Congratulations! You are looking to buy one of the best boats in the UK, with great value, competitive racing and a friendly, active and welcoming fleet. This guide should help you find the right 5.9 for you.

SX, 2 Sail or Sport?

This is the question to answer first. The SX has been around a while with quite a few completing the conversion and so there are some cheaper boats out there. Budget plays a lower factor these days. However second hand kits are few and far between, so getting the right format boat at the start is important.

SX – the SX is the boat for racing. Optimised to be easy to use and fast in handicap and class racing. If your club is predominately windward/leeward racing, if your racing against other asymmetric cats or you want to do the national circuit the SX is the one to buy. Full conversions with all new SX gear may not provide value for money, should you come to sell it on, so finding an SX is the sensible route.

Two Sail – does your club do triangle or reaching, racing round the cans? Do you just want to blast out from the beach and enjoy one of the most fun boats to blast on a two sail reach, you can’t go wrong with the two sail. Plenty of spares about these boats provide a smiles per pound like nothing else.

Sport – Ive listed sport rigs as they were the predecessor to the SX. Kite bagged up on the tramp, this made the most of the big original jib upwind and reaching and the extra power of the asymmetric downwind. The systems are not as refined as the SX and certainly requires some handy crew work. There are a few ‘hybrid’ sports around, say with non class legal chutes. If you don’t want to race, these are a lot of fun!

Made your decision?

Get looking! First port of call should always be Andy Webb at AW sailboats. What he doesn’t know about Hurricanes is not worth knowing. He may know of boats coming up for sale and usually has a few in stock. He’s also the man if you would like your new toy to be a ‘sorted’ and shiny boat.

Want a private purchase? Get on the internet. Main advertising places seem to be Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay and apolloduck.

Things to look for

In general, Hurricanes are pretty durable boats and most things can be fixed. Thats why they have been around for so long! Heres a few things to look out for.

Age – With only a handful of New Hurricanes made in the last 15 years, all of them are old! Whilst sounding negative, the great news is we are all in the same boat! Don’t be put off by the lower number boats. Instead look for a good condition, well looked after boat if you want a competitive one.

Platform – This is the key to a fast Hurricane. Certain ages of boats suffered corrosion on the beams where the stainless steel brackets bolt on to the alloy beam. Most will have been repaired by now and even if they haven’t, they will generally be a cheap DIY repair, with kits and instructions available from Andy Webb. Whilst your looking, if the mast is down check for play in the stainless bow tang where the rig attaches.

Gelcoat – a lot of the boats will have suffered some crazing of the gelcoat. its not the end of the world, but down be surprised by it! Check the foils, for wear, in particular check the daggerboard hasn’t fallen down when towing. Depending on how long it was dragged on the ground for can mean a significant repair.

Perishables – sails, covers, tramps and ropes. If your at the lower end of the price brackets, expect to spend some money on upgrading these in time. However a cheaper boat is a great way to spread the cost over the years. A fully sorted race boat you would expect to spend less but at a higher initial cost! In general the mainsails stay competitive for a lot longer than most classes and last an age. The rest of the sails and the tramp last well too. Don’t think you won’t be competitive with 2 or 3 year old sails or even older. The usual wear points to look for, are the bottom third of the spinnaker, the windows on the main and jib and stitching on the trampoline.

Accessories – These are bonus things that can come with boats. Not often available secondhand so factor those that are important to you when buying a boat. Consider what you are using the boat for. If you want to travel and race on the circuit, then these are worth having. If your boat is launched off a slip and will likely never leave the club, then just make sure it has or you budget for a cover.

  • Trailer (with or without box)
  • Trolley (Big all terrain tyres are helpful for sandy/shingle beaches)
  • Cover (decent full cover to keep your boat protected)
  • Spares – sails, rigging can all be handy
  • Trailing accessories (hull covers, rigging tidies, trailer lighting, rudder covers)

Good Luck with your search. We are here to help if you need us.