Hi again, ALIAS. That's the most honest forum name going...
I'll offer my reactions to your criteria in hopes that others do so as well. It's impossible that any two of us would agree across the board, so you need as many objective views as you can get, then filter them to get the nuggets of value to you.
you did on the 440 was a good thing to do. Few prospective cats buyers do this and you're way ahead in this regard. This probably addressed several general cat facts or fictions and perhaps you should fanagle a few more passages on others. Soon you'll be an expert. You've done the flybridge, next try a low slung Simonis design. A shorter passage
will do on this one, perhaps.
Then any garden variety production cat from other builders and finally a higher bridgedeck boarded boat. Any time on a Privilege
will be well spent. Of course, arranging long passages on multiple boats may be impractical. Just get on as many others as you can and sail them upwind as this was the topic of your original question. But so far, what you experienced on the 440 (neglecting the flybridge) will almost certainly not be as good on the Leopard 42 or Maxim V 38 concerning "underway" factors. It's a bigger and better boat in my view. I've sailed a 440 several times and it was on my short list.
As for your specific points, I'll start with the easiest first:
Btw the Leopard IMHO has the best queen bed access if that counts for much as in the middle of the night one does not need to crawl over the other party if one needs to get up.
This is an easily overlooked attribute that my Admiral and I didn't appreciate until our first charter
together. After that, one of our research
screens was a fore and aft "island" berth in the owners cabin
. I think the 440 has this. An island berth makes making the bed easier and solves the climbing over problem. In the end the boat I got does not have an island berth, but it is a king, and thus is square, so we set it up fore and aft rather than athwart ship as was intended. If/when we have to replace the mattress, we may modify it to be a queen pseudo island to permit
making it up easier. Bottom line, this attribute is what it is and you have to prioritize it.
1. Be able to provide a 'decent' sailing experience.
Of course. Especially if you have a long history
, beach cat, fine sailing mono experience, or have raced anything. Many cruising cat buyers don't. Hence there are a lot of poor sailing cats out there and the owners don't know the difference - or they don't care because their priorities were different. Usually the poorer sailing cats are terrific at anchor
or on a dock
2.Easy to sail, be able to be handled two up and possibly single handed if the occasion called for.
Any cruising cat will do for this. One of my pet peeves is seeing ads for cats that claim "all lines led to the helm
for easy single handing." Hell, who wants that unless you can't get a date? This set up can mean that you HAVE to single hand because two or certainly not three can fit at the helm to tack. Imagine flying elbows in close quarters. The Admiral and I double hand our 47 footer the vast majority of the time and we're little people. Our combined weight is about 240 pounds/109 kg. With manual primaries.
3. Have 'good' creature comforts.
They all do. The differences here are at the detail and system levels as further defined by your personal desires and intended cruising grounds and cruising style. Marinas
or remote anchorages
? GenSet and AC or "we don't need that". Of course, the bigger the boat the more comfort - which includes storage
so Dave how IYHO would the Leopard 42 or Maxim Voyage 380 stack up to my criteria or are there some others that you would throw into the ring.
So these two must be close to you and/or represent your budget
constraints? I did charter
a Leopard 45
in 2002, but have never sailed a Maxim Voyage 380. If these represent your size range I'd recommend you research
39 and the older style Lagoon 380
or 410 - I've sailed both a L380 and 410 (as well as a 440) and they'll be better sailors than either the Leopard 42 or Maxim V 38, IMHO. Since you were impressed with the 440 but not considering it I am assuming this is out of your budget
range. For the same reason I can't recommend any board boats except perhaps the Catana
401 or 411, neither of which I have sailed and they are rare. I expect you'll get other recommendations from other respondents. Good.
2 Hulls Dave