Saga 409

If you want to see a dramatic example of how far monohull cruising boats have evolved in the past couple of decades, study the Saga 409 for a while. Its blister-coachroof/deck-saloon configuration opens up the interior and makes space for vital systems below while looking sleek from the outside. It has beautifully curved cherry bulkheads and doors that look as if they might
Author:
Publish date:
Saga409full


If you want to see a dramatic example of how far monohull cruising boats have evolved in the past couple of decades, study the Saga 409 for a while. Its blister-coachroof/deck-saloon configuration opens up the interior and makes space for vital systems below while looking sleek from the outside. It has beautifully curved cherry bulkheads and doors that look as if they might have been carved by hand (they’re actually super-strong vacuum-bagged laminated veneers that save speed-sapping weight). More than drawings or photos can show, this Tony Castro–designed boat is a head-turner.

Under main and Code Zero headsail, in 10 to 12 knots of breeze, the 409 accelerated smoothly to 7.5 knots and stayed there, knifing through the slight chop without fuss. The long waterline and low ballast should give a stable platform in rougher conditions offshore, too. Upwind, we tacked through 85 degrees and logged 6 knots of boatspeed. Walking about on deck and below was safe and easy; the builder installed lots of handholds. The helm feel is excellent, sight lines are clean, and tacking and gybing are simple, thanks to well-laid-out controls. Cruising-speed motoring was predictable and close-quarters maneuvers posed no problems, as the 409 stops, turns, and backs easily. Sound level below under power was average.

The cockpit is exceptionally comfortable. The backrests are high for excellent support, the seats are long enough to sleep on, and the centerline table makes a good foot brace when the boat heels. I like the open passageway to the transom created by the dual wheels, but I am not as enthusiastic about the additional mechanical complication it requires. It is certainly convenient to have the helm so close at hand no matter where you stand.

Detailing has always been a Saga strength. The liferaft and ditch bag fit neatly into a seat locker, the berths have leecloths, and the galley felt secure when I wedged myself into cooking position underway. I especially liked the extendable nav table, which is compact if you want to do everything electronically but can expand to fit paper charts. The cabin stowage is secure, too; latched doors ensure that the book collection won’t come tumbling down when the seas kick up in the middle of the night. With labeled through-hull shutoffs and neat wiring and plumbing, the systems also are well designed.

The Saga 409 is a solid, stylish, and comfortable cruising boat that offers a glimpse of where cruising-boat design appears to be headed in the twenty-first century.

Price: $329,000 (base, FOB St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada)
LOA: 43'11"
LWL: 36'
Beam: 12'6"
Draft: 5'11"
Displacement: 19,800 lbs
Ballast: 7,360 lbs
Sail Area: 807 sq ft
Fuel/water/waste: 75/100/25 gal
Power 55-hp Westerbeke diesel
Saga Yachts, 800-560-7242

Related

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more