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looking for advice

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Jun 12, 2011
hunter 28 Manhattan
i'm considering buying this hunter 280, 1996,

1. wing keel has a dent at the bottom and crack at the top as shown in picture, i'm not sure is the crack is superficial or deep. any idea if the bolts or the fiber might have damage?

2. also the heat insulation under the engine cover is burnt, does this mean engine is burnt or just overheated. how much would it cost to buy and install a new/used yanmar 18hp?

3. bow has a small dent you can see the fibers, can this be fixed?

thanks a lot.


Last edited:
Dec 19, 2006
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda

Everything can be repaired but hope the price is good or spend more money on a better boat in better shape,what else is wrong that needs repair that you have not seen yet and things always show up later.
Nov 26, 2006
Hunter 31 1987 Fly Creek Marina Fairhope,AL.
From the pics , I'd say repairable

Re: new yanmar would be in the $ 7000 range maybe a little less plus install.
Oct 14, 2005
1983 Hunter H34 North East, MD

From the second pic, it would appear to be the same separation line that forms on most Hunters where the keel meets the hull. Easily fixed by digging it out a bit, filling it with epoxy or 5200, and covering it with paint.

The third pic is a little more disturbing. What caused the material to get burnt? There appears to be charring on the wood caused by flame, not just heat. The engine may not have been "cooked" by whatever caused this as the paint on the filter top appears to be unblistered and intact. Could it have been a wiring fire? Are there any cables in that area? Do they show melting or newness from being replaced? What part of the engine is the closest to the "burn" marks when the cover is closed?

The small hole in the bow can be easily fixed with some glasswork patching.

Hope you had a reputable surveyor take a look at all this.
Jun 12, 2011
hunter 28 Manhattan
thanks for all the advice.

I went today again this time with a surveyor, although he seemed not very good at couple items, we discovered that the piece of fiber that connects stringers to beams near keel bolts have slight separation, picture attached, i think this can be redone and refibered, what do you think?
i'm thinking what might have happened when he hit the keel, it put tension in the bolts and this might have pulled down the stringers away from the beam, i think stringers are able to flex, and the connection between str. and beam seems not to be a structural item. it was a thin piece of fiber, maybe it is there as a tell tale to show if keel/stringer has been forced away from the beam/hull.

however the engine did not have any antifreeze and seems like it leaked out from somewhere.
engine oil was very black.

batteries were turned to their sides acid type batteries acid might have leaked out probably could be washed out.

hull seems in tack. few spots need to be refibered.

i like it overall but not sure about the engine.


Jun 12, 2011
hunter 28 Manhattan
Couple more question,
1. how long does the J bolts extend into the keel?
2. Do you agree that lead is soft therefore relatively easy to put a cracked joint in it due to a bottom hit?
3. If the engine works while on land can it have problems when under load?
Thanks again.


Jun 2, 2004
Hunter 35.5 LI, NY
I would RUN away from this one. Looks like the boat took a hard hit and has some serious damage to the superstructure. This alone would put me off the boat even if the engine were perfect. There are too many boats to choose from without the need for this headache.
Best advice, look elsewhere.


Sep 25, 2008
boatless rainbow Callao, VA
the structural stuff would be enough for me to walk away from this boat, now.

Sure it can be repaired, but at what cost, and if you see that damage, you will be surprised when you start looking elsewhere under the sole at the more subtle damage these groundings/drops will produce.

all the best, and let us know what you end up doing...
Jun 12, 2011
hunter 28 Manhattan
i decided to walk away from this one,

found another '96 hunter 28, and this has rust on some parts around engine.
the most prominent is the airfilter not the filter it self but the whole filter housing is not in place and the round plate that gets bolted to the engine is crumbling with rust, its been running with no filter i guess, i really like these hunters so i'm willing to deal with putting a new engine at worst.
there is oil under the engine don't know where it came from.
i guess i need a good mechanic take a look at the engine, other that that it's in great shape.
question is how much would it cost to replace the engine?
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