A pocket cruiser is a type of small sailboat with an enclosed cabin. Most are small enough to be towed on a trailer behind a typical passenger car or truck. They can vary in size from about 10 feet (3 meters) to around 25 feet (8 meters) in length, but the majority fall in the middle of this range. They are intended for recreational cruising and sailing and are not generally used for long trips or on the high seas, although at least one circumnavigation of the globe has been achieved in a boat of this type.
These types of boats are a relatively modern development, having become more and more popular beginning in the mid to late 20th century. They are known by a variety of other names, all of which reflect their relatively small size or use as a recreational vessel. Pocket yacht, microsailer, microcruiser, and trailer sailer, are some of the most common names for this type of boat. The name pocket cruiser can sometimes lead to confusion with pocket battleships, which are a type of warship and bear no resemblance whatsoever to the pocket cruiser.
In 2011, many different companies produce pocket cruisers. The boats are large enough to have an enclosed cabin, making them suitable for shorter trips, on which sleeping and living quarters are needed, but small and lightweight enough to be transported on a trailer. This versatility allows many boaters to enjoy sailing and cruising without the need for maintaining or renting a long term anchorage or slip at a marina.
Other features of pocket cruisers make them popular with recreational sailors. They are relatively inexpensive compared to many other types of boats. Often, they require only one person to operate, making them easy to sail. Usually designed with a wide beam, they are fairly stable in the water, although somewhat slower and less maneuverable than some other types of sailboat.
Sailboats of this class are popular with enthusiasts who wish to build their own boat. Numerous companies sell designs for pocket cruiser style vessels. Many can be built from relatively inexpensive and easy to work with materials, rather than expensive or high-tech materials like those used in high-end boats. Clubs and online communities are available for pocket cruiser owners and enthusiasts to share stories, ideas, and other information.