Let me tell you how I came to buy my first Hunter. I'd been racing
pretty seriously well into my forties, but after winning six club championships had finally discovered cruising, partially because I was growing weary of being beaten up in the ultralights I was campaigning. My wife got a job at Stanford, necessitating a move away from our beloved Monterey, and while she started to look for houses, I started to look for liveaboard
boats. I found a gorgeous late-70s Swan 41 that needed a bit of work but that we could have paid for out of the equity from selling our house. I took my wife to see it, and she complained that it was dark and stuffy. It was a total no-go. She kept looking for houses, and I kept looking for boats.
She finally found a house she wanted to buy, which meant we could afford it during the dot-com boom when housing prices in the Bay Area were totally ridiculous, but when I looked at it I complained that it was dark and stuffy. Worse than a Swan. In desperation, I asked her to ride with me over to Alameda and look at a few boats, explaining that if she didn't find something she liked we could by the house we both knew we would hate.
We went aboard one of the larger Hunters, and it was light, airy, and had a huge galley
. She said, "I could live on something like this."
The rest is history
I've certainly owned more prestigious boats than my two Hunters. I've owned several boats that were far less seaworthy
but that folks down at the yacht club considered to be more "bluewater" than the Hunters, this despite the fact that there was no basis for this prejudice once you sailed the boat. I have a sneaky suspicion that one of the reasons that our more macho brethren enjoy Hunter-bashing is that these our boats that women consider to be civilized.
My wife wants to go sailing tomorrow, despite the fact that this is how we've occupied ourselves for the past several weekends. She never wanted to do that when I spent my weekends on high-end ultralight racers.
How cool is that?