As Hunt Yachts grows its vaunted Ocean Series to 80 feet, it stays true to the custom promise at its heart.
The first thing you notice when you step into the saloon of the Hunt 80 is the woodwork. It’s beautiful, but then that’s no big surprise since this yacht was built in Taiwan, a country famous for producing finely crafted and flawlessly finished yacht joinery. But walk in a little farther and you’ll begin to notice some unusually fine details, especially the elegantly curved stairway to starboard, leading up to the pilothouse. You can’t help but be impressed, not only by its sensuous curves, gleaming finish, and superb craftsmanship, but also by how solid and sturdy it is when you step on it.
But that staircase is something of an illusion—it’s not the solid wood structure it appears to be. Each of its elegant turned balusters has been cut in half so that it can enclose a steel rod that provides the necessary rigidity to the structure. Look very closely at each baluster and you’ll see—nothing. Each has been reassembled around its rod with such care that no seam is visible. A small detail? Perhaps, but one that perfectly exemplifies the blending of aesthetics and engineering aboard this vessel. Indeed, as the photos here indicate, the glossy teak interior imparts the feeling of a very traditional yacht, but beneath all of that is structure and substance that are undeniably modern.
The 80 is the latest product of a collaboration between the Taiwanese shipyard Global Yacht Builders and Hunt Yachts. The collaboration’s first vessel launched in 2008 and was dubbed the Global Arrow 68. (The name combined “Global,” representing the shipyard, and “Arrow,” referring to the Hunt Yachts logo.) The idea was that Hunt would supply proven hull designs and engineering through its partnership with C. Raymond Hunt and Associates, while Global would provide its renowned construction expertise.
Power & Motoryacht: What influenced the decision to install jet drives on the 80?
“Really it was about depth. Sure, jets have some controllability benefits but that’s being overcome by the advances in today’s joystick technology. With jets, the 80 draws 4 feet of water. For an 80-footer that’s good for a lot of places in the Bahamas. The owner of hull number two, he’s interested in economic speed, so that’s all about propellers. We’re using a V-drive configuration on that boat with 2,000-horsepower MTUs.”
After that launch the project morphed into the Hunt Ocean Series, five vessels ranging from 44 to (now) 80 feet, all benefiting from the same unique synergy. Regardless of size, each of these vessels has been designed to provide an owner with a mere starting point from which he or she can create a truly personalized yacht.
The 68 amply displayed the advantages of this marriage. Global’s construction regimen includes a combination of foam core laminates and vacuum-bagging, in the deck, in the hull (both above and below the waterline), and in the bulkheads. The result was a solid vessel with a listed weight of 120,000 pounds (light ship). Hunt contributed the hullform, which combined a moderate beam (19 feet 6 inches) with a proprietary modified deep-V shape, plus the major engineering for the superstructure. The addition of 1,550-horsepower Caterpillar C32s to the mix reportedly produced a top speed of 31 knots.
Being custom yachts, the 68 and 80 allow most anything short of structural components to be adjusted to suit each owner’s preference. Both vessels use basically the same hullform, but naturally have different superstructures: The 68 is an express with a large hardtop over the bridge, while the 80 has an enclosed pilothouse. Obviously the 80 is longer, something that is explained by a much more fundamental difference between the pair: While the 68 is powered by conventional Caterpillar inboards, the 80 uses a pair of 1,600-horsepower MTU 10V2000M94s driving Hamilton waterjets; some 6 feet of that extra LOA is dedicated to covering them. (The MTUs sit well forward of the stern of the boat, beneath the cockpit dining table.)
Although the 80’s owner prefers to remain anonymous, we can safely surmise that there were two reasons he chose this propulsion package. The first is reduced draft. Where the 68 draws just under 5 feet 6 inches, the 80 requires but 4 feet—this on a yacht that will weigh a good deal more, especially when she’s loaded up with all 2,150 gallons of fuel.
The second reason was no doubt speed. Because the 80 was undergoing a final fitting out when I was aboard, I wasn’t able to sea trial her. But project manager Bob Riemans supplied me with the results from MTU’s Sea Acceptance Test, which was conducted in Kaohsiung Harbor before the yacht shipped to Ft. Lauderdale. The full results, which are reproduced below, indicate a top speed of 29.5 knots. That this is a bit shy of the 68’s reported top speed isn’t surprising given the 80’s added weight and the fact that her sea trial was conducted with no fewer than 14 people aboard.
There are significant interior differences as well between the 68 and 80, but keep in mind that because these are custom boats, their layouts and furnishings reflect the desires of each of their owners rather than any specifications imposed by the builder. That said, the most obvious contrast involves that beautiful joinery. The two boats are like night and day—literally. The 68’s interior is bright, in a decidedly modern vein, with light woods, furniture and soles, and darker brown upholstery accents. As you can see here, the 80’s motif, the work of designer Martha Coolidge, shouts tradition—a teak-and-holly sole and gloss-varnished dark teak brightened by strategically placed white fabric panels. The atmosphere is akin to that of an old sailing yacht or perhaps the smoking room of a men’s club. Although her owner is a cipher, I couldn’t help imagining him clad in khakis and a blue blazer, smoking a pipe.
As you’d expect, with one yacht being an express and the other a pilothouse design, there are major differences on the main deck. The 68’s helm occupies much of her forward area, while the 80’s helm is up one level, on its own deck. With the forward main deck freed up, there is now room for a six-person dining table to starboard, roughly where the 68’s helm is, and a slightly larger galley. I’d estimate that the two saloons and cockpit areas are about the same size.
Both boats have four cabins, but on the 80 the one on the port side is a bunk room, without en suite facilities. (There is a dayhead just forward.) On the 68 this space was mostly an office, which reflects the owner’s particular specifications.
Both yachts enjoy large, full-beam owner’s staterooms aft (I think the 80’s is a bit larger) and, abaft the engine room, crew’s quarters, which on the 80 are full-beam; the 68’s are narrower due to a fuel tank on either side. The 80’s two fuel tanks (fillable from either side) are forward of her crew’s quarters and full beam; they separate the master stateroom from the crew and mechanical areas, providing an additional acoustical buffer. Being full beam, the 80’s fuel tanks are significantly larger: Fuel capacity is an impressive 2,150 gallons, up from 1,560 gallons for the 68, providing plenty of range when her owner takes her to the islands.
The last major difference between the two yachts is the swim platform. By virtue of the need to cover the waterjets, the 80’s is a few feet bigger. There’s plenty of room here for not only a RIB but a crane for it as well—our boat was equipped with an 800-pound Marquipt on the port side. The 80 also has another area of roughly equivalent size at the after end of the pilothouse deck (which, of course, the 68 lacks), allowing the carriage of a second tender or a pair of personal watercraft.
If you need room for only one tender or maybe are thinking of accommodating a quartet of watercraft or would like your boat outfitted for diving or—well, you get the idea. There may be just five models in Hunt’s Ocean Series but the possibilities they offer are limited only by your imagination and budget. Whatever version you decide upon you can feel confident that you’ll have a vessel that’s as beautiful beneath her skin as above it.
Brokerage Listings Powered by BoatQuest.com
Click to see listings of Hunt Yachts currently for sale on BoatQuest.com.
Warranty: 2 years on workmanship and materials, 4 years on structure, 6 years on hull
Conditions During Boat Test
Air temperature: 86°; seas: 2' (Test conditions provided by MTU Sea Acceptance Test)
Load During Boat Test
495 gal. fuel, 500 gal. water, 14 persons.
Test Boat Specifications
- Test Engine: 2/1,600-hp MTU 10V2000M94s w/ Hamilton waterjets
- Transmission/Ratio: ZF 2050/2.467:1
- Price as Tested: $6,900,000
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.