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Cruising under Sail

The term Cruiser refers to a sailing yacht that is built to potentially sail long distances. Cruisers consequently offer a certain amount of comfort and space, including bunks, cooking facilities and heads (WC), so that the crew can potentially live on board for extended periods. To achieve their goals cruisers are also equipped with several different sized sails for the different conditions that might be encountered on a voyage, lights and navigation equipment for sailing at night and out of sight of land and differing levels of safety equipment depending on the number of crew on board and the ambitions of the voyage.

A cruiser is therefore a handy and generic catchall name for boats with cabins that are well-founded and can sail day and night in all conditions. To achieve all this safely cruisers are significantly heavier than dinghies and small One Design classes and so cruisers generally need a lot of crew to handle the different sail plans needed to be set for the wind and sea conditions. Many of these boats are taken on different length voyages around the coastal waters of Ireland and Western Europe. Some go even further afield across the Atlantic. This is the past time of cruising, gently wandering around the waters of the world at a leisurely and seamanlike pace with friends and family on board, not to be confused with racing cruisers - a cut and thrust highly competitive sport that sometimes even includes professional sailors!