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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am looking to get into a boat again. Was at the Newport Boat show and really liked the 31 Luhrs Express.

Boat looked amazing, but some of the sales people told me that Luhrs was questionable in quality.

Was wondering if any of you have an knowledge/experience with newer Luhrs models.

Are they decent boats? How would you rate their quality against boats like Tiara, Albermarle, and Cabo?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Jonathan
 

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Prior Luhrs owner

OK, just to be clear, Luhrs boats are not in the same class -- fit and finish -- as Tiara, Albermarle, and Cabo. Talk to the Luhrs guys -- they'll be the first to admit it. But I think of Tiara, Albermarle, and Cabo as BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes. And you pay BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes prices.

A Luhrs is more like a Ford or a Chevy. Pretty well built, reliable, but you're not going to get the fit and finish and the high quality cosmetics that you'll get with the Tiara, Albermarle, and Cabo.

I had a Luhrs 32 Open for five years. It had twin Yanmar 315 diesels. From MDR, I took it to Catalina and to Santa Barbara Island (and in some rough water, too). I also took it down to San Diego and made a number of trips offshore chasing tuna, tails, and dodos. I even made a few trips down to Ensenada.

My experience -- the boat was well-built where it counts. Yanmar engines, Groco strainers, Jabsco pumps, Rule bilge pumps, and Racor fuel filters. Engines ran reliably. Fiberglass was structurally sound and thick, though the finish was rough.

The areas where I had issues besides the fiberglass finish that I already mentioned: the stainless parts on hatches were lower grade and started corroding after a while; the cabinetry was cheaper grade and not as nicely finished as other boats, the shower fixture and faucets were lower grade and needed replacing after a few years (with the exact same parts available at West Marine); the lights were plastic and not metal; and various other nits that you won't find with a Cabo or Tiara. The one mechanical issue was that the bolts were a little short for one of the arms that connected the rudder and they loosened, becoming disconnected. But we corrected that problem the first year.

You might want to check out David Pascoe's review of the Luhrs 320 (the prior version of the 32 Open). He's a boat surveyor.

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/boatreviews/luhrs_320_open.htm

One more thing. The Luhrs customer service was pretty good. They've been in business a long time and it was pretty easy to get replacement parts directly if you couldn't find the part at West Marine. But in five years, the only parts that I ordered from Luhrs were a new tower control cover, a new seat cushion, some specially sized toggle switch covers, and a bait tank lever. Everything else was available at West Marine.

Bottom line, if you're independently wealthy, strike Luhrs off your list and focus on a Cabo or Tiara. If you're in market for a used boat, you can probably buy a used Cabo or Tiara (four-five years old) for the price of a brand new Luhrs. But if you're in a brand new boat mode, then look at Luhrs.

One final thing, I bought my Luhrs new in 2001 for $200K. I sold it in 2006 for $165K. Yeah, I had to pay a broker's fee and I made some upgrades. But the Luhrs held its value pretty well over five years. (Your mileage may vary, particularly if you get gas engines -- which no one wants after a few years.)
 

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RE: Prior Luhrs owner

Before you buy any boat do a lot of research, than take as many sea trials as you can
Go on as many web sites as you can find and ask as many questions as you can.

If you do all that you will find out that Luhrs has had the most customer dissatisfaction. Don't take my word for it.

chris
 

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RE: Prior Luhrs owner

Jonathan,

I would encourage you to talk to owners and former owners of Luhrs boats. I'd heard the same stories before about quality issues. But usually they came from people who knew-someone-who-knew-someone or, in a couple cases, boat dealers or guys closely associated with boat dealers who obviously were interested in getting me to buy their boats.

Most of the Luhrs or former Luhrs owners I know have been pretty satisfied with their boats -- knowing that they aren't getting something top-of-the-line, but something that fits their price point. That's the key point. If you're comparing a Luhrs to a Cabo or Tiara, yes, the quality isn't the same. But neither is the price.

Five years later, after I got a greater level of financial security, did I trade up to something with better fit and finish with all the bells and whistles? Yeah, I did. But I still think fondly about my Luhrs and the great times I had with her.

You can PM me if you have any other questions.

And just to make it clear where I'm coming from -- I have no affiliation with Luhrs or any of its other companies and I've never been involved in any of their marketing campaigns.

If you're interested, I can also give you my opinion about Pro-Line, which I had before my Luhrs.

Sam
 

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RE: Prior Luhrs owner

I'm glad you asked that question. I have been wondering the same about Seaswirl Stripers vs. Parker. I see more Parkers between Oceanside and San Diego than Stipers. Anyone have any info on difference of quality and construction and how they compare. I have a Stiper with a pilot house and have been very happy with it.
 

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RE: Prior Luhrs owner

>JR, If your happy with it, then don't worry about it.
>
>Striper's and Parker's are both great boats !
>
>
>Jim
>_______________

Not worried about it, just curious how they compare. Your absolutely right, they are both great boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RE: Prior Luhrs owner

Thanks for all your responses!

So far based on the reponses and the boat reviews I have since read, it seems that the Luhrs 320 Open (the boat I am interested in) is a decent boat for the price.

Granted they cut some corners, but this is understandable when they are trying to offer this kind of boat for a much lower price.

The biggest problem seems to be with the engine access, which appears to be very poorly devised. Seems nothing short of a maintenance nightmare. Also, I guess some of the deck drains go lead straight into the engine comparment and onto the engines which lead to early rusting, etc.

Anyway, seems like a good boat for the price.

Was also looking at Mediterranean. Seems like they make a really nice 38 and a 54 for a nice value.

Too bad they don't make a 31-32 express model.

Thanks again for all your help,

Jonathan
 

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RE: Prior Luhrs owner

I think I was looking at the same luhrs.. .was it the one for $215K right when you first walk in the boat show with the tower? If so then yea that thing was sweet. Me and my bro in law sat up there for about 10 minutes enjoying the view. That was our favorite boat of the show.
 

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Thanks for all your responses!

So far based on the reponses and the boat reviews I have since read, it seems that the Luhrs 320 Open (the boat I am interested in) is a decent boat for the price.

Granted they cut some corners, but this is understandable when they are trying to offer this kind of boat for a much lower price.

The biggest problem seems to be with the engine access, which appears to be very poorly devised. Seems nothing short of a maintenance nightmare. Also, I guess some of the deck drains go lead straight into the engine comparment and onto the engines which lead to early rusting, etc.

Anyway, seems like a good boat for the price.

Was also looking at Mediterranean. Seems like they make a really nice 38 and a 54 for a nice value.

Too bad they don't make a 31-32 express model.

Thanks again for all your help,

Jonathan
Buy the boat I just sold my 32 luhrs this spring and put a deposit on a luhrs 36 convertible love Luhrs
 
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