Walking down the docks of the Palm Beach International Boat Show, even though you’ll see hand-crafted boats like the Vicem 46 and monster megayachts like the Astondoa 110 Century, few vessels afloat grab the eye as effectively as the 2017 Hunt Yachts Surfhunter 32 OB. This is one of those boats with lines so sweet that few people will argue over its drop-dead-gorgeous status. But when we came across it what drew a stare wasn’t the boat’s lines, so much as the new power being offered by Hunt—while this was once an inboard (jack-shafted sterndrive or V-drive) boat, today it’s driven by twin Yamaha or Mercury outboards. Care to take a look?
While it’s true that the 32 OB is based on the Surfhunter 29 with an added motor bracket and the outboards, the cockpit changes allowed by the absence of a motor box are substantial. That size of that big aft settee and the entertainment center never would have been possible, with an inboard in the way. Forward of this point, however, the interior layout of the boat remains the same.
Performance is, of course, very different. With a pair of Yamaha 4.2-liter V6 outboards the Surfhunter cruises at around 40 MPH while getting about 1.5 MPG (at 4500 RPM). Maximum efficiency comes at 30 MPH, and 1.7 to 1.8 MPG. What’s more impressive, though, is the eye-watering 55 MPH top-end. Compare that to a 25 MPH cruise and a 40 MPH top-end, with the old-style jackshaft and sterndrive. The only down-side here is a reduction in range as compared to the previously offered diesel inboard option, but considering that the 235 gallon fuel capacity means you can cruise for over 300 miles with a 10-percent fuel reserve, we’re not inclined to make a beef out of it.
Another important trait to note is the boat’s construction. The hull is solid E-glass, and topsides are cored with closed-cell foam. The boat also gets a vinylester resin barrier coat. Stringers and bulkheads are both foam-cored E-glass. The motor bracket is an Armstrong, and it incorporates a telescopic swim ladder and teak topsides. We also noticed an extensive use of teak trim and detailing along with satin-finish cherry cabinetry in the cabin, which add to the boat’s classic looks.
For more information, visit Hunt Yachts.
See Hunt Surfhunter 32 listings.