I stumbled across this thread accidentially while I tried to figure out what all the Hunter bashing on the forums
were all about. I have read it from start to end and it has been both entertaining and enlightening. What I get from it is that the rule
of big numbers is the cause of it all.
Let's for the sake of argument say that with any brand there is a probability of one in a thousand of getting a lemon. That's a very low number, I know, but I just chose it for illustrating my point. In the better years Hunter, as well as Bavaria
makes around 2000 boats. That means two accidental lemons a year.
Now, let's have a look at one of the prestigiuos brands, Hallberg-Rassy. They make 180 boats a year. It means that it statistically would take them more than 11 years to accidentially make two lemons, or one every 5.5 years. Their turnover in 2008 was 500 000 000 SEK, or about 68.7 mill USD. That gives an approx factory price of USD 381 666 in average per boat.
I am pretty sure that those factors combined with a small operation and catering to the high end luxury market where brand cred is everything makes for a great deal of flexibility. Giving them a reasonably quick and pretty informal process in handling those very rare screw ups before they turn into major incidents that could hurt their reputation, making sure the customer is kept happy and tells his friends how happy he is. The bottom line is that you really pay big bucks for that treatment.
High volume manufacurers rarely have ramifications for that personal touch that HR buyers pay big bucks extra to get. Hunter buyers don't want to pay tens- or hundred thousand dollars to get that special Business Class treatment on delivery
. Still some of them will expect it. Most sailors just want a boat that works, one that they can enjoy life at sea in. That means that when something hits the fan at Hunter there will be more noise
This and the weight of about 1820 more boats sold per year gives more events
that turn into incidents, creating more dissatisfied customers compared to HR. Not neccesaily in percentage, but in numbers. That means more bad stories to be spread as rumors pr year than for HR, which, as you remember, had a probability of one bad story every 5,5 years.
Account in the fact that rumors usually make a feather into five hens and it all makes sense.
I have to say thank you for starting this thread. It has been very enlightening. I was shiyng away from Hunters because of all the bashing on the forums
. I will no more page over a used Hunter in the classifieds as long as it is in my size and fits the budget
. Maybe in a some years we'll be cruising the world in a Hunter. In the meantime I still have a lot of research
to do, boats being one of the neccesary topics. That, and enjoying life in coastal waters in our cute little 24 foot sloop