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  #1  
Old 07-12-2006
Gex Gex is offline
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Hunter 34 1982-1985

I see a few boats for sail that are significately cheaper than other boats in that age/size range. They seem to be all really nice "cruiser" type models which is what I'm looking for. The price in Canada is almost double the price in the US so I'll end up buying south and sailing her up here.

I can't seem to find much info on why this model is much cheaper, can someone enlighten me?

Thanks!

- Dave
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Old 07-12-2006
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HuntaCataBeneMacs

Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau and MacGregor have reputations for building a lot of boat for the money, but not necessarily the best boats. (Compare to Hinckley or Wauquiez, for example.) The Hunter 34 impresses me because they managed to fit three cabins (plus the head) into a 34 foot boat and make it all pretty roomy and comfortable down below. Trying to make it actually sail in a light Chesapeake summer breeze was less impressive, but we had a good time, and that's why you go sailing- to have a good time. The Hunter 34 may be less expensive for a number of reasons. They were pretty popular, so a lot of them were made. In a supply and demand situation, this tends to keep the price down. They're not the best built boats - wear and tear show up quickly unless the owner is quite fastidious. Tired-looking boats sell for less than shiny ones. Demographics and economics may play a part as well. Young families that bought the Hunter 34 new may now have kids heading to college, and need cash for tuition. Take advantage! It's a lot of boat, and you can use it to have a good time.
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Old 07-12-2006
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I know they are production boats and there are quiet a number of them for sale around the same price range. I love the fact Hunter managed to get that much into a 34 footer which is exactly why I really like it. However I don't see any cat/bene's in the same price range for age its in. I find a lot of the ones that are for sail need some elbow greese in the sense, refreshing look as too needed a new parts.

They are also selling like hot cakes it seems. Hopefully I'll find the right one when the time comes to buy. I've scanned the hunterowners site and came up empty handed regarding large known issues with the boat.

- Dave
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Old 07-13-2006
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Although you mention that prices in the US are about half what they are in Canada, and I agree that they are generally quite a bit lower (though maybe not quite half with the Canadian dollar gaining in strength), there are several things to consider. Firstly, you can spend quite a bit of money on air travel to look at various boats when they are far afield, not to mention the time involved. Secondly, you have to pay GST and in some cases PST as well on used boats when you bring them across the border. Thirdly, if you can't sail them from the US to Canada, the transportation costs can be substantial, including hauling, taking down and re-rigging the mast, etc. Although I had recently looked in both the US and Canada (west coast), I ended up buying in Canada--a boat that the previous owner had bought in the US, transported to Canada and paid all taxes. I think I got the boat for a good price, and didn't have all the hassle of getting it across the border, etc.
Frank.
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Old 07-13-2006
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I'm new to sailing and recently bought my first boat. We looked at a lot of Hunters and Catalina's during our search. I'm no expert, but it seems to me Hunters have a lot of features to attract folks like me that are new to sailing, while Catalina's strengths are targeted towards a more experienced consumer. As a sailboat neophyte, the cabin of a Hunter 31 looks great compared to a Catalina 30's fiberglass tub. However, both boats are similar in construction, Hunter just dresses the interior in wood laminate so it looks nicer. As I read and looked at a lot of boats, I came to feel that Catalina was a somewhat better built boat where it matters at the expense of some of the comfort/style features of the Hunter. I think the prices of used Catalina's indicate a lot of folks feel the same.

We ended up buying an O'day that, to us had some of the best features of the both the Catalinas and the Hunters. As others have said, owning a sailboat is about having fun and people define that very differently, so you have to pick a boat you think fits your situation. For my current situation (Learning, sailing in the Chesapeake) a Cat or Hunter would suit just as well as the boat I bought, just the O'day we found offerd the best value for us.
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Old 07-13-2006
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Yea the boats are not located that far from me. It be more like a weekend trip to the states in the car with a cheap motel. I would sail her to my homeport as well so there will be no transports. Since I live in Quebec I believe I only have to pay the GST.

- Dave
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Old 07-14-2006
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The H34 model years are 1983-1987.

I disagree with the fact that these have a hard time in light air. We sail an H34 in the Chesapeake and it does quite well in light air. Big rig and lots of sail. You have to reef it early since there is so much sail and it is a little tippy, but good light air boat. Not built like a Hinkley, but a heck of a lot cheaper. Very roomy and good layout. It is a ton of boat for the money - you will not find a bigger 34 footer of the same vintage for a better bang for your buck value.

There are some common problem areas to look for when looking at these (like any model of boat). Some of the major ones are the compression post, leaky window ports (common of a lot of boats), etc. Look at www.hunterowners.com at the H34 under owner reviews and you will see lots of information. Post there and you will get a lot of feedback on this model. Good luck.
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