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Old 11-08-2009, 15:23   #1
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Hunter 49

Hello, I'm new here and I do not currently own a sailboat and have not ever owned one. I'm looking into buying one to sail down to the Caribbean. I was looking at the Hunter 49 2008 boat. I wanted to know if Hunter is a reliable boat manufacturer. Ive read that their older boats were not so great but I was wondering if anybody knew anything about their modern boats. The hunter 49 looks very nice but I don't know how well they make their boats. So any information would be nice. Thanks
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:07   #2
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Hunters are production made boats designed for the bulk of the sailing market. They make a lot of them and they sell them too. The very offshore best boats are not made that way. They cost about 3 or more times as much money too. The money does matter at some level to everyone. Better to be out they safe on your own terms than not going at all.

How well they make most of the boats is interesting but you only are going to buy one. It's about a complete marine survey to have the condition of the boat assessed. You pay for the service or you won't get insurance. You can make the sale contingent on the report. It's done this way around the world. You can't know what the condition is of one boat right now.

Before going off to buy a 49 ft boat it might help to assess all your needs in a boat terms and to perhaps consider learning for a while on a smaller boat. if you are new to sail boats a 49 is not an easy boat to learn with I would expect you'll need at least a full season of sailing preceded with some good instruction. You don't say where you are starting from but jumping from nothing into the majors is not something you can just do because you think you can. The preparation and practice has no short cuts. The good part is it's all sailing and docking and anchoring and all just plain good fun but closer to home. Gaining experience should be a fun thing but it takes a lot of effort. The first day should be as fun as the second to the last day when you sail. You can always sail inside your own limits to make sure it's all fun.
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Old 11-08-2009, 16:33   #3
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Thanks for the info. I know I'm not ready for a 49' boat yet but in the future I wanted to get one and wanted to know the quality of hunter boats. I will start on smaller boats like you said, I just wasn't sure about Hunters and they looked really nice.

So are you saying that hunters aren't very good for offshore sailing? I'm not really sure what you mean in your first paragraph. And in your second paragraph what do you mean by you pay for the service or you don't get insurance? Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2009, 17:12   #4
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Hunters are made by gluing an inner shell to the outer hull. Many fittings, connection, deck fastener access points are buried between the two with no thoughts of future service. The lewmar hatches are prone to developing leaks, I've worked on three in current marina and all have leaky hatches, one 2004 has 9 leaking. Two of them have leaks between mast and compression post. Kind of a wet boat in my experience leakwise.
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Old 11-08-2009, 17:30   #5
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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
Hunters are made by gluing an inner shell to the outer hull. Many fittings, connection, deck fastener access points are buried between the two with no thoughts of future service. The lewmar hatches are prone to developing leaks, I've worked on three in current marina and all have leaky hatches, one 2004 has 9 leaking. Two of them have leaks between mast and compression post. Kind of a wet boat in my experience leakwise.
The construction methods described above are typical of all production boat manufacturers, Catlaina, Beneteau and Hunter to name just three. there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this technique although there are stronger methods which is why other boats cost lots more money to account for the labor. Lewmar hatches found on Hunters are the same as our Alden which shares many other parts, none of which are either flawless or prone to problems. Making generalities about any boat and for that matter any boat manufacturer is just that - a generality and we (most of us) know the problem with generalities.
Hunters of the early 80s are said to be problematic but I think an objective view of the new ones and especially the 49 are quite favorable for offshore use.
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Old 11-08-2009, 17:52   #6
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Also, remember that "offshore" means different things to different people. Everyone agrees that crossing oceans is "offshore" or "bluewater" sailing.

"To sail down to the Caribbean", depending on where you start from, - not so much. It is possible to sail from Florida (or down the coast from New England for that matter) cross to the Bahamas and island hop all the way to South America without ever being 24 hours at sea. There are lots of Beneteaus, Catalinas, and Hunters cruising the Caribbean, and all of them were sailed there from somewhere else.
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Old 11-08-2009, 17:59   #7
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Thanks alot for the info guys. And I live in NY right now but by the time I plan to travel to the Caribbean I will most likely be living in Texas. Would it be logical to sail from Texas to the Caribbean on a Hunter 49? Or would there be a better boat to use that kind of sailing?
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:08   #8
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well said!

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Making generalities about any boat and for that matter any boat manufacturer is just that - a generality and we (most of us) know the problem with generalities.
I suspect that 90% of the Hunter bashing you'll hear on the internet originates with frustrated salesmen who lose too much business to Hunter. Yes, you can purchase a boat with better hatches, better winches, better whatever, but you're going to pay three times as much as you'll pay for the Hunter. And while you might purchase a bit more prestige down at the yacht club, or wherever it is that people are overly brand conscious, you won't ultimately get three times as much boat for the buck.

I've made passages on a Hunter 410 and a Hunter 46, and wouldn't hesitate to take a Hunter 49 offshore.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:09   #9
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From Texas you would typically have a multiday sail to Isla Mujeres and then coastal sail/island hop the western Caribbean. Or, a multiday sail or coastal sail to Florida/Bahamas for the eastern Caribbean. To do the entire Caribbean, it is adviseable to go cockwise. FWIW we spent 2 1/2 years in the Bahamas and eastern Caribbean on an '83 Hunter 34. I know nothing about H49s, but I doubt that there is anything in general about their design or build quality which makes them unsuitable for this use. In fact, what you propose is their intended use.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:09   #10
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Quote:
Would it be logical to sail from Texas to the Caribbean on a Hunter 49? Or would there be a better boat to use that kind of sailing?
In would not get too far ahead. Youi are not in Texas yet and if you could sail the Hunter 49 I doubt the trip would be any harder from Texas. Actually it would be easier. You need to find ways to do some boating soon. This is not something that you can do in a few weeks. Along the way you will learn a whole lot more and be able to answer many questions.

I would seriously suggest you don't buy a big boat just yet or worry about it. After some experience you'll know more and be able to choose with more under your belt. You'll make a better decision.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:10   #11
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Let's look at this differently - someone just completed a circumnavigation in a H49. Certainly going from Texas to the islands wouldn't be anything noteworthy. As the saying goes, it's more the skill of the skipper than the make of the boat.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:19   #12
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In would not get too far ahead. Youi are not in Texas yet and if you could sail the Hunter 49 I doubt the trip would be any harder from Texas. Actually it would be easier. You need to find ways to do some boating soon. This is not something that you can do in a few weeks. Along the way you will learn a whole lot more and be able to answer many questions.

I would seriously suggest you don't buy a big boat just yet or worry about it. After some experience you'll know more and be able to choose with more under your belt. You'll make a better decision.

Thanks. And yea I know I'm not planning on buying it now I just wanted to know for the future. And just say I did buy the Hunter 49, are you saying it wouldn't be too hard to sail from Texas to the Caribbean? I'm definitely not going to sail down there until I've got alot of experience. Like I said I just wanted to know about the Hunter boats.

And to slomotion, like you said I wanted to basically sail from Texas and stop at Key West in Florida and then make my way to the Virgin Islands and visit those islands near there that hook downward, like Anguilla, St. Martin, Antigua, those islands.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:27   #13
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And to slomotion, like you said I wanted to basically sail from Texas and stop at Key West in Florida and then make my way to the Virgin Islands and visit those islands near there that hook downward, like Anguilla, St. Martin, Antigua, those islands.
Yup, and the conventional route would take you from the Keys to the Bahamas first - they are not to be missed. You then island hop leisurely southeast to T&C, from there you jump to eastern DR, work your way east along the south coast of PR, and that takes you to the top of the Leeward island chain. It's a lot of easting and most people do it slowly in short hops.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:30   #14
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Quote:
As the saying goes, it's more the skill of the skipper than the make of the boat.
It's an important yet most significant point. The boats don't sail themselves. You could (if you knew how) sail a boat a whole lot smaller too. The exact size of the boat is more determined by all the crap you bring along (displacement). If you overload the boat then you just made a fatal mistake before you even left the dock.
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Old 11-08-2009, 18:32   #15
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having stated the above...

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Would it be logical to sail from Texas to the Caribbean on a Hunter 49? Or would there be a better boat to use that kind of sailing?
...I would add that it's a huge mistake to purchase a monster boat until you've honed your skills on smaller boats. I don't care whether it's a Hunter 49 or a Beneteau 49, that's just too much boat for a rookie to handle.

(And please excuse my assumption that the question above is being asked by a rookie, but a seasoned navigator probably would not be asking it. So don't take offense, but if you don't know whether it's logical to sail from TX to the Caribbean on a Whatever 49, you're probably asking for trouble with a boat that size. A 49 footer is clearly the wrong boat to teach yourself how to anchor in a crowded cove, or how to pick up crew overboard, or.....)
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