Editor Jeff Hammond says...
Veteran Boaters Find the Boat Comfortable
The owner of the Jupiter 29’ and my host for several pleasant days on the water over the years was Stu Robinson. He along with Bill Noble (yes, that Bill Noble), Giles Butler, Rocky Harwood and I go fishing most every New Year’s Day off Jupiter Inlet in Florida. Rocky is a former yacht club commodore, Giles is a power boater having cut his teeth on a 900’ aircraft carrier and more recently downgraded to a Pursuit. Each fall Noble leaves his Sabre 42 in Portsmouth, RI and flies south to mooch rides on the boats his friends own.
Among the lot there is over 150 years of boating experience on all sorts of vessels – even sailboats, if you can believe it. These guys know boats, they are picky and not reticent to speak their minds, particularly when it comes to one of their buddy’s boats. They like Stu’s Jupiter 29’.So does Stu. In fact he enjoys it more than fishing from his Buddy Davis 47 which he keeps up north. And, why not? It’s faster, the cockpit will hold about the same number of people, and its twin Yamaha 250s are lot cheaper to operate than the 12V92s in the Buddy Davis. And he has three fish boxes with macerators, something that the Davis doesn’t even have, to say nothing of the toilet just inches from the helm.
When the ladies are aboard they are quite happy sitting up in the bow, and the men congregate aft around the helm until the hook goes down in some secluded cove.
A Boat of Many Uses
This is how boats are used by a lot of people these days. With the advent of the large console with head and as the boats got bigger and builders started putting some decent seating in them, the center console has turned into a day cruiser/ entertaining platform/sportboat/fishboat all rolled into one. And the Jupiter 29 does an admirable job of all.High freeboard forward and bow flair, along with a 60-degree deadrise entry forward and a 24-degree dead rise at the transom (the same as on ocean racing boats), the Jupiter 29 is dry and as comfortable as you’re going to get in a boat this size at speed. She weighs 9,430 lbs. (4,286 kgs.) which means she’s no flyweight and moves through the small stuff with authority.
Bottom Design and Speed
The builder has given her a flat pad on the centerline of the bottom, starting about two-thirds of the way back from the bow and extending to the transom. This is what gives the boat its 50 mph + speed with twin Yamaha 250s and makes her more fuel efficient than would be a boat without the pad. It is a smart way to build a bottom on this kind of boat, and I am surprised that more center console builders haven’t done it. It is not a new idea.Stu, however, is not a cowboy and usually runs the boat at about 3500 rpm where it goes about 30 mph and gets about 1.9 miles per gallon. That ends up being pretty economical cruising and his guests usually end up spending more on the food and booze than he does on the fuel.
Below decks all of the wiring, plumbing and mechanical installations are neat, well-secured and showcase perfect. And eventhough this boat is now three years old (the Jupiter 29 was introduced in 2006), everything below still looks new, thanks to the orderly installation in the first place, the fact that almost everything is easy to reach and has proper size access hatches, and because Stu believes in keeping his equipment in immaculate condition, as if ready for a DI’s inspection.
Stu is the kind of owner that every builder dreams about selling to. Someone who cares about his boat, appreciates what it took to build it, and knows that lack of maintenance and a dirty bilge can hide growing problems. You could eat off the bilge in this boat.
Build Details that Count
On deck there are numerous little boat building touches that are the mark of a builder who is a veteran and has learned a lot of lessons the hard way. For example, on the coaming there are molded in lips that are not high, but high enough to keep any water that might come aboard from running into the seats and getting peoples’ fannies wet. Water on deck is directed by the lip to run aft and then is channeled overboard. Along the perimeter of the cockpit deck – which has just a little bit of crown -- there is a 2” wide channel that is almost an inch deep that handles water that might get aboard in the cockpit, and channels it aft into large scuppers. Cushions are piped, joints are blind, and most hardware is blind fastened. What you can’t easily see is done almost as well as what you can see.
We can all attest that the head compartment is large enough and even the heaviest member of the crew (me) had no problem getting into the compartment, thanks to the wide door and the notch in the overhead that allows one’s head to easily descend below. It is not lavish inside the console, but it is functional. Electronics and electrical busses are easy to attend to.
The Eiffel Tower
If we had a complaint about the boat it would be directed to the large aluminum piping that is bolted to the deck and holds up the heavy, fiberglass T-Top. It must be heavy because there are so many supporting braces it could have been made by Gustave Eiffel. Yes, we know, they provide good hand-holds for people standing, but that is not why they are there. These pipes are no worse than those on many other boats of this type but they are not in keeping with the fine design lines and smooth look of the rest of the boat. To our eye they are more out of place on this Jupiter, which is a thoroughbred of the center console type, as far as we’re concerned.
A Veteran Builder
Who is the builder? His name is Carl Herndon and he has been building boats for nearly 40 years. Herndon is best known as the founder and CEO of Blackfin Yacht Corporation. For years Blackfin was a highly-respected brand of medium-sized offshore fishing convertibles that many people felt were just a notch under the venerated Bertram. Indeed, after a recession laid Blackfin low, Herndon went on to become the president of Bertram for several years. Suffice it to say that he is steeped in the culture of building quality boats, no matter what size they are. When Herndon ran Blackfin his office was on a sky bridge that straddled the two production lines in his factory. From his perch he could see how work was progressing. He could see a problem developing and be down on the floor in a heartbeat to set things to rights. That is the kind of boat builder Herndon is: hands-on, all over the production floor, roll up the sleeves, a-job-worth-doing-is-worth-doing-well kind of guy. Like most men and women who own their own boat company, Herndon not only takes pride in the boats he builds, but he also is careful to defend his brand’s reputation. And he is aggressive about taking on his competition; companies such as Regulator, Contender, and Intrepid – other small builders like himself who are making top-quality boats for discerning buyers who want something different from the “mass” builders of center consoles.
Jupiter was founded in 1989 in Jupiter, Florida and named after that coastal community just north of Palm Beach. Little wonder then that they are so popular there. The company relocated in 1998 to Herndon’s old Blackfin factory in Ft. Lauderdale which was larger. Then in 2007, Jupiter again relocated to its current facility on the gulf coast of Florida to once again expand its production line in anticipation of its express line of vessels. This 50,000 sq.ft. facility allows Jupiter the space needed for three lines of production, mold storage, paint booth and expanded office space.
Custom Building and Refurbishing
With the advent of the Great Recession late last year, Jupiter has taken on rehab and refurbishing work of old Jupiters for a “limited time.” This is a good idea because it keeps Jupiter’s skilled craftsmen busy when sales are slow as they have been for the whole industry the last year. The company is also taking on custom work and says on its website, “If You Can Dream It, We Can Build It.” This department was created specifically for the customer who does not want a standard production boat. Jupiter’s goal is to satisfy “even the most discriminating requirements.” We like this development, as well, and we suspect that more and more builders will take on this concept.How much does a production version of the Jupiter 29 forward seating cost? Depending on how it is rigged, you are looking at something north of $160,000 with twin 250 Yamahas. Jupiters are not for everyone, and that is part of their appeal. To see the list of standard equipment and features on the Jupiter 29 ...
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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