Why does Hunter have a bad name?

dLj

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Mar 23, 2017
1,830
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
I remember in middle school, there was one kid that everyone made fun of. I never could figure it out. He was an awesome dude! He grew up to be quite successful. Perhaps when all the naysayers about Hunters grow up and open their eyes, they'll come to realize the absurdity such a blanket statement really is.

dj
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
My hunter is made from plastic that warps in sunshine, and splits like a pitted windshield in cold latitudes. Quality Points...1 out of 10.

I have never had any emails or phone calls returned from Hunter when I asked for help. Customer Service Points...zero

Their entry level boats are designed to appeal to nonsailers. Youll hear key words like headroom, amenities, easy, few simple controls, uncluttered cockpit. When people that enjoy the details of sailing and boating get in these, they are dissapointed at the multiverse opposites like, rounds up too quickly when heeled, slow, difficult to trim.

Sailing Control Points...5

Then, when these entry level sailor try to upgrade, the hull form is inadequately designed. Adding additional mount areas for features that new buyers dont even know exists adds costs.

If youve been in this forum long enough youll know they ignored every bit of Daves advice.

The company may make solid big boats, but the daysailers get outgrown quickly.

They never did figure out how to set up the trailers and hulls for planing daysailors.

The boats are affordable for sure. My next boat needs to be fun. I dont have to buy a boat, and i dont want to show up for work on Monday bragging about my barely sailing weekend.

There are lots if great brands out there, but they cost more.
The Op is about Hunters not Hyundais...;)
 
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Dec 28, 2015
1,357
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Name means alot but year manufactured means just as much. Think Audi, not that I would buy one but you couldn't give away the 80's and 90' vintage.
 
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Jul 10, 2019
11
Hunter 33 Bradwell on Sea Essex
I would like to join in and share my limited experience and thoughts, I have been into boats for the last 10 years and have owned 4 motorboats.
Around 18 months ago I started to consider buying sailing boat for the following reasons - a larger accommodation, greater range without greater cost, a more modern vessel / interior at a price I could afford.

We had a look at several cruisers and then we looked at a Hunter Legend 33, my wife and I both felt it was way, way better than the other boats we had looked at, interior layout, size, we could not see a down side, of course we have no knowledge on sailing.

Anyway a year or so went by and I finally decided to list my motorboat for sale, as soon as I had a sale pending started looking for a cruiser around 32ft. We went and stood on several boats I was mainly looking at the French makes / models.

I trawled and goggled and asked many people about sailing boats and most times I mentioned Hunter Legend and I will add to someone who has never sailed or owned one, I got a negative comment, which was something like "yeah nice interior will not point or it will not sail well"

I then came across a forum where it starts "What is wrong with Hunter Legends?" lots of people on there were stating they had sailed one and they were very negative about Hunters.

I kept looking around and tried hard to find a boat that fitted my budget, but after looking at many I kept going back to the Hunter Legend 33 I had seen, as this had way better spec, layout modern feel, hot water, heating, electronics and was in reach for my budget.

On my various journeys I meet brokers who were selling other makes of boats who when I asked what they thought about a Hunter Legend actually praised them one or two were negative.

The positive comments gave me some reassurance to keep the Hunter in mind and then I met some Hunter Legend 33 owners who were local to me and we chatted and they said most of what I had read and heard was not true.

That was it, I went and purchased a 2005 Hunter Legend and although I am a new sailor and still learning, I have only sailed the boat for the last month covering around 300 - 400 miles on the boat in various conditions half purely sailing half motor sailing, I would ignore the negative comments, there are negatives points about all boats depending on your point of view.

At the moment I am more than happy with my choice. I admit I have a lot to learn about sailing but when someone else is on the same point of sail in similar boat I seem to stay ahead or actually leave them behind, not always though in light down wind I seem to have boats passing me, I may need to look into a cruising chute?

However I have had several runs sailing where my speed was constant over 7knts and I have touched 9.6 knts, so the Hunter cannot be that bad.

Thanks J
 
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Dec 25, 2000
5,048
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
They are not the most well constructed. Cheap components. Cheap hardware. Poor construction in many ways.
You must be referring to another brand than Hunter. Your comments do not match our experience with the Hunter brand. Perhaps you could be a bit more specific about what it is that concerns you.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,821
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Any time we invite someone aboard, whether sailor or not they are always impressed with the boat and its layout, the ones that do sail appreciate the ease at which her 41' handles and rides. Is she fast, well at some points of sail (reaches like a beast), can she point like a C&C 41, not quite as good but I will take the ease of tacking over the few degree of upwind performance. At just North of 20K#'s (fueled and watered) she's not the fastest but we didn't buy it to be first on race day, we bought it to be the most comfortable getting there. She achieves her hull speed easily, its the only manufacturer that I know of that laces kevlar panels in the forward quarters of the hull, she is thoughtfully laid out with comfort and ease of handling in mind. All regular maintenance items are easily accessed another big plus. I could go on but I think you understand my thoughts on the subject.
 
Jul 1, 1998
3,054
Hunter Legend 35 Poulsbo/Semiahmoo WA
New to sailboats and seems everyone says to stay away from Hunter.
Was out sailing today, came back in and saw this post. I'd consider the source.
I grew up in a boating family. Owned my own sailing boats since the 6th grade, so not a newbie here. Crewed on several successful race boats like a Hobie 33, Cal 40 (top SF Bay that year), and including a C&C 36 who's skipper became president of Pacific Northwest PHRF.
Had a reply ready to send but decided "why bother" so deleted it.
"Hear what you want to hear and disregard the rest."

Guess everybody has to start somewhere.

We've had such wonderful memories of cruises on our boat. Wonder if Scuba thinks I should have never sailed up the outside to the Queen Charlottes through the area that had 100 ft waves, or Alaska and up Tracy Arm and messed around with those ice bergs, or outside to Sitka with those wind-blown anchorages? We coulda sunk and nobody would have known. And now to think we're lucky to have survived this! Geeze, after reading Scuba's post now I'll have nightmares!!!
Must have dodged a few bullets there.

Ah, but today was really great! We live to another day.
 
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Sep 12, 2019
6
Hunter 450 Passage San Diego
First post! When I was looking for my first boat 2 years ago I had also heard the negative comments about Hunters. I was really hesitant when my broker had suggested looking at a 2000 hunter 450 passage. I thought he was just offloading a boat on me untill we went to look at it. My wife and I had seen quite a few different boats from different makes and the hunter really just blew everything we saw out of the water. The layout is just insane, huge, roomy, comfortable. Some better placed interior handrails would be nice though. Everything seemed to be good enough, it wasn't luxury but we couldn't afford luxury anyway and the hunter was exactly what we needed and could afford. We decided to put in a offer and shorty after she was ours.

2 years later of full time living on her I don't really have any major complaints. Some things could have been done better from the factory others are spot on. I don't mind some elbow grease to get things in order when I paid as much as I did for this boat. She sails great! I know this was my first boat so I don't have much to compare but her performance sailing speaks for itself. We are regularly the fastest boat in the pack and overtake others quite often. Sailing dead downwind is slow going (whisker pole on the Genoa helps a lot) and upwind isn't the best I've seen either. Overall I'm super happy with the boat and only time will tell how she handles open water and long distance cruising but people have done it with much much less so I'm not too worried about it.
 
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DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,252
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
There are SO many Hunters out there it would be a gross generalization to say they are all bad. I've seen some pretty nice Hunters and some really bad ones. I've just gone through a two year boat search, including three hunters. I looked at about 15 boats and I would have to say the Hunters I looked at were some of the worst of the lot. They were all early 80's, one Cheribuni 33 and two Hunter 34's. The hardware was ok but the layouts were not stellar and the finish was poor. One weekend I went to look at an Islander Freeport 36 and two Hunter 34's. Wow, what a difference. I ended up putting in an offer on the Freeport 36. Now granted, the Hunters were cheaper and a 36 footer has more room to work with than a 34 but I also looked at Tanzer 10.5 which is the same size as the Hunter 34 and the layout is much nicer and better build quality, similar vintage boats. I'm used to older boats, I have had my 1974 C&C 27 for over 20 years so I have a good idea of what to expect from a well made and maintained older boat.

I will say that some of the newer Hunters are much nicer than the 80's and earlier boats. There are probably a handful of nice older (80's and earlier) Hunters out there and maintenance on these older boats probably goes a long way but my experience is if you are looking at 80's or earlier boats in the 30 to 40 foot range, set your expectations accordingly when looking at Hunter and compare with other builders such as CS, C&C, Catalina, Islander, Pearson...
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,531
Hunter 34 Berkeley
You must be referring to another brand than Hunter. Your comments do not match our experience with the Hunter brand. Perhaps you could be a bit more specific about what it is that concerns you.
Odd comment. Do you think I don’t know what type of boat I own? Have you seen all of threads on this site on how to correct problems with the Hunters that are a direct result of poor construction? Compression post. False bilge. Bow roller. Starboard list. The op asked a fair question. I gave him a truthful answer.
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,016
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I'm glad we spent the $$ and got a later 90's generation Hunter. The flaws mentioned on earlier builds seem to have been taken care of. I realize it's not a bluewater boat, but that's not what we were looking for. Chevy VS Hummer.
If I had a complaint it would be the cast iron keel.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,252
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Apparently there was a re-structuring at Hunter in 1991 brought about by concerns in design, quality and support. This may be the turning point which pushed them toward their current path of excelling at consumer engineering. I do admire the way Hunter develops boats from a business perspective. They are very good at predicting the market, they focus energy on what new boat buyers want, their manufacturing processes are very efficient, they minimize waste. Hunter was one of the first boat companies to design for manufacturability, standardizing parts so they don't need to be custom fitted to each boat and developing the build process along with the boat design. This has trickle down to improve quality if it is implemented correctly.
 
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Mar 6, 2008
692
Catalina 1999 C36 MKII #1787 Coyote Point Marina, CA.
I owned 1984 H25.5 for 5 years. It was very well built, had strong hull.
 
Oct 31, 2012
437
Hunter 2008 H25 Lake Wabamun
Before I purchased my 2007 H25, I looked at a lot of other boats and what they had to offer. For my needs (shoal draft, no moving parts below the waterline, easy launching, open transom, roomy cockpit, etc, etc) the hunter checked off all boxes. If a good business model is “give the people what they want” then Hunter has hit many home runs.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,252
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
What "current path?" Hunter is no more. The assets were purchased by Marlow in 2012, and Marlow takes no responsibility for earlier-built Hunters.
It seems as though Marlow kept the same marketing and design philosophy as the pre-Marlow Hunter group, maybe taking it even farther towards building only what new buyers want and nothing else. I'm not commenting on customer support as I have no experience with Hunter or Marlow in this area.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
However I have had several runs sailing where my speed was constant over 7knts and I have touched 9.6 knts, so the Hunter cannot be that bad.
With a 29.5' waterline the hull speed is 7.28 kt. Your 9.6 is likely speed over the ground (gps), boat speed plus current.
 

dLj

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Mar 23, 2017
1,830
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
With a 29.5' waterline the hull speed is 7.28 kt. Your 9.6 is likely speed over the ground (gps), boat speed plus current.
Well, I've hit 9.6 with my 1977 Hunter 30, that's on Lake Champlain that has no current. Done it several times in various directions on the lake.

dj
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,563
Catalina 320 Dana Point
According to my GPS I hit 17kts. once, must have been for a millisecond as I was falling off the top of a 40' wave.;)
 
Dec 15, 2017
56
Hunter Legend 41AC Portsmouth
Just to add my points on this as we have a 2004 legend 41ac and have recently completed a 1700 nm trip form Portsmouth in the UK to the canary Islands. This included a 700nm/5 day single passage.

The boat performed very well, even when we got caught out in some unexpected f7/f8 weather and we felt fine in her. Yes I would ideally have a heavier displacement vessel but we have looked at many and a lot of them are not very good when you are at anchor or in a marina, which is 90% of the time.

Things we added to her to make it better for us were 500w solar, wind gen, watermaker, wraparound storm sail (luckily not needed).

On the trip we met people doing the same trip in all sorts of boats, including 35ft bavaria etc.

In summary, our boat is not as well built as a hallberg, oyster or najad etc, but she has served us well and costs nowhere near as much. In fact so well we are looking to take her to the Caribbean next year from here.