Re: J or Bene?
As an owner of a C&C, Beneteau (a First 30E), CS and Pearson models at one time or another, and someone who has sailed most all the vessels suggested above, I have to say a unique pleasure in my sailing life was a week chartering a J34C.
Any experience we all may have had with racing model J's has no relevance to the J cruising boat. Simply the J/34c is one mean sweet boat, period. The quality of its construction and design is a league above anything the other builders have ever done, illustrated by the vessel's price and ABS A-1 classification. Practical Sailor has a good review of the J/34c that I recommend to anyone who has the wisdom and budget to consider one. I'd describe the boat more as similar to a performance Hallberg-Rassey than the builders mentioned above (and I loved my CS36T). If you have not been on a J34c or a sister model, you do not know what you are missing.
That said, no boat is perfect and I hesitated on an opportunity to buy the J34c due to its Volvo, and someone quicker got it. Its performance focus had some limitations, such as a crowded cockpit, and its not the cruising boat for many who have differing priorities than its strengths, but if you want performance and quality, its unique IMHO. Whenever I see threads about singlehanding, I think of J34c which somewhat uniquely presents the jib and main sheets right to the helmsman's seat.
Certified...in several regards...
Last edited by sailingfool; 03-28-2014 at 12:47 PM.