Legendary ‘Deep-V’s and the Payne family legacy

Georgian Bay Today, Issue 116, Spring 2017

“Hunt Yachts are a legendary boat manufacturer with a strong following on Georgian Bay for over 60 years. The new Hunt Harrier 25 is now locally available through Payne Marine of Pointe au Baril. The unique ‘Deep-V’ hull design of this boat makes it the ideal standard for the waters of Georgian Bay. Mark Payne believes that it will continue to be popular because of “the supremacy of everything that you could want in a boat: soft ride, dry,
and seaworthy.”

To understand the genesis and evolution of this craft, you have to go back to 1960 and the grueling, 185 mile offshore race from Miami to Nassau known as the ‘Miami Nassau Ocean Power Boat Race’ – the most rugged boat race in the world. A boat called ‘Moppie’ with a revolutionary Deep-V hull design was in that race. Sailing writer and lifelong power boat skeptic, Carleton Mitchell, was aboard the Ray Hunt designed Moppie along with the boat’s builder, Dick Bertram, a legend in his own right.

In a Sports Illustrated (SI, 1960) article, Mitchell described the water conditions on that day as “heavy seas of the open ocean and the punishing
chop of the Bahama Bank” and “the spray from the bow wave jetted out like water from a fire hose fanning sheets of water 50ft to either side
that blew off to leeward like heavy smoke.”

Moppie was equipped with twin 275 hp Interceptor engines, facing fresh winds of 20 knots. She averaged 50mph @ 4100 revs on both engines
and crossed the finish line in 8 hours – to the minute – a new record. Only 13 of the starting 23 vessels completed the treacherous 3-leg course across the Gulf Stream to Cat Cay, to the shallows of the Bahama Bank to Frazier’s Hog Cay and finishing in the port of Nassau. On that day, 57 years ago, the legend of the Deep-V hull began. It was “a remarkable demonstration of the efficiency of the Hunt design in rough water.” (Mitchell, SI 1960).

The Deep-V hull Moppie was a combination of a brilliant revolutionary design by self-taught designer C. Raymond Hunt of Marblehead (sailing centre of New England), and the craftsmanship of boat builder Richard H. Bertram of Miami – both legends in the industry. The underwater form of Moppie
was unusual in that the hull was ‘V’ shaped not only forward but all the way back to the transom. A series of longitudinal stakes were added to help lift the boat onto plane, increase stability and decrease the tendency to roll. The design was conceived in the 50s by Ray Hunt, proven in the 1960 race and evolved into the original ‘Bertrams’. Hunt’ Yacht’s current version, the Harrier 25, has since benefitted from decades of incremental improvements. According to Hunt Yachts, “Our 50 years experience has taught us how to make it better. Our hulls have more deadrise forward, finer water lines, robust and sharp edged chines and strips, and generous flare. We put the ride first and the housekeeping second, so on the unpredictable
ocean, you will be comfortable and confident, in all seas.”

There is much more to the Harrier 25 than the Deep-V. Mark Payne points out that it is, “the efficiency, functionality and utilitarian features” that make it the best choice for getting to the islands of our archipelago. It features a comfortable V-berth below the closed deck for overnight getaways; it is watertight and has enormous storage space. It seats an amazing 12 passengers and is self-draining. Best of all, as Mark says, “it’s safe and the ride quality is unparalleled.”

Payne Marine is the Hunt Yacht representative for Ontario: a third generation, landmark business in Pointe au Baril. Current proprietor, Mark Payne, “grew up in the business, started by cutting grass and pumping gas.” The business had humble, but proud beginnings. It was started by Mark’s grandfather Vince, a Toronto watchmaker, and Mark’s father, Mike, in 1960. They began with nothing more than a dilapidated building and a chicken coup. The first priority was to build a house to survive their first winter. As the business grew, they added a gas tank to their hand-dug trench and a repair service. The gas was brought in by barge from Parry Sound. It wasn’t until 1967 that they cut a road into Payne Marine. By the time Mark was “14 or 15”, he had “decided to follow the family tradition,” and after graduating from high school, completed a three year Marine Management Program at Georgian College.

Today, Payne Marine is a full service, award-winning marina offering: parking, dockage, storage, sales, service, gas, and a popular dockside Fish n Chip business offering fresh pickerel on their licensed patio. But for Mark, it is more than a business; it is a lifestyle. It is all about community and trust. He was an executive of the local Islanders Association for many years and volunteered for 11 years as an emergency responder. In his words,
“one way or another, I’m kind of on call 24 – 7.” For many years, he lived”on the marina property with his wife Laurie and daughter Haydyn and
“knows everyone, intimately.”

Bringing the Harrier, and full Hunt Coastal Series to Pointe au Baril is more than a bold business move by Mark Payne; it’s personal. It’s about the unique design, character and history of the boat and the passion that surrounds it. It boasts, “vintage styling” and the “teak detailing turns heads while the high performing Hunt Deep-V hull turns on a dime,” (Hunt Yachts). In addition to the Harrier 26 closed deck series, Mark will carry the Centre Console 26 and 32 as well as Surfhunter 32 model.

It was the ‘test of the sea’ in that 1960 race that triggered the success of the Deep-V hull. Races of that type are much more than publicity
stunts; they contribute to the evolution of boat design by testing them under severe and competitive conditions. In the words of Carleton
Mitchell, after the famous victory of Moppie: “not only had lessons been learned from the design of the winners but also from those forced
to turn back. Just as road racing has improved the stamina and performance of the family automobile and offshore yacht racing has brought about healthier cruising boats, so this race of powerboats across open water from Miami to Nassau has resulted in more seaworthy and dependable family
craft, able to get safely back to port if caught in a storm.”

The Harrier 25 is the perfect craft for passage on Georgian Bay: safe, dry, comfortable and practical – with an illustrious heritage, after all, it
conquered the punishing chop of the Bahama Bank and made a convert of sailor Carleton Mitchell.

To arrange a sea trial on the Harrier 25 contact Mark Payne at Payne Marine in Pointe au Baril. 705 366 2296.”

See the article here.