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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've read the very long "why are there so many hunter haters" thread, and I've been spending a LOT of time on the sailboatdata.com site, not because numbers tell the full tale, but because they're helpful in comparing boats a bit. I've come around to the idea of a Hunter 33-2, driven by two primary considerations for our use as a family cruiser: comfort and draft in the Chesapeake Bay.

Right now we're on a Freedom 32-2, and it seems fine for me, but my wife and son (the latter larger because of the former, I suspect) are feeling a bit tentative about motion and "comfort" underway - no sea-sickness but thinks like pounding or rolling just really make them anxious. I'm going to have to sacrifice performance some for not just motion comfort ratio, but also things like AC, walk out transom (or sugar scoop). The CR on the Freedom is <2.0. I realize this isn't a hard-and-fast metric as "motion" is a subjective thing. I'm also increasingly wiling to find something which is heavy and plodding if the tradeoff is stability.

The shoal keel on the Hunters seems great for the bay (not that the 5.5 draft on the Freedom appears to be an issue so far), and the "family friendly" aspects appear to hit the various items we'd really want for super-comfortable cruising, if not amazing performance. I'm sure the deeper draft would be more appealing for sailing upwind, but perhaps that's a non-issue.

In looking back at earlier iterations of the 33-2, namely the 336 and the 33.5, just to compare as well. Also the Sabre 34 MkII and Bene First 32s7. There's a Sabre not too far from me at a quite reasonable price because it is a former charter boat, which means we might be able to charter it and try it out. People pointed me at Pearson in the past, and there's a Pearson 34 not too far away. The Pearsons are of interest, but draft on those and the Sabre are not as great as that 4'5" bulb-and-wing.
 

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So, I've read the very long "why are there so many hunter haters" thread, and I've been spending a LOT of time on the sailboatdata.com site, not because numbers tell the full tale, but because they're helpful in comparing boats a bit. I've come around to the idea of a Hunter 33-2, driven by two primary considerations for our use as a family cruiser: comfort and draft in the Chesapeake Bay.

Right now we're on a Freedom 32-2, and it seems fine for me, but my wife and son (the latter larger because of the former, I suspect) are feeling a bit tentative about motion and "comfort" underway - no sea-sickness but thinks like pounding or rolling just really make them anxious. I'm going to have to sacrifice performance some for not just motion comfort ratio, but also things like AC, walk out transom (or sugar scoop). The CR on the Freedom is <2.0. I realize this isn't a hard-and-fast metric as "motion" is a subjective thing. I'm also increasingly wiling to find something which is heavy and plodding if the tradeoff is stability.

The shoal keel on the Hunters seems great for the bay (not that the 5.5 draft on the Freedom appears to be an issue so far), and the "family friendly" aspects appear to hit the various items we'd really want for super-comfortable cruising, if not amazing performance. I'm sure the deeper draft would be more appealing for sailing upwind, but perhaps that's a non-issue.



In looking back at earlier iterations of the 33-2, namely the 336 and the 33.5, just to compare as well. Also the Sabre 34 MkII and Bene First 32s7. There's a Sabre not too far from me at a quite reasonable price because it is a former charter boat, which means we might be able to charter it and try it out. People pointed me at Pearson in the past, and there's a Pearson 34 not too far away. The Pearsons are of interest, but draft on those and the Sabre are not as great as that 4'5" bulb-and-wing.

I’m sure I’ll get crap from Hunter owners.

Hunters are dock queens IMHO. Yes good wide spaced accommodations. Creature comforts . Iif that’s your primary goals...she’s your boat

This Hunter again IMHO don’t sail well, BR rig prevents good down wind sailing by limiting the amount the main can be let out without putting a hole in it. We had one in our marina and he would finish last in sailing raises. They are so light I doubt that have this great comfort motion you require. My friends H38 oil cans all over the place is a breeze with the walls flexing. As a sailboat....bottom of my list.

build quality....same. Catalina, Benetau better equipment. Hunter has veneer everywhere there is any wood. Poor joinery and workmanship. They are built for the cheapest of price points. Their resale value the lowest of the major production boats.

all that negative....but positive is their salon in terms of comfort.

Sabre/ Pearson....Much better quality, better sailors with the Sabre at the top.
There were some superb Hunters designed by Cherubini. The 33 is not a well built or designed boat
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, that's the common rep in all the threads I've read: they're slip-queens, mostly designed for comfort sitting in a marina. And indeed, to some degree, that's what I'm looking for, because that's part of my target audience. But I've also read enough other threads and Jeff_H's interview with Glenn Henderson to be persuaded that while they're price-point boats, in terms of construction, they're really not terrible - sure, laminate instead of solid teak, but OK fit and finish, and it seems, by the Henderson years, the grid construction issues were worked out. I really haven't been able to find - after the 90s Hunters - reported major failures.

I should note that I've not sailed one (well, an 80s Hunter 28 I sailed briefly 25 years ago, doesn't count). I do like the Sabres and see they are quite well regarded, and of course Pearson is a venerable name. I have a buddy with a Pearson 34 who will no doubt let me take the helm on his a few times to actually see what the boat feels like as well. The trouble here is finding an older boat that doesn't need a lot of time investment, or retrofitting of AC. In another five years, I'll be able to retire and the time commitment won't matter so much. Right now, the opposite is true.

I also am personally quite drawn to the C&Cs, for their reported sailing characteristics. But every subjective thread I've read suggests the C&C is going to pitch, roll and heel more than the Hunters or Benes (with the flatter, beamier bottoms). While the Hunters are light, the total displacement of this boat (2004-2011 33-2) is actually heavier than your C&C 35-mkIII, and has a lighter ballast. Comparing the numbers side-by-side, the comfort ratio on the C&C is actually a little higher, no doubt because of that extra ballast in the keel. Your boat (nominal 35') numbers are really VERY close to the numbers/ratios for the 33' hunter (LWL is extremely close - the 33' Hunter is actually longer). The keel/CB version of the C&C has a draft (CB up) about the same as the Hunter as well, but the option to put it down for pointing. I should note that the numbers I'm comparing - the capsize ratio, the comfort ratio - are also for the 6' keel version, and I expect aren't as good on the CB version (since the ballast isn't as low). But I'll have to put these back on the list. I'd been looking more at these 80s era boats (C&C, Pearson, Sabre) originally, but the option of CB or swing-keel or 6' draft seemed a poor choice for the bay. I'd really alighted on the shoal draft winged-bulb keel as the right solution to this problem. I can't articulate a good argument for why, but I just really dislike CB and/or swing-keels.

On the rig: I'm coming from a back-stayless set of experiences (mostly a catamaran, but the current Freedom 32 is a stay-less catboat) so I'm not entirely put off by not being able to fully extend the main on a straight-downwind run. My bigger concern here is that any boat be well set up for single-handing.

I discount the Catalinas because the limited experience I've had (Capri 22) was that it was a dog, and the numbers I read (these same ratios and the PHRF ratings in the bay) suggest the larger versions are just larger dogs. Your boat has a nice 123 PHRF for the Chesapeake Bay; this particular Hunter isn't rated, but the previous generations (not Henderson designs) are 144.
 

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Got it. You were asking about it’s plusses and minuses. When presented with the evidence of the negatives you refuted them and even compared to my 36 year old C&C. The two boats compared sailing wise are not even in the same zip code. You never really see Hunters of these size in phrf races, while C&C 35 on the Great Lakes are in one design class racing. The 35 is a combo racer cruiser. While their phrf appear to be close....that’s only on factor in the quickness. No one chooses a Hunter to race a comparable length C&C or Sabre in any type of racing with expectations of staying close. Upwind or downwind.

since you never used a centerboard and I’ve sailed with mine for 26 years I can tell you the advantages. It means i reef first at 18-20 knots vrs the Hunter reefing at 13-15. It also increases the attack angle on close hauled sailing. None of these are learned by comparing comfort ratios or phrf in a book, but are real world experiences. A winged keel model on a boat is to bring a better sailing ability to a boat which otherwise should have a deeper keel. Some winged keeledboats I’ve sailed like Catalinas or Tartans scheel keel are designed well.

As far as comfort in the seaway, there is more to it than the metrics you quote. We sail Haleakula up to the Long Island Sound and Newport at lest every other summer. She handles the seaway well and easily. No sloppy steering or oil canning.

you want the creature comforts you see or perceive the 33 Hunter has and that’s your major requirement to get your family out sailing with you. I get and respect that. Keeping them comfortable is the job of the captain and how he sets the sails and runs the boat. Almost any boat can be sailed in a mellow easy going mode. It isn’t inherent in the design of these smaller / medium sailboats. Sabre’s are similar to C&C in design and quality. Oversized winches, robust lines etc. Catalina also gets high marks. There is a reason other boat makers haven’t gone to B&R rigs IMHO.

Build quality is why you don’t see as many Hunters as Sabre, C&C , and Catalina in the 80s , online for sale. Certainly there were more built. No boats has all


I’m not denigrating the Hunter , nor I am giving it props in areas other boats excel. You’d be happy with one if it’s creature comforts which drives your decision. If it would have been performance you’d have been disappointed I think. Just go in with eyes wide open. You’ve done good reading, but you came here for opinions, good and bad.

The main thing is to-enjoy your boat and get your family involved sailing with you and to do that they need to be comfortable and happy, otherwise you’ll be the Lone Ranger, my wife loves our boat and sailing it. My daughter has bought a 27Catalina and loves sailing. There are lots of choices for them what to do with their spare/ family time. Sharing sailing is a great experience for a family. I think that’s what your trying to accomplish.

good luck in your search😃
 

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Hunter is a lot of boat for the money.
I can't speak for the 2004 and up 33-2 but the 33.5 is a decent sailing boat. Just check the phrf # for New England. Rates faster than a Catalina 34 and 3 sec. slower than a deep draft Pearson 34. A Pearson 34 with a shoal draft center board will be slower. The Sabre 34-2 will be the fastest and even the shoal draft version has decent numbers. As far as the dock queen statement.... that's hogwash. I was in a slip next to a C&C 34 before hurricane Michael and I never saw it leave the dock. It's the owner that makes a boat a dock queen not the boat. I've been 200 miles offshore in my Hunter in 6-9 foot seas and the boat handles it a lot better than I do. Are there boats out there that I would rather have? Sure, but the greener grass loses it's luster when you have to mow it.
 

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I'm actually a fan of the Hunter 33's from 2005 onward. I've fractionally owned a 2007 and a 2015 e33. I thought the 2007 was better built. It's in my marina now and it still looks great. It was sailed hard for a lot of years essentially being a charter boat, but never had any issues. I really think it's the best boat Hunter built and by all accounts they were trying to erase the past with it, but who knows. Yes, it's a dog downwind. But it actually sails quite nicely otherwise. It's a very easy boat to single hand. You don't get the sail tuning capabilities of a c & c, but that's not what the boat is about. It will pound a bit in a chop, but nothing excessive. It's a much tougher boat than given credit for in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
good luck in your search😃
I appreciate it. We'll get there. The obvious answer for this kind of (subjective) thing is: take one out for a spin, but that's quite challenging.

I can't speak for the 2004 and up 33-2 but the 33.5 is a decent sailing boat. Just check the phrf # for New England. Rates faster than a Catalina 34 and 3 sec. slower than a deep draft Pearson 34.
It seemed pretty reasonable to me, based on the numbers.

It will pound a bit in a chop, but nothing excessive.
This is good to know, and from my reading, seems common to these newer hard-chine, plumb bow boats. I'm more concerned with being able to sail reasonably close to the wind than flying downwind, simply as a pragmatic matter, so I'm not tacking endlessly to crawl up a river at 50+ deg. off the wind. I do think it will be easier to find one of these to charter than most of the others.

I am looking for a family cruiser, so I'm weighting comfort quite heavily.
 

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FYI I also owned a Hunter 36. I did not like that boat. The freeboard was excessive even for Hunter Standards. And it just did not sail well. No groove so to speak. And it pounded much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Build quality is why you don’t see as many Hunters as Sabre, C&C , and Catalina in the 80s , online for sale.
Just to note that as of today, on Yachtworld, for a year range of 1980-1990, there are for sale:

163 Catalina
122 Beneteau
115 Hunters
94 C&C
95 Junneau
63 Sabre
70 Pearson

I have no idea how that works out as a function of numbers produced - I'm guessing the low end production numbers were substantially larger, so the percentage of say, C&C available for sale vs. what where produced may indeed be higher.

I'm actually a fan of the Hunter 33's from 2005 onward
Yeah, I'm really looking more at those newer boats.
 

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Just to note that as of today, on Yachtworld, for a year range of 1980-1990, there are for sale:

163 Catalina
122 Beneteau
115 Hunters
94 C&C
95 Junneau
63 Sabre
70 Pearson

I have no idea how that works out as a function of numbers produced - I'm guessing the low end production numbers were substantially larger, so the percentage of say, C&C available for sale vs. what where produced may indeed be higher.



Yeah, I'm really looking more at those newer boats.
These figures mean zilch....for instance between 1970 and 2008 there were 6430 Catalina 30 made.

we all know that Catalinas, Hunters, Benetaus are production boats as opposed to C&C , Sabre, Tartan who didn’t stamp em out like that.

there is no sense in trying to compare build quality or sail ability. You’ve already got your mind set on the Hunter and want affirmation it’s a good purchase. For what you intend it for it appears to be. There are Hunter owners who have responded already.

you’ve bought a few similar sized other brands which haven’t floated your boat, or kept your interest.

Pull the trigger on the Hunter and find out. Any boat which gets you and includes your family on the water will be a plus as what you’ve tried so far hasn’t held their interest. Go for it....it’s only money😄
 

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Discussion Starter #12
These figures mean zilch....for instance between 1970 and 2008 there were 6430 Catalina 30 made.
Yeah, I also noted in my comment that I didn't compare these to numbers produced (I didn't want to take the time to look up the production numbers for all of those listings) - the percentage of available vs. produced would be the right number to compare between builders. I just think the shoot-from-the-hip of your original comment is also not the right number. I'm not really challenging that Hunter/Luhrs made some poor quality boats, but there's a good bit of feedback that this was a particular era, which the boat in question doesn't fit into. Anyway, just yanking your chain a little.

You’ve already got your mind set on the Hunter and want affirmation it’s a good purchase.
I really don't actually. While I did get affirmation from a few Hunter owners, the point about pounding is very important. The process of doing these comparisons (and our interchange) actually has me looking at C&Cs as well now, which I'd discounted before as too 'sporty'. There's a C&C35-3 in Annopolis for $15k (a liquidator, not a broker) which suddenly looks interesting - I can't imagine the hassle of trying to get a survey, which would be absolutely requisite for a boat of that age, never mind that it's an auction boat.
 

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Yeah, I also noted in my comment that I didn't compare these to numbers produced (I didn't want to take the time to look up the production numbers for all of those listings) - the percentage of available vs. produced would be the right number to compare between builders. I just think the shoot-from-the-hip of your original comment is also not the right number. I'm not really challenging that Hunter/Luhrs made some poor quality boats, but there's a good bit of feedback that this was a particular era, which the boat in question doesn't fit into. Anyway, just yanking your chain a little.



I really don't actually. While I did get affirmation from a few Hunter owners, the point about pounding is very important. The process of doing these comparisons (and our interchange) actually has me looking at C&Cs as well now, which I'd discounted before as too 'sporty'. There's a C&C35-3 in Annopolis for $15k (a liquidator, not a broker) which suddenly looks interesting - I can't imagine the hassle of trying to get a survey, which would be absolutely requisite for a boat of that age, never mind that it's an auction boat.
I’d stay away from that C&C 35III as it’s 1/2 the normal price, not to mention how it’s being sold. I’ve owned mine 26 years and know there is no water intrusion into its balsa core, one of the negatives of the boat if it’s compromised.
The C&C 35 MKIII is a great boat for a couple. Fast and responsive. Comfortable for coastal cruising. For your requirements probably not the best choice. Ours is outfitted with AC and over the last 20 mNy creature comforts. But she’s no Haberg Rassey. She fits in a niche of quick pocket racer cruisers . Perfect light weight boat at 14,000 loaded for the Chesapeake. The pictured one looks deep draft where ours with a weighted centerboard is 4’8.

stick to you guns what’s good for your family and the type of sailing you do. I’m not denigrating Hunters , just don’t think they are comparable to others except the production boats. I have friends who have them . The ones starting at 35.5 and the newer ones seem improved. I don’t like the BR rig. I don’t like the traveler above the Bimini.

good luck in finding one to buy.
.
 
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I also disagree with the statements that Hunters are dock queens. In many cases, being a dock queen has more to do with the owner than the boat itself.

Many years ago I sailed a Hunter 28.5 in Galveston Bay with occasional jaunts along the Texas coast. I would often see other Hunters out on the Bay. We took out the Hunter any opportunity that we had.

Yes, Hunters are production boats, much along the line of Catalina's and Benny's. And they are priced as such.

Quality is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind. Yes, the production boats may not be built like a bluewater sailboat, but they are about 1/2 the price. One would expect the 'fit and finish' of a more expensive boat to be higher than a production boat. That said, both categories of boats could be 'quality' boats for their owners.

I'm looking for my retirement boat. When I recently restarted looking for a boat it was at Tartan's. But, I want something more comfortable for my wife and something easier to single handle on the days that I might be out by myself. It will be a boat comfortable for cruising as we have no interest in racing.

This has put the Hunter 33-2 on our short list, as well. Maybe the B&R rig isn't ideal for racing, but it has other advantages. I like that you can get a boat with a walkthrough transom, 29 hp Yanmar, in-mast and roller furling, and A/C. I also like the Mainsheet running to the arch and the set of winches aft as these make it even easier to trim the sails. Lastly, I really like the open airy saloon as well. All this for a 15 year old boat for around 50K! Different folks have different needs and wants in their boat. The Hunter 33 sure ticks off a lot of the boxes on my list.

Jim
 

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Every boat is a compromise. Hunters (at least the newer ones) don't appeal to me, but I understand how they can to others with different criteria. As an engineer I appreciate good design and good build quaIty. I am willing to pay a reasonable premium for both. Of the three big volume builders, I would pick a Catalina or a Bene First over a Hunter any day. But given a fixed budget, I would go for a bit older Cal, C&C, Tartan or Sabre.
 

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I also disagree with the statements that Hunters are dock queens. In many cases, being a dock queen has more to do with the owner than the boat itself.

Many years ago I sailed a Hunter 28.5 in Galveston Bay with occasional jaunts along the Texas coast. I would often see other Hunters out on the Bay. We took out the Hunter any opportunity that we had.

Yes, Hunters are production boats, much along the line of Catalina's and Benny's. And they are priced as such.

Quality is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind. Yes, the production boats may not be built like a bluewater sailboat, but they are about 1/2 the price. One would expect the 'fit and finish' of a more expensive boat to be higher than a production boat. That said, both categories of boats could be 'quality' boats for their owners.

I'm looking for my retirement boat. When I recently restarted looking for a boat it was at Tartan's. But, I want something more comfortable for my wife and something easier to single handle on the days that I might be out by myself. It will be a boat comfortable for cruising as we have no interest in racing.

This has put the Hunter 33-2 on our short list, as well. Maybe the B&R rig isn't ideal for racing, but it has other advantages. I like that you can get a boat with a walkthrough transom, 29 hp Yanmar, in-mast and roller furling, and A/C. I also like the Mainsheet running to the arch and the set of winches aft as these make it even easier to trim the sails. Lastly, I really like the open airy saloon as well. All this for a 15 year old boat for around 50K! Different folks have different needs and wants in their boat. The Hunter 33 sure ticks off a lot of the boxes on my list.

Jim
its all about what qualities you want in your boat, and what you are willing to spend. No questions the Hunters have carved out one. No value judgement.

when you start comparing g righting moment, comfort ratio between different classes or build abilities it isn’t always a good comparison in different style boats. All cars have 4 wheels, brakes. And can go 65 mph. Some have great fit and finish, some last forever, some are built for a price point and stamped out.

the great advantage that Hunter and other builders of production boats gives is that opens up sailing to those other than very wealthy people. Aiming by marketing at the creature comforts provided also was a smart move. It’s disingenuous to not recognize the quality differences and just try and compare a few select metrics.

all boats are compromises. Designed Technical boats can be made easy for single handing without placing the traveler somewhere over the Bimini where you can’t see or repair it. Huge cockpits are lots of fun, but can be dangerous in rough conditions unless safety is considered in positioning for foot and hand placement. Open transomes are great for exit, but in following seas can make for a wet cockpit. Big wide sterns are great for sleeping accomAdations but are a compromise on sailing abilities, if that’s important to you. In mast furling for ease is a great thing if your willing to sacrifice sail handling ability without battens and sail shape. Also when they get stuck, it’s a very traumatic situation.

All these trade offs should be considered when buying and no one boat will have all the answers. My boat can easily be single handed with everything led back to the cockpit. many times the Captain even with crew is the prime adjuster of sails. Dropping a main into lazy jacks is an easy fix to keep full batten mains as opposed to in mast furling.

When evaluating systems it’s good to look at some of the what if: what happens if this doesn’t work, what if it needs to be repaired, what if I need to lower the main. What if I am in 6 foot following seas.....will the be water in my cockpit.
What if it’s rough out.....will I get tossed around my expansive cockpit or impaled on a permanently fixed table in the center of it. Are the scruppers robust and designed well enough to dewater the cockpit quickly .

sometimes these decisions are not as important as a big galley, big cockpit, lots of room, and maybe your type of sailing doesn’t require these thoughts as you’ll be tied to the dock on days it blows 25-30 because you boat isn’t designed to handle that. PB understand that. On calm days ( winds to 18) most boats are in their comfort zones . When it pipes up to 25 and you have to reef, is your boat still comfortable or are you crew pleading for you to return to dock. At 25 knots is you reefed main still shaped well and powering the boat forward at good speed , or is your furled main inefficient in draft. In a breeze is your sailing moment high above your Bimini where the traveler is now located or is it Down on your coach roof or in the cockpit so the center of gravity still stays low and the boat does not hobby horse as you see I strongly object to Hunters above the Bimini traveler set up, but that’s because it’s important to the way I sail. On my buddies H38 we were out one day in gusty winds and the boat got hit with one. We tried to spill wind by letting out the main, but it wouldn’t budge....we couldn’t see the main sheet over the Bimini but it had gotten stuck. The boat almost got knocked down as there was no way to safely free it.

BTW HIS boat is one of my favorites tohave cocktails on at anchor, but we noticed one night as we were anchored nearby it sailed pretty well on anchor with it high freeboard and shape. It just so happened we were anchored in a current, and the current appeared to swirl around his winged keel.

Boats are compromises which each owner needs to desire what they feel is important to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
If I had a bigger budget, I would indeed be looking very hard at a Tartan - the Tartan 3800 ticks all of my boxes. But that's double (as is the appealing H38, which seems very very similar to the Tartan in terms of specs) my budget. Yes, compromises, compromises. I enjoyed reading the back-and-forth between Jeff_H and Jim Bohart quite a bit. Jeff raised the same concerns about the arch for the traveller - what to do if the sheet jams or otherwise needs fixing in rough conditions. It does seem to me, overhead and out of reach or just ahead of the dodger, if the sheet or traveller is jammed, you're not going to be able to fix it fast enough to prevent a knock-down, and my personal reaction would (again, perhaps just gross inexperience) be to quickly turn into the wind, and dump the air that way.

@chef2sail - are you saying you believe the arch-mounted traveller/sheet puts the center of effort (CE) for the sail higher than on a boat where it is mounted on the coach roof or cockpit sole? I have a hard time believing the relatively small weight of the traveller (even combined with the blocks and arch) shifts the boat's center of gravity higher. I'm not grasping (cluelessness on my part) the 'sailing moment'. My experiences (in keeping with my undergrad physics class) with various sheet/traveller mounting points are that the only real difference is the amount of force exerted on the sheet (and traveller) by that long lever known as the boom. As someone coming from a beach cat background, it bothers me no end that the traveler are anywhere forward of the transom - it just doesn't "feel" right, but objectively, I know (cf. physics) that this doesn't matter.

I have certainly spent plenty of time hiked out flying a hull and continuously adjusting the main sheet (not cleated, but it's an 8:1 boom-end sheeting setup) for gusts; of course, I've also (deliberately mostly) been knocked down a time or two.
 

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If I had a bigger budget, I would indeed be looking very hard at a Tartan - the Tartan 3800 ticks all of my boxes. But that's double (as is the appealing H38, which seems very very similar to the Tartan in terms of specs) my budget. Yes, compromises, compromises. I enjoyed reading the back-and-forth between Jeff_H and Jim Bohart quite a bit. Jeff raised the same concerns about the arch for the traveller - what to do if the sheet jams or otherwise needs fixing in rough conditions. It does seem to me, overhead and out of reach or just ahead of the dodger, if the sheet or traveller is jammed, you're not going to be able to fix it fast enough to prevent a knock-down, and my personal reaction would (again, perhaps just gross inexperience) be to quickly turn into the wind, and dump the air that way.

@chef2sail - are you saying you believe the arch-mounted traveller/sheet puts the center of effort (CE) for the sail higher than on a boat where it is mounted on the coach roof or cockpit sole? I have a hard time believing the relatively small weight of the traveller (even combined with the blocks and arch) shifts the boat's center of gravity higher. I'm not grasping (cluelessness on my part) the 'sailing moment'. My experiences (in keeping with my undergrad physics class) with various sheet/traveller mounting points are that the only real difference is the amount of force exerted on the sheet (and traveller) by that long lever known as the boom. As someone coming from a beach cat background, it bothers me no end that the traveler are anywhere forward of the transom - it just doesn't "feel" right, but objectively, I know (cf. physics) that this doesn't matter.

I have certainly spent plenty of time hiked out flying a hull and continuously adjusting the main sheet (not cleated, but it's an 8:1 boom-end sheeting setup) for gusts; of course, I've also (deliberately mostly) been knocked down a time or two.
Not so much the center of effort of the small piece of hardwar , but it is common sense to view where the contact point is for the wind, which is the traveler attachment point. This is located above the Bimini in a H38. On most boats it’s either on the coach roof in mid sheet boats or in the cockpit or behind the captain in end sheet boats.
The Hunters seem to advised main sail handling for comfort. Small booms, no battens, furled sails etc. it’s also probably a cheaper build than designing a mid boom traveler. I like having a robust traveler as the attachment point as well as seeing my adjustments in front of me. Since I have led everything back to the cockpit it’s easier to adjust in the event of a knockdown. When you get gusted with with a hit on a beam reach, you can’t just turn into the wind. Chances are the wave action will also be working against that. Turning down if you cant dump the wind and let the main sheet out may be the better move.

I too was a beach cat person and used to compete yearly in Hobie 16 as I had a beach house in Ocean City, NJ for 18 years with our cat in front of it. My daughter and I were nationally ranked at one point. The cat taught me a lot about two sail sailing and the effect of the jib and main together and their balance.

even compare a T3800 a well made boat with good sailing characteristics with a Hunter 38 is ridiculous on almost all aspects. Build quality, sailing ability, etc. They both sit in the water and have sails. Just like a Chevy and a BMW both ride on the road and have tires.

You can compare all the metrics you can find , anyone who has the experience of sailing both would tell you there is no comparison.

Metric are great when comparing similar boats. Can paint the wrong picture when not. I would no more buy a boat based on metrics than I would buy a car or house on them. They are but one factor, and it goes away when not comparing the same type of boats, houses, cars.

if it was blowing 15-20 on the Bay in a moderate 1-2 chop, sailing a T3800 and H38 will be night and day by my experience. Hunters are comparable in light winds .....maybe...but not in serious winds. The larger Hunters 40+ are designed better but seriously are not Calibers, Tartans, Sabre’s, Cals or the older C&Cs . ( the new C&C are primarily race boats IMHO)

pull the trigger. Buy a boat which your family will enjoy as it will be a great family experience that way. You going to be a Bay sailor primarily.
 

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I will touch on a couple points in this discussion. It is important to understand that my ongoing discussions with Jim Bohart ended roughly 20 years ago. I believe that our discussions focused on boats that largely preceded Glenn Henderson's involvement with Hunter. The published discussion points in that conversation almost solely reflected questions submitted by participants on SailNet and Cruising World webpages. The recorded published answers only reflected the 'on the record' responses, and did not include the full extent of our conversations particularly the off-the record portions of our dialogue.

Since then Hunter, the company has been through quite a few changes in personnel and ultimately ownership. Many of the construction details and methods have changed; some for the positive and some for the less than positive. Also, some of the features and construction techniques that were unique to Hunter at that time have been adopted by other manufacturers, and also in this period other large production companies (mainly European) have become major forces in the industry.

At the time of those interviews, I had assisted a number of people in searching for their 'ideal but affordable boat', which resulted in me looking at a large number of used 5-15 year old Hunters. Catalinas, and Beneteaus, as well as older less production oriented boats. It also led me to have detailed conversations with a half a dozen marine surveyors on their impression of these three boats based on their actual surveys over time. The conclusion at the time was that in general Beneteaus held up substantially better long term than the other two manufacturers and that was reflected in their higher percentage of initial price in their resale prices. It was also concluded that Hunter did the best job of meeting the various U.S. regulations and recommendations of that era and that their systems design was better than the other two as well. Of the three Catalinas fared worse in terms having a worn appearance and having more significant issues encountered during surveys. Personally I thought that Beneteau generally had better designs but that is another story.

But like I said at the start, that was nearly 20 years ago and a lot has changed.

I do not know Mr. Henderson personally. I always found his race boat designs to be full of ingenious details and liked the general naval architecture of them. The few that I was able to crawl through the hidden spots on, seemed to be well engineered and thought through. No matter how good a designer Mr. Henderson may be, in my mind, companies like Hunter are more design by committee than smaller race boat builders. As a result it is hard to know how much of the design of the Hunters produced since Mr. Henderson joined Hunter accurately reflect Mr. Henderson's work. Clearly, after Mr. Henderson joined Hunter, and especially in the immediate period after he came aboard, there was a big shift to more current design theory than the IOR II and Lars Bergstrom (the B in B&R) influenced earlier designs that preceded his involvement.

Personally, I am not a fan of the B&R rig or going backstay-less. From conversations with Lars, I understood his thinking. Lars was a aerodynamicist (he invented the Windex that most of us have on our masthead) and believed that there were big reaching efficiencies in having the large roach mainsails that he was advocating. He was correct in that theory which in part is why modern performance boats have gone to square top mainsails. But with teh B&R rigs that came at the price of reduced upwind and downwind performance and loss of the ability of rig to be rapidly and easily depowered.

The arch being discussed is a mixed question. I understand the practical implications of having the mainsheet mounted on the arch. And while there were a variety of structural issues with the early arches, those have apparently been addressed in later designs. But Chef2Sail is correct that the arch does raise the vertical center of effort in order to allow the required clearances for a fully tensioned mainsheet without two-blocking the sheet. That would be pretty minor, except that the large roach designs associated with Hunters of that era also raised the vertical center of effort. That would not be as much of an issue if these boats had more stability. But with the shoal draft for a 33 footer and comparatively low ballast ratio, these boats are pretty tender and so need to be reefed earlier than they might if the rig and design was different.

But beyond that, many of these boats were delivered with in-mast furlers. In-mast furling is completely at odds with the raison d' etre for even having a B&R rig, namely the large roach mainsail. The added weight and wind resistance of an in-mast furler on this boat, would further make the boat tender while the reduced sail area, and when combined with the poorer sail shaping of in-mast furling, it would severely reduce sailing ability on all points of sail. If you love sailing, that would be a deal killer.

Finally, in terms of motion comfort, I would expect the Freedom 32-2 to have a much better roll and heave motion than the Hunter 33-2 due to the hull form, better dampening, higher ballast ratio. On the other hand I would expect the Hunter to offer better pitching motion with its proportionately longer waterline length. I did want to point out that the so-called Motion Comfort Index includes none of the actual factors which control motion comfort and so really does not provide any useful information about the motion of the boat.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Thanks for chiming in!

Finally, in terms of motion comfort, I would expect the Freedom 32-2 to have a much better roll and heave motion than the Hunter 33-2 due to the hull form, better dampening, higher ballast ratio. On the other hand I would expect the Hunter to offer better pitching motion with its proportionately longer waterline length.
This comparison, above all, is most helpful.
 
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