A good first sailboat?

Jan 26, 2021
9
Hunter 23 New Bern
I am going to look at a 1993 Hunter 23.5 this weekend. It is currently docked at a lake here in NC. Any advice on some of the important things to look for when evaluating this boat would be a big help. I have experiencing with power boats but never sailboats. The price with the trailer is 8900.00. Is that in the ballpark? Here are the posted features of the boat:
Details:
- Swing Keel with water ballast - draft 5.5 ft. with keel down, keel up 1.5 ft.
- C. Sherman Johnson quick release lever for quick and easy mast step up
- Main sail cover, head sail cover bag
- Bimini
- 4” solar Marinco vent
- Updated spreaders with wraparound bracket and reinforcement sleeve
- Davis windex
- LED running lights
- Pop-top cabin enclosure
- Tohatsu 8 HP 2-stroke Electric Start with build in alternator
- Marine deep cycle battery
- V-Berth forward, double size berth aft, sleeps 4-5
- Table inside/outside
- Single burner alcohol stove
- Integrated ice box/cooler
- Portable Head
- Rail mount stainless steel marine Magma propane grill with cover
- Shore Power
- Tiller extension
- Davis Tiller-Tamer
- 2 Anchors (fluke and bruce), ore
- Fenders
- Swim ladder
- Life jackets
- Companionway mounted portable 110v 5000BTU A/C unit

*Trailer:
-Bunk trailer, galvanized extendable tongue, new axle, hubs, drums, electric brakes (less than 180 miles)


Thank you in advance for any advice!
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,908
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
.............Any advice on some of the important things to look for when evaluating this boat would be a big help..................
Wecome to the forum!!

That is a pretty open ended question and the forum can undoubtedly provide lots of guidance. A marine survey would help identify any items to repair and/or comply with safety regulations. Looks like a nicely equiped boat.
 
Jan 26, 2021
9
Hunter 23 New Bern
Wecome to the forum!!

That is a pretty open ended question and the forum can undoubtedly provide lots of guidance. A marine survey would help identify any items to repair and/or comply with safety regulations. Looks like a nicely equiped boat.
I want to be able to be able to identify obvious problems and walk away before getting a survey. So anything that a layman like myself can look out for before I spend the money on a survey would be great. I am trying to weed out the bad apples first; before I pay for a marine survey.
 
May 31, 2020
2
Hunter 37 C San Diego
This one seems to have a good accessories & equipment, the recently o'hauled trailer helps too.
I'd get estimates on any needed repairs, would be nice to have a knowledgeable friend take a hard look too.
Be sure to have someone look at sails condition too.

How does this price compare to other similar boats in your area?

Apollo Wayne
 
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Mar 29, 2017
575
Hunter 30t 9805 littlecreek
Check sails as most valuable part lay out on ground see how flat they lay look at all 3 corners make sure stitching not coming apart
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,176
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
Check sails as most valuable part lay out on ground see how flat they lay look at all 3 corners make sure stitching not coming apart
:plus: on checking the main....

I have the big sister to this boat. They are nearly identical. If the trailer and O.B. are in good shape and the ballast tank (and valve) are solid, then you have a good boat. One thing that is a bit different about the WB Hunters is the fact that they are really driven by the main. If the main sail is blown out or stretched at all, you will have very serious weather helm even in a 10 mph breeze. My H26 was like that when I purchased her and a new mainsail turned her from a leamon to a decent sailing boat.

So if it were me... I'd take a hard look at the trailer. I'd make sure the O.B. fired right up (but the P.O. is likely to have prewarmed the O.B. before you get there). I'd want to look at the boat on the trailer and make sure the gasket for the ballast tank valve is in decent shape. I'd then want to go on a test sail and see how the tiller feels. If you are fighting the tiller in a modest breeze mention the fact that the mainsail is blown and ask him to knock off $1500. On your way back from a 3-hour cruise... fire up the O.B. and see if it still starts up right away. If the engine is sluggish starting once it is cold, mention the O.B. needs a tune up and ask him to knock off another $500.

After your sail, walk around in the cabin and make sure no water from the ballast tank entered the boat. Take a look at the bilge (it is a really small bilge) and see if any water entered the boat.

Last, take a look at the center board lift line. That is the hardest one to change out so make sure it is still in servicable shape.
 
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Feb 18, 2011
290
Hunter 260 Cave Run Lake, KY
Yes, I would agree this is a good first boat for inland lake sailing- I have the very similar 240 that Hunter sold from 1998-. It has been a very good boat. This 23.5 looks to be in excellent shape from the CL ad. I have seen them listed as low as $5k but boat and trailer in questionable condition. In addition to the good suggestions above, some items to check and possibly negotiate:
older 2-stroke outboard- may like a 4-stroke at some point, 6hp Tohatsu SailPro would be plenty (no electric start)
centerboard uphaul line- if original probably needs replacing, just did mine @ 22 years old
sail condition- the UK sails on this boat may be newer (good), not sure if Hunter used UK sails when new (mine has Doyle)
tires- check age and condition
windows- check for crazing, cracks from age, water leaks. Mine are getting that way from sun and age.
electronics- I don't see a depth/speed instrument, but if there is check for function

If you need comps for pricing, www.sailingtexas.com is a good place to look, $7500-$8k seems more common on the 1993's but again, condition counts. Check the current boats for sale and the gallery which has the previous listings.
Good luck!
 
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Jun 8, 2004
8,972
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@caverun

I remember the day when no other small boat dealer showed up at the Hunter meeting on small boats except for one dealer in 1990. Warren Luhrs was upset but back at the plant, that lone dealer gave boat plans to Hunter which became the 23.5. That dealer introduced that BOAT at Smith mountain lake and then moved to Zebulon NC with his dealership. Well known for the water ballast. Lake possibly is Kerr lake or lake Norman.

Caverun, do you think the fellow would like to talk with that retired dealer who might travel as he might want to get out of the house?
 
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Feb 18, 2011
290
Hunter 260 Cave Run Lake, KY
Sounds like an offer he should not refuse- boat is on Kerr Lake, not sure how far that is from you. You probably sold the boat when new-
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,176
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
Sounds like an offer he should not refuse- boat is on Kerr Lake, not sure how far that is from you. You probably sold the boat when new-
For those in the know....Kerr Reservoir is colloquillay known as Bugg's Island.:biggrin:
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
So since it is a trailer boat, looking at it in water should be good, but maybe ask about them doing a quick haul out since they have a trailer that way you see the hull shape now. It's not like you need to drop the mast or anything plus you can see how it is done.

I'd asked about the sails, if they are original then they are worthless and I would go in with a deduction to the price to replace them. Seems like a very simple boat so other then the ballast system, swing keel function and outboard condition not much to really survey in my opinion. Take lots of pictures, open up hatches stick camera in dark spaces and take pictures of the not pretty parts hidden.

Most survey of sailboats I've seen do almost no inspection to help add value to sails, rigging and motor other then to say appear functional unless major issues are seen.

I used this site for my boats, including my Cataline 310, which I did my own survey and pretty much knew what I needed to know needed addressed without a paid survey. My insurance also didn't care if I had a survey and I have the boat insured for agreed value of $50k which was the cash price I paid for her.
Marine Survey 101, pre-survey inspection (pcmarinesurveys.com)
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,176
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
...not sure how far that is from you.
Just under 3 hours from Crazy Dave.

I've sailed Bugg's island twice. Nice little lake with a long reach if the wind is right. Lots of nice coves to anchor in for the night and a campground that lets you tent right up to the water's edge. I would get a camp site but sleep in my boat at night.
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Hull 211, last July my marina did a full strip down on the bottom and there were no issues or damage. She easily picked up a half knot after the new bottom was done and the motor temp went down some too.
 
Feb 18, 2011
290
Hunter 260 Cave Run Lake, KY
There is a '93 23.5 just listed in the Charlotte craigslist. Nice 8hp Nissan (same as Tohatsu) 4-stroke w/electric start, new tires for $6200. Might want to look at that one too before you pull the trigger.
 
Jan 26, 2021
9
Hunter 23 New Bern
There is a '93 23.5 just listed in the Charlotte craigslist. Nice 8hp Nissan (same as Tohatsu) 4-stroke w/electric start, new tires for $6200. Might want to look at that one too before you pull the trigger.
Yes pretty much new sails on that one. I will reach out to that guy today.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,972
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@JRT
Thank you. You are fine. The first 20-30 of those boats had air space between the compression post and hull. After tuning the mast, the companionway slider hatch would not close. Found the problem and a solution was to shim that space with metal shins. Required som work but resolved Buyer was not happy but frank Butler called
Him advising the repair was a permanent fix. You are fine. The first call was not pleasant to Catalina arguing with frank but he respected those who challenged him and in this case he apologized. He kept calling me over the summer to make sure all was well
 
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Jan 26, 2021
9
Hunter 23 New Bern
@JRT
Thank you. You are fine. The first 20-30 of those boats had air space between the compression post and hull. After tuning the mast, the companionway slider hatch would not close. Found the problem and a solution was to shim that space with metal shins. Required som work but resolved Buyer was not happy but frank Butler called
Him advising the repair was a permanent fix. You are fine. The first call was not pleasant to Catalina arguing with frank but he respected those who challenged him and in this case he apologized. He kept calling me over the summer to make sure all was well
So are those hull numbers sequential? This boat (whichever one it may be) will probably never leave the Neuse river in New Bern, NC. The one in Charlotte is looking like a better deal, at least from the claims in the advertising- appreciate all your information