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Old 26-10-2007, 12:48   #1
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Info on the Hunter 26

Hello Forumers,

I have been searching online for the perfect sailboat (that I will buy in the future, hopefully not the FAR future) for my needs: a large-enough-to-be comfortable, trailerable sailboat (I want to do some sailing in the Great Lakes and maybe a bit on the St. Croix/Mississippi Rivers). I had narrowed it down to the MacGregor 26M and the Hunter 26, but after weighing them, I think I would rather have the Hunter 26 (I don't care too much about the motoring capabilities of the thing; I mostly want to SAIL).

I was hoping that if anyone on this forum has an experience or knows anything about this boat that they could share that information with me here. I don't necessarily trust online testimonials on websites, so I would just like to know what everyone here thinks about the Hunter 26. Essentially, I would appreciate knowing if I am considering buying a lemon.
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Old 26-10-2007, 13:10   #2
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I assume you're considering the water ballast Hunter 26. For owner reviews go here:

Hunter 26 owner reviews
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Old 27-10-2007, 02:23   #3
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I had a 99 Hunter 260 until a few months ago. If you are looking for a trailerable, it's not a bad choice. The boat does not feel incredibly stable compared to a solid-ballast, fixed-keel boat of the same size. But that's the tradeoff you make for having something that you can tow from one lake to the next - which is essentially why I bought it.

There is a good amount of space below-decks and have 'camped' on mine with another person or two for a weekend. The aft berth is plenty big enough for two to sleep comfortably (it runs all the way from port to starboard and from stern to the companionway). The table also drops down to make a large double in the cabin. Forget about sleeping in the vee-berth unless you are 5'0" but it's a nice place to toss your bags. The seating area is roomy enough to sit about 6 (and you wouldn't want anymore than that onboard anyway - trust me!) but can be awkward trying to get in and out of your seat. The head is a good size and has a wet locker. I didn't use the galley much except to throw my keys and wallet into the sink.
I like the openess of the storage under the settees. There are 5 access panels but it is open all the way around. It makes running wires and storing larger objects nice.

Topside, the cockpit is a decent size and I could mostly lay out flat. There is no walkway to the sides of the cabintop, so you have to climb on the coachroof to go forward. Not too big of a deal if you have all lines in the cockpit. The lazarettes are not good for storing much, but this is because you have all of that room in the aft berth. There is a small, but nice swim platform off the stern.

I learned to sail on this boat and don't regret owning her at all. There are more stable, better sailing boats in this size/price range for sure. But the portability is definitely nice. And if you are deciding between the Hunter and MacGregor, the Hunter is definitely the better sailing of the two.

Oh yeah, stepping the mast and rigging took me about 2 hours the first time. After some practice, I could rig and splash in about 30 minutes by myself.

Good luck. She'll make a good first boat. But if you are anything like I was, you'll be looking for a boat with fixed ballast and a slip after about the 20th time you take this thing on and off the trailer.
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Old 27-10-2007, 03:56   #4
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We have a 27 ft Hunter and it's a great boat. I leaned to sail on it and it was very kind to my mistakes. The people who owned it before me used t race all the time and were consitsantly 1st and 2nd. My husband and I did 9 day trips on it. It was a little squishy wih all the extra stuff needed but it was doable. The older ones anyway (mine is a 1978) were built very sturdily and you won't be buying a lemon. I never trailered it though so I don't know anything about that part of it.
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Old 29-10-2007, 08:24   #5
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Well, thank you for your testimonies. This is certainly very interesting information to consider. I would happily get a fixed keel boat if I didn't live sort of halfways between the Great Lakes and some other great waters for sailing on. I will have to give the "trailer vs. slip" argument a bit more thought. In any case, this still sounds like a rather nice boat for what it is. More thought! Thank you all who responded.
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