Hunter has almost always danced to their own drummer with results that can be viewed as both good and not so good. An example of the good is that they were one of the first U.S. boat manufacturers to completely adhere to ABS and ABYC standards. Surveryors have commented that Hunter more than almost any large production manufacturer does an extremely concienscous job on their various systems installations.
One the other side of the coin, Hunter has experimented with "innovative rigs, structural systems and styling" which have been panned in the court of public opinion.
My sense is that Hunter is no worse than any other large scale builder. Their boats are clearly built to a price point and a specific market and as such contain some very real compromises, but these are the types of compromises that one might expect in a family oriented, budget oriented boat. The case can be made from a variety of perspectives that Hunter is not ideal for everyone, and from most standpoints it can be argued that Hunter has made some mistakes over the years. (I would argue that from my perspective their 'Goes the Distance' ad campaign, which was seen as suggesting that the average Hunter was intended for offshore use, was at eroneously misleading. Ialso am not a fan of glued in bulkheads or outward flange hull to deck joints on bigger boats.) Still, I think that Hunter generally offers a nice product, albeit iteosyncratic, for the dollar and it is those iteosyncracies that draw a lot of fire.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay