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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking in yachtworld at prices for the Sabre 42 and J/44. Three Sabre 42s for sale, average ask price of $158k, between 1987 and 1989. Five J/44s for sale, average ask price of of $272k, all between 1990 and 1992. So the J/44s are a bit newer, and it's a somewhat bigger boat. But why such difference in prices? Both are excellent quality from what I gather. Both built with similar materials. What am I missing?
 

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The two boats aren't really all that similar. J/44 rates 27 vs Sabre 42 at 96, so J/44 is much faster, more of a race boat. J/44 still has an active one-design fleet in LIS (I think) so that commands a higher price as well.
 

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The J44 is actually a much bigger boat, with 5' more waterline, 15-20% more displacement, 3 private sleeping cabins vs. 2, etc.

It's also got more sail area, and might be a handful for a couple on a breezy daysail, but a fast and exciting ride.

Are you cruising or racing? Do you need the room? Can you live with the draft? (the J draws 8', a CB Sabre 42' draws less than 5' board up)

If sailing with more than 4 people was in my plans, or serious racing, I would go with the J. If I was cruising with my wife and kids, I'd rather have the Sabre. If my kids were teens and wanted to bring a gang, I'd pick the J. Both are really good boats.

The active racing fleet has really helped the J's maintain value, but they are good boats anyway.

Either boat, well maintained, would be a joy. Good Luck.

If you look at more recent Sabre 402's or 425's, they are more expensive than the older 42's.
 

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The J44 is actually a much bigger boat, with 5' more waterline, 15-20% more displacement, 3 private sleeping cabins vs. 2, etc.

It's also got more sail area, and might be a handful for a couple on a breezy daysail, but a fast and exciting ride.

Are you cruising or racing? Do you need the room? Can you live with the draft? (the J draws 8', a CB Sabre 42' draws less than 5' board up)

If sailing with more than 4 people was in my plans, or serious racing, I would go with the J. If I was cruising with my wife and kids, I'd rather have the Sabre. If my kids were teens and wanted to bring a gang, I'd pick the J. Both are really good boats.

The active racing fleet has really helped the J's maintain value, but they are good boats anyway.

Either boat, well maintained, would be a joy. Good Luck.

If you look at more recent Sabre 402's or 425's, they are more expensive than the older 42's.
Agree completely. Good post.

- CD

PS Just a small edit, if cruising with kids, I would not go with either one... but that is another discussion. Not sure why he is choosing between just those two boats?????
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. So what other boats are there comparable to the Sabre 42? I'd like to get a short list of boats that are well built with quality components by a reputable builder, are relatively fast, have enough room for a family of 5 to go cruising, can be sailed by 2 people, and are priced under $150k. I would prefer a sloop with fin keel and fractional rig for no other reason than that's what I'm used to. It seems hard to find fractional rigs, though. The type of sailing that I would do would be a) day sailing possibly out of Corpus Christi, b) a 1-month vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula, and c) a 1-year trip to the Caribbean. I'm not American, I'm from Argentina. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why some boats are priced so much higher than others of similar size and age. For example in a "Sailing" magazine from several months back, they showed two boats of similar size: a Tartan (42' or 43') and a Jeanneau of similar size. The Tartan was listed at about twice as much as the other one. The only notable difference I saw in the specs was that the Tartan had a carbon fiber spar. Maybe Tartan is a Mercedes and Jeanneau is a Pontiac? That's the thing I'm lacking about American boats, it's the knowledge of who is who in the business.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
 

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Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
FrancoC,

It has been my unscientific observation that Sabres do not hold their value as well as some other brands that are in the same initial price range. I do not know why, it's just something I've noticed over the years.

As you compare these two boats, be sure to notice the difference in cockpit designs. If you are searching for a boat on which your family can campaign in club races, then yes, the J-boat would work well.

But, if you are looking for more of a cruising design, I would not think of the J-boat's cockpit as especially well suited for family sailing. Too many concessions to racing, and an aft section lacking sunken cockpit seating.

However, the 3-cabin layout of the J44 would be advantageous for cruising with 3 kids. But there are other boats out there that blend 3 cabins with good family-friendly cruising designs.
 

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Cruisingdad:

I just saw your post. Yes, I would be cruising with 3 kids. I am not choosing between those two boats. I am only trying to learn about what's out there and why some boats cost as much as they do.
What are their ages/gender/sleeping arrangements?

Brian
 

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Thanks for the replies. So what other boats are there comparable to the Sabre 42? I'd like to get a short list of boats that are well built with quality components by a reputable builder, are relatively fast, have enough room for a family of 5 to go cruising, can be sailed by 2 people, and are priced under $150k. I would prefer a sloop with fin keel and fractional rig for no other reason than that's what I'm used to. It seems hard to find fractional rigs, though. The type of sailing that I would do would be a) day sailing possibly out of Corpus Christi, b) a 1-month vacation to the Yucatan Peninsula, and c) a 1-year trip to the Caribbean. I'm not American, I'm from Argentina. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why some boats are priced so much higher than others of similar size and age. For example in a "Sailing" magazine from several months back, they showed two boats of similar size: a Tartan (42' or 43') and a Jeanneau of similar size. The Tartan was listed at about twice as much as the other one. The only notable difference I saw in the specs was that the Tartan had a carbon fiber spar. Maybe Tartan is a Mercedes and Jeanneau is a Pontiac? That's the thing I'm lacking about American boats, it's the knowledge of who is who in the business.

The specs are only a small part of what drives the price. As to the Tartan and Jeanneu, the Tartan has been considered to be of a higher buld quality and more of a blue water boat. Price will be driven not only by build quality but can also turn on whether a particular model has caught on as a popular one-design class, for example.

The Sabre 42 was one of the boats I looked at and liked. Sabre is a high end production boat. IMHO, well above the Catalinas and Hunters, but substantially more expensive. I think of Tartans as a similar in quality although some are reporting that their quality has come down lately. I ended up buying a substantially older boat (Swan 41) that I am very happy with.

If you have questions about particular boats, people around here are generally willing to chime in with their thoughts.
 

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Three girls, ages 9, 7, and 6. They are used to sharing.
Three children pushes you very likely into a 3 cabin boat. That pushes you into a 40+ foot boat. Unless you are swimming in money, that means you will likely be looking at a production boat - Catalina, Bene, Jeauneau, Hunter. The exception would be a Catamaran. That would give you the space you need, but that comes with considerable tradeoffs too - the least of which is not cost.

I have a Catalina 400 (as you may well have figured out). It does offer a 3 cabin model, but I am not blown away by the layout. The better layout would be a Catalina 42 three cabin. I guess if the kids were really used to sleeping together, and you got a two cabin, you could put them into queen aft berth and you and the misses take the V berth. I am just trying to figure out how you are going to arrage the sleeping arrangements. A Quarter berth is probably the equivalent of between a full and single sized bed. Can you stick three girls in there and would they be happy?

Another option would be to have one of the kids (probably the oldest) sleep in the salon while two slept in the quarter and you and the wife took the V. Only you can say if that would be practical for your family. It would be difficult for mine as my wife and I generally stay up later than the kids, and often get up earlier.

A 38+ foot production boat from Catalina, Bene, or Jeaunea would have no problem in your cruising grounds. They are there currently and have mad emuch larger ventures. They do have tradeoffs. Other boats of consideration might be something like a Passport 40 or a Tayana 42. My parents own a Tayana 42. I like the boat and it would serve you well - but you would HAVE to put one child in the salon.

If I was in your shoes, and I had to pick a baot and was focused on going cruising, I would probably get a two cabin boat. I would put the kids in the queen berth aft where they could all have a bed and as much room as possible (under the circumstances). That way you and the wife could sit up at night and get up early. There are a variety of boats that would work for you. I would not choose either J or Sabre. I like the older Benes, some of the Jeauneaus, and certainly the Catalinas. We will take our 400 to those cruising grounds, so I am not telling you to do something I would not do. We also lived aboard on a Catalina 380 which would fit your budget better. The negative (and positive) of the 380 is that it has one head. The 400 and 42 have two heads. The 400 is by far the best performing boat.

Others know other boats better. Just make sure you really consider the reality of being stuck on 40ish feet (with your kids) and how that will work day-day. You need room - period. They like their toys, they like to spread out, and they like to argue. They need a way and place to get away from each other. Make sure that as you take opinions on this board, you consider whether those that give it do in fact HAVE kids and HAVE done some serious cruising or LA with them. It is TOTALLY different than two consenting adults... I gotta tell ya.

SO, my choices would be: Catalina 400 or Catalina 42 (both MKii). If the money would not work for one of those, I would opt for a Catalina 380 which is built on a Morgan hull and is more like a tank. She does not perform nearly a well - honestly, but does well in a blow which you will get from time/time. I would avoid the typical blue water type boats because of the tighter space, cockpit arrangements, cost, and sleeping arrangements taht are typical of these types of boats. I would also make sure before I set out on this venture that I made SURE I had a pretty good buy-in from the other four members (ALL your girls). You don't want a mutiny at sea!!

Feel free to ask questions. I woudl be happy to help. I think you are in Texas? ANytime you are up near the DFW area, me and the family have our boat on Lake Texoma. You are welcome to bring your family and see what we have done to make it work and talk about our experiences. You can also view both Catalina 400 (I think I can get you on a Catalina 42), most likely a Hunter 43 (maybe not the best choice but for comparrison), and mom and dad's Tayana 42 which is but a few slips down. You are welcome to look at a Valiant 42 also, but that will be out of your price range and I do not believe it would be the best boat for your purpose.

Brian

PS My Catalina 400 has certainly held its value if not increased... even in these times. That is a pretty strong statement given the economy. I think it is because of the technical editor though!!! HEHE!!!

Also, here are some pics of the boat (sorry about the pillow in the floor.... kids, what can I say??)



This was how we split the V berth to seperate out the kids and give them their own space...

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cruisingdad:

Thanks for the very thorough response. Some time I will take you up on your offer and try to hook up with you and check out your boat.
 

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Nice looking interior and cute kids!
Thank you. Take after their momma - thank goodness for them!!!

FrancoC,

I would highly suggest trying to find a way to visit with and get to know cruising/LA families with kids or those that have done it. It will really change your perspective on many things. I have seen countless times here where people will post things that simply would be very arduous if not out right impossible when you have kids. It also has to change your level of safety and destinations to many respects.

We can discuss a bunch of this.

Brian
 

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Feel free to ignore this, but it sounds like you may take the family on an offshore passage. You might be happier with something that has seaberths where you don't have to worry about the kiddos rolling around so much. Narrow single berths are great for kids, and on passage get the crew home well rested. But they are rare in modern boats, which, frankly, are more at home in a marina than sailing offshore.

It's a bolt out of the blue, and again, feel free to ignore, but look at this:

1975 Nautor Swan Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com


These older Swans are tanks, you can have 2 girls in bed in the pilot berths while you play scrabble on the saloon table. The cabin is not so large that you can get pitched across it and injured while at sea, it has a true seagoing galley for preparing meals underway. It will probably come with a bunch of gear, has full safety gear (which I can attest is quite expensive). It apparently sailed in the 2000 Newport-Bermuda, which has one of the most stringent safety inspections. Being a pedigreed boat, will always be worthy of upgrades. And it will sail well.

I have a boat with pilot and quarter berths, and have hundreds of offshore miles with a little kid aboard. The ability to put him in a snug, secure pilot berth with a lee cloth when he was 8 years old offshore was invaluable. Secure single bunks for the off watch are not a luxury, they are a necessity.

If you are going to stay near shore or just daysail and weekend, ignore me.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That Swan is a darn good looking boat. I didn't think those boats would be accessible to the common man.

What's the difference between pilot and quarter berths?
 

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The pilot berths are outboard of the settees amidship, in the saloon (main cabin). Quarter berths are aft of the galley and nav station, tucked under the cockpit. On my boat the quarter berth is open to the main cabin. On that Swan they are in a separate cabin aft. It looks like there is a pass-thru from the galley to the starboard Q-berth.

Most people feel that, being further aft, there is a little less motion under way in the quarter berth. My experience is that, being under the cockpit, it is a little more prone to noise overhead from the cockpit. Bunks forward of the mast are useless when underway.

On our boat, the little guy can lie in his pilot berth and read, and still take part in conversations. On the Swan, the aft cabin would provide more privacy. If your girls are young, this way the little ones get their own beds, plus they are still part of the evening. I like pilot berths.

On our boat, for coastal cruising we put up the lee cloth on the quarter berth, aft of the nav station, and use it as a catch all stowage area, since the Admiral and I sleep forward. When we go offshore, that gear gets stowed forward and we set up the quarter berth for sleeping.

Be forwarned, that Swan will be a lot "cozier" than a more modern boat the same length, but you don't really need that much room. And when the wind picks up and kicks a nasty chop, that will be a very easy boat to drive.

You need to go get on some boats and compare them. You also need to think very hard about how you will actually use a boat. If you are not going offshore, don't bother with an offshore boat, for the money they are smaller, and the interiors are not as well suited to entertaining (although the inside of that swan looks very yachty to me, and would be a nice place for a glass of wine). If you are going offshore, think seriously about robust sailhandling equipment, strong construction, and offshore sleeping arrangements. A tired crew makes mistakes, and that's dangerous offshore. If it is going to be you, the wife, and 3 little girls, be sure the boat is small enough for you and the wife (preferably you or the wife) to handle easily.

Good luck!
 

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Sabre vs other boats mentioned

Sabres are meant to be sailed, designed by a world class designer (Jim Taylor) and built extremely well. The 42 is not that slow and rates 66-72 not 90. It also can be or was customized at the factory. A freind of mine had one built with 3 cabins, owners, kids, and nanny's. Comparable in price to a Tartan, the Sabre is considerably better built. All the angular exterior surfaces on the Sabre have beveled edges, not so the Tartan. Could be because Sabre owns premium mold maker North End Composites which also supplies Hinckley. Check the fit and finish closely. The Sabre construction method is to lay up the hull, fit all the interior carpentry, put deck on and score, take deck off, remove carpentry (furniture) take to varnish shop and put 6 coats on, reinstall furniture, and then reinstall the deck. Look closely at the hull of Sabre at the next boatshow and then compare it with the others. You will see the difference.

Granted, the Beneteaus, Catalinas, and Hunters can have more dockside amenities they are certainly built to a price. Sabres tend to be sweet sailing machines that are stiff with quality interiors and components. Tartans are priced similarly but have had recent service problems which have been detailed elsewhere and their design pedigree is not as strong since they got away from Sparkman Stephens as their designer.

My order of US production boatbuilders price/quality Sabre, Island Packet, Tartan, Catalina, Hunter.
 
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