Is the Saga 43 a proper Open Ocean sailboat capable of safe and comfortable circumnavigation?
Has anyone completed multiple passages on Saga 43? If so, how does the boat handle in heavy weather? Light winds? Would you choose the Saga 43 again?
What are your personal experiences living aboard a Saga 43 for long periods (2-3 years)?
I would address your questions to Bob Perry <firstname.lastname@example.org> the designer of the Saga. He has designed a lot of ''serious blue water cruisers'' and seems to speak quite candidly about things.
I have had the chance to observe the Saga 43 underway in a number of conditions. They are quite fast on a reach in moderate conditions. They are better than most heavy cruisers in light air and beating but compared to a coastal cruiser are not especially good in light air and don''t point as well as I would have expected from a narrow waterline boat. The one that I am most familiar with has a shoal keel and that may be the problem. They also seem a little tender but that may have been more of a product of sailor error, carrying too much sail for the conditions.
I believe that they were developed as a performance long range cruising boat but I have never been convinced that they were successful as such. There just did not seem to be enough storage and the like for serious long distance stuff.
I am not a big fan of their rig. I know what they were trying to do but I don''t think it has been successful. The narrow slot between the two headsails means that you have to roll up the forestaysail (genoa/reacher) every time you tack. I think they would have been better off going with a fractional and bigger mainsail and then using a more conventional Code zero with a sock.
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