Coastwise in Comfort
With the Legend 37, Hunter pursued luxury at a low price. Classic Plastic from our June 2011 issue.
Warren Luhrs founded Hunter Marine Corporation in 1972. The company’s first offering was the Hunter 25, designed by Bob Seidelmann, a sailmaker and accomplished racing sailor. This was followed by a series of cruisers designed by John E. Cherubini, of Cherubini Yachts fame. As the company grew, an in-house team became responsible for all sailboat designs, including the Legend 37, which was built from 1986 to 1988. Today, Hunter boats are known for their Bergstrom & Ridder rigs, traveler arches, Euro styling, and low cost. The 37 is a design that falls somewhere in between.
The overall design of the Legend 37, with the flat sheer visually connecting the sharp, aggressive bow to the reverse transom, gives it the appearance of a high-performance boat. To offset generous freeboard, the coachroof is kept low and slopes forward, where it dissolves into the foredeck, somewhat after the style of the spartan deck design pioneered by Nautor’s Swan.
Like all Hunters, the 37 is a production boat built to a price point accessible to the company’s target market. Older models will have the expected maintenance issues that are common to boats of this era and cost.
Hunter built the Legend 37 with a solid-fiberglass hull, a balsa-cored deck, and molded interior liners that also incorporated structural components. A beefy transverse stiffener divides the main-saloon sole, and stringers run longitudinally on each side of the keel in the boat’s midsection.
The Legend 37’s interior is designed to comfortably accommodate a crew of four. In the forward cabin there’s a generous V-berth, a hanging locker, and a convenient vanity with sink. Immediately aft of it, and well forward of the boat’s midsection, is the main saloon, with its centerline drop-leaf table and near circular seating.
Aft, offering a combination of standing and stooping headroom, the spacious owner’s stateroom features a pedestal double berth and his-and-hers hanging locker/bureaus. It can be entered via the galley or the head.
Under the waterline, the Legend 37 has a balanced spade rudder and either a deep fin or a shoal-draft bulb/wing keel. Aloft, the fractional rig incorporates double swept-back airfoil spreaders and a split backstay. While the jib is small, the main is reasonably large and should be able to handle some heavy air without creating significant weather helm. The SA/D ratio of 18.6 suggests that the Legend 37 performs well in light air.
According to Ted Ambers, the owner of our review boat, the Legend 37’s best point of sail is a close reach; its worst, he says, is closehauled.
For auxiliary power, the Legend 37 has a 34-horsepower Yanmar 3HM35F diesel. Coupled to a 16x10 two-bladed propeller, it easily moves the boat at hull speed.
Delamination of the balsa-cored deck due to water saturation appears to be a common problem, but it can be detected by judicious sounding of the deck in conjunction with the use of a moisture meter.
The Legend 37 is a contemporary-styled performance sailer with a spacious interior that can make good on a family’s cruising ambitions. If you’re looking for one today, you can expect to find asking prices that range from $45,000 to approximately $65,000, depending on the boat’s condition.
Gregg Nestor is the author of several books about sailboats, including Twenty Affordable Sailboats to Take You Anywhere.
Hunter Legend 37 Specs
LOA 37'6" (11.43 m.)
LWL 31'4" (9.55 m.)
Beam 12'10" (3.91 m.)
Draft (shoal/deep) 4'9"/6'8" (1.45/2.03 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 704 sq. ft. (65.4 sq. m.)
Ballast 6000 lb. (2,721 kg.)
Displacement 14,900 lb. (6,757 kg.)
Water 71 gal. (269 l.)
Fuel 33 gal. (125 l.)
Engine 34-hp. Yanmar 3HM35F diesel
Designer Hunter Design Team