I have had a SO 52.2 3 cabin layout for the last couple years. Absolutely love the way she sails. But as life sometimes has a curveball or two, I have to sell her. I am looking at many new models, but have been leaning toward the 39i in the 2 cabin layout. I will be solo on this one, hence the reason for going smaller. So far I have liked what I've seen/found on the 39i, but I also haven't had the opportunity to sail one yet. I have found a few reviews but would like to know more from owners, preferably from those who have sailed the 39i for a while. My 52.2 was my home, circumnavigated 3 times and so to will my next one. I realize the obvious differences, i.e size, but would like to know how other owners think about the 39i. Thanks in advance.
We have had our 39i from new in 2008 and overall are really pleased with her and fits our needs well. We are shallow draft, so non-performance rig and have standard stack pack, I upgraded the main to fully battened vectran with Selden cars which is great, but a bit heavy to take off at end of season. I also changed the main to German style which I really like.
Even tiny boats have crossed big oceans, the weak link tends to be the crew, but I think she is primarily designed as a coastal boat rather than for extended offshore. Our longest passages tend to be under 48 hours, which works fine for us. We have covered a lot of miles in past 11 seasons - were originally based UK so did round Britain and lots of trips forward and back to Ireland and to continental Europe before heading south to Spain, then back to Brittany then back to Spain and last season around into the Med. Never been concerned about how she handles in a blow or chop, but I do tend to reef early and with the shallow keel long beats to windward are not a realistic option anyway
The negatives really are around the fact she is a production boat built to a price, so the joinery is not in the same league as the pre 2005 Jeanneau's so big difference to a 52.2. Touch wood all the OEM equipment is largely working well, Yanmar 39 is perfect, the Selden spars are great, we get on fine with the fuel and water capacity with our style of cruising. Only recently had to change the windlass, but then wanted to upgrade the chain and anchor anyway. We reupholstered last year as never liked the faux leather.
We found the saloon table fairly awkward so downsized that, so it is now much easier to get around and to the storage, but tend to eat in the cockpit as much as possible (using the bimini which has a full enclosure option)
I have a 2008 39i deep draft and love it.. I single hand and sail with friends to the Bahamas often... the only issues I have had with the boat is
1. I had a lot of issues with the main going up and down easily until I took off the lazy jacks, replaced the bag with traditional cover, and replaced the track slides with high end cars. Now it goes up and down with no issues.
2. It takes about a good boat length to get it to start cooperating in reverse for stern to docking.
3. access to clean the fuel tank is lacking so I installed two large ( tug boat parts ) access ports into the poly tank.
4. The main cabin table was oversized and a pain to work with so I replaced it with one that can be removed easily and more appropriate sized.
5. the lower step on the stern has wooden covers under the teak and was rotten and leaking so I had to pull the teak and replace the access covers.
6. House batteries were a bit small so I replaced them with a couple mother sized AGMs ( boat now lists about 1 degree to port from the added weight )
7. the original bimini and dodger sucks if you're 6' tall so I redesigned it and had a custom dodger, connector and bilimi made for the boat.
All in all it sails great, handles nasty seas in the Gulf Stream and its comfy.