Frank Huckins’s granddaughter Cindy Purcell started working in the stockroom at Huckins Yachts in the 1970s, and today she and her husband, Buddy, own and run the company that made its early name with PT boats.
Huckins now builds semicustom yachts for people attracted to the brand’s pedigree and, very likely, its visual aesthetic, the DNA of which can be recognized immediately in most of its offerings. The modern Huckins hull, marketed as “Quadraconic”—in part an allusion to its four conical bottom sections—is quite similar to the original, though with slightly more deadrise aft, which, of course, improves coursekeeping.
The boats are comparatively easy to push up on plane, with moderate displacement and bottom loading and length/beam ratio at the waterline creating equally moderate resistance at hump. Their low-deadrise sections amidships and aft contribute to moderate resistance, efficiency, and easy planing.
The hull has a fine entry, so when it is running at semiplaning and low planing speeds and hasn’t risen too much vertically, the sharp forefoot is presented to the waves and does a fine job of slicing through the chop. But all planing hulls increasingly emerge out of the water as speed increases, and this exposes the hull farther aft to the majority of wave impact.
So as speed increases above 20 knots, wave impact shifts farther aft. It’s the deadrise in this area, at stations 3 to 6—station 1 coincides with the stem, station 10 with the transom—that matters when it comes to wave impact, not at the stem or at the transom. The Huckins hull flattens out fairly quickly to 23.5 degrees at station 3, which is 10 degrees less than some of today’s best offshore hulls. As a result, the hull at higher speeds won't deliver as kind a ride as one with more deadrise in wave-impact territory.
Besides the flatter sections at the waterline at stations 3 to 5, the other limiting element of the hull form is the concave sections that trap solid water at speed and accentuate pounding. The concave sections make the boat drier, and it works well enough when the boat is on an even keel in a light chop, but it also increases slamming when the boat is heeled, as the water essentially has no escape route—nowhere to go laterally—when meeting the waves.
The Huckins is certainly a better boat offshore than the voluminous floating condos populating many marinas, and it’s more than a match for many overly beamy, full-bowed production convertibles and express boats.
We spoke to three brokers who each had a Huckins Yacht listed online. Here’s what they had to say about the market for these classic motoryachts