New Hunter 50 CC Designed to Appeal to Liveaboards, Bluewater Cruisers

The 50 CC's standard sloop ring has a sail area of 1,277 square feet. It can be configured as a cutter, with 1,316 square feet of sail.

The 50 CC

At the recent Annapolis sail show, Hunter Marine debuted the new flagship in its growing line of sailboats; the 50 CC.  (Editor’s Note — A version of this story of mine appeared on Mad Mariner, a daily online boating magazine. If you haven’t visited Mad Mariner, stop by and sign up for a free trial; or take my word for the fantastic breadth and depth of the stories there and buy a year’s subscription; it’s less than many print magazines and gives you access to an unmatched archive of how-to’s, features and boat reviews.)

The 50 CC is built on the same hull as the company’s successful 49 aft cockpit model, but with a dramatic new deck plan and interior that is designed to appeal to liveaboards and bluewater passagemakers.

I got a sneak peek at the boat the night before it left for Annapolis from a dock in St. Augustine, Florida. And from what I saw, the 50 CC will be an attractive choice for couples or small families looking for serious, long-term liveaboard comfort. Its upgraded master stateroom, larger galley and bright, open interior will raise the standard of living aboard modern sailboats.

While sporting some innovations, this sailboat is undeniably a Hunter. The three-point B&R sailing rig, the stainless cockpit arch, wide side decks and wraparound-windshield styling on the coach-roof windows are all hallmarks of the Hunter keelboats.

Sharing the same proven hull as the 49, with its Kevlar-type armor and specially-designed structural grid reinforcements, the 50 CC moves the sailing cockpit forward and up, and uses dual curved steps to lead down to the transom. Back there, storage lockers abound (including a propane locker), and there is room to easily transition to waterborne activities.

The result is that, while the 49 has a single large gathering area in its aft cockpit, the 50 CC really has two different areas for crew to congregate. It’s easy to imagine the adults enjoying a conversation in the cockpit while the kids swim and play farther aft.

HULL AND RIG

The new 50 CC has an overall length of 49 feet, 11 inches, with a waterline length of 43 feet, 10 inches. The beam, without rubrail, is 14 feet, 9 inches. As with other Hunter boats, there is an option for a shoal-draft keel or deep-draft keel. The shoal draft is 5 feet, 6 inches, while the deep draft is 7 feet.

Displacement varies, depending on whether a shoal keel is used. The shallower keel requires a bit more ballast – 12,500 pounds, instead of the 11,216 pounds on the deep-draft keel. Total displacement for the shoal-keel 50 CC is 36,945 pounds, and 35,661 pounds for the deep-keel boat.

The boat carries a standard fuel load of 162 gallons and 194 gallons of fresh water. Eliminating one of the two standard 38-gallon water heaters increases fuel capacity to 229 gallons. The 50 CC also has a 52-gallon holding tank.

The boat comes standard as a sloop, with a sail area of 1,277 square feet, though it can be configured as a cutter with 1,316 square feet of sail. The B&R rig carries a relatively large standard main sail and fractional jib. This rig is known for its ability to sheet the jib tightly for closer upwind sailing, while carrying a main with a bigger roach. The sharply swept-back spreaders obviate the need for a backstay, but do require some vigilance running downwind to ensure the main doesn’t chafe.

The single steering station in the cockpit is on a pedestal, providing plenty of visibility, given that the boom is above the overhead arch and the mainsheet traveler is on the arch itself. The standard winches are directly at hand.

There’s plenty of seating in the main cockpit area, and there are corner seats aft, bolted to the railings. Walking around the 50 CC is also easy and safe. The side decks are wide, and the standing rigging design keeps both the inner and outer stays out of the way. There are a total of 10 opening hatches on deck, all with screens, yet there’s still room for the sun-seekers to stretch out.

DOWN BELOW

The steps in the centered main companionway are steep but sure-footed, and they curve gently to port, steering visitors away from the expanded galley to starboard. The 50 CC’s interior is a surprisingly large, open and bright space – a function of both the beam and low sole – but also the daylight that streams in through the raised coach roof windows, which are larger on the 50 CC than on the 49. The natural (light) cherry finish adds to the effect.

A large navigation station is immediately to port and has lots of desk space and angled vertical surfaces for chartplotters, instruments and radios. The U-shaped galley to starboard is huge, with plenty of storage and room for liveaboard conveniences. In addition, there’s an exceptional amount of counter space, along with a standard stainless steel double sink and three-burner propane stove. In fact, the galley gains an aft counter as a result of the new master stateroom arrangement. The 49 had two aft staterooms, and one entry was through the back of the galley. The 50 CC has a single entry to port, allowing for more galley storage.

The 50 CC has two exterior gathering areas fore and aft, versus just one aft aboard the 49.

The 50 CC has two exterior gathering areas fore and aft, versus just one aft aboard the 49.

The headroom in the salon is also exceptional: My six-foot, five-inch host had no trouble standing here. But equally important, the way the room is arranged will make long-term cruisers feel comfortable. The U-shaped settee to starboard is paired with a table, while a sofa sits opposite, forward of the nav station. If extra guests are onboard, the table can lower so that the settee becomes a berth.

The standard two-stateroom layout includes a VIP forward, fitted with a large queen bed. A reasonably sized head is to starboard, while a separate shower compartment and hanging lockers are to port. In an alternate configuration, two cozy staterooms with slim, full-size beds and individual heads replace the VIP stateroom. In this arrangement, the port guest cabin gets a bigger hanging locker, but the starboard cabin has the larger head.

This huge, new master stateroom is one of the major differences between the 50 CC and the 49 and one of the changes that make it more suited for long-term cruising and living aboard. The 49’s twin aft staterooms are better suited for shorter cruises with a larger group.

On the 50 CC, the master stateroom aft benefits tremendously from the raised cockpit and seems especially bright and airy. Hatches overhead, combined with side port lights and extensive LED lighting, keep it well lit. The innerspring queen mattress should ensure a good night’s sleep, and the jetted tub in the head, which also features a shower stall, is another nice touch. The rest of the room is also well appointed, with a reclining settee to port, a curved settee to starboard, and an unusually large, walk-in, cedar-lined hanging locker on the same side. A cushioned bench/cedar chest forward is against the centerline engine compartment and can be moved to enhance engine and generator access.

MAJOR SYSTEMS

Aft of the galley and on centerline is the engine compartment, with the standard 75-horsepower Yanmar diesel with an 80-amp alternator (a 110-horsepower engine is also an option, as is a 120-amp alternator). Stacked above the standard engine on hull #1 was an optional 11-killowatt Mastervolt generator, and access to both seemed easy for daily maintenance tasks. Also simplifying maintenance is the standard X-Change-R oil-change system.

The 12-volt DC electrical system features three 8D batteries in boxes, with a separate battery to crank the engine. Hunter includes a standard isolation transformer to protect the boat’s systems from flaky shore power. The shore-power system is 240 volts AC, plenty to run all the refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, and even a load of laundry while at the dock.

Hunter also provides a standard Raymarine ST-60 speed and depth meter, along with a DSC-equipped VHF and stainless steel antenna. Offshore sailors can order a special ground-plane system for use with an SSB radio.

The main salon aboard the Hunter 50 CC is bright and airy with headroom to spare.

The main salon aboard the Hunter 50 CC is bright and airy with headroom to spare.

BUYING THE 50 CC

Hunter’s philosophy is to provide a basic boat that can be outfitted simply for day sailing or with redundant systems and safety equipment for true ocean passages. The 50 CC is available for a base MSRP of about $400,000, but most dealers will order it with options that can increase the cost by 20 percent or more. Look for sale prices closer to $500,000.

One technique Hunter adopts is bundling options together. The “Mariner Package” is a good example, combining several popular options for one price. On the 50 CC, the Mariner Package includes the upgraded alternator; a bow thruster; an electric rigging winch; a 110-horsepower engine; an additional top-opening freezer; an in-mast furling system with a rigid vang and vertical battens; a special inverter with battery-monitoring system; a Quiet-Flush head system; Raymarine ST-70 package with autopilot and remote; three color display heads for speed, depth and wind; a bimini; upgraded memory-foam mattresses; a cushion for the aft bench; an upgraded Bose Lifestyle 28 entertainment system for the salon; a cockpit stereo with CD with speakers in the arch; and a larger flat-panel TV in the salon.

Buyers can deck out the 50 CC even further by adding different sails, including an overlapping jib with a special sheeting system, or a staysail, with inner forestay, furler and tacking system. A taller mast is also an option, as are such things as a watermaker and upgraded winch systems.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by Tom

Tom Tripp is the owner of OceanLines LLC, the publisher of OceanLines and founder of Marine Science Today. He is an award-winning marine journalist, science writer and long-time public communications specialist. His PR career and much of his writing stems from the fact that he loves to explain stuff. It all began when he and his brother Mark threw all of Mom's tomatoes at the back wall of the house. . .

2 comments

[…] Hunter Marine’s new 50CC (Center Cockpit) was recently profiled in OceanLines. The Hunter 50CC is built on the HUnter 49 hull, with a sleek center cockpit deck and an interior that will serve liveaboards and blue water cruisers very well. OceanLines has some nice photos of the 50CC, and we can provide complete information and photos on the boat. Also see Hunter’s 50CC page. Hunter 50CC […]

[…] New Hunter 50 CC Designed to Appeal to Liveaboards, Bluewater … […]