The Hunter 34 is a
fast boat, particularly in light air. This is due almost entirely to
her huge rig, which towers over 51' above the waterline. Owners
report that in winds of from seven to 12 knots, the boat is
practically unbeatable in club racing. The typical PHRF rating of
135 for the deep keel boat is faster than most other cruiser/racers
of her size.
Normally, you would
expect a boat with a 42% ballast/displacement ratio to be stiff. The
keel of the deep-draft Hunter 34, however, has most of its weight
and volume up high, while the shoal draft keel, even with its extra
220 pounds of ballast, still has a fairly high vertical center of
gravity. This just goes to show that you can’t judge a boat’s
stability by its ballast/ displacement ratio—you’ve got to know how
far down that weight is, too.
Most Hunter 34s are
equipped with the Yanmar 3GMF, a three-cylinder, fresh water cooled
diesel that puts out about 22.5 hp. This is an excellent engine.
Access to the engine for service is good. The Yanmar is more than
adequate power for the boat, and she should cruise under power at 5
1/2 knots or more without any trouble. The fuel capacity of 25
gallons should give a range of about 275 miles.
The general design
and finish of the Hunter 34 are far ahead of older boats by the
company. The Eurostyling of the deck and interior were pretty
unusual when the boat first came out, but fairly typical of boats
built five years after the Hunter 34 was introduced.
If you want a fast,
modern small coastal cruiser with maximum room at minimum cost, a
Hunter 34 would be a good choice.