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

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more