Updated:
Original:

Sabre 386

Since its founding by Roger Hewson more than 20 years ago, Sabre Yachts has excelled at building boats under 40 feet. The old Sabre 28 is certainly one of the best pocket cruisers ever marketed, and Hewson himself often asserted that the company's core boats were its 36-footers. I personally have always favored the Sabre 38, both the Mark I and Mark II models, built
Sabre386

Since its founding by Roger Hewson more than 20 years ago, Sabre Yachts has excelled at building boats under 40 feet. The old Sabre 28 is certainly one of the best pocket cruisers ever marketed, and Hewson himself often asserted that the company's core boats were its 36-footers. I personally have always favored the Sabre 38, both the Mark I and Mark II models, built through the '80s and '90s, and thus welcomed a chance to check out their successor, the new Sabre 386.

I stepped aboard in Essex, Connecticut, was greeted by Skipper Russ, a lively character, and together we quickly dropped lines and headed down the Connecticut River toward Long Island Sound. As we motored south, I toured the interior and, as on the earlier 38s, was struck by the very efficient use of space in a boat that favors the performance side of the accommodation-versus-performance equation.

The one head, aft to starboard, is, to my mind, perfectly sized—just big enough to use comfortably, but not so big you flop around in it in a seaway—and has a full-size shower stall. The nav desk is big enough to hold a ChartKit, and there's plenty of room to install a modern electronic nav suite. Previous 38s had dedicated nav stations, but the new 386 boasts a clever convertible arrangement: the nav-station seat folds back out of the way to create a full-length settee berth.

Other new features include a convenient swim step in the transom, a nice transverse double berth in the aft stateroom, and a walk-around double in the forward stateroom. I was also struck by how Sabre continues to improve the finish quality on its boats. The exterior stainless steel on the 386 is absolutely flawless; the interior joinery, all in cherry, likewise seems only to improve with each new generation.

The wind on the sound, unfortunately, came in fits and starts. The biggest breeze we saw was 8 knots, and from it we managed to extract 6 knots of boatspeed close-hauled. In 6 knots of breeze we managed 4 knots of speed. Pretty darned good, as far as I'm concerned. Under power, at 3,000 rpm, the boat did slightly better than 7 knots; at 2,000 rpm we averaged about 5.3 knots.

Other things that impressed me include the deep keel sump (about 2 feet), the centerline galley sinks, the accessible engine space, the superior construction quality, and the excellent handholds throughout the interior. The only thing that bothered me was the lack of any place in the galley to store larger pots and pans. These will have to go elsewhere—perhaps in the forward stateroom, where there is scads of storage space.

Builder: Sabre Yachts USA, 207-655-3831, www.sabreyachts.com

Price

$230,000 (base, FOB Raymond, ME)

LOA

38'7"

LWL

32'6"

Beam

12'8"

Draft (deep/wing)

6'10"/4'10"

Displ. (deep/wing)

16,500 lbs/17,300 lbs

Sail area

763 sq ft

Power

40-hp Yanmar diesel

Fuel/water/waste

40/90/30 gal

Related

05 Alex Thomson leans - credit ALEX THOMSON RACING copy

Alex Thomson Won’t Compete in Vendée Globe

Veteran British solo-sailor Alex Thomson has announced he won’t compete as a skipper in the 2024 Vendée Globe. However, he isn’t ruling out returning to the race in 2028. Thomson has competed in the IMOCA circuit for 19 years, including five successive Vendée Globe’s with two ...read more

Rob-Spets---10-19-21

Kiteboarder Sets New Jamestown Record

Rob Spets is the new record holder for the around-Jamestown circumnavigation aboard his foiling kiteboard Skellinger. His lap took 50 minutes and 48 seconds, improving the previous record set by Jason Carroll by 1 minute and 14 seconds. Spets completed the course in an 18-knot ...read more

03-IMG_0590

Bill Tilman’s Simple Sailing

Like an ostrich on a bad day, I’m head-down in the lazarette of Nellie, my Beneteau First 42, dealing with the propane tank. My wife taps me on the shoulder, and I rise to see a pair of foiling catamarans accelerating onto their carbon-fiber wings. As the blood drains from my ...read more

01-LEAD-210801_PM_Tokyo20_22825_5540

Olympic Sailing: Where to Now?

It’s official, not only is the United States no longer an Olympic power when it comes to sailing, it’s fast beginnings look like an also-ran—albeit an also-ran with loads of potential. What other conclusion is there to draw from the fact that for the second time in three ...read more

244526945_394104495768313_1401658800642145082_n

Return of the Annapolis Boat Show

After a hiatus in 2020, the United States Boat Show in Annapolis, Maryland returned in full force last weekend. “Pent up demand” was the name of the game for visitors and exhibitors alike. Queues to get in each morning stretched around the block, and the docks were congested ...read more

Untitled-1

Sailing Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2021

This weekend, the National Sailing Hall of Fame has inducted eleven new members to make up the class of 2021. “The remarkable achievements of this year’s class exemplify excellence and an unwavering dedication to our sport,” said National Sailing Hall of Fame president Gus ...read more

ed3b8ae9-b65d-2941-47ec-cd0277bfcbe8

Mirabaud Voting Open to the Public

Photos from the industry's top photographers are in, and the 12th annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition is underway. An international panel of judges has selected this year's 80 finalists, which have been published online. The panel will also select the winner of the ...read more

P1320232-copy

Annapolis’ Boat Show is Back

After a year off in 2020, the United States Boat Show in Annapolis is back. From the diminutive Areys Pond Cat 14 XFC to the massive Lagoon Sixty 5, many of the SAIL’s 2022 Best Boats Nominees are on display for the public to get a firsthand look at, and SAIL’s Best Boats panel ...read more