples of motorsailers in various
size ranges, and their descriptions follow.
Photos by Bill Jacobs
The Nauticat 331 is a traditional motorsailer that
has been in production for over 30 years with more
than 1, 200 boats sold. She has been updated over the
Top: This Schucker 50 motorsailer was built for Jim Schucker’s
personal use. Above: The helm station on the Shucker 50
combines good visibility, plentiful instrumentation, and direct
access to the starboard side deck.