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Racing the H49

Apr 6, 2004
Hunter 49 Dark and Stormy Downers Grove, IL
Debated whether to post this here, under big boats, or over on the racing thread. Decided to start here.

So, I'm strongly considering racing my (new to me) H49 in next year's Chicago to Mackinac race, in the cruising division. Went out to try and find PHRF ratings for the H49, just to get an idea where I'd fall, and man, that was hard to find. Yes, I know Mac race is ORR, but I was just trying to get a rough idea. So, recognizing that the H49 is a cruiser and not billed as a racer, does no one race their H49's? The upside to my prior boat (H35.5) was that is did fairly well as both (cruiser/racer), unfortunately it wasn't quite big enough for my long term needs, and was decked out just a BIT too much as a racer for my wife's needs.

So, here I am with the H49, wondering if I'm crazy to even consider racing it? Racing experience isn't my issue, and I know that the distance/conditions are well within the abilities of the H49. So thoughts? Input? Suggestions?


Rick D

Jun 14, 2008
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
The local association should provide you with a provisional rating. I looked in the SoCal PHRF and couldn't find a 49. For purposes of comparison, a late model 45 center cockpit rates 154. Have fun!
Jun 1, 2009
Hunter 49 toronto
So, here is my honest reply as. 49 owner
If you have the large foresail option with the deck tracks, you have a good advantage. The boat is fairly quick upwind in about 10 knots true
As well, get a good downwind asymmetrical.
It’s not going to be as fast as a flat bottomed Boat with a fin keel. But, over long distance races the stability of boat is a huge advantage.
I’ve had the boat up to 13 knots in a good breeze sailing the asymmetrical with wind 120 -150 true.
Hope this helps
Apr 6, 2004
Hunter 49 Dark and Stormy Downers Grove, IL
Sorry, I've been away for a bit. I do appreciate the replies. I did find one PHRF organization that listed a H49 with a 94 PHRF. We'll see what we find for Lake Michigan.

Art - I do have the large foresail option and deck tracks, and she does pretty well upwind. Also have a decent asymmetric, as the furling headsail is cut a bit high for downwind work. Fun story for me - since I have not yet sold the 35.5, we took them both out this weekend and raced them against each other. Kids took the 35.5, adults had the 49. Based on the PHRF info that I had and a 7 mile upwind/downwind course, I gave them a 5:30 minute headstart. We raced JAM, as the kids weren't confident about flying the symmetric on the 35.5 without me on board (either that or they knew something I didn't). We caught them and rounded the upwind mark probably 2-3 boat length ahead, but once we started heading downwind, I couldn't keep ahead. The 35.5 has a big deck sweeping genoa and by the time we got to the finish, they had at least 4-6 boat lengths on me.

Was educational to see the differences in upwind/downwind performance, and extremely satisfying to be beaten by my kids because they sailed the boat well and coordinated well as a crew. (And if there is a next time, we're definitely flying spinnakers!)
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Jun 8, 2004
Hunter 49 Lake Erie
Hey TJ

I have raced mine in the cruising and double hand divisions on various occasions on Lake Erie. I have never had the boat measured to get a certified PHRF rating but I have been assigned a rating of 122 in all the races where I raced my 49. (usually I race my boat when my beer drinking friends what to go along vs sailing with the other boats where I am crew). I find the 122 interesting because my previous boat a Hunter 44 aft cockpit was measured and I raced it with a 119 PHRF rating. Hope this info helps.