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post #1 of 26 Old 08-01-2008 Thread Starter
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Decisions, Decisions ... Looking For Opinions

My wife and I are dinghy sailors getting ready to step up to some coastal cruising. We have our eyes on either a 1990 Sabre 360 or a 1995 Catalina 400. Both appear well equipped and cared for. Asking price for the Sabre is $99,900 and for the Catalina $132,000. Now I know the quality reputations of these 2 boats. But the age of the Sabre vs. the roominess of the Catalina also factor in.

I am soliciting if anyone would venture one.

Thanks.

-Steve
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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I'm sure that CruisingDad, who is the Technical Editor for the Catalina 400 on the Catalina newsletter, Mainsheet, will chime in about the Catalina 400.

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post #3 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNagy View Post
My wife and I are dinghy sailors getting ready to step up to some coastal cruising. We have our eyes on either a 1990 Sabre 360 or a 1995 Catalina 400. Both appear well equipped and cared for. Asking price for the Sabre is $99,900 and for the Catalina $132,000. Now I know the quality reputations of these 2 boats. But the age of the Sabre vs. the roominess of the Catalina also factor in.

I am soliciting if anyone would venture one.

Thanks.

-Steve
Both are great boats. I currently own a 400 and love it. Mine is a later model so has a little different design. If you have a some specific questions on the 400, shoot em this way and I will try and help.

Brian

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post #4 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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SNagy-

Be aware that I generally advocate reserving about 15-20% of your purchase budget for refitting, upgrading and modifying whatever boat you buy. Unlike a car, most boats aren't ready to go...and will need to have some changes made to best suite the way you're going to use it.

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post #5 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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I'd say you need to sit down and think through what you truly want in a boat if these two boats are both attractive to you. They are both nice in their own respects, but they really are worlds away in terms of what the offer and therefore in what type of sailors will be satisfied with them. That indicates to me that you haven't really honed in on what is most important to you in a bigger boat.

The Sabre 36 is arguably better built, offers great performance for a cruiser in its size range, and has great somewhat traditional looking lines and a good deal of beautiful exterior teak. The below decks accomodations are sparse and spartan by comparison to a Catalina of the same length, and positively puny compared to a C400. Its a boat that appeals to the purist end of the sailing equation, but could be a hard sell if you're S.O. wants more ameneties.

The 400 is a well built coastal cruiser, designed for lower maintenance with no exterior teak to maintain, big roomy accomodations, much more freeboard and wider stern than a more tradtional boat like the Sabre. If you have a family or expect to have guests more often than not, the 400 offers plenty of room and comfortable accomodations so folks are not cramped and have a level of privacy and comfort the Sabre doesn't offer.

Taking careful stock of how you plan to use the boat and what you want out of it will help you narrow in on which end of the spectrum you'll want to compromise towards.

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post #6 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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midlife- Your idea of what constitutes "sparse and spartan" really has me wondering what the hell you sail! 65 ' Burger????

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post #7 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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Sounds Exciting

Having different boats to choose from can be exciting.. Best of luck to you on finding the boat that meets your sailing needs... If you have a link to those two boats I'd be interested... Not seeing either boat, I'd be less concerned about a 1990 sabre verses a 5 year newer catalina. Thinking there is a good chance many things have been upgraded and replaced in a 1990 boat. If not, then hope you have a big wallet...lol... If room is a big deal to you (sounds like it), then the catalina 40 will have more.. Thinking a catalina 35 would have more room then a sabre 36- so a catalina 40 will be real roomy. Have Fun Looking and hope you can post some photos and keep all updated.... Best of Luck.... Mike
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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midlife- Your idea of what constitutes "sparse and spartan" really has me wondering what the hell you sail! 65 ' Burger????
Nah, we have a Catalina 36. I guess sparse and spartan is in the eye of the beholder (beerholder?) but the straight back settees on the Sabre struck me as about as comfortable as the church pews of my youth, which I thought were rather spartan. I do love the joinery on the Sabre.

The point I was attempting to make is the Sabre 36 and a Catalina 400 are very different boats. Even comparing a C36 to a Sabre 36 is comparing boats near opposite ends of the production crusing boat spectrum. A C400 probably offers close to twice the space below decks compared to a Sabre 36

I just think someone seriously considering these two boats is either conflicted about what they want (I was when I was boat shopping) or hasn't really honed in on what appeals to them.

PalmettoSailor
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Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 08-01-2008 at 09:26 PM.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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I wouldn't hesitate to buy either boat in good condition but it depends on what YOU and SPOUSE want out of a boat. The Sabre is more sturdily built but the Catalina is built just fine for coastal cruising. The Sabre has more traditional elegance. The Catalina has significantly more living and entertaining room both down below and in the cockpit. The Sabre will be the better sailing performer...the longer Catalina waterline will close that differential and motor quicker.
Assuming both are in good condition, you'll spend more annually on a 40 ft. boat but the older boat is likely to need more repairs over the short run.
So...it really comes down to you folks deciding the attributes that are most important to you...Once you step aboard both, you should come away with a favorite.

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post #10 of 26 Old 08-01-2008
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The 5 year age should be of little concern it will not change your maintenance, repair, upgrade, and bone head mistakes costs. I've a late 70's C30 bought 3 and half years ago. I've average $225 / month for everything but the slip/insurance expenses. And I'm pretty much at the end of my upgrade and repair list so average will drop. I use it for coastal and day sails at least weekly all year round and love it.
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