Hi all. Got a lead on a 87 Hunter 23. Fin keel. Heard lots of negative opinions here about both Hunters, and fin keels. Aside from all that, what else would steer me away from a Hunter? Just looking for a decent weekender for Tampa Bay, and maybe trips along the Gulf coast.
Re: Hunter 23
It's possibly too late to help you but I'll make a quick response. I purchased a Hunter 23 wing keel last summer, even though I was prejudiced against Hunters from things I'd read. I like mine a lot more than I expected.
It handles nicely, no heavy helm, never tried to "round up" while I was sailing. Comes about easily and quickly. Moves well in light airs. Has good sail controls. Lots of nice design touches. Some cheaping out, like portlights with no exterior trim. Excellent interior space and makes good use of it. Surfing down some very large waves from directly astern felt unstable and needed careful attention at the helm, but that is about normal in my experience.
An excellent coastal sail boat. Built light for trailering and mast stepping. The light mast has a hinged tabernacle and drops toward the stern, fairly easy to step and unstep with gin pole and sway control - hook a block to the mooring pin, and run line back to the winches in the cockpit.
The "Ken's Trailer" trailer is not well fitted to the boat, at least not mine. Make sure you get a trailer with either brakes or a square plate at the ends of the axle by the wheel where brakes can be added. Make sure the boat is tight against the bow stops. There should be support under the bow, mine was too short so I shimmed it with wood. I'm half done making an extension for it.
I should probably write a review in the Hunter section, so anyone can find the info.
Re: Hunter 23
I'm surprised this post didn't get more replies. Hunters seem to have a bad reputation because, apparently, in the late 80's and early 90's, some of their boats weren't well made. By that, I mean they didn't sail well, and the equipment was either undersized or inexpensive components that were prone to fail. However, the "Cherubini-erea" Hunters, and some of the more recent ones, consistent get positive reviews. They aren't typically seen as ocean-crossers (especially the smaller boats), but they are good for their purpose, coastal sailing. Are they made to the same standards as an Island Packet? No. But you'll pay a lot less, and still have a sailboat that gets you from Point A to many Point B's. It's kind of like a car - if you buy a Honda Civic, you know you're not going to get the same "stuff" as in a Maybach or even a Lexis. What you will get, though, is a decent car at a fair price, and it will get you from Point A to Point B. You may not get there as fast, and you may not be as comfortable when you get there as you would have in another vessel/vehicle, but, in most peoples' opinions, that's still beats walking, or never getting to Point B at all.
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