Quick Look: Hunter Edge

Jeremy McGeary reviews this trailerable motor sailer for the CW 2009 Sailboat Show.

It's been a long time coming, but one of the production-boat heavies is taking aim at the niche occupied for years solely by the MacGregor 26. With theEDGE, Hunter Marine plans to engage that sector of the pleasure-boat market that hovers on the edge between power and sail.

At 26 feet, and with a 50- or 75-horsepower outboard motor, theEDGE combines the swiftness of a powerboat to get where the wind is with the silent relaxation of sailing once there. And the whole rig with its highway trailer comes in under 5,000 pounds.

A centerboard gives the boat traction when sailing, water ballast provides stability, the cassette-mounted rudder retracts for powering, launching, and recovery, and a gin pole assists in raising and lowering the mast. Hunter's deep-roach, full-battened mainsail and barely overlapping jib provide adequate sail area in an easy-to-handle configuration.

Accommodations are basic but cozy, and equipment includes such Hunter safety-first standards as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.