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Old 15-09-2016, 12:20   #1
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Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

I think the title says it, all.

My wife and I have been shopping for a blue water cruiser, and I recently 'discovered' the famous Hinckley Yawl. She seems to tick all our boxes:

* modified full keel (shoal draft with centerboard, as bonus)
* wide side decks
* no bowsprit
* several sail combinations for different conditions
* good turn of speed
* seaworth cockpit, but big enough to sleep in
* good sea berth (2 actually!)
* good, traditional layout with enough room for two to relax in (with pull-out setees)
* good storage

The one negative is they seem fantastically priced, but I guess that is because of the excellent build quality and reputation.

If you have any actual experience with these lovely boats, I would love to hear your thoughts.

We are thinking of cruising in the Pacific. Possibly down to Easter Island and Chile.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 15-09-2016, 12:56   #2
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

They are great looking boats. If the long overhangs and yawl is what turns your crank, then it will be a boat that you feel good heading back to in your dinghy.

There's a number things about them that don't add much to them for distance cruising. The mizzen sail and short water line is really a racing rule of its day advantage. They don't help you as a cruiser. The PHRF rating is around 150-160, not fast for a 40ft boat.

These boats are old. Most all their systems have been replaced by now or need to be. Just some things to consider.
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:20   #3
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

"Good turn of speed" will get some laughs around here.

But Paul mentions (among several good points) that the mizzen is not helpful for a cruiser. I'd have to disagree. It's true that, like many aspects of the CCA era boats, it's not a choice you would make absent trying to get around rules. That being said....

- Jib + Jigger (no main) is a balanced, awesome, easy, relaxing way to sail the boat when singlehanded, or tired, or the wind has really picked up, or you just don't want to spill your beer...

- Having a mizzen as part of the sailplan makes the main a little more manageable, sizewise..

- With the boom extending well aft of the transom, it makes for a very convenient boom crane to get your engine off your dink and onto the mothership.

- Leave the mizzen up, heavily reefed, at anchor, to limit motion.

- Its a great spot for the radar to avoid being in the way of the genoa.

and most importantly...

- Its another fun thing to noodle with
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:26   #4
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

Pretty famous boat in certain circles! As you say great rep and there is a reason for it. Which year are you looking at? Shoal draft is not a deal breaker in my book for "bluewater" but I might prefer a deeper ballast myself. I am one who doesn't mind the points Paul mentioned at all, but I wouldn't besmurch anyone for thinking there might be a more preferable design. I also wouldn't blame you for a second if you fell in love with it. Not sure if that helps much!
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:31   #5
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

Obviously, you're used to smaller boats, so the interior space of a 30' in the length of 40' won't bother you. But man, that would be one of the last boats I'd want to cruise on. It's too pretty of a face to load with all the items that make cruising comfortable (solar, bimini... etc).



I will say that I'm happy people buy them.... they look wonderful sitting at a mooring!
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:48   #6
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

I believe that it was Rod Stevens who once said " I can improve the appearance and the performance of any yawl... with an axe"!

The vestigal mizzen that was added to many boats of that era was solely a rule beater, and was too small to effectively do many of the things Chris mentions above. The added drag and weight of the mizzen would likely outweigh any possible advantage in performance over a sloop. IMO, if you really want such features, a proper ketch would be a better choice, one where the mizzen has significant sail area.

And another place where the Bermuda would fail as a cruiser is stowage and tankage, both kinda small for a bluewater, long term cruising life.

But yes, they really are pretty!

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Old 15-09-2016, 13:56   #7
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

Actually, the long overhangs are the main negative, in my book, and possibly a deal killer. Hard to imagine hanging a windvane over that stern. I'd probably have to use a combination of sheet-to-tiller and autopilot for self-steering.

My other concern is the lack of opening portlights. Fine for Maine, I guess, but not ideal for the tropics!

Mizzens are a mystery to most modern sailors, but having sailed a wooden yawl for many years, I think they are handy things to have, for many reasons. There's a great video on OffcenterHarbor.com that illustrates some of them on a Concordia Yawl (another heart-throb of mine.)

I'm very partial to cruising on interesting and beautiful boats, because they are instant friend-makers in lonely ports. I can't tell you how many people who have rowed over to say hi, simply because they had to admire my rather unusual boat.

I've always owed heavy displacement boats with 300-ish ratings, so she *would* be fast for me!

The interior seems fairly palatial to me, but I have always sailed old-fashioned boats, and probably always will.

The boat's age is another negative, but I'm looking at Maine boats that have spent most of their lives wintering in sheds. I've never had much in the way of electronic systems on my boats, other than autopilots, so my power & gadget requirements are minimal.

It's probably a fall fling that I'll get over quickly, but they sure are pretty.
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:57   #8
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
...and was too small to effectively do many of the things Chris mentions above.
Nope - I do them all, regularly, on a boat with roughly the same sail plan as a B40.

Let's try to drill down a little further to see what you meant?


- Jib + Jigger (no main) is a balanced, awesome, easy, relaxing way to sail the boat when singlehanded, or tired, or the wind has really picked up, or you just don't want to spill your beer...

Absolutely, positively, the best thing about a Yawl rig. Love when I get to "wimp out" when the wind gets strong and still make (relatively) good speed with light helm.

- Having a mizzen as part of the sailplan makes the main a little more manageable, sizewise..

Certainly not to the extent a Ketch would, but its a real impact on mainsail size.

- With the boom extending well aft of the transom, it makes for a very convenient boom crane to get your engine off your dink and onto the mothership.

Too small for this? That doesnt' even make sense.

- Leave the mizzen up, heavily reefed, at anchor, to limit motion.

nor this

- Its a great spot for the radar to avoid being in the way of the genoa.

nor this

and most importantly...

- Its another fun thing to noodle with

nor this!
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Old 15-09-2016, 13:58   #9
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

OTOH this may be one of the few makes/models which after a long cruise/circumnavigation you could probably sell for the price you paid. Provided you keep up with the maintenance and such.
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Old 15-09-2016, 14:22   #10
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

Can it do that trip? OF course. I sailed from Bermuda back to the Chesapeake on my cousin's B40 - They won the Bermuda race a couple of years ago with that boat. It can go anywhere. Of course, you would want the systems updated but the hull on those things is rock solid. Only downside is that it is a bit of a wet boat in the cockpit - you will want weather cloths. We took a few boarding waves in confused seas between Bermuda and the mainland. And there are acres of brightwork. It looks great when they are all shiny but that takes a lot of effort.
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Old 15-09-2016, 14:23   #11
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

and the best thing about a mizzen is you can fly a staysail off it.
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Old 15-09-2016, 14:36   #12
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

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Can it do that trip? OF course. I sailed from Bermuda back to the Chesapeake on my cousin's B40 - They won the Bermuda race a couple of years ago with that boat. It can go anywhere. Of course, you would want the systems updated but the hull on those things is rock solid. Only downside is that it is a bit of a wet boat in the cockpit - you will want weather cloths. We took a few boarding waves in confused seas between Bermuda and the mainland. And there are acres of brightwork. It looks great when they are all shiny but that takes a lot of effort.
Glad to hear from someone with first-hand experience of the boat.

How was her motion at sea? My offshore experience is limited to heavy displacement boats with a easy motion (relatively speaking, of course.)

Because we'll be sailing short-handed (2 or maybe 3), ease of sail handling and a sea-kindly motion are probably my top priorities. How would you rate her in these areas?

I'm switching from a wooden boat, so maintaining a bit of varnish will be a breeze.
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Old 15-09-2016, 14:57   #13
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

Superb boats. Albeit old school. "Sweet" comes to mind. Friends had one years ago. Some great things are found by not looking to carefully at numbers or theory.
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Old 15-09-2016, 15:24   #14
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I believe that it was Rod Stevens who once said " I can improve the appearance and the performance of any yawl... with an axe"!
Jim
Is that from Rod Stephens? I think Olin won that argument with his designs though... "Dorade" was a yawl... Blasphemy to speak ill of the venerable yawl!
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Old 15-09-2016, 15:30   #15
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Re: Hinckley Bermuda 40 Yawl good choice for bluewater cruiser?

I think it is far from my vision of perfection ... BUT this is one of the boats I can see myself cruising one day.

Any long term relationship is based on emotion. You want a boat that you like (as a minimum). And if someone does not like a Hinckley 40 then perhaps we are in the wrong forum. ;-)

Cheers,
b.
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