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Reviewed: Hunt Yachts Ocean 63

The Hunt Ocean 63 has 31-knot speed and liveaboard comfort for owner-operators.

October 7, 2020
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Hunt Ocean 63
The Hunt Ocean 63 combines an oceangoing hull with creature comforts to make long bluewater hauls easier. Onne van der Wal

It was a great misfortune that the day I got aboard the Hunt Ocean 63, there was a bluebird sky with flat-calm seas off Bristol, Rhode Island.

The first thing you need to know about this boat is that her bottom is penned by Ray Hunt Design. C. Raymond Hunt, of course, invented the deep-V hull, which carries its wave-slicing deadrise all the way aft. Military and pilot boats use the deep-V design, and it is famed for its ability to slice and dice the rough stuff as if it were pond water. The Hunt Ocean 63 has a deadrise of 20 degrees at the transom, with quite a pedigree going on below the waterline.

The only lumps I could run the yacht through were her own wakes after churning up a mini maelstrom doing hard-over turns in two boat lengths at 20 knots. The hull did, however, fire right through those wakes without so much as a bump. So I’d project that if a prospective owner were to handle her on a rougher day, he’d be happy with the results.

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Hunt Ocean 63
Ocean 63’s wide beam—18 feet, to be exact—allows her a tremendous amount of interior volume for her class. Onne van der Wal

The top speed I saw was 31 knots. We cruised at 27 knots, where her range is 390 nautical miles. Hunt says that at a slow cruise of 10 knots, she has a range of 1,000 nautical miles, about the distance between Greenwich, Connecticut (where this particular boat, Defiance, will live), and Jacksonville, Florida. Standard power is twin 1,000 hp Volvo Penta IPS1350s. Steering is smooth and agile. Carving S-turns through the water, I felt more like I was wheeling a 30-foot center-console than a motoryacht that displaces a cool 78,000 pounds dry.

But the spirit of the Hunt Ocean 63 is not simply summed up by her performance. The boat exudes a certain character, both timeless and livable. It’s akin to the love you can feel in a home built from the foundation by its owners. Seemingly everything aboard is overbuilt. That’s particularly true of the stainless-steel pieces, from the hinges on the watertight door to starboard of the lower helm, to the Muir windlass, to the cleats and rails. It all looks and feels chunky, solid and safe. And the welding is nearly flawless.

Hunt Ocean 63
Because the yacht has an 18-foot beam, the salon can include dining and sitting areas, as well as pass-through space to the helm. Onne van der Wal

The main deck on the Hunt Ocean 63 is all one level, making it easy to maneuver in a seaway, as well as more comfortable for boaters who are getting on in years. Overhead handrails run the length of the space. They’re a safety feature that I always love to see.

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Hunt Ocean 63
Wide side decks and full-length rails ensure safe transit to and from the foredeck. Onne van der Wal

The lower helm is forward and to starboard, and is uncluttered. Twin Stidd helm chairs face twin Garmin screens and Side-Power thruster controls. The windshield rises electrically to let breezes into the salon, heightening the immense feeling of space on the main deck as the yacht takes full advantage of its burly 18-foot beam. A forward-facing settee is opposite the helm to port. This is an optimal place to keep the captain company, particularly in a rousing seaway—trust me, on any boat, you’re going to want to be facing forward when it starts to blow.

The other main entertainment area is the flybridge (though the Hunt Ocean 63 also comes in an express-cruiser version). Defiance has an upper helm with twin Stidd chairs. A third is optional. Controls for the Humphree Interceptor trim tabs are within easy reach of the captain’s seat. Seakeeper gyrostabilizers are an option, though Defiance doesn’t have them because of weight considerations. The after end of the flybridge on Defiance is dominated by a barbecue setup that serves an L-shaped settee with a fixed dining table. A standard hardtop provides cover from the sun for nearly the entire area.

Down below, the galley is to port opposite a breakfast nook that, through the use of a creative sliding partition, can convert into a guest stateroom, with the starboard-side day head making it en suite. The forepeak VIP makes good use of the boat’s beam, which carries well forward. It’s so roomy, I initially thought I was in the master, which is actually located amidships abaft the washer and dryer. The master also benefits from the yacht’s beam and is notable for its stowage. I counted nine full-size drawers to port. The woodwork throughout the vessel is well-done but really shines on the accommodations level, where beautifully grained woods sit as snug as could be against one another.

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The Hunt Ocean 63 is a boat designed by boaters, for boaters—particularly those looking to do long stays aboard. In my notes, I wrote, “You could stay here for a month.” With the interior volume, attention to detail, and slick and seaworthy hull, I have no doubt that you really could.

Take the next step: huntyachts.com

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