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Venture 34 Tournament Review

This is certainly one of the best-running 34-footers on the market today.

January 29, 2009
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Nasty weather always seems to happen when I Profile a Venture-built boat. Sea conditions on test day ran two to four feet out of the northwest. Sure, Lake Worth Inlet in Palm Beach was relatively calm, but just offshore it quickly got sporty.

Performance
I believe the most impressive aspect of this boat is its performance. Push  the throttles even halfway forward, and the boat leaps up to speed. Time-to-plane is virtually nonexistent.

You’ll find the ride up-sea and down almost identical with a smooth entry and no lagging. Launch this 34 and it lands softly and ever so slightly stern-first.

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At trolling speed, the three Mercury 300 Verados with DTS barely purred on the transom. Speaking of DTS, I especially like the positioning of the individual engine-trim buttons on the bottom front of the binnacle rather than on the top, where  the heel of your throttle hand inevitably mis-trims the engines at some point. The DTS controls also offer engine synch, docking and trolling modes.

Former 34s featured extended transom brackets above the actual bottom of the boat. Venture now integrates the bracket and the running surface, effectively making the hull longer, resulting in a smoother, faster and more efficient ride. The design change also provides greater buoyancy aft – a major factor when mounting the heavier, big-horsepower outboards. It effectively lets Venture keep the same optimum center of gravity location (right around the helm console) while adding considerably more weight aft.

As you’d expect with triple 300s, the 34 ain’t no slug! Top speed hit 62.4 mph at a hair more than 6,000 rpm while chugging 90 gph. But notably, if you can stand cruising at only 32 mph on this boat, you can realize fuel economy on the order of a mere 21 gph or 1.5 mpg.

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Returning to Lake Worth, I pulled up directly behind a large yacht throwing a considerable wake, then turned to cross its wake to overtake – most times a wet and perilous maneuver. The Venture 34 proved that it can be a non-event. No shear, no spray, no pounding.

Throughout the entire sea trial, the only performance trait I couldn’t generate was walking the 34 sideways during docking. Some triple-engine boats do and some don’t – a small sacrifice for the rest of the spectacular performance. Overall, I can offer the extremely rare assessment that I found zero performance idiosyncrasies.

Fishing Anglers can’t help but find the flat, single-level-from-stem-to-stern deck a desirable fishing feature. Run fore and aft without having to worry about tripping on the foredeck step!

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The Venture boasts an impressive amount of storage, including a 50-gallon coffin box on centerline forward with an equally large insulated under-deck   box beneath, as well as a 188-gallon fish box on centerline in the cockpit sole. Standard equipment also includes a 55-gallon livewell on centerline in the transom.

At normal trolling speeds, the triple engines shoot moderate subsurface white water on centerline. Even combining that with the limited surface turbulence from the hull doesn’t prevent fish from clearly seeing your trolling pattern. Drifting, the 34 exhibited a very short roll moment with moderate transitions, making bottomfishing or kite fishing quite comfortable.

Additional standard equipment includes three rod holders in each gunwale, augmented by three more under each gunwale. However, being a semicustom boat, this Venture can have as many as you want.

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Design and Construction
The Venture 34 Tournament comes with a notably large dash panel that can easily accommodate a single 17-inch display or two 12-inchers. Helm ergonomics will suit captains of all sizes and statures as well.

Inside the console, discover several large hatches affording unobstructed access to the backs of electronics, hydraulics, pumps and thru-hulls, etc. At the same time, you have more than enough headroom to stand fully upright while taking a shower.

Venture also pays particular attention to functional detail. For example, check the stainless-steel strips as chafe guards for your dock lines. Add to that the fact that all deck hardware pops up: Bow light, cleats and hatch releases are flush to prevent snagged lines.

Venture answers one of my pet peeves by not only glassing in a receiver tube for the anchor shaft, but providing a notch for the anchorline to run through while the hatch is closed. I’m always amazed how many builders make you keep your anchor-locker hatch open the whole time you’re anchored just for want of a small indent.

Venture never skimps on quality. All wiring consists of tinned-copper conductors and waterproof connectors covered in epoxy-filled heat-shrink tubing. Instead of screws, Venture employs stainless-steel bolts and lock nuts.

The laminate consists of both vinylester and isophthalic resins, Kevlar, PVC-foam coring and biaxial fiberglass in the topsides and deck. The running surface contains all that except for the coring. And the high-powered transom consists of high-compression, ceramic-matrix coring, meaning no flex or gelcoat checking from bolting on 900 horses.

If you’re searching for one of the best fishing boats in this size range, don’t overlook the Venture 34 Tournament, or you’ll kick yourself later.

LOA……34 ft. 6 in.
BEAM……10 ft.
DRAFT……2 ft. 7 in.
DEADRISE……24 deg.
WEIGHT……6,800 lb. (dry, w/o power)
FUEL……350 gal.
MAX POWER……Triple 300 hp OB
MSRP……$264,267 (w/ triple 300 hp OB)

_Venture Marine / West Palm Beach, Florida / 800-960-3434 / _www.venturemarine.com

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