Part IV: The Finale of the 2007 Beavertail Retrofit!
3/12/2014Ret.ro.fit (-fit') n. [RETRO- + FIT] a chainge in design, construction, or equipment, as of an aircraft or machine tool already in operation, in order to incorporate later improvements -vt., vi. -fit'ted, -fit'ting to modify or improve with a retrofit.
This has been a grand adventure. Fishing out of a skiff for seven years, the memories, stories, action and peace this little skiff has rewarded myself and my anglers with is incomprehensible. I'm so glad I have the support and friendship of Beau and crew at Johnson Custom Boats to have been able to undertake this skiff renovation and not only breathe new life into the boat but also add some personal touches too.
When we left off in Part III the poling platform was complete and phase I of rigging had begun.
Here's a basic rundown of the last couple of days of rigging. I installed the new Power Pole Pro Sereies II 6' with C-Monster pump and having already enjoyed the original Power Pole I am elated to have the wireless remote controls as well as ability to set the speed, wave action mode and double tap feature to the up down positioning of the pole. I took the advice of Luke Donat and ran my hydraulic lines through the hull using Marine Radio Cable fittings which have been perfect for keeping water out of my sponsons while securing my hydraulic lines much better than the stock plastic sheath fittings. I am looking forward to being able to aid my anglers even better this season with this improved and quieter power pole.
The entire console has new BRP smart gauges, bob's machine shop jack plate lift indicator, new Livorsi shift controls and Yamaha extream shift cables as well as custom wrapped GEMLUX wheel and Livorsi trim tabs. All the gauges are newly wired and connected at my refurbished power distribution panel
The push pole holders arrived from V Marine and I had Danny at Sound Machining in Wilmington inset two Bahamian 10 cent coins featuring Bonefish in the top of the aluminum holders. Danny also did a custom inset of a Belize 1C piece which features a Swallow Tailed Kite. These came out brilliantly. I made bungee thongs for the push pole holders to further secure my push pole using heat shrink as my connection method on the bungee. So far it's holding famously and does not impede the ability to screw the holders in or out.
I got the Etec, Jack Plate and power and hydraulic lines all installed without any problems and was happy to see all of our electrical work pay off once I reconnected the power for the first time. That initial systems check can be stressful or stress free and this one proved to be exciting to see all the components working again.
While I was rigging my friends John and Mark at Aquatraction were busy producing my new pads for the entire skiff. Here's a pic of the stencils I made for John and the CAD drawings he sent me to confirm our logo placement and design ideas. You'll see that I had some very specific design ideas as well as some complications with producing these designs. No problem for the crew at Aquatraction. Where I was originally thinking I wanted my pads to be made of two 3mm laminates with a black underlaminate and a gray top laminate that was routed on the CNC to allow the designs to show through John brought me an industry first new concept. He custom engraved the pads which allowed me to keep my original designs completely uncompromised and I don't have to concern myself with more clean up time getting dirt, road grime and sand out of the routed portions on the pads. A brilliant solution with a custom finish that is attractive and durable. I requested that John emboss the Aquatraction logo into my pads so that my anglers and future project skiff builders would see that there are other options out there in the marine deck pad market. John had my pads finished and shipped to me in less than 5 business days! No WAIT, NO Delay, No Excuse. Good people and a great product. Here are some other sample images of the completed kit installed in my skiff.
We incorporated some custom logo work along with practical applications of art like a fish ruler and the dimensions are spot on unlike some of the measuring devices I've seen which are not correctly spec'd, and this industry first... I'm always reminding my anglers who sight fish that where they are looking is not 12 o'clock but rather where the bow is facing, just like in a fighter jet. Now there's no confusion over where I'm directing the shot to. The Casting Platform pad has my custom logo on it and the clock face numbers 9 through 3 to better aid my anglers visually in the difference between Left and Right:) While I hope my anglers will be more inclined to look overboard for fish this does help with framing up where we are talking about a target for the clock impaired. I am pleased to report that I have over 100 hours on the Aquatraction at this point and it is more durable, less flimsy, hot and offers more traction than the competing brand I have used since 2007. I'm glad I made the switch and tried a thermo encased laminate. The aqua dot in smoke gray is what you will see in these pictures with Aquatraction's custom engraving option. They also will use dual laminates and rout a pattern with their CNC if desired. Give John and Mark a call before your next project at 320-260-3474.
Once all of the hardware was installed I turned my attention to the Poling Platform lid, this being my office I knew I wanted to make some "updates" as I had throughout the skiff. It didn't take long to grab a hole saw and drill and make my cut, voila the cup holder was placed and installed ready for miles of fun beverage holding for moi. The other item I needed to install Beau tackled for me was the Tibor Push Pole Holder. This handy tool allows me to snap the push pole in place if I'm about to hop onto or off of the platform or move a short distance from place to place or pursue a tarpon once hooked up and have time to put the pole away.
The skiff was finally rigged with all of her hardware, platforms and electrical working and it was time to get out on the water and do a quick wet test before heading south for my annual Everglades, Flamingo Tarpon trip with my friends/anglers. I slid by the shop with my 2 1/2 year old daughter Olivia and we hooked up the skiff to take it to the Wrightsville Beach boat ramp for it's first wet test since the retrofit. The shakedown cruise was a big success and I am really pleased with the new platform, it's new position 6" aft of it's original placement and the overall finish details and grip of the new non skid and Aquatraction. Olivia had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to share this rare first occassion with her and she loved her first "boat ride" of 2014.
I am ready for the Glades and the upcoming season. If you are looking for a great adventure on fly or light tackle this season or visiting the Cape Fear Coast be sure to give me a shout. I'd love the opportunity to take you fishing and show you the refurbished skiff and share with you the wildness and fishing opportunities here in Wilmington, NC.
Till next Tide,
Capt. Seth Vernon~
- Part IV: The Finale of the 2007 Beavertail Retrofit!
- Part 3: Beavertail Restoration Part 3: Sand, Prime, Paint...Repeat.
- Part 2 Breathing New Life into my 2007 Beavertail Skiff
- Breathing New Life into a Workhorse: 2007 Beavertail B2 gets a Facelift
- Fly Boatworks Debuts their 18' Backwater Tiller at Wrightsville Beach, NC
- Nathan Edwards enjoys the first Cast & Blast of the season on the Cape Fear Coast, NC
- Rails & Tails: September brings the return of the Cast and Blast
- Tailing Reds to Topwater Bites: Wilmington, NC Redfishing Continues to be Excellent!
- Hot Summer Tailing and Topwater Redfish Bite in Wilmington, NC
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- Fly Fishing NC Flooded Grass with Damon Keuhl
- Double Haul Guide Service Website gets a Facelift
- Will Behrman and Frank tackle Wrightsville Redfish
- I'm ever grateful for good friends! Powerheads, donor flats boats and charters...
- An Anglers Point of View of Fishing the Cape Fear Coast
- Spring Fishing is Heating up on the Cape Fear Coast
- Visiting International Angler catches first Redfish on Fly
- Peter Smith Finds Redfish Revival on Bald Head Island
- Guiding Angler Colles Stowell on the Fly in his new Beavertail BT3
- Wilmington Winter Sight Fishing still going strong...