Deck saloon sailboats have become very popular in recent years, as more and more people strive to avoid the closed-in feeling of some cabins. The deck saloon design incorporates a raised saloon, which commonly has large panoramic windows all around. As a result, they enjoy natural lighting belowdecks and provide magnificent views even when you’re kicking back on the settee. For many sailors, this not only makes the day at sea more enjoyable but also cuts down on the feelings of claustrophobia, and the accompanying chances of becoming seasick. Another advantage is that the captain can go belowdecks yet still keep an eye on things outside. Ventilation can also be enhanced, with opening windows that are above deck level.

Raising the saloon does, of course, also raise the boat’s center of gravity. There’s a danger here of making the boat less stable, however, most good modern designs overcome this by placing their large fuel and water tanks down low, often underneath the saloon itself. The other potential issue with raising the house on a sailboat is that moving fore and aft abovedecks can be a bit trickier than it would be on a sailboat with a flush deck. Wide sidedecks are often incorporated into the design, to resolve this issue.

Some large deck saloon sailboats may even offer interior steering stations, and although obviously the boat can’t be sailed efficiently from below, this can afford a good alternative for at least steering or motoring in a driving downpour. And in truth, most sailboats that utilize this design are relatively large; obviously they have to be big enough to support a full saloon in the cabin, in the first place. This means deck saloon sailboats are usually chosen by cruisers, often long-distance cruisers, as opposed to those looking for a boat more inclined to day-trips.