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  #1  
Old 07-02-2002
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Hunter 356

Looking at a 356 as a new boat. Any thoughts on the boat from owners? I have some concern with the B&R Rig in relationship to being able to sail downwind. Not sure I want to broad reach accross lake ontario. Also the blade jib on cabintop means all the winches are out of reach of the helmsman. Don''t know if its just getting used to a different system or I should be concerned. Any opinions would be appreciated. I hear the boat sales great and is quite quick, hope to sail one this weekend for myself.
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Old 07-02-2002
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Hunter 356

The thing about most of these modern boats that are designed today with swept back spreaders is that your VMG is actually usually greater broad reaching in anything less than very high winds and even at very deep angles your aparent wind angle is far more forward than you would expect. As a result, with the addition of sacrificial chafe patches on the sails at the spreaders, there really should be no problem sailing these boats at good VMG''s down wind.

Jeff
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Old 07-05-2002
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Hunter 356

Mogul:

Last week I saw some pics of a 40''ish Hunter that lost the front of its deck when its rig failed. The absence of any significant structure at the bow to which the forestay could be attached left me with chills. The rudder post appeared to be little more than a foam-filled, thin glass laminate structure. When I see these boats out of the water in their For Sale mode, I''m struck by how thin the shafts and struts are, and how much of the boat''s volume is above the waterline while so little is below it. I don''t mean to pick on Hunters; there are similar examples. I just get very uncomfortable when thinking about taking one of these for even a coastwise cruise. So look very carefully at how well built the boat is for your intended purpose. Non-veneered doors is not the most important place where they need to be improving their boats, I suspect.

Jack
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Old 07-07-2002
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Hunter 356

Jack,

Those pictures of an early 1990''s Hunter that was left unattended in an anchorage exposed to the ocean and dragged onto a beach in storm have been floating around the internet with various explanations of what happened. One description of what happened to the bow said that a cable from a land based heavy truck was hooked to the stem fitting in an effort to drag the boat above the breaking waves. I know of no larger coastal cruising boat that was made to be dragged by its stemhead up a beach. The pictures showed the stem fitting torn from the hull which ultimately brought down the rig.

The other pictures showed rudder that was sheered off of the boat after the boat had backed down on the beach. Much has been made of the broken composite rudder post which was sheered off in the pounding on the beach. In theory the current generation of modern composite rudder posts can be, and generally are sturdier than the SS posts they replace. (This obviously is not always the case and may not be the case in this instance.) They are actually more expensive to produce and are used in new boats because they offer greater strength and can be lighter.

In 1969 my family lost a 1965 Pearson Vanguard in a storm. While the rig remained in the boat, the post storm pictures looked very similar, a beat to death hulk lying on the beach, its keel hung rudder sheered away, and bronze rudder post bent and partially missing.

So, with all due respect and with all of that said, without knowing the specifics of this case, I respectfully suggest that it si hard to make any broad judgements of based upon the photo''s.

As to the 356, it uses some pretty exotic materials in its construction such as Kevlar/vinylester laminates in the bow sections and in some of the internal framing that would not have been present in this earlier model.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 07-08-2002
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Jeff & the group:

Just to recap my point, I''d encourage the potential purchaser (in this case, of a Hunter) to examine the boat carefully with a keen eye on how the boat is intended to be used. Do the general design of the boat (so much volume above the waterline), basic gear used (e.g. that shaft strut), and construction methods (how IS the forestay tied into the bow of the boat?) all seem consistent with how the boat is to be used?

I don''t know anything about the events leading up to those pics of the semi-demolished Hunter. Nor come to think of it, did I claim to. The construction of the rudder post and the bow section of the boat OTOH were pretty clearly seen, and both seem to me to be good illustrations of what needs to be understood by a prospective buyer. Just to repeat myself, I don''t think this is a challenge to Hunter boats in particular; just wise boat buying practice in general. In this case, they apply to the Hunter 356.

Jack
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Old 07-13-2002
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Hunter 356

To qutoe a quote.... from Seattle:

Consider some of the following;

The Hunter has swept spreaders which will prevent you from letting the main out fully and most people agree that wihout a "helping" sail that Hunters aren''t such great downwind sailers.

The Hunter also has a large roached main which is great when going the other way but also can make it tender which means you''ll be reefing early and then there''s that arch thing. Between the arch, the messy lookin BandR rig and those lower mast struts, the 356 just looks cluttered.I''m sorry but sailboats don''t look good with things mounted all over their decks.

You will pay extra on the 356 for a stove/oven, refrigerated icebox and electric windlass as all 3 are standard on the 350 and while they both have separate freezer compartments, only the 350 has a front door to the frig so you''ll be able to use the counter space above.

The 350 has a totally separate shower stall and while the 356 has a stall also, the toilet is also in it.

Any Catalina will have wider weatherdecks than a comparable Hunter, I consider this an important safety feature. Also, the shrouds are inboard on the 350 so you won''t be running into them.

The 350 has bigger batteries and a 4cyl 35HP engine, the 356 has a 3 cyl 27HP engine.

The 350 has a larger HW tank, 11 gals versus 6 on the 356.

Another thing that Hunter does is locate the primary winches on the coach roof which means if you are single handing you will be dancing around the cockpit whereas on the 350, they are right in line with the helm.

While the 356 is a really nice boat and actually has a more upscale interior, the 2010 350 will look exactly the same as the present one which is part of a Catalina''s exceptional value, not to mention the fact that they are solidly built, well backed boats.
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