Boat Review: Luhrs 500 Convertible

With its newest 50-foot model, Luhrs is positioned to bring its mix of proven hull designs, lengthy standard equipment lists and well-designed interiors to the big-boat market.

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Thanks to a reputation for boats that are competitive both in price and in tournaments, Luhrs has enjoyed great success in the small- to mid-size convertible market. With its newest 50-foot model just released at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, Luhrs is now positioned to bring its mix of proven hull designs, lengthy standard equipment lists and well-designed interiors to the big-boat market.

Luhrs builds its boats using a hull that features a fine entry to cut through head seas along with a Carolina flare to keep things dry. Hard chines add stability and lift, and a tumble-home transom gives the boat a look usually reserved for one-off custom designs. Radius curves, an unbroken sheer, sleek windows and an extended bridge overhang add to the Luhrs 500's racy look.

Without a doubt, though, the most striking feature of this new 50-footer is its trademarked BridgeWalk stairway that connects the bridge to the cockpit. Rather than require boaters to climb up slippery ladders that get in the way of storage lockers, Luhrs designed a truly one-of-a-kind molded stairway that offers safe passage from cockpit to bridge even in the roughest seas. So unique that it seems strange at first sight, the BridgeWalk achieves its intended purpose and does so without greatly sacrificing interior or bridge space.

In the large 155-square-foot cockpit, the 500 benefits from Luhrs' "when in doubt, make it standard" approach. The boat comes from the factory just about tournament-ready, complete with fish boxes, a livewell, freezer, tackle center, fresh and saltwater wash-downs, sink and storage. The bridge features a standard hardtop with enclosure, spreader lights, plenty of seating, space for flush-mounting electronics, hydraulic controls and power steering. A complete wet bar with refrigerator is optional.

Below you'll find three staterooms, all fitted in rich woods and fabrics. Two staterooms feature walk-around double berths, private heads and stand-up showers. The third stateroom offers over/under berths for crew or extra guests. A complete galley lies on the salon level, along with an L-shaped settee and dinette.
With a spacious engine room accessed via a cockpit hatch, the Luhrs 500 can accept engine packages ranging from twin 800 to 1,350-hp. Standard-issue 800-hp Cat 3406s should propel the boat in the high 20s and top out in the mid 30s. With the extra-beefy 1,350-hp Cat 3412s, hull No. 1 reached a 35-knot cruise and a 39-knot top speed in return for the extra $200,000.

For more information, contact Luhrs Corporation, 255 Diesel Road, St. Augustine, FL 32086; 904-829-0500.

Specifications

LOA

50'10"

BEAM

18'0"

DRAFT

5'0"

WEIGHT

48,000 pounds

FUEL

1,000 gallons

WATER

200 gallons

POWER

800-hp Cats

BASE PRICE

$895,000