Re: Hunter 28.5 1985 buy or not to buy
Looking at Fasters list, the Cat 30 is probably the best boat for the size etc, if you can find a clean one. other brands I would look at include the Sabre, Ericson, Islander, Pearson except the "flyer" ie a flat deck not a lot of room down below to live on/in, O'Day. All boats above 28'. Some of the 27's might work. The boat brand list is not in any kind of order. Like all things that are this old, buy the cleanest one you can for the buck. It could also be worth looking at boats up to say 20-22K list, and possibly negotiate your way down to say 20K. This might open up a few more options in this size and price range.
The Jeanneau Fantasia good wood work inside etc, I have an Arcadia from that time frame. overall well built, but they do have some issues if it has not been fixed of the foam back hull liner being rotted, and falling off. Not hard to fix, but a pain. I've done it! Otherwise, most reviews from that time frame are positive.
Jeanneau, like O'Day, Catalina, and Ericson have a reasonably large'ish owners forums available to get info. Islander is hit and miss right now, there was a good site, it went down, someone was trying to get the info from that person, and get it back up online.
Not sure about Sabre, Pearson or J-boat. J-boat "should" have something, but not sure. The 29's you see are outboard versions of the J30, the 29 is more race than cruise frankly. A 30 has some ability to race, but like a lot of older J's, many have been raced hard and put away wet!
She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!