Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by Rick Belisle

Year built 1988  
Location of boat Racine, WI  
The boat is sailed on The Great 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 1993  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes. We moved up from a 1989 H23 when we moved from Pittsburgh to Racine. We just weren't comfortable on Lake Michigan with the 23. We felt all we could do was day-sail and we wanted to cruise a little.  
Gear that's been added It came fairly well equipped (Loran, radio, stereo w/ cockpit speakers, an old 165 genny, and roller-furling). We have added an auto-pilot, toaster-over (rather than a microwave. We get much more use out of the oven which we mounted on the shelf above the icebox), a retractable clothesline (the kind you see in hotel bath areas. It fits on the bulkhead above the navdesk and extends out to the bulkhead at the v-bunk..perfect for towels and stuff to dry while sailing between ports). We mount a bike-rack on the stern swim ladder and transport our bikes with us when we cruise. Works real well. I also didn't like the toerail at the prevented the use of larger dock lines. So I installed a couple of teak "risers" under the cleat which raised the cleat about 1"...helps a lot!  
Structural or complex improvements Just the autopilot. It's an autohelm 3000. I had a friend who is a boat mechanic help me in his spare time...much less expensive.  
The boat's best features She sails like a dream, is very sturdy, performs well, and is very comfortable. We've had her in 5-6 ft waves and 25-30 kt gusts, we've crossed LAke Michigan 2 times and never felt afraid. The 2gm20f Yanmar runs very well. No problems other than having to replace the low-pressure fuel pump last year. Very miserly on fuel, esp if you keep her below 2700 rpm.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Nothing really.  
Sailing characterisitcs she points well, doesn't go well downwind because of the swept-back spreaders, but if you head up a little, you go faster than if you were going downwind anyway..all in all, a great boat.  
Motoring characterisitcs Yanmar engine runs great. very good handling, like anything, you have to learn how she behaves going forward or backward. The stink boaters around me are amazed at how we rarely bounce off the dock when we come in...get her within 15-20 ft of the dock, put her in reverse, and she back rights problem.  
Liveability We, a couple, have cruised for as long as 2 weeks on her. No real problem. It ain't the Ritz, but it's comfortable. We prefer the V-berth because it's easier to get into/out of and hads more head room than the rear quarter. We have had another couple aboard for a weekend. They had the quarter berth and it was OK. We bring an electric coffee pot and, along with the toaster-oven I installed, can cook most anything we want..breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) I've contacted Hunter several times over the years. Always very helpful. I even contacted them via e-mail and they got right back to me.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Bought form Pugh's on Erie, Racine. Large Hunter dealer. They sold my boat to the original owners so they knew it well. They took my 23 in trade...all in all a good experience.  
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