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  #1  
Old 03-15-2004
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Jeaneau Sun Fizz 40 Comments

I am considering purchasing a Jeanneau Sun Fizz 40. I would appreciate any comments from people that have experience with the Sun Fizz. I plan on sailing offshore, to Mexico then onto the South Pacific. Curious about how well she handles the severe weather and any other issues that maybe problems.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-16-2004
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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.

Respectfully,
Jeff



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Old 03-16-2004
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Jeaneau Sun Fizz 40 Comments

I think Jeff hit the nail on the head. I generally thing of Jeanneau''s as being fairly well built boats, at least as well as bene''s. Having had the chance to inspect a Jean Sun Fizz 40, I too was sorely dissapointed. The actual berth sizes were quite lacking, the two aft qtr cabins being good only for children. The glass work was sub par and too thin in quite a few places.

What I find most illuminating about these boats was that the exact same design was used later to build the O''Day 40. But...the O''Day 40 was built 2000 lbs heavier and built with a balsa cored hull. Those are significant changes.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 03-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
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.

Respectfully,
Jeff
Hi Jeff,
I was selecting between sun fizz 40 -86 and First 405 -87. In my opinion the later sun fizz models are as good as first 405 - or even better in some aspects. None of those boats are finished for long range sailing directly from the manufacturer, but many sun fizz have made the turn around our globe.

The sandwish hull on Oday is, in my opinoin, not as good as you say. Those older boats have a lot of moist in the hull nowadays and the strengt is decreased and the hull becomes heavier. over the years.

The most importent thing is to keep the boat in good shape, and sail safe. The perfect boat doesn't exist. What I try to say is that the selection of sun fiss or First 405 isn't essential for the success of sailing to south pacific. Its much more important to keep the boat in good shape, bring the right equipments and be careful. Use your skill to forecast problems that might appear, and be prepared.

Thanks and sorry for my sometimes inadequate english skill.

Greatly pleased "Jeanneausailor"

Last edited by jeanneausailor; 03-27-2009 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 03-26-2009
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Good points Jeanneausailor.
Just be aware though that the discussion above does date back to 2004.
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Old 03-27-2009
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Thanks chall03,

I'm aware about that, but the question is of current interest.

Those boats have a bit different designs and engineerings which gives different advantages and disadvantages. Those boats are over 20 years old now and some advantages on a new boat have become a disadvantage on an old boat and vice versa. E g balsa sandwich hull on Oday, if you get moist in it, will loosen strength after many years compared to a singel laminate hull. Singel laminate hull is cheaper to repair. Liners in First 405 makes the boat light weight and storng when its new, but loosen to easy from the hull, some people says. If it's right, how strong is that hull after many years?

Sun Fizz has a simple singel laminate design with no loose liners - easier to evaluate the shape of it after many years of use. That's one strong advantage, in my opinion, in my way to use the boat.

But I like First 405 too! It has more keel

Wish you many enjoyable NM at sea.

"Jeanneausailor"

Last edited by jeanneausailor; 03-27-2009 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 06-28-2010
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First Boat

I am about to buy my first boat and have the chance of the Sun Fizz 40 which requires some work, as I am a joiner I know I can do the work and get the boat up to scratch but could anyone tell me if this is a good first boat as I want something between a 36' and 40' as I do not wish to keep on buying and selling yachts realising that my last yacht was not big enough.
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Old 06-29-2010
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If you like it - the answer is yes. Just make a proper inspection to avoid surprises. Since sun fizz is quite simple designed, it's quite easy to inspect and find any damages. There is many things that can cost you a lot.
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Old 06-29-2010
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I don't know much about older boats, but my respect for the Jeanneau Sun Fizz 40 grew after reading this:

“We cruised for more than 16 years on a Jeanneau Sun Fizz, which in 1981 was a "modern Racer-Cruiser." Light to moderate displacement, relatively deep fin keel. She was quick, went to weather well provided one reefed early, and was very roomy and had tons of efficient and easily accessible storage space. We went through a lot of heavy seas and bad weather, rode out (at anchor) several hurricanes and cyclones, including one that came through a place where hurricanes don't go. Hah!

(On) our quick trip from American Samoa to Niuatoptapu, Tonga. Ours was the lightest boat in the group that went there, and we did it about five hours faster than any of the other boats. That is one of the big differences between heavy full-keeler and a lighter, quicker, better pointing fin keeler.

Some of the people we've met on those heavy "cruiser friendly" boats suffered blue water passages a lot worse than we did. There was never a passage where I couldn't cook a hot meal or brew coffee every day.

Our Sun Fizz is much cheaper to buy than your friend's budget. He couldn't spend that much on one even if he did a complete refit with all new standing rigging. However, it is a different boat to sail than a heavy boat, and your friend needs to sail some of these boats to see what he will be comfortable with. “

URL=Best Boat(s) For Circumnavigation - World Cruising and Sailing Forums

Last edited by PCP; 06-29-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 06-29-2010
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At the end of the day - in my opinion - the "bluewater" argument seems to be losing legs. There are just too many variables, and too much subjectivity for anything definitive to ever come out of that debate. So PCP's and Jenne's posts make a lot of sense to me.

So, if you guys had to choose between at Bene First and Jenneau SF of the same era - what would you choose?
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