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Hunter 28.5 VS. Beneteau First 285


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Narrowed my options down to these two based on price, location, personal criteria, etc. Now what are opinions on which is better boat for occasional overnights, cruising in the bay and very casual PHRF racing round a bay. Both boats seem to be in good condition they are mid 80's builds.

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They are spec'd so similarly It comes down to which you like better IMO.

 

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I've heard that on IRC at least the First 285 is very hard to sail to its rating. Pure word of mouth. Interior fit out is nice on the one I've seen though. 

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Spent a very nice afternoon sailing a Beneteau 285.  My thought is that a few more feet of mast would help.  She was a nice boat, just under canvased.   

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1 hour ago, MiddayGun said:

I've heard that on IRC at least the First 285 is very hard to sail to its rating. Pure word of mouth. Interior fit out is nice on the one I've seen though. 

A friend bought a 28.5 to race  when the boat was first introduced, and was beaten up weekly by a person 26, a P 30  and various Catalinas. He was a decent sailor. He threw new sails at it, a stern scoop to add water line (nobody pushed for a rating review ), but eventually gave up and bought another boat. 

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If you look at their PHRF ratings and their performance ratios, you will see that they are similar boats in many ways.  Hunter 28.5 rates 174 on the Chesapeake Bay, and can race to that rating well.  Bene 28.5 rates 183 and should also be able to race to that rating as well.  Hunter is beamier and heavier with more sail area.  Bene has a longer waterline and is lighter.

Mid 80's First series boats were well built.  Only real issue on them is hull/head liner which is foam backed vinyl.  Foam backing eventually dries up and liners sag.  Its a pain to clean old foam and adhesive off the glass it was glued too.  Hunter was built to a lower price point and it shows, but still ok for coastal cruising and beer can racing.

If Hunter not already set up to race, will need some extra gear to do more than white sail racing.  Bene First series usually came better equipped from a deck gear and spin gear standpoint...but...it really depends on they actual boats you are looking at in your area...

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i think the f285 is uglier than the hunter 28.5...life's too short to sail ugly boats.   the hunter has a big aft berth and aft head....

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The hunter 28.5 has an iron keel which may present a rust issue. The rudder on some boats suffered from water intrusion. You should check the rudder stops on the steering----some boats had flexure in the stops allowing the rudder to turn past the stop only to be caught by the stop when trying to center the rudder and thus keeping the rudder in a hard turn. The boat gets much of its stability from form and as such it has a tendency to lay over. 

The boat is pretty fast on a close reach.

There is much on the internet(although dated) on owner reviews of the Hunter 28.5.

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2 hours ago, patchy said:

The hunter 28.5 has an iron keel which may present a rust issue. The rudder on some boats suffered from water intrusion. You should check the rudder stops on the steering----some boats had flexure in the stops allowing the rudder to turn past the stop only to be caught by the stop when trying to center the rudder and thus keeping the rudder in a hard turn. The boat gets much of its stability from form and as such it has a tendency to lay over. 

The boat is pretty fast on a close reach.

There is much on the internet(although dated) on owner reviews of the Hunter 28.5.

First 28.5 has an iron keel too....

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