Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Sabre 452 vs. J 46
Both of these are really neat but very expensive boats. Both are big burly boats to sail shorthanded with large sail plans and powerful rigs. Of the two I much prefer the J-46. It has a much better deck layout for short-handing and is more about actual sailing ability than appearances. J''s engineering and build quality, while somewhat simplier in finish than the Sabre has generally struck me as being slightly higher. The J-46 is almost 10% lighter and so should offer better light air performance as well as better heavy air performance. The J-46 is based on the J-44 which has proven to be an excellent offshore cruiser. The only short coming on the J-46 is smaller water tankage (117 gal) as compared to the Sabre (optional 200 g). That is easily offset by adding ''passage tanks''.
The J-46 offers a better layout for offshore work, which includes a dedicated seaberth within sight of the helmsman and a generally more carefully worked out interior for offshore cruising.
Of course, in my opinion, I would probably opt for a J-44 which in many ways is a better boat than both of these for far less money.