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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 in Boats