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We are considering buying a used Hunter 42 center cockpit,for a live aboard and ultimately as a long distance cruiser when we retire in 5 years. I am well aware that Hunter is often referred to as a "coastal cruiser", yet the Hunter agents tell us that the boat is "Certified".

We note that the companionway bridge is not high and believe the boat is somewhat lightly built, but we are not sure how important that is to do extended cruising or perhaps even cross an ocean.

We like the center cockpit because it provides a great aft cabin with separate shower which is a necessity to live aboard for 5 years, but maybe other boats fill the bill as well.

We hope to find a suitable boat for under US$150,000

Thanks for your thoughts,

Gary and Louise
 

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Certified what? By whom? The Hunter 42''s that I''ve seen may be nice boats, but that does not necessarily make them suitable for ocean crossings. Think of one upside down on a wave. Are ALL the lockers fitted with latches that will hold them shut with the full weight of the contents pushing down on them? Will the tanks stay where they were originally built? Will there be an oil leak that makes the carpeting slippery and its smell sickening? Are there handholds every two feet or so across the underside of the cabintop? Are there storm covers for the ports? How do they mount? How much "sail area" do the cabin and topsides offer to 50 knots of breeze, and how fast will that make the boat go in a direction that may not be the one you desire? Are there large, flat surface areas with little support in the deck, cabin or topsides for waves to work on? Tons of water pressure on these areas can result in their flexing, fatigue, and failure. While I am sure Hunters have made long trips, they might not stand up to the rigors of long distance cruising as well as some other designs, and their shortcomings in this regard may take a toll on you as well. Other boats do offer similar setups, and MAY be a bit better put together. You may want to look into a C&C Landfall 43, a Gulfstar 40 (and 42, I think), and (though it will be out of your price range) a Hylas 47.
Seeing models of these of varying ages will let you see how they each hold up to the use they''ve been put through, and how they might hold up to what you plan to do. You can then compare them with the Hunter and have a better idea of what you''re getting into. A lot depends on what you want to do with your boat. You may find that a 15 year-old Hylas, used hard, is in better shape than a 5 year-old Hunter, used less. Hmmm. You may find that the Hunter is perfect for what you plan. Happy hunting!
 

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Paul,

I just do not understand why you and a few others on this message board continue to bash/bad mouth hunters and other production boats as not viable bluewater cruisers.

To answer one of your questions; Hunter marine, according to Greg Emerson at Hunter, has stated "My background before customer service was actually building the boats as I was the lamination manager for over 10 years after having started working for Hunter Marine in 1978. I am very familiar with lamination schedules and the extensive research that we put into deciding how a boat will be built. I am very familiar with the effort that is put in to have proper overlaps in place as well as extra reinforcing for specific areas of the hull and deck.
Over the years we have continued to build boats using the same building techniques with the only changes being in materials that technology and testing prove to be the best. When recently required to have our boats meet CE Certification to sell in the European market, which by the way is the only rating system to date that screens ocean sailing capabilities, we were pleased to find that our boats rated very well. The certification encompasses the boats stability and construction. Although the boats we built in previous years did not have to be CE certified we found that we had to make no changes to our laminates to meet their requirements therefore showing that previous boats would have been certified as well since we made no changes. The only changes we had to make was in equipment. All our boats from 34 foot and above received the highest rating which was "class A" which indicates ocean sailing ability."

Have you seen Hunter boats upside down because of a wave? I imagine any wave large enough to do that (and I have seen waves in the north Atlantic big enough to roll ANY 50 foot or less sailboat easily)

Have you roll a sailboat while crossing the ocean? and continued on? I''d be happy to survive but would expect possibly a broken mast.

I expect any 20,000 Lb boat to right itself if 50% of the mass is buried 6 feet or more below the waterline, cause any seas mean and rough enough to capsize it would not be calm enough to allow it to stay balanced in such an unstable position, EVEN if the beam were 20 or even 25 feet wide she would self-right herself. The problem with what you imply, to get caught in the kind of sea state needed to roll a 10 ton displacement boat, is one would NOT roll just once, BUT again and again, unless it was a rare tsunami wave or some other rare sea condition. The situation altogether must be avoided. I have been on 1000 foot carriers in the north Atlantic in the winter, and people died. The carrier lost aircraft off its flight deck to the sea, planes crashed on landings, some spilling fuel but not igniting simply because the air temp was cold enough not to support enough JP-5 vapors to catch.

Now Paul, I would give you some credibility in my eyes if you could provide some factual data, historical data on why the hunter''s or other modern production boats are not contenders for ocean crossings?

According to Hunter there have been many ocean crossings and I''m told I will hear from some of their customers who have made ocean crossings.

I am not bashing you if you have some useful data on modern production boats but I have not read anything from you or Jeff on these message boards other than well known boat design considerations used as speculation to try to discredit modern production sailboats.

Try using facts and not speculation mixed with well known design priniples. you begin to sound like someone who thinks they know what they are saying, but really has not a clue.

I am aware that companies like Hunter have professional sailors in their employ as well as many engineers, who are also avid sailors, so either put up or ---- --.

I am still not convinced one way or another about hunters or other production boats, but I plan to continue to research the facts, historical facts, proven facts to find out.

Thanks,
Gene
 

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With regard to the certification process, as the European Union has been coming together they have tried to develop uniform standards that would apply to inter-country commerce. These standards have been applied to everything from butter to boats. The process of developing acceptable standards for boats has been ongoing for the better part of a decade that I know of.

The original standard dealt solely with stability and downflooding at sea. The process was very interesting in that yacht designers from all over the world were consulted as well as research teams. Data was collected from a wide variety of events (knockdowns and roll overs) as well as from actual disasters. The events were plotted against the known information on the vessels that had been through dramatic occurances. Certain patterns were noted and a set of formulas were written that attempted to create an empirical rating regarding a boats safety at sea only as pertained to knockdowns and roll overs. The grade that resulted would have placed vessels in one of four categories, with the most stringent being ''Open Ocean''.

These formulas were submitted to member nations for review, comment and approval. As a result of this multi-European nation over view the formulas were changed so that they required simplier information to obtain essentually developing surogate approximations (For example instead of requiring manufacturers to calculate the vertical center of gravity of the boat, a computation of draft, ballast, mast length and displacement was used roughly estimate the vertical center of gravity- a poor substitute but easier to obtain.) The requirements were also reduced in severity as well.

Shortly after the stability standards came a set of equipmentand systems standards. These do have some minor scantling requirements.

Hunters larger boats were some of the first to be certified for an "Open Ocean" rating. You can argue with the stringency of the rating (which I do) but you can''t argue with that they did not obtain it. Hunter''s current crop of larger boats have CE Open Ocean certifications.

Now to correct one point above, these certified designs have been altered to obtain the necessary certifications. One reason that Hunter went to cored topsides was to reduce weight to allow them to have additional ballast and thereby do better. They also raised to cabins to reduce inverted stability (a major category in the standards) albeit hurting real usable stability by raising the center of gravity and adding windage.

In any event, the standards do not really cover the characteristics that determine whether a boat''s capability really is as a blue water boat. It does not look at seaberths, handholds, size of portlights and thickness of large plexiglass elements. It does look at hold downs and system installations. It does not consider comfort of motion.

In conversations with Hunter owners who have weather storms at sea you get all kinds of mixed messages. The boats, by and large have survived but they have flexed terribly. I have read accounts of dislodged bulkheads and casework. I have experienced failed fitting attachments. I have experienced blown up or damaged undersized hardware. (We have had two Hunters in my family.) Hunters are a mixed bag but in my mind most of the newer boats are not a boat that I would choose to cross an ocean on.
Respectfully,
Jeff
Jeff
 

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Jeff seems to have the same questions I tried to raise. I''m not in a position to answer them. Maroca, who started this thread, has to do that. If I had the option, though, of sailing transatlantic in a Hunter 42 or a Hinckley 42, I would take the Hinckley. Even a 15-year old Hinckley over a new Hunter. Practical Sailor has said that the J/35 is one of the few production boats that they would consider taking transatlantic, and I would agree with them, too. As Gene shows, the sea will find every weakness. This means that a lot of questions have to be asked. The answers will depend upon what someone wants to do with a boat. I have been in mid-Atlantic storms crewing for an ex-Navy commander who prepared his sloop - an Ohlson 38- to withstand an inversion. Not that it happened on our way to Ireland, but he asked that question because he''d done North Atlantic winter convoy duty, too. He had a maxim that he attributed (with a grin) to the Air Force. He said that in the Air Force, you plan everything. Then, when all H breaks loose, it will be because you planned it that way. Worked for him.
 

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Hunter announces electrical concern on P42
(From the Hunter Owners Buletin Board)


Hunter Marine has released a memo to owners of Hunter Passage 42 owners with hulls HUNP0001J990 through HUNP0180L495, stating that certain electrical upgrades could cause a fire hazard.

Because of a fire on a 1994 Passage 42, Hunter initiated an investigation of its wiring. While their memo lists many possible causes of this fire, including improperly installed after-market equipment, they concluded that the charging leads and isolator wiring inside of this model may not be adequate for some of today''s add-on equipment.

As a result, Hunter is offering a free wiring upgrade to owners of boats with the serial numbers listed above, picking up the cost of both parts and installation.

If you own one of the boats in question Hunter recommends that you not leave the boat unattended for any reason while the dockside power is attached to it, and that the inverter''s battery charging system not be used during nighttime hours.

While many 42''s have been upgraded and no longer have the original inverter, isolator switch, or wiring, you should still call Hunter Marine immediately to determine if your boat needs this upgrade. They will provide complete instructions on the upgrade, and can help you determine if your boat requires it.

Hunter Marine can be reached at: 1-800-771-5556

..or...

[email protected]
 

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Thank you both Paul and Jeff for updating your opinions about hunters and other modern production boats. I apologize for the vigorousness of my assault upon your opinions, I do dislike when people use concepts combined with speulation, to me that is more a recipe for hypothesis and not a valid convincing arguement, yet many novices can influenced all the same with this technique all the same.

I recieved the letters from Hunter from other Hunter owners from various sources. And several accounts of ocean crossings and one complete circumnavigation in a Hunter 43.

Some common threads I noticed, all were very pleased with Hunters light air performance, no surprise here. It appears none were stock boats, meaning nearly all were modified somehow, be it additionl fuel reserves, to mfg installed smaller stays enabling it to be rigged with two head sails, but primarily to use a storm jib on the aft smaller stay to move the CE (Center of Effort) aft to bring balance to a fully reefed main close hauled in 20 foot seas and 25+ 35+ knots of wind and one account of greater than 20 foot seas with gusts exceeding 65 knots ! wow, I''m even a bit skeptical about this account, but I take it with a grain of salt. One had a pair of adjustable backstays added "For insurance" they wrote. Most had some minor gripe usually to do with something like the halyard line holder drained onto the cockpit seats, or the anchor had to be replaced because they thought it too small. No major damages reported, yet they all acknowledged that the light air performance comes at a cost, I use my own words to summarize the observation, tall mast, large area maximum sail plan, requires proper sail plan set for any given conditions.

I also realize this is Hunter filtering what Hunter wants me to read. And still remain a bit of a skeptic. However, I am attracted to Hunter boats for several reasons, not all sounds ones either: Strong light air performance, by far and large my own sailing experience has consisted of more light air sailing than gale force winds, so I assume, maybe incorrectly that more sailing is done in light wind than strong, even though inshore this is largely determined by the choice of when to slip the dock lines, during an ocean crossing, one only choose their first few days, maybe. Also I like the roomy interiors of the hunter boats, if lee cloths are used, then their are readily available sea berths on every hunter(another common modification). I like the looks, hunters are just plain sexy to me. I''m a skeptic, I like things to be proven, and I think more often than not, as Jeff acknowledges, there have been many ocean crossings. This tends to be proof for me. There are many other very capable passage makers out there, some better in some ways, worse in others, but it is my opinion to date(not written in stone) that some hunters make great Bluewater boats. Thus I give Jeff credit again in stating hunters being a "Mixed Bag" I think the real challenge with Hunter is determining which boat you wish to bet your life on.

That said I think I will look into their new HC50 as this boat appears to make the most of hunters lessons learned. Many ppl thumb down a Mac 26x as a small weekend inshore cruiser, myself included until I used one. Now for what I use it for, I think it is perfect. I was even taught that sailboats do not plane under motor power, I guess I am simply saying things change. There will always be trade offs, and the more versatile a boat is, the more her configuration will need to change with the continuously changing current conditions and the desired effect from her master....hmmm, I wonder what a 2001-2003 model HC50 would sell for in 2006-2009 timeframe? (I think this will require speculation and patience! :)

Good Luck All!
Gene
 

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I would really be interested in and update from everyone on the opinions expressed in this thread...
 

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I would be curious as to why the rudders broke off of two brand new H-49's while open ocean sailing? One ended up on a reef in Hawaii and I don't recall what happened with the other. I like the Hunters for coastal cruising and the only ones I might consider for offshore would be one of the Cherubini's or the H-54.
 

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To echo what I've read time and time again on this site, blue water sailing has far more to do with the skill of the skipper than the make of the boat. with regard to sailing a Hinckley vs Hunter off shore, the price difference between the two boats makes it a moot point.
 

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My P42 is a decent boat, and with some safety gear and a good weather router, I would not hesitate to take her across. Certainly she is no Swan, Oyster or Hinckley, but she is far better built and would handle more than I would, I am sure. The payment is much lower too...

Weird the Beneteau I had was Rated CE -Oceans, and had a much lower bridgedeck, smaller scuppers and about as much windage. More less strong hatches and potential holes and windows to break...so I really don't think I would put much faith in that assessment.

dave
 

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CE marking is not a certification of sea worthiness, it only means a documented process of construction has been adhered to. Basically if the documentation of the construction methods is adhered to, you an build a c.r.a.p. product and still meet certification,
 

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This is such a popular topic here on Sailnet and other bulletins; bashing production boats, what makes a bluewater boat, and what is the best boat to buy that at times I want to scream. I really wonder how many people here are really going to take any boat out into the deep blue vs coastal cruising or island hopping. How many of us have actually crossed oceans? Most boat accidents are close to shore. We see keels lost, demasting, running aground, equipment breakdowns and most important poor seamanship.
There have been more production boats making crossing like the ARC's, Carib 1500 than what most of you here classify as bluewater. All one has to do is visit the anchorages in the Caribbean to see for yourselves like I do. So enough already.
Now back to this thread. As a Hunter owner most of you know what I think of my boat. If you don't, just go the Hunter section here to see the in depth write-up. As most production boats go taking one without heavy modification is a must as previously mention. They simply don't come with extensive systems required for most sailors that cut the docklines. But the basic boat I believe is sound. This is where traditional bluewater boats come in off the factory floor have an advantage. The deal breaker I see is in the modifications to a production boat vs getting what some here call a bluewater boat that has those systems install already. As we all know, modifications cost many B.O.A.T bucks. Calculating the difference needs to be accounted for.
Would I take my boat out island hopping and a week out into the blue. I plan it. Making the necessary mods as we speak. Through this wonderful site and others I listen carefully to what works and not.
 

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This is such a popular topic here on Sailnet and other bulletins; bashing production boats, what makes a bluewater boat, and what is the best boat to buy that at times I want to scream. I really wonder how many people here are really going to take any boat out into the deep blue vs coastal cruising or island hopping. How many of us have actually crossed oceans? Most boat accidents are close to shore. We see keels lost, demasting, running aground, equipment breakdowns and most important poor seamanship.
There have been more production boats making crossing like the ARC's, Carib 1500 than what most of you here classify as bluewater. All one has to do is visit the anchorages in the Caribbean to see for yourselves like I do. So enough already.
Now back to this thread. As a Hunter owner most of you know what I think of my boat. If you don't, just go the Hunter section here to see the in depth write-up. As most production boats go taking one without heavy modification is a must as previously mention. They simply don't come with extensive systems required for most sailors that cut the docklines. But the basic boat I believe is sound. This is where traditional bluewater boats come in off the factory floor have an advantage. The deal breaker I see is in the modifications to a production boat vs getting what some here call a bluewater boat that has those systems install already. As we all know, modifications cost many B.O.A.T bucks. Calculating the difference needs to be accounted for.
Would I take my boat out island hopping and a week out into the blue. I plan it. Making the necessary mods as we speak. Through this wonderful site and others I listen carefully to what works and not.
Uhhh... well, ... ditto.
 

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Rudder Post Failure

January 21, 2010, I was on a delivery crew of a Hunter 42 "Passage" from Daytona Beach, FL to Tortola, BVI. We got hit by a storm the night we left the ICW from the Ponce inlet. 30 miles out the fiberglass rudder post separated from the fiberglass bushing that is supposed to hold it steady at the emergency tiller station at the head of the nice island queen bed in the aft stateroom.

The weather was rough at near gale force but we only had the jib up and the boat should have handled it. It did not. We aborted and turned back. We used throughhole plugs duct-tape and strapping to jury-rig a way to keep the post centered, while being hit by wave and steering forces.

The steering was noticeably sloppy, so we crawled back to the Ponce inlet, hove-to until daybreak and motored it through the ICW up to Saint Augustine for repair. The only good thing about it was that it happened right away (30 miles out) instead of waiting until we were someplace like north of Haiti for it to give out.

The name "Passage" may indicate larger tank capacity but I fear little else is done to earn the name. I feel for the owner who will attempt the passage in the coming weeks. I hope everything goes well for him. He deserves it.
 

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Interesting. The only boats on which Hunter used a glass rudder post were on a couple of their boats on a production run AFTER they stopped making the 42.
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It's True!

Interesting. The only boats on which Hunter used a glass rudder post were on a couple of their boats on a production run AFTER they stopped making the 42.
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The boat is a 1997 Hunter 42 Passage. I find it interesting k1 that you find it interesting, especially the way you meant it. However, the owner might not know the year of his boat but it definitely was a Hunter 42 and that makes the year irrelevant, unless you own one and need to believe otherwise: "say it ain't so, Joe." I have no dog in this fight. I'm just reporting what happened to us, little more than a week ago. Take it or leave it, your choice.

To be clear I was not referring to the rudder shaft below the quadrant just the post above which swivels at the bushing below the deck at the emergency tiller station.

I will try to get pictures because I know some were taken of the jury-rig. We each took turns curled up under the mess trying to hold it all together with our hands as the the plugs would sometimes drop out during excessive rudder forces.
 

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Interesting. The only boats on which Hunter used a glass rudder post were on a couple of their boats on a production run AFTER they stopped making the 42.
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I am not sure this is true. The composite rudder post was stop being made in 2005 on most production boats. First of all Hunter doesn't make all their rudders. Foss Foam did for the most part. Hunter did make some composite rudders which seems to be the problem. The following is the discussion from the Hunter Website.
It's my understanding, according to Henderson, is that the CS post was actually stronger than the SS post but when it did give way, there were no warning signs...it just popped off, where as SS would bend first. Now some say that bending first is a bad thing because it can bend and get stuck in a position that makes it impossible to come up with a way to steer without a rudder where as the CS when it broke off, you could find a way to get home. Another source at Hunter last week claimed that one of the design features of the CS rudder was that it would break off in a hard grounding before it caused damage to the rudder section of the hull, whereas SS rudders would not break and could crack the hull. Furthermore, Al Walker at Foss Foam prefers SS rudders over CS rudder because: CS rudders in a hard grounding will snap off clean at the rudder post-to-hull entry point and separate from the vessel. The SS rudder will bend and not typically damage the hull.. In this case the boat still has a rudder, even if you have to hack away the top part of the rudder to free its radius for steerage. Much better chance of getting home.
The bottom line here is Hunter on all big boats switch to SS rudder post because of all the failures they were getting on composite ones. When I bought my boat, I told my broker NO composite rudders. It is my humble opinion this is the weakest manufacture design flaw in mid 1990 to early 2000 Hunter models.
 

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We are in the process of buying a boat and have spent an incredible amount of time looking. I'm not bashing Hunter but wanted to add some things to this thread for future generations. I also want to state before I add comments that I LOVED the Passage 42 that we looked at.
1. With island queens there's no place to sleep when things get rough. This sentiment was echoed by a delivery skipper I met while boat shoppiing. My back does not curve to fit into the beautifully sculpted settees. Again this was later confirmed by a delivery skipper. He said his nights offshore on a Hunter Passage were among the most miserable he had every experienced. This guy was not the one that showed us the Passage we looked at.
2. In comparing it to older boats with reputations for being sea worthy there was honestly no comparison. There are less expensive boats out there that are great as live aboards that will safely cross an ocean if the skipper and crew are competant.
3. The interiors of the Hunter Passage 42 are beautiful! However, on close inspection and in comparing them to other boats I did not think the quality of the work was quite up to par. It will be interesting to see how they have held up in another 10 years.
4. I took a good long look at how easy it is to get to the wiring. On the Hunter Passage it was VERY difficult at best. Given the electrical issue and the placement of the wiring we had to pass on this model.
5. The Hunter Passage 42 had an incredible amount of HUGE ports. All I could think of as I looked at them was what happens if you're underway and they start leaking or better yet if they took a large wave and were smashed. The large ports just forward of the mast appear to have nothing more than a lot of glue holding them in place and this in an area where they are more than likely going to be walked on when crew are on deck.
6. I was able to look through an inspection port next to the stainless steel arch. The backing plates for the arch were NOT stainless steel and on the boat we looked at they were already covered in so much rust that the metal was beginning to flake off.
I'm not here to argue about whether they can or can't cross an ocean BUT these are some of the issues that caused us to look at other boats. I asked the owner or broker of every boat we looked at one last thing before I walked off the boat. "Would you put your family on this boat and cross an ocean?" The reply for the Hunter Passage that we looked at was "no".
 
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