So, now that everyone has had a chance to weigh in on the liferaft debate, I will get back to the original purpose of the thread, which was to offer my impressions and experiences with the 39i, which might benefit people who are contemplating purchasing this model in the future!
We just got back from our first holiday on the boat. We spent 2 weeks in the southern Gulf Islands of BC. We were fortunate to have enough wind to sail for almost all of our travel days, although most of it was upwind. While her pointing ability and upwind performance is not quite up to scratch when compared to race prepped boats, she seemed to stack up pretty well among other cruising boats on the water. We were even able to hang with boats that were motor-sailing.
The nice thing about the 39i is that she is just to easy to sail. The small headsail makes tacking upwind much easier than boats with big genoas, although there is still some grinding to do if you have a bad tack. It is nice to be able to do it from the helm position! So far we have found the boat to be incredibly forgiving in all conditions including upwind and close reaching in 25kts of wind. Even when the boat is heeling way more than it should, the helm still responds quickly thanks to her deep, powerful rudder.
We finally got to test out our new A1 Asymetric spinnaker, bowsprit, and top down furler. We had perfect conditions, beam reaching with 11kts apparent wind, and we were trucking along at a respectable 8.5kts with the occasional burst of 9kts in the gusts, all while lunch was laid out on the cockpit table! It was all very civilized! I cant wait to see what she can do with a low drag prop and a new mainsail! I have no doubt we could get her into the double digit boatspeed if we push her harder! When it was time to douse the spinnaker, the furler made it simple and drama-free, and we didnt even have to leave the cockpit!
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