Nice to see Hunter setting the bar high...
A mis-nomer if I ever heard one!
Being a MacGregor owner I just had to take a critical look at the new Hunter Edge, after all, I really have an appreciation for the concept. They had it on display at the 2009 Vancouver Int'l Boat Show so I took advantage of getting an on board first hand look at it.
It definately had some major improvements over the MacGregor, no denying it, but it also had several de-merits.
Yes they raised the bar on the tow vehicle required to tow it, with a trailer/boat combo well over 6000 lbs you now need a class 4 tow beast to haul that sucker around - only a class 3 required for the Mac.
The Hunter is priced substantially higher than a Mac, enough to deter a large market share.
The Hunter Edge does not have a jib track, I looked for one and only saw a jib sheet block bolted to the forward deck, ditto for a genoa track, there is none nor is there any hardware to accomodate one. The boat/deck was not built to accomodate either track even as aftermarket add-on. No traveler either, no sail trimming required I suppose. The Mac has all these sail trim components and then some and a lower price tag.
The Hunter had a very inovative rudder system, I thought it was a good idea even if it did occupy a large space in the cockpit. The Hunter also has a wider beam, something I really feel is lacking in the Mac as it only has a 7'10" beam compared to the 8'4" beam of the Hunter. A full 8'6" road legal beam would be the ultimate trailersailer beam.
Overall the Hunter Edge is a viable alternative but I believe the price point and towing requirements will be detrimental.
As for the bashing of these kind of boats, I don't even see it as fun, those who do are of the same mentality as the typical school yard bully and we all know what they are.
Hybrid trailersailers have a loyal following and they are very versatile. Here in the PNW they are made to order for our short sailing season and protected coastal waterway. The view from my MacGregor cockpit is the same as the view from any other boat out there and mine costs a lot less to operate and maintain. I can sail from the southern Puget Sound all the way north to the Broughtons and everything in between and it will take me many years to see it all and that does not even count the places I can trailer to.
As for aesthetics, well beauty is in the eye of the beholder, The Edge or Mac may not have the traditional appearance but they have their own individuality. The Edge reminds me of the 1930's gangster car look with that low slung forward deck, rather cool, the Mac has a sleek modern look with the double row of windows, but that is only my opinion. We all have opinions as to what looks appealing, just take a look at the interior decor of various homes out there, the range of home design is very diverse and each design speaks of the owners personality. Same as for boats, wether it be power, sail or hybrid we each have a preference and what we choose fits our lifestyle as do our cars.
There really is no excuse for bashing others' boats and only the cowards do it here because they can hide behind an anonymous moniker. I get a lot of interested boaters looking over my Mac and am quick to point out it's virtues and limitations to those who ask. It works for me!