Two Sad Sabre 42s

By Rich

I hate to have back to back negative posts but my readers know I love 1980s Sabres and I have a particular affinity for Sabre 42 since I owned and loved one for several years. These are beautiful, well made boats that will easily live 50, 60, 70 years with a minimum level of care. In my estimation they are halfway between products and works of art.

At present there are two terribly sad Sabre 42s in our home boat yard (Bert Jabins). The first appeared in town a couple of years ago and has an absentee owner. She sprung a leak while tied up at aher slip and began to sink. Happily, the boat yard staff noticed and contact the owner. Instead of driving down to check on her, he called a vendor, had the leak plugged and had the flooding waters pumped out, but took no further action to dry the boat out. That fall he called the yard and asked that they haul her out. The boat yard has “seen this movie before” and confidently predicts that he will eventually abandon the boat, which will most likely have to be disposed of like my beloved J/29 was.

The second is a very, very clean and well maintained boat that was in perfect shape before she was run full speed into a navigational mark – a collision that was so violent that she dismasted. Damage is estimated to be $60,000 at a minimum but with unkown internal structural damaage by my reckoning it is a toss up whether she will be totalled out or not.

These two poor babies are blocked next to one another. The half-sunk boat has the green bottom.
Look at how clean the collision boat is. So sad it may now be a salvage boat.
Perfect condition apart from the punch in the nose. Why did this happen?!?

5 thoughts on “Two Sad Sabre 42s

  1. Hello boat 1, meet boat 2. Lets get together for a more perfect union! No way that insurance will pay for a new rig on #2 and #1 is a total so take rig from 1 and put in 2, fix nose problem (hope rest is OK, check first) and you have a nice boat instead of two scrap heaps. I might be interested in that opportunity if it was possible. Where are they?

  2. What an excellent idea! I was so hung up on the tragedy of it all I didn’t think of that. The boats are at Bert Jabins Yacht Yard here in Annapolis. Easiest way to investigate is to call the yard and ask to be put in touch with the owner of the crash boat. They won’t give out personal information of course, so the process is they will approach the owner and offer to give him / her your info so they can contact you. I have had this happen the other way around when I had my beautiful Sabre 42. The yard called me and said a broker would like to be put in touch and would be interested in contacting them. If the boat is totalled of course you would need to find the salvage auction (for example

    A rigger in town figured it would be around $30K to build a new rig for the crash boat and based on other dismastings I have heard of that sounds plausible. Assuming the boat was insured, I don’t know that they would authorize a swap out with a used rig. He estimated $30K for the fiberglass repairs that can be seen as well. I sold mine a couple of years ago for $115K so it may not be a total with repairs around $60K IIIIFFFFFF there is not other structural damaged. Being very familiar with how these boats are built, here is what I would look at first:

    1) All bulkhead and other furniture tabbing especially the main bulkhead. Look for signs the hull shape was distorted.

    2) All chainplate attachment points – especially the backstay chainplate.

    3) The mast step! All rigging side fore / aft loads get translated to compression loads down the spar, so the beam the mast sits on may have taken a big shot in this incident. If it was damaged that’s another $30K right there to fix.

    4) Engine mounts / transmission alignment. There was some big G loads imposed here – enough to dismast means the entire powertrain needs to be checked.

    5) Forward head holding tank & plumbing (if she has the second head). Be sure nothing was jarred loose that will leak! Be sure the tank wasn’t cracked.

    If you investigate your great idea let us know!

  3. It must be stated (as this post has done) that the neglect and abandonment of fine yachts needs to stop. Perhaps there can be a program managed by marinas to move these boats to the US Naval Academy.

  4. Looking to buy our first sailboat 1990 Sabre 42. Is a centerboard version too much hassle for my shallow great lakes? You comments would be appreciated. Any advice from board members would helpful, as I dont want an angry wife

    1. The centerboard 42 is a terrific sailing boat and it’s not a hassle once you have examined the sheave boxes and replaced the pendant (which I would do automatically on purchase unless you are 100% certain the pendant has been replaced in the last couple of years). In case you didn’t already find it, here is our Buyer’s Guide for these boats: Insist that your surveyor check for this: and insist that all sheave boxes be inspected at the survey: If all sheave boxes are good and the pendant is new or almost new, have fun with your new centerboard 42!!

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