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Hunters WB Demise

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by GBGraham, Mar 11, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    146 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Epidavros
    Probably one for CD this . . . . But hey the more the merrier:clap:
    What do you think/know caused the demise of the small, water ballasted yachts built by Hunter. No reason for asking other than I can't find anything in a forum search :banghead:and just plain old curiosity:doh:
     


  2. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,228 posts, 368 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    Speculation on my part (I have a water ballast Mac 26S)

    My .02.. While the water ballast makes these boats very easy to trailer, it also makes them NOT trailer-able because of carrying around invasive species. It seems that regulating invasive species became more important in the last 10 years.

    Where Im at now I have no problem going to a bunch of lakes on the Colorado river or to the Southern California coast and the water ballast is very nice for a variety of reasons.

    But when I had the same boat in Colorado, it was sometimes a huge pain in the axx to move between lakes. I heard a story one time of someone trying to LEAVE a lake and they had to go through a decontamination that involved filling up the ballast tank with 140F water - then dumping it out. I had to have this done twice after taking my water ballast boat to Lake Powell then trying to bring it back to a Colorado lake.
     


  3. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    146 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Epidavros
    Very interesting analogy, out of all my thoughts this was definitely not one of them.
    God forbid a mutation of some bug or fish. Good job for humans that our forefathers had horses, cycles and cars to spread out the seeds for a healthy blood line.:biggrin:
     


  4. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,355 posts, 485 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    curiosity kills the cat? umh? In business when an item starts to slow down and the numbers are not there to justify building like in any business, models change or simply dropped. MacGregor 26 wb (orginal), 23.5 hunter, catalaina 250 wb and other brands flooded the market till sales dropped off no longer justifying continuing building as the market had been flooded just like I said. Hunter and MacGregor changed models while Hunter offered more. A good reason for example is the Hunter 19 which cost nearly the same as the Hunter 23.5 and was not a good seller because for a $1,000 more you could buy the 23.5 ( I know as the decision to stop production was my call) at a dealer meeting.

    The Hunter 260 was the best one and was still selling when at the corporate level, the decision was at the corporate level not at Hunter as sales were still going strong. They later regretted that decision not listening to me as Hunter was the only sailboat company out of four, the rest of course being power boat companies. Then the decision to build the Hunter Edge went against advice with the power sailor idea as it was 15 years too late behind MacGregor and only a handful were built. You have no idea how involved I was and these water ballast boats brought in a lot of customers who upgraded to larger boats and so on nor the contributions made by me. Like I said the market was flooded over the years but there are not many used Hunter waater ballast sailboats out there as they are sought after.

    As for invasive species, there is only one primarily and that is the Zebra muscle which thanks to a darn idiot European cargo ship dumping ballast into the Great lakes is what I am concerned about. A lot has been written how to take care of that to prevent that and will leave it up to you to research.
     


  5. Jimmy

    Jimmy

    Joined Jan 28, 2018
    79 posts, 14 likes
    Hunter 26
    Us lake Powell lake mead
    On a hunter 26 would the hot water compromise the balast tank seal I will be at Powell most of the time with my boat.
     


  6. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,355 posts, 485 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    No but make sure you do treat the water ballast tank with chorox or when you open the air vent up, you will need a mask inhaling air or run like heck.
     


  7. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    783 posts, 221 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    It's a shame that they are being discontinued. My next sailboat purchase will probably be something like an H240. For me it makes perfect sense. I always launch in the ocean. I like to keep the boat inside my shop when it is not in use for more than a day or two. My Favorite boat ramp is about half an hour away. I want a combination of shallow draft for poking around the keys & enough boat to feel comfortable taking a jaunt to the Bahamas when the mood hits me. A 20-something foot water ballast boat just makes sense for what I want to do these days.
     


  8. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,355 posts, 485 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    just look and you will find them.
     


  9. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    783 posts, 221 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    As usual, good advice from Dave.
     


  10. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,473 posts, 1,615 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Since Dave takes credit for all the good I’m quick to rag him personally for any shortcomings. And those are *NEVER* his fault.:poke: :stir:
    Come on, Dave. You know I love you!
     


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  11. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,228 posts, 368 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    I like Dave's reasons way better than mine...

    Jimmy, I dont think either Lake Powell or Lake Mead do any inspections anymore but you should check. Definitely no inspection at Lakes Mohave or Havasu. I have to go through the California inspection on either I40 or I10 coming from Arizona but its never been a problem I think because they check every single car going through so dont have time for details. They (California) do look at the hull very quickly for zebra. Utah has a water craft inspection near St. George and I would worry about that one a little. I have to pull through there with my Hobie TI once or twice per year but they dont check much since its sort of a big plastic kayak. Going into Arizona.. no problem at all. You probably have to buy the silly sticker for Nevada that just makes you "aware" of the zebra (wtf.)
     


  12. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,646 posts, 2,017 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    That's pretty much the deal. The market for NEW boats of this type went away. Some new-boat buyers wanted the simplicity of a day sailor in the length range, and the used market satisfied many at 1/3 the cost of new.

    Trust me, if there was a market in the USA for NEW boats of that type/style, someone would be making them.
     


    Crazy Dave Condon likes this.
  13. GBGraham

    GBGraham

    Joined Nov 10, 2017
    146 posts, 11 likes
    Hunter Legend 260
    Omega Gr Epidavros

    Umh . . . this cat is still clawing his way through life but not to sure how many lives I have left.
    Many thanks guy's for the input, especially CD for his witty (ish) sarcasm :biggrin:and his detailed explanation.:clap:
    The Zebra muscle is unknown to me so apologies for maybe been a little flippant. Very interesting reading to a huge problem for you folks over there.
    The case can only make the present owners happy as it holds or even increases the value due to the non production of the H260 of which sounds to be a very popular boat in the secondhand market.
    My only thoughts are that if it's not on offer in the market place, new people into trailer yachting could probably never know about them.
    I would have thought the H260 WB boat is a good salable concept and would fill a void in the market place.
    The need is to go use the power marketing and advertising, in doing that you can more or less sell anything?
    That's how snow got sold to Eskimo's:thumbup:
     


  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,646 posts, 2,017 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    At US$13-20K a used H260 is a GREAT boat for someone looking for a large trailerable. There are at least 5 for sale for now in the USA on yachtworld alone. What is probably also true is that it would be a lot less popular as a NEW boat in the US$50-60K range. I'm sure this is what Hunter Management were thinking about when production stopped. They saw the order book. Dealers probably wanted the boat to continue, everyone wants a solid entry level product. But wanting is a lot different that showing up with orders. Independent of what dealers want, manufactures are playing a life and death game with product mix. Peoples livelihoods are at stake.
     


  15. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,355 posts, 485 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    Jackdaw;
    Thank you. Great you teach others how to race taking your valuable time to advise on this forum.
     


  16. isaksp00

    isaksp00

    Joined Apr 27, 2010
    892 posts, 47 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Lake Wallenpaupack
    I wonder if concerns about servicing the swing keel played any role, though even if so I'd doubt it was as big a factor as market forces. I see a few recent related threads - issues with swing keel and how to lift one of these. I have seen many in the past where a number of people have had to service the metal bracket and/or lift lines, and have seen lengthy threads on how to jack the boat up off the trailer (which always seemed complex and risky to me). If I wanted one up on our lake, I'd be very concerned as there are no lifts at all (very few sailboats) and I'd have to haul it fairly far to get to a marina with a lift. I think I'd avoid for that reason alone. Of course, for the same reason I can't service the bottom of my 23 keel, but other than some rusty crud, who cares.
     


  17. MaxinCalgary

    MaxinCalgary

    Joined Apr 8, 2013
    149 posts, 7 likes
    Hunter 260
    CN Nanaimo
    I worried about the swing keel when I purchased my 2002 H260. I lifted mine off its trailer on a hoist frame . If you use a crane hoist just make sure you use at least 8 stands and you will be fine.
    Dropping the keel , repairing dings and replacing the up haul line with modern Dymeed is a easy DIY job that adds peace of mind.
    All sailboats are awkward out of water . Trailer sailers are just the same . Servicing the boat has nothing to do with its trailer.
     


  18. walt

    walt

    Joined Jun 1, 2007
    3,228 posts, 368 likes
    Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15
    US Denver, Colorado
    I dont own a H26 or H260 but these are on my short list for a second sailboat (two boats kept neary 1000 miles apart).

    Sort of off topic because I also agree that the market for new boats is very much hurt by similar used boats that last "forever" and are a fraction of the cost but regarding the swing centerboard being a reason to not pick that boat.. not at all my case. I dont know if the H26 and H260 can do all these things but here is what I like about that configuration (water ballast with swing centerboard) besides reduced towing weight on my 1990 Mac 26S.

    1. First.. if you do have to mess with the centerboard and you do have to pull it out, its only about 50 pounds (guess based on the 26S) rather than over 1000 pounds.

    2. The righting moment of the boat is not at all dependent on a weighted keel, it is only dependent on the water ballast. You can safely sail with the centerboard not pinned down so if you do accidentally ground the centerboard, it might scrape a little paint off the bottom leading edge but that is about it. No worry about 1000 pound swing keel swinging into the hull slot in a knock down. Its a nice feature if you sail on lakes where water levels change or you explore new places. You can also safely sail down wind with the centerboard pulled all the way up reducing drag on the hull. You can safely sail or motor with the centerboard down just a sliver for shallow water. Centerboard is also a high aspect foil when down which only sort of matters because you likely dont own this boat trying to be the fastest around.

    3. Trailer launching.. I dont know about the H26 or the H260 but I dont even need a trailer tongue extension to launch my 26S made possible by it sitting very low on the trailer. Had a boat with trailer extension in the past, I suppose I could live with that again on a boat that was only launched and retrieved once per season.. but sure am glad I dont at the moment for the trailerable that I launch multiple times per season.

    3. Beaching on lakes. Very nice to just step off the boat onto the beach - dont need to mess with the dingy. About a week ago we did this and the lake water level went up FIVE inches during the night. This of course was not an issue but it means the lake level could also go down 5 inches. On my 26S, I carry a low pressure air mattress pump and a custom fitting that allows me to blow the ballast out of the water tank. It takes about 10 minutes to do this and a long time ago someone had calculated it only takes about 0.8 psi (which I believe is correct but cant prove it). Those air mattress pumps are around 1 psi or a little higher and work just fine for this. When the ballast is blown out, the boat sits about 2 or 3 inches higher off the water and you can use this to get the boat unstuck (and also makes getting back on the trailer easier but I often dont bother). I have used this to get off a sand bar I once single handed sail right onto and was really stuck.. Got off easy by blowing the ballast.

    Point being.. I like that lightweight centerboard on a boat that still has righting moment.
     


    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  19. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    6,355 posts, 485 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    For Coast Guard certification , all boats have to include have to demo righting characteristics but sure of requirements. However each boat is different. Good example on some MacGregor center boards allow water into them whereas Hunter does not. Each have their points as I use to be a dealer for both.
     


  20. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,646 posts, 2,017 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Due to the OP (@GBGraham ) being in the EU, this is kind of an interesting take on this point.

    While nobody (and that really means Hunter or Catalina) is making these boats in the USA anymore, the mantle of builders of roomy, trailerable low-cost lake sailors has really been taken up by the Polish boat building industry. Poland is (unlike most Continental European countries) dotted with lakes, and the local builders were smart to not start out by competing with the French and German builder who were focused on ocean-going boats.

    There has been several threads talking about this, the most recent started by @Bosman here:
    https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/monohulls-with-inverted-bows.188727/

    Like this one. Kinda looks like what a modern 250 or 250 would look like given the chance.

    ob_a34f81_sarch-s7-sailing-3.JPG
     


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