Hunter Owner Reviews

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Review of the Hunter 28.5 by Lee

Year built 1985  
Location of boat Savannah, GA  
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 2003  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Sure. The boat is easy to sail and a bargain to purchase.  
Gear that's been added Bimini top, portlights, hatches, lexan windows, cabin cushions. See comments below.  
Structural or complex improvements Yes, see comments below.  
The boat's best features I like the simple design. As long as you don't spend much time in the cabin, the boat feels like a larger boat but with sports car handling features.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. OK, here we go! (1)Nav station is a waste of space since this boat was never designed as a passage maker.(2) Marine head was plumbed by a sadist. Removed this system completely and replaced with a simple chemical toilet. Wife is much happier now.(3) Head area too small. Attemting to shower is a joke and a mess. Removed existing shower line and water heater (the later also solved the "starboard list problem" everyone complains about and allows the engine to run 10 degrees cooler). We bought a couple of H20 showers. Wife and daughter (7 years old) are more happy. Location of fuel/water separator in aft bilge not good. Replumbed this to the starboard storage area when adding the replacement fuel tank. Quarter berth too small for functional use by an adult but my 10 year old son has claimed this as his private domain since pitching and rolling in a confined space is his thing (future astronaut?). The old GRAY portlights have been replaced (not too bad a job, used Becksons). Table design is OK once seated but difficult to move around when more than 3 are seated (note: this is a great boat if you have small kids because they fit in the small spaces and can fetch beer for you).  
Sailing characterisitcs Easy to sail and evrything is laid out in a simple manner. Points well into the wind but a little ackward downwind. Think reefing in anything over 15-20 knots before it arrives. This boat can overpower fast if your not ready. This makes wife unhappy but the kids love it. The boat will easily do hullspeed in a light breeze (std main w/135 Gen).  
Motoring characterisitcs The boat has a fixed pitch 3 bladed prop. This allows the boat to motor at 6 knots at 2100-2200 rpm all day. We don't race so the fixed prop is not a problem for us and starts making a pleasant hum at 4 knots as it free wheels when under sail. The boat is very responsive at the dock and is easier to "park" than our 20 foot center console.  
Liveability The kids like to spend the night on the boat but it really is not a live aboard. It would be OK for the weekend if I were 20 years old, single, and my girlfriend was the "camping" type. But I am way over 20, girlfriend is now the wife, and she hates camping. Only my son would live on this boat. At 10, He doesn't want to sleep, doesn't want to shower, and nature is his restroom (what can I say).  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Good. The shifting quadrant was badly cracked and they found an aftermarket replacement in no time.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any I purchased from an individual so I have no comments.  
Other comments I really enjoy the boat and if I were wealthy, I would consider buying a bigger Hunter in a heartbeat.