The diagram, left, shows how Alan Burnard successfully stretched the Huntress 23 hull in 1960, to become the elegant Huntsman 28. The additional volume gave space for standing headroom, twin engines, a useful galley and enclosed heads, whilst the additional length improved the seaworthiness.
The elegant Huntsman design seems right in every respect. From the outset, Fairey Marine had intended to extend the 23 foot Ray Hunt shell, and this was ingeniously carried out by Alan Burnard. He added more freeboard and a straight sheerline, to produce a much more elegant hull with a distinctive tumblehome in the aft quarters. More importantly, the extra length improved the seaworthiness compared to the 23 foot boats.
The extra length and depth balanced the superstructure more elegantly too, and the additional volume compared with the Huntress provided a headroom of 6’-2’ in the cabin, proper space for galley, a separate wc compartment, two full length berths with dining table and well considered storage. In some boats, an upper level berth was added forward, part folding out of the bulkhead. The cockpit, admittedly with a large full beam engine box, was half the length of the boat and had space aft for a 7’-6’ Fairey Dinky dinghy, accessed through doors in the transom: excellent for welcoming visitors aboard at Boat Shows!
All but two of the factory built Huntsmen were diesel powered. A single Perkins S6M was fine in the Huntress, but a pair of them were too big for the Huntsman. A pair of Parsons Barracudas would fit, but only provided that the water header tanks for the cooling were mounted separately. The Barracuda was a marine version of the Ford 6D truck engine which gave 100hp at 2,400rpm, but the Parsons gearboxes were too large, so Fairey specified the American Borg Warner box.
The final dozen of the 33 Barracuda powered boats had the Borg Warner box, and achieved 23.5 knots at 2,400rpm, and in 1961 the list price was £5,850.
Production extended over ten years, and all the 114 Huntsman hull shells were moulded on the same 23 foot buck as the Huntresses, Christinas and Rangers, with a temporary extension piece in place.