An elegant cruising boat with a fabled pedigree, the new Hunt 44 was modeled after the successful Hunt 52, which was launched three years ago, but aimed at owners who wanted the agility and ease of a smaller boat. The new 44 carries all the salty lines, brightwork, and seakeeping characteristics of the original 52, just reduced in scale. But her looks carry the day: With her fine entry, long graceful sheer, and a hint of tumblehome, the 44’s lines, drawn by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, are almost perfect. Indeed, the 44 was named “Best New Powerboat” at the Newport International Boat Show in September.
To make living—and entertaining—onboard as easy as possible, the Hunt 44 has one, level, uninterrupted space from the transom to the helm. It’s created by simply opening the wide sliding glass doors in the aft bulkhead. This creates a large open area, inside and out. The standard layout below is galley-down with two staterooms and two heads, but Hunt is a semi-custom builder and they can reconfigure this space to fit an owner’s desires. The engine options are also large, including twin 455-horsepower Caterpillar diesels, twin 567-horsepower Cats, twin 593-horsepower Cummins, all with traditional shafts and props, or twin Volvo Penta 429-horsepower diesels with IPS600 pod drives and joystick control. If an owner chooses the pod drives, a third cabin or utility area opens up under the bridge deck. Hunt knows what cruising owners want, so it designed a large garage under the cockpit to hold a ten-foot dinghy. At the touch of a remote button, the transom lifts to launch or retrieve the dink; the entire garage is gelcoated and watertight to the interior. Inside, the saloon is airy with windows all around and a large sunroof overhead; visibility from the helm is a full 360 degrees.
All Hunt yachts are designed to be strong, safe, well-performing offshore boats. Like the 52, the new 44 is built by Global Yacht Builders in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and it’s true to the brand. The hull is laid up with infused E-glass composite with PVC foam core; the hull-deck joint is bonded and mechanically fastened. The deck and superstructure shell are made of E-glass composite with vacuum-bagged PVC foam core for strength and light weight. Top-quality vinylester resin is used for the hull, deck, and superstructure. Below the waterline, five coats of Gelshield 2000 are added for protection; the hull comes with a six-year warranty.
With a 20-degree deadrise at the transom, the 44 is an evolution of the deep-V hull that Ray Hunt first designed more than half a century ago, and that has proven itself as the premiere offshore design for recreational boats ever since. The 44 has generous flare in the bow to deflect spray (it is indeed a dry boat), and the Hunt hull produces a turn of speed and a soft ride in offshore conditions. At speed, the boat is quiet inside and out, and nothing rattles, nothing pounds. With Volvo’s IPS drives, the 44 slaloms around lobster pots like a smaller sport boat, yet it has all the power and stability of a much larger and luxurious yacht.
: 40,000 lb.
: 450 gal.
: 120 gal.
: 2/429- hp Volvo Penta diesels with IPS600 pod drives
: 2/445-hp Cat C7 ACERT diesels
: 11.5 kW Onan
Air temperature: 82°F; seas, 1 foot; load: 280 gal. fuel, 120 gal. water, five persons, 500 lb. gear. Speed measured by Garmin GPS. GPH measured by Volvo display. *It turned out that a line had wrapped around a prop prior to the speed test. Hunt Yachts own test of the same boat earlier showed a top speed of 28.6 knots at 3580 rpm. Range is 90 percent of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levelsmeasured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.