boat_review-sail-hunter_31-largeIf you want a boat with a solid value proposition – that makes boating affordable and easy – then the Hunter 31 is your boat. Replacing the 306 and designed by Glenn Henderson and the Hunter team, Hunter has, yet again, found a way to combine all the important attributes of easy sailing characteristics, solid value and wonderful features above and below decks. By using the latest in technology and smaller and lighter components, the Hunter has created a boat that's forgiving but still offers great performance credentials.

The high ballast ratio and low aspect sail plan allow this boat to stay on her feet in a breeze and cruise wonderfully in light to medium air – a testament to its new lighter weight construction and fittings combined with its unique hull shape including the bow.

With its 'now classic' overhead cockpit arch or 'roll bar' (as I nickname it), the cockpit boasts a wide open space, perfect for any family and or couples cruising on the weekend. Featuring a Lewmar direct drive steering system (standard), I might opt for the folding wheel option. An easy access aft life line allows one to step to the neatly integrated swim shelf where boarding an inflatable would be easy. Aft, too, there is a hot/cold transom shower. With its classic B&R rig, there are no backstay issues providing a nice open feel. Lines are lead aft and trimming the jib and main are easily accomplished with the more than adequate mainsheet purchase system and the two #16 winches. The controls for the main traveller as well are out of the way on the roll bar but a snap to use in any condition.

Wide open, non-skid decks give me the sense of a boat much larger and forward the anchor locker is more than adequate for a boat this size. While the cynic in me though it might be an attempt to take weight out of the ends I sense too it's an effort by Hunter to focus on those little details that can make the cruising experience that much easier. There is tons of good lying about space here unencumbered by badly positioned fitting; there is more than enough space to walk forward feeling safe because of the double lifelines and handrails.

The rig is dependent on the well-known Selden spar that supports the large roach mainsail that comes complete with an effective flaking system, dual single line reefing and standard jib furling system.

Below the interior is wonderful. Neat aspects include a nice wide entry, easy engine access (when needed) and a wonderful thru-hull array where all the thru-hull fittings are located at the bottom of the non-slip covered stairs. New designer fabrics are used throughout and an Everware® laminate teak and holly cabin sole known for its durability and easy maintenance is used (now standard in many Hunter boats).

The standard L-shaped galley to starboard offers up a neat icebox, a two-burner stove and Corian countertops with tons of space to both work and store; there is more than enough space to allow for larger refrigeration, stove and even microwave. None of these additions would look out of place – the galley design can accommodate most anything.

Another neat touch below is the navigation station, a feature that might have been compromised in this mid-size model, but one that offers a good work space and easy assess to radios and electrical panels. In the main cabin, there is a wonderful teak table that easily seats six with its fold-up leaf; when down, there is more than enough space to travel to the forward cabin. Its bright interior is a result of numerous deck lights and hatches.

The forward cabin is a big surprise presenting like it belongs in a 35+ footer ­– achieved by adjusting the forward hull shape. A nice deck hatch provides tons of light. Storage abounds and there is even a cedar-lined hanging locker to port. Aft, the private cabin also provides more than enough space and comfort.

A single head to port opposite the galley has a fully enclosed head with vanity and shower. Water capacity is not limited at all, boasting a 50-gallon freshwater tank capacity buffered by its five-gallon water heater.

All in all, this is a great boat that offers an excellent value proposition and perfect comfort cruising.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destinations

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Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...
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Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

 By Catherine Dook

“So you’re going offshore to Genoa Bay,” said an old salt at coffee that morning. Genoa Bay was 15 minutes away from our homeport of Cowichan Bay and hardly counted as offshore, but it was our first destination that fall. The fog had socked us in all that morning, so John and I drank coffee and gossiped with the neighbours while waiting for the weather to lift. We’d provisioned with cans of chilli, a sack of apples, and tanks full of water. We’d tested the engine and the anchor winch. We were ready.

Read More of Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay.....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to ...
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
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   We left off Part 1 at the year 1914, and will here pick it back up, running through ...
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Here is our boat anchored at Hockey Stick Bay. We live in a beautiful country.     ...
Michelle Jacques of Cambridge ON share this memory of her adorable pooch. “This is Frodo. ...
  Our 150 year history began in 1867, but Canada was no stranger to watercraft prior to our ...

 By: Katherine Stone

Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) has its fair share of both. Although no one has seen any apparitions, a former club restaurant manager swore she could feel a presence whenever she went down to the cellar to get supplies.

Shift back to the beginnings of an area known as Beaurepaire. The first land concession on Lake Saint Louis at Pointe Beaurepaire was obtained from the Sulpicians by Jean Guénet in 1678. 

Read More about the Beaconsfield Yacht Club....

 

 

 

A Trip To Iconic Italian Yachtbuilder Riva And Lake Como

Riva And Lake ComoStory And Photos By Iain Macmillan

Eyes turn and conversations on shore pause as one boat in particular approaches the Grand Hotel Serbelloni’s jetty that extends out into the sparkling blue waters of Lake Como off Bellagio, northern Italy. It’s not because the Clooneys, George Lucas or Richard Branson are on board, not this time anyway, the attention is on the boat itself. The world’s most valuable, most magnificent mahogany launch, a classic 1960s Riva Aquarama, is paired appropriately with Como’s most prestigious hotel, its Michelin star dining room and suites that have housed royalty; a perfect mix of pleasure, luxury and a distinguished history.

Read more about Riva and Lake Como....

 

 

DIY & How to

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For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
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‘Top dead centre’ is the position of the wheel that allows you to steer your boat ...

Marine Products

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When Terry Conrad, of Conrad Marine, offered me ride in a brand-new Sea Fox 288 Commander that he ...
EMCS Industries Ltd. has a unique antifouling system that’s quite clever and incredibly ...