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Old 06-08-2012, 11:53   #121
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Please take vtcaspo along for ballast. He might also learn some manners and even a bit about boats but it's doubtful
How about a few words from the designers son.


"Because people seem interested, here is some history on the Hunter 54. As you may know the original boat was to be a one-off cutter for Warren Luhrs to sail single-handed in the major ocean races, Observer, One-Two, and so forth. (He already owned a Cherubini 44, the first cutter-rigged one now at Tortola, painted green and known as Hiawatha.) The 54 was sort of styled after the 55-ft Strongbow, a British ocean racer from about 1974. Strongbow had the rig of a 37-ft boat on a dinghy hull with fin keel (like a big J-27) and weighed next to nothing. I would not term either this or the Hunter 54 an 'ultralight' boat although they were both heavily influenced by that California/Bill Lee movement of the time (as opposed to the IOR which we never cared about). But if weight does influence selling price, remember in a time when the 29,000-lb Cherubini 44 was going for about $140k, the Hunter 54 hit the market at $109k. It was like half-price for a boat of that LOA. As far as I know my dad designed the whole boat of the original racing 54, called 'Tuesday's Child' (as in '–is fair of face') which was displayed at the Hunter exhibit at Annapolis in 1977. It had a structural tube frame inside, like a drag-racing car. People came aboard and saw all the tubes and said, 'Oh, this must be for racing' because it didn't have what you'd call a marketable interior! There was no engine, no toilet, no deck hatches and no thru-hulls (the sink pumped up into the tiny cockpit). A tiller at the end of the midships cockpit was connected by cable on deck back to the outboard rudder on the transom about 14 ft aft. I think there were four winches. When people asked what all the tubing was for my dad told them, 'To hold the boat together.' Then they'd ask what the fibreglass was for and he'd say, 'To keep the water out'. Some people even asked why it was even in the show, but hey– it was Warren's money. We all laughed because no one got it. The contribution of Lars Bergstrom's X-shrouded rig may have come because Warren wanted to 'soup up' the 'production model'. He had met Bergstrom somewhere and they sort of hit it off I guess. The pure version of the Bergstrom rig has double spreaders set at about 120 degrees to the centreline and X-braced with wire so as to become panels–*the mast gets to be like a business card folded lengthwise, stood on end. It does NOT require a standing backstay and I do not know my dad or Warren to have ever accepted that– the production Hunter and 'Tuesday's Child' both had standing backstays (though the Cherubini 48 schooner does not). The sad truth is that my dad's original idea for the cruising ketch (about as 'cruising' as a Corvette is a 'passenger car') was FAR better than the one that materialised with the input of Hunter marketing. The 'scoop transom' I would say was not one of the better features. There is really little seaworthiness call for one except for looks and they can be profoundly dangerous, as on the idiotic 64-footers now being used as a class for the Whitbread series. Anyone going to sea in an open-transom boat ought to have his head examined. The original 54 had a pretty, old-fashioned plumb transom just kissing the water (like the J-27) with either an outboard rudder– excellent for control on a long fast boat– or a spade rudder set about 18in forward. The silly dinghy 'garage' was a bad joke with a 'spring-loaded' door (we liked to say it was eminently 'poopable' –floodable with sea water, which could be catastrophic. In a bad storm I can imagine the weight of enough water cracking the butt end of the boat off). I guess in the Gulf where the marketers live there is rarely any real weather. But what's up with wasting 9ft of hull length on a boat with already so much deck space that you could store three 8-ft prams in a row in plain sight? Worst of all, the 'garage' necessitated putting the rudder post 9 ft forward of the transom where it was designed to be, and in combination with the low gearing of the helm system made the poor boat steer like a shopping-basket going backwards. This was one of the points Bob Perry (designer of the Valiant) got wrong in 1982 when he wrote about it in Sailing. He was very severe on the production boat's overall configuration and suggested the rudder so close to the fin keel (eerily reminiscent of Nat Herreshoff's 1898 Star, actually) made it too skittery. I think the problem was mostly exacerbated by the helm gearing. But Perry admitted in his article he had never sailed one. My brother had only that month sailed a friend's 54 and reported he had to cycle the wheel to and fro the whole while. It was nasty. You have to refit a smaller quadrant or take some length out of the cables I guess. I told Hunter about it and they were like, 'oh well'. But the helm-gearing problem fueled Perry's argument and we all resented his uninformed opinion going to print. (I don't know if I should say this but at the '82 Annapolis show Perry was stealthily listening in at the Cherubini 44 exhibit as my cousin Lee told some enquiring visitors what an '[expletive deleted]' he thought Perry was for the article. So Perry laughed, put out his hand and said, 'Lee, I'm Bob Perry.' Lee the ex-Marine just turned coldly from the guy's hand and said, 'Good– saves me from having to see you again to tell you!' –ha!) Anyway I wish it were more widely known how terrific my dad's own 54 ideas were. The best incarnation I have seen in the archive drawings (never built, though I'D build it like this) is a racing ketch version dated 1979 with a standing forestay on the mizzen, very tall high-aspect rig, 6-ft-deep fin keel with a VERY ahead-of-its-time streamlined bulb on the bottom, and an utterly beautiful sleek deck layout including a double aft cockpit and a low 'blister' cabin (like the original 25) that makes the Concorde look slow. He painted the hull with black India-ink on the Mylar drawing (something he did a lot) and it looks FANTASTIC. My dad was like that– even at 58 he was still devising hot-rod versions of every 'stock' boat he ever drew. I could tell you about the 'souped-up' H-25 show boat of 1975– but that's another story! I realise I have my own opinion of my dad's work, but I guess I know it better than anyone. It's very gratifying to hear of other people enthusiastically admiring his stuff for the right reasons too. Till the book comes out one day you may consider me available to answer your questions here or in EMail. J Cherubini II Cherubini Art & Nautical Design Org. JComet@aol.com"

Seems like Hunter screwed up what Cherubini intended. Her gimmick of a garage door transom being a recipe for disaster. Yeah, I want to cross oceans with this baby.... NOT!

RT
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:26   #122
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

Aha, now that was interesting.

Btw, are marketers good for cleaning hull bottoms? Using them on polypropolene line, or nylon?
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:35   #123
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Aha, now that was interesting.

Btw, are marketers good for cleaning hull bottoms? Using them on polypropolene line, or nylon?
They sure would be a lot less dangerous...

RT
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Old 06-08-2012, 20:22   #124
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
So you saw the 54 from the inside out. How did the layup look in that regard?
It looked fine. Just about the same as a Santa Cruz 50 without hull coring. Also, I cannot understand how one would lose a chainplate considering that there is a steel A-frame and the chainplates are connected via SS tierods. Sounds like something was seriously wrong with that particular boat for a VERY long time.

The only way I can see issues with a following sea is if a breaking wave happened to break right on the transom. That would play hell with any boat.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:33   #125
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

[QUOTE=Don Lucas;1006048]I would take my Hunter anywhere! I've very positive I know more about it that anyone else! And the only modification I would need is to rig the jacklines.


Don,

You might also want to add a life raft to your to-do list prior to heading out into the blue water.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:53   #126
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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It looked fine. Just about the same as a Santa Cruz 50 without hull coring. Also, I cannot understand how one would lose a chainplate considering that there is a steel A-frame and the chainplates are connected via SS tierods. Sounds like something was seriously wrong with that particular boat for a VERY long time.

The only way I can see issues with a following sea is if a breaking wave happened to break right on the transom. That would play hell with any boat.
Humm... a breaking wave on the transom of a boat designed for ocean passages is NOT going to play hell with the boat. She will shake it off because she will have a small cockpit and adequate drains to empty quickly, not a huge cockpit with an open transom depending on a spring loaded garage door to keep the water out.

Snap out of it CC! You just shrugged off Cherubini’s comment. I bet you are easily seduced by a pretty face...

RT
PS I think we have beaten this horse to death. Unless Don and Illusion can answer my questions…


RT
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:26   #127
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

We did; you just don't want to admit it so we stopped playing. Sounds like your agenda is falling apart.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:58   #128
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
Humm... a breaking wave on the transom of a boat designed for ocean passages is NOT going to play hell with the boat. She will shake it off because she will have a small cockpit and adequate drains to empty quickly, not a huge cockpit with an open transom depending on a spring loaded garage door to keep the water out.

Snap out of it CC! You just shrugged off Cherubini’s comment. I bet you are easily seduced by a pretty face...

RT
PS I think we have beaten this horse to death. Unless Don and Illusion can answer my questions…


RT
Open transom: wave washes in, wave washes out.

Cockpit: wave washes in, wave drains slowly through hoses.

Most production boats I've looked at have typically 2 X 2" drains. Some have 3"-4" drains, a very few have 4 drains. Even with 4 X 4" drains unless you have a cockpit about the size of a kitchen sink it will take a couple of minutes to drain. Plenty of time for another wave to refill the cockpit.

Regarding the opinion of the designer's son, I know nothing about the gentleman and his credentials. He could be the world's greatest expert on offshore sailing, or not. Just because his father happened to be the designer does not mean he has the ability to discern the difference between his rectum and a hole in the ground. After all, one of Mahatma Gandhi's sons was an alcoholic and womanizer.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:57   #129
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Let’s stick to the 54 footer. All are primarily day or weekend sailors. Maybe the owners know better.

With even rudimentary design knowledge, looking at her underwater profile, she cries out, “around the buoys offshore racer”, not Transpac.
This is so wrong I had to jump in. A buddy of mine has raced a Hunter 54 in the Singlehanded Transpac several times, always competitively. The boat name is "Joe," and its Transpac records can be found on the SSS website.

I've crewed on Joe. A very small interior for a 54' boat, but what you're purchasing with an H54 is waterline, and lots of it.

The H54 has a transom garage, one of the first boats in its size range to include one. Racing with the transom empty makes the boat a great downwind sled.

One has to be truly ignorant to claim that a fin-keeled boat only qualifies as a daysailor. I'd just as soon see such ignorance taken to other websites. That sort of ignorance contributes nothing to this forum.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:08   #130
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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the Hunter 54 hit the market at $109k.
Interesting that, decades later, the Hunter 54 sells for more than it originally cost. Not a lot of boats about which such a claim can be made.

I had the same experience with my first Hunter. Sold it for more than its original base price.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:01   #131
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

Bash stop putting facts and first hand knowledge in a Hunter fight, it ruins the fun.
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Old 07-08-2012, 14:22   #132
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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We did; you just don't want to admit it so we stopped playing. Sounds like your agenda is falling apart.
YaaaWnnnn… no you didn’t. What we have here is a failure to communicate. You have not given me one redeeming quality for this boat that qualifies it to cross-oceans, except that it floats. As stated by the designer’s son who BTW is certainly closer to the horse’s mouth than you or Skipmac, her garage door would dismiss her as a safe blue water boat.

Cherubini’s Tuesday’s Child WAS designed for Ocean Racing and had a near plumb stern. If I remember correctly in the documentary, she started falling apart at the seams and had to quit because her keel was falling off. That was the original design!

Hunter marketing created Cherubini’s Bastard Child with that garage door and further compromised her integrity by moving the rudder 9’ forward to accommodate their brain fart. Anyone calling this a sea boat is as ignorant as Hunter marketing.

Here are more horror stories concerning what Hunter’s lack of quality control contributed to this model. Buyers beware unless you want to break the bank. Make sure you look over ALL the posts…..

HunterOwners.com - Search Forums

RT
PS I have no axe to grind concerning Hunter or this boat. It is what it is. But in reference to the original question, Hunter’s abortion was NOT what the designer intended. That’s a FACT. Personally with that “garage door”…. I would not take her out of sight of land.
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Old 07-08-2012, 14:24   #133
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

my ignore list appears to be interfering with my reading enjoyment
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Old 07-08-2012, 14:57   #134
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Interesting that, decades later, the Hunter 54 sells for more than it originally cost. Not a lot of boats about which such a claim can be made.

I had the same experience with my first Hunter. Sold it for more than its original base price.

Good point. 6-8yrs ago H54 examples were going for half the asking now. Not any more. Maybe the market has realized they aint a 4kntshtbx & ya may have to fix things on a 25yro boat.
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Old 07-08-2012, 15:03   #135
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Re: Hunter 54 - Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
YaaaWnnnn… no you didn’t. What we have here is a failure to communicate. You have not given me one redeeming quality for this boat that qualifies it to cross-oceans, except that it floats. As stated by the designer’s son who BTW is certainly closer to the horse’s mouth than you or Skipmac, her garage door would dismiss her as a safe blue water boat.

Cherubini’s Tuesday’s Child WAS designed for Ocean Racing and had a near plumb stern. If I remember correctly in the documentary, she started falling apart at the seams and had to quit because her keel was falling off. That was the original design!

Hunter marketing created Cherubini’s Bastard Child with that garage door and further compromised her integrity by moving the rudder 9’ forward to accommodate their brain fart. Anyone calling this a sea boat is as ignorant as Hunter marketing.

Here are more horror stories concerning what Hunter’s lack of quality control contributed to this model. Buyers beware unless you want to break the bank. Make sure you look over ALL the posts…..

HunterOwners.com - Search Forums

RT
PS I have no axe to grind concerning Hunter or this boat. It is what it is. But in reference to the original question, Hunter’s abortion was NOT what the designer intended. That’s a FACT. Personally with that “garage door”…. I would not take her out of sight of land.
This almost makes Cherubini appear to be a, not so good designer,for the record I belive the boats he designed for his own company are some of if not (my opinion) the best sailboats for ocean crossing...I fined the 44 to be very much the cats whiskers...DVC
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