I had a new owner reach out to me with the following question regarding inspection of the centerboard pendant sheave boxes on his Sabre 42:
Is it possible to check condition of sheave box pendants with the boat in the water?
I thought it might be helpful to post my answer here, and also to post a link to my prior article on the vulnerability these sheave boxes pose and why they should be carefully inspected. Here is my answer to the new Sabre 42 owner in case it might be helpful to others:
All of the sheave boxes can be examined while you are in the water. You’re looking for corrosion at the welds in these boxes and any signs that pin hole leaks have developed. But far more vital will be the very short lengths of coupler hoses that connect each box to the metal conduit through which the cable travels – look for signs of cracking or delamination (which you can usually see at the edge of the hose). Be sure the hose clamps are secure and not corroded. My hoses and clamps were in very poor condition. The first sheave box is under the engine – be careful to degrease it so you get a good look. There’s another one under the cabin sole in the aft head, and of course the one in the lazarette under the winch itself. Unless you have documentation that the coupler hoses and clamps have been replaced, on your next haul out I would recommend you replace them all as a precaution.
I just stumbled across a terrific blog article in a Facebook thread explaining how and why buyers should carefully inspect the mast steps of the Roger Hewson generation of Sabres. This is article serves as a great companion to the Sabre Sailboat Buyer’s Guide I published some time ago. Check it out here.
Here are two side by side videos that show why Rover needs a whisker pole, stat! Here’s a video from our 2015 ocean passage from Annapolis to Newport on the Sabre 42. With the jib poled out wing-on-wing we are able to point straight down the rhumb line with an ideal angle to the waves for surfing. Note also how limited the roll is. Even with the centerboard fully retracted, the square angle to the waves dramatically reduces roll, as do the higher speeds resulting from surfing:
Now here is a video from Rover this weekend with no whisker pole. Note that most of the jib has to be rolled up, because it’s blanketed by the main and was otherwise collapsing and re filling with a shuddering bang, while drawing only part of the time. Note that we had to steer higher angles to try to keep the scrap of jib drawing at all, and apart from taking us high of the rhumb line this higher angle means a less favorable angle to the waves for surfing. Worse still, it means a quartering sea that produces lots of roll. Not what we want!
Editor’s Note: when we sold Le Saberage, we set up a full website to market her. As part of that site, we created a page detailing the Sabre 42 design elements. I enjoyed creating the content so much that I thought it would be fun to adapt and reprint it here on svrover.com. The timing was also appropriate given that Sabre’s founder, Roger Hewson, was recently interviewed for Sabre Yachts’ upcoming 50 year anniversary celebration. As part of that interview he said in no uncertain terms that the Sabre 42 was the best sailboat the company designed during his tenure:
Given our experiences with the Sabre 42, we’re not at all surprised this design was Hewson’s favorite! So we thought it would be fun to reprint our reflections on the design here. Continue reading Sabre 42 Design Elements→
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.
Yes dear readers, it’s true. For those of you who are surprised to hear the news, a little background is in order. We bought Seb in 2014 as a cruising “test boat.” In other words, we bought her with the specific intention of only keeping her for a few years. Her mission was to help us gain long-range cruising & live-aboard experience to test our aptitude for the cruising lifestyle. Purchasing a “test boat” allowed us to defer the commitment to a larger, more expensive yacht until we had a fuller sense of what we were getting into. As such, we have always been mentally prepared for the day when we would list her for sale. Continue reading Le Saberage Will Soon Be For Sale!→