1982 Hunter '54 - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 31 Old 06-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Hi Negrini,

Thanks for your thoughts, on the back of strong advice I will not be considering the Hunter 54 at this stage. It was the lines of the boat and its sailing performance that I found attractive, the length didn't really come into the selection process, although the available deck space for family and friends on a Hunter 54 was very appealing. I was just looking for a boat that would be fun to sail, be capable of coastal cruising and was in my opinion, beautiful and when I saw the H54 the first time and the prices they are selling for, my enthusiasm overtook my sensibility. I am yet to come across another boat that looks as good, sails as good, has the space for family and friends and is also 20 feet shorter! But the research is fun.
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post #22 of 31 Old 06-04-2008
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Cayoosh,

Good luck in what ever size you decide to persue. It is unfortunate that mid 30' boats don't have the accomodations of a 52'...but if they did, who would buy a 52'? I had an older 33' Hunter of Cherubini design in the mid 90's - nice boat, but not enough room for my family of 5 so I kind of know what you're going thru. I have a 41' ketch that I'm finishing up the restoration on and hope to be in the water yet this year.

Excellent Thread!

All,
I just want to say that I enjoyed the flow of information without the bashing that takes place most everywhere. Thank you all for keeping it on point and not letting it drift off course, so to speak. It was these types of informative posts that made me join SailNet in the first place. I'm hopeful we are moving back in the direction it appears we are.

Thanks, and keep up the good work guys!
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post #23 of 31 Old 06-04-2008
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Wise choice to pass on such a large "first boat". Find something in the 30-35 foot range that you can take anywhere under any conditions - remember, every sail is an adventure! There are lots of coastal boats that have ventured well offshore, but the owners have been lucky. Note that there are no Hunters, Catalinas or Irwins on the Bluewater Capable boat list at the begining of this category. If you plan to do much offshore sailing, look at Cape Dory, Pearsons over 35 feet, Bristols, Pacific Seacraft, etc. all nice boats that will serve you well in any weather.

s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
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post #24 of 31 Old 06-04-2008
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I just noticed this thread and want to weigh in here. The Hunter 54 is a boat that has always caught my attention. The orignal design was based on one Warren Luhrs first trans-oceanic racers. Its my understanding that the design was penned by Paul Lindenburg, who I consider to be one of the most creative designers of that period, one who understood structurall design more than many designers of that period and one who understood how to produce designs that are both seaworthy and fast. In many ways the design of the 54 anticipated design concepts employed in the Volvo 60 round the world racers that were to occur decades later.

The original layout of these boats resulted in a very comfortable and functional design, one that worked well as a liveaboard and worked reasonably well offshore, as well as, for coastal cruising, solving many of the complex issues of a performance offshore design, including such radical concepts as the dinghy garage which eliminated the need for davits, (I consider davits to be a dingy storage device that I personally think of as the last resort offshore).

While Hunters' build quality is generally viewed with some sketicism some of which is deserved and some mere prejudice, Hunters of this period were well constructed, with build quaility on a par with other more respected and revered manufacturers. The 54 has been blasted for design details such as their use of a galvanized steel steering quadrant, but at that time, steel quadrants were seen as being a stronger and more reliable solution than the aluminum quadrants that were then becoming popular.

In conversations with surveyors who have looked at these boats, their comments were that Hunter did a very good job on the basic structure and an extremely good job on the systems.

Many of these boats have been successful voyagers. There used to be a fellow on Sailnet whose family had done a successful circimnavigation on one and who spoke glowingly of the boat. There is a tendancy to look at this boat as being a very large boat and therefore perhaps hard to handle or expensive to own. I think this may be overstated by those who are not familiar with the design. Ease of handling and maintenance costs are generally proportional to the displacement of the boat rather than to its overall length. The Hunter 54 was comparatively light for its length and so ease of handling and maintenance costs should be down around the costs of a 45 footer. Similarly, the purchase price of boats is often more proportionate to their displacement than to their length and so the inexpensive price on these boats reflect their age, their displacement and the predjudice against Hunters.

Many of these boats have had thorough refits and upgrades over the years and so represent a great value given the capabilities and capacities of the design. Like any boat of this era, a careful survey should be undertaken with attention to such details as deck coring condition and blisters, which are common in boats of all manufacteres from this era.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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post #25 of 31 Old 06-05-2008
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The Hunter 54

Hi Cayoosh,

You will find that the Hunter 54 is a very different boat than a typical Hunter. I've been tracking Hunter 54 prices for the last 10 years, they have took the normal dip in value after the 20 year mark. A yacht 20 in age is what most lenders will finance, so 20+ year yachts typically dip in value after that mark due to the buying pool becomes less. Historically H54's can be had from 120k-70k depending on condition.

The Hunter 54 was designed as an Ocean Racer. Some of the features that I like are its safety. It is a very fast boat and that makes it much more safer than a slower boat. It also has all of the other numbers/formulas as far as stability goes. Its boom only extends just shy of the companionway entrance, so there is zero chance of getting smacked in the head with the boom while in the cockpit or going below. All controls run into the cockpit. The Rudder placement as some have stated makes her a little weird in a following sea, that it makes her super maneuverable when docking.
All of that said, the Hunter 54 was built in 1981-1984 so that makes for a boat that could be full of issues due to age and corrosion as with any boat of that age. An old boat of that age will most likely need certain areas and systems to be updated/restored.

Again, checkout "hunter 54 dot com" for more info.

Stirling,
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post #26 of 31 Old 06-07-2008 Thread Starter
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Jeff H,

Thank you for a very thorough and thoughtful comment on your knowledge and experience with these boats. It is probable that I may be a bit scared off the boat after some of the other inputs, however, I see no harm in actually going and taking one for a sail with a bunch of very experienced sailors to gather their hands on comments as well. No doubt if there is a temtation to proceed, a very thorough survey will be undertaken.

Also a copy of an old Hunter 54 brochure was emailed to me by Hunter Marine and it says that the boat was designed by John Cherubini and Cortland Steck.

Stirling, your website is a fabulous insight into some of the details of a Hunter 54, thank you for providing all the history as well.
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post #27 of 31 Old 06-07-2008
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My understanding is that Paul Lindenburg designed the hull for Warren Luhrs distance racer, and then Cherubini, who was sort of the in house designer, designed the modifications from the original raceboat design such as the deck plan, interior, rig and keel. I got that second hand at a boat show when these were new boats, but then again its a long time ago and I have never followed it up, so it could be wrong.

Jeff
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post #28 of 31 Old 06-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Jeff, I have no doubt you are correct, I was just letting you know what it said on the brochure.
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post #29 of 31 Old 06-18-2008
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Cayoosh,

I did not mean my comments as a criticism. In fact, I very much appreciated that you responded my comment on Paul Lindenburg. It reminded me of something that I had forgotten over the years. I am sorry if my note #27 sounded like I was unappreciative of your setting the record straight.

Regards,

Jeff
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-18-2008 Thread Starter
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Jeff H,

There was no offence offered or taken in my opinion, just two blokes sharing information. I am still overwhelmed by your original post and your knowledge of boats, and in this instance the Hunter 54. I am still considering taking the boat for a sail just to at the least satisfy my curiosity about the boat and how she sails.

Thanks
Richie
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