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Old 01-14-2008
AlanBrown AlanBrown is offline
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I've single handed a 1981 Hunter 30 since 2001. I bought it in Nassau, cruised it all around the central and northern Bahamas, and have made a couple trips with it across the Gulf Stream to Florida and the Keys. It's been a great boat for me. In 14 months I'll move back aboard full-time.

You didn't mention if you had your boat surveyed before you bought it. If you did, your surveyor may have pointed out several problem areas associated with the older Hunters. If he didn't, I'll share with you a couple of problems I've had to deal with.

Chain plates - If you can't find out if they've even been replaced, replace them! I had one break on me and when I examined the rest of them, I found that although they looked good, they all had corroded from the inside out. I was an accident just waiting to happen! Save the originals and have a machine shop make you some replacements. They are easy to duplicate and are no longer available from Hunter.

Some of the chain plates attach to a metal framework with runs port to starboard, amidships. Check these out when your replacing the chain plates. I had one tear free during Hurricane Jeanne. You can't replace the fastening points, but you may be able to beef them up if they look weak.

Compression post- as the mast is deck-stepped, the post which supports it rests on the keel. Unfortunately, Hunter chose to have the post rest on top of a metal block. This block is subject to rusting and can actually rust away under the post. This allows the mast to drop around 2" and places stress on the deck. This block cannot be replaced. All I was able to do was to fiberglass all around it to keep it from rusting anymore.

Standing rigging- Same as the chain plates. If it hasn't been replaced in the last 10 years or so, get it checked out by a professional. Although it may still look good, it also corrodes from the inside out. I replaced all my rigging in 2002.

Lifeline stanchion tops - They are made of some type of metal which flakes away over time. Bosun Supply offers replacement caps. I've had to replace most all of mine.

Opening ports - I replaced all of my salon ports as they were broken and leaking. The original manufacturer, Bomar, is in Tampa, FL and you can get replacements from them.

Prop strut - Over time, electrolysis can really eat away at this. My strut broke twice on me, causing costly repairs. The first time it broke I was able to motor back to Nassau Harbour. I removed it from the boat and had it brazed. I also had to have the prop shaft straightened. Three years later it broke once again. This time I had to have a new one fabricated by a shop in Jacksonville, FL. It cost me a lot of money and time. I also had to replace the prop shaft as well. The only way you can really check this part is when your boat is out of the water.

Good luck with your Hunter. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and tackle all the projects/repairs associated with buying an older boat. I haven't regretted my purchase decision.
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