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Old 06-11-2013, 07:45   #1
Bay
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Issues with Hunter 376?

I am looking to buy a 1996 Hunter 376. Hunter sailboats seem to be quite the polarizing topic. From my research thus far it seems people who actually own Hunter sailboats love them and those who don't tend to bash them for their somewhat un-traditional style and cheaper build quality.

However, in all my searching I have been hard pressed to find any actual evidence or facts that Hunters have worse issues than any other boats in their class, i.e. Catalinas or Beneteaus.

I am not opposed to other boats, just in my price range and for boats currently available in my area, the Hunter 376 is on the top of my list.

Does anyone have any references or links to actual data on Hunters having issues with de-masting due to no backstay, hull to deck issues, etc... All I can find is opinions.

I know there is no perfect boat for all conditions. I am primarily looking for a boat to live a board full time for a couple years on the Texas coast. Want to take my friends out on the weekends in the bay. Maybe some coastal cruising. I do not need to win regattas or cross oceans however I still would like a little performance when I sail and do not want an unwieldy beast in the water especially if I need to single hand.

I know the Hunters are cheaper for a reason but they seem to have the amenities and capabilities for what I want to do.

Any evidence, both positive and negative, would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time in advance,
J
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:57   #2
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bay.

The Hunter 376 was the winner of a "Best Value" Award in Cruising World’s 1997 Boat of the Year Awards.
Notwithstanding, I don’t place a lot of credence in Cruising World’s articles.

Hunter 376 Sailboat Review | Cruising World
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:46   #3
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

You can expect criticism of sorts no mater what boat you are considering.
I would ask for constructive criticism from those who have owned hunters or sailed on them. I would also check out the owners forums and find out what kinds of problems or issues people have had with them. That way you know what to pay particular attention to when you get a survey done.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:53   #4
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebWench View Post
You can expect criticism of sorts no mater what boat you are considering.
I would ask for constructive criticism from those who have owned hunters or sailed on them. I would also check out the owners forums and find out what kinds of problems or issues people have had with them. That way you know what to pay particular attention to when you get a survey done.
Why would you post issues on an owners forum if as an owner you feel that maintaining resale value is important?? To the point, the owners forum could be misleading. It would be more important to get a good professional survey.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:03   #5
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

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Why would you post issues on an owners forum if as an owner you feel that maintaining resale value is important?? To the point, the owners forum could be misleading. It would be more important to get a good professional survey.
Owners forums are a GREAT source. Most owners are more interested in sharing accurate information with other owners than creating a myth so that one day they can eventually sell their boat. They often talk about problems with a certain model, and how to address them.

It certainly is a more meaningful source than asking about a model among people who don't own that boat.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:33   #6
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

I bought a '98 Hunter 340 several years ago and it's my second Hunter. I love the boat. All my cruising has been in the Great Lakes and I have absolutely no beefs whatever with the boat. The boat is nicely appointed, sails incredibly easily, and is spacious for my girlfriend and I. Thunderstorms often come unannounced with 50+ knots of wind and still the Hunter performs really well. I am often amazed at the small things Hunter adds to their boats. It might be a handy corner shelf for a clock, the garbage storage, or the storage for the companionway boards.
Enjoy your new boat!
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:58   #7
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
I am looking to buy a 1996 Hunter 376. Hunter sailboats seem to be quite the polarizing topic. From my research thus far it seems people who actually own Hunter sailboats love them and those who don't tend to bash them for their somewhat un-traditional style and cheaper build quality.
You have already learned all you are going to on the subject boat here.

You should move to research on a site where you are more likely to get answers, like the below:

HunterOwners.com
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Old 06-11-2013, 14:16   #8
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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
You have already learned all you are going on the subject boat here. You should move to research n a site where you are more likely to get answers, like the below: HunterOwners.com
The owners reviews is what you want to read. When researching the 42 Passage and 450 we found the reviews by actual owners to be the most helpful than most that was said on CF and other type sites.
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Old 08-03-2014, 21:19   #9
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

Sorry for the late post, but in my opinion, Bay made a very insightful comment: "it seems people who actually own Hunter sailboats love them and those who don't tend to bash them."
I'm over 50 and have been sailing all my life. I owned a 1997 Hunter 376 from 1997 until 2009. It was a great boat and served us well. The cockpit is huge and well designed. Hunter created the rail seats and swim platforms that everyone else has copied. There is a ton of room below, she sailed well and was fast. We did not have any major issues and everyone who came aboard commented on what a great boat she was. Hunter was not the most mass produced boat and they have top offshore ratings. Among the crazy online arguments I've had the silliest one was someone who tried to say that a following wave could wash through the cockpit, but boats float on top of waves so that would never happen. In the '90s people made fun of our microwave but all large cruisers have microwaves now and we used ours all of the time. We did a lot of offshore sailing and even sailed our 376 from Charleston, SC to the Bahamas and back. Our last long passage was 1,000 miles down the East Coast and we ran into a storm with 50 mph winds while offshore - and she performed beautifully. In the '90s we also toured the Hunter factory twice and after owning two Hunters we never understood why people who've never even sailed a Hunter felt they needed to put them down. They are great boats and you get a lot of boat for the money. We are a sailing family and we've chartered all different types of boats all over the world and we were always happy to return home to our Hunter 376. Don't listen to the haters, they don't know what they are talking about. You could live aboard a 376 very comfortably.
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Old 26-09-2014, 09:18   #10
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Re: Issues with Hunter 376?

This is too late for the OP but for the archives.

I am currently cruising on a Hunter 376. I've done about 5000 miles offshore in her and about half of that or more is crossing the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea a few times.

My boat had some manufacture defects and I think I've finally fixed them all. Things like cabinites not bolted down, deck liner rubbing on bulkhead...things like that. The deck flexes a lot due to the traveler being so far forward and the jib sheets angled so hard, which causes my boat to squeak a lot due to those defects. I think I've fixed them all, just need to test it.

The boat loves light air. I do 7 knots in 11 knots apparent on a reach. Give me 25 knots offshore and I'm lucky to get 5.8 knots. It bounces around a bit in the steep 10 footers in the Caribbean and the tall mast causes a lot of heel in high winds. With no sails up and 18 knots on the beam it heals 6 degrees. It's a big tall mast so it catches a lot of wind.

All in all, it's a pretty good boat but not meant for cruising long distances. I push it because, well, it's what I own. Maybe someday I'll buy an IP or something else but right now I plan on at least 5 more years of cruising on her in the eastern Caribbean. Nice on anchor except you'll need an hull slap silencer.

As far as the mast and rigging goes, it's one of the most stable rigs out there as long as that forestay doesn't give. My mast came down in the Caribbean when the top cotter pin came out. The mast is so strong that even though it took out my wind generator and a solar panel and my stern railing, no real damage to the mast. If it's a furling main, just make sure that furling drum is in perfect condition because ZSpar doesn't make them anymore If I keep the boat I'll be changing to a boom furling main in 5 years.

Those who talk about the lack of backstay making it weak doesn't understand how the B&R rig works. It has it's limitations like not being able to let the boom out much, but as for strength, it's very strong.

Franklin
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