Luhrs Sportfishing and Gamefishing Boats Australia - FAQ’s

Author
Question
 

Author: Cameron Jan 30, 2017

Tony, I am looking at purchasing a 2008 luhrs 31 open with IPS and transporting it from Western Australia to Qld can you tell me the height of the boat with and without the tower. Thanks......

Hi Cameron, Not sure of the exact heights but know the tower comes off along with aything else on the hardtop for trucking and they are OK for height for transport - just. Suggest you contact the firm that trucked her to WA originally & speak with them. Cheers, Tony. 

 

Author: Tiekcan Apr 15, 2016

Tony, I am having a similar problem where my battery bank solely used for starting is being drawn down. Can you send me the wiring diagram for the 32 Luhrs and any other diagrams and suggestions to have this situation eliminated for the future? I have owned several boats and never seen starter batteries wired for other purposes. Thanks...

Hi Paul,

An Owners Manual should have been supplied with your boat. This will have a wiring diagram in it. I recommend you contact the people you purchased it from. As per the FAQ section of my website:

If your start battery is only being used for starting there may be a problem with the charging system, a short somewhere, the battery needs maintenance, or it is near or at the end of its life. If your start battery is also being used for other things then the flattening may be caused by automatic bilge pumps or the stereo / TV memories, etc. 

Most manufacturers, standard ex-factory will opt for the cheapest & simplest choice which is minimal batteries for minimal cost. It's a reality of market competitiveness. They then commonly offer more complete and complex options at extra cost.

On the boats we deliver, we always like to set up a dedicated start bank for each motor (including a separate generator start battery) and another bank for the house power using the appropriate size and style of battery for each purpose. This provides maximum redundancy and safety. If your boat is one we have delivered, and therefore wired to Australian Standards, then chances are this has been done as long as the original purchaser agreed to it.

In any case, a Licensed Marine Electrician can proffer advice and set up your boat with the best power option and battery allocation setup. The Electrician can test your batteries and if need be switch the offending circuit/s to another (preferably dedicated house) bank.   

Cheers,

Tony.

 

Author: Stephen May 3, 2013

Tony, After our talks, we'd like you to help us find the right boat and bring it in from the USA for us. To save some money because we're at the top end of our budget we won't worry about the conversions to Australian Standards. I've been told that 240/110v trsnformers work fine.

Hi Stephen, 
We can do that, but because of our business code of ethics and duty of care, strongly advise against it. This applies to any non-Aust. Standards vessel, not just Luhrs.

If we proceed on this basis, we will require a Statutory Declaration acknowledging your receipt of our advice not to purchase a non-Australian Standards vessel and that you were made aware of the pitfalls including:

1/ Doing the conversions to Australian Standards is a lot cheaper for us to do in the USA than in Australia. The majority of the parts fit the same holes for a start so the labour savings alone are significant. We also purchase the parts as an OEM. There is no Carbon Tax in the USA.
2/ If you run non-Aust Standards compliant appliances you may have no insurance cover if a fire occurs (much the same way as driving with bald tyres on a car may void your policy). You should ask your intended insurer for their policy on this in writing. You have a duty of disclosure.
3/ Some marinas may not allow you to plug into their 240v shore power outlets. They have a duty of care to other marina tenants.
4/ It is illegal to plug non-Aust. Standards compliant appliances into the Australian power grid.  
5/ TV’s and some DVD players will not work here so need replacing anyway.
6/ A transformer may not provide enough power to start some appliances. Therefore the only way to use some appliances may be to run the generator.
7/ Transformers are heavy and generate a lot of heat.
8/ It is illegal to use a non-Aust Standards communications device (eg VHF) here.
9/ You will need to use all 110v appliances onboard (eg hair-dryers, TV’s, cooking appliances, PC’s & phone chargers, etc) or install a hybrid 110/240v system with outlets, etc for both. Depending on equipment levels and planned usage, on many vessels this becomes a nightmare. All visitors onboard will need to be informed
10/ The vessel may (99% certainty) have gases onboard that are illegal in Australia. These will need to be removed in an approve manner. In the matter of the inbuilt automaticfire extinguishers they should be replaced with Aust. Standards compliant devices so as not to cause a deterioration in the inherent safety features of the vessel. It is not just a matter of letting one gas out and replacing it with another.
11/ The vessel may not have Aust. Standards compliant safety equipment onboard and may have USCG approved safety equipment that may be illegal in Australia.
12/ When it comes time for you to sell the vessel the purchaser will most likely expect a large discount because the boat may not be Aust. Standards compliant. As a seller, you have a duty of care to inform your agent of this.

My strong advice is that the investment in proper conversions and upgrades is well covered by the increased safety you afford your passengers (often family & friends) not to mention your duty of care to these people, the convenience and enjoyment of using the vessel whilst you own it, and resale value and ease of selling when it’s time for your next vessel.  

If we’re happy to proceed on this basis, and being made aware that any work we need to do to make the boat legal to import into Australia will still need to be done (eg removal ofillegal gases and safety equipment) we can move forward.   
 

Cheers,

Tony.

 

 

Author: Dennis Daly Jul 27, 2011

Hi Tony ,

Have "Fishin' Mission" all repaired from the cyclone damage now. Thanks very much for all your help. She's back working as a charter boat and although the weather hasn't been the best we've been getting some top fish.

Put new batteries in a couple of weeks ago but finding one bank is going flat overnight. Is there anything you can think of that could be a big drain like this? It's the bank that shouldn't have anything other than the engine starter on it.

Cheers,

Dennis Daly, Fishin Mission, Mission Beach.

Hi Dennis,

Only thing I can think of that could draw the batteries down if it wasn’t modified ex-factory or by us when she arrived is the bilge pump relay system that Luhrs used for a while. Because virtually all of their US boats live on marinas this issue didn’t show up till we started putting boats on swing moorings. If your bilge alarms and pumps don’t go off when the battery gets low it doesn’t sound like this is the issue. The relays require power to stay open. Your boat was probably modified but check anyway to eliminate this possibility.

 

There are 7 relays for bilge pumps – behind dash on 28’s and under console on 31’s. Top row has 4 relays bottom row has 3 relays – you need to remove 3 relays on bottom row and disconnect all joining wires on the negative line (yellow). This allows bilges to work manually and automatically and also for the high water float to operate buzzer and light. I’ve emailed you the wiring diagram.

 

I’m almost certain the boat would have left us with:

a/ One bank totally isolated as a starting battery and nothing else. If this has power drawing down on it then something has been hooked up to it. Your electrician should be able to trace this fairly easily; in particular if a new battery (N200 size) is going flat overnight.

b / The other bank as a combination start / house bank. Therefore any power drain from bilge pumps / lights / fridge, etc should only be off this one.

c/ There is a parallel switch on the main dash so if bank b/ gets flattened you start the engine hooked to bank a and when charging hold the parallel switch on while starting the engine hooked up to bank b.

 

Cheers,

Tony.

 

 

Author: Peter Mar 2, 2011

Can you help me with replacement zincs for the hull of my 31'open. I need replacement zincs for Trim Tabs, Shafts, Hull and Rudders

Thanks Peter Dienhoff

Peter, 

Checked your boats build history with Luhrs but no info on the zincs included. Recommend these zincs as being the best – www.marineprotectionsystems.com.au . Ask them where best to get them from in Darwin.

Transom Anode – use above from MPS.

Shaft Anodes – Luhrs have all thru hull fittings earth bonded back to the transom including the engines and rudders in the boats we have here and we have not found the need to use shaft anodes on any of them. If you have trouble keeping propspeed / paint on your shafts/skegs/rudders it is a sign of having too much anode.

Trim Tab Anodes – just a simple button anode – you can see the size of it from the existing – should be available locally in Darwin. Once again note if paint is peeling off all the time or anode is wearing quickly as a guide to larger or smaller.  
 
If in doubt have your boat properly checked by a technician (once again, read the information on the site above – they are experts) because it is just as bad to have too much anodic protection as too little. Each boat is different.
 
Cheers,
Tony.  
Author: Nigel Jan 19, 2011

We have been doing our homework for a number of months and have decided on a new Luhrs 30 Open as being a perfect boat for our family. However, the US$ price we see on the internet seems a lot cheaper than your A$ pricing given that we are near parity.

With all the publicity about  imports and the savings made by buying direct overseas, how can your company help us and where do you fit in as a value adder? That is, why should we utlise you to purchase a Luhrs given that (on the surface) it looks a lot more expensive to buy a boat in Australia than in the USA?  

Regards,

Nigel.

Thanks for choosing a Luhrs as your next boat Nigel. I'm sure you won't be disappointed and we'll work hard to make it a pleasurable exerience for you.

As the Luhrs Australasian Appointed Distributor, when you buy a new Luhrs boat from us, you are buying an Australian Standards compliant (240v & gas) boat with full factory warranties at a fixed quoted price in A$ with no exchange rate risk at a price equal to or less than the US price (see below for reasoning). That is, if the A$ drops 10% or 15% or 20% (as it has done in recent history) between paying the deposit and the final payment up to 4 months later (depending on build schedules) your A$ buy price is protected.  

Ignoring the exchange rate risk, we have for a number of years worked on smaller margins than US dealers and the difference between the US$ price and A$ delivered price relates only to the true cost of importing the boat, if we choose to use Australian parts (eg electronics or clears) versus US fitted parts (whether for quality or warranty considerations), and that there are different inclusions between US domestic market and Australian boats. The A$ price includes Australian Standards electrics, fire fghting systems, and options which the factory charges for. As a general rule, US$ prices seldom include commissionning or delivery charges where our A$ prices do. We do not charge extra for freight, insurance, trucking, shrinkwrap, cradle, commissioning and delivery charges, Aust. Standards 240v & gas, or GST, etc in our A$ pricing. That is, our advertised A$ price for a driveaway boat is just that. In addition, quite often the factory offers package deal bonuses that we always pass on to our clients. For example, we are currently offering an electronics and safety gear package on the 30's.

BlueWater Power Yachts will happily match any genuine written US$ Luhrs Dealer quoted price on a new boat ex-factory (plus any extra factory charges for Aust Standards equipment) and will even offer the opportunity for a client to buy ex-factory in US$ and do all their own importing work if they want. Alternatively, we will happily do all the importing work for you on a cost plus basis so you can take advantage of our buying power and experience. However, please be aware that taking this route obligates the purchaser to assume all exchange rate risks.

Our experience shows that virtually 100% of amateur importers underestimate the true cost of importing, often by 50% to well over 100% (see other Q&A's). A visible example of this is that we're seeing a number of gray import 2nd hand boats come back onto the market, often because the boat costs a lot more than the purchaser budgeted on and they cannot afford to do the conversions locally or afford to run the boat. 

I will welcome the opportunity to help you build the Luhrs 30 that will best suit your planned usage and look forward to the day we can commission her here and go for a run. Please feel free to contact me directly at any time.

Cheers, Tony.

 

 

  

Author: Jussie Nov 6, 2010

Am shopping for a 2nd hand Luhrs and am seeing a lot for sale here. How can I tell if they have been properly converted to Australian Standards? Are there other things we should be aware of?

Any boats that have been imported by BlueWater Power Yachts are fully compliant. We do any structural, electrical, or gas modifications to the boat prior to it being handed over to the new owner in Australia. If you contact us with the Hull Identification Number (HIN) which is stamped onto the starboard upper transom corner on all Luhrs we can tell you straight away if it was imported via the Luhrs network or as a grey market import. 

There is a big difference between 110/220v 60Hz and 240v 50Hz. Many grey imports (dare I say most) are not converted correctly to 240v and will therefore have a transformer and old 110v appliances onboard. If anything needs replacing you'll need to get it from the USA. Be aware that 240/110v transormers will not run all appliances (eg air-conditioners) plus things like TV's & many stereos need to be replaced anyway. Most importantly though, transormers are very heavy and generate a lot of heat. That is why some marinas will not allow these boats to plug into their shore power. If there is a fire there may be no insurance because non-Australian compliant apliances are being used.

Many older boats have Halon firefighting systems gases onboard and modern American boats use mostly recycled Halon or FE-241. These are illegal gases in Australia and should be replaced. Older air-con units & fridges may also have the wrong gases for Australia. Heavy fines may apply. 

Being aware of these negatives, use them as bargaining chips to negotiate the price more favourably as part of the survey process. From an economic point of view we would much rather have any Australian Standards conversions done by Luhrs in the USA but have done a large number of boats here. The big difference is the cost of finding the right parts to fit the same holes. We can provide quotes & help with proper conversions.

We are seeing some grey market imports coming back onto the market very quickly after arrival here, either because the purchaser has dreams of making a quick buck or the cheap boat quickly turns out to be a lot more expensive than budgeted and needs to be dumped. We've seen people that we've been speaking to about a 28' go and buy a much larger model only to then find the true cost of importing and ownership is way above their affordability range (as we advised them in the first place). 

The best advice we can offer you is:  

Always work with a reputable dealer. If a boat has been ovelooked by professional traders there's usually a reason (or 10). Even I look good in some old photos. Don't be afraid to ask for references.

Always employ reputable and qualified marine & mechanical surveyors with experience in the type of vessel you're purchasing. Ask for electrical and gas compliance certificates. 

Always buy the smallest boat that will do the job for you and lavish love on it. Don't be seduced into buying the "cheap" big boat. 

BlueWater Power Yachts can quote you on a 2nd hand boat delivered to your door with all the work done. By buying through us as the appointed Luhrs Distributor any manufacurers warranties are transferable.

Cheers,

Tony.

  

 

Author: Squidlips Oct 30, 2010

I'm in the market for a 2nd hand Luhrs 38 or 41 and can't find the model I want in Australia. What are the pro's and cons of importing a boat from the USA and can you help me?

We professionally source and import boats through an established network, have a boatbuilding background, and have many thousands of hours at sea in Luhrs fishing and delivering them. Most mornings I'm up at 0400 speaking to contacts in the USA so have a fair idea of what's available, what's good, and what's rubbish at any moment. We specialise in Luhrs boats (and are learning more about Viking Yachts) so know each and every model in the line-up intimately. Therefore we know what to expect of a given model - its strengths and weaknesses. We can easily access all (post 2000) models build history and chances are the boats personal history via Luhrs past & present engineers & the dealer network. We may not necessarily sell you the cheapest boat, but we will do our very best to make sure you own the best value boat and one you can enjoy. It's all about minimising risk and maximising enjoyment for our clients.

Caveat Emptor:     
A cheap boat overseas may not necessarily be the bargain it appears at first glance. Many amateurs in this market have been shocked that their baby is not as pretty in life as the pictures they saw on the internet, not in as good a quality as the "independent" surveyor they were referred to by the broker claimed, and how the true costs of import quickly and largely exceeded the budget. There are plenty of sharks in the water and there is worldwide professional competition for quality product.

Most people don't consider that professionals have already looked over this boat prior to them seeing it, or that it's been advertised for 18 months, or that low resolution photos can hide a lot of blemishes. They ring up a shipper, get a cheap freight quote and voila the price is worked out. In fishing parlance, "the hook is set".

Big Eyes:
Many people have the capital to invest in a 2nd hand Luhrs 41 but there is one heck of a difference in the running costs, maintenance costs, and overall ownership costs between a 41' boat with couple of 650 HP engines versus a 37' boat with 370 HP x 2. Probably near twice as much in fact. Plenty of boat buyers come totally undone right here. They see a headline price, become emotionally attached, and it's not until the bills start arriving and work begins that reality hits home that they cannot afford to enjoy their new boat.

There is nothing worse than hesitating to use a toy because of the niggling thought in the back of our head that we can't really afford to use her or maintain her correctly or open her up for a hard run and enjoy the experience. The best advice we can ever offer a client is to buy the smallest boat that will do the job for you and lavish attention on it.

Competitive Markets:
Thanks to the internet, everyone can shop anywhere in the world for anything these days. Therefore, our prices (new and 2nd hand) are governed by a worldwide price structure. On a new boat for instance, take off the exchange rate, 240v and gas Australian Standards equipment, standard inclusion differences, GST & freight charges, and our A$ prices are lower than the US$ ex-factory prices. If anyone thinks they can do the importing better than us I'm quite happy to sell to them a new boat in US$ ex-factory and let them find their own way here with it.  

Luhrs supplies most of the 240v & gas conversion parts so they fit the holes made by the existing 110v equipment. Depending on shipping schedules, the conversions are carried out by the Luhrs custom facility in USA or here by our experienced team of tradesmen.

The Emotions:
For most people, a boat is an emotional purchase. It's a toy we buy when we've got some spare "doesn't matter" play money. Therefore, when someone sees that dreamboat advertised as "Bargain, we don't sell rubbish, I've personally inspected this boat", and 1000 other claims (tall & perhaps true), all thought of it being unseen and on the other side of the world are banished.

We recently delivered a Luhrs 41 for a client who'd just sold his business and was moving the family back to Australia. He had a Luhrs 28 Open, fell in love with the 41 Open, and was going to import the boat himself. When we dissected his budget versus the reality he was totally shocked. This from a person who had made his fortune importing and exporting. The sole reason, emotion. He'd fallen head over heels in love with the 41 and was subconsciously doing everything he could to justify the purchase including ignoring the reality of costs involved. He wanted that boat badly (we got it for him and he's very happy with it).     

The Reality:
You're about to send $500k to someone on the other side of the world for something you haven't seen, to someone you'll never meet, based on the say so of someone else you'll never meet (probably referred by the first person you'll never meet), and now own the boat (provided it isn't stolen or owned by a finance company). You now need to get the boat delivered 1,800 miles to the ship (oops - forgot about that one); insure it; perhaps need a cradle; shrink-wrapping; and find someone to look after it while it sits somewhere waiting 8 or 12 or 15 weeks for the cheap ship that inevitably keeps getting postponed.

When you did your budget A$1 bought US$0.95. Now it's time to pay for everything you find out A$1 only buys US$0.87. The price of the boat has instantly gone up by around 9%. And how greedy are the banks on doing the transfers? 

You now get a call is from the delivery skipper wanting another $3000 for new batteries, fuel filters and a mechanic to get the engines going. Then he's half way there and needs more money for fuel and someone to fix the toilet that's leaked everywhere. A quick $20k gone that we didn't budget on but that's OK because the boat's now close to the ship. Let's hope the paperwork and title searches were done correctly so the bank doesn't take it back prior to shipping (remember the sharks) and our insurance covers us for the cyclone that's about to hit and she's tied up securely. We also hope she's been packed up properly, locked up, and keys onboard prior to shipping. We find out the measurements we provided the shipping company didn't include the bowsprit or swim platform and get slugged extra for the increased cubic space; or perhaps she won't fit through the door of the RoRo so the tower needs to come off. Back onto the wharf to get prepared for the next ship. Send more money. Oops. Who's organised to get it to the ship for loading? Send more money.        

The ship's about to arrive so now we get to pay the GST and because we don't have the right documentation also get slugged 5% import duty. We need to do a gas declaration and get certificates - send more money. We scream and kick about all this this so the boat is impounded till we pay-up. The boat clears customs then we get inspected by AQIS. That beaut cradle we bought isn't kosher so AQIS impounds the boat till the boat is fully fumigated and thermal imaged and been gone over by sniffer dogs. Send more money. We pay all the extra bills and she's now in the water in Australia................ but won't start.

Those new batteries we bought are all flat and one has fallen over and spilt acid in the bilges. We can't plug into shore power because all of a sudden we realise 110/220v US is nothing at all like 240v Aussie. We run up the road and buy a battery charger & extension lead. We then find a mechanic and find we need more new batteries, the fuel is filthy & full of algea, the engines haven't been serviced for 2 years, etc, etc. The clears are shredded because we decided to save the $2000 shrink wrapping charge and the boat is a fuzzy ball of salt, soot, oil & rust stains.

To save some money we go with a cheap 110v / 240v transformer only to find out many marinas will not allow us to plug into their shore-power outlets because of the fire risk, need to buy all our appliances in the USA, the US TV's and stereos won't work here. Etc, etc. If a fire onboard is caused by our electrical system we also find out we probably won't be covered by insurance because the appliances are not Australian Standard approved. When we come to sell the boat we also realise that because we didn't do the conversions correctly the boat is worth $25 - $50k less than a properly converted boat so have suffered all the inconveniences for absolutely no savings.

We also find out our fire fighting systems are in need of servicing, find out they're illegal in Australia, and then go to great and expensive lengths to remove the old system and upgrade it to Australian Standards. 

I could go on about boats that have been underwater, stripped out electronics, engines that have never been serviced, etc.

OR:
You get a A$ quote from BlueWater Power Yachts to source, research, purchase and deliver to your door a good quality, good value 2nd hand boat with all the modifications done that you can enjoy with your family & friends. The only extras are the marine survey / mechanical report expenses in USA and insurance / antifouling when she arrives in Australia.

Cheers,
Tony.  

 

Author: Mike Oct 29, 2010

The list price of your new model Luhrs 37 Open looks really good but when I look at what I have to pay to add the things I want to make it a workable gameboat, it's pretty obvious that I can buy a 2 year old boat for a lot less.

2 or 3 year old second hand luxury cars, electronics, planes, etc are also cheaper than new ones, especially when comparing superseded models to new ones. Why would boats be any different?

Having said that, new boats (like cars) have manufacturers warranties attached which offer a lot of consumer protection. Many people appreciate the intrinsic value of "new"; owning the latest electronics and technologies and product developments; the ability to customise layouts & options to suit usage; the opportunity to choose furnishings, electronics and colours; and attach a monetary value to the pleasure of owning a new luxury item. Not to mention that special "new" smell & feel.

For example, the 37 Open has a number of definite and readily definable product improvements that makes it a huge developmental step-up from the models it replaces (the 36 & 38). The unique 2 cabin  / 2 Toilet layout in an Open boat and the benefits of the Volvo IPS drive system being amongst them. 

Before you make a final decision on new or 2nd hand why not let us help map out the best choice of options and extras to personalise the boat for your usage. We can then come back to you with an overall package price and even include such things as antifouling, sign writing, safety gear, insurance and registration if you like. You may be pleasantly surprised as to how the total is a lot less than the sum of the parts. 
 
The best way to price up a new boat is to decide that you want on it, tick the boxes, and ask us for a quote.Then we can get get serious about deciding between new and used. We also work closely with clients to source and supply good value quality 2nd hand boats that have been correctly converted to Australian Standards and delivered to a similar state of readiness as the new boat package.
 
We are the appointed Australasian Distributors for Luhrs and are responsible for servicing clients and boats here. We commission and detail the boats, make sure all is OK to Australian Standards, and handle warranty issues. A lot of our product development work on different models has been adopted by the company on later vessels.

Cheers,
Tony.

Author: SlipKnot Sep 30, 2010

Have heard that Luhrs are a bit lightly built for Australian conditions. Do you have any details on hull construction?

Luhrs boats are exported all around the world, and have been for many decades. To do this successfully, they need to not only meet the strict boatbuilding standards of the USA, but all their other markets (such as Australia, Europe, Venezuala, South Africa, etc) as well. It's as important to Luhrs that you get back to port as it is to you. Good experiences and feedback helps sell a lot of boats for Luhrs.

Over the years we've been involved with Luhrs we've done some hull cutouts for large transducers and bow thrusters, etc. Any underwater cutouts we've made are over 20mm thick solid fibreglass even on the 28's and 31's. Certainly the equal or superior to any boat other boat we've come across. Above the waterline, end grain balsa is used in the laminate for panel strenght with light weight on most models  

“Luhrs quality of build is structurally equivalent to or higher than the norm for the highest standard in the U.S. market. Structural Scantlings are in the heaviest end of the spectrum, if not outright massive for certain structural elements Choice of structural materials by this builder is the best that can be achieved short of resorting to exorbitantly expensive aerospace, epoxy- type materials". (Part of a report by Robert A. Schofield - Naval Architect.  
 
We've personally done thousands of sea hours in Luhrs as have many Luhrs owners in Australia now and you can believe me, they're built to take it. Plus, Luhrs hulls are covered by a transferable 5 year structural warranty, the equal of virtually all manufacturers.
 
Cheers,
Tony.