The Vision series ''is not'' a CAT rig. It''s classified as a Sloop. I have a 91''Vision 36 which I''ve lived on since ''new''. It''s a very comfortable boat and the stayless design makes it a dream to sail. The series was discontinued due to the high cost of the aluminum mast, and those that exists fetch a better than average price/return. I strongly recommend that yu give it serious consideration because of it''s room, ease of handling, and ultimate it''s pretty fast.
DAHLSTROMDW- Just out of curiousity, what about the Stayless rig..." makes it a dream to sail". I have seen a lot of people suggest that a stayless rig is somehow easier to sail, but I have never heard anyone explain why they thought that was so.
I''m looking at a Vision 32 and have the same question. What makes the stayless rig so wonderful? Why don''t more manufacturers still use it? I don''t think price would be too significant as there are plenty of more expensive sail boats than the Hunters.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
It is easy to cite the disadvantages of a stayless rig. These would include a larger diameter mast which means that the mainsail is operating in a bigger turbulent zone behind the mast. This hurts windward performance and severly impacts light air performance. You have a higher center of gravity (especially with the aluminum masts used on the Hunters vs the Carbon Fiber masts used on other free standing rigs) which means less stability for a given weight. The larger diameter mast translates to more aerodynamic drag (although not as much as you might think since wire rigging actually has a surprising amount of drag). It is harder to keep a tight headstay again reducing pointing ability. The other problem with a sagging headstay is that it powers up the jib in a gust just when you really want to blade the jib out. While the Hunter Visions are a fractional rig, you loose the ability to precisely control twist which is one of the biggest advantages of a fractional rig. Carbon fiber unstayed rigs have been quite reliable over their lifespan but now that they are reaching 25 years in age we have just now started to have failures occuring. That compares pretty well with the useful life of stainless steel standing rigging but you can replace a lot of stainless steel rigging for the price of a new carbon fiber mast. No one expects aluminum freestanding rigs to last as long.
Then there is issues of weight distribution. A freestanding rig places more than double the side load forces at the deck level. To take these laods large internal structures are required. Properly designed this puts a lot of weight forward in the boat and high in the boat. Improperly designed this results in an area that will be prone to long term fatigue problems. This weight distribution also affects hull shape as the bow has to be more buoyant to support this much weight that far forward in the boat. Mure buoyant bows (fuller) are not as good in light air, going to weather or in a chop.
I have owned a Vision 36 for 9 years. The only real plus to an unstayed rig that I see are: No chain plates to leak, stub your toes on, etc. No rigging tuning necessary. This like the Freedoms it has the mast stepped forward enough so it is not in the middle of the salon with the chainplates bolted through your cabin on inboard mounted chainplates. It has no compression post since it's keel stepped. It's easier to go forward when not having to navigate standing rigging. It is correct about the windage of a larger mast vs. all that wiring/cable, it is pretty much the same. The Hunter B&R rigging will not let you swing the boom out as far as you can with the Vision. (Careful you don't break off your boom gooseneck.) If you think about it there are actually many types of sail boats with free standing masts. Nonsuch, Freedom, cat boats, and many earlier boats that used wooden masts. The benifit of a tapered mast is the flexibility when a sudden gust hits. The top of the mast bends and spills the air out allowing for less "knockdown" effect. As for pointing, my Vision will point to about 55 degrees on either side of the eye of the wind. Unless you're sailing something like a "J" Boat, C & C, Cascade or other "Fast" boat you're probably not pointing any more that 45 or 50 degrees to the eye of the wind. It is true that it doesn't point very well, but it runs very well on most any point of reach, it just doesn't close haul very fast. Now, if you're beyond a beam reach to a run, it goes very fast. I've had mine at 8.5 knots in a 20 knot wind beam reaching. It motors very well too. 7 knots at 2500 RPM with the Yanmar 35 HP, 3 cylinder and it sips .56 liters/knot at that speed. That's 3.92 liters/hour. I think what people mean when they say it sails like a dream, they are actually talking about the fractional system with the large boom. Since the mast is stepped so far forward, the mainsail carries most of the sail area and the small 110% fractional lapper jib is very easy to tack. I single hand a lot and it is quite easy to tack using only the wheel brake. I simply bring the boat about, let it pass through the eye of the wind then (with the brake tight) I loose the now, windward sheet and haul in the leeward sheet. I can usually do this without using a winch handle unless I'm close reaching or close hauling in winds above 15 knots. This boat is a dream to sail. Most other boats are using a 130 or 150 Jenny and they are a ***** to get from one side of the boat to the other, especially if you have a deck sweeper and your sheet track is so far aft you can't see anything on the sail side. (The usual protocal is to pass the eye of the wind on a tack before bringing the headsail about as this helps the boat change course, as in heaving too.) Sometimes doing this with a large Jenny is problematic because the sail/sheets get caught on the rigging and the spreaders, so most people start to bring the headsail about before they pass the eye of the wind. This usually takes at least one crew besides the helmsman. So, I think that it is mistated that it "Sails Like A Dream" because of the un stayed mast, it is the overall design that makes it easy to sail. I plan to keep my Hunter Vision 36 for many years to come as I enjoy single handed sailing the the ease of sailing the Vision 36. I also own a WWP 15 and it has a stayed fractional rig with a 110 lapper and no back stay. Maybe I'm just attracted to the little excentric things in life. By the way, I sail in the Pacific Northwest and I'm out usually more than 80 days a year on the Hunter. I've sailed it in 8 foot seas with 35 knot winds with double reefs, in Johnstone Straight and Georgia Straigit and the Straight of Juan de Fuca. She handles supurbly in those conditions. Perhaps you'll see her if you're ever out this way, S/V Soluna Star, lying Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA.
My Hunter Vision 36 will have a carbon fiber mast in a couple of weeks
Her mast was cracked (in a tornado) and unreapirable so we have ordered a carbon fiber mast. It took the insurance company 4 mos to decide how to fix her because the mast repair is in the $50K range. They kept trying to locate someone who would build it out of aluminum.
W are really lookiing forwary to seeing the diference in her saiing style!
We have a 94 Vision 36 we sail on San Francisco Bay. We smoke Catalinas and Islanders all the time while we are double reefed. However, Catalinas and Islanders are more sea kindly as they ride deeper in the water. Our dock steps have three risers. I would have prefered a more blue water boat, but my wife loves the spaciousness and light in our Vision and I just love having a boat!
Years have passed since this thread was active, but as a relatively new owner of a Hunter Vision (1993) I'm curious to get further confirmation of boat speed. At 2500 rpm we are lucky to get 4knots, under sail its quite an achievement to hit 5 knots! All clean below the waterline - std Hunter 2 blade prop which we plan to replace with a Kiwi prop this spring. Waiting on sailmaker comment on state of sails (suspect they are original)