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itsaboat 09-27-2011 08:29 PM

Hunter 23 questions - homemade rudder
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At 40-ish, my wife and I are considering our first boat. I have been lurking on this forum for a month or so and now making my virgin post! We found a 1988 Hunter 23 about an hour from here that has been nicely refurbished: refinished keel, teak, and very clean. From what I have read about these boats, they are fun to sail, fairly fast for a monohull, and pretty solid boats. I have not found a particularly bad review of them, other than the general anti-Hunter statements.

I like the boat, but have a couple of reservations that I would like to get your opinion on. There is no motor, so I will consider this in the price. Another concern that has grown in my mind is that the former owner replaced the (probably split) rudder with a home-fabricated one made out of Corian. Yes, Corian, the stuff that is more at home in kitchens. They redesigned the rudder assembly so that it pivots to swivel up in case of impact. It replaces the tie-down rig that is stock on the H23. It seems like it could take some heavy abuse, but it does not seem very hydrodynamic. It is beveled on the edges, but the original rudders look more like hydrofoils while this one looks, well, like a heavy board (see pic).

The boat is on the trailer, disassembled, and away from water, so I don't have any idea how this will affect sailing. Do you think this is enough of an issue that I should consider this in what I offer for the boat? Replacement rudders are between $500-$900.

Thanks for any input on this boat.

dnf777 09-27-2011 08:54 PM

Have no experience with Corian rudders, but in general would expect a significant adjustment in price for such a substitution, especially in this buyer's market. Also, unless you're very boat savvy, I would have a surveyor or at least someone very knowledgable look at your pintles and gudgeons to make sure there's no structural damage being covered up with paint and filler.

Also give the motor mount a good scrutiny. I looked at a H23 that had a very loose motor mount similar to the one in your picture. The fact there's no motor and a fabricated rudder would raise a red flag in my mind, and prompt a marine surveyor's visit.

I would pay no heed to the anti-hunter comments. If you find a boat that is solid, a good fit for your needs/desires, and you enjoy it.....that's all that matters.

deniseO30 09-27-2011 09:24 PM

You can get a aftermarket rudder should you buy the boat. Use the corian for other things.the stock rudder is a hokey set up anyway. I had a H23 1982 swing keel (I think the only year it had that option) It's a nice boat to sail. The mast is difficult to drop for 2 average adults The Transom will need reinforcement no matter what motor you have. I also didn't like the trailer and felt it wasn't really well thought out with the boat so high. I sold it to a young man that traversed lake Erie with it.

itsaboat 09-28-2011 11:38 AM

Thanks for the input. He is asking in the $5k neighborhood, which seems a bit high compared to other asking prices I see on yachtworld and other sites for the same boat. Most of these other boats include a few extras like electronics. This one is pretty bare bones. But it is near and I would not have to incur traveling costs.

Denise, what motor did you use on yours? Was it enough power?

zz4gta 09-28-2011 11:48 AM

The loads on rudders are huge. $5k for a boat with little to no extras, no motor? and a hack job of a rudder (sorry) is too much. How is the trailer and sails? How many sails? How's the running rigging? You can get a nice boat for 5k these days.

3.5hp is all you'll need for that boat.

deniseO30 09-28-2011 12:25 PM

I had a 9.9 merc, way more then it needed but it had electric start! on the river here the HP wasn't wasted. 5k seems high imo. could get a catalina 25 for close to that price.

captainrizzo 09-28-2011 12:34 PM

itsaboat, welcome aboard! I am a Hunter 306 owner so I cannot comment on the specific boat you are interested in. However, I share the same feelings as dnf. This is certainly a buyer's market. Spend the extra time to find a boat that is sound. This refit seems a bit problematic and the last thing you want to do is buy someone else's problem. Denise's comment about reinforcing the transom should give you pause. You could probably do a lot better for $5k.

LandLocked66c 09-28-2011 12:39 PM

Too much for a boat that's been modified and not repaired properly. I've been restoring a boat with similar "mods" and trust me, you'll find more DIY crap that you'll need to do over because of the previous owner. Go have a look, but be wary.

MarkSF 09-28-2011 01:53 PM

If you want to make another rudder it is relatively easy. The best construction is marine plywood (teak ply would look stunning), covered in epoxy/fibreglass, then finally a layer of varnish or paint. You could use your rudder to have a piece of plywood cut or I'm sure a template is available somewhere.

The same applies to the rudder stock.

Done right you should end up with something strong AND very attractive.

emoney 09-28-2011 02:34 PM

I'm going with the rest of the "peanut gallery" and agree that it seems a tad much. I'm not a fan of aftermarket rudders, and that's speaking from experience. The engineer behind this model's rudder had specific forces and dynamics in mind when he/she came up with it's final dimensions. If nothing else, purchase the boat and then get a replacement rudder that meets those dimensions as designed. Good luck regardless what you decide and do keep us informed.

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