Clipper’s new Hudson Bay range of traditional ‘downeast’ style sedan cruisers are reminiscent of a lobster boat, but hidden within that ageless exterior is a style and layout that is modern and practical.
A few years ago Clipper Motor Yachts Australia launched the Hudson Bay 50, the first in what managing director Brett Thurley said at the time would be the start of a whole new line of boats. It has taken a few more years, but the range has now been extended to four, with the arrival late in 2013 of the Hudson Bay 39, 34 and 28.
When the Hudson Bay 50 was released Brett remarked that the company had spent a great deal of time and energy to ensure that the Hudson Bay range combined the classic lines for which Clippers are renowned, but with the relaxed lifestyle aspects of a sedan cruiser. All four of the Hudson Bay sedan range provide a natural layout that effortlessly blends outdoor and indoor living spaces making them ideally suited for day cruising, weekending or extended cruising.
The all new Hudson Bay 39 is a typical ‘Downeast’ style boat, known for their exterior styling with a flat roofline, generous size pilothouse windows, and a cockpit that can accommodate plenty of people.
Traditional accents pay homage to the old style but beneath that exterior of the Hudson Bay 39 is a highly evolved and beautiful built vessel that is borne from an ethos of handcrafted shipbuilding, that is befitting this style of vessel.
Interestingly while many manufacturers are going to China or Taiwan to have their boats built, Brett chose one of Turkey’s most established yards, Turkoglu in Istanbul, to produce both the 39 (11.9m) and the 34 (10.4m). The baby of the fleet, the Hudson Bay 28 (8.53m) is being built in China by the same yard that produces the existing Clipper & Explorer range.
Thurley, initially began the process with a design that he and Mark Campion of Clipper collaborated on, to create a beautifully styled sedan with flared hull and tumblehome transom in the Newport, Rhode Island (Downeast) tradition and it also had to have a family-friendly layout. Brett wanted to stay away from a true picnic boat (day boat) layout that does not necessarily suit families wanting to weekend and cruise, so there needed to be a balance between the two.
“These superbly styled vessels are crafted for the buyer who wants something with a little more class and individuality over the production sports cruiser,” said Brett.
Features for all the three new models include single diesel shaft drive power for economy and reliability and a planing hull,
Priced at $A169,000 for the 8.53m with Steyr 144hp diesel, $A399,000 for the 10.4m with Yanmar 320hp diesel and $A499,000 for the 11.9m with Yanmar 370hp diesel, including an extensive specification list, all three are exceptional value for money.
Shortly after their release at Expo, I got the opportunity to have a detailed look over the Hudson Bay 39 with Brett and straight away could understand why he is so passionate about the new range. His inspirational ideas have been meticulously transformed into a well proportioned and practical layout that bleeds quality wherever you look. From the intricate timber work to all the engineering aspects, the Hudson Bay 39 is an impressive package.
The new 39 comes standard with a new generation 8V 370 HP Yanmar shaft drive electronic diesel power and returns a top speed just shy of 21 knots with a comfortable cruise around 16 knots. Fuel consumption at 2100 rpm (8 knots) is 16 lph, at 3200rpm (16 knots), 44 lph and at the maximum 3800 rpm (20.5 knots), the engine consumes 60 lph. Other engine options available are Cummins 380 or 480hp QSD
Easy Flow Through
Having all the indoor and outdoor living spaces on one level certainly works and accentuates the overall spaciousness of the layout, with an easy flow from the helm to the L shaped cockpit lounge and table. This is a boat that has certainly been designed for entertaining and on-board living.
The cockpit layout sees an large L shape settee to starboard with high backrests and a drop down triangle shape table. The self-draining cockpit sole is finished in high quality teak. An extendable cockpit awning provides extra weather protection when required and you have the option of adding drop down clears all round if you want to completely enclose the cockpit from the elements. There’s a bbq and fridge unit to port with extra storage capacity, plus access to the extra large boarding platform, complete with stainless steel gate, plus a fresh water shower recessed in the transom.
What I thought was really cool and have not seen before in a boat was an overhead rain shower head with hot and cold mixer under the sedan roof to offer a true outdoor shower experience after a swim in the morning or freshening up before dinner. “There is nothing better than having a full blown shower after a day on the water or a swim in the ocean, and I find the usual transom showers just don’t do it so we decided to change that,” Brett said.
Sliding rear doors divide the interior and exterior spaces, but don’t impede any sightlines, thanks to the entire bulkhead being glass and the panels sliding away to offer as much open space as practical.
The interior could generally be described as inviting. The Anigre timbers- an African hardwood- contrast with the extensive use of soft neutral fabrics and fiberglass which tend towards the warm end of the spectrum. This is a boat that says “come aboard and have fun”! Innovative features include a sunroof and sliding side ports incorporated into the side windows. Light and ventilation is well catered for, plus air conditioning in the saloon and master stateroom lets you cover all temperature requirements.
The galley is located aft for ease of serving and connecting to the Kenyon electric bbq grill and outdoor
entertaining area. There’s a square stainless steel sink and cover to match the Corian surface. A two burner electric cooktop is recessed into the bench top, with a microwave above and an oven below.
A fore-aft lounger takes up all the space along the port side and can easily convert to another berth. I liked the fact that the dining table is hinged it in the middle so it can be folded back when not in use and leave maximum space to walk past. Being a single engine boat doesn’t mean you need a smaller helm station, it just allows you to put more things on the dash. However in Hudson Bay 39 #1, Brett had not gone overboard, with the standard package of a a Raymarine E127 MFD screen, surrounded by trim tab, bow thruster and auto anchor controls, surrounded by an array of switches and dials. The standard package also includes a compass, VHF radio and Fusion ipod/cd audio system with four speakers. A nice touch is the stainless steel and timber helm, adding somewhat of a classical feel to the boat.
The accommodation is well suited to two couples or a couple and two kids in two separate cabin areas. While the main cabin can be closed off, the ‘guest’ cabin is more open plan, although a draw curtain could be added for some privacy.
The master cabin forward has a queen size bed and storage provided in hanging lockers and overhead. Side and overhead opening ports let in extra light and fresh air. A feature of the guest cabin is it can be configured with either a single lower berth or twin bunks, upper and lower. A generous bathroom with shower stall serves both cabin areas and is designed to be low-maintenance.
The Hudson Bay 39 is a perfect blend of comfort and livability with a performance to match. In this highly competitive market, the Hudson Bay 39 and it’s smaller siblings are true contendors, helped no doubt with a very attractive fully iunclusive turn-key price.
It’s the sort of boat that I can see being as popular as a day cruiser as it will be an overnighter and for extended cruising. Just about everything you need is provided in the standard package so you don’t need to spend a whole lot more on extras. The Turkish/Aussie collaboration has certainly worked and the result is an outstanding new range of boats for the Clipper Motor Yacht stable.