The Sabre 362 was designed by Jim Taylor to be a capable club racer and a spirited but comfortable coastal and offshore cruiser. Not surprisingly, the 362 succeeds admirably on both levels. In many respects, creating a genuine racer-cruiser, or in today's vernacular, a "performance cruiser," is more challenging than producing a boat dedicated to a specific task.
We may not like to admit it, but a combination of casual racing and short-term cruising is the way most of us actually use our boats. We want to win the Wednesday night beer bashes and be competitive in an occasional offshore race, and we want to enjoy a couple of weeks, or even a month spent cruising every summer. We also want a boat that can stand up to the rigors of a passage, just in case this is the year we finally get away to Bermuda or the islands. Although the 362 has been in production for nearly 10 years, with more than 120 boats launched, the design premise remains fresh, and Sabre's execution continues to be superb. The 362 was built from 1993-2003, Hulls #107 - #268. This one was built in 1998 and is hull #201.
The 362 is nicely proportioned and maintains a rather stately bearing in the water, an intangible that Taylor and Sabre's design team, headed by Ken Rusinek, seem to have patented. The ends are moderately short, and the sheer is flat, but the bow entry has a soft rake that brilliantly takes any racy edge off the boat. The cabintrunk is carried well forward for interior volume, but it blends naturally into the linear flow of the hull line. The recessed portlights lend an air of sophistication. Beam is carried well aft, providing enough space for a comfortable aft quarter cabin below, before tapering into a handsome stern. Interestingly, the transom swim step, de rigueur on most new boats, is offered as an option on the 362. Sabre recognizes that despite the 362's quick hull shape, she also has a certain appeal to traditionalists. Below the water, the 362 is designed to offer excellent all-around performance, even when loaded with provisions for an extended cruise. One of the problems with pure performance boats masquerading as cruisers is that they have very limited load carrying capacity, at least not without radically altering their sailing characteristics. The 362 has offers a high ballast/displacement ratio of at least 40 percent and a respectable displacement/length ratio of 217. Sabre's enduring popularity and the healthy resale value of its older boats is closely linked to the high quality of the original construction. The company claims to build boats "The Maine Way," and whatever that is, it has proven to be a fine way to build boats for three decades. The 362 hull features a balsa core sandwiched between layers of hand-laminated fiberglass of alternate layers of mat knitted biaxial roving. Sabre employs the SCRIMP method of resin infusion. Vinylester resin is used below the waterline as a backup for ISO NPG gelcoat to prevent osmotic blisters. The hull-to-deck joint is through-bolted and chemically bonded on an internal flange. The 362 is constructed in the same fashion as the company's larger boats, without the extensive use of molded pans and liners. Instead, bulkheads, berth faces, shelves, floors and all stringers are laminated to the hull providing integral structural support. The mast is keel-stepped on a bridge. Chainplates are tied to a composite grid and grounded to the keel. The NACA section fin keel is cast in lead and hardened with antimony before being through-bolted to a reinforced keel sump bed with stainless steel bolts. Careful inspection of the 362 reveals a boat that has been well-engineered and painstakingly assembled.
The 362 cockpit is nearly 7 feet long and quite comfortable. Still, the shape limits well size making it safe and seaworthy in a blow. The Edson pedestal and 40-inch Destroyer wheel are perched well aft, with a contoured helm seat offering good visibility. The cockpit seats are scooped out allowing you to make your way around the wheel. I like the fact that you can support yourself with your legs on either tack, even when heeled, and that there is a bridgedeck to keep green water out of the cabin. The standard Lewmar 48 self-tailing primaries are easily reached from the helm. There are small lockers astern and a larger locker to port complete with a most useful light. Sail controls are led aft to the end of the trunkhouse where there are stoppers and a pair of Lewmar 30 CSTs. The 362 has wide side decks and the molded nonskid pattern offers good footing. Double lifelines are well-supported although they could be a bit taller. Full-length handrails are perched on the house, and there are inboard and outboard genoa tracks. The mainsheet traveler is pushed forward of the companionway to free up space in cockpit. The Hall aluminum spar has double swept-back spreaders, is treated with an Awlgrip finish and has an air draft of 53 feet, 2 inches. Deck hardware is first-rate, from the cast alloy stemhead fitting to the beefy chocks and cleats astern.
The interior arrangement uses the available space flawlessly, and the cherry finish and excellent joinerwork is of typical Sabre quality. The forward stateroom is especially large for a 36-foot boat of moderate proportions. The double berth is 6 feet, 6 inches long and actually sleeps two in comfort. A convenient vanity sink and dressing seat arrangement makes much more sense than squeezing in another head in a boat of this size, and it lends a spacious feeling to the cabin. The saloon is also open thanks to a fold-up bulkhead-mounted table, which is a terrific idea in any boat less than 40 feet. Louvered lockers and berth backs provide abundant storage. Sabre pays attention to details: For example, the chainplate tie rods are nicely finished with wooden sleeves, and the chart table to port faces aft and has plenty of room to mount nav instruments and repeaters. The L-shaped galley is to starboard, with double stainless sinks facing forward and a two-burner gas stove and oven outboard. The good-size icebox is available with an optional front-loading door. Sabre also offers a range of Sea Frost refrigeration units and Corian counter tops as options. Taylor and the Sabre design team have logically opted for a single head with a separate stall shower located opposite the galley. A separate shower might be the single feature that moves a boat beyond the "camping" stage, and it also makes for a perfect wet locker, especially in the 362 because it's only a step away from the companionway. The aft stateroom, or aft quarter cabin, offers a double berth, decent storage above and below, and a hanging locker. It's ideal for occasional, short-term guests. Ventilation is excellent throughout with four Lewmar Ocean series deck hatches, custom stainless opening portlights and two chrome dorades. The standard diesel is a three-cylinder 35-horsepower Westerbeke with a fixed two-blade prop. A Yanmar 3JH2E is optional as is a feathering Max Prop. The 34-gallon fuel tank is aluminum and provides a realistic range of 250 to 300 miles under power. Robust bronze seacocks, hot and cold pressure water, and an activated carbon water filter are part of the standard plumbing package. The two 110-amp batteries and a 50-amp standard alternator should be upgraded if serious long-range cruising is in your plans.