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Old 08-11-2010, 08:18   #1
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Hunter Sailboats

I would like some feed back on the Hunter sailboat i am looking at a 42 footer about 1995 .. I have heard so many negative comments !!!! i would think if they were that bad they would be out of busniess.. thank you

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:37   #2
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Hi, kevmar, and welcome to CF.

I've never sailed on a Hunter, so can't offer an opinion, but I can suggest that while you wait for informed responses that you click on the link in my sig line and do a search of our archives. There are a fair number of threads with lots of info and opinions there, as I recall.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:54   #3
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Hi Kev

There are lots of theads on these topics here that perhaps can help you out, as Hud says theres a good search facility here.

Beware those replying to you may have an agenda to belittle these boats. Mind you, also some initial posters are trying to do the same.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:57   #4
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Most people who participate actively in forums like this have no shortage of opinion and are biased towards blue water boats. I owned an older Hunter 33 and it was great as my first large boat. I stayed coastal and was learning the systems and what I liked and disliked.

A 42 is a much bigger boat with more complex systems, but it all depends upon what you will use it for. I would not sail around the world or into the roaring 40's with it, but as a coastal boat it can be fine.

As a rule (my opinion) Hunters tend to be tender and pound quite a bit in a chop. They are fair weather boats by and large and I would be prepared for getting bounced around in rough weather.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:21   #5
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I have a 1982 Hunter 36. It is a "Cherubini" model, built from 1980-82. It has a good rep. Whether it is a special boat or not, I can't say, just that we have enjoyed it for the past year and a half. Plans are to head south to the Bahamas/Caribbean in a year or so (from Texas).

I just crewed on a Pacific Seacraft 37 in the Harvest Moon Regatta - Galveston to Port Aransas, 150 miles down the coast. There were plenty of Hunters and Bene's along with many other kinds of boats. 215 starters, and 167 finished. The wind built to 30+ and seas got bumpy too.

Ask Ted how he likes "Frayed Knot"? 24th Annual Harvest Moon Regatta - Series Standing

If you have specific questions about a certain boat you are looking at, you can get honest replies at the Hunter Owner's site.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:27   #6
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Black Diamond is misinformed................yes the smaller ones are tender, mayyybe, but the passage series...their larger 45-50 footers are stiff and tough. People just just care for the B&R rig ie (no backstay) but most catamarans have no back stay and have done many ocean crossings. The Hunter stigma comes from their early models which were not stiff and as well built as today. Today they have the same or better CE rating as beneteau and jenneau. Today Hunter represents great value for the money!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a fully equipped 45 footer that can be had for approximately $170k .....a steal. It even has a water maker!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:46   #7
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I own a Hunter 30. It's not as polished as other boats I've been on or even owned. However, it sails well and gets me from Florida to and through the Bahamas in more comfort than any other boat I could find in that price range.

If money was no problem, it's not the boat I'd own, but I much prefer to be out there sailing in a boat I own now than sitting at home dreaming about the boat I can't afford.

I can't speak specifically to the 42.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:46   #8
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the only way to know anything is to DO it. sail . find folks with what you are looking at and talk with them. sail with them-- bring lunch. and beer.
you will have a ball and learn first hand the stuff that you wont learn until 9 million posts, then weeding, lol,....
every boat has drawbacks. is what can you tolerate and what do you have to have a different way-- my boat has a helluvabadreputation-LOL--leaky teaky... formosa-- but i have one, dont i??? i love it, too.. must be a reason. find that in the hunter folks-- there is a specific group on another site--is not cheating to go to other forums and peek and learn--is almost as good as sailing with them and finding out the pros and cons from an owner,while at same time having a nice lunch under sail..

by the way, if your boat has a tendency to pound,,then is not loaded correctly--need to redistribute the load you carry so boat doesnt SQUAT. take out squat by adding that heavy stuff astern more forward,in the midships areas- bow will come down and ride is!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:54   #9
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Great replys thank you all so much keep the replys coming ....
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:09   #10
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When we started looking at boats, we looked at several Hunters while we were learning what we liked and didn't like. We took a pass on the newer Hunters because we didn't care for the arch and lack of backstay and I did not care for the lack of handholds on such a beamy boat. This is personal preference as I am sure their are some Hunter owners who would hate our boat!

If we were going to be staying coastal, we probably would have put more consideration into them because they offer a lot of boat for the money. Since I am a big chicken baby, I wanted something with a smaller more secure cockpit, lots of hand holds, keel stepped mast and beefier keel. Others might thing these attributes are awful, which is why not all boats look exactly the same. I think it all depends on how you are going to be using the boat and who you are using it with!
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:10   #11
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I'm partial to Hunters, so I am biased.

Having said that, I can tell you a little bit about the 42 as that is the boat I just purchased. The boat handles well (but I haven't had her on the open sea yet) in the coastal waters I've been on. Like previously mentioned the B&R rig doesn't have a backstay so the positioning of the standing rigging will prevent you from sailing wing and wing for the most part (I think you can still do fine downwind if you invest in a spinnaker). Another problem you might find is that the roller furling jib placement leaves something to be desired (the drum is at deck level which causes problems - something I don't have because the previous owner corrected it on my boat).

The vessel has substantial tankage and a workhorse engine. I also like the interior layout because there are plenty of handholds (and you can still work the galley) in a sea.

One problem I haven't solved on my '91 boat is the anchor windlass. The system was poorly designed and you basically have to get down in the anchor locker (with your body facing the stern) to keep the rode on the windlass.

Another area you should be alert to is the tank monitoring system - there isn't one unless you install it (the later boats - post 2000 have it, but the 91-97 models don't). And finally, the genset is probably a little small (circa 4.5/5 kw depending on the model) for the amperage you'll use.

Still, I'd rather have the boat then many others I looked at ....

Hope this helps you.
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Old 08-11-2010, 14:34   #12
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The passage 42 does have a backstay. The newer 420 does not.

We very much liked the layout below of the P42. But after looking at about 4 of them, we gave up. All had cracks in the deck in strange places, not just crazing that virtually all glass boats have.
If you find one in excellent condition, enjoy it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 15:21   #13
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No experience on a lighter production boat. All of mine has been on long-distance, crab crushing heavy wind powerhouses. What I will say is that zeehag is absolutely right in that the only way to really learn about a boat is to sail it in all kinds of conditions, and become familiar with the particular maintenance issues specific to that type of boat.

Some boats love light winds and choppy seas, others prefer big rolling hills of water with powerful gusts. Some are good going into the wind, others are good at surfing down the waves.

And like MarkJ always seems to say, it's kind of like the McDonald's effect. With over one billion sold (ok, that's a wee bit of an exaggeration) it's hard to say there's really anything wrong with a production boat like a Beneteau or Hunter. Everyone has their opinions, obviously, but that doesn't mean the boat isn't going to be good for whatever you want it for.

The trick isn't finding the perfectly balanced, good in all situations boat. The trick is finding a boat that fits YOUR needs and desires perfectly. That is absolutely doable, whereas finding a boat with a shoal draft, good windward performance, racing speeds downwind, easily singlehanded, a thousand gallons of tankage, lightweight but functionally stable and priced at something like $50k all told is a pipe dream.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:58   #14
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I was showing boats to a nice couple awhile ago, and their situation really struck me along these same lines. We were looking at some type of 1980's center cockpit design; I think it was a Kelly 46. And it came out in the conversation that they really absolutely loved a late model Hunter 460.

I asked them why oh why would they then go now and be looking at such a different genre a yacht? People interested in a 2007 Hunter 460 with in-mast furling, a genset, electric winches are usually not looking at classic offshore yachts from the 1980's with teak combings, Perkins 4108's, and standard rigs.

They told me that their friends who were "real sailors" had told them similarly to the questioner above that Hunters are low quality and spoke very negatively of the brand. Then, I asked them what they were planning to do. Their goals were pretty modest. They wanted to sail the Bahamas, Atlantic coast, maybe the Caribbean, etc.

It really struck me that these clients and more generally many people should purchase the Hunter, Beneteau, or Catalina they truly like instead of the quality, vintage yacht their friends might prefer. If a Passage 42 stirs your passion and fits your needs, go for it.
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Old 26-11-2010, 01:04   #15
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Did you buy yet? I have owned a 1995 Hunter 430 for 5 years. Wife and I love the boat. We have had in some 30-35 knot wind off Oxnard and 15 ft wave south of Catalina Island. With shoal keel and high-large-batten sail, we reef early, often by 15-20 knot wind. This boat is a "passage maker" series, and feels very solid. Most systems are easy to access and the HTE Yanmar has been very reliable. Go to or for lots of good detailed info you have already bought. I agree with earlier blog: I would rather be sailing a boat I own than to be reading about a boat I may someday afford.

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