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Old 11-04-2009, 18:07   #1
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One Man's Hunter Is Another Man's...

I have been pouring over the differences in sailboats trying to aid my next purchase. Searching old forums it is easy to see that there are distinct biases for everthing and against anything; " I would never take *!$%# out of the marina."

What, in your opinion, is a feature or design that is worth extra money, or makes a shoddy boat?

What makes one boat truly better than the next?
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Old 11-04-2009, 18:57   #2
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Assuming all seaworthy boats are similar...

Being able to stand up in every room on board, including the head.

If you intend to live on board, or make long visits...then this is one area worth the extra money.
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Old 11-04-2009, 20:47   #3
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You might as well ask what makes one car better than the other. Depends on whether you need a reliable, gas efficient car to take one person 10 miles through rush hour to work or a car to drive 4 people and luggage from NY to San Francisco.

What makes one boat better than another is how well it is design and built to accomplish the desired use or purpose of the boat.

A boat that is solidly built, handles well in all weather, good safety features, etc is better for world crusing than a light weight, stripped out race boat.

A light weight stripped out race boat is truly better for racing than a solidly built, etc world cruiser.

A beamy, shallow draft boat with lots of big windows and open cabins, and is not expensive is better for someone that wants a cheap comfortable liveaboard in the keys than a heavy duty, deep draft, small windowed, expensive world cruiser.
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Old 11-04-2009, 23:03   #4
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Does your car get you further than mine?

This is the question that I continually ask.....

Everyone wants to know..... if I buy _____ will I die in open water.
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Old 12-04-2009, 00:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowasigo View Post
What makes one boat truly better than the next?
Overall,

1. Build quality
2. Design which matches the owners needs and critial wants
3. Condition
4. Price
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:13   #6
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fortunate owner of two boats

the title was tongue in cheek

I own a 37' 1980 Hunter Cherubini Cutter. This is a powerful, solid boat. Later designs are certainly not as rugged as the Cherubini, but they are wonderful coastal cruisers, and can certainly get you to and from the Carribean.

You made a comment in an earlier post - "will I die" in one of these. I think the single most important factor in that equation is understanding weather and proper route planning. You also need to know how to sail your boat in all conditions and know when to shorten sail, and possibly just heave to, to take the pressure off of the rig and the crew.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:30   #7
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Originally Posted by slowasigo View Post
This is the question that I continually ask.....

Everyone wants to know..... if I buy _____ will I die in open water.
It still comes down to your intended use. Are you planning a nonstop race around the world in the roaring forties or a carefully planned hop from Ft Lauderdale to Bimini on a calm, sunny, summer afternoon? If you took a _______ into the former you would probably die a horrible death (just kidding, you would just sink and drown). If the later then any boat ever made that had not rotted away before departure would get you there in fine shape.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:02   #8
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No slight intended about Hunter boats.

There are plenty of posts comparing the Hunter to Beneteau with the B group remarking their builds are far superior to Hunters and thus far more seaworthy. Not having owned either I wouldn't know.
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Old 13-04-2009, 16:59   #9
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I normally avoid any brand bashing. But having just bought a mid 1980s boat I can say that in my looking at boats during the search, only the Hunter I looked at showed a boat that seemed to have hull to deck leaks in a lot of areas. Guess to the orginal question I would still take it out of the marina though. But if once water started washing over the bow and water started to flow down the inside of the hull that I would turn back. Yes most (all) boats may have some leaks, but it shouldn't be the norm overall.
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Old 13-04-2009, 17:47   #10
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As others have pointed out, the question does not specify an intended use, age, or any other criteria. For crossing oceans, a heavy, narrow, deep keeled, short rigged, small cockpit, large tankage, secure sea berth, boat built to someone’s standard of extra strong is kind of a classic ideal. If we had to cross the Atlantic in a 34 foot boat and I knew nothing about the specific boat’s condition, I wouldn't go but I think a Pacific Seacraft 34 would be a great choice. If we had to spend 6 months island hopping around the Bahamas in a condition-unknown 34 footer, I think a Hunter 340 would be a better choice. In the end, at least for used boats, it’s all about condition and intended use.

Can I truthfully claim that all Hunters are suitable for Bahamas/Caribbean cruising? Of course, not. But our particular '83 Hunter 34 was.
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Old 13-04-2009, 20:57   #11
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In my mind the most appropriate boat is the one that allows you to do what is really important to you for the least cost. There is no reason to spend more for a "better" boat if the things that make it better are of no benefit to you.
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Old 18-08-2009, 07:58   #12
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Does anyone have links to any professionally written journals that listed structural and/or safety concerns with Hunters (ex. 34)? Perusing the 'search' feature of this forum for Hunter boats... much of what I'm finding seems to be personal opinion based on limited experience with a dud/POS boat (which could really apply to any product or vessel). Any input would be appreciated.

I'm considering early-late 80's Hunter 34's because they're affordable and would likely meet my needs (coastal and bay sailing).
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Old 18-08-2009, 09:47   #13
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No personal experience but a delivery captain that I know said that the traveller tore out of the deck of a Hunter he was delivering to the USVI.
Mu understanding is that they're nice boats for coastal cruising in fair weather or partying at the dock .

Not to single out Hunter,a lot of sailboats aren't really "designed" for passagemaking ( although people do it anyway all the time). Looking at the new stuff at the boat shows, for the most part they seem to be laid out to be at their best at the dock.
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Old 18-08-2009, 09:59   #14
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I know that no slight was intended about Hunters and none taken. However, I do own a Hunter 260. We sail it on an inland lake in Minnesota. This is the ideal boat for the type of sailing we use it for. Most 26' boats do not have the space and accommodations that is boat has for the size and cost. Has a cockpit the size of much larger boats and sails well for inland lake sailing. Having said that, I would never take this boat coastal or offshore. In fact, the type of boat I would be looking for for offshore use would not be a Hunter. I am not biased against particular brands of boats, it is more the features of what I would want in a boat for offshore use that would eliminate certain makers because of the required features.

The specific features include, Modified full keel, cut-away full keel or modified fin keel with a skeg-hung rudder or protected rudderNot interested in boats with a fin keel and a spade rudder

This is primarily for comfort of motion in a seaway, a boat that tracks well and can be hove to easily.


Bottomline is there are different boats for different reasons.
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