There are a lot of companies riding the wave of demand for sport-fishing yachts, and then there are others who maintain a lower profile in the market. Thanks to a highly loyal customer base, Bayville, New Jersey-based Henriques Yachts is a prime example of the latter, and it has been doing business that way since 1977.
Henriques owners — such as Sandy Will, whose 50 XP HT we had the opportunity to test — remain the brand’s best salesmen.
“This is my fourth Henriques and the culmination of the three I owned before it,” Will said proudly. “I just took delivery of the latest Susan Nancy, the first 50 Express Hardtop.”
The 71-year-old avid fisherman said having a fully enclosed, heated and air-conditioned helm area is his ideal design. He collaborated closely with Manny Costa at Henriques; Costa assured us that whatever you ask them to do, they will find a way to make it happen.
Case in point: Will splits his year between Cape Cod in the Northeast and Summerland Key, Florida, and has to transit a lot of shallow areas, so he wanted the new boat to draw no more water than the 42 it replaced. Costa altered the hull with shallow prop pockets and reduced the shaft angle by 3 degrees, all without altering the performance of the boat. Will runs the boat himself, and while he enjoys the occasional overnighter in the canyons, Susan Nancy is primarily a dayboat. His choices of layout and equipment are indicative of that, particularly the below-deck areas, but the folks at Henriques can accommodate various layouts and degrees of creature comforts to meet the demands of any prospective owner and their family.
Engine and Running Gear
Enter the white, Awlgrip-painted engine room through the cockpit door, and the first thing your foot touches is the top of the compartment that houses a Seakeeper 9 gyrostabilizer. The engine room is large and uncluttered, with 360-degree access to the Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels that provide the propulsion via heavy-duty stainless-steel shafts, each supported by two large, manganese bronze struts to assure proper alignment, extend operational life and generally beef up the running gear. The engine room also houses a single 11.5 kW generator, a bank of batteries for engine and house duties, and all ancillary systems.
Dining Area and Galley
Susan Nancy features a large, well-equipped galley and dining area with plenty of seating on a long, L-shaped couch on the port side around a triangular teak table. The couch has storage and the belowdecks air-conditioning unit underneath. Generous storage cabinets are situated above it, and a large drop-down panel in the ceiling provides access to wiring for the helm electronics. All the woodwork and cabinetry is richly finished teak with Corian countertops. Vitrifrigo manufactures the four stainless, drawer-type freezer/refrigerators, and there is a convenient microwave, hidden single-burner range, sink, and plenty of storage for provisions.
All the woodwork and cabinetry is richly finished teak with Corian countertops. Vitrifrigo manufactures the four stainless, drawer-type freezer/refrigerators, and there is a convenient microwave, hidden single-burner range, sink, and plenty of storage for provisions.
With its primary function as a dayboat, the owner kept the stateroom configuration basic yet highly functional. The master stateroom forward is roomy and features a plush double-platform bed with drawer space beneath, with two hanging closets and long cabinets above with double doors that can be used for rod storage. On the starboard side just aft is a bunkroom with a nightstand, hanging closet and drawers for storage. Opposite is the bathroom with Corian countertops, inset sink, a large vanity with mirror, enclosed stall shower and Jabsco electric head. The companionway includes four lift-out hatches that provide access to the battery bank for the bow thruster, waste holding tank, one of the boat’s five bilge pumps and the hot‑water heater.
The fully enclosed helm area is enormous and features three high-back Stidd chairs behind the three-panel windshield. The captain’s chair is on a hydraulic dampener and is situated so all system controls are within easy reach. An L-shaped couch stretches across the aft bulkhead and portside, providing seating for an additional five people. The helm easily fits the three Furuno TZT 14-inch multifunction monitors that display data from the DFF1-UHD chirp sonar with two through-hull transducers, a DRSA 6X radar array, autopilot and chart-plotter system. A pair of Icom VHF radios are offset to port with mics located left and below the helm wheel. An ACR URP-102 searchlight, controls for the Rupp hydraulic outrigger system, engine monitors and gauges
An ACR URP-102 searchlight, controls for the Rupp hydraulic outrigger system, engine monitors and gauges complete the electronics package in a comprehensive but utilitarian fashion. Aft of the starboard helm chair are two massive tackle-, tool- and gear-storage cabinets, each with gasketed double doors. They house 15 slide-out drawers and seven removable tackle boxes plus storage space for larger items, with the top surface ideal for rigging. Any serious fisherman will fall in love with this setup. The large door that opens onto the cockpit is watertight, and provides quick access aft when open and a quiet, dry atmosphere inside when closed.
The 50 XP HT has one of the largest cockpits found on a 50-footer. The center transom livewell has a viewing window and powerful pump system, and the transom door is big enough for the largest bluefin. I counted 10 swivel gunwale rod holders and 14 more rod holders on the tower-ladder legs and across the aft lip of the cabin top. Two massive refrigerated fish boxes with macerators will hold all the fish you could ever want, and the hatch to the lazarette provides access to the steering system, bilge and livewell pumps. The boat’s new fighting chair was awaiting installation at the time of our test. The two steps up to the cabin include a refrigerated drink box, and when you lift the top of the cabinet to starboard, you find an auxiliary set of cockpit controls with storage below. The mezzanine couch is high off the deck with a drop-down footrest and another tackle center with six removable boxes below it.
The pipework and tower were done by Ocean View Marine Welding. The fully functional tower station features a Furuno monitor and remote-control pad, engine monitors, searchlight and Cat engine controls.
Construction and Performance
The vinylester-skinned hull consists of a solid glass bottom with Divinycell cored sides. The bonded, fiberglass stringer system is filled with high-density foam, and the cockpit, deck and cabin are a single molded unit. The hull is overbuilt for strength and rigidity, and is remarkably quiet when underway.
During our test, the 50 XP HT performed extremely well, the C18s proving to be the perfect power match for the boat. Acceleration was impressive, with minimal bow rise thanks to the Lenco AutoGlide automatic trim-tab system. The boat cruises efficiently at 1,900 rpm, making 29 knots at 68 percent load and burning a reasonable 69 gph. Pull the throttles back to 26 knots, and fuel burn decreases to less than 60 gph. And in case you were wondering, there is no noticeable difference in performance between Will’s prop-pocket hull and the standard hull design on other Henriques 50s.
The 50 XP HT adds to an already impressive lineup of boats from a builder that holds near-legendary status in the mid-Atlantic region. If you haven’t considered Henriques for your next boat, you should talk to Sandy Will or any of a long list of owners. You’ll be impressed by what they have to say.
LOA: 50’0″ | Beam: 16’6″ | Draft: 5’6″ | Disp.: 50,000 LB. | Fuel: 1,000 GAL.
Water: 160 GAL. | Power: Twin Caterpillar C18 Acert 1,015 HP Diesels