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post #1 of 53 Old 12-23-2019 Thread Starter
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4 boat comparison

Hoping top sort a few things out and finally make a decision! I am looking at a Hylas 46, Tartan 4400, Outbound 46, and Regina 43. They are all within 25K of each other. All within 3 years old. I want to sail the Western Caribbean and possibly further with my partner. These boats are pre-owned and their equipment list varies. What would be the most important factors to consider in selecting one of the 4 above boats? Thanks.
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post #2 of 53 Old 12-23-2019
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Re: 4 boat comparison

I think it depends a lot on your specific needs. If all four are in the basic same condition, I wouldn't worry about equipment too much. You will probably want to change some things, anyway. Others can comment about build quality. If you haven't already, read through Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook, and possibly Beth Leonard's Voyager Handbook to get a good idea of things to think about on a cruising boat.

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Re: 4 boat comparison

Thanks, yes build quality is what I'm asking about. Also why are there so many Tartan 4400's on the market?
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post #4 of 53 Old 12-23-2019
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Re: 4 boat comparison

In my opinion, livability is the most important thing to consider when looking for a boat to live on and cruise. This includes a galley that someone can make a good, warm meal in no matter the conditions, but also includes plenty of storage space for all your kitchen supplies, appliances and stores.
Having a good bed, in our case a centerline queen with an over the counter mattress (custom mattresses are very expensive), that can be made without being on it is a huge plus, and at least one head with a separate shower stall, instead of the shower in the head.
Don't forget ventilation! If you aren't going to be on a dock most nights running your AC, or running a genset, then you want a boat with lots of opening ports and hatches. But keep in mind how you can rain proof these as it rains several times a night in the tropics and the last thing you'll want to do is get up to close and open these every time it sprinkles. How comfortable a boat is at anchor is also very, very important. Just ask anyone who has a boat that sails or rolls excessively at anchor. There are a lot of nights those folks wish they'd chosen a different boat!
Way too many folks buy a boat without a really comfortable place to lay about in the salon and watch movies or read. Usually, dinettes aren't those places. Then there is storage space for your personal gear, tools and spare parts. This is most important if one is going for extended cruises. Since you seem to want a pretty big boat for two to handle, keep in mind that if the boat you buy isn't set up for short handed sailing, it can be rather expensive to do so.
I know these are not the things your post wanted to hear about the specific boats you inquired about, but these are much more important IMO, than a boat's speed, pointing ability or looks. It takes most folks at least three tries to get the right boat.
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post #5 of 53 Old 12-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: 4 boat comparison

Thank you Capta. My next choice will be my 4th sailboat. Your comments were very helpful and are noted.
Hoping someone can be more specific to the models I'm considering. Possibly owners can chime in.
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post #6 of 53 Old 12-23-2019
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Re: 4 boat comparison

I dont know these boats persnally well. So my thoughts are generic.

These are all quality boats and the $$ value means you'd be doing pretty extensive research... and getting on each for a long and good look.

Hylas is a great brand but the 46 is an old design without a swim platform.
The Outbound is a much newer design... by 15 years at least, isnt it? The improvements in 15 years in the cruising technology is vast. Hugely vast.
What entered the market in 2000 would have been designed a few years before. The 1990s were not the heyday of cruising. The heyday is now.

For me a swim platform is utterly essential, particularly if the people are over 40. Clambering from the dinghy up over the side is difficult and dangerous. passing groceries up the high side is difficult.

Someone said the equipment lists are not important. I beg to differ. If these boats are just 3 years old you wont be replacing boat junk for another 7 years... so one more fully kitted out will be a great cost saving benefit for you.

The Caribbean, west or east are both in the tropics where the trade winds ventilate the boat better than any air conditioner.
I have 13 opening hatches. Including 2 deck hatches over my bed. With both open its a veritable storm of cool air at night. Mine can be close to closed in an open bay. However if your up a river in the western carib you will want every morsel of air.
Same with the saloon. Lots of big blow-through is terrific.


As Capt A says, its all about livability. Quite frankly, sailing ability is second or third priority down the list after livability. And at this price point, luxury. You might be able to retrofit a new Raymarine, but you cant retrofit luxury, livability or ventilation.

Theres an oft quoted stat saying "90% of your time cruising will not be sailing". Total utter BS. Even my 2 1/2 year circumnavigation didn't approach 10% sailing. So don't buy a cruising boat for its "Polar"... buy it to laze your days in comfort.


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post #7 of 53 Old 12-23-2019
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Re: 4 boat comparison

I own an Outbound 46. Itís hulll #50. It was the first new boat I ever owned. Prior to ordering it looked at HR, Hylas, Passport, Oyster and Boreal. Although hull design has advanced in the last 15 years the improvement has mostly been felt in performance not comfort nor safety. A cruiser must be comfortable in all conditions. Manageable under sail in all conditions by one and need no more than two for docking, fueling, anchoring and entering/leaving slips.
Each Outbound is different than the last one. Although you can do what you want other than move the collision and main structural bulkheads what has happened is folks figure out whatís worked on prior boats and spec that improvement. So thereís experimentation but over the years the boats improve and the kinks work out. They arenít first boats for anyone and most cross oceans.Phil still makes at least a couple every year. Yes, Carl drew it 15 years ago but he got it right.
Upsides looking at your other choices
Solid glass for the entire hull. Take a whack you can fix it back to original strength just about anywhere in the world and know a good job was done.
No keel bolts. Design is such you can take a grounding without putting the aft end of the keel stub through the canoe body and you donít have to deal with keel bolts. Appendage design is fairly unique and quite different than the other boats on your list.
7 berths with 5 behind the mast. We specíd a two head setup. A manual in the forward stateroom and an electric aft. We can divide the boat so two couples can live in total privacy while cruising. When mom and pop we sleep in the forward queen and use the aft head with separate shower.
On passage each crew has their own bunk. One on each side of saloon and one or two in quarterberth (have bungleboard to separate). Only if conditions permit use the forward queen. All berths are secure. Lee clothes and board make for good sleeping.
Steering is mechanical linkage with nearly no play. Good feel and bulletproof. Support tube brought up well above waterline. Have had a few drops come up the tube through the bearings when itís real sporty but extremely rare.
Ventilation is excellent. We are liveaboards except summers mostly in the windwards but still rarely use AC. And then just to deal with humidity or put an adequate load on the northern lights. Usual setup at night is forward hatch open, hatches in heads open, companionway slider open. Thatís enough. If not thereís still the four small hatches on the over head and five opening ports in forward stateroom and three in quarterberth. Extremely rare to past just the over hatch forward and slider.
Fit and finish is excellent. All wiring, tanks, valves etc. labeled in English.
Like having four fuel tanks and two water tanks. Allows using them to trim the boat and if one get contaminated you can bypass it until a suitable time.
Love the workroom. Everything neat, accessible and standing headroom. Huge selling point. Makes a huge difference doing maintenance.

Downsides. The boat has four very large port lights that donít open. Phil Lambert specíd a sealant that would fail commonly after 4-5 years. So many Outbounds have needed that sealant removed and replaced or the lights entirely removed and rebedded.
I was the first owner who insisted on synthetic core in the house instead of balsa. I also changed specs for the aft cleats/backing plates to allow for safe JSD use. Still backing plates for the traveler werenít big enough to spread loads. Boat sees severe weather on occasion. We sail conservatively but aim to always be above 7kts. Bolts would work. Got leaks there. So removed traveler. Injected epoxy, built up much wider base under bolts thatís totally flat, had new larger backing plates fabricated. Now bulletproof. Others have removed a fair bit of core and used G-10 or underlayment of woven glass to spread loading. In any case these two upgrades are fairly common in Outbounds. These boats are commonly cruised extensively in harsh conditions so you see issues not seen in boats subjected to less.
The Outbound owners group is a great resource and Phil Lambert (builder of outbound) is a tremendous guy. He helps you long after your warranty is long gone.
My list was developed by listening to scuttlebutt and friends (pro and amateur) who cruised/owned those models. If to do over it be a toss up between Boreal and Outbound. Thatís because of the 6.5í draft V a centerboarder not build nor design. Think Outbound is the best mom and pop cruiser even now c/w other offerings including current crop.
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post #8 of 53 Old 12-23-2019
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Re: 4 boat comparison

Iíve told you the warts and pimples on Outbounds. Donít get me wrong these boats do untold thousands of ocean miles with no major difficulties and Iíd have no reluctance to join the rtw ARC on even the oldest one. Still, if youíre going to drop big bucks thought to tell you nitty gritty. Only other thing I can tell you is about rudder tubes. Given its a balanced spade it has great handling. Itís way overbuilt as well. Friend ran his into a rock. Short haul to check it out. In a day good to go. Has put tens of thousands of miles on her since with no issue. Still, a few boats over the years have had issues. Mostly those with cf rudders. Seems thereís troubles with the bearings. Appparently a doable fix but if the one your looking at has a cf rudder ask about it. I have the SS so donít know the details. We have a delrin sleeve at the very top of the rudder post just under the plate in the cockpit. That plate screws out to allow placement of the emergency tiller. After our third 1700nm passage there was a bit of slap in big seas. Replaced it and now carry two spares which we havenít used in the four subsequent years. Think the first one was a millimeter off center so wore. Subsequent one is on center hence hasnít worn. Thatís about all the downsides I can think of at the moment. The outbound owners group is pretty tight knit and we like each other. Buddy boat, hang out together and crew for each other on occasion. I can probably guess which boat youíre looking at. Sheís a fine craft.

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post #9 of 53 Old 12-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: 4 boat comparison

Thanks Mark. Great thoughts, helps a great deal. You're so right about "livability". Mind you these are up marlet boats and copmfort I believe is no issue. I just don't want to inherit somebody else's problems. You know how it is dealing with brokers, however I've managed to contact some of the owners personally. Not to by pass the broker but to have precise and accurate information.
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post #10 of 53 Old 12-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: 4 boat comparison

Great info!! Outbound. Exactly what I wanted. Hoping a Tartan or Hylas owner will chime in. Please explain a 'CF' rudder. I'm looking at a 2008 350K Lowest price out there. Lots of stuff, low hours (554 maybe they rebuilt the engine??) hard to believe, and history shows lots of "repairs" and "refits". I wonder about the repairs? I'm thinking a hurricane boat??
Would you like me to send you the listing to have a look? And by chance do you happen to be in the Windwards? I live in Grenada, and would like you to stop by anytime. I know it's a long shot but you're welcome anytime!
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