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Forum Index: .: Dock Talk:
Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one?
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StilettoB
**

Nov 18, 2008, 7:56 AM

Post #1 of 16 (38078 views)
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Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? Log-In to Post/Reply

Can anyone in this extremely knowledgeable sailing community provide me with tangible reasons for not considering a 1981-1984 Hunter 54 as a family cruising boat? I'm looking for actual feet-on-the-deck-plate knowledge here, not generalities. I've combed through the Hunter Owners site already but want to make sure I have all the facts before proceeding.

Thanks in advance,

StilettoBee


Fr Bandersnatch
**

Nov 20, 2008, 7:06 PM

Post #2 of 16 (37940 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

 Any reasons to avoid one? Yes, tons of them but You already made up your mind. You didn't like the unvarnished facts posted elsewhere on 2 forum threads you started. You "have nothing but contempt" to all who responded with facts that don't fit your own views.

You wrote elsewhere:
"If Iíve done my research right it appears that there are quite a few of these boats that have done transatlantics, transpacs, Chicago Macs, etc. Thanks to the lead on the Hunter Owners forum I found all but one had positive positions for this vessel. If these are to be believed, and there are race results to back this up, the Hunter 54 is indeed a blue-water capable vessel."

You keep asking, on at least 3 different forum threads now, so you must have reservations, but when presented the numerous problems known about the boat, you lash out.

The other forum threads have told you about design issues [rudder too far forward due to dinghy garage, making it hard to steer off the wind], build issues by guys who worked in the factory in FL, undersized equipment issues, deck flex issues, owners who had to reinforce the mast partners, hull blistering issues, cheap junk electricals, flimsy rudder posts, perko crap fittings, poorly installed and leaking ports, flimsy hatches, "MAJOR CONCERN to current owners!!!!- ALL DECK HARDWARE NEEDS TO BE INSPECTED. Much of the hardware is not fastened well. This should be of major concern to you!! " and "This model has a problem with the steering attach points. They rot out" and "she does flex and make more noise than any other boat I have owned and I find the boat hard to steer off the wind when powered up. Having lost a mast I am out of action for a while"

I'd tell you about the one that pulled out it's chainplates and dismasted going to Bermuda, but you don't want to hear it.

That's a lot of facts to ignore but Go spend your money on it, take your young family to sea in one...you'll see.





sailor44
**

Nov 21, 2008, 8:32 AM

Post #3 of 16 (37767 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I have been sailing big boats for over 40 years (sail a C&C 37) and while I never have had a Hunter (reasons to follow) I can relate to you the general consensus among my fellow sailors here in Texas. In short, these boats are viewed as cheap, poorly made, coastal (only) starter boats. They are considered to be poorly put together and not capable of safe offshore sailing. Indeed, from a personal viewpoint, when I see a boat that comes equipped from the factory with no back stay whatsoever, I know that it is not made for use by knowledgeable sailors. Not to mention the screwy rigging scheme. Oh, go ahead and get one. I know the price is right (cheap). But, when you are seen on the water by other knowledgeable sailors, you will be the recipient of a knowing sneer...."it's just a Hunter".

The unvarnished truth, IMHO. Crazy Aren't you glad you asked?
Russell Painton


WindyCitySailR
*


Nov 21, 2008, 10:23 AM

Post #4 of 16 (37720 views)
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Re: [Fr Bandersnatch] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


In Reply To
Any reasons to avoid one? Yes, tons of them but You already made up your mind. You didn't like the unvarnished facts posted elsewhere on 2 forum threads you started. You "have nothing but contempt" to all who responded with facts that don't fit your own views.

You wrote elsewhere:
"If Iíve done my research right it appears that there are quite a few of these boats that have done transatlantics, transpacs, Chicago Macs, etc. Thanks to the lead on the Hunter Owners forum I found all but one had positive positions for this vessel. If these are to be believed, and there are race results to back this up, the Hunter 54 is indeed a blue-water capable vessel."

You keep asking, on at least 3 different forum threads now, so you must have reservations, but when presented the numerous problems known about the boat, you lash out.

The other forum threads have told you about design issues [rudder too far forward due to dinghy garage, making it hard to steer off the wind], build issues by guys who worked in the factory in FL, undersized equipment issues, deck flex issues, owners who had to reinforce the mast partners, hull blistering issues, cheap junk electricals, flimsy rudder posts, perko crap fittings, poorly installed and leaking ports, flimsy hatches, "MAJOR CONCERN to current owners!!!!- ALL DECK HARDWARE NEEDS TO BE INSPECTED. Much of the hardware is not fastened well. This should be of major concern to you!! " and "This model has a problem with the steering attach points. They rot out" and "she does flex and make more noise than any other boat I have owned and I find the boat hard to steer off the wind when powered up. Having lost a mast I am out of action for a while"

I'd tell you about the one that pulled out it's chainplates and dismasted going to Bermuda, but you don't want to hear it.

That's a lot of facts to ignore but Go spend your money on it, take your young family to sea in one...you'll see.



As Fr. B noted above- deck hardware failures are just one reason of many to "STEER CLEAR". There is a poor soul in our harbor here in Chicago who owned a later year model, so it's not just the older ones. The boat's bow cleats broke off the deck of the boat as she was tied on a mooring ball. This resulted in the boat being forced onto the break wall. The hull broke open with it's external flange lip and flared out completely. Ok- you can say it was the impact on the breakwall. But This is a sign of poor design. It begs the bigger question: Why the cleat failure? I never saw the boat back so I'm not sure if was repaired or totalled by the poor bloke's insurance.

Funny thing is you always run into people that will comment: "Oh yeah, I used to own a hunter" but few that proudly say "I OWN A HUNTER". Wonder why that is?

It's your money- in today's day and age we know it doesn't come easy so buying the best boat for the money is key. Spiral stair cases, corian countertops, washer/dryers are great for condos- not for sailing boats.
Windy City Sail R


frayedknotarts
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Nov 25, 2008, 9:56 AM

Post #5 of 16 (37553 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I would recommend you go thru the thread HERE at S.A. It's a pretty good compendium of reasons NOT to get involved with this particular boat. YMMV, and probably will.


StilettoB
**

Nov 26, 2008, 4:13 PM

Post #6 of 16 (37510 views)
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Re: [sailor44] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I do appreciate your input. The Hunter in question does in fact have a backstay; was pre B&R rig

Bob


StilettoB
**

Nov 26, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #7 of 16 (37509 views)
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Re: [WindyCitySailR] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I appreciate your reply. The Hunter 54 does not have deck to hull lip construction. That occured much later in Hunter's design cycle. Also, it's not a beamy corian glossy spiral staircased wonderbarg as these designs also came after.


StilettoB
**

Nov 26, 2008, 4:18 PM

Post #8 of 16 (37508 views)
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Re: [frayedknotarts] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Thank you. In fact I started that thread but wanted reach as many knowledgable people as possible and not everyone goes there.


StilettoB
**

Nov 26, 2008, 4:32 PM

Post #9 of 16 (37507 views)
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Re: [Fr Bandersnatch] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Frumious,

I appreciate the fact that you know of "tons of reasons" to not consider a Hunter 54. What I'm really sorry about is your need to take such a violently vitrolic position in your postings.

So OK Let's review your points:

Rudder too far forward due to dinghy garage: I've been in contact with two people that actually own and extensively cruise their Hunter 54's and both have no problems with the rudder location. As a matter of fact they mentioned that in close-order maneuvering, the 54 is very "nimble". Being as the majority of sailing my family does is coastal with other boats in close proximity, this is not a bad thing. Gyro-rate autopilots have no problems steering the boat downwind.

Build issues by guys who worked in the factory in FL: Once again the current owners have no complaints. The one owner who did has performed a complete rebuild to successfully race TRANSPAC' obviously pushing his boat much farther than the mere mortal cruiser.

Undersized equipment issues: At first glance the equipment looks undersized. That is until you look at the sail plan which is smaller than my old 41' IOR beast, and easily rectified with newer bigger equipment.

Cheap junk electricals: According to the owners it's one of things Hunter did best.

Flimsy rudder posts: On the Hunter they are thick walles SS tubing (nothing flimsy there

Perko crap fittings: Not on the two I've looked at. Nope, no Perko.

Poorly installed and leaking ports: Again, not heard from the owners I've talked to or boats I've looked at

Flimsy hatches: Again, actually walked all over them with my 190plus body. No flex noticed.

Deck flex issues: Yup I could see this being an issue. Of course I've only heard it from one person who crewed on a 54. Others contacted (actual owners) have not seen this issue. Again, the decks are cored so any hull flexing may be a repairable condition.

Owners who had to reinforce the mast partners: What mast partners? The mast is deck stepped. If you mean the aluminum A-frame compresion structure that distributes the loads to the shroud points then I think you are misinformed or unfamilliar with the boat.

B & R rig issues: Non-existent. The Hunter 54 does not have a B&R Rig. It has a standard double spreader deck-stepped mast with Nitronic SS Rod rigging. The spreaders are in perpindicular to the centerline of the boat. No double diamond swept back spreaders on 54's unless added afeter the fact.

Hull blistering issues: Wow, if only Hunter's suffered from this, an obviously inspectable and repairable condition. Easily identified and corrected as long as they are not ignored.

MAJOR CONCERN to current owners: Not the one's that I've talked to, or the eight plus on the Hunters site.

ALL DECK HARDWARE NEEDS TO BE INSPECTED: Sort of a given for any boat purchase especially of this age wouldn't you think?

Much of the hardware is not fastened well: Boats were built from 1981 through 1984. The owners, not pushing their boats in offshore races, are not reporting hardware flying off the boats. I on the other hand have owned boats purposely built for offshore racing and have had gear break. Major concern.... duh!

This model has a problem with the steering attach points. They rot out": finally an excellent point. YES the steering points were constructed in untreated plywood in such a way as to allow ROT to weakenb the attachment points. This repair is not hard to do with modern Epoxy and Composites and if i went down this path would of course be done.... Probably in about a weekends worth of effort. The ateering area is not hard to get to from inside the boat.

She does flex and make more noise than any other boat I have owned: Another excellent owner driven comment. The noise comes from the fact that the boat interior is not tied to the hull with robust tabing but engineered as a seperate unit. The fact that these boats have been out there sailing since the early 80's sort of indicates that while annoying, this is not a structural issue.

I find the boat hard to steer off the wind when powered up: All sailors will agree that certain style boats are better than others off the wind, especially when "powered up". Does that mean you disconsider them or sail according to the conditions. The person making that comment was a hard-core racer. The Hunter 54's have a lot of different sail conditions. One I've looked at as a jib-boomed staysail. I've been at this game long enogh to come up with a sail condition that will balance pretty much any boat, except a catboat.

"Having lost a mast I am out of action for a while" Without knowing any facts as to why the rig went over the side I cannot co0mment and neither should you. Quite a few Farr 50's have lost their rigs. Should you not buy them? The Hunter 54 Mast is an aluminum tree trunk held in place with SS Rod rigging which is tied into an interal structure, NOT the hull skins, to stay up. As a deck stepped rig, I'd rather lose that one over the side versusu a keel stepped version.

I'd tell you about the one that pulled out it's chainplates: There are no chainplates on this rig. There are .75" SS Rod that carry the shroud loads into the mast support structure. If one of these "ripped out" it was probably because the owner didn't take care of his boat allowing corrosion to attach the mounting points. Or it was one of those factory guys not doing their job correctly and no QC either. Again, without specific information about this incident I would not make any claims, and neither should you.

I apologize if anyone takes my rants and other BS personally. I've learned a lot in the past two weeks about Hunter 54's. They are what they are advertised to be... fast cruisers, lightly built, comfortable, all things my previously race-only boat wasn't.

So thank you for your input. Thank you for your opinions. I do take all to heart before making my decisions.

Have I been turned off sufficiently to bypass this deal? No, but I am better armed with data to make an informed and much lower bid on it. All boats are compromises. You just have to pick the one's your willing to accept and which one's you aren't.

As for taking my family offshore in a Hunter 54, it would only be after I had gone copletely through the boat and brought it up to my level of safety and reliability, as well as time spent aboard in all coastal conditions gaining experience.


WindyCitySailR
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Dec 2, 2008, 10:05 AM

Post #10 of 16 (37260 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

SB-

You are obviously intent on buying the boat. So why not do so and quite ruminating in the peanut gallery for justification of the inevitable. In a couple of years- when you are regretting your purchase (a couple may be too long). You can get nostalgic and visit this thread for a heavy dose of 'we told ya so's'. The redneck's in Alachua- have been fooling non sailors for a long time. Join the ranks of fools.
Windy City Sail R


PaulK
****


Dec 3, 2008, 8:27 PM

Post #11 of 16 (37211 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

We must have really liked the last Hunter 54 we came across going upwind. It was blowing from the SW at about 12 knots. We sailed up under and through their lee, worked up across their bow, tacked and then jybed around past their transom, and then did it again so as to get a better look from our 36 foot boat. A pleasant 8 minutes or so, all told. I had thought speed was a function of waterline length, but it appears Hunter has suspended this rule of hydrodynamics.


schoonerman
**


Jan 14, 2009, 3:36 PM

Post #12 of 16 (36709 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I don't know what this boat is costing you, but you might want to consider something with a better track record.

It's a buyers market out there and I cna think of dozens of bots that may better fit your criteria...it's all about price and the tradeoffs that come with that issue.

Good Luck!
"Try hard to get what you want, then try equally as hard to like what you get"


richardfra
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Feb 21, 2010, 7:58 PM

Post #13 of 16 (33728 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Hello, There are some pretty strong opinions regarding the Hunter 54. What was missing for me is a recommendation in lieu of that particular boat. On the surface it seems to have some pluses going for it. Not to ignore the comments provided in the thread. So if anyone has recommendations for a cruiser / racer with an above average speed, able to be single handed with off-shore capability, I would appreciate the education.

Thanks
Richard


wetcorvette
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Feb 23, 2010, 9:18 PM

Post #14 of 16 (33699 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I own a hunter 54 and have been reading everything i can about thalmost em. all of what ive read is by people that have never even been on one let alone owned one. I have read there too big to handle, built poorly, expensive to operate, rigging is poorly designed and so forth.

Only one person addressed most of these issues and did a thorough job proving most of these accusations to be incorrect. Alot of people were talking about Hunters in general and some were talking of bad rig designs. on the Hunter 54,that were implemented 20 years after the Hunter 54 was in production.

After owning a Hunter 54, I can tell you that while not being a swan, its a reasonably well built boat for a very affordable price. It looks great, has a great interior, sails nicely and is easlily handeled by two.

I have owned two race boats and two crusing boats and currently race on a Farr 52. I have been racing for 17 years and have been on a lot of boats. I am writing this just to give the boat a fair shake. Listen to people that have sailed on the boat rather than armchair sailors.

The drawbacks I have seen with this boat are the look from the bow(very narrow), the dingy garage takes up too much room(might be worth it for cruising), but for everyday its unnessary,the lack of beam makes the interior less roomy, but is nice when your underway(you wont get launched), and as people said you pay by the foot for haulouts and dock fees. Sails arent any more than a 40 footer.Its a fast cruiser and dacron sails last years.

The transom is awesom,the speed is great,the build is fine, and the price is right. Iam happy with my purchase, and would recommend this boat to anyone wanting a fast capable cruiser. Havent raced mine yet(busy racing on race boats) but it should do very well double handed. Email me if your thinking about purchasing one.


mikedunkerly
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Feb 24, 2010, 8:25 AM

Post #15 of 16 (33680 views)
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Re: [wetcorvette] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

hi wet corvette - here we are in north of france and wanting to be on hunter 54 - saw the one in mexico in la paz on the baja peninsular - has not been used for last 3 years and laid up out of the water - would you maybe have the time to look at the spec/pictures on yachtworld.com and let me know if there is anything that you particularly do not like. i saw the 54 in greece and like the layout for single handed sailing - save that it has too many lavatories and a silly cabin in the bow which would otherwise be an excellent sail locker/workshop. sailed the atlantic several times single and crewed and looking to do a pacific crossing before i get too old.michael


BlackSwan
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Jan 31, 2017, 1:42 AM

Post #16 of 16 (9451 views)
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Re: [StilettoB] Hunter 54: Any reasons to avoid one? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

thanks a lot for your support! <a href="http://resume-service.org/blog/10-reasons-why-you-will-never-do-something-great">click to find out more</a> reasons why you will never do something great!




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