5 Cult Classic Boats that made sailing history (16.3 – 19.8 m)


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Classic Boat
From the Soleil 52 to the Swan 65, here are the 5 great Classic Boats from 16.30 to 19.84 meters in this 20th episode

Few serial boats have marked the collective imagination like some of these 5 Classic Boats. Coming to the 20th episode, the last in this first installment of 100 Classic Boats of Historical Value by Journal of Sailing -to which, however, more will be added starting from the next appointment-. we will see memorable boats to say the least, real cults in the history of sailing, starting with the mythical Swan 65 signed Sparkman & Stephens, the first boat to win the Whitbread Round the World Race (now The Ocean Race), as well as the first production boat to win a crewed round-the-world race.

5 Classic Boats from 16.30 to 19.84 meters

With the Frers-designed Grand Soleil 52 you enter a realm of exceptional boats, true vintage masterpieces. Among these 5 Classic Boats include names that have become legends, ranging from the designers themselves to big players in the sailing world, such as Pigi Loro Piana and his My Songs, the first of which we will look at here. Altogether, then, here are five Classic Boats from 16.30 to 19.84 meters, boats that have been able to shape sailing, perhaps even improving, with the passage of time.


Pardo Shipyard | 16.30 x 4.75 m | 1987 | German Frers

The signature is German Frers and it is immediately apparent from that huge stern with flared ends. Two separate cockpits, an exaggerated maximum width of 4.75 meters, a very elegant retractable deckhouse. Masterpiece of the era.

Cantiere del Pardo – GRAND SOLEIL 52 – 1987


Nauta SNC | 16.55 x 4.82 m | 1986 | Scott Kauffman & Mario Pedol

Scott Kaufman, who learned his trade at Sparkman & Stephens, opened his own firm in New York where he boarded Mario Pedol. From this partnership, the Nauta 54 was born in 1986. Industrialist Pigi Loro Piana fell in love with it and bought the first specimen, starting the My Song saga. What can I say, a splendid example of a fast cruising boat of the era. Produced in only seven examples, it is a Classic Boat of great class.

Classic Boat
Nauta SNC – NAUTA 54 – 1986

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C&C 61

C&C Yachts | 18.67 x 4.60 m | 1971 | Cuthberson & Cassian

Canadian shipyard C&C is the first in the world to dare to build fiberglass boats from 18 meters and up. The C&C 61 is not only futuristic it is also beautiful with a line with a small horse rising toward the bow. Most elegant.

Classic Boat
C&C Yachts – C&C 61 – 1971
  • Want to learn more about C&C 61? Read our in-depth article! You can find it



VR Yachts | 19.70 x 4.90 m | 1987 | Andrea Vallicelli

Another great project by the legendary Vallicelli, who proves his eclecticism by designing an Ultra Light Displacement, hence the name. Extremo in light displacement, classic in design with a gorgeous stern and a clean deck rare for the time. However, some models were adapted to the regatta, Blue Ribbon specifically, revealing excellent results. A lady boat.

VR Yachts – ULDB 65 – 1987


Nautor Swan | 19.84 x 4.96 m | 1972 | Sparkman & Stephens

Legendary boat, destined to populate dreams. Elegant, high-performing and with an unbeatable pedigree, it was produced in as many as 41 examples, mainly ketch-rigged. Yet another Sparkman & Stephens masterpiece, not only is it excellent for cruising, it sails in any condition. In 1973 he won the first Whitbread Round the World Race, the round-the-world crewed race. Absolute icon.

Classic Boat
Nautor Swan – SWAN 65 – 1972
  • Want to learn more about the legendary SWAN 65? Read our in-depth article! You can find it


Classic Boats – Comparison Data

Grand Soleil 52 Nauta 54 C&C 61 ULDB 65 Swan 65
LOA 16.30 m 16.55 m 18.67 m 19.70 m 19.84 m
LWL 13.89 m 13.80 m 15.24 m 14.33
MAX BAGLIO. 4.75 m 4.82 m 4.60 4.90 m 4.96 m
FISHING. 3.00 m 2.82 m 2.51 m 2.7 m 2.93 m
DISLC. 18,865 kg 17,600 kg 25,990 kg 31,751 kg
S. SAILING (R+G) 141.77* sqm 167.00* sqm 159.05* sqm 167.04* sq. m.
YEAR 1987 1986 1971 1987 1972

Don’t miss the upcoming releases, every Tuesday and Friday. In the next article you will find the first 5 boats in the update to Classic Boats of Historical Value by Journal of Sailing:

  • FUN 23 | Jeanneau
  • NYTEC 23 | Nytec
  • FARR 740 | Plastivela / Sea Nymph Boats
  • ECUME DE MER | Mallard

Discover Previous Episodes

Find out which previous Classic Boats are memorable by Journal of Sailing. Find all the episodes listed below.

Three “tidbits” about Classic Boats

Edited by Doi De Luise and Luca Oriani



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