Mailport August 2016 Issue

Mailport: Hunter 30, Keel Concerns, and More!

Cherubini Jr. on H30

I was pleased to read the Hunter 30 review in the June 2016 issue. It’s been nearly 43 years since this boat was introduced, and it’s still an abiding favorite of mine and of many other Hunter aficionados.

Hunter 30
Hunter 30 designer John Cherubini’s son, John Cherubini Jr., recalls helping design the H30’s interior layout along with the hardware placement in the galley (above) and head—when he was just 16 years old.

For those who don’t know, I was drafted to design the interior layout, to finalize the displacement calculations, and to formally locate hardware, particularly in the galley and head, while my dad, H30 designer John Cherubini—who was in traction through most of 1973—directed me from the sofa. Being 16 at the time, this was not my first foray into practical yacht design, but it was one of my fondest experiences in the business.

As designed, the boat was to displace 10,002 pounds. This was meaningful because Hunter’s stated aim was to sell the boat for $19,995, at $2/pound. I remember making the point at the executive-staff meeting that they’d be losing $7 per boat!

The interior originally featured a pilot berth to starboard, an element I’ve always liked and included in Cherubini 44 arrangements and others (notably, the Hunter 33). Hunter eliminated this after the earliest boats in the interest of cost savings, not gimmickry. The astute will note that the quarter berth, like that of the H25, is to port, opposite of tradition. That’s because my dad was left handed!

Although your review states it, I don’t recall this boat having a “short mast” at all. (Indeed Regina Gallant’s rendering for the PS article shows what would stand to any argument as a high-aspect rig.) Having 445 feet of sail on a 27-foot waterline of 10,000 pounds is respectable even today. (The Raider 33 with its 455 feet, on the same waterline, at the same displacement, is a veritable scream machine.) It’s all in the hull shape; and all Hunters bore a slight concave section at the waterline forward of the chainplates, one of my dad’s design hallmarks, making for pretty good pointing ability (headstays sagging under heavy furlers aside).

Remember Hunter’s aim was not to build race boats (despite Warren Luhrs’ fascination with long-distance ocean racing) but well-rounded, family-oriented cruisers, what I often call “the Chevy station wagon of boats”: cheap enough, safe enough, robust enough, and easily enough souped-up to serve well a variety of needs and markets. Satisfying this, all of the original-generation Hunters were, and still are, a landmark of design, marketing, and reliability success. Thanks for the memories!

John Cherubini Jr

Diana, Hunter 25

Burlington, N.J.


Keel Concerns

In regard to “A Quest for Keel Integrity” in the May 2016 issue: Losing the keel is a big fear with my boat. When we bought it, it had a damaged keel stub due to a grounding, and the stub had separated from the internal structural grid in a few spots where they are tabbed together. We had the keel dropped and inspected, and all the delamination ground out and re-glassed. Then, after having a mooring put in in water that was a little too shallow, the boat was aground for several hours during an extreme low tide. Later, I noticed a crack around the keel-to-stub joint on the outside, and also noticed that the tabbing connecting the grid to the keel stub had separated again. So I’m going to have to do the repair again, and this time I’m going to add an additional 1/3-inch of epoxy and glass to the entire interior of the bilge, running up past the turn of the bilge, and also add additional stringers inside the bilge to help with lateral flexing.

I worried constantly about the first repair after it was done, especially when we were in four days of galeforce winds and 20-foot seas, crossing the Caribbean. Reading about Cheeki Rafiki just makes my knees weak, as that could have been me.

Lee Scott

Liberty Belle, 1994 Hunter Legend 37.5

Isla Saboga, Panama


Seeking PS Copies

As a yacht broker, I regularly suggest that buyers subscribe to Practical Sailor. Where can I buy a copy or two in the Annapolis area to give to customers? West Marine is no longer carrying PS here, and I am not about to give away my precious personal copy.

Ken Jacks

Crusader Yachts

Annapolis, Md.

West Marine is the only PS retail outlet, but if there are specific back issues that you’d like to get extra hard copies of, you can order them through our customer service; just click “Customer Service” on And since you’re a subscriber, you can always download a full-issue PDF from the website and print it out. You can also access any of our archived boat reviews to show potential boat buyers. (However, you cannot widely distribute the articles or full issues without the PS publisher’s permission.)


Toolbag Tips

In regard to the “Tool Buying Guide for the Cruising Sailor” blog post on June 8, 2016: Gorilla Tape ( doesn’t leave the slimy glue residue that duct tape leaves, and it has more holding power.

Andy Libby



Where’d Ya Get that Bag?

In regard to the tool buying guide blog post (June 8, 2016): Great article, but what is the source for the tool bag you have in the fist photo?

Rich Kow

Annapolis, Md.

The photo you’re referring to is of a label-less tool bag in service for many years, but we’ve also used tool bags made by Stanley (including the Bucket Boss riggers bag and the Fatmax bag) that were purchased at Home Depot ( We also like the Magic Marine Toolbag from Landfall Navigation ( Look for a reinforced bag floor and an exterior pocket configuration for what you want to be quickly available; inside, we organize tools in small ditty bags.

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