The most critical par tof sailing hunters is down wind sailing. since you cannot let the boom out forward enough for true down wind sailing you will often be on broad reaches. without a backstay (your hunter has B&R swept back spreader rig but no arch) only the leach of the sail gives additional rearward tension to the rig. the forward loads of the jib onthe forestay and the huge mainsail on the mast put enourmous forward pressure on the entire rig. an accidental gybe with so much sail area puts way too much forward pressure on the rig and it may prone to demasting. Some of the caribbean charter fleets (although they do not publish this) experienced near 60% demasting of hunters in their fleets.
You may want to check with a rigger at the feasiblity of adding an adjustable backstay. This would enhance both performance and safety.
By the way - are you buying this boat from Cape Yachts in New England . If so, I know this boat and it''s priced way above it''s true value (offer $10,000 or more less - the sails are UK tape drive - good but not great).
Its previous owner bought a Tartan 3700. That should tell you something about the Hunter 376.
Accidental gybe''s can cause damage on any boat. I rigged a preventer on my Catalina 30 whenever I was running to prevent the gybe. Based on your comments I will be doing the same, or perhaps a boom brake. I understand the differences between a hunter vs tartan. For now the hunter fits my use and my budget. The boat is in S. Cal, not NE.
Captain Ron....LOL.. the B&R rig without a backstay was designed for around the world solo racing. Is extremely strong in the same way that a tripod due to the angle of the legs, is stronger than a 4 legged stool. The spreaders are swept back. True this prevents the boom from being more extended in running with the wind.
On the other hand Hunters point better with the high aspect mainsail and an symmetric cruising spinnaker gives exceptional down wind performance..
PERSONAL ATTACK REMOVED PER FORUM RULES. Jeff_H, SailNet moderator.
I would like to comment on the idea that the Bergstrom rig was developed for around the world solo racing. While B&R rigs were used for solo distance racing, its invention and development had little to nothing to do with long distance racing.
I knew Lars Bergstrom around the time that he was developing the B&R rig. Lars was a fan of Manfred Curry. As a aerodynacist, Bergstrom was fascinated by Curry's work and the B&R rig was developed in the process of attempting to produce a modern version of Curry's rig.
Lars was looking at this modern Curry rig for smaller boats not for distance cruising or racing. Curry's sail plan had a lot of curvature in the mast. The B&R rig allowed all of the mast bend tuning to be resolved within the rigging on the spar itself rather than the more conventional mix of mast bend generated within a mix of the rigging on the spar and between the spar and the boat. This allowed a small boat rig to be tuned while on the ground before being stepped and minimized doing tuning as a part of stepping the mast.
Hunter's original uses for the B&R rigs had backstays, but it was only as the B&R rig was further developed to work with the Curry rig that Lars began exploration of bigger boats without backstays.
Lars rightly believed that the resulting modern version of the Curry sail plan was more effective as a reaching rig than the 'pinhead' rigs that were popular at the time. One of the attributes of Curry's plan form was a huge amount of roach in the mainsail. Not having a backstay allowed that shape to be tacked without having running backstays. But without a backstay the rig gave up the ability to control mast bend on the fly. This hurt the beating ability and twist control.
In exchange the Curry rig was more forgiving in other ways. It was the inherently better reaching ability and forgiving nature of the Curry sail plan that made it a natural for shorty-handed distance racing and for production coastal cruisers, since both predominantly reach and do less tweaking than a fully crewed race boat.
But the use of Curry rig plan is independent of the use of the B&R rig. Structurally the B&R rig makes less than zero sense for a big boat rig. At this point, Hunter's use of a B&R rig seemingly remains more of a branding concept than a science based solution for a larger boat.
The arch is also a mixed bag. There is no doubt that the arch offers a broad range of ergonomic advantages. But it is not a great engineering solution when used with a backstay-less rig. Without a backstay, twist control is limited to the mainsheet and vang. This unfortunately this puts higher loads on the mainsheet upwind in heavy air requiring the arch to resist larger than normal loads. The height of the arch above the deck increases the leverage of those foces so that placing these loads on the arch amplifies the loads imparted into the boat. This can and has been engineered around.
(FWIW: I have always been a fan of the 37.5. It has always struck me as one of the nicest designs that Hunter has produced over the years.)