The new Hunter Legend shows a lot of influence from current French production models, but has a stamp of distinction that is purely Hunter's. Like Catalina, Hunter uses an in-house design group.

The Hunter Legend 40.5.

The Hunter Legend 40.5.

The Hunter's deck has nice, crisp lines. I think that hard, sharp lines should be used to draw out the shapes and add definition to the look; and the Hunter Legend 40.5 does this very well. The potpourri of window shapes and orientations is strictly Euro in origin and creates some aesthetic excitement. The moderately high freeboard of this design goes well with the short ends; the result being a businesslike look that, while perhaps not particularly pretty, may be called handsome.

Hunter offers two layouts for the 40.5. There is the "owner's version" and the "tri-cabin" version. It is not at all clear from the drawings, but it appears that the tri-cabin model divides the stern into two small staterooms while the owner's version just has one berth, oriented athwartships, aft with more available cabin sole. The galley is well laid out with the sinks on the forward leg and plenty of space for a big, two-compartment icebox. The angled bulkheads optimize the dinette arrangement and the forward stateroom has its own head. Unfortunately, these sparse drawings do not do the layout justice at all — interior drawings should make the interior come alive.

This hull shape once again pushes the beam toward the stern for additional interior volume. The deck plan shows a fine bow with beam max well aft. This is not a skinny boat. In fact, it's more than a foot wider than my Valiant 40, which I used to think was fat. The midsection shows a shape that goes tangent or flat at centerline with a moderate BWL. The hull profile uses about all the waterline it can squeeze out of 40 feet with very short ends. Note that bow knuckle is just above the cutwater. The keel is a bulb cumwing type for shoal draft and stability. The rudder is a low-aspect-ratio semi-balanced spade.

Hunter has used the sweptback spreader rig for a long time. This has the benefit of providing a rigid spar without fore and aft lowers or runners. The downside is that when you ease the main, it will impale on the spreaders a little sooner then it would were the spreaders in line with the mast.

With a SA/D ratio of 16.79, the Legend is moderately rigged. The small foretriangle will reward the owner with small jibs and easy tacking. The big main has full-length battens and enough roach to overlap the backstay.

The cockpit uses a T-shape for wheel clearance. There is easy access down to the large swim platform, with lockers port and starboard. The backstay is split to avoid interfering with access to the swim step.

I find the new Legend an exciting styling package and I look forward to inspecting one in person.

Boat Specifications
Displacement20000 lbs.
Ballast7000 lbs.
Sail Area773 sq. ft.
AuxiliaryYanmar 50
Fuel40 gals.
Water150 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.