Blue fin 30 tournament edition cc
JULY 2002
Length overall  31'7"
Beam  8'3"
Dry Weight  5800 lbs
Fuel Capacity  175 gals
Recommended power twin 225 hp outboards

Former race boat champion Harry Turner (top) is the genius behind Blue Fin boats. (bottom) The Blue Fin 30 and the Blue Fin 26 center console scream across Vineyard Sound with photographer Joe Melanson shooting from the helicopter.

The Wind in the Willows is famous for its oft-quoted line about how "there is nothing -- absolute nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." There's also another bit in that book that was called to mind by a recent foray out onto Vineyard Sound, the one of Mr. Toad's wild ride about the British countryside in a new-fangled auto car. For me, my wild ride was screaming across five-foot seas at 60 miles per hour in a Blue Fin center console. No, I was not at the wheel. I am not that crazy. But I am impressed, both with the skill of Fran Zicuis, the guy who was driving, and with the boat he was driving. I wouldn't recommend screaming across five-foot seas at 60 miles per hour in any boat, but if you're going to do something that nuts in a boat under 30 feet long, it'd better be a Blue Fin.

Blue Fin boats are the genius of champion powerboat racer Harry Turner. Harry won 'Rookie of the Year' in the D Modified class in 1992, then won the world championship and national championship for US Offshore in 1995 and 1996.

'Today was an extreme situation to the average guy,' he said when we got back to the dock safe inside Falmouth Harbor. 'The average guy will never run 65 miles per hour in 6-foot waves, but it's nice to know you can get home if you get caught out in those kinds of conditions. We guarantee the hull for life, and if you're going to do that, you're going to want to build a boat that doesn't break. I've seen guys killed in boats that were built too light. We're responsible for our buyers' safety, so we build them like we've built them for us. We've built a hull that's strong, dry, and still economical enough to run.'

Harry built his first boat in 1996. 'What I learned from the racing was that the lamination in the hull in the deck is the most important,' Harry explained. 'We vacuum bag the balsa core into the deck. The deck doesn't give, because it sits on the stringers and it's laminated to the stringers, so they can't move. These aren't light boats. There's at least 500 or 600 more pounds of glass in these boats compared to comparable sized boats. It's no question that they're over built, but even though it says Ft. Blue Fin' on the side of that boat, it really says, Ft. Harry Turner,' so that's how I've got to build it.'

The Blue Fin consists of a 15' skiff, a 22' Pro Fish Center console, 25' Pro Fish Center Console, 25' Walk Around, 26' Pro Fish Cuddy Cabin, and a new 27' Sport Fisherman. His most recent boat was unveiled at the Cape Cod Boat Show in Falmouth in May. It's the prototype of a 31' 7' boat that combines all the features of an offshore sportfisherman with the overnight accommodations of a roomy cuddy cabin.

The cuddy has a comfortable V-berth with padded shelves, a portable toilet hidden underneath an insert cushion, a small sink with pressurized cold water, tackle storage drawers behind a cabinet and a deep storage locker.

The cuddy opens up onto the forward cockpit, where molded-in steps lead up along the port side to the foredeck protected by 1' welded stainless bow rail. A small, integral bow pulpit holds the anchor. There's a small bench seat forward of the center console with an insulated cooler under the cushioned seat.

The gunwales from here aft are high - a full 33', and well padded, coming up to the upper thigh and providing quite a lot of security and comfort when working the rails. There's recessed storage for eight rods under the gunwales.

The center console has a canvas T-top with hefty welded aluminum frames and a wide, wrap-around Plexiglas windshield. The TACO Grand Slam outriggers have controls that are easy to reach. There are four rocket launchers off the back, as well as work lights to illuminate the cockpit at night. The helm console has plenty of room for electronics, the Mercury SmartCraft readouts are well placed, and the Momo Marine wheel is adjustable. The helm seat is padded for either stand-up or sit-down operation, with three rocket launchers behind the backrest, and there's another deep bait well underneath, accessible from the back. There's a nice bench seat across the transom with an insulated, self-draining fish box under the cushion. The cockpit sole has non-skid texturing throughout.

On the port side of the transom, molded in steps help get outboard to a swim platform of sorts wrapped around the motor mounts. Powered by twin 225 Mercury Optimax outboards, the boat ran up to 70 MPH in preliminary tests, and should be able to cruise all day at 40 MPH, while burning only about 2-1/2 gallons of fuel per hour. The fuel capacity of 175 gallons would provide a range of about 350 miles.

The deep, sharp entry of the modified stepped-V hull provides a clean attack, and yet it's a remarkably soft ride, even doing 65 MPH in 6-foot seas. The narrow hull has longitudinal strakes, reverse chines, and lateral steps in two places. 'We found out from racing, by putting the steps in the hull, it provided unwetted surface underneath the hull, creating less friction, ' Harry explained, 'so you make the boat go faster for the same horsepower. Plus, it's got a variable deadrise, starting off at 24 degrees in the front and 21 degrees in the back, and the chines are wider after the step, so there's a softer landing, The step also packs a cushion of air under the hull, providing a softer ride.'