Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by Brian Brown

Year built 1985  
Location of boat Waukegan, IL  
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 2001  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes, this is a great starter boat. Not to big, doesn't feel small and handles great.  
Gear that's been added Replaced the hot water heater. The original one had a hole someplace inside of it.  
Structural or complex improvements Had to screw down the hand hold at the wheel and added in a friction cleat to hold the lose end of the furling line to keep it from accidently unfurling itself.  
The boat's best features The Hunter 28.5 is easy to sail, very responsive. It is a small boat without feeling like a small boat. She sails well in both light wind and heavier weather. I've had her in 35 knot winds and 6 foot swells and still felt safe. The diesel had never let me down and has provided me with great gas milage over the summer.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The head is a little cramped. Luckily I am a thin guy. The knot meter doesn't always work and I've heard from a few people that even new ones can act flakey as well. The headsail furler is a looped line design and used to come undone when the winds would pick up. I added a cleat to hold the loose end of the line and it hasn't let me down since.  
Sailing characterisitcs I've done day sailing and week long cruises on Lake Michigan. I have seen days of no wind with 20 meter visibility fog, star filled nights with light winds, days of light to moderate winds and waves up to 40 knot winds and 5 to 7 foot swells.  
Motoring characterisitcs I have noticed that when motoring she tends to pull slightly to port. Over all, she motors great, even with her folding prop in both forward and tracks well in reverse.  
Liveability She is a lot of fun to sail. She is very responsive and trims will. I would enjoy her to do better in lighter winds.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) n/a  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any The broker I went to had originally tried to sell me a different boat and kept trying to get me in to the larger one at a higher price. This boat was very well taken care of by it's previous owners and was a great choice. After the decission was made, the brokers were great to work with and very helpful for a first-time buyer.  
Other comments I hadn't really heard anything good about Hunter in the past. After owning this boat, I have a different opinion of Hunter. If the newer boats are anything like this one, it's a great boat at a great price.