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Old 07-02-2014, 15:01   #1
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Sabre 362 offshore

I'm looking at a Sabre 362, it looks like a really nice quality boat. But I'm worried about the balsa cored hull! It's almost 20 years old, seems to have been well maintained, but is the hull susceptible to get water and saturate the balsa core over time? Is there any known problem of high level of moisture on older Sabre hull.

Is it worth to pay the extra $$ for a higher quality boat like the Sabre that have a cored hull? Or would it be more wise to buy a boat with a solid glass hull?

Any other thoughts about that boat for offshore and circumnavigation?
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Old 07-02-2014, 16:12   #2
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Sabre's are not know for hull core moisture issues. They have been using vinylester resins since the mid-late 80's. There is no core around thru-holes. T

The best source of info on the net for Sabre sailboats is here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...tions/messages

I own a late 36 and have sailed on 362s and 386 and they are greats boats.

You want to look very closely for water damage around the mast step (not as much as an issue on later boats).

Good Luck.
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Old 07-02-2014, 16:14   #3
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

I have owned a couple of cruising boats with balsa core below the water line. That is what you are concerned about right. The J/32 I owned was about 5 years old when I purchased it and the survey didn't indicate any water intrusion.

I think if you are careful about never putting a thruhull any place other that where the builder layed up solid fiberglass for that purpose, you are probably ok.

And if you are going to purchase one, get a survey and let the surveyor tell you what the core condition is like.

Sabre 362s are nice boats. The core makes them lighter and for racing or just wanting to have a fast boat that is good. For blue water cruising it is irrelevant. But you might not want a slow blue water boat like an Island Packet or even a Pacific Seacraft (not so slow actually!).

David
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Old 07-02-2014, 21:23   #4
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Every boat is a compromise. Cored hulls compromise weight and strength against the possibility of a leak getting into the core and damaging it. An uncored hull won't have this problem, but solid fiberglass by itself is not actually that strong, and has to be quite thick - and HEAVY - in order to be strong enough. This weight has to be carried around everywhere you go, and takes energy to move, without being stronger than the cored hull. Hulls of other materials have other issues, like rust, electrolysis, swelling, rot, and borers. Many manufacturers have decided that the strength and lightness afforded by the cored hull is worth the trade-off.

"Moisture" in a cored hull is also a tricky thing. When we bought our 1981 boat in 1999, one surveyor's moisture meter showed it was wet all over below the waterline. Another surveyor put his meter in the bilge- where there was no bottom paint - and it showed perfectly dry. The paint was apparently messing up the readings taken from the outside of the hull. We figured that if the first surveyor was correct, the freezing cycles the boat had been through should have caused delamination - but there wasn't any. We did eventually have an area about 2' in diameter became delaminated after water got in through a screw hole on the INSIDE of the hull. It took about 12 years for this to occur. It took about two weeks for me to fix it, by myself, going at if after work and on weekends. A boat that has been taken care of should continue to perform as long as it's taken care of, no matter what it's made of.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:29   #5
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Wouldn't the balsa core have some other advantages such as helping prevent interior condensation in cold weather?
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:36   #6
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxe68 View Post
Wouldn't the balsa core have some other advantages such as helping prevent interior condensation in cold weather?
When it gets that cold out, we haul for the winter!
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:44   #7
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Cored hulls are generally stronger than solid laminate as the coring acts like a beam. The structure can take an impact without failing better than most solid hulls plus as another poster mentioned you get additional insulation so its quieter and less condensation for live a boards. If its done well by people who know what they are doing its a very good way to build a sailboat.
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Old 08-02-2014, 14:57   #8
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

I've gone over a few Sabre insurance auction boats I was looking at to turn over and was impressed by the quality of construction on them. Sabre in general uses good quality building practices and turns out a quality product, which is reflected in their resale price.
I've not heard of any core issues with them from the surveyors I've talked with or several people who've owned them, I did a bit of homework on Sabres when looking for one for a friend.
Having owned a couple cored boats in the past I am not concerned with cored construction unless a previous owner has modified the hull by adding through hulls without going the extra mile to seal the area around the newly cut hole.
More likely issues exist with cored decks, on any boat which have not had the deck hardware regularly maintained and re-sealed.
Of course like any big purchase, hire a good surveyor who has experience with cored hulls.
The cored boats I owned were both cored above the waterline so it wasn't an issue there.
Whether cored or not, it's worth hiring a surveyor to go through the potential purchase, just remember, all surveyors are not created equal, ask around for refferals from actual past customers of the surveyor you pick. I've found a wide variation in skill and experience level over the years, find one who has lots of sailboat and cored hull knowledge. It's worth keeping the one you hire honest by going through the survey with him or her, you both may learn something in the process.
The surveyor I hired last year for our latest boat was excellent but I still made sure I had concerns in certain areas which helped him give it a little extra scrutiny. On the other hand a friend of mine purchased a boat his surveyor gave the thumbs up only to find the radar, depth sounder, and auto pilot did not work, even though he assured him they all worked, apparently he just took the owners word for it rather than testing it, we later found the water tanks leaked, The fuel tank had problems, the starting battery was not tied down or contained in any way, etc, etc, etc, all these things were obvious, unfortunately the surveyor he used didn't see it, yet he still charged the same rate as others.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:43   #9
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Thank you everyone for the replies, it's really useful and appreciated! I'm about to make an offer on that sailboat and for sure I'll have a good survey done to look carefully at the hull.
MichaelL
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Old 09-02-2014, 17:36   #10
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Re: Sabre 362 offshore

Good luck, hope all works out.
Sabres are well built, stable and perform well, and look good to boot.
Make the final payment contingent on the survey, make sure to hold back enough final payment to cover any issues you might want to negotiate into the final purchase price.
Hope all works out.
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