Author Topic: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?  (Read 2051 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.


  • Nirvana - H46 #13
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 02:39:26 PM »
Hi Jim,  we baught Nirvana (‘97 46 #13) a couple years ago and I couldn’t agree more with everyone here.  Wonderful boat sailing up, down, etc.

Here’s my short list for you to keep an eye for when looking...

1)  windlass;  if not 2000 or newer it is not enclosed under the deck but exposed in the anchor well. so check the motor housing, screws, bolts etc. The first thing we did was replace the motor because the housing was cracked due to corrosion and rust at the edges. 

2)  check deck locker hinges, bedding and screws. Also around the screws for stress cracks/water intrusion.  On ours the original owner ordered taller than spec stansions and lifelines by 2”.  This caused the covers to pass under the lower lifeline when opened inducing additional torque on the hinges they weren’t designed for.  Either way, any cracks at these hinges/screws will probably mean the core of the cover is wet like ours was.  No wood core in the deck at this location so rebedding should suffice there but recommend larger washers and new screws/nuts. I rebuilt (repaired) all of locker covers the first winter.  Every crack in them implies water in the core of the locker cover, in our case I went all the way to glass and didn’t put wood core back in.  I used glass and fiber fill.  They will never be wet again!  LOL

3)  deck lockers again:  I highly recommend installing an SS strike plate under the deck where the latch turns to hold it closed.  This will a) prevent continued damage to gelcoat/fiberglass by the latch and solves the ‘wet locker’ problem folks express in this thread by holding them down more securely. (Assuming New seals are in place)

4)  propane locker drain.  This drain passes behind the aft stateroom closet, thus inside the boat before exiting the hull.  Be absolutely sure it is not leaking or degraded.  Recommend pulling back panel (or drawers in our case) out and inspecting or simply replacing hose and clamps.

5)  exhaust mixing chanber/box.  Inspect the bracket and screws as well as the integrity of the drain spigot at the bottom of it.  This box is starboard and directly behind the engine.  Access is under the hot water tank accessible from the aft head. They used short screws directly into fiberglass.  Heavy weather can cause them to pull free.  I installed a rubber block under it and secured both the Block and chamber using oversized daisy-chained SS hose clamps.  Also replaced the drain spigot as it had corroded and was unusable.

Lastly..but most absolutely not least:

6)  Forward Holding Tank:  this Tank is under the forward deck locker in front of the water-tight bulkhead.  Inspect it.  Do not assume because the owner replaced head fittings or hoses in the forward head that they went through the considerable effort to remove the access plate (not just the observation port) in that locker and replaced the short hoses and fittings on the “outside” of the water-tight bulkhead that connect to the tank.

Nirvana has since been the most dependable, trustworthy, enjoyable contribution to our lives.  You just can’t go wrong.

SV Nirvana, Connecticut
Ken Sabatini
Nirvana - ‘97 Hylas 46 #13


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 10:00:27 PM »
Hi Jim,

I concur with Ambition about the poor sealing under the forward SS deck plate. We found the same issue on Aurora during the purchase survey in 2012. The repair was straight forward by cleaning out all the rotted core and replacing with epoxy. You should check that for sure as they never sealed the core where the anchor chain goes into chain locker. Once fixed we have not had another issue. When you do it, I would recommend fully removing and servicing the windless. I just redid our windless about 2 years ago. it was working fine. But found the gear case to be low on oil and the screws loose on the case. Also the main extension ring was about 1/4 eroded and needed to be replaced. The windless is in a nice protective fiberglass box  on the H46 that is a pain to remove and replace or service the windless but does a fantastic job of protecting the windless the rest of the time.

Most of the circa 2000 H46 will have a Fischer Panda mini 8 genset that has raw water cooling to the generator. Fischer Panda makes good gensets. However this particular model is a well know real POS with overheating issues and has been totally re-designed without raw water cooling to the generator (see the many cruising blogs on the model). If the boat has this model Fischer Panda mini 8 genset plan on replacing it with a good Northern Lights M673L3 6 kw unit. It will run $20K plus. We replaced ours and it has been well worth it.

Another issue that seem to be consistent on H46 circa 2000 is the mast boot leaks. This can be easily fixed using 3" butyl tape. I replace the tape very 2 years and no longer have leaking around the mast. Also on any boat of this vintage, plan on resealing the all the hatches and port holes and replacing the gaskets. It's a labor intensive project but well worth it to have a dry boat in heavy seas. With the low freeboard on the H46 expect blue and/or green water over deck. It's just a fact of life with the boat. On that thought, to help keep the cockpit drier, we covered the starboard running rigging hole from deck into the cockpit with a shaped and sealed 1/2" plastic board with holes for the lines going through it. If you don't seal this large running rigging hole it can be a large fire hose of water coming in soaking everything in the cockpit. We also full enclosed the cockpit with Sunbrella/plastic windows. I can't tell you how big a difference this has made in comfort when going to weather in heavy seas and/or rain or cold weather. Totally night and day and to me a huge safety item.

The H46 is a wonderful well built, solid blue water boat and we really enjoy ours. We've sailed ours over 15,000 NM up and down the west coast of North America from southern Mexico to Alaska and plan on doing a South Pacific tour soon after a trip to Glacier Bay this summer.

Curtis and Katie
S/V Aurora 02 Hylas 46 #41

Jim P

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 07:43:36 PM »
Thank everyone for your thoughtful replies.



  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 08:42:12 PM »
We bought Ambition late 2014 and I concur with Joel, consider having all SS deck plate at the bow pulled out along with the windlass etc and remove all the core material and replace with epoxy. There are just too many holes in the deck to keep this area dry. If there is any movement in the windlass - replace the cored material.
We have put more than 8000nm on the boat and could not be happier with her performance. It is clear that 15 to 20 year old boats will have system that are archaic and need to be upgraded if you plan to cruise worry free (if that is possible). The system that come to mind that we pulled out are - refrigeration and electronics. Often times the mainsail electric curlers are way past maintenance schedules (3 years). Of special note is the Fischer Panda generators - they are horrible and I am reaching the point of pulling it out and sending it to "sleep with the fish" even though it only has 300 hours on it.
Love the boat - a fast and comfortable sailboat that takes VERY good care of us!
Merrill and Maryse
S/V Ambition #40


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 02:56:58 PM »
We sold our Morgan 43, a great boat, and bought a 2004 Hylas 46, a greater boat, 3 years ago. Very happy with purchase and performance of boat. Almost all issues were result of neglect by previous owners/yards. Changed refrigeration right away as big Grunart compressor under aft bunk was loud and inefficient. Replaced with Seafrost. We have not solved the problem of condensation staining the wood under the frig and freezer doors which happens a lot in windward islands. We keep the shallow bilge as dry as possible as water will run up the hull when heeling; I wish the boat had a deeper bilge. Electrics are a thing of beauty but we did bypass the breaker from the alternator as it could (and was) accidentally tripped when walking by the nav station, causing unnecessary issues with the alternator. On the Morgan, I could pull the chainplates, polish and rebed. Can't do that on the Hylas but I did rebed them last year and the metal looked like new so no worries. Finally, a crack between the aft 6 inches of the keel and the hull bugs me but everybody I've talked to, including Queen Long, says no concern. Boatyard manager says a lot of boats have that issue, where the keel is too narrow for a bolt. As boats go, she is low maintenance and a blast to sail, fast and comfortable.

Jim Ripple
svCapers H46/53

brian black

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 02:49:00 PM »
we did replace the chainplates on our 1996 H46.  they can corrode, right where they come through the deck.  difficult, etc. but glad we did.  she is wet on deck, but not in the cockpit.  at least in the conditions and in the way that we try to sail her.  similarly, we don't have a problem with pounding.  the deck lockers are hard to keep adequately sealed, tend to be wet. 


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 09:06:22 PM »
We bought our 2000 Hylas 46 just over a year ago, and we haven't run into any significant problems or surprises. It's a great boat, comfortable, stable, sails fast. Upwind is never as fun as running poled-out wing-on-wing, but our Hylas 46 definitely does not pound. Where did you hear that rumor?

-John Spiegel
SV Vesper, H46 #30


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
Re: "Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 07:07:53 PM »

I've got a 44.  Chainplates are the least of your worries- they are welded to a grid.  Decks are cored, and the bow plate has lots of screws.  Not a big deal, but a potential source of intrusion.  As with any 15 year old boat, standing rigging is probably shot if it is original. 
The 44 is wet, but it does not pound.  In the first 3 months I owned her I put on 2500 offshore miles.  She sails great!  Stiff, forgiving and comfortable.  John Kretschmer sailed her through a hurricane when she was new.  Would not trade her for a Bene or Jeanneau!

Jim P

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
"Gotchas" for circa 2000 H46 to watch out for?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 10:20:35 PM »
I'm interested in finding a used Hylas 46 and I'm looking for a boat probably built from 1997 to 2004.  I'd like to know if there are items or systems that I need to be especially careful of. For instance, on Island Packets, chain-plates and holding tanks are well known for having problems. Finally I know the 46's have a reputation for pounding upwind when compared to the 47's or 49's, but I would presume they'd be more sea-kindly upwind when compared to a lighter production boat such as Jeanneau or Beneteau? TIA for your help.



If you wish to help keep the HYOA running, please click the donation button below