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
Author:
Publish date:
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

shutterstock_543237994

The Slow Route to Cabo

Each November, cruising boats start leaving California for “a winter of fun in the sun down Mexico way.” And having spent the summer and autumn on a leisurely passage down the West Coast on board Distant Drummer, our Liberty 458 sloop, my husband, Neil, and I were now in San ...read more

MHS-GMR_3549

New Multihulls 2018

Farrier F-22 New Zealander Ian Farrier ushered in a new genre of sailing with his folding-ama trailerable trimarans, the best-known of which are the Corsair designs. Farrier’s last project before he passed away last year was this sweet little tri. Available in three versions, ...read more

shutterstock_373701682

Cruising: Island Comeback

The U.S. Virgins Islands have surged back from the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes, with new infrastructure plans that will benefit charterers and cruisers alike. After hurricanes Irma and Maria roared through the Leeward Islands in September 2017, it was impossible to ...read more

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more