Originally Posted by Chimbatete
But back to my original question, why would I take a Sabre 426 or a Tartan 4100 who has a capsize ratio not much better than a faster SO 409 or an Opium for significantly more $$? Is the build quality that much better in these American boats?
I see the Sabre 426 in the half a million range same as other heavy performance cruisers such as the Malo 40 or a Najad 41. Am I missing something here?
I have tried avoid to answer that. I don't want to hurt any sensibilities
One thing we can take for granted is that for each new American model that appear in the market there are 20 new (or more) European ones. It seems that Americans just turned to motorboats and that in Europe there are a lot more people buying new sailboats. This creates a difference in competitiveness that tends to improve the design of European boats in a faster way than in America. There are also a much bigger number of major boat designers and naval cabinets specialized in sailboats.
Generally each new model is better (and sails faster) than the previous model and each model is substituted in about 4 or 5 years and has a tight competition of several boat manufacturers working for the same sail segment. It is very rare that the best model of a particular market sector stays the same for more than three years, at least on the main market sector.
Saying this I do not find your comparison between the Tartan 4100 and the SO 409 accurate, particularly in what regards stability:
The Tartan has a B/D of 33% the Jeanneau 30%. Both boats have ballasted bulbs. The one from jeanneau seems bigger, meaning that most of the ballast is there, the Tartan seems to have the ballast distributed by all the keel with some of the ballast on a bulb but it is difficult to say because I never saw a Tartan 4100. Anyway I think that is more than compensated by the differences of draft, 2.1 to the Jeanneau, 2.29 to the Tartan. The Tartan will be a slightly more seaworthy and stiff boat but the Jeanneau will be faster. The Tartan has more 5m2 of sail that will not be capable to contra-balance the huge difference in weight : more than 1400kg.
I find the Jeanneau better designed over all: It has a brand new hull, top of the crop in what regards performance and stability, the Tartan uses a several years old hull taken from another boat (C&C). The Jeanneau superstructure looks very sleek and modern, the one from Tartan looks 10 year's old. On the interior the Jeanneau is also better designed but the quality of the materials are much better on the Tartan.
Fact is that by the quality of its materials (and its prices) the Tartan is in another category competing with boats like the Halberg Rassy, Najad or Malo.
As you probably know Tartan has been afflicted in the last years with many quality problems. They have changed owners and I would like to see it raising to it's former glory but I doubt that it will manage it without better designed boats. As I have said in a previous post, I liked more the previous 40ft model : It looked like a nice classic boat that could sail well. This one looks like a 10 year old "modern" boat.
Regarding Tartan sales in America I suspect they are on the low side, on Europe the boat don't sell. In 2008 the European importer has imported a 43 and the boat is not sold yet:
2008 Tartan 4300 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
and I bet they will make a huge discount on that boat