Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 90 Times in 80 Posts
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I think it's very uncool to use this sad accident to bust on Hunters and other production boats. Every boat has tradeoffs, and different people will have different preferences for performance, cost, interior amenities, durability of fittings, etc. Whatever you may think about them, Hunter has managed to stay in business through thick and thin, so they must be delivering products that meet the desires of a significant body of customers. Maybe a Hunter is not the boat that you want, but you may choose to do a different type of sailing from the typical production boat customer.
Because of the tradeoffs, every boat owner must sail his boat within its and his limitations. Since these people were liveaboards without a huge amount of wealth, it's understandable that they would choose tradeoffs that favor interior comforts and cost over other factors. But their error was not in their selection of boat - it was in not sailing her within her reasonable limitations.
Sailnet is not a user group for any particular brand. It's a place where everyone is supposed to feel welcome to learn and share knowledge (and occasionally make a purchase from the owners and/or advertisers). Yet hearing the venom and cheap jokes directed toward Hunters, MacGregors, and other production boats can make some people feel very unwelcome. So I'm not sure this is the best place to do that. Maybe you should go to your own boat's user group (or form one, if one does not exist) if you want to bust on other brands.
This is especially important in this case, because the fact that this boat was a Hunter seems to me to have had absolutely nothing to do with the accident. And that suggestion obscures the fact that this accident had everything to do with the owner's faulty judgement in going out in conditions that clearly exceeded that capabilities of the boat (and the vast majority of other boats as well) as well as the skipper. Another contributing factor appears to have been poor maintenance, since it appears that the auxiliary power was not operational.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)