Join Date: Mar 2006
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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.
Fair winds and following seas.
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36