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Marlow-Hunter 47

2016 May 1

Comfortable, shoal-water sailing is on the agenda for this family cruiser

Here’s a handsome, raised saloon-type design from Marlow-Hunter. This general configuration has been gaining in popularity for many years. I can remember the first time my wife went below on one of my early raised-saloon boats. She looked around and said, “I don’t know why all boats aren’t like this.” Wives are so honest.

Hunter does not typically give any design credit. I can find none in material I have here or online. The company’s designs are “in-house” designs meaning it has its own design team that works very closely with the marketing and engineering departments. This has worked well for Hunter especially in the last 15 years. I am certain the marketing department knows exactly what it needs for a new model.

This is a beamy hull with an L/B of 3.2. Freeboard is high in order to get headroom under what is basically a flush deck forward. The ends are very short with only a hint of rake to the bow and almost no overhang aft. This is the current trend, to stretch the DWL out so you can get the most volume for a given LOA. People tend to compare boats based on LOA so if you can cram some additional usable volume into your LOA you have an advantage. 

A hard chine is very visible at the transom. Beam is extended aft but that is to be expected these days. In short, this is a big, volume-oriented hull form with a D/L of 180 using the shoal-draft displacement of 36,000 pounds. If we use the deep-draft displacement of 32,793 pounds, the D/L is 164. Remember that righting moment is righting arm multiplied by displacement, so Hunter is after preserving the righting moment on the more shoal-draft version. I don’t know what the deeper draft, 7-foot model looks like but the shoal, 5-foot 6-inch draft keel has large wings running the entire tip chord. The rudder is a semi-balanced spade.

This design is all about the interior and to my eye it looks very good. Going below from the cockpit there is a large U-shaped dinette to port. Required room at the dinette is one thing but you want to be able to spread out a bit and not be cheek to jowl with your company. To starboard is another seating area and a galley. At the aft end of the galley is the refrigerator/freezer. You could easily have six people in this area without feeling crammed. Forward of the saloon are three staterooms. Large, fixed deadlights allow lots of light into these staterooms. The forward stateroom has a centerline double berth with an adjoining head to starboard and a shower to port. Aft of this the starboard stateroom has upper and lower berths or a fixed double berth. The stateroom to port also has a double berth. Suffice to say you will be quite comfortable on this 47-footer.

The sailplan shows a familiar rig set up that we have come to expect on the Marlow-Hunter line. The spreaders are highly swept and there are diamond shrouds. If I use the Hunter sail area figures, which I assume would include the roach of the mainsail, and use the 36,000-pound displacement, I get an SA/D of 18.74 and that’s pretty good for a family cruiser. The sailplan profile does not agree with the cabintrunk treatment in photos of the finished boat. The finished boat shows what looks like one long, unbroken, wraparound window that is quite dramatic looking.

I don’t have a deck plan but I don’t need one to see that the cockpit is immense. There are dining tables to port and starboard. I can’t tell if it’s one wheel or two. The transom opens up and there is stowage compartment access from the stern under the cockpit sole.  Maybe you stow an inflatable dinghy in there. The door to this compartment hinges down to form a shallow swim step. If you sail where you will spend a lot of time in the cockpit this layout will work very well for you. Lines are lead aft alongside the cabintrunk sides.

I can see this new model having a lot of appeal for a lot of people looking for a comfortable ride.


LOA 50’6”; LWL 44’8”; Beam 15’; Draft 7’ (standard draft), 5’6” (shoal draft); Displ. 32,793 lbs. (standard draft), 36,000 lbs. (shoal draft); Ballast 9,093 lbs. (standard draft), 12,500 lbs. (shoal draft); D/L 165 (standard draft), 180 (shoal draft); Sail area 1,277 sq. ft.; SA/D 18.74; L/B 3.32; Auxiliary 80 hp.; Fuel 150 gal.; Water 194 gal.

Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $564,000


Route 441, Alachua, FL 32616