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A New Luxury Cruiser from Hunter
Hunter Marine of Alachua, FL, best known for middle-sized family cruisers and day sailors from 14 to 49 feet, has cracked the 50-foot luxury offshore cruising market with the introduction of the 50 CC.
The “CC” is short for center cockpit, and I recently got a chance to take a tour of Hunter’s new flagship at the St. Petersburg Boat Show & Strictly Sail, on a warm and sunny day that made me glad I write about boats instead of computers. And what I learned about Hunter’s top dog really surprised me.
The first thing that struck me was the center cockpit and how high it places the helmsperson relative to the aft cockpits that I’m so used to. The lines of visibility are excellent and the Raymarine electronics, self-tailing Lewmar winches, and sail controls all within easy reach. The mainsail traveler rests on a stainless steel arch above and keeps the boom away from everyone’s tender head. And for those who like to sleep under the stars, the cockpit seats are a generous eight-feet long.
The draft is seven feet, but if you intend to do most of your cruising in coastal US waters the optional five-foot, six-inch shoal draft version is a better bet. Ditto for the standard fractional rig that puts the 50CC at 63 feet and change; which will just get you under most of the bridges on the ICW and St. Johns River. Hunter uses a balanced spade rudder and stainless steel shaft attached to a single folding wheel. The mainsail has large roach and a smaller jib that will make for easy tacking in most conditions.
The deck-stepped mast has the Hunter trademark B&R rig with double, aft-swept spreaders with reverse diagonals that eliminate the need for backstays. This allowed designer Glenn Henderson to create an aft deck lounge area that acts like a second cockpit--it should be a hit with kids and crew. A curved ladder leads down to the water and a locker that will hold deck equipment or a deflated dinghy.
The 75-horse Yanmar engine with its162-gallon fuel tank has a motoring range of about 650 miles, and at 2500 rpm will slide along at 8+ knots. The 194-gallon water and 52-gallon holding tanks should be enough to prevent unscheduled stops at a marina. An 80-amp alternator will keep the three house 8D batteries happy and when at the dock the 100-amp battery charger should do the same.
I confess to having a pet peeve with companionway ladders: I’m tall and on many boats I have to lean way back or turn around to keep the hatch from giving me a nasty uppercut. On a typical cruise I fly up and down that thing a million times and sooner or later I will get it in the chops. But going below on the 50CC is no problem and once there the low placed sole gives plenty of headroom throughout the saloon and cabins.
Instead of teak and holly for the cabin sole, Hunter uses a composite veneer that should be maintenance free for the life of the boat. The saloon was spacious, bright, and inviting, the dinette will seat 6 comfortably and an optional flat panel TV/DVD will provide excellent after dinner entertainment for crew and guests.
But There is More
If you like to cook you’re going to love the 50CC-- I’ve lived in apartments with less galley space. A three-burner oven with range hood and fan, supplied by two 20 lb. propane tanks, top/front fridge, double sink, microwave, coffee maker, lots of counter and food storage space all should make your ship’s chef very happy and able to whip out myriad culinary delights whilst underway. Oenophiles will love the cavernous “crawl in” bilge that can easily be made into a wine cellar.
To port is the NAV station with a high-backed swivel chair and lots of vertical space for additional electronics, and plenty of chart storage space under the table. Both fore and aft cabins have complete heads with shower and auto flush toilets.
The large master aft cabin has a walk-in cedar-lined locker and, get this, a one-person jet spa tub under the eight-foot, queen sized centerline berth. On either side are lounge benches that can double as bunks. And don’t worry, the 39-gallon hot water tank is more than enough to provide a full tub of muscle-relaxing liquid comfort.
The 50CC has all the creature comforts requisite for a luxurious life afloat and will not disappoint guests. The boat I viewed included Hunter’s “Mariner Package” and includes a larger engine, alternator, electric winches, bow thruster, and in mast furling. It has an MSRP of $515,000.
LOA: 49’ 11” (51.21m)
LWL: 43’10” (13.36m)
Beam: 14’9” (4.47m)
Draft: 5’6” (1.68m)
Sail Area: 1316ft2 (122.26m2)
Ballast: 12,500lb (5670kg)
Displacement: 36,945lb (16758kg)
Water: 194gal (734L)
Fuel: 162gal` (613L)
Engine: 75-hp Yanmar Diesel
Designer: Glenn Henderson
© 2009, Robert Beringer