Hunter Marine is a U.S.-based yacht builder, now known as Marlow-Hunter, LLC, owned by David E. Marlow. The company also produces the Mainship powerboat brand. Marlow also owns and manufactures the Marlow Yachts brand consisting of long range power cruisers in the 37 to 110 foot range, built in China.
In the 1800s Henry Luhrs, a German immigrant, outfitted trading ships and owned a chandlery. His grandson, Henry, continued the family heritage on the New Jersey coast, building and repairing recreational and fishing boats. By the early 1960s Henry and his sons, John and Warren, were building over a thousand powerboats a year. Hunter was started in 1973 in Alachua, Florida, as the sailboat manufacturer. Hunter was sold in August 2012 to Mr. David E. Marlow, builder of Marlow Yachts.
The early Hunter boats, designed by John E. Cherubini, targeted the value-priced market and developed a reputation for respectable quality and good value. Marlow-Hunter utilizes the design service of Glenn Henderson and its in-house team. Hunter is responsible for several market innovations, including their trademark stainless steel cockpit arch and their use of the B & R rig. Hunter also began the construction of sailboats whose hulls make use of bow hollow and stern reflex, marine architecture design elements that maximize thrust under sail.
Best sales years were in mid 2000's with over 2,000 sailboats built per year in the Ct., Fl., and England plants. Now consolidated to one modern 150,000 square feet plant located on a 35-acre park like campus in Alachua, Florida, near the fertile research centers of The University of Florida.
Hunter Marine today
Marlow-Hunter builds and sells through 20 dealers/distributors worldwide a limited number of boats per year in order to achieve quality level and technology far beyond the previous level of quality. The Marlow-Hunter factory produces approximately 50 boats annually of its trailerable and cruising sailboats. Also included in this total is the Downeaster styled and newly developed Marlow Mainship Pilot Series.
Since purchasing the majority of former assets including factories of the major brands consisting of Hunter Marine and Mainship powerboats; Marlow Acquisitions has embarked on an ambitious and self funded redevelopment of the entire brands including four new industry award winning Marlow Mainship Cruisers and four new, innovative and high technology performance sailing yachts. By 2017 model year all Marlow Hunter and Marlow Mainships will feature new tooling, and design to take full advantage of a three-year design, build, test to destruction development program employing technology, design and build techniques perfected at Marlow's award winning and environmental factories worldwide. Marlow Hunter and Marlow Mainship have no interest in high volume cheaply made value products, preferring the pursuit of the industries highest standards similar to the Marlow Yachts. However, with less than 60 employees, down from 450 in the mid-2000s, will this tatic of the highest quality at the highest price bring the brand back or even let it survive.
For the 2016 Model Year, Marlow-Hunter built eight production models, with two limited releases:
|31 Aft Cockpit|
|33 Aft Cockpit|
|37 Aft Cockpit|
|40 Aft Cockpit|
|47 Aft Cockpit|
- Limited 50'sailboats built in aft and center cockpit models
- Limited number of Mainship powerboats