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-   -   J37 or Sabre 38MK1 (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/10322-j37-sabre-38mk1.html)

sail1414 08-25-2004 09:05 AM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
Getting close to convincing my wife it is time to get a "big" boat. My sailing experience is extensive. Our family
is 5 w/3 children 4,2,.5 yrs. Our intensions
are 2 week max cruising in great lakes.
plus day sailing and overnight weekends.
I would like to sail something that feels
like a sailboat at the helm not a barge
like most of the cruising boats we have charter. My wife is only interested in down
below hense Sabre.. I would like to also do
some racing mostly long distance stuff
like Chicago Mac. Based on this criteria
any ones opinion on these two designs
or any other. Not a big Benny fan.
Would like to keep budget under 120,000 or
so.

Eva 08-25-2004 12:02 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
My husband and I went through a very similar analysis -- he wanted the performance of a J-Boat, while I wanted the aesthetics of a Sabre. (That oversimplifies the differences between us, and between the two boats, but I''m sure you appreciate that.) We spent months debating it, and ultimately chose a Sabre 38 MkII, which we bought in February. We both love it, and are thrilled with our choice. (As a matter of background, we already owned a Sabre 34, so there was a pre-disposition to give Sabres heavy consideration.)

We tried to find a compromise boat -- and looked very seriously to find some middle ground -- but could not find anything that struck responsive chords in either of us (though the Elan 40 we toured at the Annapolis Boat Show last fall tempted both of us a little).

At the end of the day, it came down to how much racing we were really going to be doing -- as the J Boat is probably better equipped for that. The fact was that my husband would crew on other people''s boats, not race our own -- and with young children, you''ll probably find yourself doing more cruising than racing. Given my husband''s racing plans, there was not much need to buy a boat whose design is more oriented towards racing than cruising. (It helps, probably, that my husband''s brother owns a J-44, so hubby will be able to feed that need for speed.)

If you have the time and inclination, you may want to charter either or both of the boats. We chartered the Sabre 38 a couple of years ago to try it on for size, and it fit pretty darn well -- not barge-like at all. If your experience in chartering is limited to Beneteaus, you will appreciate how very different the Sabre will feel (and likely the J Boat).

Of course, both the J37 and the Sabre 38 MkII can race and cruise. And both are quality boats. You can hardly go wrong.

P.S. According to Cruising World, Gary Jobson (who knows a little about sailing) just bought a new boat: a Sabre 402.

Jeff_H 08-25-2004 07:44 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
I guess I look at this a little differently than most folks. The Sabre''s are really beautifully finished and have joiner work that knocks my socks off, but when I get on deck, I am always amazed at how poorly set up they are as sailboats. It drives me nuts that a boat that has a reasonably good hull would have a deck plan that is so poor for sail handling purposes.

To me there is nothing worse than to have to deal with bad sail handling gear. This is far more of a problem on a cruising boat than on a race boat. On a race boat there is lots of crew and someone named ''Moose'' can step in an ''muscle'' a bad situation back into line. But cruising you are shorthanded and have to rely on your own resources when the weather turns dicey or the winds go light.

To me the ultimate luxury is a boat that sails well and is easy to handle and so I would take the J-37 hands down, especially with a family along. With proper gear like the J-37''s, a child can actually participate in sail trim (when they get a little older) and the other tasks involved in sailing the boat.

There was a Farr 11.6 (Farr 38) supposedly in very nice shape for sale on the Lakes not all that long ago. That would also make a great choice for a performance cruiser.

Good luck,
Jeff

sailj34c 08-26-2004 12:22 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
We bought a j34c 4 years ago when our 3 kids were similar ages (6,4 & 6 months) and we''ve loved it. Former j24 owner/racers, we couldn''t bring ourselves to get too cruising oriented. The 34c and subsequent 35c & 37c all have more cruising amenitities than traditional j''s in their size. We only club race ours but have a ball beating the heavy cruisers in the fleet while still handling a blow better than them. Only concern I would have about the 37''s is that they put the diesel in the center of the cabin which really makes them loud down below. Good design for maintenance but not the greatest for little ones playing below. I think the 37c''s don''t have that issue.

paulk 08-26-2004 08:36 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
We sail a J/36 which has a much nicer interior than other more stripped-out J/boats. There are upper and lower quarterberths, so your three kids could each invite a friend along and still leave you the forward cabin. A friend with a Sabre 38 got so annoyed at us passing him to leeward that he went out and got a Sabre 452. Now we pass him to windward instead. Some of the newer Tartans might provide better performance than Sabre with decent accommodations. I also hear good things about performance and accommodations on X-yachts, like the IMX38. Their sail handling setups appear well thought-out and strong. Don''t know about their pricing, however.

Paul_L 09-19-2004 09:59 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
I prefer the engine under the main cabin table. It is very easy to work on and puts the weight right over the keel. If you replace the original sound deadening material with modern stuff, you get a quite box and save weight.


farrsailor 10-28-2004 09:23 AM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
Dear sail 1414

I have a farr 38 that I want to sell in the next 18 months, that is I want to do 2 more Maimi to Nassau Race Weeks. I keep my boat at my home in the Bahamas so it gets alot of attention. Latest new stuff is a new engine and saildrive, new spectra sails, retractable bowsprit and assymetrical spinnaker. Otherwise the boat was completely refit over 2001-2003, with over US $70,000 including 8 coat west system barrier coat.
Your welcome to come for a cruise on this boat anytime - or race next spring. You will not be disappointed.

Best regards

Denr 10-28-2004 12:59 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
I''m amazed at the crap you find on the internet these days, when Jeff_H refers to "bad sail handling equipment" on the Sabre. You know I''ve owned and sailed one single handedly for more than a decade and have never had to refer to the owners manual or been even slightly confused with layout of the sail handling equipment. Yes I''ve replace jamb cleats with cam cleats, and replaced non-self tailing winches with self tailers and added single line reefing hardware but that''s it. Boy the stuff (read misinformation) you read on the internet! Hey Jeffy did your mommy and daddy get refused the Sabre line when they were in the brokerage business?

Jeff_H 10-28-2004 02:02 PM

J37 or Sabre 38MK1
 
Actually Denr, what I said earlier was that the Sabre 38 Mk 1 had "a deck plan that is poor for sail handling purposes." I did not say that the Sabre had "bad sail handling equipment". In the next paragraph which explained my bias regarding deck gear I said that "To me there is nothing worse than to have to deal with bad sail handling gear." which is a much more generic statement.

I stand by my comments that Sabre 38 Mk 1 had "a deck plan that is poor for sail handling purposes." I base that opinion on my experiences sailing a stock layout Sabre 38 mk1. In particular I was referring to the such items as stock layout which has the mainsheet run to a cabin top mounted traveler and then back to a winch on the cabin top. That winch was placed so that you cannot easily get to it from the helm and could not swing the handle full circle without hitting the dodger.

Then there is the traveler itself which is located near and appears to be forward of the center of the boom. Getting proper leech tension in a strong breeze is nearly imposible requiring way too much tension on the sheet making adjustments more difficult simply because of the sheet geometry and position. With proper tension on the sheet there is a deep bend in the boom and the traveler binds so that the mainsheet needs to be eased on each tack and then reset. With the traveller bound up you had to use the winch to haul the traveller to windward and the traveller control line would get an override if you did. The sheet placement also creates a long lever arm that really places tremendous and unnecessary stress on the gooseneck.

Then there is the primary jib sheet winch placed out of reach of the helm and again placed where you could not swing the handle 360 degrees without hitting the dodger and even with the dodger down, you could not use a full length handle without hitting the aft stanchion gate.

To me that is a bad deck plan.

Speaking of misinformation, my mother and father never were brokers. My mother was a boat builder and importer.

Nice to see you back on the board.

Jeff



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