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Old 20-01-2009, 12:25   #1
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Hunter Yachts

Is there any feedback you all can give me on Hunter Yachts built in the 80's. I spend hours online looking at boats between 30 and 36 feet, there are alot of hunters.

To be honest I have heard more negitive comments then I have possitive about the boats. Hunter is a large manufacture with a strong hold on market share so is it just my imagination or is this a boat that should have a better reputation then I have heard about.

Boat Builders come and go but Hunter has been around a long time and still going strong. Should I look at this as a real option for a good coastal cruiser ( Nova Scotia to Bahama's via ICW).

Please give me your honest opinnion looking at a Hunter 33. And yes I will would get a survey if I get to that stage.

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Old 20-01-2009, 12:46   #2
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To be honest I have heard more negitive comments then I have possitive about the boats.
Wonder why that is? Have you looked at other boats in the same range? Maybe have a look at IP or Hallberg-Rassey to compare although I think they are in a different class.

I have heard of a number of Hunters that have lost their rudders. Although they are not the only ones. I will be honest though and say that I have never been on one.
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Old 20-01-2009, 14:19   #3
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I started my sailing on Hunters. Me and brothers would charter from Miami and sail the bahamas annually for 10 day trips. We went through some pretty awful stuff and had no problems.
The IPs and Hallberg -Rassey is a different class, plan on spending triple if you go that route. I love Island packet but am a realist and know I cant afford one.
Im currently in a Morgan Outisland. They were built for south florida and the bahamas and can be had for the same money as hunter. The things I like about the Outislander are, shallow draft which makes the intracoastal and many other places more accesible, full keel Ive been on Hunters with their H&R Diamond rig and wing keel that would spin like a top going over large seas downwind the full keel and ability to swing boom way out makes downwind much more comfortable, lower mast height which again makes intracoastal and other places more accessible, protected rudder and prop, the hunter would win hands down upwind but I would rather sail downwind than up.
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Old 20-01-2009, 14:38   #4
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The company that builds Hunters and Luhrs is cost conscience. The company is closing the Luhrs plant in St. Augustine to save money. They are keeping their plant open in New Jersey. One of the larger Hunters sailed around the world for publicity. I have heard that large side sections near the bow of unreinforced fiberglass will flex. The boat is not a heavy built s/v.
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Old 20-01-2009, 17:10   #5
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Originally Posted by scallywag View Post
I have heard that large side sections near the bow of unreinforced fiberglass will flex. The boat is not a heavy built s/v.
John
I've heard that this is a problem of the newer Hunters, not the ones built in the early '80s. Might be wrong, but that's my understanding.
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Old 20-01-2009, 17:55   #6
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Late 80s early 90s Hunter Legend 35 and I think there's a 37 also are supposed to be fairly well built boats. They have a really well laid out interior if you like a decent aft cabin (we do). I am told they are a solid glass hull not cored like the later ones but I have not personally cut into one to find out for sure. Perhaps someone else has. Also told they have decent performance as well. While I'm not generally impressed with Hunters the Legend of that era is an exception. There's quite a few of them on Yacht World for decent bucks. It's on the short list of candidates for our 5 foot upgrade.
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Old 20-01-2009, 18:00   #7
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Come on now we all know this is a common question that gets beat to death. Of course the 80s Hunters are "good" boats. Are there better, of course isn't there always! Of note is that even though Hunter gets all this bad press the 80s boat prices are as high, if not higher, than names that are spoken well of (that are out of business). All the negatives about the Hunters really comes down more to how you sail it. If you plan on sailing regularly in hurricanes maybe you shouldn't consider a Hunter. But then if you intend to do this maybe you just shouldn't sail.
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Old 20-01-2009, 18:05   #8
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I sailed two of them, an '84 H25.5, and an '83 H34. Both of them were great under sail. We cruised Lake Ontario extensively with the 34. We've been in some real nasty conditions with both boats, and came home just fine. They both were great upwind, but a dog going down. Reaching was ok. We typically hit 7-7.5 knots in 15. We were out in conditions that kept others at the dock, and though she creaked and groaned a lot, she was fine. Once we got back from a 75 mile crossing in 30 knots, and 9 foot seas off the nose, and had folks at the dock astonished that we never had to tack.
We bought the H34 for $30K, and she delivered a lot of fun for ten years. Personally, I think they are fine for coastal use, and more if you do some upgrades. People looked down at the Hunter we had, but they were always looking at our stern
The new ones are huge! They also sail great upwind. There are a lot of them out there, but the bennys are catching up in numbers, at least in Ontario. You may want to do a blog search for hunter owners, or look at http://hunterowners.com
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Old 20-01-2009, 20:05   #9
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I own two boats - not an enviable position. My little boat is a 1980 Hunter Cherubini 37. It is a great boat, and is plenty stout, and sails like a banshee. I would not hesitate to sail this boat all over the Carribean. I would hesitate to sail it around the world - I would hesitate for proper weather windows (which I would do no matter what boat I was crusing in).
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Old 21-01-2009, 05:05   #10
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Thanks everyone for the comments and advice. It does seem that people look down at the Hunters and I guess that is why I haven't really looked at them as a choice but I will do more research and go from there.
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Old 21-01-2009, 14:34   #11
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I will jump in and say that I think the mid to late 80's and 90's is when Hunter started losing its' good reputation . Before that...the Cherubini's were "cheap" but solid boats that could be relied on and had good construction compared to other boats in their price range. I think the boats were then cheapened considerably and corners were cut in lots of places. I do think that in THIS decade Hunter has done a lot to rehabilitiate their reputation...first by providing superior customer service and support...second by listening to what their customer want in their next boat and buiding THAT boat...and finally with some new designs and a comittment to quality construction that is the equal of the other production boats in the same price range.
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Old 21-01-2009, 19:19   #12
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I spoke with a couple who bought a new Hunter in 2002 that are currently hauled out near my boat. The reason they required a tow for an unscheduled haul out? The rutter shaft broke. IIRC the boat is a Passage 420. The rudder shaft broke while motorsailing into 3'-5' waves with the autopilot engaged a few miles from shore. They tried the emergency tiller with no luck. Dove the rudder and discovered it jammed hard over. Tried to balance sails with no luck and finally called for a tow. While the trave lift was moving the vessel accross the rough parking lot the rudder fell onto the ground. New rudder is on order. The owner said this failure really surprised him since the boat and rudder have never touched bottom. They have been cruising on it full time since 2003.

I am not a Hunter lover or hater but thought this occurance on a newer boat was worthy of mention in this thread.
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Old 21-01-2009, 19:44   #13
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They were very lucky. I have read of a number of incidents where the boats had to be abandoned because of rudder failures. Again, this is not just a Hunter problem and it may be that I have read of more Hunters than others because of the sheer number of them. I think that anyone with a spade rudder on their boat needs to pay very close attention to the rudder shaft.
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Old 21-01-2009, 20:02   #14
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They said that with a combination of a partially reefed jib and using the engine they were able to have some directional control to continue in the desired direction but could go no faster than 1kt before the rudder would have too much effect causing them to circle around until they got everything lined up again to proceed. It sounded like they tried for a while but knowing they were going to need a tow eventually decided to stop fighting it while it was daylight.
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Old 21-01-2009, 20:49   #15
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One more factor to consider is the standing rigging; Hunters I have been on are B&R rigged. They utilize stays that are triagulated from the forestay and the boat is absent a backstay. Having been sailing a boat while a backstay let go, I would really have to think about a B&R rig. Good luck with your decision.
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