If you grow up boating, often you’re hooked for life. You buy your own boat at the first opportunity and run the heck out of it. Then, in the natural course of events, come the responsibilities of career and family, and boating might take a back seat. But if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool water rat, you come back to it — and pass along the fun you had as a kid to your own family.
That’s how it is for Mark Mitrano. “My father had a couple of dayboats when I was a kid,” says the 49-year-old Westford, Mass., landscape and excavation contractor. “From there, it was all over.”
His first boat was a 28-foot Cigarette, which he sold in the 1990s to focus on his family and his business. “I took a 9-year rest,” Mitrano says. But he couldn’t stay away forever. “I don’t know why, but I love the ocean — to fish or just to be offshore. It’s just so peaceful.”
The early 2000s found Mitrano, his wife, Cheryl, and a young family cruising the Bay State’s North Shore in a 25-foot Luhrs Open with a single 315-hp Yanmar, well-suited to boating with youngsters and fishing, Mitrano says. “We ran that for three years — great boat,” he says.
Kids get older, boat gets bigger — it’s a maxim. Mitrano soon stepped up to a Luhrs 32 Open. The bigger boat fit the family, which includes a growing son and two daughters. “It had a separate head and enclosed shower. It’s the small things that count sometimes,” Mitrano says. “We had it for eight years — another great boat.”
In 2011, with the family grown to two teenagers and a soon-to-be teen, the Mitranos decided to move up again, and there was little debate about the boat they’d be looking for. “I’ve always liked the Luhrs. They give a lot for the money,” Mitrano says. “And they have the most space for the size out of any fishing boat we looked at.”
So this year they’re out on their third used Luhrs — this one a 1998 36 SX, an express fisherman they bought last winter through Niemiec Marine (www.niemiecmarine.com) in New Bedford, Mass. “I found the boat on YachtWorld, and Cheryl and I went to look at it December,” Mitrano says. “When we got in the truck to drive home, she said, ‘Can we buy it?’ I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And here we are now, and we love it.”
The price was $95,000. “Brad Niemic was great to deal with, and I felt he was fair to both parties,” he says. “I would list my boat with them and buy another boat from them.”
The 14-year-old Luhrs fishing boat, with twin helm stations and a master cabin forward, was in good shape for its age. The previous owners had added some “very nice” improvements, says Mitrano, including a new interior and a teak cockpit sole. “She just needed a lot of cleaning and some general maintenance, as all boats do.”
There were just 830 hours on the twin 420-hp Yanmar CX diesels. “They seem to run great,” the owner says “With a full load of fuel, running at 2,300 rpm, she’ll do 23 to 24 knots. The ride is very smooth and she runs very well in 4- to 6-foot seas.”
The express boat’s interior layout works out well, with its master V-berth and convertible bunks for up to four in the saloon. There’s plenty of seating, the galley has all the family needs for cooking and the head has a separate shower stall.
The Mitranos dock the boat at Enos Marine in nearby Gloucester, and the family goes cruising or fishing whenever they have the time. “I love the North Shore,” the owner says. “And we will run to the islands and the Cape from time to time.” On one ride this season, they came upon a school of right whales.
“As a family cruiser and offshore fishing boat, you can’t beat it,” Mitrano says. “And my family loves it, too.”
The Luhrs 36 SX has a hull bred for fishing, with a sharp, flared bow for a dry ride and a wide beam aft for stability. The beam helps give the express fisherman its ample cockpit, with room for a fighting chair and other fishing necessities, including a live well, dual washdowns, a coaming fishbox, rod holders and a bait prep station. The boat comes with a standard fishing tower with full controls and instrumentation.
The bridge deck — the twin 420-hp diesels are beneath it — is laid out with the helm to starboard behind a raked windshield, with a pedestal seat, stainless-steel wheel, molded dash and instrument panel. Being two steps up from the cockpit, the helm has good sightlines for docking and fishing.
The 36 SX sleeps up to six in a sizable interior. Accommodations include a master berth forward with a privacy curtain, and there’s an adjacent head with a separate stall shower. In the main saloon, the settee/dinette converts to over-under bunks, with a double on the lower and a single on the upper. There’s a single berth opposite. The Corian-countered galley comes with a cooktop, microwave, refrigerator/freezer and cabinet and under-counter storage. There’s also a secure rod storage locker in the saloon.
The modern history of Luhrs boats begins in the 1930s, when the Henry Luhrs Sea Skiff Co. made a name for itself building the popular New Jersey powerboats. Turning to fiberglass, Luhrs began to build fishing boats and by the 1960s was producing more than 1,000 open and cabin boats for fishing, cruising and day tripping. Luhrs sold the company at the height of its success and in the 1970s Henry’s sons, Warren and John Luhrs, developed their own companies. Luhrs Marine Group, which was the parent company of Hunter, Mainship, Luhrs and Silverton, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. In July, Marlow Acquisitions bought Hunter and “selected assets” of Luhrs and Mainship. Egg Harbor Yachts bought Silverton. The Luhrs 36 SX is readily available in the used market, with prices beginning at just under $100,000.
LOA: 36 feet, 2 inches
BEAM: 13 feet
DRAFT: 3 feet, 5 inches
WEIGHT: 22,000 pounds
PROPULSION: twin 420-hp diesels
TANKAGE: 400 gallons fuel, 90 gallons water
FORMER BUILDER: Luhrs Corp.,
This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue.
Brokerage listings powered by BoatQuest.com
Click here to find more Luhrs boats.