Luhrs 32

Luhrs 32 — By Richard Thiel April 2001

Less Is More
Luhrs’ 32-footer is proof you don’t need to be big to be good.
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Luhrs 32
• Part 2: Luhrs 32 continued
• Luhrs 32 Specs
• Luhrs 32 Deck Plan
• Luhrs 32 Acceleration Curve


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Considering Luhrs introduced a new 34-foot convertible just a year ago, you might wonder why it has followed it up with another new convertible just two feet shorter. The answer is that there’s a lot more separating these two boats than a couple of feet.

For starters, these are two completely different boats. While the 34’s hull was new, the 32’s is a lengthened version of the Luhrs 29 Open, with 1'5" less beam (11'8" versus 13'1"), and the 32 weighs 1,750 pounds less (16,250 versus 18,000). In exchange for one fewer stateroom and standard gasoline power (two 302-hp Marine Power 5.7s) instead of diesels (twin 300-hp Yanmars), you’ll walk away with a nice piece of change—about $52,000 ($168,000 versus $220,240). Even if you upgrade to twin 250-hp Yanmar diesels ($199,320), you’ll still be around $21,000 richer.

Luhrs didn’t introduce the 32 to lure people away from a larger (and more profitable) boat, but it might do just that. For a lot of anglers, she has everything they need, plus a bonus: She’s as agile as a bike messenger in rush-hour traffic. Part of the reason for that is her dimensions and a modest displacement that comes courtesy of a laminate that’s Baltek-cored above the waterline. But credit also goes to careful selection of the drive train. By choosing 19"x19" four-blade props with a 2.5:1 reduction instead of three-blade units and a numerically lower ratio, Luhrs gave the 32 superb slow-speed response, and if it comes at the cost of midrange performance, I certainly didn’t feel it on our test boat. I did, however, feel how well the 32 backed down and maneuvered at slow speed, especially when I had to dock her in a brisk 5-knot current.

Of course, you do give up space when you downsize, but at 5'4"L x 9'2"W the 32’s cockpit is roomy enough to accommodate a small chair (a backing plate for it is laminated into the sole). Freeboard is moderate (2'10"), making gaffing or tagging a snap, and you get plenty of standard fishing amenities. These include four Lee flush-mount rod holders, a two-foot-wide transom door with integral cutting board, a self-draining transom fishbox with removable lids, and a bait-prep center forward with livewell and sink. To free the cockpit of seawater quickly, there are three avenues of escape. A two-inch drain in front of the transom door probably won’t be too effective, since it’s out in the middle of the cockpit and isn’t recessed. Much better is the two-inch flappered transom drain that empties the big gutter around the rudder-access hatch. But when you really fill up the cockpit, you’ll appreciate the foot-wide flapper in the transom door that can ship a lot of water overboard fast.

Next page > Luhrs 32 continued > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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