Straight stem, a bit more than a suggestion of spring in the sheer line, graceful curvature in the transom: These elements determine the aesthetic character of the Hunt 44, placing her squarely within the family of designs from C. Raymond Hunt Associates and Hunt Yachts.
The design team derived the 44 from the lovely Hunt 52, offering buyers similar luxury and performance in a more manageable package. Scaling down an existing design can be risky, because the forms and proportions that define a successful yacht of a given size don’t always work in a smaller version. That is definitely not true of the Hunt 44. Her proportions could not be better. What’s more, they are so good that the basic design will work equally well if you lop off the hardtop to make her an express or crown her with a flying bridge.
Excellent proportions go a long way toward attracting admirers, but cluttering the design with myriad details in the interest of “enhancing” the look often spoils the overall effect. A Gothic cathedral, for example, may be perfectly proportioned, but very few observers can see the underlying art through the gewgaws. The Hunt 44, on the other hand, leaves nothing to imagine. Her remarkable simplicity of line and detail reveals the correctness of this design.
Although we’ll rarely, if ever, see the Hunt 44 in as direct a profile as she appears in the rendering, careful examination of the drawing shows that her trunk cabin is about a third the height of the topsides. Reducing the height of the trunk cabin would compromise headroom belowdecks and make the structure seem like an afterthought or a miscue in the designers’ interpretation of the traditional style. Lowering the topsides and leaving the trunk cabin and house as drawn also would decrease headroom below and make everything above the sheer line seem too tall, ungainly. Increasing the freeboard and leaving the trunk cabin and house as drawn would make the yacht too tall overall.
Essential details — the boot top, cove stripe, elongated portlights, teak eyebrow along the trunk cabin and even the safety rail — contribute to this yacht’s aesthetic harmony. The plan view (which is from directly above) shows that the trunk cabin is narrower forward than it is aft. When we see her in three dimensions, we’ll likely notice that the corners of the trunk cabin roll into the coach roof as they curve to meet the raked fascia. The cambered roof and tumblehome in the sides slim down the structure the way black clothing slims the human figure.
From the eyebrow to the top of its cambered roof, the height of the pilothouse nearly equals the height of the topsides beneath it. This third visual level and the rake of the windshield make the house seem lower than it is. So too does the arched divider in the side window.
To appreciate how nicely proportioned the Hunt 44 is, imagine the pilothouse placed a couple of feet farther aft — so that the windshield intersects the trunk cabin behind the third portlight. Now, we’ve shortened the cockpit, extended the trunk cabin and ruined a perfectly lovely yacht. Picture a Converse All Star basketball shoe. If we moved the trunk cabin aft, along with the house, the foredeck would be too long, still spoiling the look.
As always, certain details put the finishing touch on the aesthetics, further establishing the design’s unique presence. The softly curved transom and its tumblehome — quoted, or should I say paraphrased — in the after end of the house give the Hunt 44 a feminine side, a warm welcome aboard as the owners and guests depart the tender for a day, or week, of luxurious cruising.
Displ.: 40,000 lb. (full load)
Fuel: 450 gal.
Water: 120 gal.
Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees
Power: 2 x 455-hp Caterpillar C7 ACERT diesels
Photo gallery of the Hunt 44: http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/yachts/2012/07/hunt-44
Hunt Yachts, 401-324-4201; huntyachts.com