41 Convertible— By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
|Part 2: While she’s a production boat, the 41 has been custom-built for the masses as requested by the masses.|
When it came to accommodations, the focus group requested a two-stateroom, one-head arrangement with two big berths. I’d say they’d be satisfied. The forepeak master is the centerpiece. To maximize the stateroom’s 6'6" headroom, Luhrs craftily dropped the mattress frame to just 31 inches off the sole, several inches lower than others I’ve seen. The result? Almost four feet of headroom above the queen-size berth, making the stateroom seem bigger (the 15'9" beam helps). That’s right, no more stepping up to bed, you can just fall right onto the mattress at the end of a long day. The guest stateroom aft to starboard is also smartly arranged with a double berth, as opposed to bunks. The single head is just aft and to port of the master and can be entered from the master or companionway. It features a separate sit-down, 26-inch-wide shower stall for two (if you’re friendly) and a VacuFlush MSD.
Now not everyone is a mechanic, but every boat owner will spend time in the engine room, and the 41 has one that’s nearly as spacious as her accommodations area. I’m 5'7", and I could easily duck and crabwalk around both engines. A shiny fiberglass liner and a fiberglass headliner sandwiched with Nidacore brighten the space, add thermal and acoustical insulation, and keep everything looking clean. It was easy to read the large fuel sight gauge (another focus group request) on centerline just forward of my test boat’s twin 580-hp Cummins QSM11 diesels. Luhrs places all filters and pumps in a room aft of the engine room, with the two spaces separated by a door. Why a door? Well, aside from sound deadening and eliminating any engine-related soot, to keep the fish fresh, of course. Luhrs found that in-deck fishboxes often require tons of ice because the heat from the engines warms the boxes. The door minimizes heat transfer.
The focus group also wanted this boat set up to fish, which explains the two insulated in-deck fishboxes that measure 3'9"Lx13"Wx13"D. It also explains the standard four rod holders, six rocket launchers, stowage for two dozen rods, in-transom fishbox, 37-gallon livewell, bait-prep center, transom door, cockpit freezer, and sink. In addition, my test boat had optional 33-foot Rupp double-spreader outriggers. That, combined with the 85 square feet of usable cockpit that I measured, makes the 41 well suited for chasing big game.
My 41 was rigged for the ocean, but would she give the group the seakindly ride it wanted? I’d have to wait for another day to find out, as I tested her on the slick-calm ICW. On the performance side, my 41 made an average cruise speed of 30 mph at 2000 rpm burning 37.4 gph and an average top speed of 38.5 mph while burning 60.2 gph. However, at WOT the Cummins QSM11s hit 2450 rpm, 150 rpm over rated rpm, so I suspect more pitch is in order for the boat’s 28x36 4-blade nibrals.
I also noticed her Teleflex hydraulic steering was stiff, which Shea told me later was due to air in the system. Other than that, she handled as smoothly as the single-lever Glendinning controls. She made high-speed turns without excessive heel inboard or outboard and took off on straightaways, making her top speed in about 25 seconds. I don’t know if this performance was a request from the focus group or not, but they got it, and it should make them happy.
The 41 was not without fault, however. I found spiderweb-like cracks under the starboard-side rod holder that would need to be rubbed out (Shea told me they were the result of using gelcoat that was too hard). That said, I’d say the 41 accomplished her mission, and while she’s a production boat, the 41 has been custom-built for the masses as requested by the masses. I can only think of one result for such a formula: mass appeal.
Luhrs Marine Group Phone: (800) 882-4343. www.luhrs.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.