Skip the frills and get ready for a hefty dose of mus­cle and fish­ing ameni­ties with this beauty

There are a lot of com­pa­nies rid­ing the wave of de­mand for sport-fish­ing yachts, and then there are oth­ers who main­tain a lower pro­file in the mar­ket. Thanks to a highly loyal cus­tomer base, Bayville, New Jer­sey-based Hen­riques Yachts is a prime ex­am­ple of the lat­ter, and it has been do­ing busi­ness that way since 1977. ALL PHOTOS COUR­TESY HEN­RIQUES YACHTS

Hen­riques own­ers — such as Sandy Will, whose 50 XP HT we had the opportunity to test — re­main the brand’s best sales­men.

“This is my fourth Hen­riques and the cul­mi­na­tion of the three I owned be­fore it,” Will said proudly. “I just took de­liv­ery of the lat­est Su­san Nancy, the first 50 Ex­press Hard­top.”

The 71-year-old avid fish­er­man said hav­ing a fully en­closed, heated and air­con­di­tioned helm area is his ideal de­sign. He col­lab­o­rated closely with Manny Castro at Hen­riques; Castro as­sured us that what­ever you ask them to do, they will find a way to make it hap­pen.

Case in point: Will splits his year be­tween Cape Cod in the North­east and Summerland Key, Florida, and has to tran­sit a lot of shal­low ar­eas, so he wanted the new boat to draw no more water than the 42 it re­placed. Castro al­tered the hull with shal­low prop pock­ets and re­duced the shaft an­gle by 3 de­grees, all with­out al­ter­ing the per­for­mance of the boat. Will runs the boat him­self, and while he en­joys the oc­ca­sional overnighter in the canyons, Su­san Nancy is pri­mar­ily a day­boat. His choices of lay­out and equip­ment are in­dica­tive of that, par­tic­u­larly the be­low-deck ar­eas, but the folks at Hen­riques can ac­com­mo­date var­i­ous lay­outs and de­grees of crea­ture com­forts to meet the de­mands of any prospec­tive owner and their fam­ily.


En­ter the white, Awl­grip­painted en­gine room through the cock­pit door, and the first thing your foot touches is the top of the com­part­ment that houses a Sea­keeper 9 gy­rosta­bi­lizer. The en­gine room is large and un­clut­tered, with 360-de­gree ac­cess to the Cater­pil­lar C18 ACERT diesels that pro­vide the propul­sion via heavy­duty stain­less-steel shafts, each sup­ported by two large, man­ganese bronze struts to as­sure proper align­ment, ex­tend op­er­a­tional life and gen­er­ally beef up the run­ning gear. The en­gine room also houses a sin­gle 11.5 kW gen­er­a­tor, a bank of bat­ter­ies for en­gine and house du­ties, and all an­cil­lary sys­tems.


Su­san Nancy fea­tures a large, well-equipped gal­ley and din­ing area with plenty of seat­ing on a long, L-shaped couch on the port side around a tri­an­gu­lar teak ta­ble. The couch has stor­age and the be­lowdecks air-con­di­tion­ing unit un­der­neath. Gen­er­ous stor­age cab­i­nets are sit­u­ated above it, and a large drop-down panel in the ceil­ing pro­vides ac­cess to wiring for the helm elec­tron­ics. All the wood­work and cab­i­netry is richly fin­ished teak with Co­rian coun­ter­tops. Vitrifrigo man­u­fac­tures the four stain­less, drawer-type freezer/ re­frig­er­a­tors, and there is a con­ve­nient mi­crowave, hid­den sin­gle-burner range, sink, and plenty of stor­age for pro­vi­sions.


With its pri­mary func­tion as a day­boat, the owner kept the state­room con­fig­u­ra­tion ba­sic yet highly func­tional. The master state­room for­ward is roomy and fea­tures a plush dou­ble-plat­form bed with drawer space be­neath, with two hang­ing clos­ets and long cab­i­nets above with dou­ble doors that can be used for rod stor­age. On the star­board side just aft is a bunkroom with a night­stand, hang­ing closet and draw­ers for stor­age. Op­po­site is the bath­room with Co­rian coun­ter­tops, in­set sink, a large van­ity with mir­ror, en­closed stall shower and Jab­sco elec­tric head. The com­pan­ion­way in­cludes four lift-out hatches that pro­vide ac­cess to the bat­tery bank for the bow thruster, waste hold­ing tank, one of the boat’s five bilge pumps and the hot-water heater.


The fully en­closed helm area is enor­mous and fea­tures three high-back Stidd chairs be­hind the three-panel wind­shield. The cap­tain’s chair is on a hy­draulic damp­ener and is sit­u­ated so all sys­tem con­trols are within easy reach. An L-shaped couch stretches across the aft bulk­head and port­side, pro­vid­ing seat­ing for an ad­di­tional five peo­ple.

The helm eas­ily fits the three Fu­runo TZT 14-inch mul­ti­func­tion mon­i­tors that dis­play data from the DFF1-UHD chirp sonar with two through-hull trans­duc­ers, a DRSA 6X radar ar­ray, au­topi­lot and chart-plot­ter sys­tem. A pair of Icom VHF ra­dios are off­set to port with mics lo­cated left and be­low the helm wheel. An ACR URP-102 search­light, con­trols for the Rupp hy­draulic outrig­ger sys­tem, en­gine mon­i­tors and gauges com­plete the elec­tron­ics pack­age in a com­pre­hen­sive but util­i­tar­ian fash­ion.

Aft of the star­board helm chair are two mas­sive tackle-, tool- and gear-stor­age cab­i­nets, each with gas­keted dou­ble doors. They house 15 slide-out draw­ers and seven re­mov­able tackle boxes plus stor­age space for larger items, with the top sur­face ideal for rig­ging. Any se­ri­ous fish­er­man will fall in love with this setup. The large door that opens onto the cock­pit is wa­ter­tight, and pro­vides quick ac­cess aft when open and a quiet, dry at­mos­phere inside when closed.


The 50 XP HT has one of the largest cock­pits found on a 50-footer. The cen­ter tran­som livewell has a view­ing win­dow and pow­er­ful pump sys­tem, and the tran­som door is big enough for the largest bluefin. I counted 10 swivel gun­wale rod hold­ers and 14 more rod hold­ers on the tower-lad­der legs and across the aft lip of the cabin top. Two mas­sive re­frig­er­ated fish boxes with mac­er­a­tors will hold all the fish you could ever want, and the hatch to the lazarette pro­vides ac­cess to the steer­ing sys­tem, bilge and livewell pumps. The boat’s new fight­ing chair was await­ing in­stal­la­tion at the time of our test. The two steps up to the cabin in­clude a re­frig­er­ated drink box, and when you lift the top of the cab­i­net to star­board, you find an aux­il­iary set of cock­pit con­trols with stor­age be­low. The mez­za­nine couch is high off the deck with a drop-down footrest and an­other tackle cen­ter with six re­mov­able boxes be­low it.


The pipework and tower were done by Ocean View Ma­rine Weld­ing. The fully func­tional tower sta­tion fea­tures a Fu­runo mon­i­tor and re­mote-con­trol pad, en­gine mon­i­tors, search­light and Cat en­gine con­trols.


The vinylester-skinned hull con­sists of a solid glass bot­tom with Diviny­cell cored sides. The bonded, fiber­glass stringer sys­tem is filled with high-den­sity foam, and the cock­pit, deck and cabin are a sin­gle molded unit. The hull is over­built for strength and rigid­ity, and is re­mark­ably quiet when un­der­way.

Dur­ing our test, the

50 XP HT per­formed ex­tremely well, the C18s prov­ing to be the per­fect power match for the boat. Ac­cel­er­a­tion was im­pres­sive, with min­i­mal bow rise thanks to the Lenco Au­toGlide au­to­matic trim-tab sys­tem. The boat cruises ef­fi­ciently at 1,900 rpm, mak­ing 29 knots at 68 per­cent load and burn­ing a rea­son­able 69 gph.

Pull the throt­tles back to 26 knots, and fuel burn de­creases to less than 60 gph. And in case you were won­der­ing, there is no no­tice­able dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance be­tween Will’s prop-pocket hull and the stan­dard hull de­sign on other Hen­riques 50s.

The 50 XP HT adds to an al­ready im­pres­sive lineup of boats from a builder that holds near-le­gendary sta­tus in the mid-At­lantic re­gion. If you haven’t con­sid­ered Hen­riques for your next boat, you should talk to Sandy Will or any of a long list of own­ers. You’ll be im­pressed by what they have to say.

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