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Old 06-14-2007
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Hunter Build Quality?

I'm kind of confused on this issue. IIRC, I've seen three different opinions expressed: 1. "Early Hunters were well-built. Later ones not so well-built." 2. "Late 70's, early 80's were well-built." (Presumably meaning anything earlier or later is not so great? Or is "late 70's/early 80's" the same as "early Hunters?") 3. Only the later Hunters are good boats.

Since my wife likes the lines of the Hunters we've seen (on line and in RL), and, I found out last night, doesn't like Pearsons (!), I must resign myself to qualifying the period in which I might expect to find the best build quality for Hunter sailing craft. (I must admit: Some of the cabin layouts and accommodations I've seen in some of the Hunters we've looked at on-line sure look nice.)

(To me: Competent engineering and high build quality trumps everything but my ability to pay, regardless of the product.)

Btw: We're looking at 28-30' racer/cruiser or performance cruiser boats. (I think. Seems to be quite a gray area.)

TIA,
Jim
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Old 06-14-2007
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Which Hunters does she like the lines of? You aren't quite clear on that point.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer
Which Hunters does she like the lines of? You aren't quite clear on that point.
We've looked at so many boats on-line in the last two-or-three weeks, I really couldn't say, except for "the 28-30' Hunters we've seen." Sorry.
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Old 06-14-2007
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In the late 70's to around 1982 a lot of hunters were designed by a well highly respected designer named John Cherubini. BTW Cherubini designs are very recognizable. 1981 Cherubini 33
These boats were well made.

In the mid 80's and well into the 90's Hunter as well as many other builders (Hunter specifically) suffered through high interest rates, High costs for petroleum products so they felt that they could stay solvent by producing more boats cheaply. Essentially through economies of scale. This turned out not so good. It’s not that all the Hunters produced during this time frame were bad boats but they had a good percentage of them that were not so good. You also have to keep in mind that Hunter has been the one of the highest volume builders in the world and still is. Because of this you will hear more negative things simply because there are more of them. You also must remember that any used boat is only as good as the PO maintained it and Hunter, through aggressive pricing sold a lot of boats to people who didn’t know squat about boating and maintaining systems. That didn’t help the brand either.
In the late 90’s Hunter began to design boats under Glenn Henderson and build to the same certification standard that all the other builders meet and lately, even to CE standards.
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Thanks for the detailed comments, Dave. I think that's just what I was seeking.

So if I'm seeking a good used boat on a relatively tight budget, I'm looking for a "late 70's" (would that be '78 & 79', then?) thru '82 Hunter, it seems. (No earlier than '77 and no later than '83, at the outside?)

Jim
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Old 06-14-2007
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By the age of boats you are looking for, initial build quality matters much less (unless manufacturer did something extremely different, either bad or good). So, don't worry about build quality much. Worry about particular condition of a particular boat. They are all different and all have different problems. Anything build in that timeframe will definitely have a whole laundry list.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim
......Since my wife likes the lines of the Hunters we've seen (on line and in RL), and, I found out last night, doesn't like Pearsons (!), I must resign myself to qualifying the period in which I might expect to find the best build quality for Hunter sailing craft. .....

(To me: Competent engineering and high build quality trumps everything but my ability to pay, regardless of the product.)
....
TIA,
Jim
The Hunter subject has produced the largest number of flame wars on this board, as some (por many) participants like me have a very dim view of Hunter. Regardless of probable outbursts, I'll again say my thing...I believe Hunter has consistently made lousy boats, some models not as lousy as others.

Now everyone has a right to their opinion, some people think more of Hunters than I, some apparently like them, but I don't think you'd find a general consensus that "competent engineering and high build quality" is a consistent or even common charachteristic of that builder. The review at Boat Review* by David Pascoe - Hunter 28 provides some insight.
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The early and mid-80s Hunter 31s have some problems. A friend of mine nearly bought one, only to find out the steering quandrant was all f---ed up, and the draft was something incredible -- over 6' if I remember right. The decks had huge soft spots... the list of things went on and on...
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Old 06-14-2007
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All I can say is, I have a 07 45CC and so far so good, although it IS only intended for coastal cruising; We are however looking at a Tayana 37 now and if that works out the Hunter will go..............we shall see
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I have a 1987 Hunter and it is just fine. I would not cross an ocean in it, but sure have a lot of fun on it. It is not a Tartan or a Sabre. Get a survey, if it is fine and you like it and it sails well, get it. Quality problems will show up by now in the survey or be fixed.
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