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Old 03-04-2015, 11:49   #1
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Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

I found a '96 Hunter 170 for sale locally which looked pretty good except for about a half dozen cracks. It looked like the boat spent some of those 20 years in a garage, but not all of them. COmes with sails and a trailer. My question is, are these cracks typical for a Hunter 170 or has this one been abused? Is this something I could get repaired for a few hundred dollars at a plastic or glass shop or would it be better to search for a cleaner example? Thanks in advance for your opinion.
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Old 03-04-2015, 21:27   #2
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

I don't know what you should do. My concern, in pic #1, it looks as if a failed attempt had been made there to repair it.... and there's many other cracks. On pic #3, it looks as if something tried to pull the cleat out of the deck. Me, I'd keep looking, but I'm easily put off by problems I don't understand. You might enjoy the learning experience of trying to fix it all up. Good luck with it.

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Old 04-04-2015, 04:39   #3
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Looks like structural problem... probably related to poor design. Walk baby! GL in your search.
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:40   #4
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

would it be better to search for a cleaner example?

Yes.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:16   #5
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Ask to take the boat to a fiberglass shop for an estimate (or have a mobile guy come to the boat) and to look the boat over for other issues whch may not be so obvious with the fiberglass. Use the results to drive the price down (to nearly free) and then repair it yourself. Make sure you do some research on the design, some are worth saving but others aren't worth the trouble to bother with.

Little cracks like the one near the cleat are fairly common flaws found near sharp bends in the mold from voids that form during the lay up process. They may be superficial pinholes initially and cosmetic but over time can allow water penetration. Or the curtain snap screw shown may not have been sealed and allowed water penetration.

Whenever you are looking at an older boat, take a hefty screwdriver with you and tap with the handle end on the deck around any hardware that penetrates the deck to see if it is soft- any deck core ie laminate of fiberglass and wood/balsa/foam etc instead of solid fiberglass that has been damaged by water infiltration will usually have a more "hollow" sound than good deck. Be particularly wary when looking at the transom area which often has a thick wooden core for mounting an outboard and is often rotten.

Neglected boats are often sold when the owner discovers there is rotten coring without divulging this to the potential buyer.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:19   #6
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Anything can be fixed. Do you have the skills to do it yourself, or the resources to pay someone to fix it? From my experience it looks pretty serious, and would take some time. So if you'd be hiring some one to fix it get an estimate before you commit to buy.


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Old 04-04-2015, 07:31   #7
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Thanks for the feed back guys (and gals). Was looking for a nice little daysailer to teach my kids to sail on and not many like this pop up locally. I agree with most of the posts though, that this one could be a headache. May be worth expanding my search area, even if it is a full days drive each way to find a more 'cared for' boat.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:55   #8
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

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Originally Posted by jb cruzan View Post
Thanks for the feed back guys (and gals). Was looking for a nice little daysailer to teach my kids to sail on and not many like this pop up locally. I agree with most of the posts though, that this one could be a headache. May be worth expanding my search area, even if it is a full days drive each way to find a more 'cared for' boat.
Get them a Sunfish and take the kids to the lee shore of a lake. There were five kids in my family and we loved taking turns on ours. You can fit a kayak (for the inevitable deadwind rescue operations) and a Sunfish on top of most SUVs. If they like the Sunfish and are adrenaline junkies then get a Laser or a Hobie 16. Any of these would be more fun for the kids than tooling around at three knots in a daysailer with the parents after spending an hour getting it ready.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:50   #9
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

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Any of these would be more fun for the kids than tooling around at three knots in a daysailer with the parents after spending an hour getting it ready.
lol that's hilarious and a great point.

I really have no idea what to buy. I had a Hobie 16 previously and got pretty good on it but would be nervous to turn my kids loose on one until they became very proficient. The thing is I want both a boat I can take 5 of us on at times, I realize that will be slower, or other times just go out with two and hopefully something that would plane in those condtions if monohull. If I go the sunfish route laser route, I rule out ever all going out, but they may indeed be the best learning method. Hmmm. Maybe I need two boats
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:12   #10
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Cracks aside, you should forget it because its a Hunter! They are and always were junk!
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:02   #11
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

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Cracks aside, you should forget it because its a Hunter! They are and always were junk!
If you fix the cracks and then take it sailing, it's just going to crack in different places. Aren't these boats plastic? Can the plastic be fixed? I'm guessing you'd have to weld it with a heat gun or soldering iron? Be sure to check out the rudder bracket and surrounding area.

Might be a good beater for the kids, but their friends will make fun of them for having a hunter. (kidding, i'm sure any kid would love any boat)

I would recommend finding a common boat for the area and buying one of those... makes racing more fun, and spare parts easier to find. It might cost a little more, but it will be easier to sell if you decide to move up.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:05   #12
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Hunter 170 Hull problems - SailboatOwners.com

Looks like Hunter replaced a bunch of these hulls under warranty... bad design or quality control, it's why Hunter has a bad name.
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Old 04-04-2015, 13:20   #13
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

Hum and yet they are still selling strong. Hunter took care of it yet still not good. Gosh guess no one listenes to the usual banter of old sailors any more..

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Old 06-04-2015, 15:35   #14
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

I think that these were originally made by JY Boats in CT. They included the JY9, 14, and 15. I am not positive, but the boat may be vacuum molded like the smaller boats. If so, it's not fiberglass and normal fiberglass techniques would not work. However, I think that JY originally came up with ways to revitalize boats.

Regardless, I would consider something like a second hand Daysailer 1 or 2, or a Capri 16.5. Nice little boats, relatively sensitive, commodious, and resellable.

You should avoid buying boats that are rare or one-offs. I have been tempted several times to get a unique little craft, only to find that unloading it has been difficult. You want a boat with a proven demand, even if they are not actively raced in your area. There's also a reason why O'Day and Catalina have sold tens of thousands of boats: they did a good job.

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Old 08-04-2015, 06:57   #15
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Re: Damge to Hunter 170 deal breaker?

That's a point well taken about buying something with resale appeal. Well the Hunter is off the table. Those are some good choices above. I'm considering a Laser 2 I found locally and also a Hobie Getaway. I like the Catalina Capri's but I lokk at the 16s then think 22, then 26 then come back to the laser again.
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