Sabre Spirit

Big daysailers that are attractive, quick, and easy to sail continue to gain in popularity for a simple reason—the design concept fits a growing number of owners (and prospective owners). The folks at Sabre understand this, and the 36-foot Sabre Spirit is a worthy entry into this ever-expanding field. Most of my test sail took place during a friendly race staged off Marblehead, Massachusetts. I
Author:
Publish date:
sm.0907.new.sabre.1

Big daysailers that are attractive, quick, and easy to sail continue to gain in popularity for a simple reason—the design concept fits a growing number of owners (and prospective owners). The folks at Sabre understand this, and the 36-foot Sabre Spirit is a worthy entry into this ever-expanding field. Most of my test sail took place during a friendly race staged off Marblehead, Massachusetts. I actually sailed aboard two separate Spirits in a match-racing series. Here’s what I found.

On Deck

• The self-tacking jib made sailhandling a breeze, and there was still enough area in the main to keep the boat powered up in the light stuff.

• The cockpit is pleasantly long. The seats and properly angled seatbacks were just right. We raced with a crew of four, and there was room for two more to sit comfortably.

• The view (of both the telltales and the leeward side) from the helm station is excellent.

• We raced with the lifelines attached, but the boat is equipped with detachable lifeline stanchions that are sturdy when fitted, while also being easy to remove; lifelines and stanchions roll up and stow in a canvas bag supplied by Sabre. Removing the lifelines puts a bit more priority on being careful, but enhances the boat’s clean look.

Belowdeck

• The craftsmanship belowdeck is vintage Sabre. Drawers have dovetail joints. The saloon table is inlaid by hand, and, as with all Sabres, the varnish is applied by hand and is impeccable.

• The layout is plenty comfy for a weekend cruise. Unlike some daysailers, the Spirit has full standing headroom below.

• The proportions of the full galley and fully enclosed head allow plenty of room for a spacious saloon settee.

• Numerous opening ports and hatches ensure excellent light and ventilation below.

• There’s room to sleep in the forepeak and on both sides of the saloon. This will work on a weekend cruise and provide incentive to pull over and grab a nap on the hook during an extended daysail.

Under Sail

• Both boats I sailed maneuvered beautifully on the short racecourse. Tacking duels required hardly any manpower, thanks to the self-tacking jibs.

• The helm returned just the right amount of feedback. I believe the term is “sweet.” The boat fell into the upwind groove almost on its own.

• The Spirit isn’t a drag racer, and that’s the point. It’s responsive without being twitchy. It’s light enough to be quick, but also has the right amount of ballast to be pleasantly stable. Acceleration out of the tacks was good. We wound the boat back up to top speed with a touch of footing after the tack.

• Off the wind, we set a cruising kite on the bow (no sprit pole), cleated off the sheet, and were gone. It was smooth and fast, and so easy two us could manage it.

Conclusion

I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon, either by myself or with a couple of friends, than taking a Spirit out for a daysail. It has all the ingredients (good looks, good performance, ease of use) that have made modern daysailers popular. If they let me borrow one for a week, I’d be gone for more than a daysail.

BOAT REVIEW

Sabre Spirit

Price: $275,000 (sailaway, FOB South Casco, ME) includes sails, basic electronics, and commissioning

Builder: Sabre Yachts, South Casco, ME; www.sabreyachts.com

Designer: Jim Taylor

LOA 36’8”

LWL28’4”

Beam 10’5”

Draft (deep/wing)6’7”/4’11”

Displacement (deep/wing)

9,300/9,920 lbs

Ballast (deep/wing)3,740/4,360 lbs

Sail Area (100% foretriangle)668 sq ft

Power 27-hp Volvo

Displacement-Length ratio 181

Sail Area-Displacement ratio24

Related

2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more

Allures-459-2018

Boat Review: Allures 45.9

Allures is not a name on the tip of many American sailors’ tongues, but it should be. After the debut of its 39-footer last year, the French company has made another significant entry into the U.S. midrange market with the Allures 45.9, an aluminum-hulled cruiser-voyager with ...read more