When we headed back in, I got to see how the 39 LS handled big following seas, and Cosker’s design again met the challenge. I could keep the boat on the backside of the waves and ride them in through the big following seas with no tendency to broach.
You’ll get similar performance in less-than-ideal conditions from the Intrepid 400 (Boating, January 2010), which retails for $383,100 including power steering with the same power as my test boat had, and from the Nor-Tech 390 Sport Open, $408,000 with the triple Yamaha 350s. The 39 LS is a little faster than the Intrepid, which topped out around 65 mph during our test, but the Nor-Tech reportedly runs 76 mph.
What I also noticed during our rough-water run was that, when the 39 LS launched and re-entered the water, I heard no rattles, never felt the hull flex or creak beneath me and never saw the T-top frame wobble. The LS line is intended to please more than serious fishermen with more family-friendly options (more on this later), but Contender knew that buyers of this boat would expect the rugged construction for which the company is known. Those three mighty outboards mount on a transom cored with Divinycell foam. The manufacturer cores the hull sides with balsa and reinforces the strakes with putty. The stringers and deck liner are also cored with Divinycell. The hardtop frame is formed out of 3-inch-diameter, powder-coated aluminum tubing and assembled with heavy-duty stainless-steel fasteners. In a touch that looks cool and adds functionality, the underside of the T-top is finished in the same color as the hull. The dark green top on my test boat helped reduce glare on the instrument panel. Except for the single forward bow cleat (I’d prefer two), the spring and stern cleats are positioned beneath the deck with the dock lines running through hawsepipes.
My lone gripe at the helm is that I would have liked to have stood a little taller. Contender offers an optional step for runts like me. Yamaha’s digital controls allow you to run all three engines on one lever. To deter theft and keep you from having to carry around three separate keys, the 39 LS has a single key that energizes the battery switches. Then you power up the motors with push-button ignition switches.