At least in the case of the S-J boats, you are dealing with an outdated design, poorly constructed, typically poorly equipped in terms of deck hardware and sail handling gear. You may be able to make one into a mediocre island hopper, but with its long ends, deep canoe body, round bilges, low ballast ratio, low density ballasting, crammed accomodations. it would never be a particularly good offshore cruiser.
It is on that basis that I completely disagree with the statement above that claims that the The Starratt Jenks 45 is the most undervalued blue water ocean cruiser on the market. A knowledgable blue water cruiser would never classify the Starratt Jenks version of these boats as blue water cruisers by any stetch of the imagination, and given the really great blue water cruising designs out there that can be bought at similar prices to a those of an S-J, I would never classify the S-J as a bargain.
Jeff, I've read your other articles on S-J boats when I was considering buying an older classic designed boat. My budget is to have a fresh up to date zero time restored boat for between 75-100k. I figured 50-60k for the restoration/refit process in parts alone, plus my labor. I looked at many boats 40-50 feet, classic lines, full keel, narrow beam, masthead sloop rig. Every boat I looked at as a "bargain" priced 40-50 footer was really junk when compared to this S-J boat. I did not want ferro cement, wood or fin keel or a 80's thin glassed modern cruiser with a fat beam. There are no other 45 footers with similar prices to S-J boats. But I did not buy this S-J based on pricing. I feel this hull is very well built, almost overkill with its double hull design below the waterline. This boat had/has the best deck equipment at the time. Its fully rigged with Lewmar and Schaefer components. The standing rig is stout as well. These boats have a nearly 50% ballast to displacement ratio. 12,000lbs of lead to a 25,000lb displacement. That is among the highest ratio that I've seen when comparing this type of boat. Sure its not as roomy by todays standards, but there is still enough. As I redo this boat, I am keeping in mind weight and balance as priority. I build race cars and thoroughly understand these dynamics and affects on performance/handling. I don't care about what this hull use to be, and about its white elephant history. But when compare to similarly sized boats, this S-J I have is really a bargain, well at least it will be when I'm done. Where could you get basically a new 45 boat for less than 100K? This boat I bought has a nice quality interior fit and finish. This boat was built for the '79 Annapolis boat show as their model boat. The people that have these step children seem to like them. Why do you emphatically hate this boat? Have you sailed one or two or three S-J's? They get a bad rap, but I think they are an undervalued bluewater boat. Does the hull fall apart out at sea? Does the open ocean twist S-J's into pieces?