Question on a 'new' Hunter 40.5

Mar 4, 2019
27
Hunter 40.5 Richmond CA
Hey all,
I'm finally in a place to look for a new sailboat to upgrade from my 23' Oday. The hunter 40.5 is a model that I've identified has just about all that I want.

I was looking at a 1993 version and had a few questions-

Does anyone know if there are any differences between the different years for this model?

What do you think about the keel weight? This design seems different than any other boat I've seen with a big keel stub and a big weight at the bottom. Is it sturdy? Are there really only 3 bolts holding it on?

The door to the forward cabin just barely doesn't close, have any of you had that? Didn't check if it was just the hinge. the boat seems rock solid but I want to make sure that isn't an ominous sign

Any other items to check would be good to know as well, thank you! It's truly a nice boat...or yacht more like!
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,316
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Keel stubs and wing keels are common and as sturdy as any other type. As I recall, the difference between the 93 we had and later builds was the electrical panel design and the kitchen faucet arrangement, both trivial differences. Some later builds may have been fitted with something other than a Yanmar engine but not sure.

If the only issue is the fwd stateroom door, buy the boat.
 
Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
Own a 1995 and have fixed a lot of issues. Some age, a lot previous owner (spit), some but not many from factory.

Generally speaking it is a very good boat.

From factory problems.
  1. Replaced aluminum waste holding tank with plastic. If it has not been replaced, you must! Actually pretty easy.
  2. Forward berth door is hard to close.
  3. Traveler is connected to hull via steel Phillips head to aluminun blocks. Basically a indestructible rust bond until you lose a line under the now impossible to remove sea hood. Good luck not stripping those Phillips heads. Necessitated by previous owner destruction, was pita to fix and replace bolts.
  4. Cable path from mast to salon is inside the mast. Eventually the drain holes for the base of the mast are going to clog, meaning the water will enter through the cable port and to your bilge. Minor problem to live with, open on glassing over this hole and replacing it with out of mast cable glands with next unstepping.
  5. Port and starboard water tanks are permanently molded into the structure of the boat with the fiberglass lid cracking. The sealant is impossible to remove and requires destruction of the tank lids. PITA.
  6. Yanmar harness is too long with too small cable on it's 12v line. So depending on the battery voltage the key ignition may or may not work. Simple fix.
  7. Anchor locker hatch was underbuilt and required reinforcement. Simple glassing.
  8. Controversial: the rudder post is fiberglass. It is exceptionally thick fiberglass. I do not know if it is better or worse than stainless steel rudder posts.
  9. Fit and finish of interior is ok.
Age:
  1. Gelcoat is at end of life for these boats.
  2. The lewmar hatches that are on the side of the boat with leak and requires new gaskets frequently enough.
Previous owner:
  1. 30 year old boat, the electric is guaranteed to be messed up.
Generally speaking, and I have been doing significant work on mine, and it is a extremely well built, much better than it's contemporaries. No blistering, extremely strong tabbing, love the toe rail, great, deep bilge, chain plates. Only structural issue I have recently discovered is under the anchor roller. Image below.

PXL_20211002_174627474.MP.jpg
 
Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
Rudder post is fiberglass? Ours was steel and OEM.
Most definitely in my '95. From the emergency tiller access about 1inch thick outerwalls. As I understand it the thought was for a continuous waterproof chemical connection to the rudder itself (that is as strong as the rudder) rather than a mismatch of materials. Good idea in theory.
 
Mar 4, 2019
27
Hunter 40.5 Richmond CA
This one is also fiberglass.

Did your come w/ heaters?

No comments on the 3 keet bolts? Still the craziest part to me. Was the bulb epoxied on? Wonder if Marlow-hunter would know
 
Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
This one is also fiberglass.

Did your come w/ heaters?

No comments on the 3 keet bolts? Still the craziest part to me. Was the bulb epoxied on? Wonder if Marlow-hunter would know
Not Marlow, just hunter back then.

In Florida so I consider the heater function a secondary feature of the ACs!

I don't know of a single legend series that ever lost a keel. A ton of hunters are in Florida and soft groundings are just routine on the west coast. Rumor is they are epoxied on, maybe someone on this board will have that experience.
 
Feb 10, 2004
3,510
Hunter 40.5 Warwick, RI
I visited the Hunter factory around the time they had built my 40.5. I asked about the 3 keel bolts and was told that given there size, ONE bolt would have been enough. I haven't run the numbers, but took the info at face value.
 

Rick D

.
Jun 14, 2008
7,005
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
That's a pretty good list SandyFrank made. Having said that, our '94 we have owned for 22 years has but a fraction of those issues. The water belly tanks should not need their tops removed. Most leaks are from the screw holes and inspection posts (in our experience) and require rebedding the screws and ports. The holding tank will have to be replaced if it has not already been. Regularly clean out the weep holes within the mast base to keep accumulated water from flowing into the cable run. Don't freak out on the three keel bolts. I thought y rudder post was S/S although it is described as FRP in thee manual. Regardless, we have never heard of one being lost.
 
Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
The water belly tanks should not need their tops removed. Most leaks are from the screw holes and inspection posts (in our experience) and require rebedding the screws and ports.
Yeah... My strbd lid actually cracked in the structural "dimples." Port is leaking as well but have not removed that entire side of the cabin to inspect.

Actually brings up another design "flaw." There is so much potential storage space in the stringer pans that is impossible to get to!
 
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May 15, 2011
3
Hunter 40.5 saint john nb
i have a 1995 hunter 40.5 and suffered a hard grounding, doing 8 knts and came to complete stop on a reef
the front of bulb took all the impact, the damage is to lead as far as we can see and waiting for more indepth survey. the keel bolts are intact and some crcks showed up at the trunk to hull seam,
in doing some home work i discovered that the bulb is epoxied to the trunk and the bolts are there for allignement and to hold in place until the epoxy cured.
no sign of seperation at bulb to trunk seam, seems the eopxy is a good bond.
i wouldnt be holding back buying boat due to keel boats. i can say that its a tought boat. also hunter marlow were uick on advise on repairs
GH
 
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Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
i discovered that the bulb is epoxied to the trunk and the bolts are there for allignement and to hold in place until the epoxy cured.
Sorry to hear but rumor confirmed! The keel is basically structurally bonded to the hull.
 
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Mar 4, 2019
27
Hunter 40.5 Richmond CA
So then the question becomes - how long will an epoxy bulb to stub joint last? :huh: I bet you could sister in some extra bolts but that's a *deep* and awkward bilge - anyone know how much of the bottom of the stub you can see?

Lastly, how big of a concern is water in the bilge?
Very enlightening responses, thank you @SandyFrank @steelntime @Rich Stidger @Rick D
 

fero

.
Jan 15, 2010
71
Hunter Legend 40.5 Victoria
Do a search “40.5 Legend” on this site and you will be able to read a lot of answers to your questions as well as to some you have not asked.
Good luck.
Frank
 

Rick D

.
Jun 14, 2008
7,005
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
So then the question becomes - how long will an epoxy bulb to stub joint last? :huh: I bet you could sister in some extra bolts but that's a *deep* and awkward bilge - anyone know how much of the bottom of the stub you can see?

Lastly, how big of a concern is water in the bilge?
Very enlightening responses, thank you @SandyFrank @steelntime @Rich Stidger @Rick D
k
Do you think it might be better to look at another boat than the 40.5? You seem to have some deep seated concerns about the keel. I doubt that would go away. Sometimes the better choice is to move on...
 
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Mar 4, 2019
27
Hunter 40.5 Richmond CA
k
Do you think it might be better to look at another boat than the 40.5? You seem to have some deep seated concerns about the keel. I doubt that would go away. Sometimes the better choice is to move on...
I've looked at enough boats to know that the keel is always something I would investigate . I think it's a fair question to ask when boats are nearing 30 years old especially. As a former engineer, I am ok with doing some amount of structural reinforcement to older boats. I have done that on my 1978 O'day 23 with a high degree of success - it's far stronger and stiffer in choppy water compared to when I bought it.

One thing I notice is that the lead keel bulb seems to have a cutout for the fiberglass stub to sit in; that would mean that the tension on the bulb/stub joint for the epoxy and bolts is only vertical instead of both vertical and horizontal. To me, that would significantly lower the strain on the joint.
 
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Sep 25, 2008
6,316
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Academic debates are educational but not always useful. I was impressed by the structural integrity of the keel after we hit a submerged rock head-on at 8 knots with our 40.5 which tore a big gash in the lead bulb with no structural impact. I’m an engineer too And to me, it sounds like you are trying to find a problem which doesn’t exist.
 
Jan 18, 2021
45
Hunter 40.5 Burnt Store Marina
I do not recognize the model, but I believe it is a hunter and would say that is an extremely strong keel. Apparently it has been there for over a week.

 
Mar 4, 2019
27
Hunter 40.5 Richmond CA
Offer signed :eek:

Been dreaming about it 20 years. Boat is gorgeous, walking in it is like walking in a yacht. Feels and looks very thicc and sturdy, but also was she was also desperate to sail in just 3 knots of wind. Got a big voyage ahead of me with captain and crew, and then I'll be making a boat in great condition as perfect as I can. Wish me luck.

Thank you all again. I've looked at a LOT of boats. The 40.5 seems special to me.