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fishstick 04-08-2007 09:16 PM

1977 Hunter 30, Go or No Go?
Hi ya'll. I am a college student in Charleston, SC. My grand plan is to live aboard on a mooring in Charleston Harbor (and on my friends couches) for my final semester next fall. After that I hope to head South to Florida and maybe down the islands. One of the boats I am looking at is a 1977 Hunter 30. It is the full draft model with a 25hp universal diesel. The boat comes fully equipped with solar panels, dingy, life raft, EPIRB and all electronics. I have seen some negative comments on Hunters and was wanting to get some more feedback. Provided I pick my days, would this boat suffice for island hopping? Any advice on good boats for this purpose in the 30-35 foot range would be greatly appreciated. My budget is about $12000 +/-.


Sailormann 04-08-2007 10:11 PM

The jury is kind of split on Hunters. There are some who own and sail them and are very happy with them. Some not so. I think that the consensus is that they are not the best built boat out there, but suitable for light-duty use i.e.: you don't want to get caught in heavy weather in one.

Personally, I would think that a boat of that size, for that price will have problems that need to be rectified before you leave the dock for anything more than an afernoon's sail. Not because it is a Hunter, but because it is a 30 foot boat for $12,000.00.

If you think the boat is in great shape, then go ahead and get a survey done. If you have doubts, my recommendation would be to look at smaller boats in better shape. They are still quite capable of doing what you want.

sailingdog 04-08-2007 10:23 PM

Hunter had earned a reputation for making shoddy boats for a while...which is probably how they survived when other boat makers went belly up. The Hunter 30 Cherubinis are fairly well respected when many of the others are not...but I don't know whether the boat you are looking at is a Cherubini model.

Many boats are capable of island hopping if you pick your weather window very carefully. However, there are many boats that would be better suited for what you're planning on doing.

If you're planning on single-handing the boat, it might be wise to look at some slightly smaller boats... The Cape Dory 28 comes to mind, as do the Pearson Ariels and Tritons.

Living aboard requires a shift in mindset. Are you sure you're ready to do that? It also, generally, requires getting rid of most of your possessions, since a boat has rather limited stowage.

fishstick 04-08-2007 11:37 PM

Thanks for the replies. I looked into it, and I can't tell whether this boat is the Cherubini model or not, but I think he redesigned the 30 the next year. The boat looks to be in excellent condition. Here is the link to the boat
B.M.S.& S.Inc. Dba Indiantown Yacht Sales (Indiantown, FL)

I looked at the Cape Dories and Pearsons and the only ones within my meager price range looked like they need a lot of work. I also need a boat with a head/shower to avoid offending my classmates.

As far as the change in lifestyle, I think I can handle it. I don't have much stuff and I don't use most of what I have, so why not get rid of it.


Sailormann 04-08-2007 11:53 PM

Don't go near it !!!! The $3,000.00 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit tells you right now that the boat has a problem that shows up on survey. This is a highly unusual stipulation. I might go so far as to say unique.

Buy this one - it is twice the boat.

B.M.S.& S.Inc. Dba Indiantown Yacht Sales (Indiantown, FL)

Also think about the one that is listed as "Owner Built Sloop".
B.M.S.& S.Inc. Dba Indiantown Yacht Sales (Indiantown, FL)

That boat looks a lot like a Cape Dory or an Alberg (maybe an early Bristol) - all of which are very desirable boats. GO in and offer him $2,500.00 and then spend a little while fixing it up. Believe me - it is well worth it !

sailingdog 04-08-2007 11:54 PM

If your mooring is at a marina, then you would likely be able to use the shower facilities at the marina. Using a shower on a boat, especially a smaller boat, is no fun... it tends to leave the boat a mess, make it smell, and create a good environment for mold aboard the boat.

BTW, looking at the ad for that boat, I saw several big warning signs.

First, they say the boat is "AS IS". Second, they say that there are no refunds on the deposit. I'd also be curious as to how a boat that is homeported in Nevada City, CA ended up in Florida.

Maybe, I'm just more cynical and suspicious than you are... but a lot of boats down in Florida and the Gulf Coast area that are being sold for cheap, that look like really good bargains, are hurricane salvage boats.

camaraderie 04-09-2007 02:53 AM

I agree with SD..."as is" and "no refund" of deposit are big warnign signs. I also worry about what nice new paint jobs on engines are covering up. It is just too cheap to not have problems.

As to living on a mooring in Charleston harbor...I thought they were taking out the moorings and I also thought that live aboards were not permitted there. That is a wicked place to try to live on a boat anyway given the currents, chop and traffic. Do you KNOW that you will be allowed to do what you are proposing if you DO get a boat?

Great town...good luck!

sailingdog 04-09-2007 07:23 AM

Cam's got a good point, besides agreeing with me ;), do you know that you'll be able to liveaboard for sure, otherwise you've just invested a fair chunk of money in something and will still have to pay rent on top of the mooring fees. Well worth looking into before you go any farther.

fishstick 04-09-2007 11:47 AM

I actually had some of the same questions about the moorings. I called the Charleston Coast Guard Station and Charleston City Marina and as far as either of them could tell me no one controls the mooring field. Coast Guard just said as long as you are not in the channel, it is all fair game.

sailingdog 04-09-2007 12:06 PM


Who owns the moorings then???

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