Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 41DS by DayDreamer41

Year built 2007  
Location of boat Port Huron MI  
The boat is sailed on The Great Lakes  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength 16-22 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2016  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Sure we would my wife and I love spending time on this well appointed roomy easy to sail vessel.  
Gear that's been added Selden GX-15, Top Down furler, bowsprit and Asymmetrical Spinnaker, the boat was very well equipped as purchased which included the mariner package (6.5 Kw Gen, bow thruster, reverse cycle AC units)  
Structural or complex improvements Not as of yet, thinking about adding a drive motor to the starboard side cabin top winch (Out Haul)  
The boat's best features One of the first things you will notice when you step aboard our Sapphire is the open spaciousness of the salon, this well appointed self sustaining vessel has no stones left unturned. From the AC/Heat to the simplicity of sailing her, rolling furling main allows for sail area adjustments easily as wind conditions change, she loves to sail flat and this is where she sails the fastest which also provides for more comfort underway. Should anyone ever need to access the forward deck broad gunwales and strategically placed grab rails allow safe and easy access even in pitching seas. To wrap up I will say, the Sapphire is a beautiful boat not only the way she works, but the eye appeal as well, we are always receiving compliments on this beauty.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. We have logged over a 1000 miles thus far with not issues outside of regular maintenance issues.  
Sailing characterisitcs Our first sail with this vessel took us over 500 miles from bottom of Lake Michigan to the bottom of Lake Huron, with that being said we sailed through winds which topped 30 and seas rolling as much as 16 ft. We dont race so I couldnt tell you how she would perform against the sailing field, the fastest speed I have seen on the clock is 13.5 kts motor sailing DDW winds at 18-25 and seas 14-16, this is one of those days a sailor never forgets covering 60 miles in 4 1/2 hrs. Typically the summer winds are anywhere from 5 to 20+, we have learned to understand the boats performance to wind speed vs sail area and she is a solid performer especially in winds above 10, the Asymmetrical has greatly improved downwind performance, but DDW is still a challenge.  
Motoring characterisitcs The 54 HP Yanmar easily pushes her along in calm seas to 7 kts at 2000 RPMs the Flex-o-fold 3-blade does a great job in both reverse and forward gears, I will say that there is considerable port side prop walk in reverse, but once understood one can use this to their advantage. Fuel usage is as advertised at approximately .8 GPH in calm seas, consumption increases to 1.2 GPH or so when motoring in rough seas. I would say that the 50 gallon design would allow for no more than a 300 mile range on engine alone, which really isnt good for open water touring, but is adequate for Great Lakes and Intercoastal cruising. Navigating tight runways in cross winds is a challenge with this vessel and must pay close attention to the wind direction with respect to boat position in the lane but I will take the trade off for lots of head room in the salon. I find that the bow thruster is undersized in most conditions and have learned to negotiate these adverse conditions with throttle and helm management rather than rely on the thruster. (This may be from the POs overuse of this equipment, I am not completely certain on this)  
Liveability As stated the accommodations are ample, the storage is sufficient, we do carry a larger cooler to keep soda, beer and water cold, reserving the fridge space for food stores. She has a large galley with an nice (3) burner stove and oven which works very well, an upgrade I will do during the off season is add some better cabin lighting, current lighting is either low or harsh with no ability to adjust to anything in between. The Quiet Flush toilets work well but are anything but quiet, this could use some improvement. A central vacuum system would be nice and this is another thing on my list of things to upgrade to. The boat has but (1) water pump which pressurizes the fresh water system through a manifold which is the feed to every appliance which uses water (2 heads, 3 sinks, 3 showers) should this pump fail one would be without fresh water which could be an issue, a spare pump would be good to have on hand. (havent had an issue but I could see this as an early failure point).  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Having purchased the boat in its 9th year of life I did not have the opportunity to deal with Hunter, would love to see their facility some day though.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Purchased the Sapphire directly from the previous owner.  
Other comments I believe that I have covered all of my thoughts gathered over the period of time we have owned the Sapphire. Solid, well performing vessel which provides us with safe vacation passages! Please excuse any grammatical errors I have made in writing this review