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Old 03-31-2009
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Sabre 42 versus J/44: why such difference in prices?

I was looking in yachtworld at prices for the Sabre 42 and J/44. Three Sabre 42s for sale, average ask price of $158k, between 1987 and 1989. Five J/44s for sale, average ask price of of $272k, all between 1990 and 1992. So the J/44s are a bit newer, and it's a somewhat bigger boat. But why such difference in prices? Both are excellent quality from what I gather. Both built with similar materials. What am I missing?
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Old 03-31-2009
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The two boats aren't really all that similar. J/44 rates 27 vs Sabre 42 at 96, so J/44 is much faster, more of a race boat. J/44 still has an active one-design fleet in LIS (I think) so that commands a higher price as well.
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Old 03-31-2009
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The J44 is actually a much bigger boat, with 5' more waterline, 15-20% more displacement, 3 private sleeping cabins vs. 2, etc.

It's also got more sail area, and might be a handful for a couple on a breezy daysail, but a fast and exciting ride.

Are you cruising or racing? Do you need the room? Can you live with the draft? (the J draws 8', a CB Sabre 42' draws less than 5' board up)

If sailing with more than 4 people was in my plans, or serious racing, I would go with the J. If I was cruising with my wife and kids, I'd rather have the Sabre. If my kids were teens and wanted to bring a gang, I'd pick the J. Both are really good boats.

The active racing fleet has really helped the J's maintain value, but they are good boats anyway.

Either boat, well maintained, would be a joy. Good Luck.

If you look at more recent Sabre 402's or 425's, they are more expensive than the older 42's.
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Originally Posted by sahara View Post
The J44 is actually a much bigger boat, with 5' more waterline, 15-20% more displacement, 3 private sleeping cabins vs. 2, etc.

It's also got more sail area, and might be a handful for a couple on a breezy daysail, but a fast and exciting ride.

Are you cruising or racing? Do you need the room? Can you live with the draft? (the J draws 8', a CB Sabre 42' draws less than 5' board up)

If sailing with more than 4 people was in my plans, or serious racing, I would go with the J. If I was cruising with my wife and kids, I'd rather have the Sabre. If my kids were teens and wanted to bring a gang, I'd pick the J. Both are really good boats.

The active racing fleet has really helped the J's maintain value, but they are good boats anyway.

Either boat, well maintained, would be a joy. Good Luck.

If you look at more recent Sabre 402's or 425's, they are more expensive than the older 42's.
Agree completely. Good post.

- CD

PS Just a small edit, if cruising with kids, I would not go with either one... but that is another discussion. Not sure why he is choosing between just those two boats?????
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Thanks for the replies. So what other boats are there comparable to the Sabre 42? I'd like to get a short list of boats that are well built with quality components by a reputable builder, are relatively fast, have enough room for a family of 5 to go cruising, can be sailed by 2 people, and are priced under $150k. I would prefer a sloop with fin keel and fractional rig for no other reason than that's what I'm used to. It seems hard to find fractional rigs, though. The type of sailing that I would do would be a) day sailing possibly out of Corpus Christi, b) a 1-month vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula, and c) a 1-year trip to the Caribbean. I'm not American, I'm from Argentina. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why some boats are priced so much higher than others of similar size and age. For example in a "Sailing" magazine from several months back, they showed two boats of similar size: a Tartan (42' or 43') and a Jeanneau of similar size. The Tartan was listed at about twice as much as the other one. The only notable difference I saw in the specs was that the Tartan had a carbon fiber spar. Maybe Tartan is a Mercedes and Jeanneau is a Pontiac? That's the thing I'm lacking about American boats, it's the knowledge of who is who in the business.
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Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
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Originally Posted by FrancoC View Post
Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
FrancoC,

It has been my unscientific observation that Sabres do not hold their value as well as some other brands that are in the same initial price range. I do not know why, it's just something I've noticed over the years.

As you compare these two boats, be sure to notice the difference in cockpit designs. If you are searching for a boat on which your family can campaign in club races, then yes, the J-boat would work well.

But, if you are looking for more of a cruising design, I would not think of the J-boat's cockpit as especially well suited for family sailing. Too many concessions to racing, and an aft section lacking sunken cockpit seating.

However, the 3-cabin layout of the J44 would be advantageous for cruising with 3 kids. But there are other boats out there that blend 3 cabins with good family-friendly cruising designs.
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Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
What are their ages/gender/sleeping arrangements?

Brian
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What are their ages/gender/sleeping arrangements?

Brian
Three girls, ages 9, 7, and 6. They are used to sharing.
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Originally Posted by FrancoC View Post
Thanks for the replies. So what other boats are there comparable to the Sabre 42? I'd like to get a short list of boats that are well built with quality components by a reputable builder, are relatively fast, have enough room for a family of 5 to go cruising, can be sailed by 2 people, and are priced under $150k. I would prefer a sloop with fin keel and fractional rig for no other reason than that's what I'm used to. It seems hard to find fractional rigs, though. The type of sailing that I would do would be a) day sailing possibly out of Corpus Christi, b) a 1-month vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula, and c) a 1-year trip to the Caribbean. I'm not American, I'm from Argentina. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why some boats are priced so much higher than others of similar size and age. For example in a "Sailing" magazine from several months back, they showed two boats of similar size: a Tartan (42' or 43') and a Jeanneau of similar size. The Tartan was listed at about twice as much as the other one. The only notable difference I saw in the specs was that the Tartan had a carbon fiber spar. Maybe Tartan is a Mercedes and Jeanneau is a Pontiac? That's the thing I'm lacking about American boats, it's the knowledge of who is who in the business.

The specs are only a small part of what drives the price. As to the Tartan and Jeanneu, the Tartan has been considered to be of a higher buld quality and more of a blue water boat. Price will be driven not only by build quality but can also turn on whether a particular model has caught on as a popular one-design class, for example.

The Sabre 42 was one of the boats I looked at and liked. Sabre is a high end production boat. IMHO, well above the Catalinas and Hunters, but substantially more expensive. I think of Tartans as a similar in quality although some are reporting that their quality has come down lately. I ended up buying a substantially older boat (Swan 41) that I am very happy with.

If you have questions about particular boats, people around here are generally willing to chime in with their thoughts.
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