The admiral and I own and actively cruise
on a Sabre
34. As we near retirement
, with ambitions of extended cruising
, we are looking for our next boat
, and can't seem to zero in on a target. We understand that every boat
is a compromise, and we don't expect to find the performance of a Volvo
60 with the comfort and capability of a Halberg Rassey at the price
of a 1970's homebuilt ferro-cement boat. But we do have some firm-ish parameters. Does anyone have suggestions on a design that meets or comes close to this list? I'm sure many folks have different priorities, but this is our set of priorities.
* 40-45 feet. Roughly. We don't think boats under 40 will meet our target comfort level, and boats over 45 won't meet our purchase budget
, maintenance budget
, or physical abilities.
* Newer than 1990. Older boats are often gems, but generally they are rather worn out. Our Sabre
is 1979, and as wonderful as she is, she's old.
* $100-$200K. At the low end, I realize a lot of work
will be needed. However, I often see boats at the high end needing just as much! (5 year old or 15 year old instruments all need upgrading, minor gelcoat
"dock rash" or major, both need a paint
* Performance at least equal to a Sabre 42. For those who race
, I'd like a PHRF below say 100. I'm not going to race
-- but I like a boat that sails
below 6'. I don't mind a centerboard
-- I love mine. I'd take a centerboard
over a wing, but I'd take either. My home waters are the Chesapeake, and the water
is thin here.
. This is a major issue. Most modern boats sacrifice storage
for that "spacious feeling." That means space under the floorboards, space outboard
of bunks, a large "anchor locker," a lazarette, tanks
under the floor to free up bunk space, only one head
, only one "cabin"), etc. My Sabre 34 has trouble storing enough for a weekend, let alone a week -- or more!
* Designed for offshore work
. I do NOT feel that it has to be a long keel
double ender with keel
-- but at the same time, storage behind cushions
held in place with VELCRO doesn't cut it. Same with limited hand rails "hidden from view"
lines. This rules out, for us, most center cockpit
designs. Center cockpits also trade
aft-cabin privacy (which a couple doesn't need) for living space.
* Factory original with a Solent or inside stay, or an easy retrofit. I'm tired of finding my rolled up jib
is terrible in 30 knots to weather
, and want an easier solution. Factory original speaks favorably to the design intent.
* Reverse transom or transom steps. I am NOT going to load groceries on a side-mount ladder, have to fit a ladder ever time I want to go swimming (or recover a man-overboard), or try and climb a side-mount ladder in full SCUBA gear
. I am open to options to this, but don't know of any.
* Capable of accommodating a stern arch for davits
. Yes, there are other solutions, but I'd rather not go there.
* Significant fridge and freezer
space (have you seen the Passports?)
* Accessible bunk in master stateroom Classic
forepeak is awful (we live with it now). Pullman is pretty cool. Aft cabin
seems it would be hot.
* Durable hull
. Either sold
glass below the water
line, or aluminum
. Possibly steel
visibility to the outside. Most modern boats have nearly useless ports
. I can see far more out of my '79 34' boat than almost any boat at the shows. To make matters worse, I'm only 5'8.
We've looked at many boats, new and old. Some come close. I believe I'm not searching for the impossible. Some that come close:
* Sabre 42 or 425. This is a lovely boat. It's only drawback is the storage. We looked at it and thought, where do we put a load of spare engine parts
, summer clothes, food
, SCUBA compressor
, 4 SCUBA tanks
, a reacher, an asym, etc, etc.
* Passport 42-ish. A lovely boat, with a LOT of pluses. Very top of our price
range, but real killer was the lack a transom entry solution. Also, can't support an arch (very narrow transom)
* Outbound. SCORE. Except for that price issue.
* Lots of William Garden design ketches. I grew up on one, and she'd be lovely. Except she's slow off the wind
and a pig upwind.
* Saga 43. There is one 2 boats down from mine (not for sale
, but I can lust). Prices are near the upper limit, but probably OK. Haven't crawled all over her, but I suspect storage is lacking.
So reading my list, does any design jump out? I'm all ears!
'79 Sabre 34
Mill Creek, Annapolis