Luhrs 30 Open

The 30 Open melds maneuverability with good looks and a designer cabin.

An express fish should provide good visibility, both of the cockpit and through the windshield; it should maneuver with the purposeful grace of an athlete; and it must be serviceable, since owners run it long and hard in quest of a trophy. Luhrs’ 30 Open makes the grade, adding rugged good looks, an all-business cockpit and a designer cabin that sleeps four to the mix. That last amenity is no mean feat aboard a 30-footer sporting 55 square feet of cockpit.

Luhrs is legendary for combining fishability and amenability in just-right percentages. Belowdecks, wide-plank faux hardwood greets your feet. Arranged catty-corner beside the companionway, the galley counter is deep and perfectly positioned for passing sandwiches through the slider. The head, concealed behind a vertical-grain, two-panel door, proved comfortable for this 6-foot-tall boat tester whether seated or standing.

The key to the 30 Open's accommodations is the forward V-lounge. Upholstered in a broad-stripe fabric and served by a hardwood table, this converts to sleep four. Flip up the backrests to create twin pipe berths. Now insert the filler to create a full-size berth out of the V-seat itself. Voilà! Instant weekender.

Topside, I discovered a tuna door, a fish box arrayed across the transom and two additional raised fish boxes/livewells at the forward end of the ’pit. Freeboard is generous, but I could still reach the water leaning over the gunwale to bill a fish.

On the helm deck, there’s L-shaped guest seating with stowage within. A manual engine hatch provides access to the diesels and to most service points; intakes and strainers are under a hatch in the cockpit, where I placed my hands on all without undue groping.

Under way, twin 260 hp Yanmar inboards provided confident performance. No surprise, since these engines develop peak torque at 2,500 rpm, delivering more than 350 foot-pounds to the props in the cruising band. Coupled with deep gears, this performance ensures the skipper can spin on a fish or into a tight slip with authority — with onlookers wondering why the entire crew is smiling.

Comparable model: Rampage 30 Express