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post #5 of Old 11-29-2006
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Hunter has a site where owners review the Hunter Boats they've purchased. As one might expect, the vast majority of owners are happy with their boats. I do suggest you read these reviews carefully as there are a number of issues on the 33 that popped up several times on these 1 or 2 year old boats despite the wonderful reviews by the bought and paid for media! Here's one review (bad) can read them all HERE

Review of the Hunter 33 by John Giraudy on May 23, 2005. Year built: 2004 Location of boat: Ontario The boat is sailed on: The Great Lakes How the boat is used: Day sailing Normal wind strength: 10-15 knots Average size of crew: 2-4 Liveaboard? No John Giraudy bought the boat in: 2004 If the clock could be turned back, would John Giraudy buy again? No Gear that's been added: Yes: Upgraded from ST40 to ST60 Speed/Depth and Wind. Added Horizon GPS, Dodger/Bimini, Lewmar Windlass, Spade Anchor and a three-bladed MaxProp. I also opted for in-mast furling. Structural or complex improvements: The GPS addition was pretty straight-forward but in adding the Lewmar windlass I had to do some research and plan the fixtures and wiring connections carefully. However, it was not too complex. The boat's best features: It is well known that Hunter Marine is innovative with its designs and the Hunter 33 is no exception. The H33 is spacious and very comfortable as a cruising boat. Sleeping accommodations are very good for a boat of its size. However the toilet is a bit tight on space. The galley is well equipped and well laid out. The electrical system is neat with wiring routed through conduits. Automatic sprinklers in the engine compartment and gas detection are thoughtful aids to safety. It is also neat to have all the through-hulls located in one area. The H33 rides rough weather fairly well by cutting through waves instead of slamming. Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc.: 1. Gelcoat is a bit thin and "scuffs" easily. I do not believe the integrity of the hull construction (ie strength and longevity) is as good as some of the boats in its market segment - my opinion. 2. My keel is bent and Hunter will do nothing about it. They say it is within industry standards. (Whatever that is. In my discussions with Hunter I get the impression they assume they pretty much set industry standards since they hold the largest market share). I was told by Hunter that the wing on my shoal keel can be up to 4 inches out of true ie to port or starboard - from keel/hull attachment to the bottom of the keel and this will have no effect on the vessel's performance!! The bottom of my keel is nearly two inches off center. The boat slowly veers to starboard while motoring. While visiting the Hunter facility at Alachua I noticed a number boats awaiting delivery with similarly bent keels. Hunter says the method of keel attachment is "line of sight" and not always done by the same person. (I can only guess that my boat's keel must have been sighted by the guy who needed an eye-test). 3. The location at the transom to work the bilge pump is questionable in my opinion, especially if the going is rough at the time of use. 4. The bilge and the vanity outlets are located on the starboard side about mid-hull, just below the rubrail. Apologies to anyone walking on a dock past a H33, at the time of activation of these systems. 5. Cabin top around the two winches is "busy" with all the lines leading aft. 6. Yanmar 3YM30 is a good, quiet and fuel efficient engine but in my experience prone to overheating. I hope my prolonged (overheating) problem is now solved. Spare parts for that engine is slow to market. Sailing characterisitcs: Generally the boat sails well. It is difficult to discern the "bent keel" effect while under sail. The effect is noticeable when motoring. I especially like the in-mast furling which makes for timely reefing. I do find the H33 a bit tender though. I have to start thinking about reefing in about 12 knots of wind. This was the advice given to me by the salesman who sold me the boat and it is good advice. I am told the deep fin version sails much better - as one would expect. PS: I beg forgiveness from all the H33 rail-in-the-water types who may question what may appear to be cautious reefing. However I prefer comfortable sailing. Motoring characterisitcs: The boat/engine combination is good with enough power to drive the boat in bad conditions. However, my experience of veering off course because I believe it to be as a result of the of my keel problem, is a PITA. Liveability: Good for entertaining and also for weekends and cruises. Manouvering around the helm is tight and awkward. I wish Hunter could invent something innovative with the wheel, like Beneteau did. Six is getting crowded in the cockpit. Getting at the engine is a chore. The owner's experience in dealing with Sailboat (if any): Generally Hunter's customer service staff are knowledgeable and helpful but the department is short-staffed. Hunter could do with beefing up customer support staffing, particularly as they sell more and more boats. The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any: In my experiences I would prefer not to say. However the boating industry is sadly in need of an overhaul of standards and procedures for dealings between seller and buyer. It is like the used car business of years ago, until legislated regulations forced dealers to be more customer conscious. I have no doubt there are some good dealers out there but that is not the over-riding norm for the industry. Other comments: In general - nice boat but definitely mass-production quality and value. Let's face it you get what you pay for.

Last edited by camaraderie; 11-29-2006 at 10:52 PM.
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