The sheer numbers involved dictate that we place close attention to the European efforts in the cruising yacht range. Sabre has given us a very consistent line of performance-oriented cruising boats. Sabre has been consistent with its quality approach and dedication to moderately-proportioned, well-designed boats. Their approach to the RS configuration shares some of the features of the Nordic, but in two areas, it is distinctly different.

The deck design of this model is particularly clean and crisp. The windows have unusually sharp angles, but the rest of the styling is pleasant. There is a teak-planked deck forward for sunbathing. The hull ports give this design a very European look.

The hull shape is marked by a huge rudder on a small skeg. The keel shows a curved trailing edge and there are two draft models available: 4 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet 8 inches. The beam had to be pulled well aft to use this type of interior layout. This design will definitely dictate some hull proportions. While this may cost the craft some speed you have to balance the loss against the benefits on deck and logo

Starting with an aft cockpit, the Sabre designers tucked the owner's stateroom aft and recessed the companionway into the trunk to open up useable volume. This stateroom has direct access to a large head without a separate shower stall. This head is also accessible from the main cabin. The wide-open main cabin uses the full beam of the boat for a spacious layout. The settees are not raised. The designer can choose to raise the settees inboard within the confines of the trunk. This provides great storage space outboard but does constrict the settee layout. Still, the benefits of the raised saloon are the big windows and the light and airy feeling below.

In the Sabre the galley is spread to both sides with the refrigerator to port and stove and sinks to starboard. This makes for a very well-laid-out galley with room for two people to be involved with meal preparation. The forward stateroom features seat, counter with sink, a large double berth and hanging locker. Note the location of the wet locker in the head and the wide chart table to port. Sabre has packed a lot of accommodations into this hull.

The Sabre design team has combined the height requirement of the cockpit — which has to be high to provide the volume below for the stateroom — the bulk of the raised cabintrunk and the curved profile trunk forward into a handsome deck. The broad swim platform steps also add a touch of modern styling. The 40RS has tremendous window area which further reduces the bulky appearance of the raised trunk.

The Sabre 40RS is based upon the Sabre 38 hull. The stern has been stretched to make room for the extended swim platform. This hull also has proved itself as a well-mannered cruising yacht with a good turn of speed. The rudder is a semi-balanced spade and the keel can be either the wing type with 4-foot, 11-inch draft or the deep fin with 6-and-a-half foot draft. Ballast is outside lead. While the 40RS is beamy, it does not drag the max beam aft. The transom is a handsome shape of moderate proportions. The D/L ratio of this design is 238.

The sloop rig offers simplicity and is effective over a wide variety of sailing conditions. This rig is more versatile than either cat or cat/jiblet rigs. You can pull the shrouds well inboard and give the spar three or more sets of spreaders. With a multiple spreader rig, you can get a couple of more degrees to weather. I don't think that type of sheeting is relevant on a design like this. I think the important element is giving the cruiser a rig that is easy to tune from the deck and once tuned can be ignored for the rest of the season. The best way to achieve this is with a hefty spar section and fore and aft lowers. This is more expensive than single lowers with swept-back spreaders because it takes three chainplates instead of one but it is far easier to tune. Note the location of the mast on the Sabre. It is well forward, like it is on the Nordic 46RS. This style of rig is in reaction to the old IOR giant foretriangles. The jibs are smaller and the main is larger. This type of rig is easier to balance. Note the convenient location of the mast in reference to the galley layout. The SA/D ratio is 15.82.

The construction of the Sabre uses a balsa-cored hull and deck with biaxial roving and vinylester resin. All Sabres are built to American Bureau of Shipping standards. The Yanmar engine is located beneath the companionway and uses a V-drive gearbox.

I like the fresh thinking behind this model. While the individual components are not all that novel, the finished product is a welcome departure.

Boat Specifications

DraftDeep keel 6'6" Wing keel 4'11"
DisplacementDeep keel 17200 lbs. Wing keel 17600 lbs.
BallastDeep keel 6600 lbs. Wing keel 7000 lbs.
Sail Area659 sq. ft.
SA/D ratio15.82
D/L ratio238
AuxiliaryYanmar 4JH2
Fuel45 gals.
Water106 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.