We bought our 1983 Hunter 34 in late March. So far, it''s been very nice. The previous owners took good care of it, but even so, a 19 year old boat is still a 19 year old boat.
So far I''ve fixed a leaking portlight, replaced the engine oil and all the filters.
As far as sailing goes, it seems to handle quite well in light air all the way up to about 20 knot winds. Above that, the main might need to be put on a single reef. The other day when the wind picked up on the Chesapeake, we decided leave the main full, but instead moved the traveler leeward, and thus sailed more comfortably. Apparently, sailing heeled at 20 to 25 degrees is customary and usual for these boats.
As far as roominess, I have not seen all brands of 34s, but of those I''ve seen, the Hunter 34 seems the roomiest. We don''t use ours as a live-aboard, but I can see how someone (or two) could.
As others have pointed out, most Hunters are not offshore boats. However, if you pick a decent weather window and know your limitations, the Hunter 34 can get you where you''re going and not beat you up in the process. My friend (who owns a 35'' Lord Nelson) and I tried to sail the Hunter 34 out of NYC harbor about a month ago. The day started off fine, but within four miles of the Varazano the head wind picked up to 35 knot gusts and the seas were rolling in at between 6'' to 8''. We kept going out, but as we passed under the bridge at 1600, we decided to go for a safe harbor and made our way into Great Kills, S.I. for the evening. BTW, another boat out by Sandy Hook issued a distress call at about 1700 while we were halfway to Great Kills. The CG chopper flew over us, so we waved them off. We kept listening to the VHF
, but never did hear if the CG found the other boat. In any event, that afternnon, the Hunter took some real pounding for about two hours, but except for being a bit frazzled, we were fine. Needless to say, we slept like rocks that night. ;^)
Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~