Hunter 49 - Under SailWhen I received the invitation to spend a day with Hunter Marine Corporation’s Steve Pettengill–its newest member of the fleet–how could I say no. Canadian Yachting was one of the first magazines to be asked; it did not matter that the boat’s launch tour was from Atlantic City to New York City. Our trip began early and, throughout the day, the light winds did not dampen our enthusiasm for this boat, its design features and the opportunity to sail with a world-class ocean sailor.

The stories were numerous; the talents speak for themselves; the personable guy we met is worth a side bar, at the very least.

Simply put, this boat is a winner–in style, in design, in layout, in look, and, just as importantly, in performance. The designer, Glen Henderson has done a great job. The boat is a testament to how far Hunter Marine Corporation has come and how its total commitment to “always listening to its customers” is paying off every time a new boat hits the market. This boat is a luxurious performance cruiser that allows for numerous below deck configurations and functional layouts.

This boat is easily sailed single-handed; this would surprise most for a boat this size. Two steering positions, the famous Bergstrom backstayless rig, the mainsheet traveler arch and two headsail options are just a few features that will entice anyone to this boat.

Our boat was set out with the seemingly more popular mast furling system option but, honestly, that’s the only thing I would change if I were to order this boat for myself, opting for a traditional car/lazy jack system allowing for a more traditional sail and batten configuration. Our boats full-batten mainsail with a large roach looked great and performed very well, backed up by the optional self-tacking staysail with an overlapping jib–a feature I would always opt for.

Hunter 49 - Lit up at nightUnder sail, in moderate breezes, the boat performed well as we gybed through the freighters on our way into New York City. Simple and easy steering from either station and its great visibility made it a treat to sail in congested waters. The 5,700 plus kilogram antimonious deep draft keel let the boat stand up in any puff we got guaranteeing a stiff and stable ride in any breeze.

Just shy of 50 feet overall this big boat boasts a 14 foot 5 inch beam, but that all translates into space above and below decks.

I liked the cockpit layout a lot, again tons of room and the dual wheel configuration and dual instrumentation gives the boat the great visibility quotient we are all looking for. The steering system is the wireless Lewmar Mamba gearbox and steering linkage system and it works flawlessly. The cockpit can handle a big crowd on shore or on the water and its stowage compartments provide more than enough room for all anyone would need to cruise offshore. Again the use of the mainsheet arch, and its easy to use traveler controls and double ended mainsheet make this boat easy to sail and trim.

While Hunter continues to refine its above deck features like self-tacking jib systems and increased deck space it has done a masterful job with the 49 below. Neat touches like the use of ash trim on the hull panels complements the teak beautifully. The 49 boasts a master cabin forward and two aft cabins. The master cabin has an island berth and a queensized berth and has tons of storage with a four drawers below. The master cabin also features a sitting area, beautifully crafted cedar lined hanging lockers and, what is becoming a standard in all boats, a 15 inch flat panel TV.

The private “split head” has a shower on one side and head and vanity opposite, while the head aft has shower stall, teak seat layout that is roomy and comfortable.

Hunter 49 - navigation stationHunter has thought of it all in allowing numerous configurations below including a four cabin layout.

Moving aft, the saloon is complemented by the integrated NAV station and again space and room below is evident with the 6’ 9” headroom. What we loved was the adjustable Navigators chair and the layout was efficient allowing for numerous instruments. There is tons of cabinet space and the chart table is a great size complete with more stage below. Our boat had the outputs linked to the 23” flat panel TV screen which allowed everyone aboard to see our progress. Again the use of ash, gloss teak and holly flooring brought the interior to life and was just more evidence of the new style at Hunter. The saloon also features a U-shaped seating area upholstered in Ultraleather, with storage below that converts to a double berth as well as a removable solid teak dining table. One more feature is the Bose sound system.

The galley was a treat and while we were spoiled on our trip by the team from Grog and Gruel, a US-based provisioning company, one could easily appreciate the fully equipped galley with its top loading six cubic foot refrigerator and 2.8-foot freezer. Again that word, room and space. Plenty of drawers, and pantry storage were evident and the neat flush mounted Microwave and coffee pot unit were nice touches. The boat also featured a three-burner stove and range.

Aft, the two cabins were well laid out. The starboard cabin had a double berth and can be configured to house a hidden washer/dryer unit. It can even be ordered to have an office layout with a unique workstation and seating. To port, the cabin is somewhat larger and with its wet locker has a queen sized bed, ample below bed storage, hanging lockers and a private entry to the aft head.

Hunter 49 - SaloonThe Hunter 49 is powered by a 100 HP Yanmar diesel and this big 15,000-kilogram boat moved easily with its three bladed prop. The fuel and water tanks with 150 and 200 gallons respectively are located to balance the weight below.

There are numerous more things we could say about this boat. All we can say is make it a must see at the next boat show you attend.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s September 2006 issue.

Length Overall 49'11" 15.21 m
Hull Length 47'11" 14.61 m
Waterline Length 43'10" 13.36 m
Beam 14'9" 4.47 m
Draft (Shoal) 5'6" 1.68 m
Draft (Deep) 7'0" 2.13 m
Displacement 32,813 lbs 14,884 kg
Ballast (Shoal) 12,544 lbs 5,690 kg
Ballast (Deep) 11,216 lbs 5,087 kg
Mast Height
From Waterline 63'4" 19.3 m
Sail Area 1,014 sq ft 94.19 sq m
Headroom 6'9" 2.06 m
Fuel Capacity – Standard 150 gal 568 liters
Fuel Capacity – Optional 222 gal 840 liters
Water Tank Capacity 200 gal 757 liters
Holding Tank Capacity 52 gal 197 liters

Canadian Brokers
Specialty Yacht Sales
Angus Yachts of Toronto
Marina Gagnon et Fils

About Steve Pettengill
Steve Pettengill started his journey into the yachting business by way of a trucking company he owned in the Midwest US. Upon selling his business, he embarked on a sailing career that many would envy, jumping head first into the world of extreme racing partnering with Rich Wilson and the Trimaran Great American. Their goal: to set the speed record from San Francisco to New York. Sadly, they did not make it, capsizing off Chile. Undaunted, Steve signed on to the Hunter’s Child Program for the 1994/1995 BOC Challenge, racing the Lars Bergstrom/Sven Ridder 60 footer and finishing second.

Now with Hunter Marine, Pettengill boasts the title of Director of Offshore Testing and Sailing; he is charged with the responsibility of beating up every new boat–any way he can–including full speed groundings to stretching the rigs and sails to the limit. It was a treat to sail with him. Maybe, in a future issue, we will do a more in-depth story about him.

Photo Captions
Photo 1 – Another Solid Performer from Luhrs.
Photo 2 – An evening on board.
Photo 3 - An integrated NAV station complements the saloon and the space below is substantial.
Photo 4 - In addition to the Bose sound system, the saloon also features a U-shaped seating area upholstered in Ultraleather.