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August 06, 2011

Jupiter 34

When it comes to appearance, the Jupiter 34 is a supermodel — and some other center-consoles might suffer ­performance envy!

In Roman times, people worshipped Jupiter as the king of the gods and god of rain, thunder and lightning. That seems entirely plausible and appropriate considering the weather each time I sea-trial a Jupiter boat on Florida’s central west coast. Jupiter boats are powerful and commanding, and I seem to always get my share of rain, thunder and ­lightning when I visit the factory.

Tampa Bay in Florida saw southerly winds blowing about 20 mph. Two- to three-foot, super-close-together seas made for ugly conditions. However, drifting beam-to, the 34 exhibited a very comfortable roll moment.

The triple 300 hp Yamahas, turning at 5,850 rpm, topped out at 64.4 mph, using 77.9 gph. Optimum cruise came at 3,000 rpm, where we attained an economical 1.55 mpg at 32.6 mph while “sipping” 21 gph. That’s actually pretty darn good for a big triple installation. The solid Jupiter took four seconds to plane and 12 seconds to reach 35 mph with two men and 180 gallons of fuel.

As I turned the wheel hard-over at 35 mph, the 34 leaned into the turn, bleeding off speed and carving a very tight arc with no side-slip. All the centrifugal force went straight down through our feet. Super handling!

Trolling along at 7.5 mph, I measured ambient sound at 80 dB at the helm. Looking back, I saw distinct subsurface white water on centerline stretching back to the fourth wave. However, I found the surface pretty clean from the hull’s passage.

This boat comes in two versions: a flushdeck tournament model with an open bow and a large coffin box on centerline, and this forward seating version. With either configuration, you can fish 360 degrees around the boat, but the forward seats make throwing a cast net easier.

The 34 comes with large, 104gallon port and starboard fish boxes, Plano tackle-box storage in the leaning-post module, a portside tilt-out drawer ideal for a trash bag, and locking rod racks for two 6foot rods aft and three amidships on each side. Add five more holders across the back of the hardtop and four more on the helm-seat back, and you can see that tackle storage shouldn’t pose a problem.

As with so many boats today, you can enjoy fairly wide latitude for customizing your Jupiter 34. In this case, our test boat featured Taco Grand Slam outriggers and overhead two-color LED lights to make night fishing easier. Standard equipment also lists a 45-gallon livewell in the helmseat module.