Hunter 290/306

For our friends who no longer are able to have a trailer under their Yacht ;-) and we all use a mast and sails at the end of the day (or start of the day!!)
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Arbee
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Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » Mar 13th, '19, 21:58

They say you know "the boat" when you step aboard. So after looking at this TS and that powersailer and a few keelers and trimarans after selling our Bonito, we stepped aboard a Hunter 290 the other day and looked at each other and said "yep, that's it". This particular one is in reasonable condition and lightly used but a little neglected and musty with wet bilges, but I'm still thinking about it. To a TS'r, the fractional rig, overhead stainless steel arch/traveller, clear forward visibility, size, layout etc just ticked all of our boxes. We then saw a Hunter 326 (bigger brother) in nice condition but was just a bit more boat than we need being just two up 95% of the time.

If anyone has any experience with the Hunter 290/306 to share or knows of one on the market please sing out. As I understand it, the 306 is really just a 290 with a few nice upgrades and a little newer.

Thanks, Robert

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » May 21st, '19, 20:58

So.…..we bought one :D :D :D A one owner, much loved 2005 Hunter 306 will shortly be shipped from the USA to Melbourne. While the landed cost is a little more than local market value would be (if such a boat existed here, which I suspect might be just a couple if any), the difference is not that unreasonable for a nice boat.

Very happy!!

Cheers, Robert

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by zebedee » May 21st, '19, 21:43

A man's boat is his Castle. The Gippsland Lakes are my moat. Castle 650 #10, Roller Coaster.

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by MartinDreaming » May 21st, '19, 23:00

Robert, I hope you are very happy with your new boat. You have obviously gone through a long list to find it. Can you tell us some of the things that made you scratch some of the other boats off your list?
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Slammin » May 22nd, '19, 05:39

Congratulations looking forward to reading some trip reports.

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » May 22nd, '19, 16:49

MartinDreaming wrote:
May 21st, '19, 23:00
Robert, I hope you are very happy with your new boat. You have obviously gone through a long list to find it. Can you tell us some of the things that made you scratch some of the other boats off your list?
The first decision was daysailer, powersailer or sailing beach shack. I tried and tried to want a Mac/Edge/Imexus given the great flexibility and value, but after spending just a couple of hours on a mate's powerboat (and previously on a Mac) I just couldn't raise any enthusiasm for the powerboat/noise/motion frenzy compared to sailing and hull speed. I've also tired somewhat over the years of trailers and even dry berthing with cowboys launching my boat (and dropping it/pranging it more times than anyone will ever admit), and wondering if there will be room at the marina or ramp when we get there. Along with that, not dissimilar to caravans, beam/width is king for comfort IMHO (never seen a trailer boat with a pull out though :D ). I rationalised the keel boat as something to sail and somewhere to spend weekends, so fulfilling two roles.

The next decision was how big and we went through a few goldilocks iterations before landing on 30 feet being the right size for two of us 90% of the time, and compact but comfortable enough for a few nights aboard and/or a crowd daysailing.

Over the years we've become great fans of the NZ fractional rigs in TSs, and the minute we stepped aboard the Hunter there was a great sense of familiarity. Not only that, but forward visibility on the 290/306 is excellent, the SS arch with traveller keeps the cockpit clear, and the layout is great. We have in-mast furling and with my slight mobility restrictions this makes it a doddle for my wife and I to handle. I thought we'd end up with a Catalina somewhere between 27 and 31 feet, but none of them just felt right (traditional masthead big headsail rig etc) the way this boat did.

There is also the benefit/comfort of being a production yacht with a large community and spares, like Catalina.

Hope that answers the question! Will post some pics when she gets here.....

Cheers, Robert

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » Apr 13th, '20, 22:38

I know this area of the forum is not frequented much but I did start this thread nearly a year ago and thought I'd update it for anyone interested.

So, after many delays due to shipping schedules and a ladybird beetle infestation aboard the RoRo ship that brought her to Melbourne from Jacksonville, she finally arrived. Due to the quarantine, she sat in Port Melbourne for 8 weeks as they had quarantined everything off the ship which created a huge backlog! As result of that delay, we didn't get the boat to the Yaringa marina for re-assembly and refurb work until early November. As a result of being so close to Christmas, the trades couldn't get the work done until Jan/Feb. In March we finally motored her around to Westernport Marina and as a result of COVID-19 there she sits waiting to be sailed!

The good news? The boat was exactly as described (we've actually become good online friends with the broker in Oriental NC since). The surveyor was extraordinary, we researched this online and one name in the area kept coming up as highly recommended (Rob Eberle). Our insurer could not believe the detail in the survey report and it was spot on in every detail. My wife and I high-fived each other when we first got on board. Having seen a tired local Hunter 290 that made us love the design, taking a punt on importing the later 306 model (same hull and layout) from the US was an adrenalin ride and ultimately a great relief.

The cost and experience of importing? Well, we were sensible enough not to expect a boat landed for what a local example would cost, but we were within 15%. Not a bad margin for getting exactly what we want, but we were VERY lucky. A well maintained one owner boat at a good price, an honest and transparent broker, a fantastic surveyor and a good shipping company (Taurus) even if there were a couple of cost suprises along the way but within contingency.

One "gotcha" that certainly got me was the transition from reversing an outboard TS to ans inboard diesel. I never quite understood prop walk but after trying to reverse here into her new berth at Hastings I certainly do now :oops: :D Thanks to our new friends and helpers at the marina when we arrived, we provided them with much amusement!

We're obviously now all locked down and eager to get out there like everyone else, but unlike some of the horror stories you read about this one had a very happy ending 8) :D :D

Cheers, Robert
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Jon » Apr 14th, '20, 06:51

Robert, glad to see it met your expectations and you were able to get it home before the Aus$ dropped.

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Tezza » Apr 14th, '20, 08:10

Thats one nice looking boat . Congratulations.
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » Apr 14th, '20, 10:17

Thanks folks, it really is a lovely boat and has already been called the "Tardis" by a few friends. There are still a few cosmetics to do here and there, but it is a 15 year old boat after all and this is its first major refurb. The dollar did drop from 72c to 69c between deposit and balance but could have been much worse!
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Cheers, Robert

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by MargGannet » Apr 14th, '20, 16:09

Looks very smart, Robert. Well done.
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Furstin » Apr 18th, '20, 04:15

Very nice - 30ft is the sweet spot.

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by MelN » Apr 18th, '20, 17:45

Gorgeous looking boat, congratulations. You can look forward to many years of happy cruising!
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by garymalmgren » Apr 19th, '20, 19:30

So good to have a feel good post.
Must have been painful wait for her to get out of quarantine, 8 weeks!
How much work to convert from 110v to 240 v?
looks like a nice shallow draft with that wing keel.

High Five!!

gary

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » Apr 19th, '20, 21:32

garymalmgren wrote:
Apr 19th, '20, 19:30
So good to have a feel good post.
Must have been painful wait for her to get out of quarantine, 8 weeks!
How much work to convert from 110v to 240 v?
looks like a nice shallow draft with that wing keel.

High Five!!

gary
Thanks Gary, yes the wait was agonising (and btw, regardless of who is ultimately to blame on the ship for a quarantine requirement, you still pay for the extra cleaning, fumigation and additional costs :o )

Draft is 1.17m so good for Westernport. Based on very reputable marine electrical advice I'm simply having the current isolation transformer replaced with a voltage converting model and leaving the boat at 110v. Many appliances including phone chargers, laptops etc are auto-dual voltage these days so a couple of travel plugs will do the job. If I get desperate in this global online shopping era, I'll just order anything else I need from the US at 110v.

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by garymalmgren » Apr 19th, '20, 22:35

ARBEE
I reckon you will have a bit of time on your hands so here is a link for you.
The guy , Mark lost his Hunter 40 in a hurricane. You can see how severe the damage is in his first few posts.
Instead of taking the money and walking away, he decided that the Hunter was such a good boat that it deserved resurrection. So the saga began

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/threa ... ew.182553/

Have been following him for a couple of years.

gary

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by Arbee » Apr 20th, '20, 14:38

Thanks for sharing that story Gary, some commitment!

Cheers, Robert

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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by MargGannet » Apr 20th, '20, 20:34

Wow, he is getting there... Certainly very committed. Reminds me of Volcano, and similar!
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Re: Hunter 290/306

Post by islandmarty » Apr 30th, '20, 09:41

wow nice looking boat and I'll keep an eye out for her on western port when the the restrictions get lifted.
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