If they were truly ONLY coastal and bay sailing, WHY does this boat have a european A rating? ie ocean rating to with stand seas to 10 meters, winds to force 10, which IIRC is at least 50+ knots? Granted it may not be the strongest boat in the open ocean rating class. BUT< it is still rated to do so. Just like the SO37 you are sailing currently, which by the way, MANY of them have done open ocean sailing, the 409 will probably do just fine.
You will also probably find the 409 will go faster by a reasonable clip over an HR, Sabre or caliber too. So less potential time in the open to deal with storm conditions.
Then again, I have yet to get on a 409, I think there has only been one delivered here in Seattle, not sure if it is sold or still at the dealer, so it may not be as nice as the older versions like the SO37 etc. Gut tells me, taking a 409 off shore should not be an issue! Unless you want to go around cape horn...........now on a bad day you might have an issue with the 409!
Marty, I share your reasoning and am telling myself these are good reasons to purchase the new boat from the European manufacture. Unfortunately, from reading here on Sailnet, it seems that the European Rating means a little. I am desperately seeking the true. Yes, my current time share boat - SO37 is Rated A for 8 persons. With my limited storm sailing experience, I only encountered 6 ft sea with 30 kn wind, The Jeanneau pounded like crazy from each wave, when I was in the V-berth, it sounded like someone pounding with a sledgehammer and the boat was going to fall apart.
OTOH, I sailed in a Tartan 38 and Southern Cross 35, with a similar seas, there is no pounding. We were threw around a lot, but the boat was quiet.
I am not sure what does it mean, is it the weight of the Jeanneau or its hull design, or combination of both. I hope someone can shed some light on this, may be from someone who has delivered boats for awhile.
I like European design and their forward thinking. They are more likely take on newer concept and push the technology, while American boat builders are smaller and older, very little or no R&D funding at all. They continue to build the boat what they know a few decades ago.
It is certainly not an easy process to make a decision. but I want to make an informed decision with balanced compromises.
Thanks for taking time to read this thread and help my purchase.