Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by George Gore

Year built 1987  
Location of boat Middle Chesapeake Bay  
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  
Owner bought the boat in 1994  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes; however, I am emotionally ready tomove to a larger boat. This boat has served me very well. I moved from a192 O'Day on the Patomac river to theBay and the Hunter 28.5. It is surprisinghow quickly all that new room can feelcramped in such a short time.  
Gear that's been added Added GPS and boat came with d/nt/wselectronics. Boat came with biminiwhich is a must on the Chesapeake. Modified the topping lift so I couldadjust the boom from the cockpit.  
Structural or complex improvements I am an electronic tech by profession andI have made several modifications to theboat which I felt I needed. First I dontlike idiot lights on engines so I addedoil pressure, water temp. and sys voltagegauges to the Yanmar panel. At thenav station I added a volt meter and ampmeter for the house load. Mostmportant, I removed the "1,2,both" switchand replaced with heavy duty independantswitches and isolated the engine fromthe house load. I now have a separateengine and house battery with a WestMarine combiner. It is the only way toand is described in the W/M 96 catalog.Best $100 I have spent on the boat!!  
The boat's best features For 28 ft it is very roomy and Hunteris wise to put many would be optionson the boat right from the dealer. It is an excellant boat for the C. Baywhere waves are rarely above 4ft. Theboat is definetly fast for a 28 ftfamily cruiser. I was initally disappointedthat it had the main traveler in thecockpit rather than on the trunk. I havechanged my mind completely as I singlehand much of the time and can easilyhandle the main from the steering location.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. I really like the Yanmar engine; however,for normal maint it is very difficult towork on. It is an access problem forworking on the sides of the engine,especially for the area where the lowpressure fuel pump is. The rudder mechanism is also very difficult to do normal maint like tightening thecable. Last spring I found out that thecockpit scupper hoses had frozen andcracked during the winter and many galof rain water had entered the boat. Itwas very difficult to replace the hoses,again due to access. Hunter laid thehoses in with low spots where water cancollect and freeze. They now fully drain with gravity!!!  
Sailing characterisitcs The boat is tippy and must be reefedearly for a comfortable (and fast) ride.I find the boat very fast with wind between 60 and 90 degrees. It pointswell with the standard 110 head sail.The boat had a 155 added to the inventoryand I used it for two years and havefound the 110 to be a better sail formost days. I consider this boat to perform very well and enjoy holdingmy own with larger boats.  
Motoring characterisitcs The twin Yanmar is a fine engine. Inever exceed 3000 RPM and normally,2800 moves the boat at just under 5 knt.I dont like the Hunter method of havingthe exhaust under the boat, out of sight.You cant see the water output and to meit sounds terrible. I modified the exhaust to exit the transum. It doesntsound much better, but I can easily seethe cooling water. I find the boat totrack well in forward and dreadful inreverse, which is not unusual. The keyis to go slower than slow in reverse,especially when you just start to move.  
Liveability As good as it gets for a 28 footer. Twoor three people for two nights is fine.Five days you have to be friends andnot just married. Longer than that,you need a larger boat.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) No, I bought the boat used and have notneeded any factory support  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any I bought from Tidewater in Havre de GraceMD. They are a major Hunter dealer andhave many to choose from most of thetime. It was a good experience and noregrets.  
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