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H41DS vs.........what?

Jul 6, 2017
Hunter H 36 Hampton, VA
I am considering a bigger boat than my current 2004 H36. I am looking at either an H41DS or a much older Pearson 424 or 422. I have owned two Hunters and really like everything about my current H36 boat including the fractional jib, SS arch, layout, sheet location, storage, through-hulls layout, large head and shower and overall build quality. The later Hunters were built much, much better than my first Hunter (1980s) IMHO. Perhaps the drawbacks for the H36 is its a little small inside for us and is not as sea-kindly as I'd like and is a handful approaching 30 knots and above which I expect would be the same for the H41DS. Realistically; we are Chesapeake Bay sailors and perhaps may venture down the coast or even the Caribbean one day with the bigger boat but do not see any long term world cruising in my lifetime. Must have a shoal draft boat with a large cockpit for our large family and visitors that is also ICW compatible. I don't have experience with the Pearson boats other than seeing a few at my dock. Their owners really like them. They are beautiful boats.....but old. Any Pearson I will consider would have been re-powered and had many upgrades. Any thoughts on this decision?
Sep 28, 2008
Hunter 41DS Punta Gorda, FL
Tim, we have owned our 2006 41DS for about 9 years. Have sailed it to the Bahamas, Keys, East & west Florida and the Tortugas! We love the 41DS. The systems on it are good and sturdy! The boat is roomy for 2 people. We have had new electronics installed, a solar panel, 6v battery system and thruster. The 5' draft is at the limits for SW Florida as is the 63'10" mast. (many bridges are 65') But doable. The performance is excellent and the high gunwales and very good in high seas. I love the furling main contrary to many that would say otherwise. But once you know how it works and are careful with it there is not an issue. Good luck with your decision!
Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Any thoughts on this decision?
Pearson is a good boat, Tim. Were it me, I would look for an early model, fully equipped (Genset, Heat pumps, etc.) P42. We've owned ours since 2002, cruising several thousand miles all over PNW waters, often doing two month long extended cruises. Meets all of your needs, except it is not a Pearson.
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Apr 8, 2011
Hunter 36 Intrepid Deale, MD
Where are you on the Chesapeake? Slipmate friend of mine has a 41DS they’re taking to the Carib this fall. Have you walked thru one yet?
Jul 6, 2017
Hunter H 36 Hampton, VA
Where are you on the Chesapeake? Slipmate friend of mine has a 41DS they’re taking to the Carib this fall. Have you walked thru one yet?
Not walked through one yet.

We are at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.
Feb 10, 2017
Hunter 41 Progreso
i have sailed my 2004 h41 on the gulf of mexico for the last two years, i have been in nasty weather and i like how the boat sail, I have just finish a trip to 120 miles offshore for 4 days with 5 friends, it was a blast. However my next big mod will be an attach on the deck for a storm jib, over 30 knots the rolled jib is a shit, and the main alone is not good enough if you have to make some travel upwind. From time to time i dream about another boat like ISLAND PACKET so i ask my friend for a ride in his 37. So when i am back to my h41 i really enjoy how fast this boat sail, how good go to upwind and how comfortable is under anchor.
Mar 20, 2004
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
love the 41DS! would be my next boat if I was moving up....
look for a pre-2008 for the lead keel, and I'd want the pullman berth forward
Nov 18, 2010
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
I would say that if you like the modern feel of the Hunter and the comfort at anchor that you won't be as happy with the Pearson. So look at the Hunters, Catalinas, Benny's and Jenny's. I'd recommend the Bennateau 42 CC. They have caught my eye lately as a nice layout for cruising.

Good luck and fair winds
Aug 26, 2007
Hunter 41DS Ventura, California
I will echo the 41DS recommendations- great boat. Also second the 2007 or earlier for the lead vs iron keel and the real teak interior. Well equipped from the factory and the 7' headroom can't be beat.
There was a recall on some boats for a mast repair (mine had the problem) evidenced by a slight bulge near the mast furling windlass. Required Hunter to send a rigger with a repair kit to install reinforcing backing plates to the affected area - took a long time to get it done but Hunter covered it all.
Mine is a fin keel with almost 7' draft- not a problem for the West coast and an excellent sailor. Won't sail as high as some and the B & R rig won't allow dead downwind/ wing on wing but it's fast and stable.
Find one with a shoal draft keel and you won't be disappointed.
Mar 31, 2011
Hunter 41DS Pasadena, MD
Where are you on the Chesapeake? Slipmate friend of mine has a 41DS they’re taking to the Carib this fall. Have you walked thru one yet?
Not walked through one yet.

We are at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.
Where are you on the Chesapeake? Slipmate friend of mine has a 41DS they’re taking to the Carib this fall. Have you walked thru one yet?
Not walked through one yet.

We are at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.
The Admiral and I are very pleased with our 2007 Hunter 41 Shoal draft. I've sailed it down the Chesapeake to Annapolis with peak winds of 43 knot on a close reach and crazy
Chesapeake chop just to test my skills. She is a fast boat and can be easily overpowered, you realy have to furl in quite a bit. The problem is the center of pressure keeps moving forward without a staysail. I do like my in mast furling mainsail though. Like Valerio mentioned, I could see the need for a storm jib / staysail setup.
Valerio I would like to know how your mod goes with adding a staysail.
Tim drop me a line. Come up and go sailing with me. I'm just north of Annapolis.
Jul 7, 2010
Hunter 42 Sydney
the first generation P42 (Passage) were i think about the best boat Hunter built. The only drawback for you , is the center cockpit probable wont seat enough people comfortably for your needs?
Jul 6, 2017
Hunter H 36 Hampton, VA
OK team. I am getting a 41DS. The boat appears to have all the prep in place for the two air-conditioning units including wiring breakers and power and condensate lines. Looks like a factory prep without the compressors installed. We would like to add air-conditioning. Has anyone of you completed this work post sale? Also the vents along top liner at the window head are not there. I assume that the duct or space for air flow is there but the vents need to be added. Also add the AC relay? Not sure on that. Any advice?

Finally, it has a C80 chart plotter. I would like to add an AIS transceiver. Can that be done so the AIS information shows on the display?

Thanks all.
Sep 28, 2008
Hunter 41DS Punta Gorda, FL
Congrats on the Boat! You will love it! I really cannot help on any of your questions! I had those AC units installed when I got her. I think you can do the AIS with the C80 though.
Dec 19, 2006
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
I would not try adding ais to the C-80 and yes it is out dated and have repaired mine twice and replaced with complete refurbished unit.
Save your money for newer updated unit.
Jun 15, 2012
Hunter 50 AC Greenport, NY
The 41DS is a great boat.

As far as the A/C is concerned, I would check to see if Hunter installed the round flexible ducts for the A/C both fore and aft. There should be a large diameter duct around 8" in diameter and a smaller 2" duct which leads to the vent in the heads.It is not going to be an easy job to add A/C if these are not installed. Even if these have been installed, installing the A/C units can be difficult, especially the aft unit. When I had to change out my forward unit, I bought a Dometic "direct replacement" unit. As the air outlet was in the completely wrong location, I had to install the unit backwards with the compressor in front of the coil. It does work well, so this does not seem to be a problem.

The space for the aft unit is much tighter, and crawling into the stern of the boat is not easy. UncleDom who is on this website recently changed out his aft unit, so he would know more about that.

Hunter installs an A/C relay in the same compartment as the battery charger, I doubt it's been installed.

If you have not yet purchased this boat, perhaps getting one with factory air might make sense. I know of a bank sale of a 41DS in Florida with A/C if your interested.