Mission of the Marlow-Hunter 40
The concept was to create a larger, more comfortable sailboat that was also easy to sail, and one that would appeal to a more affluent audience, and perhaps one with more aggressive sailing plans.Marlow-Hunter’s 33’ (10.1 m) cruiser was introduced in the fall of 2011. A year later, the company brought the concept of the 33’s hard-chine hull, easily man-aged B&R rig and fold-down transom to this 40 footer (12.2 m), featuring a large cockpit, generous salon and galley, a larger master cabin aft, and complete cruising privacy for two couples.
One new and two legacy design elements come together in this boat: 1) The new Marlow-Hunter
aids sailing performance and increases space for accommodations below. 2)
The B&R rig
, which Hunter has employed since the mid 1980s, drives the boat with a large mainsail and small jib -- this is exactly opposite from most cruising sailboats and is much easier to handle, particularly with just two crew. 3) Also, Hunter’s standard
a concept first introduced on Hunter's Passage 42 in 1991, carries the mainsail traveler and sheet above the cockpit. The arch-mounted mainsheet and the B&R's swept back spreaders and rigging eliminate the backstay resulting in a cockpit uncluttered by running or standing rigging.
Marlow-Hunter capitalized on the unfettered cockpit in two ways. Aft, the boat carries two helms with a wide walkthrough be-tween, leading to a fold-down transom that becomes a boarding and swim plat-form. At the other end, location of the mainsail traveler and sheet on most boats limit the forward end of the cockpit. Thanks to the arch-mounted traveler, the Marlow-Hunter 40’s spacious cockpit extends fairly far forward. The companion-way reaches farther forward still, so the stairs entering the salon are nearly amid-ship.
More Room Below.
Combined with added room low in the hard-chined hull, the resulting aft cabin features an island-style queen bed, accessed aft of the galley much as one would expect on a center-cockpit cruiser. This also allows space for a full head and shower aft, as well as another full head forward. Two full heads is a significant feature in a 40' (12 m) hull.
Advantages of a Hard Chine.
Compared to a rounded bilge, a hard chine flattens the bottom like that of a racing dinghy for better performance off the wind. The chine also provides form stability -- the hull shape helps keep the boat upright -- and adds just a bit of extra bite to make the boat track slightly better forward, reducing leeway somewhat, when sailing to windward. But for a cruising boat, that chine carries two additional attributes. It widens the hull down around foot level, significantly increasing usable room for accommodations. The hard chine also allows those accommodations to sit lower in the hull, which lowers the center of gravity. Combine lower CG with added stability from the flatter bottom, and the Marlow-Hunter 40 needs less ballast to stay upright. All things being equal, a lighter boat with less ballast will be faster and more responsive.
The B&R Rig
Conventionally-rigged sailboats hold the mast upright from four points: a forestay, backstay and port and starboard shrouds directly outboard of the mast. Hunter’s B&R rig (originated by sailboat designers Lars Bergström and Sven-Olov Ridder in Sarasota, Florida) moves the shrouds aft a bit and out to the hull sides, eliminating the need for a backstay.
More Stable Rig.
The B&R rig's 3-stay configuration has each stay 120-degrees from each other creating what amounts to a 3-legged stool to hold up the mast. Because the upper shrouds are attached to the chain plates on the hull side, the rig has a wide stance and is more stable. Loads are directed to the keel through the hull sides.
This permits a mainsail with a longer foot and more roach in the sail. Mainsails are much easier to handle than large head-sails because they are connected to the boat on two of three sides. With the main being able to handle more sail area, the headsail can be smaller. A smaller headsail is easier to handle and can be sheeted inside of the upper shrouds with smaller winches.
Easier to Control.
More importantly, a large mainsail is easier to handle than a large genoa forward. Heeling too much in a gust? Ease the mainsheet a bit -- made easy since it ends both on the cabin top at the front of the cockpit and also near the port helm. Hunter’s arch-mounted mainsail traveler also helps by moving the mainsheet closer to the end of the boom where lever-age works to decrease the load. (Travelers far forward on most cruising boats use leverage against the crewman trying to bring in the mainsail in a stiff breeze.)
A Smoother Ride.
The B&R rig has longer, swept back spreaders that support reverse (double) diagonal rigging. Conventional boats have only single diagonal stays. As a result the mast on a B & R rig can have a smaller section, have thinner walls and be lighter. With less weight aloft the boat both heels and pitches less. Because the boat is not rolling and pitching as much her ride is smoother.
Lazy Jacks and Lazy Boot.
The Marlow-Hunter 40 standard mainsail includes traditional, horizontal battens with a lazy-jack system, so the sail stacks itself atop the boom when lowered. A sail cover is incorporated into the bottom of the sail. Tuck in a few corners and straighten a few folds, zip the cover closed, and the main is stowed.
An optional in-mast furling main
makes short-handed sailing even easier but does present the problem of what to do about the leach and does roach have to be sacrificed because conventional battens can't be used? Hunter's answer to both questions is a vertical batten design and a number of sailmakers have come up with solutions that are compatible with their in-mast furling system.The jib, which stops just slightly aft of the mast (110 percent), comes standard with roller furling.
Sail Area Caveat:
The standard total sail area of the Hunter 40 is 1,006 sq. ft. and the mast height is 61'9" (18.82 m) from the waterline. With both a roller furling headsail and main, the total sail area is reduced to 910 sq. ft. (84.54 sq. m) with a mast height of 63'3" (19.28 m).
Two Keel Options
Being from the west coast of Florida, Marlow-Hunter is sensitive to the need for shoal-draft vessels in certain parts of the world. For that reason it offers a shoal-draft keel that draws 5'2" (1.57 m) and weighs 6,027 lbs. (2,734 kgs.) or a deep-draft version that draws 6'8" (2.03 m) and weighs 5,425 lbs. (2,461 kgs.)
Cockpit and Transom
Whether racing, daysailing or cruising, the vast majority of time aboard is spent in the cockpit. Accordingly, Hunter provides easy movement from the cabin or side decks into the cockpit, with the mainsail traveler overhead and jib winches aft, well out of the way. Ample cockpit seating flows around a wedge-shaped folding table, which is fitted with grab rails. The walkway between the pair of steering wheels provides equally unhindered access to the transom gate, which folds down to become a boarding platform. Two additional seats built into the stern rail provide elevated perches.The optional hardtop includes skylights and a solar panel atop, as well as lights and stereo speakers beneath. Or the standard stainless steel cockpit arch ac-commodates the mainsail traveler and provides rigid support for forward- or aft-mounted Bimini tops.
Twin anchor rollers and an anchor locker keep ground tackle neatly out of the way, with room for an optional windlass completely beneath the deck when the anchor locker hatch is closed.
One construction detail common to all Hunters since at least the late 1980s is the hull-to-deck joint. Most manufacturers’ hulls include an inward flange at the top edge, to which the deck is glued and screwed or through-bolted within the hull. Hunter instead turns this flange out-ward, allowing the deck and hull to be glued and through-bolted outside of the hull. This provides easier access, saving labor during construction.
But it also allows that joint to be inspected. If a fastener does leak, water drips harmlessly outside the boat, not into the cabin, and the entire assembly is capped with a rub rail standing a full 2'' away from the hull side where it better prevents scratches from barnacle-covered pilings.
The main cabin’s open layout is enhanced with plenty of light from above and the use of light colors covering the bulkhead and hull sides. Standard cherry or optional teak cabin sole, furniture and trim add warmth.
Probably the second-most important spot on the boat (after the cockpit), in terms of practical use, is the galley. The Marlow-Hunter 40 L-shaped galley includes plenty of counter space with a double-bowl stainless steel sink mounted to Corian counters. A trash bin sits beneath the counter to the right of the sink in what would otherwise be an unusable cabinet corner. Stainless steel grab rails extend the entire length of the galley, both providing a steady handhold and keeping items on the countertops while heeling. Hunter includes a microwave and propane gimbaled two-burner stove with oven. A 12-volt DC front-loading refrigerator and 12vdc freezer are options. They also provide dishware for six with dedicated, lighted storage cabinets outboard of galley counters. Additional cabinets and lots of drawers accommodate all the necessities for a well-fed crew.
Aft Cabin and Head
The standard two-cabin layout might be particularly appealing for cruising couples who enjoys guests but treasure privacy. By carefully sculpting seating in the cockpit, and with the added room created by the hard-chine hull, Hunter tucked a spacious stateroom beneath the cockpit. Even with a queen bed, Hunter found room for a settee on the starboard side and two hanging lockers. This aft-cabin arrangement carries much of the benefit of many center cockpit cruisers, where the aft cabin is accessed through a passageway from the main cabin but otherwise segregated for privacy.
There is a drawback, though. Everything from the foot of the bed aft sits beneath the cockpit. While there is 6'2'' (1.88 m) of headroom upon entering the cabin, that quickly becomes a crouch on either side of the bed, with room to sit but not stand. The aft end of the bed, since it sits directly below the lowest part of the cockpit deck, doesn’t offer even sitting head-room.
The Master Head.
The standard two-cabin layout includes an aft head arranged similarly to many other Hunter sailboats. The head (with full standing headroom throughout) is split into two compartments by a partial bulk-head and bi-fold door. The toilet sits in the compartment that doubles as the shower, aft of the divide. The vanity sink is forward of the divide, so items there won’t get wet while showering. Hunter includes a folding teak seat that partially covers the toilet while showering, and the arrangement provides a larger shower than most separate stall showers without wasting interior space. All-in-all, its a very workable compromise for the ability to include a second full head in this size boat.Hunter also includes an overhead opening hatch in the toilet/shower compartment and an opening portlight above the vanity.
Master Head/Day Head.
This aft head is accessed both from within the aft stateroom and directly from the main salon, so it becomes the preferred head while sailing and for guests sleeping in the salon. The forward head, on the other hand, is completely private, entered only from within the forward stateroom. This might lead some to choose the forward stateroom as the master, while leaving the aft stateroom’s larger bed for guests.
When adding a third stateroom, the aft stateroom is divided along the keel with a pair of typical quarter berth cabins. Standing headroom exists forward of the bed, and sitting headroom at the forward end of the bed. Port and starboard hanging lockers remain the same as in the two-stateroom option. The starboard-side galley is also identical in either layout. On the port side, the head is narrowed to allow an entranceway into the port aft stateroom. To make up for the lost floor space, the head extends farther forward, shortening the port-side seating in the main salon. The aft head is still divided, but the toilet and vanity share the forward compartment with a separate stall shower aft.
Forward Cabin and Head
The forward cabin is pretty typical of boats this size. Hunter includes drawers be-neath the foot of the elevated V-shaped bed, as well as a small settee and hanging locker to port. This stateroom includes generous deck space with standing headroom -- exactly what the aft cabin lacks most.Like the standard-configuration aft head, the forward head features the typical Hunter split design. A partial bulkhead and shower curtain separate the toilet/shower area aft from the vanity forward.
Engine, Generator and/or Inverter
The standard 40-hp Yanmar diesel and two-bladed propeller will suffice for most sailors, but cruisers can upgrade to a 54-hp Yanmar turning a three-bladed prop. Optional Fisher Panda 4 kW generator and/or a 2 kW inverter augment standard shorepower connections. Optional air conditioning also adds a second 30-amp shore cord and connections. The inverter option increases dockside battery charging capacity, and cruisers might choose the 120-amp alternator upgrade over the standard 80-amp alternator. (This becomes particularly important when motorsailing at low rpm, as alternators only reach rated capacity at high rpm.)
A 40-foot, aft-cockpit cruising sailboat is a hard length to get right. Expectations are for a lively performer that is easy to handle with just a husband and wife, while also offering comfortable accommodations for two additional guests. The Marlow-Hunter 40 hull design and B&R rig’s large main and small jib meet those expectations. Performance definitely favors the self-flaking battened mainsail rather than the furling main, but even with the furling capability in the mast, Hunter steps up with a vertical batten solution. A large galley and two full heads with workable showers (as opposed to the ubiquitous 270 degree pull-around shower curtain) is a bit of a feat, and the boat carries a spacious aft cabin, separating owners from guests without sacrificing space in the cockpit and salon. Sure, the low overhead above the aft bed isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly a small compromise given the boat’s well balanced cruising and sailing attributes.
Standard and Optional Features
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