Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Jeaneau Sun Fizz 40 Comments
The Jeaneau Sun Fizz was a very popular IOR based, budget oriented performance cruiser. They were aimed at club racing, coastal cruising and the then blossoming Carribean Charter trade. They were good boats for that purpose offering reasonable performance and nice accomodations, and depending on the options a fairly large water tank capacity. They were very good boats for what they were intended to be.
What they were not intended to be is an offshore capable long range cruiser. Sporting the IOR typeform hull of that era and IOR proportioned rig, these boat do not track well and have a tendancy to broach and roll downwind. Dealing with larger changes in windspeed is not easy because moderate wind performance requires pretty large genoas, which are quickly overpowered as windspeeds increase and which are too large to roller furl down to a useful size and shape in a blow.
These boats have a very small ballast ratio, expecially when loaded with the amount of gear that it takes for the kind of long range cruising that you seem to be planning. The shoal draft versions also had cast iron keels, a lower density ballast, which further raises the VCG of the boat and reduces its LPS to an unacceptably small angle.
Build quality on these boats was not very good and from my exposure to used versions of these boats, they would not be as robust as one would want to spend long periods voyaging to remote places.
In terms of the more practical aspects of a distance cruiser, ventilation is not very good, there is comparatively little storage and what storage that there is occurs pretty high in the hull. Bulkhead attachment was notably unreliable. On the shoal draft versions of these boats, the post hung spade rudder is nearly as deep as the keel making it extremely vulnerable in a grounding. There is minimal room for a work area, engine access is a little limited (earlier boats were worse than later boats and three stateroom versions supposedly worse than two)and so on.
In other words, these would not be a particularly good choice for the kind of passages that you are contemplating. When researching Jeaneau Sun Fizz 40 for a previous response, this model was discussed with a couple surveyors and with a person who had run a charter fleet that employed both the Jeaneau Sun Fizz 40 and Beneteau First 405''s. My conclusion then was that the Beneteau First 405''s were substantially better constructed and a more robust boat and although neither are ideal long distance cruisers, the Beneteau would probably make a better choice to meet your objectives.