Hunton Yachts are one of the truly great British luxury brands. They produce the most stylish, quality, luxury yachts in the world and they are hand made in England, down in Hampshire, where state-of-the-art technology meets traditional craftsmanship.
Bespoke is the new luxury. When it comes to luxury yachts, the most discerning clients today are searching for traditional craftsmanship, hand-built quality and attention to detail with a personalisation that has clearly not originated on big production lines in anonymous factories.
These are products that only niche workshops, such as Hunton’s, can provide. Innovation and experimentation have been at the core of Hunton’s philosophy for more than three decades now and they are not stopping. A British luxury yacht maker appealing to ultra high net worth individuals (UHNW’s) through exclusive quality.
Brand & Heritage
This is a firm with impeccable pedigree. Jeff Hunton, an offshore powerboat racer, entered the first of his eleven ‘Cowes/Torquay/Cowes’ races back in 1975 and the passage to a remarkable career was born.
Perfecting his own designs, he went on to establish Hunton in 1979, with the clear aim to design and build genuine high-performance yachts affording luxurious accommodation.
The Gazelle 23, his first design, won ‘Cruiser Class A’ in the 1980 British Offshore Powerboat Championship. Subsequently, Jeff went on to win the title six times. What he learnt from racing has enabled Hunton to build increasingly customer-focused boats with a performance and handling second to none.
Today these boats achieve speeds of up to 70 knots - fast for a 13.1 metre cruiser. However, speed is not the only distinguishing aspect that makes Hunton stand out from the crowd in the marina and among its peers.
All the firm’s boats, be it their nimble XRS37 luxury yacht, to the soon to be launched XRS55 luxury cruiser, are hand-crafted with an attention to detail and quality of finish rarely seen for a craft of this size.
Creating Your Own Masterpiece
“Ordering a Hunton is more akin to commissioning a work of art,” says Fiona Pool, CEO of Hunton Yachts and a former banker at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America in The City of London.
She adds: “The client is involved at every stage of the design process to create a bespoke, one-of-a-kind piece ensuring that no two boats built are ever the same.”
Individuality is now the hallmark of haute luxury. The Hunton website boasts its own 360 bespoke yacht configurator with over a million combinations of colour and trim. Something you can only achieve with truly hand crafted bespoke production. Be it from exterior paint effects and two-tone finish, to sophisticated and elegant detailing in the saloon and luxurious fabrics. The upshot is that clients can “create their very own masterpiece”, according to Pool, who has also run two luxury fashion businesses.
By the turn of this century, Hunton had established its name as an innovative designer and builder of high quality performance craft, even integrating materials like Kevlar reinforcement into their hulls as far back as 1987. The first Kevlar reinforced boat in fact was the XRS, a model denominator that has been handed down to the XRS43 grand tourer that is now the firm’s flagship model.
Luxury Performance, Comfort & Handling
Beneath the exterior nevertheless beats the heart of a lion. As Pool explains: “Hunton designed the twin-stepped hull bottom with precise geometry that lets it run fast yet safe. The boat can leap from 15-39mph in less than two seconds, moving up the speedometer to 65mph without missing a beat”. This boat is the Aston Martin or Bentley of the sea, it’s made to cruise the Mediterranean or Miami in style and comfort. It’s not a racer, but designed for cruising in a sleek, sexy fashion, with the power there if you need it. No other boat made in Britain or indeed anywhere else today compares for looks, quality or handling.
In order to create the ‘practical accommodation’ that is requisite of Hunton’s designs, a carbon-fibre foredeck tops the Kevlar hull, adding strength, stiffness and lightweight properties to the structure and creating a welcoming cabin below. Good head height is provided, while the open-plan interior space offers a comfortable salon, separate heads and shower, a luxury galley and double berth in the forepeak. Flawless teak rolling across the exterior - from the broad swim platform, up the walkway into the cockpit and extending to the foredeck. Stainless steel trim gleams brightly, and high-grade marine leathers upholster the aft sun-pad and C-shaped cockpit banquette. Add to that race-style seats with double stitching on the exterior upholstery.
For clients in warmer climes, the air-conditioned salon provides a welcome respite from the sun in comfortable surroundings. The teak sole, quilted Alcantara upholstery and wood trim present subtle and understated quality.
In the cockpit there is everything required to enjoy a day out on the water, with a wet-bar and refrigerator located to port, a waterproofed hi-fi system, a teak-lined bathing platform, a wraparound banquette and a double sun-pad that hydraulically rises to reveal one of the neatest engine bay’s around.
Smooth but powerful, luxurious and with enough reserved, gentlemanly swagger to grace any mega-yacht garage, Hunton’s XRS43, is according to Pool “the boat James Bond (007) would really drive if his employment contract didn’t have him tied-in with another boat builder.” It is quintessentially British; elegant, modern, luxurious and built to last.
Next Generation Hunton: XRS55
Almost a decade in the making, the forthcoming launch of the Hunton XRS55, a new breed of luxury cruiser, encompasses everything one would expect from the legendary boat builder.
This new model comes with a choice of hardtop or open cockpit, twin or triple engines, petrol or diesel propulsion, two cabins (both with bathrooms), modular cockpit seating, cutting-edge electronics and a top speed of 55 knots to boot.
Combining the best of British design and engineering, the XRS55 offers a unique blend of artistic creativity, craftsmanship, technology and excitement. It all goes to define the future of Hunton and the next generation of luxury yachts.