Believe it or not this is a tank test model, minus the bulb ( these were detachable to test different shapes) designed in 1959. Commissioned by Briggs Cunningham, who had just successfully defended the America’s Cup in 1958 with Columbia, this 55 footer was drawn by C Raymond-Hunt to a brief to build a boat that could outpace a 12 metre. Due to errors in interpreting the tank data, the boat wasn’t built, but later it was found that the design, not surprisingly, could easily outpace a 12.
With a beam of just 8ft this model could easily pass for a version V IAAC boat – built some 40 years into the future! Hunt was one of the most inspirational yacht designers. Not only did he create the remarkably fast lightweight Ten series of canoe-sterned racing yachts, but also the 58ft twin centreboard Drumbeat, the amazing Moppie powerboats and of course the ubiquitous tri hulled Dory tender – popularly known as
the Boston Whaler or the Dell Quay Dory.
Many other sail and powerboats came from the Hunt design office, of course, but I was particularly taken by this model of the 55 as, in so many ways, it could have been drawn yesterday.