Hi - We own a 1987 Hughes 40 and would be glad to answer some of your questions. We have only had her for 2 years so are still discovering her strengths and weaknesses. We purchased from the original owner, who had much of the original paperwork from Hughes, including original correspondence between Howard Hughes and pictures of the boat during construction at the factory. PM me and I can send you some of the original specs if you like.
- Is the hull cored? I think not, but can't confirm it.
Hull is SOLID Glass and fairly thick below the waterline and cored above waterline. Deck
is a mix of cored and solid. On later models, Hughes also sold them with factory applied epoxy
- Does the ketch rig have both masts keel stepped? Or is the mizzen deck stepped?
Mizzen is deck stepped (Most Ketch Rigs seem to be)
- What are the typical problems one should expect to see on this model?
Here are a few specific to this model (any older boat could have many other potential issues )
And another question more generic to the ketch rig: when unstepping the masts, which should go down first? I assume the order should be reversed for stepping them.
- The rear Keel / Hull joint is likely a continual maint area -- it has a large lead area faced to a large flat fiberglass hull portion that sees a lot of stress on the joint and can trap water in the area. There is also a keel bolt that could be potentially at risk so you do need to keep an eye on this area.
- Water tanks and assoc plumbing ( i.e. fill, vents, outlets etc) are all inaccessible and below the cabin sole.
- In both heads and the cockpit floor was built either too level or even pitched incorrectly -- so water does not drain well and you end up with standing water most of the time. (this item was only discovered AFTER we had the boat for awhile). Can be mitigated by adding addition drains in the forward head and cockpit but there is no room in the aft head to add a second floor drain.
Mizzen comes down first - goes up last
If there are any Hughes 40 owners around here, I would love to hear about how well she sails, particularly the ketch rig. Any other thoughts or opinions from experienced owners will be appreciated.
Overall we love the boat - I love the headroom
below ( am 6'1 and can stand up in both heads, and in all cabins, galley) -- love the safe deep cockpit with factory hard dodger
-- but hate the very low interior
passthru to the aft cabin
. Nav station is also cramped for me but OK for my wife.
We actually prefer the ketch rig, and many times only sail her with just the head sail and mizzen. She is heavy and very stable in rough seas - no "pounding" like you get with so many modern flatter hull designs. She does have a very shallow draft
and as such does not point particularly well - and with the main up in a stiff wind
she tends to get pushed off the desired track. I think some models have a deeper draft
but most have the shallow draft
-- at least all the ones I had seen for sale
. We keep her up in the PNW and do a lot of motorsailing and love that she has ample power
(65HP) -- important with the tides and currents there.
There are a few original design choices or features that bug me, others that bug my wife -- btw -- my wife is the real sailor,while I am the mate, mechanic
slave. As with any older boat you will likely find many PO mods and upgrades. She wanted an Amel Sharkie, however for me it lacked the required headroom
, and a long enough bunk in the aft cabin
( and a second head) ...
Keep in mind that Hughes was also a large RV producer, and a lot of the original interior
fit ( wiring
, plumbing) was RV style and not Marine
quality -- if a PO has not upgraded, you will want/need to - a decent Survey
will highlight all the wiring
but may not on the plumbing
Interior layout and features changed over the years -- what year are you looking at and what is your intended use?
Cheers , Jim