Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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1983 37'''' Hunter need info on
I am assuming this is the Hunter 37 Cutter. These were designed by Cherubini and are generally considered to be good boats. They offered well rounded sailing abilities; good behaivor combined with good performance for the era. These boats came in a number of layouts but the layout with the on center galley table and dedicated shower stall was considered the most workable for most cruising applications. These boats featured really good ventilation and a very nice workable U shaped galley. If I were buying this boat, I would look for a tall rig/ seep keel version for the Chesapeake or Long Island Sound.
Some of the negatives is that some of Hunters original deck hardware was not exactly up to the chore at hand (at least by modern standards) and/or will be somewhat dated. Depending on the individual boat; you might see upgraded winches, traveller and vangs. You also might see running backstays have been added for offshore use when sailing under the jib and reefed mainsail.
In the early 1980''s, Hunter (like most manufacturers of this era) had a really bad blistering problem. My fathers 1981 Hunter 30 had some of the worst blisters that I have ever seen on a boat. By the mid 1980''s Hunter got a handle on this problem and began offering a blistering warrantee. I am not sure when that hhappened relative to the boat in question. If this boat is in the period when blisters were a problem a good surveyor will either see signs of the blisters of the boat has been peeled and repaired. If the boat has been peeled it is probably OK but I would not buy one of these that had been in dry storage for a more than a few weeks as it is really hard to tell whether or not the boat has blister problems once it has dried out.
Some of the Hunters of this era had bolt on Iron keels. I can''t remember if the 37 is one of them. I personally prefer a bolt on keel. If this boat has a bolt on keel, make sure that the surveyor checks the keel bolts as some of the cast iron keel boats allegedly had galvanaized iron keel bolts.
Needless to say, you should have this boat initially looked by a friend who is knowledgeable or pay a SAMS or NAMS (preferrably NAMS)certified surveyor to take ''a first look'' inspection (this is sort of a quick once over and will be the best couple hundred dollars you can spend.) If the boat comes through that alright you should then negotiate a final price. The contract for purchase should be contigent on a full marine survey by a SAMS or NAMS certified surveyor Once you have a contact to purchase then you need to go to survey and sea trial. Have the surveyor do both. Under no circumstances should you go for less than a full survey on one of these boats.
Like any boat of this vintage you can expect to potentially find a combination of number of items that may need to be replaced, upgraded or repaired if the previous owner has not done so already. Depending on how the boat was used and maintained, the boat might need some combination of: sails,running and standing rigging (which would be approaching the end of their useful lifespans), engine rebuild or replacement, New upholstery,worn out, and or out of date, deck hardware and chainplates, deck core repair (this can be a very real problem on Hunters of that era), out of date and non-operational electronics, electrical systems, out of date and non-operational head, galley and safety equipment, worn out ground tackle and anchor handling gear, hoses and seacocks that may be reaching the end of their useful lifespan, and so on. Hunters of this era had aluminum tanks. This is not too bad but they should be checked carefully for signs of weaping or other signs of deminished strength. Besides all of that you may have cosmetic issues and may need to do something about the small quanties of on deck teak which were not of the best grade.
Lastly there is the issue of learning to sail on a 37 footer. People have learned to sail on boats of a wide range of sizes, BUT 37 feet is a big boat to learn on. When things go wrong on a boat this big, someone is more likely to be injured than on a smaller boat. It is also difficult to develop the finer skills of sail trim and boat handling on a boat this size. Each of us has thier own definition of how much knowledge and sailing ability they think is necessary to safely and enjoyably go sailing. There is no one right answer here, but for those of us who are more performance oriented, it is next to imposible to really learn the skills to really finesse a sail boat on a boat of this size and weight. Still and all, given your combined set of goals, living aboard and cruising, this potentially could be a good boat for you.