Hunter Sailboat Quality? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Hunter Sailboat Quality?

I'm looking at purchasing a 1986 Hunter. Is this a well built boat and are there any costly items that I should consider? Any comments would be a great help.
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-25-2008
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Intended Usage?

That is a pretty broad question? Just curious what your have budgeted for a boat purchase? What your intended use of the boat would be? What is the general condition of the hunter 36? It is a 22 year old boat and I would ask what has been replaced and how recent?

Personally, I an looking at multi hulls so any mono hull is out of the question.. That being said, My dad purchased a hunter 33 04' and maintains it well and it has had no problems. In fact He is leaving Tomorrow for three weeks of WA state and Canada sailing. My Aunt owns a Hunter 420 (older) and has had no problems. She will also be out sailing as well.. I have attended the annual Hunter marine get to gatherings for the past three years in the PNW and have had the oppotunity to go on many of the boats and also talk to many of the owners. Very few seem dissappointed in thier purchase. To my knowledge most purchased new or relatively new boats and have maintained them. A 22 year old boat will probably have had many owners and many systems should have been replaced after 22 years usage... If I was buying a 22 year old car, RV or home I am thinking how it was maintained might tell me if the item will be a head ache...

As far as Quality, well that is a pretty subjective question... After 22 years any boat could be a piece of crap if neglected... Like wise a 20 year old sedan might meet my needs- then again if I was pulling a boat or RV, I am thinking I might desire a 4x4... Goes to usage... That hunter will not take you across the ocean. It should be pretty inexpensive and might make a fun boat sailing in protected waters...

If your looking for Hunter bashers- there are no shortage of them on the net.. Many of them I have noticed get real OVER sensitive when the same is said about the boat they own, ie: The Spendy Tartan and its recent mess ups to include the company cover up... Another thread.... The same people will be quick to boat bash Hunters, Catalina and the Bene's however, lol...

Hope you find the Boat that meets Your Needs in your price range... Have Fun and enjoy... Best of Luck....
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-25-2008
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XJ...whatever you do...get a survey and get a separate engine survey. Hunters of that era were not particularly well made and were designed to hit a price point and serve well for basic sailing needs in protected waters. As such they can be an excellent value today if they have been kept well and your need are for a boat in protected waters and weekend cruising.

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post #4 of 28 Old 08-27-2008
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...If your looking for Hunter bashers- there are no shortage of them on the net...

Just like Catalina bashers...

Great and well reasoned post BTW... Nicely done..

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no name yet (it's in pieces!)
Coconut Grove, Florida
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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I've been cruising the Bahamas and FL Keys on my 1981 Hunter 30, mostly single handed, since 2000. My boat has proven perfectly adequate for my needs. That being said, any older boat should be surveyed before purchase.

I would point out that the problems I have had with my boat; broken prop strut (electrolysis), water pump, alternator, exhaust hose, shifter cable, standing and running rigging, chain plates, bow pulpit, etc., were replaced because of age, not quality of construction. The only unusual repair I had was making an epoxy container to fit around the corroded metal block my mast was stepped on.

I have found my Hunter 30 to be more than suitable for coastal cruising and trips to the Bahamas. I would not hesitate to purchase another Hunter product.
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serenity4u2 View Post
If your looking for Hunter bashers- there are no shortage of them on the net.. Many of them I have noticed get real OVER sensitive when the same is said about the boat they own, ie: The Spendy Tartan and its recent mess ups to include the company cover up... Another thread.... The same people will be quick to boat bash Hunters, Catalina and the Bene's however, lol
Being a professional ignorer and all...I'll just ignore that generalization

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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post #7 of 28 Old 08-29-2008
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I've had a 34 foot '83 Hunter for two years without any realcomplaint. Most of my issues have been with PO "upgrades". Like some of the other posters have said get a good survey. Like the birds say the nice thing with Hunters is they are cheap, cheap, cheap. Sailing in the Cheasapeake bay I couldn't see spending big $ on a boat. Now if you are talking long distance ocean crusing you might want to look at something else.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-30-2008
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My father had a late 70's hunter 33 that he bought new. It was totally neglected all of its life. It got a haul out every 4 or 5 years. And my dad does not believe in preventive anything, so nothing got touched unless it was broken. After 20 plus years of ownership he finally sold the old girl to someone more caring and I am told she is still sailing around Lake Ponchatrain. We never had any real problems even though we never took care of our boat. Used boats or like used cars (IMO), Check them out as much as you can, try to negotiate a good deal for yourself and hope for the best. Good Luck!
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-30-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iflyka200s View Post
...If your looking for Hunter bashers- there are no shortage of them on the net...
Just like Catalina bashers...
Great and well reasoned post BTW... Nicely done..
I'm not a Hunter basher, but I sail a Bristol because I sail extensively offshore (and have unfortunately been caught in two Force 10 storms over the years).
With that said, Hunters are excellent price boats and have their place in the sailing world. I personally would not buy a Hunter, because of where/how I sail and I certainly would not have wanted to be sailing a Hunter in the 36 hours of the March '08 or the 48 hours of the earlier full gales that Paloma has endured.

s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Last edited by johnshasteen; 09-02-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-30-2008
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As other have implied, it's all about the condition of the boat; not the nameplate on it. A derelict Morris or Alden will cause problems for you, regardless of where or how you sail, much moreso than a well-maintained Hunter or any other brand for that matter.
One of the reasons most people avoid this forum is the apparent density of self-proclaimed experts who seem to enjoy bashing anything other than what they currently own and I seriously doubt any of them have sailed a Hunter extensively offshore enough to form an informed objective opinion.

I've had the opportunity to cruise extensively when younger and can tell you first-hand that no one anchored in any S Pac motu spend any time talking about which brand boat is best/worst suited for cruising - they all spent all their time talking about repair and maintenance issues regardless of who made it.

It should be apparent to you how seriously you should take anyone who makes generalized criticisms of anything.
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