Editor’s note: this guide applies to the first and second generation Sabre sailboats designed by Roger Hewson and sold from the company’s founding in the early 1970s through the early 1990s. The third generation of Sabres was designed by Jim Taylor and can be identified by their three number model name instead of a two number model name (for example the Sabre 362 is a third-generation Jim Taylor design, while the Sabre 36 is a second generation Roger Hewson design launched in the mid 1980s). Construction of the third generation boats differs slightly and so while many of these tips may apply, others may not. For example the Jim Taylor designed Sabres often had foam as opposed to balsa coring in their hulls.
During our four years restoring Sabre 42 #57 we learned heaps about how the boats are built and what to look for when we shop for our next Sabre sailboat (which are very likely to do after our ‘long’ cruise on the bigger boat). As a result of our blog, we also met several other Sabre owners online and picked up additional tips and tricks as a result of their experiences. We thought it would be fun to write an article enumerating our Sabre-specific learnings. We will deliberately avoid covering very generalized brokerage boat buying tips beyond saying that the standard guidelines apply to Sabres as well as other brands. For example most of these Sabres have balsa cored hulls and decks, and so surveyors should be careful to check for wet or rotten core on Sabres just as they should for any other boats.