A thoroughbred tied up in Chertsey Lock
Click on the thumb nails for full size pictures.
119 Built; although hulls were numbered 1 - 12 and 23 - 129
The larger Huntsman 28, with twin diesel engines, was designed by Alan Burnard with Ray Hunt's blessing, and so started the range of fast sea going cruisers much sought after by discerning yachtsmen all over the world. Using the basis of the Huntress mould, this was then given more depth as the Huntress freeboard would have been too low for the longer Huntsman. This would in turn give more headroom inside the cabin and a larger boat all round.
Billy Butlin and Peter Twiss raced a Huntsman 28 in the first Cowes-Torquay offshore powerboat race in 1961, fitted with 2 x 275hp. Chrysler V8 petrol engines, but were holed, leaving Charles Currey to be third in the race and the first diesel boat.
Of the 119 boats built, 14 boats competed in the Cowes -Torquay powerboat races over the years.
4 Huntsman 28's and 1 Huntsman 31 also took part and competed in the 1969 Daily Telegraph / B.P. Round Britain powerboat race. Fairey's Sales Director Charles Currey had the distinction of finishing 3rd overall in the 1st ever Daily Express Cowes-Torquay race in 1961 driving 'Diesel Huntsman'. Huntsman 28 'Fordspeed' (race no. 909) also entered and completed the 1972 London - Monte Carlo race.
The Vancouver Police Department bought 2 hulls back in 1965, which were powered by 2 Chrysler V8 petrol engines. The boats had a mini flybridge fitted and doubled up as ambulances when required. The French Fire Service converted one boat to a fire-boat with 2 fire monitors mounted on the foredeck. This boat was used on the Seine and was based in central Paris.
Fairey Marine caused quite a stir at the 1962 London Boat Show when they bolted the transom of a 28 hull to a concrete block and proposed to mount it on the stand with the bow pointing skywards. After much deliberation, the Boat Show organizers finally agreed that the boat would not fall over and so allowed it to be placed as Faireys had wanted it!
Some 43 boats / hulls are still unaccounted for i.e. we have no details of them.
In October 1973, Jack Cunningham driving his Huntsman 28 'Fordspeed' set a new class speed record of 51.271 mph on Lake Windemere.
Mention must be made of the lady drivers who took part in the various powerboat races, namely Lady Violet Aitken and Mrs Thelma Freeman in (606) 'Seaspray'; Pamela Campbell in Christina II; Peter & Jane Hicks in (215) 'Seven Dials'; Miss Penny Carter in (203) 'Flower Power'; Bobby Currie along with husband Charles in Swordsman (636) 'Sou Too' and finally John and Anne Craxford in Spearfish (no. 272) 'Ford Fantasy'.
Same as the Huntress above but with more laminations
Some 45 hulls are still unaccounted for and we are keen to try and trace them.
Price in 1961 for a factory completed boat was £5,850 including twin Parsons Barracuda diesels.