Fairey Huntsman 28, the 1960s British cult 30-knot boat (8.5 m)


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to Boats in Motion print + digital and for only 39 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

Fairey Huntsman 28
Fairey Huntsman 28

Post-World War II, across the Channel. In England, part of the war industry is beginning to “sniff out” the principles of reconverting its production, giving rise to new realities. Among them are the
Fairey Marine ltd.
., which was established under the leadership of Sir Charles Richard Fairey and Chichester-Smith, former executive director of the
Fairey Aviation
(yes, the aircraft one). Big fans of sailing, they decided to convert production to shipbuilding. First it is small sailboats, then the motor. It was in this second phase that a legend was born, a British icon: the Fairey Huntsman 28, a small 8.5-meter with a V-shaped hull by Ray Hunt and capable of flying at over 30 knots. The year is 1960 and a myth is born, a Mrs.
Classic Boat

Fairey Huntsman 28

Designed by Alan Burnard, the Fairey Huntsman 28 soon became a hugely popular hull, strong in unimpeachable marine qualities as well as remarkable construction and speed qualities. Aircraft-derived, it was in fact a very light but solid hull, propelled at significant speeds by relatively modest engines, a pair of six-cylinder Perkins T6.354s. He was employed almost immediately in offshore competitions where he did not cease to shine. Today, several models still sail along English coasts, often upgraded and capable, surprisingly, of handling speeds even exceeding 38 knots.

Fairey Huntsman 28
Fairey Huntsman 28
  • Do you have a historic and significant boat more than 25 years old? Read this article!
  • Are you interested in the topic Classic Boats? Visit our collection of dedicated articles
    by clicking here

Fairey Huntsman 28 – Project

With the little Fairey Huntsman 28, in a nutshell, we really see the birth of what will be a legend in the British world, a hull of excellence that is still appreciated and remembered to this day. For them, it is the Jaguar E-Type of the seas. The secret of its success? Brilliant insights and war-derived know-how.

Fairey Huntsman 28

Fundamentally, in fact, the small 28-footer is the quintessence of aeronautical engineering developed during the conflict. The hull is, yes, based on Ray Hunt’s technologies related to deep-V hulls (
an in-depth article here
), but its great strength, in this case, lies precisely in its construction. In the period just prior to the conflict, in fact, a process called “stressed skin” had been developed for aircraft production, capable of using layers of birch plywood sandwiched with glues to shape, hot, on male molds. Wings and fuselages, which were of good strength and great lightness, were made from this process. In the postwar shipbuilding industry it will be called “hot molding,” exactly the adaptation employed by Fairey for his shipbuilding.

Construction at Fairey Marine Ltd. shipyards.

The general characteristics achieved by these hulls are very interesting:

  • Well-made, durable, lightweight hull;
  • Deep V-shaped hull, performance;
  • pleasing lines, in full tone with the reigning taste;
  • Exceptional handling.

Offshore racing (some boats, even Ford-sponsored) is the icing on the cake, an ideal engine for the recreational market. And the game is done.

Fairey Huntsman 28 – Ford

Cover and volumes

Aesthetically, the Fairey Huntsman 28 retraces the line drawn by its predecessor 7 meters, the Huntress, known to be used by Sean Connery in the 007 movie “From Russia with Love” while being chased by a Huntsman 28 itself. The look is as classic as ever, the quintessential “British” look of the period. Plenty of wood, long raised and windowed deckhouse, small windshield above it.

Fairey Huntsman 28 in 007; From Russia with Love.

Two armchairs serve the wheelhouse, while the rest of the cockpit is clear. Inside, however, there is no shortage of bathroom and kitchen, with two broadside sofas serving as a dinette, interspersed with a central table. In the bow, a double berth. Of course, the two couches are additional bunks. In short, all the essentials for a weekend getaway, condensed into a multi-node cult hit in the spirit of the 1960s.


Data Sheet

Length Over All (LOA) 8.5 m
Baglio Massimo 2.67 m
Fishing 0.76 m
Displacement 3.3 t
Available engines 2x Perkins T6.354 6-cylinder Turbodiesel
Maximum speed 30+ kn
Sleeping places 2 +2
Bathrooms 1
Design Alan Burnard
Contact Fairey Marine

  • You might also be interested in:

Rio Colorado (8m), una chicca di Classic Boat da 40+ nodi (1963)




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you already a subscriber?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Join the Sailing Newspaper Club

Powerboats, its stories, from small open to motoryachts. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the editorial staff each week. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button.

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.