Remember the old television show, “The Naked City”? Each episode would start out “There are eight million stories in the Naked City, this is one of them?” There must be at least that many definitions of the word “cruising”. We all have different concepts of the word and definitely different plans when we all “head out and turn left at the Gate” (the San Francisco vernacular for cruising). It would be most helpful if people would put their boat and location in the signature line so I can figure out if the responder is like me or not. When people don’t put anything in their signature or Bio, I tend to think of them as “keyboard captains” and heavily discount what they say.
My future cruising grounds will be the west coast of Mexico and the SOC where you can be a week or more away from reliable marine repair. I’ve been 500 miles offshore on the way to Hawaii on a boat that started to lose its steering gear and mid-Atlantic on a boat with generator problems. That, and a career in Aerospace, makes me sensitive to the repair/DC aspect. After all isn’t the definition of cruising “fixing your boat in exotic locations”?
Dad, interesting take on the Jeanneau. Usually that vitriol is reserved for Catalina’s. Unlike what I’m assuming is most people on this thread, I’m not independently wealthy so I do look for an affordable price point. After-all, I’m on my third Catalina. What attracted me to the 409 was its similarity to my C34 in terms of its layout (two stateroom, single aft head). I did not like the lack of a coaming aft of the steering wheels (almost lost a cushion overboard at a cocktail party). The single set of primaries and that mainsheet set up was a turn-off too. But all boats in my price range tend to be compromises. Can you give me an objective comparison with your 400? Sail California recently merged (acquired?) Cruising Yachts, so now besides their usual “Js
”, they now are brokering Jeanneau. The line is so new to them that they even asked me if I wanted to test drive the 56, 409, and 389 out on the Bay with them. What kind of deal can I get from your local Florida man? (I am friends with my local brokerage owner).
I will send you a PM on the brokerage company, etc, as I don't want to have anyone screaming at me. They would know me. I will put the rest here as others will want to chime in.
Hmmm.... I assume your budget is around 300k if you are looking at a 409? I would look into a used Sabre 426 or X, off the top of my head. The new bene seems to be a step up from the XX9 Jeauneaus, but just so you know, a good friend of mine (at the same marina, incidentally), lost her forestay on her maiden voyage on her brand new bene! If you get serious about those boats, I will let you speak with her. She is awesome... pretty gal, loves sailing, relatively young, has her own money, buys her own boats, captains license, singlehands. I wouldn't dare let her post on Sailnet in the Hersailnet Forum!! I couldn't keep up with all the posts! She's a rarity in this world. Her forestay chaffed through at the top and though I think the rigging seems a bit more heavy than the xx9, it is not vastly so. She has had a lot of problems, but in fairness, the factory rep came down and they have taken care of her. Another boat that people consider over the C400 is the Bene 423. My issue with that boat is that the stern sits in the water right at the HD joint, and they love collect barnacles there as it is impossible to paint. Also, I think every single 423 I have ever seen lists to starboard. Not much, but enough that it would irritate me.
You know a boat I do like and lost racing against was a Bene 40. The hull looks very similar to the C400... scarily so. To be fair to me, I was filled to the rim with crusiing stuff and he was fresh off the truck (now I am making excuses... I might be a racer yet!!). It might be a cheaper option than a new Bene. Nice sailing boat. My only issue with the Benes is I really do not like the hull-deck joints for reasons explained above.
If you can spend over 300, I would really be looking hard at a newer Sabre, a C445, or a newer X. I keep talking up the X's. I have not sailed them or against them. But they look sweet and I bet they are fast. I KNOW the Sabres are, for the most part. You will have to be comfortable with a cored hull though, which unless I am mistaken, all Sabres have. Others can chime in there. I have mixed feelings on a cored hull for cruising.
We had very dear friends that lived in the Sea of Cortez on their boat for five years. They Loved it George. They loved the people. One word of warning, which you may already know, is that you will have to get used to hot weather. Ventilation will be critical. THat often means, with all due respect to my HD lovers, a boat with a lot of hatches (a production boat). I would avoid anything with teak decks and would really focus my search on a boat where the V is the master. That rules out a C400. A C42 would fit the bill. You will have to buy one used. If you want to go that route, let me know as there are things in private I want to discuss too.
If under 200k, I would get a C400. I don't think there is a better boat. Of course, many will disagree with me. They think I am some kind of Catalina lover, which is not entirely true, incidentally. Everything they say about me and grilling is true - guilty as charged.
Regarding the J122 - I understand exactly what you are saying. I know because I have seen it and because I too am a cruiser. That is why we are having this discussion. The J122 is a rocking-cool boat. Man that thing is nimble. But no way I would cruise on it. Just not the right boat for the cruising we do... in my opinion. And in my opinion, it is not the right boat for the cruising most would do. But that is what we are discussing here, I think...