First published in SAIL Magazine, 1988
Just Launched – Hunter Vision 32
by Tom Dove
With the Vision 32, Hunter Marine has identified several major technological trends in the sailing marketplace and made them affordable in a production boat. Unstayed masts, wing keels, full-battened mainsails with lazyjacks, walkthrough transoms and large cabins for entertaining have appeared on various boats in the past few years. The Vision 32 puts all these features together in a package that should appeal to new sailors and others who want an easily-handled bay cruising vessel that will serve as a pleasant entertainment center dockside or in a raftup with friends.
The boat has “an interior design with the comforts of a summer cottage”, according to Hunter, and that’s a good description. The big U-shaped settee will seat eight people comfortably around a dropleaf table while the sloped winídshield and recessed lighting give an open, attractive appearance to the wide main cabin. That wraparound windshield gives the exterior a distinctive appearance, resembling a streamlined pilothouse.
The galley has a two-burner Origo alcohol stove with oven and a double sink. The icebox is built into a clever central freestanding island in the center of the cabin which gives additional counter surface, easy access to the cooler and a place to brace yourself while preparing food under way. Wide boats need just this sort of thing for safety and convenience.
A small navigation table and electrical panel are on the starboard side opposite the galley. A stereo with four speakers is standard.
Sleeping accomodations are in a private aft cabin with a transverse double berth and in a V-berth forward of the settee, reached by climbing over the seat back and through cutout openings closed off by curtains. Kids will love this little spot, but adults would have to be agile to use it. This layout will work well with a young family as it separates the grownups from one or two children by the maximum possible distance.
In our test, the Vision 32 moved efficiently with its Yanmar diesel and two-blade fixed prop. Under sail in light air in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, it reached and ran well but made substantial leeway sailing to windward. As we sailed beyond Fort McHenry and the breeze increased to about 15 knots, the wing keel seemed to “grab on” to the water and the boat went to weather much better and moved through waves with little fuss.
Weather helm built up rapidly with increasing heel, and a reef will be in order when whitecaps appear. The unstayed aluminum Isomat rig uses the popular continuous single line reefing system with two reef points, and all lines lead aft under cover to the cockpit. The boat can be sailed with or without its fractional 100% jib.
The Vision 32 is aimed at fulfilling realistic dreams: Mom, Dad and a child or two out on semi-protected waters for weekends or a week. It isn’t built like an ocean crosser and doesn’t carry an ocean crosser’s price. At $59,900 for a true sailaway vessel, equipped with required Coast Guard gear and much more, it should have wide appeal.
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