Outbound 46 Review—Introduction

In a few days we will be publishing the first of a multi-part in-depth review of the Outbound 46.

With that said, I’m sure many of you are wondering why the heck John is writing about a $750,000 boat when the world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket and many of us are faced with truly nasty financial situations, not to speak of the very real risk of dying or losing loved ones.

I get that, but, as I have said before, I’m convinced that this will pass, and that at some time (may not be soon) many of us will want to go offshore voyaging again.

That said, even then, very few of us will be able to afford an Outbound 46. But still, there are two very important reasons to give the boat airtime:

We Need This Boat

As I will detail over the next few weeks, the Outbound 46 is a great voyaging boat, and there are not many of those being built these days, no matter the money. So if writing about the boat helps Phil Lambert her creator, even in a tiny way, to keep building the boat, that’s a good thing. And that’s not as far fetched as it may sound, given the number of Boréals and Artnauticas sold as a result of exposure here.

By the way, Phil tells me that even after being subjected to the double whammy of a trade war, with the resulting tariffs, and then the present crisis, he is in the middle of commissioning a new 46 and has a 52 in build. This guy has been doing this for 20 years; he’s a survivor.

A Good Example Boat

The other reason for publishing this now is that even those of us who can only dream of owning a brand new Outbound 46 can learn a huge amount from this boat from the board of a great designer with updates and improvements based on the wisdom of nearly 70 owners over 20 years.

Expanding on The Example

So not only will I be reviewing the Outbound 46, I will also be using the Outbound 46 as a springboard to discuss decisions all of us must make when selecting a boat. For example, in Parts 1 and 2 on the hull form and appendages (all written) I have dug into:

  • Choosing a good hull form for offshore voyaging
  • Encapsulated or bolt-on keels and the interesting hybrid on the Outbound 46
  • Full keels or fins
  • Spade or skeg rudders
  • Bow thruster, or not

And there will be lots more of that kind of analysis as we move on to rig, deck layout, and interior arrangement.

Valuable to Refits

So even if your plan is to buy an old and inexpensive boat and refit her, a much more attainable goal, particularly if you can live aboard while still earning, reading this series on the Outbound 46 will help you make better decisions, both about what boat you start off with and how you refit her.


Look for Part 1, on the Outbound 46 hull form, on Friday.

Like what you just read? Get lots more:

Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

13 comments… add one
  • Lee Corwin April 22, 2020, 9:31 am

    I own hull #50.
    There’s some minor issues (port lights leaked due to bad sealant) but you definitely get what you pay for. This is the ultimate solid blue water boat for a couple to voyage on. There are so few boats aimed at this niche market and so many for coastal cruising or charter it’s a shame. Our boat was built for us 7 years ago. At that time only considered Boreal, HR, Amel and Outbound. The next jump to K&M or a one off was well beyond our budget.

    • John Harries April 22, 2020, 10:51 am

      Hi Lee,

      Great to have you here for this project. I will look forward to getting the benefit of your experience and wisdom in future parts.

  • Jordan Burdey April 22, 2020, 9:42 am

    Looking forward to seeing the upcoming articles. Outbounds have been one of my go to boats for “I have X problem I am trying to solve on my boat – how is the design on the outbound solving this” as I am undergoing a major refit.

    That said, if money was no object – Boreal & Outbounds are my two favorite boats, just far from my financial reach.

    • Allan Gray April 22, 2020, 10:56 am

      Hi John

      I‘’ve been looking forward to these articles since you mentioned it last fall following your visit to the Annapolis Boat Show. We were fortunate enough to get a tour of one in the Bahamas as well as visiting the Outbound crew in Annapolis. We love our Sabre 402, however if I were to win the lottery today I would order one tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll see what intel we can gather from your articles to apply to our boat.

      Allan Gray

    • John Harries April 23, 2020, 8:16 am

      Hi Jordan,

      We are in the same situation: love the two boats, don’t have the bucks. Still, like you say, a lot to learn from both.

    • John Harries April 23, 2020, 8:22 am

      Hi Jordan,

      I would say you have made a very smart call on your “model boat”. That said, I will have a few suggestions for places I would diverge from the Outbound way, depending on usage profile.

  • Zachary Hummel April 22, 2020, 12:58 pm

    Frankly, Outbound may build good boats, but I would stay away from this company. They hired Kyle Jackney, who had represented Hylas Yachts in the US. Kyle took many people’s deposits, including ours, and never sent the deposits on to Hylas Yachts. I personally know of several instances of this conduct by Kyle reported to me by others in my same position. In my opinion, any any company who would hire a dishonest fraudster like Kyle should not be in business. It appears the only reason they hired Kyle was that Outbound then purchased the mold for the Hylas 56 out of bankruptcy which Kyle filed to avoid the results of successful litigation against him. Outbound is now marketing that boat as the Outbound 56. Buyer beware.

    • John Harries April 22, 2020, 4:37 pm

      Hi Zachary,

      Wow, that’s pretty disturbing news. Thanks for coming up, particularly since this kind of thing is very painful to share.

      I’m going to pass your comment on to Phil to see if he has anything to add.

    • John Harries April 23, 2020, 8:14 am

      Hi Zachary,

      I heard back from Phil, but, understandable, he does not want to get into it here.

      This is an awkward situation, but obviously it is not for me to in any way get in the middle of this.

      That said, I do feel your pain at having lost a deposit, particularly since Phyllis and I lost over $50K on a carbon mast that was not built to specification. Still stings 15 years later.

  • Roger Neiley April 22, 2020, 9:09 pm

    A teenage sister to the Outbound is the Saga 43. Very similar hull form and rig. A bit less space and less tankage. There were 54 built and the cost is very attractive versus the Outbound. Ours has been a good girl for the 20 yrs since new; preparing now to do a Baja Bash back to So Cal.

  • P D Squire May 2, 2020, 1:44 am

    And in the final part of this review; Had “Bob” known at the time just before commencing his infamous refit (or just before purchasing MC) what he knows now, and had both the Boreal and Outbound been available at the time, what would he have chosen?

    • John Harries May 2, 2020, 9:02 am

      Hi P D,

      Interesting question. It would be a toss up and, I think, depend a lot on what I planned to do. If I was going to the high latitudes then the Boreal every time. On the other hand, I prefer a lot of things in the Outbound, more on that in later posts. Bottom line, they are both great boats, but so different that I would never get into even thinking about “which is better” only about which is better for a given task.

      Another interesting thought is that back in the day when I did the refit I would not have had the experience to understand the Boreal and so would have bought the Outbound.

      And then finally, another question. Was Morgan’s Cloud an even better choice for us than either? Not sure, I would really have to ponder that one.

      Might make a fun article some day.

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