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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any observations which of these two is more stiff? What wind speed requires reefing? Plan to cruise - are these models suitable for coastal cruising where the wind often kicks up pretty hard?

Also looking at Bristol 29.9. Any other suggestions for a good solid cruiser in this length and price range 15 - 25K?
 

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Love the 3 models you're looking at. I also like the Ericson 32-3.

I would have thought that any of these models, in good condition, with the right equipment, and with a sailor with the right experience, would be fine for coastal cruising. Obviously these are all variables, which is why you're not going to get a definitive answer. They all have the potential to be fine coastal cruisers, yes.

I know of a Bristol 29.9 that has circumnavigated. I'm sure those Sabres have, too.

I'd be buying on condition and equipment.

There isn't much to choose between them, in terms of ballast to displacement. I would have thought that the Sabre 30 mk iii would be the most initially stiff, as it is slightly beamier. However it's got a bit more sail area to displacement, which is going to cancel out the extra beam. Should be a bit faster in light air as a result. The Sabre also has a deeper keel, so should carry its ballast lower.
 

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Either will serve you well. And then some. An excellent build and great sailing to boot.

I would get the boat that is in the best possible condition for the budget you have set.

Best of luck in what ever you choose.
 

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I work on all those boats. The Sabre 32 is a unique layout and had a Targa option as well. I tend to like it but some don't. I actually prefer it to the 34 MKI layout.. The Sabre 30 MKIII is a more traditional layout and has a good cockpit for a 30 footer. Both the 32 and 30 are nice sailing boats. I personally prefer both to the 29.9, but like the Sabre, the 29.9 is certainly well built. I stepped into the sink on a 29.9 and nearly broke my ankle. It is in an odd place but no different then the Sabre 30 MKIII...

The 30MKII has a small engine though, 2 cylinder, when compared to the 32, a four cylinder, but it has easier access to work on it. There is a nice MKIII for sale in Falmouth, ME and the owner used to be a member here.. She looked great in the spring but they launched her and she needs a good cleaning now..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback- really helps. Regarding last reply, you mentioned owning a 32. Can you carry full sail to about 18 knots +/-? Also, do you find the helm well balanced or is there pull? How does she handle chop? Wet or dry ride? Thanks.
 

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Sorry! I've owned 2 Sabres, a 28 and now a 38.

To answer your questions, not sure what " full sail" is, the definition can vary. However, you should be able to go with full main and 130 Genoa to about 18 knots on the 32. More importantly, Sabre likes their boats kept at 26 degrees of heel or less. And heel is highly dependent on the sail quality. If the sails are not shaped correctly and the draft is too far aft, you heel more and sooner. So my assessment assumes good sails, not 25 yo stuff. With decent sails, Sabres are very well balanced and weather helm is minimal. Ride is average, my 28 had a lot of sheer and was dry for her size, IMO. The 38 has less sheer but we're farther aft and are dry. As with most vessels, size and weight counter chop, our 38 has the mass to go through heavy chop and not stop. Our 28 would drop to 0.5 kts when slammed on the nose with a 4' face. That's one reason why we went larger ... The mass has made our ride much better. This is why I recommended the 32 to you. .. More interior accommodation and mass.
 
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