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Hunter 170
Reviews Views Date of last review
4 7042 Fri October 30, 2009
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
75% of reviewers None indicated 4.5

Description: Hunter 170
Keywords: Hunter 170

Review Date: Sat November 3, 2001 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The reason my wife and I chose this boat is because of its capacity. We aren't little people (600#'s of fun and joy) and liked upright seating position, not having to duck during tacks and the intial stableness. I think I can singlehand this boat or have room for another couple +child or two. 1200 pounds of boat and trailer is a breeze to tow behind our mini-van. The boat is dry, we haen't had water come in the open transom.
We look forward to adding an electric trolling motor to add to this boat's versatillity. I think this boat will be excellent for fishing when the wind is gone.
We love this boat. The high freeboard is great for confidence of my non-waterloving wife, but wind does push it around. The improvements that I would want are a reefing point in mainsail and some storage underneath the seats. I am going to modify the mainsail, but probably won't modify the Lexan-S plastic for more storage area.
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Junior Member

Registered: May 2004
Posts: 2
Review Date: Wed May 19, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The Hunter 170's a nice, dry daysailer. Coming from Sunfish and Lasers, this boat feels -and is-very high off the water. The boat holds plenty of gear in the forward, canvas covered storage cubby and can seat six. Don't even worry about ducking for the boom when tacking. It's not even close-- even for really tall sailors. The optional seat cushions are nice on long sails. The Hunter is extremely sensitive to wind shifts and puffs. Hunter offers reef points as an option. "Opt" for them if you're in the market and end up buying one of these beauties. I was out in 15-20mph sustained this past weekend (gusts of 25, easily), and the only thing keeping me in the game was my 20 (or so) percent mailsail-reducing reef. The jib absolutely overpowers this boat in anything over 8-10 mph breeze
(me singlehanding, or me & my wife that is- probably well-balanced with more "ballast"). Douse the jib early if the wind comes up, or major puffs appear. I've spilled the main all the way in past outtings, and continued to heel up past 15 degrees with the jib alone (it too on the edge of luff).
And since it's a centerboard, crew-ballast boat, singlehanded, moderate breeze sailing means you should reef the main before even leaving the trailer (or dock/slip). Just take a good look at a photograph of a 170 at fullsail, or better yet, in person and you'll notice something: The sail area (150 sq ft)is just huge for this size/weight/stability of boat. The sail area, for comparison, is the same as that on the Precision 18 --a lead keeled cabin boat. The boat is wide (7' beam), but its hull is about as slippery (proportionately) as a Laser! No center chine (sp)???
But unlike a Laser, it hardly responds to this single sailor's weight as I hike way out= ironically it's large enough that it takes one or two crew as well to level it out. I've seen pics of an owner-rigged hiking strap system on HunterOwners.com and it looks like something I might do-- and attach the straps only when my wife's not along- singlehanded is when I really get down and dirty with this boat. It's a blast either way. Which brings up another point-- folks new to sailing (adverse to some serious heeling), should get in a
Flying Scot or a Catalina
16.5 Keel. The Hunter will heel up to apparent "point of no return", but just as things get really ugly, the tiller will load up like a lead weight and she'll turn to weather. Pretty nice balance, actually. This boat has a fairly "wimpy" motor mount, but that didn't stop me from outfitting with a 2.5 hp Yamaha Four Stroke motor. This motor does have fwd AND neutral-- FYI, as I've heard many talk of searching in vane (ooops, vain!) for a 2-5 with a neutral. This boat is gorgeous. Folks (fishermen, other sailors, powerboaters) comment at the ramp everytime I put in, "What a pretty boat", "Wow!", "The water doesn't flow in to the open transom?!". This boat is a great time-- dry, but very exciting (heel and tons of sail power) in moderate wind. She's in the middle of her class speed-wise.
A fun daysailer...not a racer. I'm missing something but these are the basics. Oh, she trailers like a dream behind my '96 Mercury Mystique-- a compact. Very manageable towing. Mast easily stepped by one. Roller furling jib is great, but again, a bit too much in moderate air.
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Junior Member

Registered: March 2006
Posts: 2
Review Date: Thu March 23, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: cockpit space

Paid about $8000 with trailer and several options.
This boat tows and launches easily.
Last summer was my first time sailing this boat (have sailed a variety of other daysailors in the past). I found it to be spacious and comfortable. I really like the high boom so I don't have to duck and the centerboard trunk does not intrude into the cockpit so there is nothing in the way for crew when shifting sides of the boat.
It has lots of storage room up front under the canvas cover. I would have prefered having a solid deck rather than the canvas so it would be possible to stand up there if need be. As it is, if I need to go up to the bow, I have to unsnap the canvas and move everything out of the way. I suppose the advantage is that nothing is going to get lost up front.
The boat sails in a whisper of wind. Continuing to move in spite of water that looks like glass and not so much as a hint of a breeze evident. All of last summer (4-6 hours of sailing a week), I only had two times when I did not have enough wind to keep moving.
This boat is wonderful to sail with about 7-10 knots of wind. My wife lays out on one bench, I lay back on the other with a hand on the tiller and just glide along on a close reach at about 5-6 knots.
By the time the lake is covered with whitecaps (15+ knots ??), I have to furll the jib and be on my toes with the main, spilling air if need be - unless I have an adventurous crew willing to hike out with me and take it to the edge.
I reefed the main twice last summer, but let it out once on the lake when I found conditions were not as extreme as they looked.
I have never felt in danger of capsizing when on a close or beam reach, but did have boat almost capsize once during an accidental gybe when on a broad reach, with a sudden gust. The boat spun what felt like 360 degrees with water coming over the side, but then settled right down. It was over in about 2 seconds (exciting-a bit too much so for one of the two crew aboard). I have heard of others who have capsized the 170 and said it was next to impossible to right once it turtles - but fortunately have not had this experience.
We just bought a 2.5 hp motor to make it easier to get under way from the dock and for the rare times when the wind dies completely. I am eager to see how it works.
My dealings with Hunter have been fairly positive. They have been a bit slow answering emails sometimes, but handled the problems quickly once we connected.
I would highly recommend this boat for its price range. My only thought is that having bigger boat with a cuddy (such as on the 216) would be nice for a porta-potty. Then my wife and I could stay out all day!
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Junior Member

Registered: October 2009
Posts: 26
Review Date: Fri October 30, 2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 1 

Pros: Looks good
Cons: Develops huge cracks in the hull when temperature fluctuates

The ACP (plastic) hulls on Hunter boats crack when the temperature changes. Check out photos of what happened to my boat one winter morning. The hull was properly drained. There was no snow build-up. But it was very cold outside. The problem is that the ACP material has a co-efficient of thermal expansion that can't handle large temperature swings (up or down).
See photos at:
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