If you own an outboard- or stern drive-powered fishing boat, chances are you've gazed at the big battlewagons with a certain envy. They can take their skippers where the big fish roam.
But while a large sportfisher may be out of many boaters' reach, the fish need not be. The new Luhrs 30 Open is an ideal way to get to the next level — at a realistic cost.
The Luhrs 30 Open is the second generation of a decade of proven design from Luhrs. It's an improvement on the company's popular 29 Open, offering more room and more features.
Fortunately, the best features of the old boat were incorporated in the new 30 Open, which was given an all-new design. The bridge deck is now expanded to provide more seating. The interior layout can sleep four — and it is elegantly appointed.
The engine room provides full standing headroom. A sportfishing tower is standard — and so are hardtops over the helm and the upper station.
In addition, the 30 Open's new hull design provides added speed and a shallower draft.
The height of the bridge deck above the 30 Open's waterline offers a commanding view. There are excellent sightlines to all points on the boat, whether you're standing or sitting at the starboard side helm.
The high windshield and the wide Carolina flare on the hull combine to give a dry ride in all but the sloppiest conditions. When wet conditions do arrive, you'll be well protected by the 30 Open's standard three-sided enclosure.
The helm has space for large-screen electronics displays plus a full set of engine instrumentation. Full instrumentation is a standard feature at both the upper and lower stations.
If you ever need to change or service a piece of electronic gear, you'll appreciate the hinged helm console that allows easy access to the wiring.
The 30 Open's cockpit has one fishbox built into the transom and another in the sole. Forward, there's a bait prep center, a livewell to starboard and an insulated cooler to port. Both fresh and raw water washdown systems are standard.
Storage for tackle and gear is abundant, both in the cockpit and on the bridge deck. Luhrs packs four flush-mount rod holders with the boat — but they're not installed, so you can put them wherever you need them.
Cockpit rod storage racks are available as an option — but there are plenty of other places aboard to stow fishing gear. Three rod storage compartments are provided in the cabin — one in the sole and two more under the bench seats along either side. They hold a total of 12 rods.
All Dressed Up and Ready to Go
The comfortable cabin on the 30 Open is nothing like the stripped-down, utilitarian space you're likely to find on other boats in this size range. Attractive cherry and holly sole is standard, complementing the 30 Open's cherry wood cabinetry and upscale-looking upholstery.
In the compact galley, you'll find all the basics and then some — including a 12v refrigerator/freezer, a single-burner stove, a coffeemaker, a microwave oven and a stainless steel sink. All are set around a Corian countertop.
For a boat of this size, the 30 Open's cabin has a surprising amount of stowage — including a hanging locker and drawers under the entry steps. There's more than 6 feet of stand-up headroom throughout most of the cabin, including the head compartment.
A pair of bench seats runs along each side of the cabin, facing an adjustable-height drop-leaf table. The backs of the seats flip up to convert into bunk-style berths, giving you the ability to sleep four adults.
The enclosed head compartment is fiberglass lined, for easy cleaning. It features an electric toilet with a 25-gallon holding tank.
Hot and cold pressurized water is standard in both the head and the galley.
If you're looking for luxury upgrades, the 30 Open has a comprehensive options list that includes air conditioning, an auxiliary generator, a cockpit freezer, a swim platform, and even a flat-screen television with a Bose audio system. Factory-installed outriggers and several electronics packages are also available.
Power to Spare
The 30 Open is available with one of three twin-engine power options: 315 hp Cummins 330 B diesels, 315 hp Yanmar 6LP-STP diesels or 320 hp MerCruiser 6.2L gasoline inboards. If you're making the step up to your first inboard bluewater boat, one of the things you'll probably consider is the trade-off between the higher top speed of gasoline engines and the fuel economy and increased safety and long-term durability of diesels.
Our test boat was powered by a pair of 315 hp Yanmar diesels. They provided a top speed of around 35 mph — which is quite impressive, considering that these engines also provide a cruising range of 378 miles at 26 mph.
When our 30 Open came on plane, there was a very short time when we lost sight of the horizon, but that bow rise can be minimized with an application of trim tabs.
The 30 Open was very responsive to the helm, and it tracked well through chop. Slow speed maneuvering is improved by the wide stance of the engines.
The hull design incorporates shallow prop pockets to give the boat a slim 2-foot, 6-inch draft — as well as to present a smaller shaft angle, for better efficiency.
When it comes to sportfishing, a bigger boat isn't always better. Sometimes it pays to have one that's sized "just right."
That accurately describes Luhrs new 30 Open, which offers the maneuverability and performance of a smaller fishing boat with the inboard reliability, interior comfort and offshore-ready seaworthiness of much larger vessels.
Luhrs 30 Open Specifications
|Fuel capacity||300 gallons|
|Water capacity||50 gallons|
|Propellers||Four-blade light tip||19" by 27"|
|Base price with twin 320-hp Volvo Penta gasoline engines||$160,000|
|Price as tested with twin 315-hp Yanmar diesel engines||$235,578|
|Top speed||35 mph|
|Miles per gallon at 26-mph cruising speed||1.26|
|Estimated fuel cost for 100 miles||$126.19|
|Range at 26-mph cruising speed||340 miles to empty|
|Sound level at 26-mph cruising speed||88 dbA|
(Estimated fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.59.)
Hardtop with three-sided flybridge enclosure; tower; AM/FM stereo CD player; microwave oven; coffeemaker; Corian galley countertop.
Options on Test Boat
Oil-X-Changer system; windlass; air conditioning; Lee outriggers; internal sea strainers; dripless shaft logs; swim platform.
Fiberglass hull utilizes two layers of 1.5-ounce chop and five layers of 2415 Stitchmat in bottom; sides above waterline are Baltek-cored and use a layer of 1.5-ounce chop, along with two layers of 1808 Fabmat. Deck is Baltek-cored fiberglass. Gelcoat is 20 mm thick throughout.
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