This US design was launched in 2000 and offered more accommodation volume than many European designs at the time, writes Rupert Holmes
Hunter Marine became a major force in boatbuilding from the 1980s through to the financial crisis of 2008, with the boats sold in the UK under the Legend brand to avoid confusion with the British Hunter range.
In the early 2000s a manufacturing base at Portland in Dorset was established to supply the European market, although sadly it didn’t survive the downturn at the end of that decade.
The company had a reputation for innovation, partly thanks to founder Warren Luhrs’ extensive experience in single-handed ocean racing.
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The B&R backstayless rigs, for example, that were fitted from the 1995 Hunter 336 onwards became a distinctive feature. They also allowed for a big roach on the mainsail, akin to the square top sails that are now common.
Although this was conceived as range of pure cruising boats, every model I tested impressed with its sailing abilities. The Legend 356 was launched in 2000 and offered more accommodation volume than many European designs at the time.
This was optimised around a two-cabin layout, with a large saloon, huge galley and heads, plus a reasonable navigation station.
By 2003 this model was one of those built in the UK, with bilge keels (draught 1.52m) as an option, in addition to the standard and shoal draught fin keels.
The yard is now part of Marlow Yachts and continues to build a 10-strong range of quality boats from 15-50ft.
Legend 356 specification
LOA: 10.80m / 35ft 6in
LWL: 9.30m / 30ft 7in
Beam: 3.70m / 12ft 0in
Draught (deep fin): 1.95m / 6ft 5in
Displacement: 6,300kg / 13,900lb
Ballast: 2,250kg / 5,000lb
Sail area: 67m2 / 720ft2
Current market value: £48,000-£55,000 / $66,000-$76,000