Hunt Yachts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, builds boats that fit its marquee - each one is a yacht. Every hull produced by this company turns heads (both male and female) as it passes by, attracting those with a taste for elegance as well as function. The Hunt 25 Surfhunter CC offers the same seaworthiness, classic good looks and ability to raise and catch fish found on boats much larger in size.
Our test day couldn't have been more beautiful: Sunny and calm with a gentle northerly breeze that didn't generate any wave action even remotely challenging for the Surfhunter to negotiate. The best I could find was a large jet-powered motor-yacht, creating a 5-foot wake as it cruised past Brenton Reef Light on its way into historic Newport Harbor. Hitting that wake at cruising speed in both directions proved to be a non-event. Aligning the hull broadside to the wake to test its beam sea roll-moment, I found a short roll with very gentle transitions. Overall, the 25 Surfhunter cuts into head seas beautifully with no pounding and an extremely dry ride. I found it equally dry heading down-sea with nary a swerve at the back of the next wave.
The Surfhunter's propulsion - an 8.1 liter, 375-hp Volvo Penta Ocean Series gas I/O - pushed her up on plane in just under 3 seconds. Wide-open throttle touched 42.2 knots at 4,850 rpm and the most economical cruising speed turned out to be a sweet spot right around 30 knots sipping a mere 13 gph.
Optional engine packages include the smaller 260-hp Volvo Diesel I/O or IB, 375-hp Volvo Ocean Series IB or a single 315-hp Yanmar diesel jet drive. I can tell you that maneuvering with the latter will amaze you. And before you say, "I have no interest in a sterndrive boat," consider this: With the Ocean Series gas inboard coupled via a jackshaft to Volvo Penta's nearly indestructible composite outdrive, you don't need to worry about corrosion or hitting debris.
At dead-bait trolling speeds the boat produces an absolutely clear wake.
Our test boat reversed course in two boat lengths by leaning hard into the turn, smoothly bleeding off speed and never once pushing my passengers toward the outboard rail. When docking, you'll surely appreciate that the Surfhunter backs up with exquisite control, again due to the counter-rotating propellers. About the only factor I didn't like was the minor "wandering" the 25 exhibits at idle speed. Before the end of our sea trial, I had gotten used to it. And as soon as you boost the rpm slightly, it tracks straight and true.
Hunt makes its own adjustable helm and companion seats in-house and offers both seating and leaning-post configurations.
Around the cockpit, Hunt provides storage for three rods under the covering boards and two in each gunwale, with an option for more across the back of the hardtop. The transom holds a sink, freshwater washdown on a hose and a livewell.
For anyone with an appreciation for the fine yachting tradition, this little yacht overcomes the limitations of its size to epitomize the art of boatbuilding at its finest.
POWER......370 hp Volvo I/O
Hunt Yachts / Portsmouth, Rhode Island / 401-324-4201 / www.huntyachts.com