Frers 41 vs Sun Legend - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-26-2004 Thread Starter
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Frers 41 vs Sun Legend

Speaking of late 80ís sailboat designs around 40í overall that perform well yet are adaptable for offshore cruising purposes and ďrobustĒ, as some like to say, enough to withstand heavy abuse; may I submit the following two contemporaries for comparison.

Builder/Model Designer LOA LWL Beam Draft Disp. Ballast D/L S/D I J P E
Carroll Marine Frers 41 31.58 13.08 7.17 15750 6600 223 19.6 53.80 15.75 47.25 14.75
Jeanneau Sun Legend Peterson 41 32.75 12.92 6.42 17196 6878 219 17.2 52.50 15.30 45.00 14.10

The Frers 41 and the Sun Legend are very close to the same dimensions and were designed in the same era of moderating IOR influence. The Frers rates faster than a Sun Legend, which is no surprise given that it has a substantially better S/D ratio, but the Sun Legend is no sailing slouch and has more luxurious interior accommodations and tank capacity as a trade off. Both have healthy ballast/displacement ratios, though I think that Jeanneaus typically have iron keels rather than lead. They also utilized other economic production techniques, but appear to have retained reasonably stout construction qualities and include Kevlar within the solid fiberglass hull layup. Meanwhile, Carroll Marine stayed with more traditional fabrication processes and took measures to keep hull/deck weight down and the center of gravity lower.

Though the sail area is significantly greater on the Frers 41, rig proportions are virtually identical and though I would prefer to see smaller J and larger E dimensions, they are not excessively out of balance. In fact, a case can be made that more room is left for an inner forestay sail on these masthead rigs, a useful cruising component, and the Frers standing rigging typically already has running backstays to support such an addition. It also has a cockpit located mainsheet traveler for handy access from the helm, though many cruisers may find this a fault rather than a benefit.

All in all, they seem to be two closely related cousins that could accommodate all but the most extreme cruising needs within this price and size range. Though the Sun Legend may be closer to ready at slightly less cost, the Frers will likely get you there quicker with slightly greater effort. What opinions have we from our resident experts? I suspect these are rather non-conventional cruisers.

This line of inquisition pertains most to those of us seeking the widest possible range of use for our sailboats. I often relate them to motor vehicles. Do you want a sports car or a truck? I keep trying to define an SUV that can keep pace with the former while retaining the utility of the later, just like in the commercials. This is futility, but still I want to know, how close can we come? Motor homes are another case altogether. If I wanted the greatest comfort to live aboard and rarely intended to sail, I would look for something different.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-27-2004
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Frers 41 vs Sun Legend

I''ve been looking at a Sun Legende on Yachtworld which has been there for some time and I asked for some input here. Jeff H, if Iunderstood correctly, considered this design to be a bit "whippy". I took that to mean big rig, fin keel would make for a lot of work. I''m also considering Peterson 44, Bristol 41.1, Crealock 37, sabres and Tartans of similiar size. I''m trying to keep purchase price to $100,000 or less.
I''ve owned power and sail up to 34'' and presently have an Ensign which I plan to enjoy for a year ot two while I select that "perfect" retirement sailboat. We live in New England and will probably spend most time coastal cruising but want a boat that can go anywhere.
Thanks for any help here. John Gov.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-28-2004
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Frers 41 vs Sun Legend

After reading the originating post, my first thought is to compare the Frers to an Audi A4 quattro, and the Jeanneau to a Jeep Wagoneer. The boats may have similar hull dimensions, but the materials, methods, and power-to-weight ratios (i.e. sa/disp) put the two boats into very separate categories. A friend raced his F 41 to Bermuda and found out to his chagrin that the tiny bilge filled rapidly and proceded to coat the entire cabin sole with slippery oil. The crew, besides losing their footing, also tended to lose their lunch due to the quick motion of the vessel. The Frers probably owes much of its stability to the low, heavy, and dense keel. It''s almost the same weight of ballast as the Jeanneau''s but lead is substantially denser than cast iron. Having this dense weight so low (almost a foot deeper than the Jeanneau) allows the Frers the greater sail area that makes them fast. The Jeanneau, in default of a dense, deep keel, will have to maintain it''s stabilty through the form of the hull. The figures given don''t tell as complete a story as is needed to really compare these two boats. What sort of prismatic coefficients are we looking at? Hull forms? What''s are the beams at the waterlines? Flare forward? Flare amidships? I distinctly recall seeing ten crew scrambling to the windward rail of the Frers when a sudden hefty puff heeled them over so far their keel showed. The hands grabbing the "uphill" toerail were hanging on white-knuckled. Not what you want to have happen when you''re cruising. The other thread on this site about using a J/40 as a cruiser is to the point here. Loading a raceboat down with cruising gear is not going to improve performance, and may put strains on the hull and rig that it (having been built to minimize weight for racing) may not be well able to handle. Putting the same gear on a boat more suited to it (the Jeanneau, perhaps) might not make as big a difference. I am only familiar with the Frers, but it looks like two cars which. though they may have dimensions that allow them to both park in the same garage, have other attributes that enable them to perform quite differently on (or off) the road.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-29-2004 Thread Starter
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Frers 41 vs Sun Legend

I generally concur with those analogies and would like to think Iíve got a vehicle that can take me anywhere, but I also acknowledge that itíll rarely be crossing the outback or even fording a big stream. When that occasion does arise, Iíll mount a luggage carrier and strap on some jerry cans to get me by. Might even make our own water, if we could ever get one that ran without fossil fuel. (Saw one I could tow, but it seemed like a hoax.) A Wagoneer would sure be sufficient to handle all this.

Still, a healthy power to weight ratio is a desirable trait. It can come in handy for the occasional rally or when passing on an open roadstead. Pressure on the accelerator can always be reduced if we ever get going too fast. I would not think of an Audi producing white knuckle rides, as it is not a Formula 1, but I certainly donít want a large crew to manage it, only just the navigator and me. Good ride quality is an important feature too, but tough to predict without benefit of a test ride. Here I also would expect more from the Audi than a Jeep, precisely because of that low center of gravity.

Durability for the hard miles and extended use is definitely a critical virtue. We donít want it shaking and rattling and hate stopping to fix it all the time. I donít personally think of performance vehicles as more delicate than your standard cruiser, though. Some may be engineered to within an inch of their limits, but often the structural requirements are established much higher than for standard craft, in order to permit more extreme abuse and allow for occasional meat hanging out.

We will rarely encounter real 4-wheel terrain and I donít plan to see any ice. The sort of ground clearance required for surmounting large obstacles, we wonít normally need, but Iíd definitely like to have sufficient underbody depth to avoid the curse of oil floating about the pan. Here a true compromise may be in order, even if flat out performance is impaired. Iíll be looking to see what can be done. -Phil

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post #5 of 5 Old 12-29-2004
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Frers 41 vs Sun Legend

I know nothing about the Frers. However, I lived aboard a Sun Legend for four years int the late nineties. Sailed it mostly single-handed, including a couple of extended coastal crusises (ten days or so) up through the Channel Islands of California. Prior to purchasing the boat I''d done a good bit of pretty high level off-shore racing over twenty or so years. so some level of reasonable performance was important to me. I sailed the boat on and off the wind in steady breezes up to about 45 knots.

In four years, the only problem (other than owner operated problems !) I had was a smart regulator that got dumb and burned up my house bank. She was a good looking boat (I didn''t have to wear a paper bag over my head when leaving), performed well and took good care of my daughters (occasional visitors) and me. She sold for more than I purchased her for about six years ago (you know, the bigger boat thing!).

If you are going offshore, I''d beef up the anchor roller, increase the tankage, and install a removeable inner forestay, in additon to all the typical offshore preparation.

Good luck!

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