Development of the Hunt Deep-V

The following was published by Nautical Quarterly, a beautiful slipcased "magazine" sadly no longer in existence. We are often asked for the history which led to the Hunt deep-V hullform of today. Since the article was first published, we have continued making refinements. The greatest difference from the Nautical Quarterly information is that we now have many boats whose deadrise is closer to 22 degrees, rather than the 24 degrees typical in raceboats.

Stage 1

This early Huntform 37 - 1946 - shows a bell shape forward which flattens out aft. She shows a full forebody for the time and narrow beam by today's standards. The early Huntforms were optimum for moderate power at moderate planing speeds.


Stage 2

Sea Blitz was built for Bradley Noyes in 1949 to suit a 1500-hp Packard engine from a PT boat. She is an interesting transitional design, which shows more deadrise aft, and more beam than the early Huntforms, less twist in the after bottom, (more monohedron, as Lindsay Lord was then promoting) and a high chine line forward.

This boat performed very well. Ray told the story of running with Olin Stephens and clients on a sales demo. In a nasty following sea at high speed, Ray purposely left the helm untended to "tie his shoe." He let the boat run harmlessly downwind on her own - and claimed he scared them all to prove his point, which was that whereas most boats of the day would have broached immediately, Sea Blitz did not even need a hand on the helm.

Stage 3

Many of Ray's notes and sketches deal with variations of deadrise, loss of lift, addition of lift, and reduction of wetted area through the use of "lift strips." The deep-V which he evolved is a monohedron type, initially with no twist in the bottom, and therefore with the total area of the planing bottom at a constant angle of attack (which then evolved with subtle changes, including some twist, as the design was optimized). It is truly amazing - and typical of Ray's intuitive sense - that today, after so many attempts at a better deep-vee racing hull, and no doubt with various improvements, that Ray's original 24-degree deadrise is still used. The essential design, in fact, has changed very little after decades of fine-tuning.