Story and select photos by DinaRella / Additonal photos courtesy of HCB Yachts
No doubt about it, HCB Yachts has done a 180-degree shift since its Hydra-Sport Custom Boat “bass boom beginnings” back in the ‘70s. With each passing decade, the Tennessee-based builder assiduously solidified its center console collection by continually fine tuning fit and finish, increasing angler amenities and pumping up pony power.
Today, with a portfolio steadfast and unwavering in character, the flagship is at its apex delivering “yacht-level” looking, feeling and functioning fast crafts. Simply eyeing the name HCB Yachts says all you need to know.
However, should there be more, director of marketing Wako Kollenberg will let you know. He’s the exceptional individual who goes the extra mile for luxurycenterconsoles.com always stopping in the middle of whatever he is doing to personally walk and talk me through HCB’s latest and greatest high-caliber accouterments and new model arrivals. Examples of those delightful up-to-date developments flourish on the 53 Sueños (dreams in Spanish), and include: a mezzanine sliding flat screen TV, a rain shower in the private head, proper bed mattresses in the berths, and tons of increased storage space in the galley.
Another place with tons of space abound, is on the 16-foot-wide, 65,000-pound sport-fishing center console yacht 65 Estrella. Dubbed the world’s largest center console in 2018… the $3 million dollar boundary breaker was the first ever to feature a quint collection of outboards. Cranking out 3,135 total horsepower, it planes in nine seconds and peaks at close to 60 mph.
Drenched in mahogany woodwork and lustrous hand-carved teak touches (this being one of the customized options for new owners), 80-gallon livewells, sleeping quarters for five, and a surprise TV incorporated into the mirrored glass backing in the cabin, the Estrella shines like a star. As it should… that is its name in Spanish!
The super-sized siblings may seduce in size and stamina, but just the same, good things come in small packages, as we see with the new 42 Lujo. This little star is the actual highlight of the story. It replaces the 42 Siesta originally based off the HCB 4100, which ironically, was considered one of the biggest center consoles on the market twelve years back.
Today, the 42 Lujo slots as one of the classiest challengers among its 40-to-50-foot counterparts offering an Irish-butter smooth ride from its newly designed hull bottom and modifications in overall displacement. This means not only was it time to say goodbye to the Siesta, but we also bid farewell to the undesirable bow rise; and in order to better support the quad outboard packages, the scale indicates it packed on a thousand more pounds of heft.
Cutting to the chase, the Lujo lunges forward to 64 mph with Yamahas 425s and backing off the throttles smoothly cruises near 45 mph. Other available powering options taking the 42 footer up to 70-plus mph include the quad Mercury Racing 450s or new triple Mercury Marine 600 silent giants, as seen touted on transoms at the 2022 editions of the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) and Palm Beach International Boat Show (PBIBS). The 130 gallon increase in fuel storage from 614 to 740 gallons is an added benefit allowing longer adventures into the deep blue sea.
Living up to its reputable moniker meaning – upscale, indulgent and luxurious – the $1.25 million dollar dream machines are completely custom-built. What the customer wants, the customer gets… and with exceptional white glove service. Styling cues from the 53 Sueños embellish the 42 Lujo right down to the redesigned helm station.
Built in-house, all components to the hardtop frames are completely integrated into the structure, including the new portside freshwater shower on the upper leaning post, activated by the push of a button. Twin 12-inch Garmins anchor a 17-inch middle screen situated next to Yamaha Helm Master Joystick controls which make piloting a joy in its own right. Once fixed, the Release Marine captain-style helm chairs now swivel to enjoy stern sunsets, socializing or casting a line off the side. The crowd-pleasing second row of seating underneath the hardtop also surprises with USB charging ports on either side.
Cracking open a frosty beverage or snacking on a chilled seafood platter will never be an issue thanks to the multitude of cold storage options. From the looks of it, the 42 Lujo has more freezers than the Food Network has on sets. One comes tucked under the summer galley, Frigid Rigid coolers are placed to the port and starboard, and under the rear seats are more cold storage drawers. The bow may be the best place to enjoy the feast on the new hydraulic table that can be raised for meals or lowered to spread out more cushions for a jumbo sunpad, positioned across from the comfy sofa-eque feeling forward lounger.
After that front deck fiesta, escape the elements and head below for a breath of “air conditioning” or maybe even a power nap on the double berth. Next, remove the padding and kick back for happy hour or your favorite program on the 28” flat screen, all the while natural light filters in from all sides. An abundance of space is also noticeable thanks to the 50 percent increase in size to incorporate the separate and enclosed head and shower at the aft end of the cabin.
And in saving the best for last, HCB Yachts hasn’t gone all glam; the 42 Lujo is still dripping in fishing DNA. Customizing continued with 45-gallon pressurized livewells, removable Frigid Rigid coolers which could be used to store bait prep, ice or beverages, and rod holders around every corner including the inventive sockets of the forward backrests at the bow.
The 42 Lujo not only looks and fits its lavish role; it shines just as bright as its superstar siblings! Note: Pictures featured in this story represent a variety of new models to give you an idea as to the variety of available styling options.