Maxi 34 vs Jeanneau Sunshine 38 - SailNet Community
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Maxi 34 vs Jeanneau Sunshine 38

Hey! I am going circumnavigating the world next year and have been looking for boats for a couple of years now. I am starting to get close and have decided to go for either Maxi 34 feet (1995) or Jeannaeu Sunshine 38 feet (1987).

Let's look at the pros and cons for the Maxi 34:
It's more expensive, although it breaks my budget, it's more or less ready to go.
It's smaller in size and weight (security), but easier to handle!

Jeanneau Sunshine 38:
It need minor exterior renovations, rope, gas installation, chain, and anti fouling.
It's cheaper, but I believe the upgrades will come close to the price of the Maxi 34.
It's one tonne heavier, wider and longer. More difficult to sail solo, but I would feel way more secure.

I'm thinking maybe some of you know which boat is more suitable for ocean crossings? Should I invest the time and resources on an older, bigger boat, or a smaller good-looking boat?

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Re: Maxi 34 vs Jeanneau Sunshine 38

Depending on the route you chose to take (i.e. the great capes vs Panama and Suez Canals), the answer is neither. Both boats have dismal reputations in terms of build quality, and while Maxi's build quality improved during the 1990's, they still have a reputation of being light duty coastal racer-cruisers. Assuming the Maxi in question is a Maxi 1000, Both boats have IOR hull forms, which are less than ideal in terms of motion comfort. seaworthiness, and carrying capacity. The IOR sail plan on the Jenneau makes this a more difficult design to handle short-handed, while the Maxi's fractional rig (with careful adaptation) would be an easier rig to single-hand/short-hand.

While you may be able to pour a lot of money in making these boats robust enough for the Canal route, personally I would suggest that you scratch both boats off of your list and look for a better suited design. Instead, I would suggest that approach this by looking for performance boats that were designed for offshore cruising, or more traditional boats that were similalry intended, and avoid boats that were intended as coastal cruiser/racers, and particularly those with IOR hull forms and rig proportions.

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Re: Maxi 34 vs Jeanneau Sunshine 38


I did a circumnavigation and am still cruising on my Beneteau 393.

I know Jeneaus but I dont know a Maxi 34.

My philosophy when buying was the buy the most liquid asset... ie what is easiest to sell?

The most common boat in the world is easiest to fix anywhere in the world. Same with engines and kit.
If its a Yanmar its cheaper to fix and fixable (more or less) anywhere.

Size: You may think theres little difference in a 34 footer and a 38 but wait for a year LOLOL Go for the bigger boat, even if its just 1 inch bigger buy the bigger boat

So: Simple is best;
Fixable anywhere is best.
Biggest is best
newest is best
Theres more good boats to buy than you can ever see. Keep looking!

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Re: Maxi 34 vs Jeanneau Sunshine 38

The OP does not say where he sails now or what geographic market he is shopping. (BIO is empty.)

There are great limited-production boats suitable for ocean crossing, but I would not recommend his initial choices either. As to newer vs older, look first at the boat. A lot of new boats are built very weak, and intended for a daysailing and floating-condo market.

There are fast, good sailing boats from the 70's and 80's, but some searching is needed. When found, some equipment updating will be needed.

The thing to focus on is that really strong attachments of: the keel to the hull, and.... the hull to the deck... cannot be taken for granted.

Choose Carefully, as the aged knight told Indy....

1988 Olson 34, by Ericson Yachts.
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