Our new boat is a 2003 Hunter 356. This model was first introduced in 2002, and was designed by Glen Henderson who is considered one of the top performance sailboat designers in the world. That year it won Boat of the Year from Cruising World.
The boat is 35’6″ long (hence the 356) and 30’7″ at the waterline. The beam is 12′ so it’s roomy and it has 6’5″ head room, so even our tallest friends won’t bump their heads.
The boat draws only 5′, which makes it well suited for Florida and the Bahamas.
The boat has enough berths to sleep seven people (two are private and the dining area converts to a double berth). It has air conditioning and heating, hot and cold running water, a large freezer and refrigerator, and a two-burner propane gimballed stove with oven. There’s also an electric head and a shower, with a nice-sized wet locker.
I particularly like the teak interior and all the storage compartments and lockers that we’re quickly filling up. There are compartments behind, under and over the settees. Each berth has several storage compartments for clothes and other necessities.
The cockpit has a huge lazarette, which a person could hide in if so inclined. It is well protected from the sun and rain with a new dodger and bimini.
As far as sails go, the boat has a small 110% genoa for easy tacking. The mainsail furls into the mast so all reefing can be done from the cockpit, which is nice to have when the weather is bad. Together both sails provide nearly 700 square feet of canvas, resulting in good performance. If the wind is light we can also raise an asymmetrical spinnaker which provides nearly 1,000 square feet of sail area.
You can skip this part if you’re not interested in technical specs:
- auxiliary engine, Yanmar diesel, 27 hp
- 3.5 kw diesel 110v generator
- maximum hull speed 7.4 knots
- fuel capacity 38 gallons (burns about .5 gallons per hour motoring at 5 knots, for a theoretical cruising range of 380 nautical miles without using the sails
- displacement (unladen) of 13,900 lbs
- lead keel weight of 5,064 lbs
- mast height off water 55’3″ + antennas and wind anenometer, another 10″
- fresh water capacity of 75 gallons, plus 6 gallons in the hot water tank
- holding tank capacity of 30 gallons.