Hunter 40: A Bold New Look
The Hunter 40 has a fresh facade and long ties to a proven line of American-built cruisers.
When Hunter Marine arrived last fall at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, the company came with a new name, a new owner, and a new 40-foot sloop to celebrate 40 years of boatbuilding in the United States and a renewed lease on life.
Purchased by Marlow Yachts, based in Palmetto, Florida, in the middle of 2012, the sailboat company founded by Warren Luhrs is now called Marlow-Hunter but continues to produce its line of small trailerable sailboats and midsize to large cruising models at its yard in Alachua, Florida.
The Hunter 40 introduces an updated look to the Hunter lineup, and according to sales director Greg Emerson, more models with similar styling will follow. The boat was designed by Glenn Henderson, who’s long collaborated with the firm’s in-house designers, and with input from Marlow Yachts owner David Marlow, as well.
|Old and new: The Hunter 40 retains longtime Hunter elements such as the cockpit arch and B&R rig, but hard chines, sporty colors, and dramatic window styling also grace the first design from Marlow-Hunter.|
With its hard chines, a slightly reverse transom, and a plumb bow, the 40 has a sporty appearance, enhanced in the case of hull number 1 by its deep blue topsides, gold cove and boot stripes, and two-tone deck with tan nonskid and white gelcoat trim. Windows shaped like knife blades run the length of the wedge-shaped cabin top; I did a double take when I first spotted them on the boat sitting dockside at the show.
Belowdecks, the H40 has a quite roomy layout. White panels, offset by either mahogany (standard) or teak woodwork, give the interior, especially the saloon, an airy and bright feel. The boat I inspected came with the teak interior, an option package that also includes Dura-Leather upholstery and upgraded fixtures. With the upgrade, the owner also has the choice of a hard bimini over the cockpit, a feature with which our test boat was equipped. To be honest, unless I was in the tropics, I’d prefer either a canvas bimini or none at all, but perhaps that’s because I thought that the hardtop had head-knocking potential. Based on customer and dealer feedback, the layout in the forward cabin has been changed from the boat we sailed. A separate head and shower, located on either side of the cabin, have been combined to starboard,making room for a bench seat between the hanging locker to port and the queen-size V-berth.