Re: hunter 460 vs. 466
Hi There, we have been on our 460 12 years cruising the Caribbean. Boat has performed really well. Difference between the 460 and later 466 is some asthetics. Benneteau went and got an Italian interior designer and Hunter responded with a guy named Glen Henderson who updated the asthetics and some interior stuff. Otherwise, the rig, hull, keel and deck are the same except for some port lights and hand holds. Hunter tried to either cost cut or save weight on the rudder post and fabricated a fiberglass rudder with fiberglass post. Ours got tight as well due water and we had to replace it. Hunter gave us one on warranty but I had to pay the haul. I understand teh new rudder is about 3 grand. No problem at all since. My friends who own Bennies are generally envious of the Yankee engineering of the plumbing and electrical system. Ever been in a French toilet? Also, Benneteau has really embraced the 'minimalist' design. That means a lot less electircal panel for controlling all the gadgets you want to install. Also, the Bennies rig from Charlestown Spar had some issues with the hooks on the bottom of the boom. The mainsheet blocks were pulling them out due mid boom sheeting. Friend of mine actually cracked his Benneteau boom due this problem. Funny, the newer Bennies now have a fiberglass arch for end of boom sheeting and to get the traveler out of the cockpit. Hunters B&R rig is great once you read about it and understand it. Great performance. We do running reaches down wind with the main only out about one third in about 18 knots. With full jib we get 6.5 to 7.5 knots. We are able to point within 35 degrrees in 8 to 12knots of wind with no waves and get 4.5 to 5.5 or so. Increase the wind to 18knots, bear off to about 42 because of the energy needed to push through the waves and we still see 6 or 7. Bear off to a close beam reach with 18 to 22 and we have seen 9 knots. Otherwise, we cannot say enough good about the boat. Have sailed in 9 to 12 foot waves fetched up by current agains the wind (like you get in the Caribbean on occasion) in 30ish knots of wind and have had no problem. Bottom line is, all production manufacturers have produced great boats and some dogs. Everyone is guilty. You have to clearly define what you and your mate want out of a boat, find a model where the kinks are worked out, or can be worked out, then find an example of that model that has been maintained and treated well at the price you are happy with. Would I cross an ocean in this? I would rather 747 it honestly. But having sailed 3000 miles over 3 months from South Africa to Madigascar and back in a 47 foot Cat once upon a time...yes I would but would stay out of the higher latitudes and stick to the favorable routes at favorable times. I love my island hopping but believe me...I have known a lot of folks who have crossed oceans and when they get to the Bahamas or Caribbean are shocked how tough the conditions can be here sometimes. I have confidence in this boat and my wife loves it meaning I get to keep sailing. Best of luck.