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post #5 of Old 12-02-2010
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We are a young couple too, also on a budget, and take my opinions with a grain of salt, but here they are. I started looking at heavy displacement full keel boats and after a trip to the Bahamas in one decided that I would rather sail than have to be motoring all the time in the kind of condition I will be in while in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. I looked at a lot of boats on yachtworld and went and saw a few different types and regardless of what the numbers say, some boats will appeal to you and some won't. Some people like a canoe stern, some don't, etc. I would like to have a sugar scoop transom but for my price range and what I like, haven't seen one that fit the bill. After looking around I saw a Sabre 42 and we both loved the way it looked and the layout on the inside. I would highly recommend searching Sabre on here and looking at the thread where a lot of people, including CD commented on them. I won't take it personally that he mentioned the S425 and not the S42 I put an offer on. The Sabre 38 and 42 are both great, exceptional quality and every time I have called them with questions, even though I haven't closed on the boat yet, I have gotten a call back that day with plenty of help, to me that says a lot about the company. They have a good reputation for their sailing abilities and I really like the layout on the 42. There is a good sized aft berth, not the palatial setting in CD's 400, but a good sized berth that isn't a 1/4 berth either, about queen sized. A nice sized head with shower area right at the base of the steps that is a convenient wet locker. Plenty of space inside and yet not too large to where you would get tossed all around in bad seas. I also like the way the interior is done as opposed to some of the other heavy production boats I went on, but even between manufacturers there are differences and that is why it is so important to get on board some. You could definitely get a S38 under 100k, and a S42 in the 120-140 price range. Again, there are a lot of great comments on that thread I mentioned. The PHRF ratings are the same for the C400 and S42 CB at 105 and the S42 is 93, so they should be pretty close in speed.
I didn't want teak decks, didn't want a canoe stern and wanted the speed and maneuverability of a fin keel so that I could enjoy the day sailing along the way. Whether it is suitably for some of the longer trips we have planned is a point of disagreement for some, but that is another story.
If you are not going to be living on it and heading off to round Cape Horn, I would seriously take into account how much you will enjoy day sailing it. You are going to want a boat that you will still enjoy sailing on a light wind day. If it is nice out on a Saturday afternoon and you want to head out for a bit, you don't want to be hoping that the wind picks up so you can get moving and not have to motor all the time. Have I mentioned how much I hate having to hear the motor running. Also, with a faster light air sailor you are going to be able to get to explore more distance anchorages in the same amount of time should you decide to go on a weekend overnight trip.
CD knows more than I probably ever will about all this - just a few of my thoughts.
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