Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by S. Sauer

Year built 1986  
Location of boat Northern Chesapeake Bay  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 1986  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes, but may have looked at used C  
Gear that's been added Replaced single cabin top halyard winch with two Harken self tailing 16's, replaced halyard rope clutches with larger spinlock's, added 'Tuff-luf' headfoil system, split backstay adjuster, 8 to 1 boom vang and martec folding prop for racing. Upgraded to two size 27 batteries and 'smart switch' from single size 24 battery. Added 120 volt shore powered lights in V berth and quarter berth; added 12 volt 'cigarette lighter' plugg-in type outlets in head and in cockpit. Added Bimini this season.  
Structural or complex improvements Faired bottom, thru hulls and keel, then epoxy barrier coated entire hull before initial launching when purchased. Added 4-6 coats of Interlux 2000 as additional barrier (blister prevention)coating. Added a 9 inch stainless cleat in the anchor well backed-up with 3/4" plywood for cleating off the anchor rode.  
The boat's best features Very fast in light air, points extremely well, sails well to it's PHRF rating (174 on the Chesapeake). Motors easily at 6.5 knots with the folding prop. Yanmar 2gm20 engine has been terrific as long as you keep water out of the flush deck mounted fuel fill. Suggest replacing stock Raycor fuelafilter with larger clear bowl type Racor.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Cast iron Keels with gel coat surfacing and foam core rudder require more than average maintenance.  
Sailing characterisitcs Fast and easily single-handed in up to 15-18 knots with the 155% Genoa, faster yet over 15 knots with a 135% Genoa, and strong and capable right on up to 20-25 knots with the 110% jib and a single reef. Above that you shouldn't be out but can safely motor-sail home with a single or double reef in the main alone. We have been through storms gusting to 60 and a couple line squalls - always with no sails up. The boat holds up better than the captain.  
Motoring characterisitcs No problem with 6- 6.5 knots as long as the prop and bottom are clean. Emergency stop / engine in reverse maneuver with a folding prop if going over 3-4 knots requires an aggressive throttle, however normal filling and backing, in and out of forward  
Liveability Very good for two people and small children; OK for two couples who know each other and get alog well; cramped and stuffy if confined to the cabin in bad weather. Good for a weekend;good for two-day trips and anchoring out but better if staying at a marina with a restaurant and pool at least every other night. We're supposed to be doing this for fun, right?  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) My one and only call to Hunter as a manufacturer was to ask about adding an adjustable back stay to bend the mast and flatten the main sail for racing. The person I spoke to said ;".. we dont recommend bending the mast.." Oh well... The local Hunter dealer and staff in Havre De Grace, Maryland were absolutely professional, helpful and terrific to work with.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Same as above - Tidewater in Havre De Grace is terrific.  
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