I am glad I found your thread as these are exactly the two boats that I am considering and my intended use is similar to yours. I welcome your thoughts on the issues below:
- the cockpit and swim platform on the B41 are beyond compare, however I also felt that the back of the cockpit seats was lower and perhaps would feel less safe while heeling.
- With the 3 cabin model, storage may be minimal in both. What was your conclusion?
- I thought the lifelines were lower in the B41 and going to the bow there was less to hang on to. I then walked the 445 at the boat show and I noticed that the handrails on the cabin top were also fairly low. Do you agree?
- While I agree with you about the use of the chart table, there is something about the more traditional salon in the 445 that appeals to me.
- THe B41 lacks a traveler. Could the arch handle an accidental jibe?
- the bed in the forward cabin looked small for 2 people
Look foward to yours and anyone else's comments
Those are great questions. And I don't have great answers. What follows is my feelings, based on scampering around the show boat on the hard for a half hour at a dealer and the same at the Toronto show.
I did not notice the cockpit seating being lower than normal. My last boat was a B473 and I didn't notice a difference between the two. But I wasn't specifically checking. Regardless, felt safe to me.
Right or wrong, I tend to let the the lifelines run through my fingers going forward. I did the same with the 41 in the yard. Felt normal height to me. Not a lot of other handholds. I really liked moving forward on the 445. The lifelines are canted outboard. I'm 6'3" and had no problem reaching down on either.
From the reviews I've read, most recently Practical Sailor, the lack of a traveller has not affected performance. They say the arch is heavily reinforced. I'm sure I'll be able to report on an accidental jibe!
I loved down below on the 445. The port aft cabin is fantastic, the way it can convert from storage to workshop to cabin.
We will use one of the aft cabins on the 41 for storage for bigger items. The galley and main cabin are fine, but the lazarettes are smallish. Since the dimensions of the rest of below are the same for both the 2 and 3 cabin version, I felt there was more versatility with the 3 for when we have our kids and maybe someday their kids.
Wife prefer down below on the 41, me the 445. This is easy, she wins.
The bed itself in the forward cabin is fine for us on the B (me tall and 215#, she medium). Because it is not an island, it will be definitely be harder for one person to get in/out without disturbing the other. We ordered the extenders for the bed.
If it was only me, I would have gone for the 445 at the time. Wife had such a strong preference for the 41, it was a no brainer. With everthing I've read about the performance of the 41 for the kind of coastal sailing we do, I actually now think I would choose the 41, too. Which is good, since it will be delivered in 6 weeks or so.
A lot of opinion, without hard facts. Sorry.