Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by Oscar

Year built 1988  
Location of boat Racine, WI  
The boat is sailed on The Great Lakes  
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 2004  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes, no doubt  
Gear that's been added AIWA radio/CD/MP3 player with remote, external speakers in cockpit, Autohelm 4000+ linked with wind instrument and GPS (this works like a dream!), wheel and nav pod cover, power inverter, battery meters in nav station  
Structural or complex improvements The teak sole was a little soft underneath, so I took out, ate out the soft part, filled with epoxy.  
The boat's best features This is a great entry boat for a small family or couple with a budget. It manouvers smooth and precise under sail or motor. The B&R rigging requires lots of experimental trimming before you are 100% satisfied, it takes a couple of weeks of trying different set-ups. Under sailing she points fairly well to the wind, mine is the shoal version and I can't do better tack than 100 degrees, whatever trim I try. However have to admit that the sails I have on aren't the best nor the newer. Circulating above deck is ok and below is more than adequate for her size. I am not a little guy and never feel cramped in the aft room or vee berth. There is plenty of storage below starboard seat in cockpit, you can stow wathever you want there. If I have to describe in few words best characteristics I would simply say: nice design, good interior below decks and great sailing characteristics at an affordable price  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The sewage system wasn't working, the stuffing box dripped badly, the engine-stop cable was blocked, wind instrument was not working, and several little things but everything was taken care from the dealer, great experience, than you Racine Riverside! From desing standpoint, the head is a little small for me but I can live with. The cleats in the bow need risers  
Sailing characterisitcs Is a fast boat for her lenght (between 5.5 to 6.2 knots with 12 knots true), you have to reef before you think, she overpowers easily, but that's alright. Downwind is a pain in the neck, you are better of with polars. (This is true for all B&R rigging). The traveller is probably the most important control in cockpit, it makes all the difference. Lots of weather helm with 135% genoa, easily corrected with traveller. Adjustable backstay also plays a role when reaching. This is a boat to enjoy sailing at every time of the day, in every weather condition  
Motoring characterisitcs I use the motor just to get in and out from the harbor, The Yanmar is a piece of jewlery. Have a Martec two blade folding prop, works great forward and reverse. Some walk to port in reverse, but is ok once you get used to. Diesel consumption is a joke.......fill the tank in spring and forget 6 knots at 2700 rpms with no problem  
Liveability Excellent for a couple or a group of 3-4 good friends, just don't have them sitting in forward deck, it knocks down 1 knot at least.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Did not have to  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Racine Riverside Marine: two thumbs up!! A wonderful experience. Simply the best.  
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