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Old 11-29-2012
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New boat: Hunter 40

I have been accused of not posting about American boats. That is not true and I have posted about all new American boats that I find interesting but that is true that I refrain myself to post about American boats that I don’t like even if I do that regarding European boats, if they are from big mass production builders.

Well that distinction makes no sense so let’s have a post about the new Hunter 40.

The first photos of the boat had surprised me. The boat looked modern and nice:





I got interested and I thought: Finally they got one of the main NAs to design their boats.

They say about it:

Whether you are a day sailor or serious cruiser, the new Hunter 40 isdesigned to please. Her superior sailing characteristics are honed from her 65 predecessors to emerge from our design center.

Built in the United States, she is crafted by people who understand and respect the sea. We chose to launch the new H40 on our fortieth anniversary with the desire to create a sailing vessel that exceeded the expectations of the past forty years.

Come experience the new H40 with her dual helm control, fold-down transom, chined hull and dual heads. Our hand-crafted interiors are made to fit each boat, not the other way around. The result is an interior fit and finish that is as functional as it is beautiful.



Hum, that is odd they don’t say who is the designer and they talk about a “design center”???

Well the boat has a chined hull, that should be a modern hull???, and then I saw this:




This looks like the shape of a 10 or 15 year’s old cruiser!!! That is really odd… and I start to look for hull designs and 3D renderings…and I found none!!!???? Very odd, that would be unthinkable in an European brand. I am confused.

The American Sailors are not interested in the hull, keel and rudder design of the boat that they are going to buy? Then I started to look for the name of the boat designer and again…nothing!!!??? I thought that was not possible, the name of the designer gives an assurance of quality, everybody wants to know who designs his boat?!!

Well maybe not, at least not in America, not for Hunter, they have not the name anywhere so I guess it is designed in house by their " design center"!!!???

That is unheard except for some small brads where the owner is the designer and build to very small market niches. In what regards big brands and main market, they all have in house architects but they do not design the boats they make the interface between what the brand wants and the best world Architectural Naval offices that actually design the boats.They also help in the building, adjusting small details and modifying small things.

Well, the "in house Hunter design center" is not what I would have called as a major name in boat design.

After looking a lot I could find out some pictures that show actually something about the hull design, besides the global shape of the boat:





That chine is really odd, a very hard one that will not allow the boat to sail well except with very little heel, otherwise creating a lot of drag. That kind of chine, I mean a very marked one (even if not so extreme) will give a lot of hull stability and prevents heeling but will not be appropriated to a boat that has the max beam forward. That demands a large beam and all the beam brought back, like on the Benetau 41, a boat with 4.20m of beam:



But even so we can see that the Chine transition is a much softer one allowing the boat to have a maximized hull form at angles of heel till 17º or so and after that allowing the boat to sail close upwind at greater angles without generating a lot of drag:







The last picture is from a Jeanneau 409 a boat that has not the beam so brought back as the Benetau Oceanis 41, a hull that in its overall shape is more similar (even if more modern) than the one from the Hunter 40, also with a chine but with a even more soft transition than on the Oceanis and that is natural because having the Jeanneau less beam and max beam more forward it will sail upwind with more heel.

So a good question is what is the Hunter 40 beam? On the main site they have 12’2’’ or 4.01m????? and on the PDF they have 13’2’’ that is equivalent to 4.01m. Here on a more detailed file (that has also beam at waterline they give again 12’2’’ and again 4.01m!!!!. I guess that it is really 12’2’’ (the boat don’t seem to have much beam) and in that case it should be 3.71m. That makes that hull transom design and the hard chine even more odd since this boat will heel even more than the jeanneau 409 ( Beam 3.99m) going close upwind.

Marlow-Hunter vs Marlow-Hunter 2013 vs 2013 Hunter 40 vs Hunter 40 Sailboats

Regarding ballast and ballast ratio/type of keel in what regards RM, I cannot say all because I could not find any picture or drawing of the boat with the keel in the fin configuration. We know that the draft is 2.03m and that the B/D is on the low side (27.5%). I hope that this boat has a modern keel with all the ballast on the bottom otherwise it would be really on the very low side.

The boat has not much beam neither a big B/D ratio (or a big draft) so this will make it not a powerful boat and not able to carry much sail. The weight is on the high side (8936Kg) and that makes it comparable with the more heavier European mass production boats, like the Bavaria 40 (8680kg) or the Hanse 415 (8900kg ). The sail area is surprisingly bigger 93.46 m2 (to 82m2 and 84.5m2) since both the Bavaria and the Hanse are more powerful boats, with more RM, this means that the Hunter is a more tender boat and a boat that would have to reef a lot sooner than any of the other boats.

If the boat looks well at ¾, on the side it looks a bit odd



And I don’t understand the boom traveler not to be on the axis of the support structure. That will create an arm and will multiply the force that will be made on the structure and on that panel that I find really ugly:



View from the back, I find the design too heavy, with a too high transom to my taste:



Regarding the interior it has a very good galley and a nicely overall distributed interior, especially in what regards the two cabin version.



In what regards design, it seems that, contrary to any European brand, it is also made at home in their “design center” and it shows. The comparison with any European brands, that have their interiors designed by the best interior designers, is evident. For what I have saw on other Hunters this difference in the interior quality, as well as in general, is not one of material quality, that is similar to the one of the European boat builders, but one of design quality.






Last edited by PCP; 11-29-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: The post was edited following Faster observation on post 3405
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