Hunter 45DS

Hunter 45DS Features Bright and Roomy Interior

Hunter's sleek new 45DS sails along on a port tack in a gentle breeze.Step down the companionway on the Hunter 45 Deck Salon, a recent offering from the world’s largest sailboat manufacturer, and the impact of a tall and roomy cabin flooded with light is immediate.  It stands in sharp contrast to cave–like interiors that sailors know too well.

The reason for the room is the raised coach roof, a feature that is hardly exaggerated from the exterior – and unlikely to block views forward – but that pays off below, where the extra room combines with oversized deck portals and Hunter’s trademark wrap–around windshield to create an exceptionally light and open space.

The raised roof – taller than found on a traditional sailboat but not quite a full pilothouse – is becoming a more common feature, if production boats like the Hunter 45DS, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey series and Tartan’s new 4400 are any indicator. Manufacturers are taking advantage of modern, lightweight construction materials to create additional space below without adding undue weight topside – a seemingly sensible move in a world where multihulls and trawlers have surged in popularity.

The result, in Hunter’s case, is a big, beautiful boat equipped to take two couples or a family on long and comfortable coastal cruises, or even offshore.

BLUE WATER

The 45 Deck Salon is built exactly the same as the larger Hunter 49 and the new 50CC, with Kevlar-type aramid fibers used in the hull construction from stem to keel sump.  The 49 has solid blue–water credentials after circumnavigator Mike Harker explored the globe on the 49 in a well–publicized passage, which ended in Miami in February this year, and Hunter has been working to brand the larger end of its fleet as true passagemaking vessels.

The 45 Deck Salon is based on – in fact, uses the same hull as – the 44 Deck Salon, but has an entirely more modern look and an improved cockpit.  The 45DS was launched late last year, with an overall length (LOA) of 44 feet and 2 inches and a waterline length (LWL) of 39 feet, two inches. Draft with the winged shoal keel is 5 feet 5 inches, and the available deep keel extends the draft to 6 feet 6 inches. The two keel options are close in total ballast weight at about 7,300 pounds, and the boat’s total displacement is roughly 23,000 pounds.

The hull is built to handle offshore conditions.  All systems are NMMA certified and the boat holds CE A/10 approval, which means it is a solid heavy weather boat.  The hull and deck flanges are fit–mated, then sealed with 3M’s 5200 and through–bolted all the way around. Hunter adds more epoxy around the chainplates for extra strength in these high–stress areas.

The confidence in this technique is evident in a five–year hull warranty against structural problems and blisters.  It is transferrable, not pro–rated and pays for the actual cost of repairs, rather than simply a standard rate. There is also a five–year extended warranty on key systems such as refrigeration, air conditioning, electronics and important engine components.

The standard mast height is 57 feet 4 inches, and a little taller with the optional in–mast furling, which also comes with a solid boom vang.  The rig is the Hunter-typical fractional, swept–spreader Bergstrom & Ridder design and features the Hunter trademark steel traveler arch over the cockpit, with a double–ended mainsheet for convenient sail handling.

The transom of the Hunter 45DS provides easy access to cockpit and shore connections.

The transom of the Hunter 45DS provides easy access to cockpit and shore connections.

Hunter says the rig doesn’t need a backstay and that the larger main allows for a somewhat smaller – and more controllable – jib. The standard jib is a 110 percent furling rig, with inboard tracks and adjustable cars. The cockpit has dual helm stations with leather–wrapped wheels, and the transom is a walk–through arrangement with a swim platform and standard hot and cold shower.

Auxiliary propulsion is provided by a 54 HP Yanmar diesel with a three–blade prop and a standard 80–amp alternator, fed by a 66–gallon fuel tank. Three 4D house batteries are standard, as is an isolation transformer, which protects against dodgy shorepower systems.

DOWN BELOW

But when you first board the 45DS, it is the interior that shines. The salon is huge, with overhead windows and portals adding abundant natural light. As you step down from the companionway, a large galley is to port, with plenty of room for appliances like a freezer and dishwasher. The full beam width of 14 feet six inches is nearly amidships, which is partly why the galley is so spacious.

The 45DS has a big water tank – 140 gallons – along with 45 gallons of holding–tank capacity and an 11–gallon water heater.  That means plenty of hot water for showers in the twin heads that come standard on all models.

The salon of the Hunter 45DS is far from the cave-like interiors many sailors know too well.

The salon of the Hunter 45DS is far from the cave-like interiors many sailors know too well.

There is a nav station to starboard. Like many newer designs, there is a section of angled bulkhead to mount radar and chartplotter displays.  They don’t face directly at the navigator, but they don’t clutter the space, either.  To port is a wide, u–shaped settee and dinette, with a sofa directly across.

Two basic cabin configurations are available: a standard two–stateroom model and a three–room variant that splits the aft cabin in two.  Forward of the bulkhead is the guest stateroom with an interesting “Pullman style” arrangement that has the bunk to port and a hanging locker and vanity to starboard. The guest head is all the way forward.  In the two stateroom model, the master stateroom aft has storage to either side of the centered queen bed, and a small chair built into the port bulkhead. The cabin features private access to the aft head.

Hunter has packaged some of the most popular cruising options into what it calls the Mariner Package.  Included are an upgrade to electric rigging winches; a front–opening stainless freezer; in–mast furling system with vertical battens for the mainsail; an inverter; an upgrade to memory foam for the mattresses; a Quiet Flush head; a Raymarine ST–60 Wind system (the ST–60 Speed and Depth are standard); an upgraded shade package; Bose 3–2–1 entertainment system in the main cabin; a three–burner LPG stove (two–burner is standard) and a 15 inch flat panel TV for the main salon.  The only thing missing is the optional generator, a 6–kilowatt unit from Fischer Panda.

Base price on the 45DS is about $263,000, although most will have a sail–away price closer to $370,000, with the typical options.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by Tom in Boats