Big and beamy, with loads of room below and a huge cockpit for entertaining, the Hunter 49 is the new queen of this company's fleet. Hull number one came loaded with creature comforts including a freezer and fridge, a washer and dryer, two flat-screen monitors (in the main saloon and the owner's cabin, forward), a Bose 321 onboard-entertainment center, a full range of electronics, and a Fisher Panda 12-kilowatt generator to power it all. Light-colored woods, upholstery, and ceiling panels and 11 opening ports lend the three-cabin interior a light and airy feel. Of course, all this space comes at a cost: high freeboard and narrow side decks, particularly by the cockpit.
On deck, twin helms allow easy access to the cockpit from the swim platform and open transom. A traveler is mounted overhead on a Hunter stainless-steel arch, with one end of the mainsheet leading down the arch's side to a portside winch near the helm, while the other end can be trimmed at a winch on the cabin top. The base-model 49 comes with a main, a self-tacking 90-percent jib, and two winches. An upgrade package, which hull number one had, includes a 110-percent genoa, a staysail, a vertical-batten main with Seldén in-mast furling, and three additional winches to handle sheets, sail controls, and the spinnaker gear.
Under sail, the 49 curtsied along with modest heel on a near reach at 7 knots in about 17 knots of true wind. Under power, the optional 100-horsepower Yanmar cruised easily at 7-plus knots. A relatively stiff boat, the 49 provides a dry and comfortable ride fit for royalty.
Hunter 49 Specs
LOA: 49' 11"
LWL: 43' 10"
Beam: 14' 5"
Draft (shoal): 5' 6"
Sail Area: 1,051 sq. ft.
Displacement (shoal): 32,813 lb.
Water: 200 gal.
Fuel: 150 gal.
Engine: 75-hp. Yanmar
Designer: Hunter Design Team
Hunter Marine, (386) 462-3077, www.huntermarine.com