Boat Review: The Hinckley 49

A proven builder of boats for others, Henry Hinckley envisioned the Hinckley 49 as a comfortable cruiser for his own family. He saw the H49 as more motorsailer than racing sailboat. The big, beamy (for the era), shoal-draft centerboard ketch is a capable cruiser, at home in Maines cooler waters or while meandering the near-tropical conditions of the Bahamas. And for those so inclined, the H49 also lives up to the demands of around-the-world voyaging. Most of the center-cockpit 49s were rigged as ketches, but later retrofits of most included switch-overs to furling sails and power winches, which make sail handling even easier.

Practical Sailor new boat review: Hunter 45DS

Hunter Marine unveiled its latest large cruising monohull, the Hunter 45DS, in late 2007. The boat is essentially an upgrade of the 44DS, with twin wheels, a new transom, new styling, and a roomier, reconfigured interior. Hunter has sold 152 hulls since the boats debut, making it a fairly successful endeavor. To increase the Hunter 45DSs interior volume, designer Glenn Henderson opted for relatively high freeboard and additional length. Henderson also matched a nearly elliptical rudder with a smaller keel. The 54-horsepower Yanmar auxiliary engine moved the Hunter through calm water at 8 knots at 3,000 rpm. Testers sailed the 45-footer in flat water and 13.5 knots of wind, making 5.8 knots and were able to tack through 110 degrees. The current base price of the Hunter is $268,990.

The Daysailers of Daydreams

A daysailer was once simple and small, an entry-level passport to the sport. In the new millennium, however, that has changed. Simplicity may still be a watchword, but the boats have grown into what could be called trophy boats. Hinckley Co.s latest daysail boat is 42 feet long. Morris Yachts is marketing a boat that stretches 53 feet as a daysailer. Ted Fontaine at Friendship Yachts already has built one that size. And these are only a few of the daysail boats with minimal accommodations, big cockpits, and over-size price tags that are filling up the fleet. In all, more than a dozen elegant daysailers have made it to market. This article compares an even dozen: the Alerion Express 28, 33, and 38 (Pearson Composites); e33 (e Sailing Yachts, Robbie Doyle and Jeremy Wurmfeld); the B-38 (Luca Brenta); Bruckmann 42 (Bruckmann Yachts); Crosscurrent 33 (Maxi Dolphin); the Friendship 40 (Ted Fontaine); Harbor 25 (W.D. Schock); Hinckley 42 (Hinckley Yachts), J-100 and J-124 (JBoats), Morris 36 (Morris Yachts), Sabre Spirit (Sabre Yachts), and the wallynano (Wally Yachts).

New Navy 44 Sail-training Sloop Built to Last

The U.S. Naval Academy’s new Navy 44 MkII is a seaworthy workhorse that skips the design fluff and focuses on being training-boat tough and race-boat efficient. Designed by David Pedrick, the Navy 44 MkII—younger sister to the Navy MkI racer-cruiser-teacher--is meant to be cruised and raced for 20 years, and to endure two or three times the wear and tear of the average production boat. The boat was designed to act as a sail-training platform with heavy-duty usage by midshipman, while at the same time performing like a race boat for experienced crew. The biggest challenge in designing the boat lay in achieving the requisite strength, stability, and longevity while keeping the vessel's weight from overwhelming performance. Equipped with a Yanmar 4JH4E, and a full array of B&G electronics, the sloop also has Furuno radar, GPS, a NavNet digital chart system, Icom VHF, and SSB.

Beneteau 46

At last winter’s Paris Boat Show, Beneteau Groupe debuted a four-boat line intended to capitalize on its “design advantage.” Light and space were emphasized. “Ease of handling” and “intimacy with the elements” were buzzwords. The Beneteau 46 is a performance cruiser—long, low, and streamlined. Although it may look too racy to be a cruising boat, it is unique, attractive, and easy to handle. Its lowered center of gravity and elevated freeboard give it more initial stability than previous designs, and its mega-beam and firm bilges give it the power to carry sail well up the wind range. The 46 couples the naval architecture of Jean Berret and Olivier Racoupeau with an interior designed by Massimo Gino and Mario Pedol of Milan’s Nauto Yachts. Pros on deck include wide sidedecks, twin wheels that provide good visibility from the helm, adequate ventilation for warm climates, and a divided anchor locker. At sea with 10 knots of breeze, testers found that the Beneteau 46 helm remained light and the boat tacked through 90 degrees with minimal fuss. They noted a balanced helm and easy steering under both sail and power.

Hanse 400 Boat Review

The Hanse 400 is a cruising boat for those who love to sail, and a club racer for those who enjoy a summer cruise. Its construction quality and price point qualify it as a cost-effective alternative in the 40-footer marketplace. In comparison to mainstream production cruising boats, the Hanse 400 is an absolute performance standout, not only in its ability under sail, but in its ease of operation. (Photos by Ralph Naranjo)

Ericson 41, Used Sailboat Review

The Ericson 41, a classic, well-made sloop designed by Bruce King continues to draw followers with its classic lines and solid performance. With the right upgrades, the well-mannered Ericson 41 makes for an excellent cruising sailboat that stands apart from the crowd. Watch for deck core problems and hidden rudder-stock corrosion within the spade rudder.

Valiant 42

With a taller rig and layout choices, Bob Perrys classic comes of age.

Hunter 49

Is this wannabe passagemaker for real?

Maine Cat 41

Eighteen knots? Maybe not, but theres plenty to like about this cat.

Too Many Layers of Bottom Paint?

So, a couple of years back, you acquired a good old boat at a pretty good price-thanks to the market-but now youre wondering how many coats of bottom paint it has. And what kind? Youve put on a few coats of ablative antifouling since youve owned the boat. It has adhered well and has done its job. But each year, the bottom looks rougher and rougher-with big recesses where paint has flaked off. You sweated out some extra prep-work this season, and thought you had a nice, durable subsurface for painting, but each pass of the roller pulls up more paint. Whats going on here?