and in the “it doesn’t sink” department…

Back when I was living in France one of the designs that I seriously considered was the ETAP 23 for use as a minimal envelope blue water cruiser. 

For starters, it’s a nice little sailboat. All of the ETAP sailboats had a very nice look partly because of their excellent use of graphics and just the fact that they were all just pretty nice designs.Throw in the fact that they were pretty good in the performance department it’s easy to see why they quickly became somewhat hip.

The other reason they were attractive was the fact the ETAPs were unsinkable. Of course, ETAP was not the first builder of boats to come out with sailboats that would not sink but they were the first to my knowledge that was integral to the design. All of the others seemed to be more of an afterthought of the “Let’s see how many foam bricks we can cram into the boat?” sort of thing.

That said, the downside of the ETAP unsinkable designs was that it seriously impacted the stowage in a big way. To the point that I really wanted the ETAP 20 there was just no way I could stow enough cruising gear, provisions, and needful tools to sail back to the US OF A with. Hence my fixating on the ETAP 23.

As it happens, Bateaux Magazine on their website has an excellent two part article (part 1 and part two) on fixing up an ETAP 23 or any other small sailboat design for a transatlantic voyage that is well worth your time. Even if you don’t read French and have to resort to the hassle of google translate.

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top