Hunter Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997
Hunter OEM Parts
General Marine Parts

Review of the Hunter 28.5 by Mike Parker

Year built 1987  
Location of boat Austin TX  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Owner bought the boat in 1994  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes. I have been delighted with the Hunter 28.5. It was a nice step up from a Catalina 22 that we owned for 10 years. The Hunter sails well and the price at which I purchased it made it a great value.  
Gear that's been added When we purchased this boat it had recently been equipped with a roller furling 150 genoa and a good quality bimini, a must on Lake Travis. As a result we have not had to add much gear. I have added a spinaker pole for the genoa and will eventually get a spinaker but that will be awhile.  
Structural or complex improvements I replaced the toilet in the head because the old one leaked into the bilge. This job would not be considered complex for one who has worked as a contortionist. I added a solar vent to the hatch over the dining table. This prevents mold and mildew. I've also replaced a damaged stanchion and all of the lifelines.  
The boat's best features The 28.5 is a perfect lake boat. It is easily powered, accelerates quickly, and has lots of features that make it fun to cruise on. I wouldn't take for the roller furling, the wheel steering and the Yanmar diesel.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The deck seems to give a little in spots. I hate the Bomar plastic windows that don't seem to drain as designed, and the forward cleats should have had risers, becsues the rail is placed so close that you can only use small docklines up front.  
Sailing characterisitcs I like my 150% genoa for summers in Texas, but the boat was really designed for a smaller jib and it is hard to get the main drawing full with the bigger headsail. It becomes necessary to change headsails quicker in this boat, which is a little harder with a roller furler. She also doesn't sail downwind quite as well as she should because of the swept back shrouds. I do consider these to be minor inconveniences in a boat that in most conditions is a lot of fun to sail.  
Motoring characterisitcs She pulls a little to one side under power but I am told this is normal. The Yanmar has been 100% reliable. I wouldn't go back to an outboard for anything, at least anything I can think of at the moment. Outboard motors pollute and are completely unreliable, except as mooring anchors.  
Liveability The boat is not a liveaboard boat. It is a rgreat boat to overnight on with a couple of friends. With any more than four on this boat it would be worse than a college dorm. Some of the features on the boat are cute but wholly nuuecessary. In Texas you don't need hot water, you need cold water, and a shower in the head on this boat is quite amusing to think about but I don't think I would ever take it much farther. It is however a great boat to watch a sunset from and it has great curb appeal.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) The Hunter technical people have helped me on two occasions and they have been great. A few minutes on the phone with them in one case saved me several hundred dollars of repairs.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any I did not buy the boat from a local dealer but Rod Malone at Sail and Ski (the local dealer) has been very helpful in helping me get parts and assistance.  
Other comments