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jimgo 12-01-2012 11:58 PM

Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
We looked at a few boats today, and saw two that were interesting. One was a 1985 Hunter 28.5 (NOT the 28, but the 28.5) that's in very nice shape for the price. The other is a 1982 Allmand 31 that's a bit of a project. The Allmand is leaking from a few windows, under the grab rails, around the mast, and at the chainplates, and bad enough that the owners a) took out the headliner throughout the boat, and b) have buckets/bowls under the leak points to catch the drips.

From talking to a few people at the marina, the Hunter seems like she's been well maintained. The Allmand may have been owned by folks who were in a bit over their heads. Not that I'm much better off!

So, a little about me - I have a family of 4, including 2 small kids, ages 7 and almost 5. The boys enjoyed sailing some last season, but what they really liked was a) hiding in the cabin to play video games, and b) swimming in the bay. Part of the reason that I think sailing wasn't that much fun was that our old C25's cockpit wasn't really conducive for them helping with the sailing. The cabin/coach roof stood too high, and they couldn't see in front of us at all, and standing on the seats would have made it very easy for them to fall overboard, so that wasn't allowed. I liked the H28.5 and Allmand's cockpits MUCH better than our C25 or the H27 that we saw today. I especially liked the lower profile to the H28.5's coach roof; I thought that would make it easier for the boys to see and be part of the experience. The Allmand's coach roof was higher, but the wider cockpit and space along the outside of the cockpit really made both my wife and me more comfortable with the idea of the boys being up on the seats. Another thing to keep in mind is that with kids of this age, one parent is typically "minding" the kids - so we're (I'm) frequently single-handing although I have company.

We're not a "blue water" family; we're likely to be bay sailers, and MAYBE coastal cruisers, but I doubt we'll take either of these boats farther north than NY City, and farther south than the circumnavigation of the Delaware/Chessepeake. We're mostly day sailers, with the occasional overnight, maybe a bit longer. We don't need blazingly fast - we need comfortable and stable.

So, with all of that in mind, if they were in about the same condition, which one is the better boat? Is the Allmand better built than the Hunter 28.5? Is the Hunter easier/better to sail? I've read mixed reviews about the 16HP Universal diesel in the Allmand; the 15HP Yanmar in the Hunter seems to get better reviews, but is one REALLY that much better than the other?

The Allmand needs work, and before we do anything we'll need to get a survey (probably get one for the Hunter, too), but she looks like she's a) sailable in her current form, and b) improvable in increments so that we're not shelling out massive amounts of money up front to get us sailing. On the other hand, the Hunter is 2-3x the price, but is essentially turn-key. In the end, though, I want a boat that we'll enjoy for several years, and that will be safe for us all. Any feedback to that end will be greatly appreciated!

- Jim

SloopJonB 12-02-2012 02:29 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
The Allmand is a considerably larger boat but with two little kids you won't have much time for working on it. Just maintaining a sound boat takes a lot of time - bringing a neglected one back takes a LOT of time.

chef2sail 12-02-2012 07:20 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
Which bay are you talking about keeping it in Barnegat, Delaware, Raritan or the Chesapeake. Is the Hunter one of the older Cherubini designs? Can you post the listings here so we can look at the engines, sails, and accessories lists.


jimgo 12-02-2012 08:19 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
Probably Barnegat Bay. Here's the Hunter:

1985 Hunter sailboat for sale in New Jersey

And here's the Allmand:
1982 Allmand sailboat for sale in New Jersey

JonB, your point is well taken. The Allmand is in worse, but not a lot worse, condition than my C25 was. It will be a big time commitment, but it looks like it may be worth it in the end.

jimgo 12-02-2012 08:22 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
Chef, interestingly, the pictures of the Allmand are both deceptive and accurate. Looking closely, you can see that the head liner is gone, Nd you can see at least one pot that was used for the leaks.

aa3jy 12-02-2012 08:36 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
16 Attachment(s)

Sounds like a no-brainer to me..but then again I'm partial to the Allmand as I was a former owner of one...

Where in the "Western Philly 'burbs" are you from?

Clay AA3JY
s/v 'Tango'
Cabo Rico 34

jimgo 12-02-2012 08:42 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
I'm near Lansdale.

All the Allmand owners seem to say the same thing. Collectively, hunter owners aren't quite as strong advocates of their boats, though the 28.5 seems to be well liked.

sailingfool 12-02-2012 08:47 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
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I have always considered this Boat Review* by David Pascoe - Hunter 28 the most damning survey I ever read, because the scary criticisms all relate to the design and construction of the vessel, and not its condition.

jimgo 12-02-2012 09:00 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
I read that too. According to some of the 28.5 owners, the critiques don't apply to that boat, it is different from the 28.

aa3jy 12-02-2012 09:47 AM

Re: Hunter 28.5 versus Allmand 31
16 Attachment(s)
When we owned our Allmand..we replaced the headliner as well. The hardest part was removing all the glue and remaining foam which appears in the pixs that has been done... I think my wife still has pixs of our original project.

Just a little side note.. We sold all Allmand for more then what we paid for it..but then again we put a lot into it..

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