Bought a 440 last February in Guadeloupe
, and never looked back. Owned a FP 38 previously, sailed on FP43, other 40' cats, and seriously looked at some 380's, but me and the admiral are so happy we went with the 440.
Obviously the room, the open galley mentioned already, but for us ( and there is just the two of us on the boat with occasional visitors), it's the outdoor spaces, main cockpit
, forward cockpit and the raised helm
that made the difference for us.
Once you have experienced the raised helm with 360 degree views in the marina, or on a crossing between islands, you will not be able to go back to just sitting behind the bulkhead.
On crossings between islands, we and our guests are all on top, much more comfortable and pleasant than being in the rear facing cockpit, especially when the waves start hitting the 6' + between the islands.
Of course, choosing the weather
windows is important, and that depends on your style of cruising - we tend to be patient and wait, with an occasional shower
not a problem. Yes, somewhat exposed if weather deteriorates, but that's true of most boat cockpits.
The high boom is the one downside, but you learn to manage. A small step ladder, and lowering the bimini
and boom make it manageable to work the mainsail
The 440 is not a light boat, but easily does 8-10 knots in comfort - beyond that usually means a more adventurous ride then we like, and so will reef to keep in that speed range and stay comfortable.
No extended voyaging yet, so can't comment on spending week(s) at sea, but spending months island hopping was a blast.
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