This essential model from the New Jersey-based builder is a breed apart…as is her proud owner.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
Dr. Mike Harrer will be the first to tell you how he feels about his Henriques 50 flybridge sportfish boat. In fact, Dr. Mike will tell you how he feels about almost anything that concerns his Henriques 50 flybridge sportfish without you even asking.
You see, Dr. Mike, an orthopedic surgeon by trade and an uber-serious offshore fisherman by choice, is as gregarious, outgoing, personable, genuine, welcoming, social…well I think you get the picture here…as any boat owner I’ve met in all the years I’ve been walking down gangways and hopping aboard their boats for a day out on the water—and yes, sometimes much longer.
“I tell you what Ken,” he said, the unmistakable excitement in his voice almost jumping through the ether separating our cell phones. “You get here, oh let’s say about 2 a.m. on Saturday and with the weather window I’m looking at, we can make a run out to the Canyon for some tuna fishing. Drive down the night before and you can stay at my house in Ocean City. Or, you could bunk on the boat.” I was ready to jump at that like a cutting billfish ignoring the cockpit teasers and heading right for the school of goggle eyes running from either flat line.
However, for this invite, and in the words of the Bard, the time was truly out of joint. With a host of prior commitments, the kind that would, could, absolutely not be moved around no way, no how, I had to settle with meeting up with Dr. Mike and his crew of loyal fisherman friends, early the next morning for a post-offshore get together, some quality time away from the dock, and lots of Henriques 50 talk. Also along for the day would be Manny Costa, who along with sisters Maria and Natalia Henriques run the company, was taking the perfect opportunity to show her off to a couple of prospective buyers.
From my vantage point on the dock, Henriques’ no nonsense, straightforward approach is quite obvious, including the distinctive ‘gill-slit’ louver system air intakes up on the house sides, this to cut down on any water or spray finding its way into the engine room.
The family owned company, founded in 1977 by Jack Henriques, a fifth generation Portuguese boat builder who emigrated to the U.S. while a young man and quickly saw the opportunity to deliver his kind of fishing boat to the hard-core angling market, has given the flagship 50 a bulldog tough appearance that is quickly confirmed once you step aboard. Solid underfoot, with no deck flexing found anywhere, with beefy hardware, thick rails, and grabs, it is in what you can’t see that the success story of the build is found.
“People know that we build our boats for serious offshore work and even those who buy them for cruising instead of fishing, have the same kind of confidence being aboard that the tournament owners have,” Costa said.
The hand laid fiberglass Dr. Bones features a solid bottom, sandwiched between two layers on either side of vinlyester resin up to the waterline, with Divinycell foam coring for the hull sides, house, and decks. The stringer system is made out of high density foam, encapsulated in glass, with multi cross members and bulkheads, especially underneath the forward floor where there are additional structures. And with only two parts to the boat, that being the hull and the topsides, joined together and thru-bolted, with 5200 adhesive added before being glassed over, the result is a strong, tough, solid structure.
“With our interiors, there is no set plan and nothing is pre-made,” said Costa as we spent some time looking around. “Our semi-custom profile allows us wide flexibility; for example, the two or three layouts that we may present can be mixed and matched according to what a particular owner wants and needs, including fabrics, woods, and finishes.”
Bones, for example, features a two-stateroom two head layout with the forepeak arranged as over/under bunks with a removable insert allowing for a queen size berth. It was easy to see how four could sleep comfortably here.
The master is to starboard with Dr. Mike opting for the port side galley-down configuration where a third stateroom would go. He wanted maximum room in the main deck salon for his 75-year-old father and fellow anglers to spread out, be comfortable, and even grab a bunk on the 23” wide couches if necessary, each, by the way, with an abundant amount of storage space below for rods and other gear.
Indeed, throughout this Henriques 50, where fishing related storage is a must, it was something Costa and his crew delivered on big time. “I probably have room for four dozen rigged rods and reels and all my other fishing related stuff,” Dr. Mike beamed as he opened up closet after closet and space after space on the bridge, main, and accommodations decks, proudly showing me where he kept the trappings of his passion. “For me, it was the perfect fit.”
In the Henriques’ style of building, when the hull is about 50% fitted with the boat’s main machinery, the deck goes on before the rest of the equipment, such as the battery banks, pumps, and compressors, is placed. “In this way, we can really see what is already accessible and what else needs to be. It should not be an afterthought,” Costa said.
During my time in this most important space, I found this to be true as all critical maintenance areas are quite easy to get to with plenty of room to swing tools should that be necessary without getting into any knuckle-busting or finger jamming situations. There’s even enough clearance to get to both outboard sides of either of the two 1,015-hp Caterpillar C-18 Acert diesel engines.
Besides the all-important accessibility, the entire space, including the lazarette, is gel coated but not before being prepared with vinylester resin and sanded down no less than three times before being ready for finishing. The compartments forward and aft of the engine room are fully watertight and there are five bilge pumps aboard and crash pumps on the engines as well. And the main, centerline fuel tank, a T-shape, 750-gallon affair that shoots across under the cockpit fish boxes, as well as the port and starboard saddle tanks, are molded in fiberglass, following every shape of the bottom as possible. “When things get low on that main tank, a simple transfer pump switch at the helm will get the fuel back in,” Costa pointed out.
COCKPIT, BRIDGE, & PERFORMANCE
The boat is made for one purpose; fishing. And to that end, she is outfitted with just what you would expect from a tourney-ready Henriques boat.
“It’s so well prepared for what I do, that even for the one or two times a year that my wife comes out for a ride and some lunch, she doesn’t have to see all the fishing gear here and there. When not offshore, my rods, reels, tackle and gear are just where they are supposed to be; stored safely away,” Dr. Mike said. “The only reason I have this boat is for the grace of my wife,” he added with affection. “And for that, I am eternally grateful to Manny and his crew.”
Coming out of a 38’ Henriques, one he owned for 13 years, and, spoiled from the size of the cockpit—140 square feet—he would never settle for anything but that kind of space relative to his next boat.
To that end, Bones has 185 square feet of fish-fighting cockpit space with a pair of suitable in-sole fish boxes, refrigerated of course, a transom live well and large, walk-thru fish door, custom chair, a mezzanine with loads of drawer and cabinet space for a veritable overabundance of just about everything and anything the crew might need for whatever quarry they are seeking. There is even a cockpit steering station located to starboard enabling the captain—actually Dr. Mike—should he want/need to—be right in on the deck action. Access to the aforementioned engine room is also found here as well.
Following the no-nonsense, practical approach that defines the Henriques build, the bridge, outfitted with a pair of custom pedestal seats, features a pair of teaser reels in the overhead, Rupp 32’, double spreader ‘riggers, full enclosure, all that rod storage below the forward seats and forward bridge compartment, and a rack of rocket launchers aft that is as robust any I’ve seen, even on larger sportfish boats. And the helm console is well laid out with all the space necessary for whatever electronics you may wish to have installed.
With a mostly calm day on the waters off of Atlantic City, New Jersey, courtesy of a kind westerly wind, I was only able to judge her sea keeping abilities in those conditions. She had a nice 31-knot turn of speed at 2000 rpm with an average fuel burn of 74 gph. When bumped up to 2400, we noted 36 knots while hitting the tanks for 86 gph. “It’s nice to know I have it if I need it,” Dr. Mike reported. “A couple of times, coming back from offshore, we had big seas on the nose for almost eight or so hours. I’m glad I had this boat under me.”
Dr. Mike took delivery of his boat in late July, 2013 and after a couple of shakedown trips, headed her bow towards the horizon in August and made no less than nine, highly successful, offshore expeditions over the following 10 weeks. Built New Jersey strong, and with the kind of amenities that makes her a serious competitor whether on the tourney circuit or taking the family and friends out for a day of action, the Henriques 50 is the kind of sportfish boat that will create her own storm of excitement in your world. Just ask Dr. Mike.
L.O.A – 50′
Beam 16′ 6″
Draft – 56″
Fuel – 1,000 gal
Water – 160 gal
Displacement – 50,000 lbs
Generator – Onan 15-kW
RPM KNOTS TOTAL GPH
1000 11.2 14.0
1200 13.5 25.0
1400 17.5 36.0
1600 22.0 50.0
1800 26.5 64.0
1900 28.8 66.0
2000 31.0 74.0
2100 31.8 84.2
2200 35.0 86.0
2300 36.0 92.0
2334 36.1 96.0
Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges, if any, are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. Actual performance will vary and be affected by water and weather conditions, load and conditions of boat, engines, and propellers. Speed will increase as fuel is consumed. All data is illustrative and not warranted.