With Rover hauled out at Jabins for some projects and a new coat of bottom paint, Lisa and I are surfing YachtWorld and giving a little thought to what our next boat might be. We aren’t going to be serious buyers until we have a firm offer on Rover, but it’s never too early to start window shopping! Our focus is on two of the more recent, Jim Taylor designed Sabres: the 426 and the 402.
The Sabre 426
In favor of this model: Roomy, luxurious and beautiful! With the first models released in the early 2000s, these models are comparatively new. We may even be able to find one built between 2005-2010. The more recent models are much more likely to have better gelcoat with less crazing and, of course, lower engine hours. Closed cell foam coring means wet core is less likely to be a significant problem.
Disadvantages of this model: The vast majority of the 426s were made with the shallow wing keel. There were a handful built with the deep draft fin keel, but most are found on the West Coast. Our odds of finding a deep draft example of this design in good shape are low enough that we may just need to budget for a (~$25K?) keel swap if we find we dislike the way the wing keel model sails. The 426 models are usually listed for around $250-$300K so they are around $100K more expensive than our other leading candidate, the Sabre 402.
The Sabre 402
In favor of this model: Easily $100K less expensive than the 426 model. The 402 was offered with three keel options: deep fin, medium draft fin, and shoal with wings. Because the 402 was tailored to somewhat more performance-oriented buyers, it is far more common to see 402s listed with medium or deep draft keels than it is to find a deep draft 426. Many more of these were made than the 426s, so there are more too choose from.
Disadvantages of this model: Production of these boats began in the mid 1990s, so they are generally older than the 426s. Apart from higher engine hours and older systems, many more of these will show the gelcoat crazing that is common to older Sabres. The issue was not solved until nearly the mid 2000s.
Overall, we generally favor the 426 model but we certainly wouldn’t rule out purchase of a very clean and nice fin keel 402. There are two very interesting 426s on the market right now, but we don’t want to waste the sellers’ time by getting a look at them before we are closer to being ready to pull the trigger. Let’s hope they are still available once Rover sells!