Let’s cut to the chase on this one, shipmates. Michelangelo had his Pieta, Leonardo da Vinci had his Mona Lisa, and now the owner of Jarrett Bay’s latest convertible, the 77-foot Blank Check, has his masterpiece. And while the comparison of these great art classics to a no-nonsense, horizon-chasing fishing machine might seem like a bit of a stretch, a closer examination of this stunningly beautiful boat reveals the level of ingenuity it takes to bring this kind of boatbuilding art to fruition.
Blank Check began on an empty canvas back in 2010, when her future owner invited Jarrett Bay’s president, Randy Ramsey, along with two of his engineers, to Florida for a couple of days of fishing. “He wanted us to see how he used his boat, what his style of fishing was all about, as well as what he required aboard in terms of his family’s needs, something as important to this particular owner as having a very serious, tournament-capable boat,” Ramsey says. “Once we had that experience — one that really helped us to understand our customer — we knew the right direction to take.”
For Ramsey and his veteran crew at the sprawling, all-inclusive Beaufort, North Carolina-based Jarrett Bay Marine Park, comprising some 175 acres right on the Intracoastal Waterway, the Blank Check project took on a very special meaning. “I started out as a charter-boat captain and built my first boat in a tin shed back in 1986. And to see how far we’ve come in our endeavors to give our owners exactly what they need and want, and for our family here to work with the Doyles on this project, is a source of great pride for us,” Ramsey says.
That sense of pride runs deep at Jarrett Bay and is reflected in the uniqueness of all of its boats. As I approached Blank Check, tied up on the outside T of the Beaufort Town Docks, it was quite evident that the builder had, once again, been successful in striking that elusive balance between the art of boat construction and technology. She was here, just shortly after her initial launch, to participate in the Big Rock Marlin Tournament. Her lofty riggers defined a new skyline at the edge of the historic town, and her noticeably Carolina-flared bow jutted out with the perfect balance of form and function.
I couldn’t help but glance up at her custom Bausch-American Tower soaring above those of the other sport-fishing boats along the water’s edge. The exacting symmetry among her bridge, foredeck, sweeping sheer and cockpit area all contributed to her perfectly balanced profile.