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Discussion Starter #1
There is definitely a solid market out there for more performance oriented cruising boats. For some it is the superior sailing qualities of a performance boat, and the ability to get to that weekend anchorage faster than the next guy. For others it is the ability to go out and race with the boys one weekend, and then take the family out cruising the next. It may just be the ability to sail reasonably fast even when the wind strength or direction is less than ideal. Many of us would never be satisfied with a big fat full-keeled slug that needs 20kts to get going, regardless of how comfy it might be, or how much junk you can stow on board.

Having said that, my wife and I both agree that it would be nice to have many of the cruising amenities that we don't have on our current boat. The trick is to find the right balance between creature comforts and sailing performance. When we upgrade our boat next we would like to find that balance in a 35-40ft boat.

So what is the ultimate production performance cruiser or cruiser/racer out there?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have a couple of friends with B36.7s, and they are nice boats, although the wife isn't too fond of the layout, and the head location. I raced on a 40.7 and I was really impressed with the cleverly designed removable cockpit lockers that opened the cockpit up for racing, yet provided extra seating and storage for cruising.
 

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We've done a lot of miles in the Caribbean on a 36.7 - it's a treat to sail and very responsive. It does lack some storage, the head access is a bit odd.. you have to fight your way around the table, and the galley is on the small side, but as far as a sailing machine I'd have one in a minute. The removeable cockpit locker/seats are an option there too. Also the one we were on is a rare tiller version, which makes the two aft cabins equal in size. We were able to easily accommodate 6 adults on board for a couple of weeks. (granted all were accustomed to living aboard in tight quarters)

The 40.7 would be a notch up, I'd expect and should be a good one too. I'm not sure that there's anything readily available in the NA market that would beat any of the 'Firsts' on that comparison scale (performance AND comfort cruising) except perhaps the J 109 and her larger sisters.. but cost is a big factor there.

If you're following PCPs thread you'll know there are plenty of Euro models that would suit.. shame they are not more widely marketed here though they'd likely be very expensive if they were.
 

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SHock,

My wife is teh same as yours. DOes not really like the layout of the 36.7, but does like the ones on the jeanneau's. If you can afford right now that sf35 for sale near you, go buy it! That would be my first choice of a 35' boat that I know I could fine, with the sf37 behind it. I can think of a few others I would prefer over the sf37, unless I could fine one cheap, and do some rerigging of it, ie a mast 3-5' taller to get it some more power, posibly even redesign the keel a bit too. I think the big key why the sf37 is probably the better cruiser per say, is it does have a deeper hull than the 35. Hence why also the 35 is a shade quicker than the 37, along with a whopping inch or two more WL. So the 37 will have a bit more carry capacity than the 35.

Marty
 

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Take a look at the mid-80's era First 38, 42 or 456. You'll be impressed. I did an article on ours at Southwinds that you might find of interest. (There are some minor errors with dimensions due to editing errors but the overall summary is reasonably accurate.) My 4'11" 102# wife, who is definitely not a racer, loves the boat and has proven quite adept at handling it during her turns on watch, day or night.

FWIW...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SHock,

My wife is teh same as yours. DOes not really like the layout of the 36.7, but does like the ones on the jeanneau's. If you can afford right now that sf35 for sale near you, go buy it! That would be my first choice of a 35' boat that I know I could fine, with the sf37 behind it. I can think of a few others I would prefer over the sf37, unless I could fine one cheap, and do some rerigging of it, ie a mast 3-5' taller to get it some more power, posibly even redesign the keel a bit too. I think the big key why the sf37 is probably the better cruiser per say, is it does have a deeper hull than the 35. Hence why also the 35 is a shade quicker than the 37, along with a whopping inch or two more WL. So the 37 will have a bit more carry capacity than the 35.

Marty
Yeah we both really like the Jeanneaus. I particularly like the "garage" storage that the 37 has on the port side, accessed through the shower stall. It is a huge space that would be ideal for extra sails, kayak and snorkel gear, etc. (do you know if the 35 has that?)
Unfortunately we are not in a position to snap up that SF35 right now. The wife says we can't get a new boat until we sell our 2nd house. (can you believe how unreasonable wives can be? ;))
Although we have zeroed in on the Jeanneaus, I wouldn't want to overlook some other good options. It is always good to be informed on what is out there. You never know when one of those rare gems might show up on the market, and it would be unfortunate to miss out on it when it did.
The Dufours look like nice boats. You don't see too many of them around here. The wife does not like the linear galleys that Dufour and Bavaria seem to be so fond of.
 

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My CS36 Merlin is very comfortable to cruise, fast, and a joy to sail. Fun to race too.
There are some up there for you to look at, and/or if you'd like to come sailing on mine, I'd be happy to help.
 

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The J boats make a lot of sense for what kind of sailing your doing if you have no draft restriction. Seem to hold up with generally good resale as well.
 

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It amazes me that boats similar to a C&C 37+ are not among the top sellers. To me it has it all. Great looks, a below deck layout to woo the most discriminating spouse and racy performance to win the performance sailors heart.

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

Why has this design philosophy languished while lard assed tub prevail?
 

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There is a C&C 37+ here in Seattle:
Swiftsure Yachts (Seattle, WA)

I have been very happy in my dealings with Swiftsure.. I've been aboard this boat. She looks fast and seems to be well maintained. Huge aft cabin which will come at the expense of aft storage..

Looks like a recent price reduction.
 

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...

The 40.7 would be a notch up, I'd expect and should be a good one too. I'm not sure that there's anything readily available in the NA market that would beat any of the 'Firsts' on that comparison scale (performance AND comfort cruising) except perhaps the J 109 and her larger sisters.. but cost is a big factor there.

If you're following PCPs thread you'll know there are plenty of Euro models that would suit.. shame they are not more widely marketed here though they'd likely be very expensive if they were.
Faster, if someone is thinking in buying a relatively recent 37/40ft performance boat the best place to do it is Europe and with some luck in French Martinique.

The choice is much bigger and the prices better. I say a relatively recent boat because a recent one (10 year old boat) if well chose will be ready with a minimal preparation to cross the Atlantic.

I agree the First 40.7 is a great boat but there are performance boats with better interior. Probably the best deal in what money regards is the Dufour 40 but you have plenty interesting boats: Salona 37, Elan 37, Elan 40, Comet 38 and 41, GrandSoleil 37 and 40, wauquiez 41, Dehler 36 and 39, not to mention more expensive Nordic boats like x 37 and 40, Arcona 400 and 37, Finngulf 37 and many others.

Sometimes the prices in the used market of what where once very expensive boats is surprisingly close to the price what where much less expensive boats. Probably the best places to buy boats now is Portugal, Spain and specially Italy where Grandsoleils and Comets can be bought at less than half the price.

For the ones that are eventually interested I know of a nice dealer that works with Grand Soleil and sell boats with a one year warranty (given by Grand Soleil).

Regards

Paulo
 

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Yes, Paulo... Our friends bought their 36.7 new in Guadeloupe for a very good price indeed, and were able to get the tiller version they wanted. It had been a demo and came with a pricey B&G electronics suite too. As Eastern Carib island hopping was on their agenda it was a perfect fit. Now going on 12 years it's served them well - though definitely not the "norm" amongst cruisers there.
 

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Beneteau 36.7's are nice boats with reasonably good performance. We have our boat's name on the transom of our J/36 in letters 12" high so that the crews with binoculars on the 36.7's can still read who it was that beat them. Coming from a Santana, some of the suggestions above will seem pedestrian. It's going to boil down to what sort of performance/cruising comfort/cost balance you want. When we every now and then pass a J/109 boat-for-boat, we think how happy we are not to have spent five or six times as much as we did. We also enjoy fresh Maine blueberries in muffins hot from the oven. (Do J/109's even have ovens?) All the little things add up to what you enjoy the most. Happy hunting!
 

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Beneteau 36.7's are nice boats with reasonably good performance. We have our boat's name on the transom of our J/36 in letters 12" high so that the crews with binoculars on the 36.7's can still read who it was that beat them. Coming from a Santana, some of the suggestions above will seem pedestrian. It's going to boil down to what sort of performance/cruising comfort/cost balance you want. When we every now and then pass a J/109 boat-for-boat, we think how happy we are not to have spent five or six times as much as we did. We also enjoy fresh Maine blueberries in muffins hot from the oven. (Do J/109's even have ovens?) All the little things add up to what you enjoy the most. Happy hunting!
A bit confused with the performance of the J36. For what I can tell the boat has a PHRF of about 81 while the Benetau 36.7 have about 78 and the J 109 with 78 has about the same as the 36.7. Both the 36.7 and the J109 sailed to their rating should be faster.

J/Boats PHRF Sailing Performance Comparison Table

Of course it all depends on the particular boat (in what regards the J 109 and the First 36.7) but if you look to this IRC list organized by boat speed you will see the 36.7 mixed with the J109 (depending on the particular boat) and also with the Dehler 36 or Elan 37, X 37, C&C 110 and Finngulf 37. in what regards sailing performance and cruising all these boats have a very close performance (along with the First 35). Some have a much better cruising interiors than others.

http://www.blur.se/polar/IRC_rating.pdf

Probably what makes your boat faster is good sailing;)

Regards

Paulo
 

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Having raced on and against a well sailed J36 I can attest that they are much faster on the water than they appear to be on paper. As Paulk correctly observed, they have a fair number of amenities for cruising comfort at a very reasonable price. The problem I see is that there just aren't very many of them for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It amazes me that boats similar to a C&C 37+ are not among the top sellers. To me it has it all. Great looks, a below deck layout to woo the most discriminating spouse and racy performance to win the performance sailors heart.

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

Why has this design philosophy languished while lard assed tub prevail?
I have always liked the look of those C&Cs, and they certainly appear to have a lot of comfort. I didn't realize that the transom opened up for the swim ladder! That reverse transom is one thing that really dates the design. People like the nice wide open transoms of more modern boats, and of course the extra beam aft means more space aft!

I should find a local 37+ to have a look at. I know my wife would LOVE that aft stateroom!

What is the difference between the 37+ and the 37R? (And why do they call it a 37+ when it is actually a 40? :confused:)
 

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Having raced on and against a well sailed J36 I can attest that they are much faster on the water than they appear to be on paper. As Paulk correctly observed, they have a fair number of amenities for cruising comfort at a very reasonable price. The problem I see is that there just aren't very many of them for sale.
Thanks! We've had our J/36 since 1999, and have enjoyed winning the club championship several times against some obviously hot competition, as well as cruising between New York City and Northeast Harbor, Maine. We've hit 12.5 knots in a blow with just a reefed main up, and 13 knots with the full main, spinnaker and 150% genoa all up at once. Though fast is fun, we've also spent days at anchor, simply relaxing, or perhaps baking blueberry muffins. Eclipse is not for sale (sorry!). There were only about 40 J/36's built, but a good number seem to have migrated to the PNW/Seattle area. J/35's are more common, but lack some of the creature comforts we enjoy unless they've been customized. Around here, we rate 84 PHRF (87 with a roller-furler) while the Beneteau 36.7 rates 93 for 'round the buoys racing. J/109's rate 66. (J/105's rate 96, but you can't stand up below, so why bother?) The J/35 rates 78, and we've passed every one we've raced against as well. The advantage of PHRF is that it adjusts ratings to prevalent local conditions and thus makes the rating more valid than IRC with it's "one size fits all conditions" approach. There are a lot of boats out there. Check them out!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There is a C&C 37+ here in Seattle:
Swiftsure Yachts (Seattle, WA)

I have been very happy in my dealings with Swiftsure.. I've been aboard this boat. She looks fast and seems to be well maintained. Huge aft cabin which will come at the expense of aft storage..

Looks like a recent price reduction.
That one looks like a very well set up and cared for boat! It is a bit older than we intended to get, but the model definitely is on my radar now!
 
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