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Old 23-07-2009, 03:49   #1
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Hunter 54'

Who knows about the reality of these yachts when it concerns their building quality?

Here in Europe they are 'known' as cheaply and poorly built caravans but I have my eyes on a 54 and can not judge her from here in Europe

Are the older ones perhaps better built?

We look for a fast 50+ foot cruiser to go for a year

Appreciate any comments

Eric
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Old 23-07-2009, 13:26   #2
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No the older one's are not better built. The older one's would flex abnormally , squeezing in and pushing up the deck because of the lack of cross bracing between the shrouds. They made some design changes to add stiffining across the top of the cabin and I believe to transfer loads down to the keel, but they are still lightly built.

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Old 23-07-2009, 14:29   #3
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thank you Joe

lightly built does not always mean not good enough

do you happen to know if the older ones are worth considering/?

Thank you for your advise

Eric
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Old 23-07-2009, 14:41   #4
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a friend of mine...

...raced his H54 to Hawaii three times in the Singlehanded Transpac. He always seemed to be among the top three finishers.
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Old 23-07-2009, 16:11   #5
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too lightly built to survive offshore sailing....


oooopppppps... lots have done so successfully.

I guess internet expertise trumps real world experience
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Old 23-07-2009, 16:29   #6
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Hunters are a production boat with all the good and bad that entails. I'm not a huge fan but they are not all junk. Hunter was among the earliest builders to adopt a structural grid to carry rigging loads through the deck and into the hull. Deck loads are minimal with that system.

Here's a site that is devoted to the restoration of a Hunter 54, you might find some useful info there from someone who knows the boat well.

Hunter54.com for Owners and Information seekers of the Hunter 54 Sailboat

In particular, read the brochure, it specifically says Hunter used the structural grid with this boat. Hunter also says they did 15,000 sea miles and 4 trans-atlantic crossings with the prototype. This is Hunter's brochure but I doubt they would be stupid enough to make false statements about what they did when developing the boat.
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Old 23-07-2009, 22:09   #7
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Eric, The older one's may be worth considering. Many have been upgraded and strengthened and are suitable. I would try to talk to the owner or the surveyor and it would be advantageous if the surveyor was familiar with the type.

Good Luck

Joe S
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Old 24-07-2009, 04:39   #8
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I would look at another boat. If you did not have any reservations about this boat, you would not be asking these questions. Heed the responses thus far and read between the lines. There are MANY beautiful boats on the market that are seaworthy and you can safely sail and not worry about mid sea break up. Good luck in your search.
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Old 24-07-2009, 06:46   #9
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The issues about the quality of Hunters frequently pop up on this forum. I've heard that the older ones, e.g. the Cherubini Hunters built in the late '70s early '80s, were built more solidly than the later models. I know this is a bit off topic, but does anyone have an opinion about those boats?
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Old 24-07-2009, 12:45   #10
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AndyO, as cost is an item of reference, my 1980 37' Irwin cost $15000 more than the 1980 37' Hunter, and yet the Irwin was $15000 less than the 1980 Tartan 37. Does that indicate anything?

Joe S
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Old 23-02-2010, 22:45   #11
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I own a hunter 54 and have been reading everything i can about thalmost em. all of what ive read is by people that have never even been on one let alone owned one. I have read there too big to handle, built poorly, expensive to operate, rigging is poorly designed and so forth.

Only one person addressed most of these issues and did a thorough job proving most of these accusations to be incorrect. Alot of people were talking about Hunters in general and some were talking of bad rig designs. on the Hunter 54,that were implemented 20 years after the Hunter 54 was in production.

After owning a Hunter 54, I can tell you that while not being a swan, its a reasonably well built boat for a very affordable price. It looks great, has a great interior, sails nicely and is easlily handeled by two.

I have owned two race boats and two crusing boats and currently race on a Farr 52. I have been racing for 17 years and have been on a lot of boats. I am writing this just to give the boat a fair shake. Listen to people that have sailed on the boat rather than armchair sailors.

The drawbacks I have seen with this boat are the look from the bow(very narrow), the dingy garage takes up too much room(might be worth it for cruising), but for everyday its unnessary,the lack of beam makes the interior less roomy, but is nice when your underway(you wont get launched), and as people said you pay by the foot for haulouts and dock fees. Sails arent any more than a 40 footer.Its a fast cruiser and dacron sails last years.

The transom is awesom,the speed is great,the build is fine, and the price is right. Iam happy with my purchase, and would recommend this boat to anyone wanting a fast capable cruiser. Havent raced mine yet(busy racing on race boats) but it should do very well double handed. Email me if your thinking about purchasing one.
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Old 23-02-2010, 23:13   #12
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Why do armchair sailors keep talking about the early ones as opposed to the later ones. They made hunter 54s for 3-4 years. They are not the hunters that most people are talking about. Joe s , have you ever seen a pic of a hunter54?
If your looking at 54s please talk to owners or people that have sailed them. Too many people trash the 54,and have no idea of the boat. They think of a newer hunter of a totally different size thats not even built in the same decade, and talk about rigging issues that werent even developed in the 80s.
Reminds me of a boat i owned and raced on sf bay, that people dished about keels falling off. Only one boat had a problem, and the skipper said he ran aground weeks before. These boats were raced hard on the bay and ocean for over 30 years , yet one persons comment bad mouthing the boat ,spread and continues to follow the boat 25 years later. Might not be the boat for you, but most owners are happy with thier boats.
Good luck and do your homework.
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