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Jupiter 34 Review

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

August 7, 2011
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Jupiter 34

Jupiter 34

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.

Performance
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.

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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.

Fishing
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.

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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.

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Design and Construction**
Donald Blount and Associates drew the centerline, keel-pad running surface for this 34, and it works well. Blount enjoys a reputation as one of America’s preeminent high-speed-hull designers.

Jupiter is owned by the Herndon family, which has a history of building heavy, seaworthy Blackfin hulls. That bulletproof philosophy has been carried on to Jupiter but with modern technology added to the mixture. The company glasses a molded stringer grid into the boat, and then injects it with foam. Biaxial and triaxial knitted fiberglass, a high-density composite transom and a solid-fiberglass running surface all contribute to the strength of the 34, but actually add less weight than if they were all solid fiberglass.

A foldaway transom seat makes fishing the stern easy, especially with the legless design of the seat. The spacious lazarette provides easy access to all the baitwell pumps, through-hulls and hydraulics, and the high-gloss finish assures easy maintenance. The helm console offers space for a pair of 15inch displays with plenty of room to spare.

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One of my pet peeves about forward seating stems from the snap-down cushion system. Most boat designs require you to unsnap and resnap the cushions each time you access the storage beneath — an awkward task. Jupiter resolves this by sewing steel-shot bags into the cushion bottoms and placing magnets in the fiberglass seats to keep cushions in place. Ingenious!

Fit and finish remain ­exceptional throughout this boat, as on all other Jupiters. I noticed one change, however: Most models come with all the piping powder coated. Our test boat featured powder-coated, low-profile bow rails, but the hardtop structure was polished aluminum. Since one little nick in powder coating can cause serious bubbling beneath the paint, I like polished metal where hands (with rings, watches, bracelets, etc.) most frequently come in contact.

This 34 sports a through-stem anchoring system controlled by a Lewmar Pro-Fish windlass. Other features to keep the bow and decks snag-free include pop-up cleats and bow light. Jupiter placed compartments in the bulwarks with hooks and bungees specifically to stow life jackets. And of course, in agreement with my philosophies on safety at sea, the company installs a Garelick tube ladder in the transom of every 34.

This boat blends the good “yachty” looks of a mega-yacht tender with the functionality of a hard-core fishing machine remarkably well.

LOA……33 ft. 9 in.
BEAM……10 ft. 5 in.
DRAFT……2 ft.
DEADRISE……23 deg.
WEIGHT……9,880 lb. (dry)
FUEL……320 gal.
MAX POWER……(3) 300 hp OB
MSRP……$278,370 (w/ triple 300 hp OB)……$234,500 (w/ twin 300 hp OB)

Jupiter Marine International / Palmetto, Florida / 941-729-5000 / www.jupitermarine.com

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