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Thought on Hunter 45 for newbie.

BKWard

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Jan 25, 2020
3
Hunter 45 DS Rock Hall
Jon Hansen, jssailem, Will Gilmore, David in Sandusky.....and a few others I did not mention....great advice and you gave me things to think about.

Then there’s Don SV who said “you have no idea what your dream boat is.” so, your telling me that as I spend more time on water and sail in different conditions over the years before I retire that my idea of a dreamboat may change? WOW.....now that’s the kind of valuable advice and insight I was looking for!!

Anyway, Jon Hansen your take the boat out and raise and lower the sail 30 times etc. I was thinking of that approach, now that was good advice.
 
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Apr 8, 2011
187
Hunter 36 Intrepid Deale, MD
Yes Jon. But it’s educational experience is a crew of 6. Solo sailing in emergencies is not a part of the curriculum on the 44ft boat.

The ability to manage the boat in the worst conditions is paramount. Having the time to learn those skills feels like an important part of small boat management.

But some folk dive into the deep end of the pool unable to swim. Then fate determines the outcome.
I agree with jssailem. Using the Navy 44s as an example of a great beginner boat is very misleading. If you've stepped on one you'll know why. They are exquisitely equipped for offshore sailing. I consider myself moderately experienced, and I'm not sure what some of that gear does on those boats. They have 6 winches just on the coach roof. In one sense they're great for learning, because if you learn on that boat you'll be able to sail most any recreational cruiser around that size. But the Navy provides professional level instruction, a crew, and experienced supervision to sail the 44s.

BTW, VERY interesting and educational link on the Navy 44s, much of which is directly applicable to all of us: Navy 44 Information
 
Feb 10, 2017
244
Hunter 41 Progreso
something between 30 and 40 foot for me i think is the best size for everything, a good 30 foot like catalina, hunter jenneau etc will be as confortable as anything out there. for dooking less weight equals less inertia, so will be easer to stop it with your hands, 40 foot and over be prepared to pay the damage, no way to stop them if you are coming in too fast.
 
Oct 26, 2010
923
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
for docking less weight equals less inertia, so will be easer to stop it with your hands, 40 foot and over be prepared to pay the damage, no way to stop them if you are coming in too fast.
True less weight equals less momentum, but I don't think I'd try to stop any sailboat of any appreciable size, even a 30 footer with my hands. Good way to get injured. Whatever the size you choose, learn how far it travels once the shifter is put in neutral. Practice, practice and practice some more with and without current. Don't do this at a dock though, maybe an unoccupied mooring buoy or something similar. You will be amazed at how far a 40 foot boat can "coast" with no power, especially with no current. Even a 30 footer will probably coast more than you expect. Then practice stopping it with reverse and see how she responds and whether she walks when in reverse and which way.
 
Mar 3, 2003
690
Hunter 356 Grand Rivers
I started with a Hunter 260 and sailed it for 5 years. It had very little to assist me. Outboard engine, but wheel,steering. Had a roller furling jib. No windlass. We had a head but no real kitchen, refrigeration, etc. I had to straddle the companionway to get the sail down. We didn’t cruise it, just day sailed. Wife put up with it and we would spend one weekend a year on board.
After 5 years I asked her what it would take to really have an enjoyable boat we would use a lot. Bought a new 2003 Hunter 356 with Northern Lights 5Kw generator, tracking antenna with Dishnetwork TV, Full cockpit enclosure, Full time HVAC, full toilet with shower, hot water, refrigerator/freezer, microwave. Queen size Bed and gas grill. I got radar, sonar, chartplotter , belowdecks autopilot- all the latest bells and whistles. This boat was equipped like no other on Kentucky Lake. Had roller furling main and jib and electric windlass. I set it up to take to Florida. People thought I was crazy. Sailing was supposed to be tough, cold, wet, miserable, beannie weenies and Cracker’s. It was easier to sail than my Hunter 260. Today I have cruised this boat nearly 10,000 miles. My wife and I spend an average of 70 days a year onboard. We eat good meals in comfort and don’t leave the dock without the generator running and a 70-72 degree interior. We have a 6 month cruise from KY to SW Florida under our belt. We built the boat to use. Anything smaller would not have worked. We looked at a Hunter 42 and almost bought it, but the floor being several levels held us back. We thought as we got older we might trip and fall. As we start our 18th season - turning 73 this spring, we have new North 3DI cruising sails and all the original equipment is still,operating. We added AIS on our Florida trip. I essentially single hand it and my wife helps in locks and docking. Get what is comfortable and consult your wife. If she won’t use it with you, you will not have a successful boating experience and won’t use it. Size and comfort matter as well as equipment. Stay dry and out of the wind during the spring and fall and you will have many more sailing days. Make a bigger boat small with the right equipment.
 
Oct 26, 2010
923
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I essentially single hand it and my wife helps in locks and docking. Get what is comfortable and consult your wife. If she won’t use it with you, you will not have a successful boating experience and won’t use it. Size and comfort matter as well as equipment.
If Mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy!

Unless your wife or sailing partner is an experienced and dedicaed sailor, set it up to single hand, even if she helps sail some or most of the time. That way you can handle most, if not all the normal sailing activities with her or guests aboard and get her or them involved as much as they want to be.
 
Feb 21, 2013
405
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
OK, I’ll get to point.....I’m looking at a late 2000’s Hunter 45.....So, for you Hunter owners out there, I’d appreciate any advice or thoughts on boat.
You will love the 45's large cabin space below improves cruising comfort, heavy displacement and large cockpit increases sailing comfort, long waterline enables greater hull speed, large spade rudder, fin keel and bow thruster increases maneuverability, in-mast furling mainsail is fast and easy to deploy, reef and haul-in, cabin top winches makes it easy to tack and jib and cabin top sheet pockets avoids lines in the cockpit.
 
Sep 5, 2009
126
Hunter 45 CC Marina del Rey
I have a Hunter 45CC - easy to sail, furling main and headsail. Bowthruster helps!
Hue after cabin like a hotel room - great if you want to spend time on the boat. Bluewater sailboat!

Take the boat out with some sailing friends and you get used to it!
Good luck V
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,704
Catalina 310 211 RoseLeigh Lake Guntersville, AL
Any update @BKWard ? I'm interested in seeing how you work this great change out. We got bit by the sailing bug after a couple of seasons with our 1976 O'Day 25 and seriously considered a new Jenneau 440 in St Augustine captains only charter for 5 years. We loved the boat and the deal was great, we would have kept the old O'Day since access the the 440 would be limited living in Alabama. We ended up finding our wonderful Catalina 310, which is significantly smaller then the 440, but is really a big boat in a small package. Last year we managed 18 day sail trips from April to November and really built confidence and experience in the process. What ever direction you go just go and get that experience going.