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Old 04-11-2012, 10:29   #1
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Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Ok, I know the usual debates about the Hunter, Beneteau, Catalina brands so please leave these arguments out.

Now my wife and I are looking at short extents of cruising (2-6 months) at first. We may go full time, but that is relevant to how we feel about the shorter cruises.

We will be hailing from 400 miles inland on a river, so will will have to step our mast to get to our slip. We own the land there, and can't see paying storage when we have perfect storage for the boat already. We will need to carry our mast with us on the boat after stepping it down.

We are planning to cruise gulf coast to Grenada and all points in between.

I have sailing experience, so please don't make this a blue water capable discussion.

This leaves us to our choices, that we have narrowed down to.

We have decided (tentatively of course) to start looking at 35.5's and Vision 36's.

The problem, the 35.5 is a stayed boat with a mast stepped mast. Pretty standard, and straight forward.

The Vision 36 on the other hand is a non-stayed mast, which is keel stepped. No where straight forward, and probably not too easy to step.

I would like opinions with stepping a keel stepped mast, and if you think it would be a bigger problem than a mast stepped mast.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:43   #2
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

I think either way you need a crane to step/unstep the mast, so I'd go without all the rigging! It takes a long time to step and unstep with the rigging to deal with.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:48   #3
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Stepping and un-stepping a keel stepped mast is much easier than doing a deck stepped one. Especially an un-stayed rig like the Vision. Just drop it in. No need to worry about getting the crane on before undoing the shrouds like in a deck stepped rig. The Vision mast is a bit fatter than most but not a problem.

Having said this,you should not let the question of stepping the mast unduly influence your decision as to which boat to pick. Choose the one you like best, forget about the mast. The Vision is not the best pointing boat out there.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:58   #4
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

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Stepping and un-stepping a keel stepped mast is much easier than doing a deck stepped one. Especially an un-stayed rig like the Vision. Just drop it in. No need to worry about getting the crane on before undoing the shrouds like in a deck stepped rig. The Vision mast is a bit fatter than most but not a problem.

Having said this,you should not let the question of stepping the mast unduly influence your decision as to which boat to pick. Choose the one you like best, forget about the mast. The Vision is not the best pointing boat out there.
That is one of the problems, I really like both, but do tend to like the Vision 36 the best.

I also realize the 36 doesn't point at well due to the bulb finned keel and being cat rigged.

I'm also thinking about doing away with any lazy jacks and putting a dutchman system on the boat. It would be real sweet then.

I do appreciate the opinions.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:03   #5
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Either way, you'll want to use a crane at a facility down river from you. You could build a couple of plywood cradles to carry the mast on deck. Or you could leave your mast at the yard with the crane. If I had aspirations of sailing from the Gulf Coast to the Caribbean I'd go with the stayed mast.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propellanttech
That is one of the problems, I really like both, but do tend to like the Vision 36 the best.
Most people I've known who have a cat-rigged boat absolutely love the rig, even recognizing its limitations. You might want to try the Hunter Owners' Web and e-chat with Vision owners.

I suspect you'll find that how the mast is stepped is greatly secondary to other considerations, especially how the boat is sailed. Ever sail a Laser or other cat-rigged dinghy? The same principle of not centering tho boom applies. Yes, you'll lose a bit of pointing ability with any cat rig, but you'll gain simplicity, ease of sailing, lower maintenance, and a more forgiving rig.

If that sounds good, then you've found your boat.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:20   #7
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar View Post
Either way, you'll want to use a crane at a facility down river from you. You could build a couple of plywood cradles to carry the mast on deck. Or you could leave your mast at the yard with the crane. If I had aspirations of sailing from the Gulf Coast to the Caribbean I'd go with the stayed mast.
We have already found a Marine right at the inlet that has reasonable rates to step the mast. This isn't a problem at all.

Haven't decided about carry or store mast. Safer to store, and would take a not of storage to equal the cost of the mast, which can not be bought. They are not available, would need a carbon fiber mast made. That equals big buck$$$$$$.

Other than the pointing issue, the stays are mostly just an academic discussion. The Vision has proven the mast is effective without stays, and doesn't need them. This is based on a owner/pilot who understands to reef early and be conservative. The Vision may be listed as a racer cruiser, but I tend to reef early when weather is deteriorating. I may race the boat just for fun, but will always sail conservatively.

The only real issue, which I would hope would never come up. It the capsize issue. With a keel stepped mast, it can destroy the cabin, and leave the boat unsound. A mast stepped rig usually just looses the mast.

I don't ever plan to be in a storm that could capsize the boat, but most people who are, don't plan on it either.

It is a point I'm having a hard time with.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:23   #8
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Quote:
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Most people I've known who have a cat-rigged boat absolutely love the rig, even recognizing its limitations. You might want to try the Hunter Owners' Web and e-chat with Vision owners.

I suspect you'll find that how the mast is stepped is greatly secondary to other considerations, especially how the boat is sailed. Ever sail a Laser or other cat-rigged dinghy? The same principle of not centering tho boom applies. Yes, you'll lose a bit of pointing ability with any cat rig, but you'll gain simplicity, ease of sailing, lower maintenance, and a more forgiving rig.

If that sounds good, then you've found your boat.
I've asked on the Hunters Owners forum. But haven't had any vision owners chime in yet.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:25   #9
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Stepping a deck stepped mast is no big deal. Use the halyards to replace the fore and aft stay, pull the pins on those stays. Pull the pins on the upper shrouds. Loosen the lower shroud turn buckles and call the crane. Pull the pins on the lower shrouds and disconnect the halyards when you are hooked to the crane. Pull the stick. If you have double lowers, you can do away with using the halyards, the mast will stand with just the lowers. Restepping is a reverse. You can pull the stick with less than 1/2 hour of crane time.

A keel stepped mast is complicated by having to unseal and reseal the mast at the partners each time you pull and restep the mast. Might not be an issue but you have a 6'-8' longer mast with a keel stepped mast which might make length of hoist capability on the crane an issue.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:26   #10
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Given that you are considering constant stepping and unstepping, I would explore boats that already have tabernacle systems installed. Just a quick YachtWorld search poped up a number of bats, including a C&C 36 and 1985 Bruce Roberts Pilothouse Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Normally I wouldn't recommend boats since you seem so set on one of these two, but I think this is something you may not have considered.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:13   #11
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

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Given that you are considering constant stepping and unstepping, I would explore boats that already have tabernacle systems installed. Just a quick YachtWorld search poped up a number of bats, including a C&C 36 and 1985 Bruce Roberts Pilothouse Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Normally I wouldn't recommend boats since you seem so set on one of these two, but I think this is something you may not have considered.
I appreciate the opinion. I'm not a Bruce Roberts fan whatsoever. I'm also not a C&C fan, although they are probably fine boats.

I have been through a lot of different boat, and designs, and have decided on what I like. Good, bad or ugly, I will have to deal with whatever I'm dealt with what remains.

Sealing and unsealing is a minor point in my opinion. The actual mechanical points were my greatest fears.

All of this is, of course, moot if I can't find a Vision I think is worth the money being asked. I'm pretty sure a 35.5 can be found that I think is reasonable.

I do appreciate all the opinions though......

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:40   #12
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

People who dont own them complain about a Cat's pointing ability too... but somehow the cats miraculously arrive at the next anchorage ahead.....
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:53   #13
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

This Vision is not a CAT rig as it does have a jib. My boat (Nonsuch 30) is a CAT rig and has only one sail and wishbone boom and is a keel stepped mast.
Typically, crane time is less because once the mast is hauled (no stays to undo) you are done with the crane. At the partners there are 12-poly carbonate wedges that center the mast. At 54', storage cost is up there. This does make transporting the mast on top of the boat tricky as it puts the center of gravity quite high and makes for a rolling ride in larger seas (so I've heard).
Non-stayed masts are heavier as they are longer and larger in diameter. Ours are tapered from about 12"dia. at the partners to 2-1/2" at the mast head and bendy that helps in sqalls as the mast bends to spill the gust. The mast is built in 2 pieces with a joint in the middle.
Stepping the mast is a little trickier as the mast must be lowered straight down to hit the step at the keel...not really a true keel step as the mast is located forward of the keel. Once the wedges are installed the crane is no longer needed.
There is some pre-haul and post stepping fitting to be done below at the step including a pin and 2-bolts and a hold down cable strap. Someone at the step is required to call-out minor changes to the attitude of the mast and guiding electrical out through the partners.
Other keel stepped masts on boats with stays and shrouds can all be removed prior to the haul as the mast will stand on it's own...no disconnecting while mast is supported by the crane.
To sum up, yes, there are advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 04-11-2012, 13:10   #14
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Quote:
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This Vision is not a CAT rig as it does have a jib. My boat (Nonsuch 30) is a CAT rig and has only one sail and wishbone boom and is a keel stepped mast.
Typically, crane time is less because once the mast is hauled (no stays to undo) you are done with the crane. At the partners there are 12-poly carbonate wedges that center the mast. At 54', storage cost is up there. This does make transporting the mast on top of the boat tricky as it puts the center of gravity quite high and makes for a rolling ride in larger seas (so I've heard).
Non-stayed masts are heavier as they are longer and larger in diameter. Ours are tapered from about 12"dia. at the partners to 2-1/2" at the mast head and bendy that helps in sqalls as the mast bends to spill the gust. The mast is built in 2 pieces with a joint in the middle.
Stepping the mast is a little trickier as the mast must be lowered straight down to hit the step at the keel...not really a true keel step as the mast is located forward of the keel. Once the wedges are installed the crane is no longer needed.
There is some pre-haul and post stepping fitting to be done below at the step including a pin and 2-bolts and a hold down cable strap. Someone at the step is required to call-out minor changes to the attitude of the mast and guiding electrical out through the partners.
Other keel stepped masts on boats with stays and shrouds can all be removed prior to the haul as the mast will stand on it's own...no disconnecting while mast is supported by the crane.
To sum up, yes, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Nice to hear a opinion from someone who has done it, or knows the procedure.

The mast storage of the marina we picked is $50.00 per month. Which may be high, but much cheaper than loosing the mast to the dark depths.

I knew about the vertical issue, just by looking at the geometry of how the mast would have to line up with two points (partners and keel location).

The mast on the Vision is about 61' 7" clearance. Which probably makes the mast about 63-64 feet tall, due to it being below the waterline.

Thanks for the insight,

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 13:33   #15
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Re: Which boat would you consider? Hunter brand.

Also, you are right, the Vision is technically not cat rigged, although the mast is much further forward than most sloops.

I'm now wondering the effect of a genoa on a Vision. I know tacking would be a pain.

James L
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