Huckins Atlantic 44 — By Jeffrey Moser
Part 2: The mahogany interior is stunning, its superb joinery a testament to Huckins’ 77-year history.
The cockpit also allows access to the engine room though a hatch in the sole and down a four-step stainless steel ladder. At 4'8", headroom’s at a premium here, but the 2'4"-wide walkway between the 380-hp Cummins QSB5.9 380 diesel inboards allows access to all service points, as does the 1'4" clearance above them. The 9.5-kW Northern Lights diesel genset sits aft, and while it’s easy to access and service, I was surprised by its lack of a hushbox. Purcell explained that the company believes that enclosures hinder access and inhibit cooling. I anticipated that the sound-attenuation panels made of fire-resistant, aluminum-face melamine foam on the bulkheads as well as the ER headliner would inhibit transmission of engine and genset noise—and it did, moderately, as I later took a reading of 88 dB-A at the helm (65 dB-A is the level of normal conversation) at the 44’s average top speed of 33.2 mph.
But if anyone has concerns about a tight engine space, they’ll soon be quelled by the comfort of the cockpit and below-decks layout. The bridge deck’s two L-shape settees—aft, to port and starboard—are each roomy enough for three people and convert into a C-shape settee. Forward-facing seating is available on the comfortable Stidd double companion seat that sits just above the bridge deck’s two Sub-Zero drawer-style freezers. The helm is to starboard, complete with a Stidd Admiral 500 helm chair facing a Furuno NavNet chartplotter, a custom six-spoke mahogany wheel, a rosewood-accented instrument panel, and an electronically actuated, forward-facing window directly in front. Large windows to port and starboard provide excellent sightlines and slide open for cross-ventilation.
The top-shelf woodwork I observed in the saloon set the stage for what I found below. The mahogany interior is stunning, its superb joinery a testament to Huckins’ 77-year history, as is the cherry-and-ash sole. An L-shape Ultraleather settee is to starboard, directly across from the port-side galley. Down a centerline companionway, the forepeak master—with 6'5" headroom—is fitted with a queen island berth and offers two 2'4"x1'6"x3'9" cedar-lined hanging lockers and four roomy drawers below the berth. There’s also access here to the head and shower. A second stateroom, aft and to port, has upper and lower single berths and shares head privileges with the master.
Once we were finally off the dock, heavy traffic and 20-knot winds had whipped the ocean into messy three- and four-footers. The 44 was unfazed. She didn’t need trim tabs to get on plane in less than ten seconds at 15 mph, with a steady trim reading averaging just above three degrees, only rising above four degrees near WOT. Her fuel-sipping nature was also impressive: she’ll cruise at 22.3 mph at 2000 rpm, getting better than one mile per gallon (1.22), with a range of 447 miles.
A big part of the Atlantic’s initial appeal will likely be her retro design. But I think her rough-water performance, based on the PT boats that helped win the Asia-Pacific Theater, will ultimately prove to be more compelling. After my time spent aboard, I can certainly say she was well worth the wait.
Huckins Yacht ( (904) 389-1125. www.huckinsyacht.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.