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  #1  
Old 02-28-2007
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poss. buying hunter 37

I'm kicking around the idea of buying a 1984-86 Hunter 37' I was curious if anyone had any insite on these boats? this one has a 4' draft, How does it sail? How was the quality back then? I realize they are pretty cheap boats certainly not for far away ocean voyages. FL keys and maybe Bahamas.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Ray
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Old 02-28-2007
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Old 02-28-2007
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To get some comments from owners, go to www.hunterowners.com. Don't be put off by the Hunter bashing crowd in here if the boat appeals to you. You aren't buying it for anyone but yourself.
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I don't have much in the way of insight on Hunters, but an acquaintance bought a 1983 Hunter 31 and it had all sorts of problems, from a messed up steering quadrant to screwed up keel-hull joint. I'm not positive, but I think it's those mid-to-late eighties models you want to be wary of. On the other hand, earlier Chuerubini models are supposed to be a different deal. Whatever you do, don't listen to dick-nosed Hunter haters...
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Old 02-28-2007
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Ray,

You will find a really negative slant on Hunters on this forum. Some of it is deserved, some of it is undeserved. I will only say that I have been impressed with the new Hunters, and VERY unimpressed with the old boats. I am the technical editor for Mainsheet (Catalina), but I am not a paid employee and do not represent their boats in any way, shape, or fashion. That being said, you would be better served with a Catalina 36 or Catalina 38, many of the older Bene's, C&C, or other boats. At least do some compasison shopping.

The Keys and Bahamas are shallow (let me tell you they are shallow!!!). Keep that in mind with draft. 51/2 to 6 should be the top end of your goal (in my opinion). Though much of the keys/Bahamas are protected, you still gotta get there. Worst weather I have personally ever had was in a Northern in the gulf. The shallow water makes for breaking seas. Get a solid boat or be REALLY careful about your weather window. You will have to cross the gulf stream.

Other may have different opinions. Good luck no matter what.

- CD
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Old 02-28-2007
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Ray,
Is the model a hunter cutter designed by Cherubini? If it is, it will be alot of boat for the money. I own one and it is not your typical Hunter from the eighties. The boat is built solid, has inward facing deck to hull joint, heavy displacement but good performer in medium to heavy weather. I also have the shallow 4' draft, but seems to point fairly high. With the self tending stay sail it is easy to handle even single handed. As with any older boat, get a good survey before buying.
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But if you want a positive opinion on a boat, ask CD about catalinas any time... Some of the older Hunters have definitely earned the bad reputation that stains the brand as a whole. Even the 'good' Hunters are really not designed to be bluewater passagemakers...so it really depends on what you're planning to be doing with the boat. If you're going to be weekending and taking coastal trips... then the Hunter may be the perfect boat for you... But as CD has pointed out... the shallow water crossing to the Bahamas can make for some pretty brutal conditions... if you miss your weather window, you'll be wanting to be in a very sturdy boat...
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Old 02-28-2007
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Ray...
The Hunters of that era were not built very well BUT your plans don't include going to sea and a 37 may serve you very well IF it has been well maintained and problems fixed along the way by prior owners. These are 20+ year old boats now and any problems in build quality should have already shown up which makes it very important that you get a good surveyor who has Hunter experience and knows what to look for on THIS boat. I would also check out the rigging and whether or not it has been replaced along the way as 20 years is a LONG time for an original rig in southern waters. You will also want a good diesel mechanic to check out the engine condition and go with you on the sea trial as a standard surveyor is generally not qualified to do this.
Most of the Hunters have been decent sailers and easy to handle. I see no problem with a 4 foot draft for your plans as I have cruised both the keys and Bahamas with 6 ft. and never felt too constrained. Ideally I guess I try to stay in the 4-5 foot range for maximum utility.
No matter what boat you choose, the Gulf stream can give you a pounding if you choose the wrong weather...on the other hand if you wait for the right weather you can cross in a dinghy! The Hunter will be fine for you if it checks out decently on survey. If not...there are plenty of Hunters,Catalinas, Beneteaus, Irwins, O'days etc. out there on the market that will get you there!
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I had done alot of research on the Hunter 37' Cutter before I made my recent purchase. That particular boat was a tad better construction than the run of the mill Hunter of the day. They were built with an inward turning flange at the deck to hull joint and bolted together as well (this is a preferable type of hull/deck joint). There is quite a bit of info on the net on this boat if you are willing to spend the time to locate it. Way too much for me to list here. To sum up what I have found out, it should be a damned good coastal cruiser and would be a decent offshore boat if there hasn't been significant deterioration of the deck/hull/rigging. All of which can be addressed after a purchase. I ended up buying a 1969 Morgan 41' ketch with a staysail stay.

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Old 03-01-2007
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Thanks to everyone for all your comments. They will all be considered. I relize if you ask 10 different people the same question, you will get 10 different answers. And that's what I like about these forum's. I appreciate everyone's input.
Thanks Again.

Ray
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