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Moving up from a Hunter 30 (1990 model)

Discussion in 'Mid-Size Boats' started by Tartaruga Sailing, Feb 1, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    I feel that I am at a crossroad with my 1990 Hunter 30. I've only owned this boat for 2-1/2 years now (moved up from a Catalina 22) and have pros and cons about moving up to something a bit bigger (ie; 37-42'). It is just my wife and I plus my 14 year old son that weekend coastal cruises and does an occasional 1-2 week cruise to multiple destinations in New England. When I go with friends, I lack the space for 3 adult berths, unless I use the saloon area and lower the dinette table (still a bit short for most adults and a pain).

    Here are my pros and cons of going bigger. Any input is greatly appreciated, especially for those that are familiar with the 1988-94 Hunter 30s.

    Pros:
    - Aft queen berth is great in a 30-foot boat, not having to rely on the vBerth for couples
    - Walk-through transom to the swim deck is great when the water is swimmable
    - Open rear deck is nice to board from the slip when you are backed into the dock
    - Sips diesel with its 16HP Yanmar 2GM20F (spec shows 18HP but eng plate states 16)
    - Bought with a 36" helm wheel for nice helm handling when on a heel
    - Nice balance of finished fiberglass to teak in the cabin and on deck (not too much teak, but a nice amount to provide the somewhat classic look newer production boats are missing).
    - Seasonal slip and over-wintering prices are decent and not too crazy as going bigger
    - Only one head to maintain, fairly simple plumbing & electrical

    Cons:
    - Cockpit is really only good for 3 people, 4 is a squeeze
    - Getting around the helm wheel is a pain since it is oversized
    - Too small to effectively mount dinghy davits on the stern ... would close off the aft view if tilted up, and eliminate the rear boarding feature
    - In-counter ice box is deep, but no refrigeration and freezer ... having to restock ice, drainage to the bilge is just a dumb design idea!
    - Limited storage for longer trips (provisions and supplies)
    - No aft cabin closed doors and no shelving or cabinets for clothing and gear
    - 2-burner gimbaled alcohol stove/oven as opposed to propane or CNG
    - Tight around the dinette table
    - No windlass, costly and not ideal to add one on this boat
    - foredeck barely fits the inflated 9' dinghy and is in the way when anchoring
    - Only room for 2 batteries (squeezed in 2 group-31s, barely) under aft berth for 210AH total

    Part of me says to stay with it since I have probably $20K in additions over the purchase price (bimini, dodger, batteries, B&G Triton T41s, Vulcan7 MFD, B&G controlled Auto-Pilot, new Blue Sea 40A charger, with new wiring & circuit protection, Ronca 35LB anchor on Mantus Bow Roller). This boat also has the rear stern pushpit seats that you usually only find on a H30 from 91-94, and a second cabin top winch for use with my Asymmetrical Gennaker.

    My guess is that a late 90's to early 2Ks Hunter for maybe a 37.6, 376, 38, 42 Legend series or other would be in the $50K range, with the 42s in the $80-120K range. With that also comes additional marina fees, higher maintenance costs, etc. It would give me more room, a more spacious aft berth with storage, but not so much more on the area of a roomier cockpit or ability to sleep more than 2-couples (bow and stern). I'm 50 now and would love to be on the boat more and more, but not too likely until I am closer to 60 and retirement (unfortunately). So, I am leaning on saving the money and just sailing the crap out of this boat as much as I can. But, it is the simple things that just keep bugging me .... lack of windlass, lack of storage, lack of cockpit space. I feel like I am always moving stuff around when I head out for a while since there is no dedicate space to store everything (tools, spare parts, extra rigging, even fenders, etc). Rear swim lockers and under rear cockpit seat areas are all the storage I have outside of the cabin. In the cabin, I only have the vBerth lockers for clothes and PFDs and under the dinette seating and settee for food and drinks and other supplies and tools.

    Thanks for any insight into this and for lending your ear to my rant!
     


  2. Pizzazz

    Pizzazz

    Joined Sep 11, 2015
    49 posts, 16 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Marina del Rey
    Have a look at this comparison, the pictures are approximately to scale. Going from 30 ft to 37/38 ft will not give you what you need. Yes, more space and storage but pretty much the same restricted space. You should either go to 45 ft three cabin layout (compare for example to Beneteau 45f5 of the same era) or stay and upgrade your current boat.

    Hunters.jpg
     


  3. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    Nice comparison to approximate scale! Thank you for that. At first glance, a costly upgrade for just a little more room. The aft cabin storage and dedicate shower in the head is a definite plus! Worth the added $30-40K? I guess I can only answer that. If I go down that road .... one can argue just another $20-30K from there to a Legend 42, Ugh! :banghead:
     


  4. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    16 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US San Diego
    I was in a similar situation.
    We had a 1981 Catalina 30', with no aft queen so wife and I were always sleeping on settee as we got tired of crawling into V-berth. There were many other issues as well; no pressurized water..so no hot water, no suitable/usable shower, small holding tank, small cockpit fitting 4 nicely 6 was tight, no shad from bimini. It was a good fun boat and I miss the 'open' cockpit... but that is it!
    I suggest looking at the Hunterowners page where you can see reviews of people and their model etc.
    For us... we settled on a 2005 H-38 ... and LOVE IT!
    I still 1.5yrs later think maybe we should have just did a mini upgrade to a H-32 and save lots of money, as we're nearing 50 and this is good 'extra' savings we could be stashing away. I toiled with the extra cost in everything; insurance, dock fees, haul out fees, replacing lines etc... but saw it was manageable so we did it!

    The newer post 2004 cockpits are nice, they're long and the double stern seats are awesome! There alone you can fit 4 people who are totally out of the way! We took 12 people out... some were down below off and on, but all fit comfortably enough.. .. obviously all good friends ;)
    We enjoy being able to take 6-8 people out with very little concern now, love the aft queen with room in front of bed (H-36 is exact same layout but you'll have to crawl around into the bed) with pass through ability going through head. Love the shower, it's tight and I still bang my elbows at times... but it's adequately sized; we can both utilize it with no problems. Wife loves the galley arrangement, lighting sucks but it's ok. She's able to access and change clothes in the aft stateroom; I use the V-berth as my changing room when we have no guests. I like having room up there, and we use the fwd as our 'media room'. I put our laptop on top of the locker, we have pillows stacked up and we can sit in the V-berth with our legs straight out and watch movies there. It's a very roomy space; we moved the boat down from L.A. to San Diego with one other couple sleeping very comfortably up there for 2 nights. The 2 lockers and under bunk storage are nice; settee storage is very good, storage throughout is pretty good! We love the big bimini for sun protection, of course it's 3rd sail when the wind hits it just right! All winches/lines needed except main sheet are right at the helm. Swim steps are great, we've gone swimming off it and great dinghy access.
    We now use our boat lots more... which was our intentions! We're on her nearly every weekend 2-3 nights. We're now able to stay at the marina more often than ever before because we have livability onboard now. We actually go and anchor out over night, tow the dinghy, or just stay dockside and relax and enjoy the boat and marina/resort.
    Yes... it's a bit more spending, but we're living now and getting full usage out of the boat, retirement is still fully funded etc so we went for it.
    If the 30' is suiting your current needs but you just want a little extra... maybe the H-34 would work? We considered them, but was just a bit tight. The 38' is big and roomy, we're too old to be uncomfortable ;) Of course you'll never know until you go on them all. We looked over the course of a year, 32',34',36'. We looked at other makes but Hunter just had that comfy livable layout/style everything that really appealed to us. We're not crossing to Hawaii so we got what will fulfill our desires. We were very very close to settling on a 36' but the seller dragged things out, and we got an amazing deal off Craigslist add for our 38' from someone leaving out of state and wanted a quick easy sale. He got it with us... we jumped on that!! Probably paid as much for it as we would have for the 36'.
    Good luck in whatever you do!
     


  5. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,486 posts, 457 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Look at the Catalina 34. Almost as much room as the 36 but lower monthly slip fees and haul outs. As a plus you have @Stu Jackson providing a wealth of technical info.

    Mahalo
     


    jssailem likes this.
  6. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    The H-38 does look quite nice in that date range! Probably a bit more than I am willing to spend at this point in time, but a definite contender! I've come to realize that whenever I would buy a newer "used" boat that you are likely to put $20K into it at the start (upgraded electronics, canvas, etc). So, I started with my H-30 ate the low $20K price point and now have around $35-38 total into it within the first 2 years of ownership. This is not including seasonal slip fees, winter storage, or cleaning/maintenance supplies. So, I'll likely continue to sail this and safe more for retirement and upgrade at that point to enjoy my next decade of life!
     


  7. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    I was very fond of Catalinas from having my 22 before my Hunter 30. So, definitely a contender in the future! Thanks for all the input.
     


  8. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,925 posts, 479 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    I have a 1983 H31, and I agree they are snug. My Dock neighbor has a Catalina 36, and it just seems so much bigger in the cockpit, and down below.
     


  9. Whatfiero1

    Whatfiero1

    Joined Mar 29, 2017
    184 posts, 31 likes
    Hunter 30t
    US littlecreek
    Hey so I also have a 90' 30 Hunter and some of my thoughts agree forward cabin is only good for children. So I want to enlarge first removed odd wood box around anchor locker and finish paint fiberglass to match ceiling it gives more foot room. Next I plan on removing doors and going with curtain like aft cabin. And finally gonna cut off hanging locker and other cabinet install ply over whole top and install new bow cushion over whole area
     


  10. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    I have slept in the vBerth myself without my wife and actually didn't mind it as is (I'm 5'10"). I have yet to try it with my wife, so I'm not quite sure what that would be like. Currently, I am trying to mount a windlass for the Mantus anchor roller I installed last season. After researching and looking into all possible solutions, I ended up with a Lofrans Royal horizontal manual windlass (off eBay from the UK for a great price) to try as my first step. I would have liked to install an electric windlass, but the hassle and cost of trying to adapt one on the bow and having to run battery cables and maybe install an additional battery aft was more than I wanted to try at this first step (that would have been closer to $2K). My thought is to be able to install this windlass inside the anchor locker (I hope that I have the depth needed), stiffen the mount from the underside (having the wood under the anchor locker will help hide this) and then use the windlass with the locker lid open and help feed the chain forward as I manually winch in the line. I am all about trying to keep the lines of the boat true and streamlined ... so, I didn't want to have to cut into the lid of the anchor locker to make this work.

    I do like the slanted, sloping cabin top to the bow on this boat, unlike the change Hunter made on the 30's from '91-'94. I understand that it decreases the vBerth headroom, but that has yet to be a real problem for me. The next upgrade I am doing this Spring is to install tank monitor sensors in all 3 tanks (diesel, water, and holding) all tied to a Blue Sea Tank monitor. I hate not knowing what my water and holding tank levels are. While I do the water tank I am going to cut an access deck plate inspection port into the top (making an access panel in the base of the storage box under the vBerth cushions). I have had a strange smell from my water since I got this boat, even after flushing the entire system many times with treatment and diluted chlorine. I'll likely also replace all the water lines at the same time and thoroughly clean the tank. The holding tank addition of the tank sensor will be interesting to do. I think that I may remove the tank to install the sensor and thoroughly clean the tank at the same time, and probably add all new hoses as well. My last big project for the Spring may be adding a cabinet at the rear wall of the stern berth. This would be the entire length of the back wall (side to side) and maybe sit 14" high and 10" deep with 2-3 opening cabinets to mimic the galley cabinets. This would give me the storage needed for clothing in the rear berth instead of just tossing duffle bags onto the bed.

    I like the boat a lot for its features in a small footprint. So, I think that I have come to the conclusion that I will make the modifications I want to better personalize my wants and save the upgrade to something else for a later time (4-8 years out). Thanks for your reply and input.
     


  11. cdnmurse

    cdnmurse

    Joined May 13, 2013
    8 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 28
    CA Windsor
    Dood.. I read with interest your post. I have a 1990 Hunter 28. Considering a 35-foot or 33 foot. I too will probably stay with what I have until the urge is much too intense. Reading that you have funky fresh water I strongly encourage you to check out the modifications under Hunter 28. And you'll be shocked to see what you will find. I'm sure you will have the same story. Good luck. Let me know how it works out. Any questions I'll try my best to help.
     


  12. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    Thanks for the reply. I just looked at the Hunter 28 fresh water mods and it looks like the setup is quite different on the 30. Here is a pic of my tank. 282EDA9E-38EE-4BB2-B3C6-3D6D083080F8.jpeg B44AF0C2-A918-4207-990A-AD243CEC5E57.jpeg
     


  13. cdnmurse

    cdnmurse

    Joined May 13, 2013
    8 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 28
    CA Windsor
    Lucky for you. In the 28 foot boat the fresh water tank is fiberglass into the Vberth. The original cover on that fiberglass tank was plywood with melamine on either side. Water intrusion caused it to decay. Here nor there it's not the solution to your problem. I use some tank chlorine type cleaner which I put in with each fresh tank. Keeps it fresh chlorine smell. I don't dare drink it.
     


  14. Tartaruga Sailing

    Tartaruga Sailing

    Joined Jun 21, 2016
    26 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Noank, CT
    Yeah, I saw that ... what a crappy design! Because my tank is under the vBerth and recessed storage box, my plan is to cut an access panel in the base of the box and then cut and mount a 6-8” round beckson style access port to be able to view and clean the tank with a brush. After that I plan to replace all my plumbing with new PEX piping and fittings, maybe adding a cockpit shower and anchor wash down. I will also add an under counter water filter unit and also have a filter that I can connect to the incom8ng water supply to rough filter and water supplied from the dock. Hopefully all this will keep my water clean and smell free.
     


  15. Ken Cross

    Ken Cross

    Joined Oct 24, 2010
    1,590 posts, 188 likes
    Hunter 30
    US Everett, WA
    That table is awful. I built a new one a couple inches smaller with rounded corners. I eliminated the storage well in it, but kept the folding design. It was a great improvement. Ours came refrigerated, but the condensation drips in the bilge. I have yet to figure out how to insulate it more.

    Ken
     


  16. Manly

    Manly

    Joined Jan 3, 2018
    34 posts, 12 likes
    Hunter 31
    Odyssey US St. Petersburg
    Hi Tartaruga,

    I think you're making a good decision to upgrade the boat you have. In reading through the items that are annoying to you about your current boat, I think that having a larger one would come with its own annoyances, such as everything costing more.

    A number of the items on your list appear to be things that could possibly be remedied:

    - Getting around the helm wheel is a pain since it is oversized (could you get a smaller wheel?)
    - Too small to effectively mount dinghy davits on the stern ... would close off the aft view if tilted up, and eliminate the rear boarding feature (wouldn't this be the same issue on a 36-38' boat? I have dinghy davits on my Hunter 31' and even though it blocks off the swim ladder, I think it's worth it)
    - In-counter ice box is deep, but no refrigeration and freezer ... having to restock ice, drainage to the bilge is just a dumb design idea! (we have a Dometek fridge/freezer where the oven used to go, and just use burners on top of the counter)
    - Limited storage for longer trips (provisions and supplies) (this may not be able to be changed, but then again, sometimes more storage can be created like it sounds you're planning to do in adding cabinets in the aft berth)
    - No aft cabin closed doors and no shelving or cabinets for clothing and gear (could a partition be created to the aft berth? even if it was just a curtain?)
    - 2-burner gimbaled alcohol stove/oven as opposed to propane or CNG (again, a propane system could be installed perhaps, though there may be no good place for a propane tank?)
    - Tight around the dinette table (perhaps no good remedy for this one...)
    - No windlass, costly and not ideal to add one on this boat (another item not easily resolved)
    - foredeck barely fits the inflated 9' dinghy and is in the way when anchoring (perhaps towing the dinghy or using davits?)
    - Only room for 2 batteries (squeezed in 2 group-31s, barely) under aft berth for 210AH total (with inginueity perhaps another place could be found to mount batteries. In my Hunter 31' I have identified 3 locations aft for batteries, and about 3 other locations in the boat I could potentially store batteries but with longer wire runs to the breaker so not practical)

    Anyways, it's fun to talk about! I'll be curious to see your upgrades.