Hunter 40: A Bold New Look
The Hunter 40 has a fresh facade and long ties to a proven line of American-built cruisers.
|A teak interior is an option on the H40, giving the saloon a bright and modern feel in contrast with the traditional layout.|
|A hard bimini provides shade for the skipper, who has plenty of room to work behind the twin helms. Guests, meanwhile, can stay out of the way and enjoy the spacious seating forward.|
Aft, a buyer has a choice of either two cabins or one large owners cabin; I saw the latter. Headroom over the island queen seemed cramped, and apparently others thought so, too. Emerson said the company has modified the cockpit-table base and the mold for the cockpit itself to gain more space below.
Emerson said that the original H40 transom has also been changed to make the fold-down swim platform smaller and lighter and, hence, easier to raise and lower. As a result, production models have a step on the stern to make boarding from a dinghy easier when the platform’s up. Like all modern Hunters, the H40 has a B&R rig with swept-back spreaders and no backstay. Customers can choose between a conventional mainsail or an in-mast furling main with vertical battens. The boat comes standard with a 110-percent headsail, although a 120-percent genoa can be ordered for light-wind cruising grounds, and the anchor roller includes a padeye for setting downwind sails. A traveler is incorporated into the stainless-steel cockpit arch; it can be adapted to include either a canvas or hard bimini. One end of the double-ended mainsheet is led to the cabin top, and the other down the side of the arch to a winch by the port helm station. This arrangement makes a boat the size of the 40 quite easy for a couple to sail.
Speaking of sailing, the 40 delivered a comfortable ride during my somewhat short time on the wheel in conditions that favored foul-weather gear. The Lewmar steering provided good feedback as we notched closehauled speeds in the 6s and a knot better when we cracked off to a reach in 10 knots of breeze.
Given the one-year stem-to-stern warranty and five-year guarantee on the hull—not to mention the long list of standard equipment—the sailaway price of $240,000 makes the Hunter 40 definitely worthy of inspection or, better yet, a test sail.