As I walked down the dock and saw Jupiter Marine’s new 39 Express, I knew I was not going to be disappointed. It has a sleek, unbroken sheer and a rakish stem with a nicely styled trunk cabin that is hardly noticeable due to its softly rounded edges. The optional hardtop fits the boat beautifully and is styled to match it.
I met Todd Albrecht, Jupiter’s vice president of sales in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to put the 39 through its paces. Several things kept occurring to me during our time on the water, the first being that Jupiter planned wisely, so this boat can be laid out to suit the owner’s needs, with different helm-deck and cabin configurations. In addition, I appreciated the use of upscale yacht-grade components, quality soft goods, and fine woodwork and engineering, all combined with outboard performance.
Building a true express boat can be a challenge. The temptation to overdo some things and underdo others compromises some boats, but the Jupiter 39 is well thought out. It features wide gunwales, with good handholds to get to the forward deck for docking and anchoring, and an oversize hatch to access the anchor locker. These things make this express boat easily workable.
On the helm deck, you first notice the good visibility through the windshield. With one piece of glass for the front, without the typical three sections and accompanying mullions that obstruct visibility, the 39 offers excellent line of sight ahead, abeam and astern. Even on acceleration, the bow lift is minimal, so you never have that moment when you can’t see ahead of or all around you. The helm-deck elevation, combined with the helm layout to starboard, gives the helmsman enough room to operate with excellent situational awareness.
The large helm dash has plenty of space for two large screens; all switches are on another panel under the electronics dash; and the binnacle, steering wheel, anchor-windlass control and bow-thruster control are on the angled horizontal surface of the helm. There are three seating options for the helm: a single swivel with a slide seat and a lift-up bolster for standing when driving, a double with the same configuration, and a single custom Release Marine ladder-back chair.
Aft of the helm on the starboard side, a cabinet contains an ice maker and offers dry storage. With the way Jupiter builds the components for the helm deck, you have a lot of flexibility as to how you would like it set up. Even the shape and layout of the portside settee can be built to your liking, with either a full L settee, as our test boat had, or a more angled settee, either with or without a table. Here again, Jupiter’s flexibility is great. The 39 also has a standard Fischer Panda 8 kw diesel generator to power the boat when at sea and offers 50-amp dockside service.
Aft of the helm deck, the spacious cockpit features a tackle/bait-prep center with a freshwater sink and shower, a 45-gallon stand-up livewell, a dockside TV inlet, a saltwater washdown, undergunwale rod racks, coaming cushions, a boarding ladder and a walk-through transom door and gate. There’s also an optional fold-down rear seat on the transom. Two large in-deck 90-gallon fish/storage boxes will hold a huge number of fish, and an insulated top-loading freezer makes this outboard express every bit as fishy as a twin-diesel express of similar size. And Jupiter offers a mezzanine seating option with a livewell underneath — yet another big-boat feature.
You enter the cabin from the helm deck through a sliding acrylic door. There’s rich-toned custom wood cabinetry and Corian countertops to starboard in a galley large enough to actually cook a meal in, plus a glass two-burner cooktop, a microwave, a stainless sink and an Isotherm stainless-steel double-drawer refrigerator and freezer. There’s plenty of storage too, with overhead and undercounter cabinets. Jupiter will install honeycomb stone countertops at the owner’s request. To port lies a half-moon-shaped dinette with storage underneath, custom wood cabinets overhead and an adjustable custom wood table. This main salon has a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, an AM/FM/CD stereo, a cedar-lined hanging locker to port, teak and maple flooring, and an open, comfortable yachty feel. Aft of the galley and dinette, under the helm deck, is a midberth with reading lights.
Fully forward is the main berth, with drawers below, cabinets overhead, reading lights, accent lights, a flat-screen TV and custom soft goods. The owner has full play in selecting the hardware and interior soft goods. The folks at Jupiter give you the books, and you choose what you want: sinks, fixtures, you name it — just like with a custom yacht.
Rigged with triple Yamaha F350 four-stroke outboards, the 39 Express performs well. Even at 24,000 pounds when fully loaded, the 39 gets on plane fast and reaches a 40 mph cruise speed in less than nine seconds. It lopes along at 4,000 rpm, making 34 mph at .90 miles per gallon. Holding 480 gallons of fuel, with perhaps 460 usable, the 39 has a cruising range of somewhere near 430 miles in good sea conditions at that speed. That’s a pretty good run or several offshore trips. It’ll top out at almost 55 mph if you’re into speed.
The 39 is a solid, stable and comfortable-riding boat. It’s easy to have a conversation on the helm deck, even at speed, with the quiet outboards. The boat trolls nicely, with a great lure-speed wake, and when it’s slowed down, the bubble trail dissipates quickly at the third wave, providing a clean trolling pattern. It is stable at rest too, drifting and lying in the trough for kite-fishing with no problem. The Teleflex Tournament steering is super smooth, allowing the 39 to carve turns and be maneuvered easily, and the bow thruster makes close-quarters maneuvering a cinch.
If you like quality and a tight fit and finish, and you’re looking for a good-running, good-looking, well-appointed boat, or just need a bit more interior space for the kids, look at the 39 Jupiter before you jump into a diesel boat.
Jupiter Marine 39 Express
Weight: 24,000 lbs.
Max hp: 1,050
Fuel: 480 gals.
Water: 80 gals.
Base price: $531,760 with triple F350 Yamaha outboards
Jupiter Marine / 941-729-5000 / www.jupitermarine.com