Summer is here at last and, as always, seems to be flying by much too fast. There are still many fish to catch, trips to take, crabs to eat, boats to enjoy and not enough time to do it all. But, before we start talking about fall boat shows and laying up the boat, let’s enjoy some good news from area boatshops. The busy spring has been followed by an equally busy summer season. Owners seem to still be playing catch up from several years of putting off maintenance and upgrades.
Jim Jacobs of Osprey Composites in Tracys Landing, MD, sums it up best: “We are slammed.” Current projects at Osprey include a complete refinishing of a 2008 Carolina custom sportfish, major gel coat repairs on several boats, and repair of a Hunter 48 which lost a close encounter with another sailboat. Said encounter resulted in a triangular hole in the Hunter’s starboard side, about a foot on each side and penetrating through the hull and liner into the head compartment, which, fortunately, was unoccupied at the time!
Buster Phipps of Phipps Boat Works in Deale, MD, also reports a busy summer. “The spring was busy, and the summer is turning out to be very busy. People put things off until the last minute and then need it done right now.” Not all of Buster’s customers are playing catch up however. Currently in his shop is a 1982 34-foot Marine Trader. The owner purchased the boat new and has been bringing it back to Buster every year or two for more than 30 years to have the bright work re-varnished. Robin Phipps explains, “We had it in the shop on the 30th anniversary of ownership, so Joe and his wife brought champagne and desserts that afternoon for all of us to celebrate with them. They (as many others) have become part of our family over the years here.” Everyone loves repeat customers!
Zimmerman Marine in Tracys Landing, MD, is also having a busy summer. Typical of the kind of upgrade projects boatshops are seeing this summer is a Kady-Krogan 44 named Paradox. In addition to the routine bottom paint, varnish, and service to onboard systems, she is receiving a stern thruster installation and a completely new and upgraded electronics package.
Laura Shakleford of Tiffany Yachts brings us up to date on activity at their facility in Burgess, VA. “Tiffany Yachts recently completed a refit project on Miracle, a 56-foot Tiffany. Exterior paint work is completed, and the hardtop and frame are in the process of being installed. The interior is getting a facelift with new carpet, cushions, and bedspreads. She was ready for a family wedding June 27.”
Mike Glyphis of Eastern Shore Boat Works in Ocean City, MD, reports. “We currently have installed bulkheads into the second 25-footer and have them glassed in. We are still rigging the blue 25.”
David Fawley of the Center of Applied Technology South in Edgewater, MD, reports that his students had a great time just before the end of the school year launching and trying out the boats they built in the Marine Service Technology program. They launched at Jonas Green State Park and conducted their maiden voyages on the Severn River. The crafts are a Shearwater Sport Hybrid kayak with a cedar-strip deck and marine plywood hull and a Bevin’s Skiff, a12-foot fishing or crabbing skiff. True to the artisan spirit and pride that Mr. Fawley imparts to his students, all the members of his class signed the beautifully varnished strip plank deck of the kayak.
Nancy Bray sends us this update from Galesville, MD. “Hartge Yacht Harbor (HYH) in Galesville on the West River recently launched a 45-foot Hatteras Sportfish that has been completely painted… hull sides, decks, and cabin. New vents were installed on the sides, and a new refrigerator and underwater lights were installed. The indoor paint facility is busy with hullside painting all through the summer. HYH offers a July bottom paint special with reduced prices. This year the underwater growth seems particularly bad throughout the Bay.”
According to Nancy Noyes of Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in Annapolis, things are staying busy. “Among a bustle of prototype construction and fleet maintenance, the boat builders at CLC have been assembling a new double-ended skiff for boat show and demo duty called the Skerry. Something like 500 of this versatile, Scandinavian-themed design have been built all over the world since it was introduced in 2002. (France alone is said to have an active fleet of 50 CLC Skerries.) The new boat incorporates a number of design updates that make the boat easier for amateurs to build from CLC’s kits or plans, and will replace a demo model built in 2006.”
Larry Bonadeo of Bonadeo Boat Works in Stuart, FL, reports on a unique retrofit of a Bonadeo 34. In addition to some new refinements to the boat, they also equipped it with Mercury’s new Joystick Piloting system. It’s the latest and greatest system for outboards that moves up to four outboards independently of each other for more control. The system eliminates the need for bow thrusters and can actually move the boat sideways. Mercury requires you to provide hull specs/measurements in order to custom program the software which allows the boat to be controlled by a single joystick.
Matt Jones, formerly of Diversified Services, has started his own company, called Meridian Marine Services in Annapolis, MD, and he sends us his first report.”We’ve got a great project to showcase. It’s a 1990s Sea Ray 44-footer that we will be building a custom hardtop to install. In addition, we will be fabricating some interior cabinetry and some ultra custom teak and holly sole. There’s going to be some really cool features on this boat when we are done. We’ve only just started some of these jobs.”
F&S Boatworks in Bear, DE, currently has three of their cold molded sport fishermen in production: Special Situation is a 78-foot Flybridge; Fryja is a 64-foot Enclosed Express; and a 40-foot Express has yet to be named. The 75-foot Blue Time, which we featured several times in this column during her construction, has been completed, delivered to her owner, and is now wreaking havoc among the sailfish off Coral Gables, FL. Blue Time is also featured in a review in the May 2015 issue of Marlin Magazine.
Butch Garren from the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD, shares this interesting bit of local history. “In 2014 the Patuxent Small Craft Guild (PSCG) a volunteer arm of the Calvert Marine Museum, (CMM), built two 18-foot vessels fondly called the Love Boats. David Lane, a local business man, envisioned that these vessels would be used to conduct wedding ceremonies and celebrations. The Love Boats were designed to be powered by long poles and pushed along the scenic shoreline near Leonardtown, MD.
“This venture did not reach the anticipated expectations, but Lane is planning a re-design and a different use for the same vessels. The pole power is being replaced with an electric motor. Seats are being re-located, and seat backs are being added with the seats facing one another. Between the seats will be a small table to accommodate food and drink. The 18-foot vessels will be used to take passengers on short excursions.”
Torqeedo Deep Blue. This column does not usually do new product stories, but every once in a while something catches my eye, like the following news release. “The leader in electric propulsion, Torqeedo, now offers a shaft drive version of its 40- and 80-horsepower Deep Blue motor. The only electric drive designed for marine use from the ground up, the Deep Blue inboard shares all of the safety, power, and performance of the original outboard system. It also features a quiet, low-maintenance, fume-free, and environmentally friendly ride.
Launched in Europe earlier this year, Deep Blue inboard opens up many possibilities for new and repowered vessels. Several European builders offer an electric version of their lake cruisers and tenders and have found the 1800 rpm model provides the torque and acceleration required for an exhilarating ride. With a range of more than 100 miles at slow speed and a maximum speed of 18 mph, these luxury vessels are a triumph of design and technology.”
by Captain Rick Franke