Why does Hunter have a bad name?

Feb 27, 2004
Hunter 335 North East, MD
I think you'll find a lot of Hunter owners on this site and elsewhere that are very happy with their Hunters and think they are a great value. My own impression is that many of the mass produced sailboats in the US, like Hunter and Catalina, were probably hit and miss when they first started out in the late sixties and early seventies- decent designs but sometimes questionable building practices- however that changed and probably since the late eighties these boats have been pretty solid. Good all round craft and well engineered - just my 2 cents
Nov 30, 2015
Hunter 1978 H30 Cherubini, Treman Marina, Ithaca, NY
New to sailboats and seems everyone says to stay away from Hunter.
I’m curious about what you have read and/or heard? Certainly not “everyone says”. I’m pretty sure you’ll find some level of disagreement from we Hunter Owners. My boat is built like a brick $h!t house. It’s been very well maintained, sailed in fresh water only, super easy to sail, totally old school instruments, and everything works...after 41 years of recreational service. I’d like to hear some things that would make you stay away from “Hunter”. You might be missing an awesome opportunity if you follow everyone’s input.
Jan 22, 2008
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Depends on what you're looking for. I wouldn't circle the globe in one, even though I'm sure someone has. For coastal cruising and bay sailing they can't be beat for the price. I've had mine for ten years using it every weekend and raced it pretty hard the last three or so and it's held up. It's been a lot fun and not a lot of trouble. Quality of the fit and finish are not Swan or Sabre quality, but lead keels, Yanmar engines, Lewmar winches, and Selden rigs are good specs on any boat. My two cents from close by on Galveston Bay.
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May 27, 2004
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
As the previous posters have suggested, Hunter owners like myself find that our boats were spartan in some respects, but well thought out in design and solidly built. No, they didn't have all the bells and whistles of others built in the same era, but 6'3" headroom all the way into the V berth was uncommon in a 70's or 80's thirty foot boat. Also, it seems some other, higher priced marks didn't feel the need to fully enclose their V berths on even larger boats.
Since I bought my '79 Hunter 30 new 40 years ago, I can say to Warren Luhrs (RIP) , the founder of Hunter Marine, "Well done".


Jun 29, 2014
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
I don't own a Hunter but I race on a 310 and there are a few other Hunters-a couple 23.5's and a 25 in my marina.

The 310 is a blast to sail, well built and rigged. The others in the marina seem to be solid boats that get used a lot. All the owners are happy with them.

I would not hesitate to buy a squared away Hunter over a rough "good reputation" make. Watch some of @Bill19233 videos and decide for yourself if you should stay away from Hunters....
Nov 6, 2006
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Bought my '85 model in Kemah back in '91.. Still happy with her !! Sailed her back to Lake Pontchartrain from Kemah.. She's been a fine coastal cruiser.. Most folks who talk bad about them haven't sailed on one, and they can't give you a particular reason why they don't like the brand.. Look carefully..
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Jan 22, 2008
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
I would not hesitate to buy a squared away Hunter over a rough "good reputation" make. Watch some of @Bill19233 videos and decide for yourself if you should stay away from Hunters....
Thanks FDL S2, here's a link to a video that shows my Hunter sailing in a lot of different conditions, there are more links at the end of the video. We race my 2000 with other Hunters from the 80's and 90's and all do well. My favorite things about late model Hunters are the large cockpits and the arch.

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Nov 26, 2012
Hunter 34 Berkeley
They are not the most well constructed. Cheap components. Cheap hardware. Poor construction in many ways. There are lots of threads in here about these issues. With that said, they are inexpensive to purchase and that makes them a good value. I would not try to cross an ocean with my H34 but for sailing SF Bay she's great.
Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
We have owned a 1987 Hunter 31, 2004 Hunter 386 and now 2005 Hunter 2006. One couple we know thinks the boats are not "old school" since they have high free board. We like them since they sail really comfortably and fast with balanced sails and really fast easily with a spinnaker on a broad reach. We like the newer ones since they are well appointed with a large cockpit and living/dining/sleeping/head/galley space below, easy to single hand sail, made of high quality components, easy to maintain and hold up really well.

During the recent sale of our Hunter 386 the only objection was the companionway hump. I explained to the broker that provided an extra seat, a place vs. on the cockpit floor to stage food and beverages to/from the galley and provided larger head room in the aft cabin. A week later the boat sold.
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Sep 25, 2008
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
We used to own a Hunter 40.5 which was 20 years old when we sold it and bought an Alden. Both have Harken or Lewmar winches, bronze seacocks, tinned copper wire, oversized rigging, SS rudder post, aluminum tankage, Harken or Gauhaurer hardware, teak interior, shoebox flanged rub rail, etc... In short, same components and hardware, different label on the glass.

This isn’t to say they are equivalent in every respect. Simply that people who make silly generalizations about any boat or other subject show only their limited understanding.

When I was a kid, my parents kidnapped and dragged me on a Pacific cruise from SD to New Zealand aboard their 37 ft cutter rigged Roberts. Long story short - during that year, we visited places most people never heard of and saw boats at anchor from every conceivable make and manufacturer. When in port, I recall the most prevalent discussion among the cruisers was breakdowns, parts replacement, repair support, broken everything, .... the “fanciest” boats having the most problems.

Absolutely no one ever complained about or criticized the brand name on the hull. I also learned that coral doesn’t care which manufacturer made the boat when you hit it.

If anyone blindly criticized an entire brand, just smile, walk away and find someone smarter from whom you can get advice.
Apr 11, 2010
Hunter 38 Whitehall MI
New to sailboats and seems everyone says to stay away from Hunter.
I seriously doubt that EVERYONE says that.
I’ve owned an S2 Yacht, O’Day, Catalina, and now a Hunter. Have sailed on a Peason, Tayana, Cherubini, Islander, Columbia, Tartan, And a handful of others.
I’d say my Hunter compares comparably with all of them. Well maybe the exceptions might be the Tayana and the Cherubini. But then the Tayana was a 42 foot ocean going boat and the Cherubini was a 44 foot custom built boat.
Yes Hunter is not a high end custom built boat but solidly built, sails well, has many innovative features, is very comfortable, and fit and finish is every bit as good as any of the other production brands out there.

All boats are filled with compromises and you just need to honestly assess them, decide which ones you can live with, which ones you can fix, and which ones you can’t accept.
Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I owned a Hunter 280, and it was a good boat for a 28-foot coastal boat. She sailed well and had decent equipment.

I now own an O’Day 322. She has the exact same engine as the Hunter. The hunter had a great cockpit. The O’Day has a much nicer (less plastic) cabin and better galley.

I test sailed a MacGregor 26X...that was a cheaply built boat.

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Jun 15, 2012
Hunter 50 AC St. Petersburg
I bet 99 percent of negative things said about Hunters are from people who have never sailed or owned one. I have been very happy about the quality of my 2007 41DS and 2011 50AC.