Re: Lets choose SmackDaddy's new boat...
I would have to say that I basically agree with Ron (Faster) that the mid to late 1980's Hunter 40 was a very nice boat. On the internet there is a tendancy to see the court of public opinion routinely trashing Beneteaus, Hunters and Catalinas.
The reality is that these companies have produced a broad range of products and some were much better than others by that same company. Despite all the trash talk, the Hunters of the 1980's were better built than many of their competitors (and even than many higher rep boats like Oday and Pearson) from that era.
The H-40 was an especially nice design. They sailed well and were comparatively well constructed. A surveyor friend of mine was seriously thinking of buying one. I asked him about why a Hunter, and his response was that the Hunters of that era rarely came up with serious problems. I spoke to other surveyors who echoed that opinion.
I personally think that things went down hill at Hunter in the 1990's by which I do not think thier designs were as well rounded and some of thier structural details we questionable in my opinion. During this same period, Beneteau's First Series greatly improved.
My recollection is that the tall rig- deep keel versions of the Hunter 40 had a lead ballast option. This is not a design to clutter up with a cutter rig, but you will want to have a low stretch #3 (105-109%) in your inventory. If I remember right some of these boats had cast iron rudder quadrants which proved a little troublesome, chewing up cables. I personnally do not like centerline aft berths for long distance passage making such as the Gulf jumps you are thinking of making, but you may be able to rig leecloths.
The one that I raced on had larger genoa winches installed, and they were barely up to the job for racing with a 155 in a breeze. The boat did well upwind but had a bit of the masthead chute downwind roll to death roll associated with boats of that era.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies