Why are there so many Hunter haters? - Page 11 - SailNet Community
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post #101 of 142 Old 08-25-2014
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Smile Re: Hunter Passage models make great blue water cruisers

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From a blue water cruiser who sailed a 2001 Hunter 450 Passage. Both the 450 Passage (1999-2002) and the 456 (2003-2006) or there abouts both versions carry 100 gallon fuel takes and have Kevlar reinforced stringers in the hull. They both hold 200 gallons of water as well. The newer Hunter Passage models hold only 75 gallons of fuel and offer only as an option the larger fuel tanks. I have yet to find one outfitted with the larger tank. This tankage really helps in long passages and was well used during the Caribe 1500 rally from Hampton Va to Nanny Cay, Tortola. Also this years caribe 1500 had a Hunter Passage 420 which arrived in the middle of the fleet standings. Many boats had breakdowns, even the snob appeal boats ie Oyster, Tayana. Island Packet, but nooooooooo not the Hunter!!! I have had mine in 60 knot gale winds and she was rock solid. Yes she creaked and squeaked but so does most every boat in 25 foot seas. We sailed her with only a small piece of furled jib and the strain on the furling line was incredible. We lost part of our SSB antenna and the Magma grill cover. We saw 12 knots in a hull designed for 8 maximum. We were in a broad reach thus allowing the foresail to give us the stability that was needed. Both the rig and the hull were rock solid..........one cannot go wrong using this as both a live aboard and a bluewater sailor. Any further questions PM me.
Thanks! As a fellow Hunter owner (a 2004 36) who is very happy, this is great news! We looked at a 456 last weekend and are looking to buy it and live aboard. I've heard her called a "Coastal Cruiser" and was wondering about how she'd do on a long run and in rough weather. I guess we know now! :-)
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post #102 of 142 Old 08-25-2014
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

I'll chime in with $0.02

This year, I have been working at a SailTime/sailing school/charter outfit, and many of the boats are newer Hunters, ranging in model year from 2004-2013, and in length from 33-41 feet. There are several Catalinas in the fleet as well.

My limited experience is that there seem to always be problems with the Hunters; the electric heads don't work, the in mast furler jammed, something happened with the engine, and it won't start... Typical charter stuff, but there seems to be more of it with the Hunters.

Looking at the build quality, I am disappointed with the amount of veneered MDF instead of Marine-Ply on the Hunters. The 2013 boat had bilge pump issues that required me to muck about in the bilge. I couldn't believe the amount of sawdust that I assume was left in the bilge by the manufacturer prior to delivery. Guess why the bilge pump burnt out?

There is also a mid-2000s Hunter 41 that, prior to joining the fleet, had suffered a moderate grounding with the PO, resulting in THE GRID SEPARATION that Paulo had written about in his earlier posts. (That's one more for your count...) I understand that the school owner picked the boat up for cheap, but has invested a lot of the technicians time and money, essentially rebuilding the boat from the grid system up. Each step has been inspected, and signed off on by a surveyor, and I believe that this particular boat is in better condition than when it left the factory.

In contrast, I feel that the construction and sail handling of the Catilinas, is better - IMHO. The Catalinas also seem to have more demand for charter than the Hunters.

Personally, I much prefer the straight forward mainsail handling of my '87 O'day 35, to the Selden in-mast roller furler, and (obscured) arch mounted traveler on the Hunters.


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post #103 of 142 Old 08-25-2014
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

Gee, guess my 2001 Hunter must be super special as I never have had any problems with any part of the boat that Hunter built. My problems are always with those name brand accessories installed on the boat, and even those have been less problematic than my last boat.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #104 of 142 Old 3 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

Nearly an old thread but I will call it back. I had an open mind when it came to Hunters as a brand, neither for or against. Well I have Just completed my longest and toughest delivery, bringing a 2000 Hunter 460 from Langkowi, Malaysia via Phuket, Thailand to Sydney, Australia total 5000 Miles. At the wrong time of the year with south easterlies, just about all the way. This boat was in very good condition apart from 12 year old sails (patched as needed on route) generator (rebuilt prior to heading south) broken exhaust anti siphon and failed starter motor and then alternator. The boat was a dream to handle was comfortable. When things got real rough where on three occasions we had 50 knots over the deck, China sea, Banda Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria. Only found one noisy bulkhead, that being the forward shower. If you motor into oncoming seas she will pound which can be negated by motoring at an angle, or just sail at 32% and sail she does. I and my wife (crew)have been so impressed with this boat if one is available in the Med when we go looking for the next boat, we would give is serious consideration.
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post #105 of 142 Old 3 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

That's really good to hear - especially from someone with your experience Simon.

I've certainly found the same with our Hunter. We've seen squalls on this trip with 40+ knots and 8'-10' very short period, steep waves that we had to beat into, taking many over the bow - and it was not a problem at all with this boat. Plus there is some really smart design innovation on these Hunters. I'll have more on all that in our upcoming episodes.

As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of the new Marlow line of Hunters, but the older ones are great boats.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
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post #106 of 142 Old 3 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

Still think any brand bashing is stupid. Market forces ultimately determine success. Rep is built on and reflects failures and successes in the field. Buyers determine suitability of a particular unit for their intended use. However it is similarly uninformed to suggest there is not a meaningful difference in products at various price points nor that design,materials and construction techniques have not and are not continuing to evolve.
In viewing this issue many people come to the market with biases built on their personal experiences. They feel these biases are validated and it is difficult to override this thinking even when it may not be congruent to current construction and technology.

For instance I'm very leery of in mast roller furling. I experienced a failure on a Hinckley returning from a Bermuda race. I know folks with an Amel with many, many miles who would never want anything else on a boat. But my bias stands.

I'm not a fan of bergstrom rigs as techniques for sail shaping are lost and running DDW is more difficult. I understand the advantages of square head sails but almost always being short handed kites and variants are problematic except offshore where set it and forget it can rule. I like runners but not when rig integrity is dependent upon them.
I do not like boats with high freeboard. Always puckered getting into a slip in a crosswind. This degree of windage makes docking more interesting as does the difficulties of poor sight lines.
I use my ears to monitor my boat. A dead quite boat means sleep off watch. A new noise or changing noises wakes me up and even if identified puts me on edge.
I'm clumsy so greatly reassured by ergonomics that allow a handhold always in reach, structure to brace against, clear walkways and seating that's secure.
I have fat big hands and need to see what I'm doing so working on an engine in a hole with poor visibility is a chore.
I'd rather have quality believing do it right and the pay for it once actually saves money and aggravation in the long run.

Smack and I have gone back and forth on this for some years now. Will state again Hunter bashing is stupid. But looking at each component, each system, each design feature, each supplier is not. When on this site people critique or criticize boats I attend to the reason, the use, the user and is it relevant to my limitations and intended use. So stories about inadequacies of anchoring systems, construction, difficult servicing, failed systems are absorbed in an effort for me to make better informed decisions.
My current neighbor is a liveaboard family of four. This year is their first year on their fairly recent Hunter 50. Compared to my boat its huge and they are enjoying that space. Comfortable with three AC units running. I like their boat. Especially as it totally blocks the wind from that side making docking easier for me. :-).
However, they haven't been out for over two months now. They briefly went home to finish out selling their house. When they came back the engine wouldn't start. What happened was water back filled into the engine in their absence. Yes some of this failure can be ascribed to maintenance and use protocol deficiencies. But some to design as well. Engine had to be removed for its trip to the machine shop for rebuilding. See from how the engine is placed and support systems executed this could happen.
Smack may view relating this story as a bash. I view it as a learning experience which caused me to review and think about that system in my boat.

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post #107 of 142 Old 3 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

Hunters are fine for the vast majority of people who will spend more time aboard in a slip than offshore.

For daysailing in sight of land, they are adequate, the swept back rigs are easier in gusts and they have cavernous interiors, which at the slip in the marina, make them far more comfortable.

Most "production" boat builders, made compromises for the mass markets, getting cost out of the boats and that showed up in build quality, and durability over successive generations of construction from the 60's onwards. Some of that was materials equipment and fittings, some of it was technique, some of it was undersized scantlings.Many of those flaws are not fixable. Some like blisters and saturated cores are a gift that keeps on giving.

If your expected use is casual sailing, and sleeping in a slip, then buy one those features. If you want to be able to handle an offshore passage, be comfortable on deck and below while doing so in a breeze, you might seek other designs and builders.

Boat prices are pretty good indicators of the market's perception of design and quality, and as with cars you can buy one across a wide spread of more than 10:1 at say 40ft LOA.

And then there's the snob factors, where entry level & smaller boats tend to have entry level owners, who tend to do the novice stuff that we all did, but pretend not to have.
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post #108 of 142 Old 2 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

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Originally Posted by nhsail View Post
Hunters are fine for the vast majority of people who will spend more time aboard in a slip than offshore.

For daysailing in sight of land, they are adequate, the swept back rigs are easier in gusts and they have cavernous interiors, which at the slip in the marina, make them far more comfortable.

Most "production" boat builders, made compromises for the mass markets, getting cost out of the boats and that showed up in build quality, and durability over successive generations of construction from the 60's onwards. Some of that was materials equipment and fittings, some of it was technique, some of it was undersized scantlings.Many of those flaws are not fixable. Some like blisters and saturated cores are a gift that keeps on giving.

If your expected use is casual sailing, and sleeping in a slip, then buy one those features. If you want to be able to handle an offshore passage, be comfortable on deck and below while doing so in a breeze, you might seek other designs and builders.

Boat prices are pretty good indicators of the market's perception of design and quality, and as with cars you can buy one across a wide spread of more than 10:1 at say 40ft LOA.

And then there's the snob factors, where entry level & smaller boats tend to have entry level owners, who tend to do the novice stuff that we all did, but pretend not to have.
Congrats.

That's a whole lot of BS in one single post.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
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post #109 of 142 Old 2 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

Hunters aren't any worse than the rest of the big 3. Its silly to single them out. The factor could be how high your tolerance is for the B&R rig. Its the sole reason I'd choose Catalina/Beneteau if I had to choose from the 3. Some people seem to like it, though.

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post #110 of 142 Old 2 Days Ago
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Re: Why are there so many Hunter haters?

I get it. Some people like these boats, some don't. However, to make such blanket declarations ("...If your expected use is casual sailing, and sleeping in a slip, then buy one those features. If you want to be able to handle an offshore passage, be comfortable on deck and below while doing so in a breeze, you might seek other designs and builders…") really does not advance the conversation. Each of the production boat manufacturers, and there are many more than three, builds a whole line of boats, over an extended time period. If you want to talk about the practicality of these boats for extended time, you must delineate which boat, which cruising, which time. Also there is the discuccion of the specific boat, it's equiptment and condition. Also, don't forget perhaps the most important… I'd rather be a good sailor on a bad boat than a bad sailor on a good boat.

A thought on the "snob" factor. Get a life.

Why are there Hunter Haters? I believe people can confuse preference for correctness; opinion for fact. It's easier to make blanket statements rather than find factual data to compare specific yachts. I'll give you an example: a fellow just came into my harbor with a Island Packet 38. I have a Catalina 400. Apple and orange. The IP is stunningly beautiful. Just bashed up about 1,000 miles from Mexico. Well found, comfortable, really nice. My boat has sailed up and down between Monterey and San Francisco numberous times. Well found, comfortable and also really nice. They are such different boats, but each can take significant voyages. Really tough to say which is better … but he bought his, and I bought mine. He seems happy, I seem happy. Perhaps it came down to personal choice. It might be that simple.
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