I am thinking of purchasing a 1983 Hunter 34. Yes, I know its not as great as the Catalinas and Ericsons, but if I get a survey and want it to sail SF Bay, provided I can get it at the right price and there are no red flags, how could I go wrong? I am hearing a lot of frowns on Hunters from the early 1980s, is this legit or just sailing puffery?
Ummm.....Be sure you want a boat that light, especially when you get out in the "slot" on a windy afternoon with a contrary tide...
Been aboard some 34's and done a long delivery on 31, all from same early 80's era. Thinly built and minimumly equipped, and... a "lot of boat for the money."
One consideration for general cruising and living aboard for any period of time -- forepeak V berth seemed quite short. Both designs seem to be planned around a couple sleeping in the aft berth. V berth seems better for one person or the kids.
At this age, you are looking at new standing and running rig if not done recently, same as any other boat. Survey that old Yanmar closely -- good engines if maintained. Quality, strictly inho, is less than a Catalina, but will sail faster. Both are way below Ericsons, Tartans, and Sabres.
Know your needs and your limits and buy what makes ya happy.