Possible new 26.5 owner

Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Hi all,
I've been searching for a larger sailboat for a couple months now. I currently have a San Juan 21, and while it sails beautifully it's getting awfully cramped with my 3 teens, especially if they add a friend or two. We've looked at several different boats, including a couple MacGregors, a couple Lancers, a Neptune, a South Coast...basically anything that looks decent and in the 25'-ish range. So far, everything we've seen is either way more of a project than advertised (that South Coast was a lawn ornament that he's gonna have to pay to have removed, but is asking $7K!!) or just doesn't quite sing our song enough to warrant parting with a wad of cash.
I found a Hunter 26.5 reasonably close-by, and in our price range. While I would prefer to have a swing keel for trailerability, I'm reconsidering that as a hard rule for us. I do like the thought of not needing to worry about raising/lower the keel, and since we found out that I can get a slip I don't really need to be able to trailer each time we want to go sailing. Having the ability to trailer is still important, but actual launch/retrieval may be less often than originally thought since we plan to get the slip.
So, the 26.5 seems to be in good shape. We sail mostly up at Flathead Lake, and might like to take it to other lakes for a longer sail. Family of 5 with 3 teens, and we want to be able to overnight/weekend on the boat. So, for those who own or have been aboard a 26.5, what are your thoughts? I'm not looking for a blue water boat, I don't have any desire to race. Thanks in advance!
Greg
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Thanks! I'm not sure why, but when I use the search it doesn't bring up any of those. I'll go read through those today.

We'll probably be going to look at it later this week/weekend.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,058
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Are you looking for a trailerable boat for 5? Have you looked at the water ballasted Hunter 26 and 260?
Thanks! I'm not sure why, but when I use the search it doesn't bring up any of those. I'll go read through those today.

We'll probably be going to look at it later this week/weekend.
all 5 of you ought to go and sit in the cockpit. See if you can all sleep on it comfortably
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
I have looked at pictures of the WB boats, but haven't seen any for sale anywhere near me. if one pops up, I'd be happy to go look.
the 26.5 is about a 7 hr drive, one way.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,058
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
You'd think they would remove the ad or mark it SOLD.
I just noticed in the main pic that it looks like he is dragging his OB prop thru the water
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,916
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Looks like there are a number of sailboats for sale in Flathead Lake if you would consider an an alternative sailboat.
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Oh, I'm not stuck on any one boat. They are all a compromise, it's just a matter of what works for us. What site are you finding all the boats for sale at Flathead? How old are the ads? The only one I've found is an old Freedom 25, and because of the difficulties in stepping the mast I've sort of ruled that one out.
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Thanks, but again...look at the dates. The one possible in that list is the Precision 23, but...1) it's above my budget ($10K) and 2) they never answer their phone or emails.
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Back onto the topic of the 26.5...
Looking at the reviews a lot of folks mentioned the difficulty in slow speed maneuvering under engine power. The boat I'll be looking at has remote controls in the cockpit, but I don't see anything that links the rudder and OB. So...has anyone rigged something up for that? With my SJ21, because everything is very close, it's easy to steer both the tiller and OB at the same time (2 hands). I've thought about rigging up a link on them, but we use the OB so little I'm not sure it's worth it.
On the 26.5, with the tiller being so much farther away from the OB I don't see any way to steer both unless the OB is linked. I'm quite certain I can figure something out if that proves necessary, but it would be nice to see what other folks may have done already.
Thanks!
GH
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
I guess you'll have to wait for pics until I get home, all I have right now is my cell phone and I don't see you to post pics directly
 
Apr 3, 2020
139
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
Alternate way to view pics is to find then on sailing Texas, she's the one closest to Montana