Marlow-Hunter Yachts For Sale
Hunter Marine was founded by Warren Luhrs in 1973, one of boat builder Henry Luhrs two sons, in Tom’s River, New Jersey, who wanted to diversify the family business (Luhrs Sea Skiffs) from powerboats to sailboats. His vision was to build a solid, quality sailboat that was truly affordable to the average sailor. Naval architect, John Cherubini, designed the first Hunter 25 sailboat which was built by Warren Luhrs and introduced in 1973.
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Cherubini became the head designer for Luhrs, and through the 1970s the following models were launched: Hunter 30, Hunter 27, Hunter 33, Hunter 37, Hunter 35 and 36 (both stretched 33s), and the Hunter 54, which remains Hunter Marine’s largest sailing yacht and John Cherubini’s final design for Hunter Marine (he passed away in 1983).
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Hunter Marine rapidly developed a reputation for reliable quality and value, and for ease of handling. Hunter was one of the first builders to offer both a roller furling headsail and mainsail and utilize the B&R rig. Most models had all running rigging leading aft to the cockpit for safe, easy to handle sailing. Hunter was unique in including a complete ready-to-sail package with every new delivery, for many years. One of the most successful Cherubini-designed models was the solidly built Hunter 37 Cutter launched in 1978. Over 100 of this 37ft production sailboat model were built in 1979 alone. John Cherubini was a great American designer, appreciated not only for popular Luhrs Hunters and Mainship motor yachts, but for his own magnificent Cherubini 44 and 48 custom yachts.
Hunter Marine formed its own in-house design team in the early 1980s under Cortland Steck and the Hunter Marine production was moved to the large Alachua, Florida facility in mid-1982. In 1991, Canadian designer Rob Mazza headed the design team and coordinated production. He designed the legacy Hunter 29.5 and the larger 336. During this period Hunter developed several market innovations such as their trademark stainless steel cockpit arch and their use of the B&R rig, a variant of the Bermuda sailboat rig that was designed and patented in 1975 by a pair of Swedish aeronautical engineers (Bergström & Ridder) and characterized by swept spreaders and reverse-diagonal shrouds.
A pre-bend in the mast provides some of the side to side, fore and aft stability of the rig, and provides stronger support for the mast than traditional rig designs. Other advantages of the B&R rig are the elimination of the backstay by securing the mast at three points, 120 degrees apart versus the traditional four points, 90-degrees apart, allowing easier access to the walk-through transom and the ability to increase the main sail area with a large roach. By 1997, more than 10,000 production sailboats were using the B&R rig, and the majority of Hunter Marine’s fleet incorporated the race-proven B&R rig (Hunter’s Child, Route 66, Thursday’s Child).
Hunter Marine also began construction of sailboats whose hulls made use of “bow hollow and stern reflex” which are marine architecture design elements that maximize thrust under sail. Input from Hunter owners on how to make the boats more comfortable, easier to sail and perform better helped build Hunter into an industry leader. At its peak in the mid-2000s, Hunter was reputed to have produced over 2000 new boats per year.
The company then used the design service of naval architect Glenn Henderson, whose first design in 2001 was the Hunter 36, along with its in-house team until mid-2010s. The economic downturn in 2008 and beyond led to Luhrs (parent company of Hunter Marine) selling its brands and operations of Hunter Marine, Luhrs and Mainship in 2012 to David E Marlow, owner of Marlow Yachts in Palmetto, Florida, and the name was changed to Marlow-Hunter. John Peterson who joined the company in 1994 and become president in 2007, worked with Marlow during the restructuring. Glenn Henderson guided the development of the new 31ft Marlow-Hunter. Other models introduced in the 2010s include Marlow-Hunter 33, 37, and 40. For well over 40 years, Hunter sailboats have been known for design innovation, strong, rugged construction specifically engineered for maximum efficiency and customer value. Marlow-Hunter currently offers a range of production sailing types: bluewater sailers (large keelboats 40-50ft), coastal cruiser (mid-size keelboats 31-37ft), and trailerable day sailers (15-22ft).
With so many Hunter sailboats produced since 1973, there are a large number of quality Hunters available in the brokerage market. In the year range 1973 to 1989, the lowest priced Hunter is a 1982 25ft listed at about $5,900 and the highest is a 1988 Legend 35.5 listed at about $52,000. In year range 1990 to 2000, prices ranged from $12,000 for a 26ft 1995 Hunter 260 to $148,000 for a 2000 45ft Center Cockpit model. From 2001 to 2012, lowest priced is a 2001 17ft Hunter 170 listed at $6000 and highest is a 2009 50ft Hunter center cockpit listed at $265,000. And from 2013 to 2021, listing prices ranged from about $170,000 for a 2016 Marlow-Hunter 37 to $459,000 for a 2018 Marlow-Hunter 47
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