Hunter has gone from rotomolded polyethylene to all-fiberglass construction for its small-boat range this year, and the new 18 is the first of the new boats to be launched. Longer and beamier than the 170 it replaces, it features a retractable sprit for an A-sail and has an open transom. Also on show will be the Hunter 15, the fiberglass successor to the Hunter 146, and the Hunter 22, which supersedes the 216.
Over the last few years Hunter Marine has concentrated on updating its big-boat line, while its range of smaller boats has remained substantially unchanged. The introduction of two new daysailers, however, signals a renewed emphasis on a market that is expected to grow as we emerge from recession.
The Hunter 18, which replaces the long-lived 170, has much sportier credentials than its predecessor, namely a powerful sailplan that includes a roller-furling jib, a large mainsail with slab reefing and an asymmetric spinnaker flown on a retracting sprit.
The hull sports chines to improve tracking at speed.
The 170 was a fine family daysailer, but the 18s extra horsepower should significantly expand its appeal, and at $9,900 it seems well priced. A new 15-footer has also appeared, but it is basically the existing 150 hull built in fiberglass. Hunter hrecently stopped producing its smaller boats in rotomolded plastic and has reverted to fiberglass construction for its entire range. The Hunter 22, based on a modified Hunter 216 hull and deck, was also introduced in June. It too has a bigger rig and a retractable sprit.
For more information, please visit Hunter Marine.
LOA: 18ft 4in
LWL: 16ft 6in
BEAM: 7ft 2in
BUILDER: Hunter Marine