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EvanstonJohn 03-03-2010 05:22 PM

Sunsail Older Oceanis 373 or Newer Jeanneau 36i?
Hi, all,

I'm 6'5" tall, which is at least part of the reason for this question. Am considering chartering an older 2004 373 or a newer 2008 or 2009 36i from Sunsail @ Tortola. The 373 is cheaper because it's older. AND it is supposed to have 6'5" headroom versus 6'3" for the 36i.

My question is whether the extra cost is worth the 2 or 3" of headroom, or is the real answer that the newer boat probably has fewer problems and that I should just accept that I'll be stooped over a bit in the cabin of a more expensive but more reliable boat? Or am I just overthinking when 90% of the time I should be above deck!??

Two years ago I rented an Oceanis 39 and liked the headroom.


sailingdog 03-04-2010 03:49 AM

More important than the headroom is does either have a berth that you can lie down in and stretch out in and sleep in comfortably. If one does and the other does not...get the one with the berth regardless of headroom. Not having a good berth to sleep in will make you miserable...more so than having to hunch a bit—especially since the majority of time you're down below you are sitting down.

EvanstonJohn 03-04-2010 03:44 PM

A very very good point, SailingDog. The 373 wins on that one. And of course Sunsail promised no musty cabins on a 5 or 6 year old boat . . . Right.

sailingdog 03-04-2010 11:16 PM

Glad to help. :D

BoxedUp 04-15-2010 11:28 AM

I agree with sailingdog that the comfortable berth should be the priority. I didn't think that Sunsail kept boats for more than 5 years, so how come you're looking at a 2004?

We last chartered a 5 yo 393 in 2007 and the boat was in good condition except for an odor in one of the heads. Next month we'll be on a 423 and didn't feel it was justified to pay extra for their "Premier" boats.

EvanstonJohn 04-15-2010 11:52 AM

Boxed Up - they told me it was 4-6 years old. Anyway, I decided to rent the older boat for reasons you noted, and will find out in a month!

Also, unrelated question, but not sure it's worth a new thread. How do you reef the main on the Sunsail monohulls? It's a slab reefing system, as you know. I actually know the basic steps in the drill except for the main issue of how you depressure the main - do you luff it through releasing the mainsheet (which would make more sense to me since the job could provide the power during the reefing) or head into the wind, engine possibly on, and both sails flapping? Even though I've sailed for a decade, and chartered twice from Sunsail, I've never had to reef anything with the exception of a friend's in-mast 37', where I think we headed into the wind for a bit. But memory is hazy.


BoxedUp 04-15-2010 12:13 PM

The last time down, we would start out from the dock with 1 reef in and if I remember correctly, only shook it out maybe once. It takes my wife a little longer than some to acclimate to sailing and I didn't want to overpower the boat and heal excessively. Since she's a BVI veteran now, we'll see if we can dip the rail....:D

If you're underway and want to put a reef in, ease the mainsheet until she luffs and then lower the main and adjust your reef lines. No need to head into the wind.

chrondi 04-20-2010 09:53 AM

Finally, perhaps you WILL RATHER point to windward while you lower the mainsail in order to avoid jamming it (or one of the battens) between the lazyjacks as it flaps uncontrolled.

EvanstonJohn 04-20-2010 11:27 AM

chrondi, not sure what you mean - wouldn't pointing to windward and easing the sheet produce the same result - a luffing sail? Guess I don't see how you avoid some flapping, since I assume that any significant wind pressure on the main will impede lowering the halyard and increase the likelihood that the battens will jam on the lazyjacks.

chrondi 04-22-2010 09:32 AM

When the boom is amidship the boat is in a better balance (i.e. there is less oscillation to port and starboard) and you have easier access to the mainsail and thus can readily intervene. When the boom hangs out both mainsail and ropes are out of reach and you can shake neither to free a jammed piece on the rigging.

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