Hunter Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997
Hunter OEM Parts
General Marine Parts

Review of the Hunter 28.5 by ken matejka

Year built 1988  
Location of boat new orleans  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2000  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? yes  
Gear that's been added GPS,custom bimini,secondary winches, port cabin top winch, port deck organizer, port rope clutches, boom vang, backstay adjuster, carbon fiber tape drive RF 145% genoa, tri-radial assym spinnaker with ATN sock, half ounce symmetric spinnaker for light air, full batten main, second bilge pump, onboard automatic dual bank battery charger, cabin stereo with cockpit remote and cockpit speakers, ammeter and voltmeter, new head, 3rd portlight in aft cabin to increase ventilation, helm guard, wheel brake, screens, spinnaker halyard, topping lift, spinnaker pole, replaced all running rigging  
Structural or complex improvements Nothing complex really. Took out all portlights and resealed them as they were leaking badly. Added porlight to aft cabin exiting into the cockpit for increased ventilation--really cooled the cabin down. Added three winches, port deck organizer, and port rope clutches--note that aluminum backing plates were placed at the factory between the layers of fiberglass in the deck in appropriate positions, a nice feature. Had to replace the counter top in the head, a common problem  
The boat's best features excellent performance in light to moderate air especially with spinnaker, responsive, good pointing ability, voluminous interior for boat less than 30 feet. good headroom. Large berths. Nav table in relatively small boat. Good motor and motoring characteristics. Good deck layout  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Motor compartment with poor aft and starboard access. Head is quite small with poor headroom. Bilge is far to shallow--but, allows for headroom--can't have your cake and eat it too. Aft cabin needs better ventilation if in the south. Bow cleats should be larger or be on risers. No way to drain fuel tank from low point.  
Sailing characterisitcs Somewhat tender but less so with good, flat sails I have recently learned. A new carbon tape drive sail has dramatically improved my pointing ability and decreased my heeling. Competitive in racing fleet now. Poor on dead run due to B&R rig, but should sail polars with this boat anyway. Boat is very fast downwind with spinnaker on polars, especially in light air with large .5 ounce chute. Handles well going to weather with full main to 12-14, then I reef. I furl from a 145 to a 125 at 16-18 depending on amount of rail meat. After 20 it is blade time. By noting GPS VMG this boat does best with less that 20 degrees of heel--VMG drops way off if over 20. Stable vessel in large waves. Lots of freeboard. Have never risked stressing rig/sails in winds over 30.  
Motoring characterisitcs Great motor, never had any problems aside from routine impeller replacements--best to remove entire raw water pump. Boat handles well in forward and fair to poor in reverse--normal for a sail boat. Easily maintains 6 knots at 3000.  
Liveability Great for 2 people for a week. 4 for a weekend if they are good friends. Not a liveaboard unless desperate and short term.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Never  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any None  
Other comments Excellent boat, have been very happy with her sailing characteristics, this boat has a good rating,