We are contemplating an upgrade and would appreciate observations from people who know about these boats and how they perform, as well as other attributes or any issues.
I raced on a 40.7 a couple of times, it was a nice boat. I liked the removable cockpit lockers that offer more storage for cruising, but are easily removed and left on the dock to open the cockpit up for racing.We looked at a Beneteau 40.7 too. Nice boat. Deep. Pretty down below, but absolutely no place to stow much of anything, anywhere. You'd have to throw your backpack of gear & clothes for an overnight race into one of the quarter cabins, and work out of that. We have more, and better, stowage on the J/36 for foul weather gear, clothes, food, dishes, gear and spares than a 4' longer boat. The handholds below also seemed weak and insufficient. J/109's have the same stowage problem, and less headroom than we do. You are right that the J/36 is a good boat, but we are finding it difficult to find crew eager to work symmetrical spinnakers, and would like to invite other couples to come cruising without us all being in one tent, as it were.
Wow! 138? That doesn't seem right. Our local phrf handicapper told me my boat would rate around 90 and it is not a iP.The usual crew also don't want to race with the spinnaker because the Wednesday night spinnaker fleet includes seven or eight feisty J/109's and three or four J/120's, among others. It can get cozy at the start. Despite this, over the past 20 years we have won the club championship trophy three times. Around here, the Jeanneau 39i P rates 138 in PHRF. It doesn't have enough sail area to be able to move in our light air. The Sabre 402 rates 75 and has a higher SA/DISP ratio than the Jeanneau, though not as high as the J/36. They're all different boats.