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Old 10-02-2005, 12:46   #1
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Hunter 54


Anyone have experience with a Hunter 54

I am looking for a boat to go cruising with my family. I would never have looked at such a big boat, and I am not a big Hunter fan, but this is not a typical Hunter. It is long and narrow (only 11.5', and only draws 6'. It is a mid 80s boat and I think it was sort of an expariment for Hunter. It looks like it was influenced by ULDB Sleds. I see them listed from about $75k to 125K which is an appealing price. It also has some cool features like a Dingy Garage (transom opens up and you can slide a dingy inside) I asked the Hunter people about it at a boat show and was told that it was designed as a fast long distance cruising boat.

I like Fast! I have never liked curising boats, but I want to go cruising. I like to sail and hate to motor, so I want a boat that can sail fast and sail to weather. This boat looks like it can haul ass (with a long waterline it should) but I want to get as much info on it before I put any legwork into buying one.

What do you think?

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Old 11-02-2005, 13:09   #2
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Join Date: May 2003
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Boat: Farr 11.6 (AKA Farr 38) Synergy
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I have always found these to be really interesting and oddly appealing boats. They are loosely based on Tuesday's Child which was Warren Luhrs Ostar transatlantic racer. They offer a very good turn of speed on most points of sail and in a pretty wide range of windspeeds. I exchanged email with a couple who beefed one up and did a circumnavigation on the boat and were highly complimentary.

They are not especially roomy down below. A person that I exchanged email with whose family owned one called it the largest 40 footer he ever saw, which is to say that the narrow beam and the dinghy garage takes quite a bit out of the interior.

Build quality wise, they are supposedly better than you average Hunter. Hunter has always been good at building reasonably high quality, standards compliant systems (electrical, plumbing and the like). Its the details that sometimes can be the fault of their boats. On the 54 the cast iron steering quadrant and lack of rudder post bearings can be a problem. Little things like hinges and latches tend to fail. Deck hardware was a little undersized and would be quite dated. And of course these boats are getting quite long in the tooth. Deck coring and blisters can be a problem. In other words, you are looking for one that has been carefully maintained and thoroughly upgraded over the years because the cost of upgrading and restoring a boat this big can be enormous.

With a PHRF rating in the 40's these are real fliers as far as cruising boats go. It should be remembered that at 21,000 lbs they are quite light for their waterline length and so will not have the carrying capacity of a heavier boat but will have a lot more carrying capacity than an identical weight boat of a shorter length.

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