Hunter 45 CC: Home on the Water
In the 45 CC, Glenn Henderson and the Hunter Design Group have combined their design trademarks-like the backstayless B&R rig and cockpit traveler arch-with a racy-looking house. The result is an easy-to-sail boat that's capable of extended cruising.
Wraparound portlights brighten an open interior of teak and light-colored Ultraleather upholstery. The nav station features a luxurious swiveling armchair, and there's plenty of space to add electronics, although access for installation and wiring is extremely tight.
The generous U-shaped galley will please liveaboards. Corian countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and a built-in microwave/coffeemaker evoke custom shoreside kitchens.
CW's Boat of the Year judges were impressed by the systems and electrical installations but paused at Hunter's use of a U-bolt-like fitting that connects the bottom of the lower shroud's tie-rod to the hull. Judges were concerned that it could become deformed under a load and that a nylon locking nut on the pin through the fitting wasn't tight enough for the nylon locking material to be engaged.
Asked about this observation, Henderson noted that the fitting was designed to withstand loads well in excess of the wire used in the shrouds and that in rigorous tests in which the boats are strapped down and a crane is used to create excessive tension on the rig, no problems have been encountered. He added that the pin and nut of concern to the judges are in sheer and shouldn't be an issue, and he noted that they're located in an area where they can easily be inspected.
The pièce de résistance on the 45 CC is a luxurious aft cabin that can truly be called a "master suite." The island berth, with queen innerspring mattress, is flanked by Corian-topped nightstands. Cedar-lined closets, a loveseat, and an en-suite head provide all the comforts of home.
The guest cabin forward has a head, a shower, and a comfortable V-berth.
Cruisers will appreciate the wide decks with such safety features as padeyes for jacklines and hatchboards that provide access to the latch from inside and outside the cabin. The propane locker is on the side deck just inside the lifeline gate, making it easy for crew to load bottles from the dock or dinghy.
The fractional rig is designed for shorthanded sailing. Most of the drive comes from the big mainsail. The small headsail is easily handled, although a winch on the starboard side would assist in furling the genoa. The rig is designed to clear 65-foot bridges, which, along with the 5-foot draft, will make a cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway a breeze.
Most cruising couples don't want a raceboat; the 45 CC's moderate sail area-to-displacement ratio of 16.5 keeps it well within their comfort zones. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough wind to test-sail the 45 CC properly. In 6 knots of breeze, we maxed out at 4.8 knots on a beam reach. The 75-horse Yanmar muscled the boat along at 7.9 knots at cruising rpm, and it backed responsively.
The $286,000 price tag makes the Hunter 45 CC affordable for buyers looking for a stylish, low-maintenance, and good-sized boat for cruising the coasts with all the comforts of a second home. With some careful owner modifications, it's a home that could also be sailed farther abroad.
Hunter 45 CC Specs LOA: 45' 0" (13.72 m.)
LWL: 39' 2" (12.85 m.)
Beam: 14' 6" (4.42 m.)
Draft: 5' 0" (1.52 m.)
Sail Area (100%): 834 sq. ft. (77.5 sq. m.)
Displacement: 22,936 lb. (1,769 kg.)
Water: 149 gal. (564 l.)
Fuel: 76 gal. (288 l.)
Engine: 75-hp. Yanmar
Designer: Hunter Design Group
Hunter Marine, (386) 462-3077, www.huntermarine.com
Stacey Collins spent two years sailing around the Caribbean with her family aboard their Mariner 39. She was a judge for CW's 2007 Boat of the Year contest.