I'll reiterate my comments to bestfriend. Upon viewing the Hunter's I found their hulls reminiscent of the dutch flute boat, which was fine if you lived in the 17th century and were engaged in the West Indies trade. I've always felt that a boat just has to look right. If it doesn't, even though you cannot put it into words, it probably isn't right. Form follows function. And since I cannot contemplate needing the function of a Hunter, I probably rejected the form out of hand. Topsides styling seems to take it's cues from Bayliner which seems to be emulating mid-sixties StarCraft cabin cruisers. The trim somehow reminded me of how they used to attach vinyl tops to cars. I couldn't help but think that I'd be little surprised to return next year and see the new styling cues including vestigial fins in a nod to the 1950's auto industry. I did not go on board for a view of the interior as I couldn't see owning something so off-putting from the outside. They'll sell a million of 'em, no doubt.
Like BF, I liked the C&S 38' but had a couple of quibbles. While the traveller is indeed right forward of the wheel, the wheel alone is rather more than enough to try to get around when moving from the helm forward. Add in the fact that you've now got to step over the traveller, each and every time, I could envision any number of inadvertent trips to the deck, especially in a seaway. While we're on the fat end, I'd add that the wheel was less than impressive in that it was seemingly coated with the remnants of an old hula-hoop. Looked cheap and felt cheap. The decent sized chain locker had zero provision for drainage of any sort. While it's hatch cover seemed robust enough and reasonably watertight I could easily see that the locker itself, some 2' deep and 18-24" square could easily become either perpetually half full of water or a regular chisel and shop-vac cleaning job. The rest of the deck layout was quite satisfactory. Below decks was admirably thought out with exceptional stowage options towards the lazarette. BF and I determined that he'd have no problems stowing his surf board easily in the port quarter of it. The only quibble to make about the interior was that there was no provision for dividing a sink that would take about 3 gallons of water to reach a 1" covering of it's bottom. The only really serious problem with this boat was the inability of getting BF off of her and on to some of her more modest sisters for at least a look see. In fact, I have no evidence to contradict the fact that BF may be posting from within her confines even now, while she's on a trailer to Miami!
Memory fails me on which boat BF and I were on that had the spinnaker lines led so nicely out of the gunwales to the cockpit. That is, until you went below and discovered that, should a line come adrift, you apparently had to disassemble a good portion of the boat's interior to re-reeve it!
The Chessy Lights were just that-light! Very impressive and I too can see one in my future. Assembly looked all that BoatWorks (RIP) promised in their review.
I've long admired the looks of the Alerion Express and the 28' at the show did nothing to dull the impression. The self-tending jib's boom though is much more impressive in person than photographed. I do not say impressive in a positive way. This is not a foredeck that you're going to find friendly to be upon in anything but the most predictable conditions. In serious conditions, that boom is fully capable of hurting someone. It is much more substantial and takes up much more space than you'd gather from the photos. Hey, every goddess has to have a mole someplace.
Sailing magazine was offering absolutely great deals on subscription renewals, sufficient to offset the entire price of admission to the show!
Gerhauer's booth was nothing fancy but loaded with gear, not just display pieces, and T34C picked up some very impressive snatch blocks that he let me touch, once.
To my dismay the folks at Poli-glow were offering absolutely no discounts on their fine product, even though I absolutely stole 7 minutes out of BF's life giving him the sales pitch for them. Another 30 seconds and I'd have either had a new job or BF would have taken the Poli-Prep scrub brush to my binnacle.
If the very gracious Laser salesman is reading this, you'll by now be sorry that you elected to be skiing while your Giant's were a thumpin' the Pats. Enjoyed our conversation and, if you get the urge to go to Lambeau Field some day, PM me here.
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.