The Pointer 30 is a sleek and sporty weekend sailer from the Netherlands with plenty of appeal for the coastal sailor, found Theo Stocker

Product Overview

Pointer 30


Pointer 30 review: ‘not your average cruising boat’

Price as reviewed:

£200,334.00 (As tested inc. VAT )

Yachts of 30 feet or under are exciting, including the Pointer 30. Something about their (relatively) diminutive size makes them reminiscent of childhood adventures.

They’re also intriguing from a design point of view.

Theo is sitting in the Pointer 30, smiling. He's holding onto the helm with one hand. It is overcast.

Theo is taking the helm on the Pointer 30. Photo: Theo Stocker

The challenges of fitting cockpit, cabin and berths into a confined space create design difficulties. These requirements mean there is often more variation among the ‘pocket cruisers’ than boats without dimension challenges.

Go big, and they all start to look the same to the small-boat enthusiast.

Conversely, companies launched or planned very different small boats in the last year or two, which are hard to compare. These vessels include the Bente 28Swallow Yachts 32, the GT 325, or the Sunbeam 29.1 and 32.1.

The truth is that this size of boat sits somewhere between a fully offshore-capable cruiser and an inland or coastal day sailor. Or, in the case of the Pointer 30, a classy ‘weekender’.

People pilfered this appellation from the motor boat world to denote a fun cruising boat to sail with your mates. It’s also for a pleasant onboard experience and comfortable enough for a night or two.

The Pointer 30 – ‘the kind of boat I’d enjoy sailing’

The question is, does such a boat fall between two stools, lugging around a load of half-usable accommodation while sacrificing the sailing ability of a more honest luxury day-sailer?

When I first clapped eyes on the Pointer 30 at her world premiere at the Düsseldorf boat show in early 2023, I was immediately taken with her. I admired her low topsides, sleek coachroof and understated design – no fat bow or full-hull chine anywhere in sight.

It was clear to me, even beached inside a landlocked hall, that this was the kind of boat I’d enjoy sailing.

The Pointer 30 is sailing away in slightly sunny weather with four people onboard.

The Pointer 30 has a neat interior without sacrificing sailing quality. Photo: Theo Stocker

Her standard draught is a mere 1.25m (4ft 1in), built for the shallow waters of the Dutch inland seas. However, her narrow waterline, fine entry bow and hefty 40% ballast ratio promise to stand up to a generous canvas spread.

Add in twin rudders with tiller steering (a single canting wheel is an option, as on our test boat) and a displacement of under two and a half tonnes, and this starts to look like quite a sporty little boat.

I know that boats trying to do more than one thing often manage to do neither very well. So, a clear design concept helps, and the team at Jachtwerf Heeg know precisely what the Pointer 30 is about – going for a superb sail and enjoying a relaxing coffee afterwards.

To say that the manufacturers built this boat as a homage to coffee would do the boat’s sailing ability a disservice. However, the Nespresso machine is enshrined below, sitting snugly in its recess, flanked by two leather swivel armchairs and a coffee table.

Clearly, this is not your average cruising boat.

Walking along the harbour jetty in Heeg, where the boat is built, and stepping down onto the lowered bathing platform, I could see the appeal.

The Pointer 30 boat is easy to operate, quiet in class, and high-quality in construction. It has enough accommodation for an overnight stay, which makes a lot of sense, especially in coastal areas where there are plenty of options for short hops to a harbour and a pub.

Speed under sail

Now, if you’re looking for volume, or indeed standing headroom, look elsewhere. The Pointer’s low freeboard, subtly elegant sheerline and modest coachroof offers just 160cm in the saloon and 130cm in the forward heads.

We were sailing not on the sea, but on the large lake of Heegermeer in the heart of the West Frisian lakes.

In the Netherlands, the distinction between lake and sea is somewhat blurred – canals join Heegermeer to the IJsselmeer, the Waddenzee and so to the North Sea.

Theo is smiling, looking out from steering the Pointer 30.

Theo is enjoying cruising in the Pointer 30. Photo: Theo Stocker

The fact that we had fresh water and no tides made little difference on the day; the light winds wouldn’t have stirred up much chop even on the open sea.

Slipping the lines, we motored out silently under electric engine; this boat is fitted with a 6kW Torqeedo pod drive, powered by two 5kWh lithium batteries, giving it a range at 5 knots of 4-5 hours (20-25 miles) – more than enough for most day sails, though not a Channel crossing.

At max throttle and speeds of 6-6.5 knots, the range drops to 1.5-2 hours (9-12 miles). A 15hp diesel with sail drive can be swapped in for the same price, or a slight increase will get you the 20hp version.

Pleasingly, there was just enough breeze to get the boat up to speed, in the gusts at least, if not to push it to its limits.

Under full sails we were slipping along at 5.5 knots in 10 knots of apparent breeze – little more than 6 to 8 knots of true wind – at an angle of around 30° to the apparent.

As the puffs took the apparent up to 12 knots, the boat was soon nudging 6 knots.

It was a tantalising taste of what this boat should be capable of.

The polars, and experience gathered over her first sailing season, show that she can punch upwind at over 7 knots in the right conditions and can top 8 knots off the wind.

With that in mind, the Code Zero, set off the moulded bowsprit, was duly unfurled and at 60° to the apparent, had the boat clipping along at just shy of 7 knots, leaving me hungry for more.

Article continues below…

Adjustable helm station

It was only by putting the boat upwind with the extra canvas that we managed to induce much heel.

While it was a light-wind day, it’s clear that even if the draught is only 4 feet, the ballast ratio of 40%, with almost a tonne of cast iron in a large bulb on the bottom of the fin, made this a stiff boat that could hold her own in a blow.

There’s also an option for a 1.75m keel that would stiffen the boat even more, if your homewaters aren’t depth-limited. We managed to get a bit over 20° of heel – not remotely enough to challenge the boat’s grip.

A boat this long and narrow (on the waterline she’s 2.5m wide and 8m long) could arguably have got away with a single rudder, but a double rudder is better suited to shoal draughts, and gave superb amounts of control.

The twin rudders and single-wheel steering – both from Jefa – remained fingertip-light throughout with no slack, in part thanks to the single wheel. I’d have liked a tiny bit more feedback through the composite wheel, but it’s hard to tell whether this was just due to the light conditions or the twin rudder.

This photo is a close-up of the helm, a black wheel. The deck is wooden slats.

Lines, instruments and engine are all close to the canting wheel. Photo: Theo Stocker

What was clear, however, was that this boat is as crisp as a new five pound note to steer. Tiller steering is standard but the canting wheel pedestal worked superbly well and will, I imagine, be the most popular option.

A foot pedal allows the assembly to be canted to port, starboard or centred, putting it in the perfect position for helming from windward, leeward, or amidships.

I wasn’t sure I’d like this. However, it took less than a minute to become convinced that it offered all of the advantages of twin wheels.

These benefits include a clear walk-through, with none of the disadvantages of lag and play in the steering. There’s also an excellent upright helming position amidships when motoring and manoeuvring.

Descent deck layout

Jachtwerf Heeg has been building boats for 70 years and Geert Wijma has been at the helm for 14 years. He explained that he had put much of his own ideas into the boat, as well as the lines of Bosgraaf Yacht Design. This is a well-considered deck layout.

At the helm, the mainsheet (with coarse and fine tune) and powerful cascade backstay are close to hand. While there’s no traveller, the kicking strap is powerful enough to control leech tension.

The Code Zero furling lines are led aft to the helm. As are the sheets, which the coaming-top Harken self-tailing winches control, while the jib was led to the coachroof winches.

Close-up of the Pointer 30's rope bins.

Rope bins are neatly moulded into the coachroof. Photo: Theo Stocker

I’d probably take the option to lead the jib sheets to the aft winches. This move would put them in easier reach of the helm to facilitate tacking shorthanded.

That said, the autopilot controls in the aft end of the coamings make it easy to leave the wheel when needed.

Electric motor controls are to the starboard of the helm. There’s a single-bottle gas locker to port, and a deck shower is an option – again, one I’d take as there isn’t a shower in the heads below.

Raised lazarette lockers provide deck-level helm seats, deck stowage and access to the steering quadrants. Sitting outboard on the side deck is also comfortable.

Aft of this deck, there’s a fold-down bathing platform with integral bathing ladder.

The fold-down bathing platform has wooden decking.

Walkthrough access to the fold-down bathing platform. Photo: Theo Stocker

Neat nooks

There’s plenty of room to socialise in the cockpit, with comfort added thanks to cushions held in place with hidden magnets. The long bench seats include a lip to brace your feet against when heeled and sitting out atop the coaming.

Another neat little brainwave are the rope bins moulded into the aft end of the coachroof, outboard of halyard clutches. These rope bins keep all the halyard tails out of the cockpit without disrupting the boat’s clean lines.

We didn’t have the sprayhood mounted on test day, but the boat’s fitted for one.

Despite the narrow beam, the sidedecks forward of the cockpit are a decent width. Thanks to the coachroof-top jib car tracks, they are unobstructed, allowing for a tight sheeting angle.

The long cockpit means no additional handholds are needed to get you safely to the shrouds. The coachroof extends well forward but is unobtrusive when working on the foredeck. There’s also good grip moulding around the hatches.

During the construction phase, the Esthec synthetic teak moulds into the deck. So, the panels are entirely flush and structurally integral – a very neat solution.

At the bow, there’s a decent-size anchor locker. Though there’s not much of a fall beneath the windlass, there’s space for a good amount of chain and the electric windlass.

A close-up image of the Pointer 30's anchor locker, with wooden decking leading up to it.

The anchor locker isn’t deep, but there’s plenty of space for chain and an electric windlass. Photo: Theo Stocker

The jib is set on a below-deck furler, just aft of the moulded bowsprit and anchor roller. Looking down at the foredeck, it’s obvious how fine the hull’s entry to the water is, to which the boat owes much of its upwind ability.

Diving below the Pointer 30

Back in harbour, a darkly ominous sky was our cue to dive below and put the washboards in as the heavens opened.

It’s always a good test of a cruising boat to be stuck below on a rainy day, to see if the layout works without the outside space.

The first thing I noticed was just how open it all felt despite the headroom of just 160cm. You might not be able to stand fully, but the coachroof windows are the right height to look out of when sitting.

And the perspex washboards pour in light, too.

The Pointer 30's cabin has orange upholstery on the seating, wooden decks, and sleek lines.

The heads to port shares a saloon-style door with the forecabin. Photo: Theo Stocker

While the starboard berth (170cm) has a good backrest and is comfortable, the real focus of the boat is the two leather-covered swivel armchairs.

These seats on the port side flank a small coffee table. And the all-important Nespresso machine sits behind (you’ll need an inverter or shore power to run it).

The lack of a straight bunk makes the boat feel spacious. The forward of the two chairs also serves the small work station, moulded into the hull liner with a fold-out wooden desk.

It would have been nice for the recess below this to be marginally larger to accommodate a paper chart and a bit more space for your knees. However, it’s still a usable and pleasant space.

In reality, sailors will navigate on deck with the optional plotter. A fixed VHF radio is mounted just inside the companionway, while half a dozen electric switches to starboard have the few onboard systems covered.

Since my test, a new ‘Performance’ layout option has been announced, that moves the heads and galley to either side of the companionway and gives more space to the forecabin.

Intelligent design

The simple but effective galley has a single fixed sink and two-gas-burner unit. The designer didn’t gimbal these features, so they are for use in the harbour. Although, an induction hob or a gimballed spirit hob might work here.

A close-up of the Pointer 30's hob, which has two rings. The aesthetic is simple and basic.

A simple galley with sink and hobs is sufficient for basic catering on board. Photo: Theo Stocker

Modest stowage is provided in the locker below the sink and in the worktop-opening bin.

The canvas pockets also offer ample space, with attached cables tensioning the boat’s length along the hull sides. This design is another highly usable solution that also cuts weight and cost.

Decent lockers beneath all the berths, and moulded stowage bins outboard of the seating complete the boat’s stowage.

I’d have liked a little more by way of creature comforts in the heads, where the lack of a shower or sink mean you’ll be washing your hands in the galley.

The door to the forward cabin also serves as the heads door, with gaps top and bottom, so privacy is limited. At this point, there’s a 130cm of headroom, and the door into the forward cabin is narrow.

Here, the boat’s low freeboard and fine bow sections make themselves felt. While the double V-berth is 210cm long, it’s only 130cm wide at the aft end.

The interior moulding steals some space here too where a few more centimetres would be welcome – now available in the Performance layout. The two quarter-berths aft are generous, however, at 205cm long and 80cm wide.

Between them is the machinery space, on this boat containing the batteries, but ready with mouldings for a diesel saildrive and fuel tank.

Would she suit you and your crew?

The Pointer 30 is built around a simple premise of fun sailing with friends, sitting below for a pleasant coffee, then heading ashore for a meal out.

Of course, you can sleep on board. If you don’t mind keeping things simple there’s no reason you couldn’t cruise much further, particularly as a couple.

I suspect that Jachtwerf Heeg BV built this boat for the type of sailing reflecting the reality of most cruising sailors’ habits.

It’s far more suited to brief leisure sailing than a boat built for long-distance adventures. Even if that’s what we like to think we’ll be doing!

This boat will deliver ample sailing pleasure for weekend cruising with friends.

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When current trends for high-volume boats are seeing hull shapes inflating like balloons, a boat with a graceful sheer and unashamedly low topsides is something of a breath of fresh air. Clearly, this has an impact on accommodation space, which is why boats have got bigger, but if you’re willing to do without standing headroom, you’ll reap the rewards of a boat that puts less between you and your sailing. She sails beautifully with a good turn of speed – though I didn’t get chance to see her really stretching her legs – and she is clearly a weatherly boat. Her ballast is reassuringly chunky to keep the boat stiff in a blow and to stand up to a generous sailplan. Twin rudders do detract marginally from the feel on the helm, but this boat has managed to minimise the effect more than most other boats, thanks to the single wheel and mostly frictionless set-up, making her engagingly direct to helm. The boat appears extremely well built by a knowledgeable team with a long heritage of GRP boatbuilding. Even if the fit-out is on the basic side, it is executed and finished extremely neatly and to a high standard.


LOA:9.20m (30ft 2in)
LWL:7.80m (25ft 7in)
Beam:2.90m (9ft 6in)
Draught Standard:1.25m (4ft 1in)
Deep:1.75m (5ft 9in)
Displacement:2,400kg (5,291 lbs)
Ballast:950kg (2,094 lbs)
Sail Area (Main & Jib):46m2 / 496 sq ft
Ballast Ratio:39.6%
Sail Area/Disp. Ratio:26.1
Engine :6kW Torqeedo + 2x 5kW 48V batteries
(Optional – Yanmar 15/20hp diesel saildrive)
Water :60L / 13 gal
RCD Category:B
Designer:Bosgraaf Yacht Design
Builder :Jachtwerf Heeg