sail-hunter_45ds-largeBy John Kerr

Hunter turns 35 years old this year. It's amazing just how far they've come and what an integral role they have played helping sell the sport and lifestyle. How? Hunter has worked hard to build affordable, quality boats that were easy to own and, more importantly, easy to sail. This review on the Hunter 45 DS reflects a lot of what Hunter has learned over its 35 years in business. Co-founder, Warren Luhrs – a knowledgeable sailor – helped the company grow to a global brand with over 80 models launched from its design boards.

The 45DS is a big boat with a big rudder and a small keel. These boats are built to foot and get you to your destination in comfort and with speed. The boat we tested sails and handles extremely well in a breeze (11+ knots). It's very comfortable to steer and sail in mild chop. The broad bow configuration lifts over the waves. But don't try and pinch this boat; you'll get better performance by cracking the sheets and sailing a bit open (55+ degrees). Below the water line, the newly developed all iron keel, with its larger shoal draft wings, gives the 45DS good stability.

The DS moniker stands for Deck Saloon, the new class of boats that are designed for families who want to live and cruise in style and comfort. The Hunter philosophy of simple, safe and fun comes alive in this boat. Right off, the extra large welcoming cockpit with dual steering stations catches the eye. With its large entry path, the large open transom is great for aft docking or a safe swim. The cockpit table is a wonderful touch as well seating six easily.

The DS has the now standard B&R rig that eliminates the traditional backstay that can cut back on transom access but easily allows the efficient setting of the larger roach mainsail. The long swept back spreaders intermediates and the 9/10 fractional forestay support the spar well. Early on, this rig took some getting used, but now it's a standard that I'm surprised we don't see on more models. Taking a risk on this innovative rig configuration has paid big dividends to Hunter and the sport. Forward, the jib is small but powerful enough to help drive speed. It's a good size for a cruising set up – easy to trim and control.

The Hunter signature arch graces the cockpit. The obvious advantage is space in the cockpit but with such a robust structure available to tie into, many get hooked on the concept of building a formal addition rather than having convertible like flexibility. (Many have used it to build massive dodgers and cockpit enclosures, however we suggest you spend some time with your canvas supplier to understand the balance between good visibility and easy access. The arch is wonderful as it allows solid and easy control of the sails with its end boom sheeting when its visible traveller and sheet tension are easy; however when you can't see it, you forget it, so don't be afraid to tweak the canvas here, add some windows above and make them large enough to see up and forward.

Overall the deck layout and visibility of the electronics are well done relying on Hunter's alliances with solid and well known brands in the industry.

Below decks, the classic Cherry interior complements the boat well. Utilizing large windows, the space is bright and well ventilated, with tons of headroom. It's a wonderful living space with plenty of light, great visibility and wonderful storage. The L-shaped galley to port is a great use of space and well done. It's perfect for those who wish to prepare a meal and entertain at the same time. It integrates beautifully with the interior living space, lying just aft of the settee area and well thought out with its handholds and counter layout. Standard equipment includes a Waeco refrigerator, Force 10 stove and microwave. The main head with shower lies to starboard along with the nav station tucked just forward. I loved the nav seat, neat detail with its wooden rolled profile. Like the galley, the nav station fits perfectly into the interior space.

Moving aft, you will find an expanded stateroom that boasts a queen-size bed, large hanging lockers, more than enough storage and a private entrance to the main head.

Going forward, the neat side-mounted double berth to port graces this Pullman style cabin. Opposite to starboard is a wonderful vanity that's separated from the forepeaks private bathroom and shower.

Having visited the Hunter plant recently, it's easy to see how Hunter has done such a good job in providing value through a fairly sophisticated production line approach that is cleverly done – and mimics a car assembly facility in many ways. Using a simple but focussed approach, the Hunter team fabricates three distinct hull components – hull, deck, and hull liner – and then adds rig and rudder, etc. The process is neat: Hunter staff actually work inside out on various pieces and components. They work on preassembling modular components that are ultimately glassed into a single moulded structural grid.

I was personally impressed with the enthusiasm on the shop floor. The plant truly reflects the "employee-owned company" business model very well. From the test lake facility to the glass shop, the work flow is an excellent example of how to make boats efficiently – which is what Hunter has done so well in its 35 years.

 

 

Related Articles

 

 

Viko S35

By Katherine Stone

I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

Read More

 

 

Four Winns H4

 

Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

The Cadillac Michigan-built H4 is a brand-new design this year and we think it's especially handsome. The vertical stem bow is all new and innovative. It is a design feature that was chosen to give Four Winns and the H4 a sense of modern and contemporary look while the stern remains more traditional. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

West Side Story

by Jennifer M. Smith, drone photos by Alex Nikolajevich

It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

We made the 10 a.m. bridge out of Little Current and motor-sailed east southeast in light northerlies. We’d often sailed past Snug Harbour, a nearly land-locked anchorage on the north side of Lansdowne Channel because the chart suggested we’d never make it in there with our six-foot draft. 

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
You’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into your boat so naturally, you want to find ...
Last month, Canadian Country Singer Brian John Hardwood, released his new single “Rich”, featuring ...
Things are busy on the Trent already and it’s barely June. Mike Gridley sent us this shot last ...
From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past ...
Thanks to Louise from Gyles Sails and Marine for catching us up on this weekend’s massive parts ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...
Corners like it’s on rails. You can almost see it. A car with a low centre of gravity takes a ...
It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or ...
Mechanics use a lot of strange terms when describing problems aboard. An engine may be skipping or ...

Supplies and Colour Matching

by Marc Robic

After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and had many small pinholes and minor surface cracks. These pinholes are mostly caused by small air pockets that lay just below the gelcoat surface. Of course, this is exacerbated by particles such as small rocks or debris under shoes, dropped winch handles, etc.

Luckily, Catalina Yachts is still very much in business and are very helpful when owners have questions or need parts. I ordered a small quantity of original formula Catalina grey and white gelcoat for my model and year.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...
Chatting at the club bar last week, the subject of current boat projects popped up. One boater ...
Books to read while you’re semi-snoozing in the cockpit on a lazy summer afternoon. Some diversion, ...
With Albin Group Marine's new line of Cartridge Submersible Bilge Pumps, Aerator Pumps and Twinport ...
The Freedom LTE-A is a Dual Band MU-MIMO 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz WiFi transceiver with a built-in universal ...
Three books in a series of books by Canadian author Erik Skovgaard. These three books, as the ...
The little darlings can’t wait to get on the boat. Just make sure they have properly fitting PFDs ...
With a bold, fresh look and key features, the new JBL-R4500 is the latest in the WAKE Series of ...
When the twist-type connector was invented in 1938, production boats were made of wood and didn't ...
Luxor Marine & RV products offer boat owners an innovative architecturally pleasing range of ...

News

  • Prev
As bonus of my journalistic responsibilities here at CY Media, I occasionally get called upon to do ...
Professor Charles Spence, from Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, has researched ...
Cut out for adventure and marine activities, the NC 895 Sport offers seriously convincing arguments ...
The Canada Games, held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, are the largest ...
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC) took place in the principality July 8 to 13 and shows how ...
Parks Canada has just released an Up-to-Date Big Chute Marine Railway Status Webpage with weekly ...
Groupe Beneteau is launching a partnership with Quebec-based Vision Marine Technologies to develop ...
Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston was the site of this weekend’s Canadian Waszp Class Championship ...
A resistance force has mobilised in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Threats of crowds egging Jeff ...
For more than 18 years since the launch of the first model, the Elan Impression line was one of the ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More