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

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more