Like the Beneteau Oceanis 50, the Hunter 50AC is born in the U.S.A.—in Alachua, Florida—and replaces a 49-foot boat in the builder’s production line. The similarities, however, pretty much end there. Given the extensive range of options in the rig, keel, and interior layout, personalizing your own 50AC (for aft cockpit), now the flagship in the Hunter oeuvre, is like ordering from a Chinese menu: one from Column A, one from Column B, and so on.
For instance, there are shoal-draft and deep-draft keel and ballast choices (5 feet 6 inches and 12,544 pounds or 7 feet and 11,216 pounds, respectively); standard or tall rigs (63 feet 4 inches and 68 feet 6 inches, both measured from the waterline); regular or more robust Yanmar diesels (75 horsepower or 110 horsepower), and even two different ways of approaching the headsails and foretriangle configuration (a single self-tacking jib or a self-tacking staysail with an overlapping jib). Regarding the latter, of course, either headsail arrangement is paired with Hunter’s “backstayless” B&R rig, a mainsheet traveler arch, and a battened, full-roach mainsail. For the Hunter Design Team, some things are too iconic to mess with.
That wasn’t the case with the interior layout, however, where there’s a trio of distinctive floor plans from which to pick. In each, a unique set of double cabins is located aft, featuring a fore-and-aft double bunk matched with an athwartship double. The “standard” layout has a dedicated double berth forward; the “workbench/office” version has the same sleeping arrangements but includes a dedicated space that would be ideal for liveaboards. The “four stateroom” model adds a pair of berths in the forepeak to replace the double cabin in the other accommodation offerings.
Otherwise, the Hunter 50AC isn’t so much about one big idea—the Mahé’s hard dodger, the Beneteau’s arch and remodel—but the amalgamation of lots and lots of little ones, particularly in the deck layout, where there are more handholds, better nonskid, and revamped windows and hatches. The 50-footer also includes a new cockpit table and Sunbrella cushions and a double-ended mainsheet arrangement; solid wood floors to replace laminated ones; a top-loading freezer and new microwave oven, to go with the new Corian galley counters; a very cozy “bucket” seat at the navigation station; an ottoman-style bench at the saloon galley; a regular headboard, instead of a mirror, in the forward cabin; and on and on.
Befitting a 50-footer with long-range capabilities, the 50AC is also available with a long list of what the company calls Mariner Package upgrades; these include a Raymarine ST-70 instrument package, a 120-amp alternator, a bow thruster, and an electric halyard winch, to mention but a few of the “optional” options. The Hunter 50AC may not be a custom boat, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yours like one when fitting it out.
LOA 49′ 11″ (15.2 m.)
LWL 43′ 10″ (13.4 m.)
Beam 14′ 9″ (4.50 m.)
Draft (deep/shoal) 7′ 0″/5′ 6″ (2.1/1.7 m.)
Sail Area 1,277 sq. ft. (115 sq. m.)
Ballast 12,554 lb. (5,690 kg.)
Displacement 32,813 lb. (14,884 kg.)
Water 200 gal. (757 l.)
Fuel 162 gal. (613 l.)
Holding 54 gal. (204 l.)
Mast Height (standard) 63′ 4″ (19.30 m.)
(tall) 68′ 6″ (20.88 m.)
Engine 75-hp. or 110-hp. Yanmar diesel
Designer Hunter Design Team