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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 08-19-2001
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Mid size Hunter

I''m looking at the 28, 28.5 and 290 Hunters as a possible first cruising purchase. Can anyone out there with experience in these boats give me the benefit of their time in these models?
I''d particlarly like to know how the the interior, sailing qualities and the like stack on on the 28 and 28.5 vs. the newer 290? The 290 seems like a great boat but is too expensive for me right now, and I''d like to know if it is possible to get similary features in the slight smaller and older Hunters.
Thanks for your help.
Dave...
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Old 08-20-2001
JeffH
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Mid size Hunter

Just out of curiousity (and this is not meant as a swipe at Hunters) why are you only focusing in on Hunters. There are a lot of good boats in this size and general price range out there.

Jeff
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Old 08-20-2001
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Mid size Hunter

Jeff,

I haven''t completely zeroed in on Hunters. I''ve looked at other brands also. The question was just my latest question in a long search (over a year) although I''ll admit that I like the way the newer Hunters are laid out.
My goal is to have a boat on Tampa Bay before I retire down there(3 years or so), that is big enough to stay on for a few days during semester breaks and for a few weeks each month during the summer (hence the need for A/C). I figure no less than a 28 footer and maybe as big as 34, total price somewhere under 50K, preferably under 40K. Any suggestions?
Dave...
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Old 08-20-2001
JeffH
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Mid size Hunter

I would be tempted to find an older Tartan 34 centerboarder and put her into shape. Its not as roomy as a smaller Hunter but it should be a better all around boat.

Jeff
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Old 08-23-2001
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Mid size Hunter

Jeff,

I''m familiar with Tartans. They built a good boat, but to be honest, I have zero interest in putting anything "into shape" <g>. My goal is peacefully cruise the Florida Gulf Coast, relax a +lot+, and do as little work as possible.

Thanks,

Dave...
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Old 08-23-2001
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Mid size Hunter

I can appreciate that... I''d rather sail than work on the boat too. The thing is, all boats will require some work, even a new one (particularly a high-volume bargain boat). You may get a season or two of relaxation and peaceful sailing, but watch out when things start falling apart!

This isn''t meant as a slam on Benehuntalinas; heck, I still have things to fix on my Sabre. For a 20 year old boat though, I can''t complain.

At least consider Jeff''s advice; I''ll bet you can find a number of real good older boats (T34C among others) that won''t take much effort to ''put in to shape''. And in the long run, you''ll have a better boat with fewer problems.

Just my $0.02...
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Old 08-23-2001
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Mid size Hunter

I have a 1995 Hunter 336.

Hunter has been successful marketing boats that "live" really well, and my boat is no exception. It''s a floating hotel suite.

For newer, lower-priced boats in the same category, please take a look at the Beneteaus and Catalinas as well. I''d be shopping there if I was starting out today.

When you choose a Hunter, you are choosing their oddball backstay-less B&R rig. This meant nothing to me when I was shopping, but after a few years with it I''ve decided that I would much prefer a more conventional sailplan. The huge main is hard to handle, and you''re mulling your first reef in 12 knots of breeze just to keep the rudder in the water. You can''t push the boom out to run downwind (the shrouds are in the way). Too many disadvantages.

Unless you love to tinker, a fixer-upper may not be the best thing for first-time owner. You''re going to be doing enough fixing up even with a new boat!

Good luck,

Paul
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Old 08-23-2001
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Mid size Hunter

Paul,

It''s good to hear from a Hunter owner. I''ve looked extensively at Catalinas and Hunters, but favor Hunters. Granted, it''s a subjective judgement, but I like the below decks layout a little better, and especially like the arch for the bimini & main traveler. The Hunter cockpits seems more usable than the Catalinas. The no backstay arrangement seems less desirable, but not a deal killer.
Regardless, Hunter vs. Catalina seems like Accord vs. Camry. They both do a good job at a reasonable price.
Dave...
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Old 08-23-2001
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Mid size Hunter

The arch solves two problems, though it has been criticized as an affectation.

Any mainsheet works better led to the end of the boom just because the moment arm is longer. But when you do that, you''ve got the mainsheet swinging around the cockpit where it will eventually throttle one of your guests.

The arch deals with both issues.
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