• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Buying a Hunter 41 DS

Nov 27, 2018
Hunter 41 DS Sandusky
Hey all!! I’ve got an offer in on a 2006 Hunter 41 DS that’s going to survey in a couple of weeks. My wife and I plan to sail the boat on the Great Lakes, to the Caribbean and then across the Atlantic. I realize that the mere mention of me sailing across the Atlantic in a Hunter is going to stir the pot but I guess I’ll get some laughs out of this from the armchair sailors. My question is whether or not anyone here knows of any serious issues that need to be dealt with on the boat? Improvements? Storage ideas? I’d also love to know if anyone has done any serious cruising in this boat and how it went for them. She seems to be quite comfortable for the two of us with better livability than the Catalina 400 we were also looking at. Any intelligent responses here would be greatly appreciated!!
Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Welcome to the forum, congratulations making the first step to buy a Hunter 41DS and you will find this a really comfortable cruising boat!!
Feb 14, 2014
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
Any intelligent responses here would be greatly appreciated!!
You are asking a lot!! :laugh:

Welcome to SBO forums!

Great Lakes, to the Caribbean
This will be a great "Shake down" cruise.
We had a friend do this and he had to step his mast On the Erie Canal.

A suggestion is to itemize needs and problems for more detailed help.
Jun 15, 2012
Hunter 50 AC St. Petersburg
Hunter 41 DS is a great boat. Sold mine a year ago after owning for 12 years. Docking can be dicey in a cross wind with a bow thruster, really dicey without one. Design of boat limits thrusters' tunnel diameter, so even with thruster docking can be interesting.
Boat will sail at anchor, solved problem with Mantus anchor. Still sails but Mantus holds where standard Delta anchor wouldn't.
Make sure to tighten and locktite all mechanical bolts, especially propeller shaft and anchor windlass. Both of these let loose!
Nov 27, 2018
Hunter 41 DS Sandusky
So, I guess my real question would be: has anyone sailed this boat offshore for extended periods. How did it handle?
May 1, 2011
Pearson 37 Lusby MD
Do a search on this site for postings by "Sequitur". He and his wife sailed from Vancouver to FL, rounding Cape Horn, in a Hunter 49. Their blogs are still at Leaving Sequitur
Oct 29, 2016
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
As for the boat handling heavy seas, we are Great Lakes sailors and have been out there in some angry seas in Lake Michigan and Huron and the Sapphire seemed to handle the conditions nicely allowing us to be comfortable and dry, were they 30' walls of water, no, but angry they were, is the Sapphire a full keeled Swan absolutely not, her flat bottom aft and beaminess tend to provide some additional motion but at no time did we ever feel the boat couldn't handle it. I can contest that the righting moment of the Hunter 41DS is about 40 seconds (longest 40 seconds of my life), but the rig stayed standing, the boat righted and we returned to port with the same number of sailors as we left with.
We do have a thruster (6" tube/3.5 HP) on our Sapphire which was part of the Mariner package, it does help maneuver in tight spots but it will not move the bow against a cross wind so docking can be tricky given the additional free board these boat have.
We have an anchor sail (don't recollect by whom) which helps emmensely with the issue of swinging back and forth when at anchor.
The Selden roller furling main has a bearing at the top of the foil which requires annual lubrication, the issue is the bearing is not easily accessible especially with the rig up, one has to remove the mast head to access it, I plan on dropping the rig every second year to lubricate this bearing.
Improvement projects complete and on my list:
Convert batteries to series parallel 6 volt Trojans T105's (check)
Upgrade charging system to a Balmar 150A with Balmar external regulator (check)
Convert alternator V-belt drive to serpentine belt (check)
Remove engine belt guard to improve airflow over alternator (check)
Drop mast, dimantle furling system rebuild and lubricate (check)
Convert interior lights to LED (check)
Add the optional gas shock to the vang allowing for easier use (check)
Convert the loveseat in front of the nav station to a bench seat with lee cloth and partitioned storage underneath
Convert forward head to a wet locker (never use this head, not sure why a boat of 40' needs (2))
Find a method to bring the main sheet back to the helm, for a couple of reasons, most importantly to allow ready access when at the wheel, secondarily to reduce the resistance on the line so that downwind deployment is more easily accomplished.
If I were planning on cruising on the big water I would be changing a few things, like adding a water maker, adding additional fuel capacity (possibly repurposing one of the water tanks), changing the head to use seawater for flushing, add a "Y" valve to divert to overboard discharge (current system is a macerater pump which pulls from the waste tank),
We love our Sapphire, she is comfortable, seaworthy and easily sailed by the admiral and I, the small head sail makes for easy tacking and the roller furling main allows for endless adjustment of sail area.
Welcome to the SBO forums and hope this helps you.
Last edited:


Jun 23, 2016
Hunter 41DS Seattle
I have a Hunter 41DS, 'model year' 2009, around when they switched from laminated teak to the laminated vinyl interior. And also switched from lead keels to iron.

Meanwhile, has been a good boat. I am mostly live aboard and coastal cruising but she handled herself quite well during a few days of choppy (35kn wind, 4-sec wave period) off of Oregon a couple of years ago.

As all of us that own 'production' boats, craftsmanship and quality are always a concern.

The boat is built mostly 'grid style' without the 'pan' so you can actually get to most of the hull from inside if you need to. Exceptions are the aft/fwd cheesy head/shower areas. Which makes sense.

Boat design works well, structural integrity over the long term is definitely not there if you want do 5-years around the world or something.

As always - buy the right tool for the job depending upon your use cases.
  • Like
Likes: sail sfbay
Jun 4, 2004
Hunter 410 Punta Gorda
I coastal cruise on my 410. Fantastic coastal cruiser. Have been in 6-8 ft seas, not great. Cannot imagine the boat in larger seas, or me for that matter. There are reasons blue water boats are constructed the way they are. They are better equiped to handle larger seas for extended periods of time. Will your 41 make it accross the ocean - yes. Will it be as safe and comortable as a full keel blue water boat - no.
Would recommend you do some coastal cruising and experience some large seas before you make the commitment to cross the big pond and once there are committeed. Wish you the best.


Jun 23, 2016
Hunter 41DS Seattle
Also, it seems a lot of people do buoy racing, coastal cruising and are actually quite good sailors but simply do not realize the ocean is a different thing. With modern technology (in particular weather predictions) it is far safer than it used to be. Meanwhile, the wind, the waves, the chaffing and constant working of gear is much different.

My first 'offshore' adventure was taking a 30 footer in the Vic-Maui way back in 1992. I think we were the last boat to do that under sextant. Yes, back then meeting all the race requirements and boat inspections the standard stuff like life rafts, multiple water tanks, SSB, on and on, were required - GPS still was not. I was in graduate school back then so the budget was very tight. We spent as much money kitting the boat out for that race (along with lots of labor) as we did on buying the boat originally.

Anyway - another thing to try out that people don't seem to do is hit websites like crewbay or similar and find a couple that is looking for extra hands on a long passage. Jump on the airplane, jump on the boat and help them out. If you are lucky there will be a little bit of interesting weather and a mix of upwind/downwind and you will be on an experienced boat. After a week or so transit you will be in a far better position to know what to look for in a boat and whether you even want to do things like ocean passages at all.


Jun 23, 2016
Hunter 41DS Seattle
Not to say that you 'can not' take a Hunter41DS across the Atlantic and back. In fact, I might take mine over to Hawaii and back when I have some free time in a couple of years. And there are plenty of folks that do that kind of thing and even are out there for sustained cruising on a wide variety of 'production' boats.

It is simply that the boat is not designed for doing these kinds of things on a sustained basis. And this is not 'hunter bashing' - I think they make a great product (at least this particular model) but naturally they are targeted towards the 95% of the buyers that want something fun, comfy, and primarily for coastal cruising with occasional short transits.
Feb 10, 2017
Hunter 41 Progreso
It amazes me how close DAYDREAMER41 and myself we did almost the same changes to the sailboat. I am near Cancun but on the gulf part, puerto Progreso, a normal day is a wind from 18 knots up to 35. The longest nav was 200 miles in very bad weather. The boat pound very hard on the waves because is very flat so are all the new design. I think the only problem with this boat crossing ocean is how unstable is with waves, for me is almost impossible to do things below in bad weather, but i never feel unsafe. With the roller main is a blessing how easy is to go at a pace you like, i have been sailing with only the main heavely rolled in and doing 5.5 knots. Above that speed the boat is became very hard to live on, you have to grab on something, now my passage time are calculated at 4 knots. Going upwind with the skoal draft is a nightmare, forget it, but i love the 5 foot draft. I have friends with same size and age benateau, they are much much faster, but inside mine has no rival. I find the 2 helms new setting very unprotected to the elements, with heavy wind and rain i feel much more protected with the center wheel position. buts that is only my 5 cents...
Nov 27, 2018
Hunter 41 DS Sandusky
Thanks for all the replies! I restore and deliver boats for a living and I know I've got a few things to change and upgrade on this boat. I ended up buying Renogy 4Ds and a 31 for the starting batt. I got the hybrid gels and 600 watts of solar. Time will tell if its sufficient. I'm probably going to reinforce some structural areas with Kevlar and epoxy and reinforce the bow section. As for the flat bottom I know she's going to pound a bit and probably roll a bit in a beam sea but its the overall volume and comfort of this boat that sold us. Well, that and the price. If I have to be semi uncomfortable for three weeks doing a major crossing I'm ok with that knowing I'll be comfortable when I get there. We're gonna start in the lakes and then go down the coast and to the Caribbean to see what works and what doesn't then decide where to go from there. I've copied the upgrade lists you gents gave me and I'll work through them - thanks! I'll be posting some photos soon and probably starting a new thread. I'm finding info on this particular model to be somewhat hard to come by so I'd like to continue expanding on it for future owners. If there are any other quirks about the boat you guys could share it'd be much appreciated!


Jun 23, 2016
Hunter 41DS Seattle
And with the Kevlar sorta-reinforced bow, they also installed the 'factory recommended' bow thruster tubing. Where the factory is Lewmar and the tube itself is not actually structurally sufficient. In particular, it is a spiral wind so can be subject to cracking far easier than a cross-laid FRP pipe. Don't ask me how I found that one out. And yes, given the tight spaces in there it is very difficult to repair.


Jun 23, 2016
Hunter 41DS Seattle
I still like the boat, for sure. Just not something I feel confident doing any extensive ocean voyaging short handed.