HENRIQUES 30 EXPRESS
By Captain John B. Wenz
The North Atlantic Ocean demands respect. Ask any professional mariner, he’ll tell you. The weather can get nasty, and quick. And it might happen while you’re offshore, leaving you with a long run home in trying conditions. Once you arrive at the sea buoy, you’ll probably have to run a tricky, sloppy inlet. Those conditions can inspire top-notch boatbuilding. When you can build a boat to handle this sort of a mission dependably, day-in and day-out, you’ve got the stuff that boat building legends are made of.
Battle Wagons- and Pretty, Too
I first became familiar with the name Henriques some years ago when I lived on the Jersey Shore. The word on the docks was that these boats are “battle wagons”; they can get you out and back safely. Indeed, Henriques Yachts come from a tradition of several generations of Portuguese boatbuilding seasoned by the input of charter boat captains from the offshore waters along this stretch of coast. Popular for their good looks, Henriques Yachts have even more of a reputation for ease of maintenance, reliability, and fishability. In my book, that’s a pretty fine combination. I recently paid a visit to Integrity Marine in Margate, NJ for a close look at the 30 foot Express model.
All in the Details
The Henriques 30 Express fits into their lineup nicely, between the 28 and 35 footers. She’s got a deep-V hull, which promises a forgiving ride in the bumpy stuff. This boat is what I consider a complete package, from her aluminum tower to flares and docklines, the list of standards is extensive and complete. All you need to add are your fishing gear and your choice of electronics and you’re on your way to the fish.
Huge Cockpit to Work Fish
The cockpit is huge; bigger than most boats in this class. You give away a little space down below for this much square footage, but these boats are designed for fishing and the cockpit is the hub of activities. The layout features two fish boxes, a livewell, tackle drawers, washdown systems, a sink, and everything else a fisherman needs. The deck itself is covered in a serious non-skid pattern and is reinforced for the installation of a fighting chair.
Spacious Engine Room
Engine room access is beneath the steps to the bridge deck. The engine room is another area where the builder’s tremendous experience shines through. The layout is very efficient, and all hardware and systems are recognizable as stuff which is time-tested, durable and simple to maintain. They’ve thought of everything, and it’s all good quality gear with recognizable names. As a professional captain, I felt right at home here, surrounded by equipment I have personally chosen on my own boat as a result of firsthand knowledge of “what works.” To give you an idea, things like Aeroquip fuel lines and Racor filters are just some of what these guys use as standard fittings. In addition, little details like an awlgripped bilge show how the experience of the builders shines through.
On the bridge you’ll find the helm to starboard with an observer seat to port of the companionway. Once again, the controls, fittings and equipment are made to be used every day without failure; that’s why Henriques is a favorite among professional skippers. There’s plenty of flat space for flush-mounted electronic displays and the visibility is excellent. By the way, a molded fiberglass hardtop and a rugged aluminum tower are standard equipment.
Taking a look below, you’ll notice the look to be reminiscent of an upscale cruiser. There’s a comfortable v-berth, a good sized head, and a functional galley with solid surface countertops and a convertible dinette. Finish work is yacht-like and there’s no cutting of corners when it comes to quality or workmanship. Cabin space isn’t necessarily what one thinks of as limited, but the 30 Express is no sport cruiser. Nor does she try to be. This is a boat builder who makes no compromises in trying to build the best sportfish boats on the market. Therefore, the cockpit gets the emphasis, not the accommodations. However, Henriques builds boats on a semi-custom basis and they regularly accommodate prospective owners with creative solutions to particular needs.
From a purely structural point of view, I was impressed by the solid ‘glass construction with bronze thru-hulls. This, to me, is yet another sign of the traditional background of Henriques’ staff. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that an owner won’t have to deal with warranty issues after a few trips offshore. It’s obvious that this and any boat from Henriques is not destined to be a “rattle-trap”, making the kind of noises that make my wife nervous whenever we come off a wave. I think of these boats as almost “mil-spec” and ready to do battle.
The Henriques 30 Express is 33’4” long with her pulpit, has a 12’ beam, and a draft of 36”. She displaces 16,500 pounds and carries 330 gallons of water. Our test boat was fitted with twin 380 hp Cummins diesels and a standard generator. (By the way- since Henriques, through Integrity Marine, is more or less a semi-custom builder, they’ll work with you to set the boat up to your liking, within reason.) The Cummins engine electronics provide for smoke-free acceleration, and we reached a top speed of 32 knots at 3000 rpm. Our calculations indicate the most economical performance to be found at 2250 rpms where we ran at 21.8 knots or 25 mph burning a total of 22.3 gph for a range of over 330 miles. That should be sufficient for a good day of fishing.
I was looking forward to taking the Henriques 30 Express for a test session. When I got onboard and took a real close look around, I was not disappointed. Everything I’ve learned as a professional yacht captain is epitomized in the Henriques 30 and, in fact, the entire Henriques line. When I evaluate a boat, one of the questions I ask myself is: Would I like to own this boat? The answer to that question, in regard to the Henriques 30, is positively a “yes.” If you’re considering a sportfisherman in this size range, you absolutely must take a good look at the Henriques 30 Express.