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Monday, September 24, 2007

Hunter leading the way with Certified Pre-Owned Boats...

Hunter Marine (www.huntermarine.com) has always been an innovator. Its part of the reason they are the number one selling production sailboat in North America. (Full disclosure: I used to work for a Hunter dealer.) They were the first to introduce the B&R rig (a marconi rig with no backstay), the overhead traveler arch, and the sugar scoop transom.

It should come as no surprise, then, that they are leading the way once again with an idea whose time has come. They are currently in the process of rolling out their Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Hunter Program.

Certified Pre-Owned cars have been available for several years now, and it is widely recognized as a mark of quality. Hunter hopes to achieve the same ends with their line of sailboats. I spoke with Eric Macklin at Hunter on Friday and he gave me the details.

Hunter sailboats up to 7 years old qualify for the program. The boat will go through a rigorous 160-point inspection and reconditioning before it will be certified. Upon certification, the boat will then be sold with a one-year warranty on key parts and components. This will give buyers peace of mind and will no doubt increase the resale value of certified Hunters.

“The concept of CPO has been a standard of the automotive industry for years, and we’re very proud to be the first manufacturer to bring the benefits to sailboat buyers,” John Peterson, Hunter’s director of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “We’ve been working on this program for a long time and are thrilled that it has arrived at a time when the climate is favorable for our dealers to embrace it.”

Not all Hunter dealers qualify for the program, so be sure to check with your local dealer to find out. And be ready to start seeing CPO boats popping up for sale on the market. Hunter even plans to roll out a listing service that includes all the CPO boats currently for sale.

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