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March 23, 2010

The Jeff Burton Jarrett Bay Project

Follow the progress of this custom build here at Marlin!



4/1/2011 - Project Complete! Dave Ferrell Interviews Jeff Burton

3/1/11 - The Final Time Lapse Video



02/10/11 - Time for a Launch Party!

With the building of my new Jarrett Bay 46 now completed for the most part, it's all in their competent hands coming down to the finish details. I've done all my work, all the decisions have been made, and the boys at Jarrett Bay are just left with getting her dialed in for her unveiling at the Miami Boat Show. Bausch American finished installation of the tower, top and all of our electronics last week, and her Victory Blue Alexseal paint looks great. All of this amazing work came together as planned, and she left Jarrett Bay on February 7 - Miami Show bound.

My detail decisions, like whether to get a rocket launcher or a fighting chair, were a fun part of this custom process. I wanted a rocket launcher - I didn't want a chair mainly due to the fact that my 10-year-old would be fishing a lot with me, and we'd be using lighter tackle mostly. Since we won't even need a chair 90 percent of the time, we decided to build a rocket launcher with an adjustable pedestal. This will allow us to lower the launcher when we get a nice one on, and lets you lean on the pedestal and keep your feet on the floor to fight the fish. This will save us a lot of space and still give my boy a chance to put the heat on a bigger fish when stand-up alone starts to get too hard. The rocket launcher will have a gimbal and can swivel as well. I really appreciate Sam Peters and his Release Marine boys for being so willing to spend some time on this little project for us.

The engines... Now I know everybody wants to go 100 miles an hour these days, but believe it or not, I chose to go with a little less horsepower. Since this was an evolving custom boat, you really don't know exactly where things fall when she finally hits the water. Her initial sea trial last week posted some pretty impressive fuel burn numbers - 30.5 kt cruise 50 GPH, and WOT 35 kts 59 GPH. I know some people will think that's too slow, but cruising at the same speed as other boats in her class, she's burning 25 gallons an hour less! And, I know she'll handle great and be a good sea boat on top of the fuel savings.

If you get the chance, come on down to the Miami Boat Show February 17 - 21, and check her out on Collins Avenue, Slip 401. I might even take a break from Daytona and come down to Miami since she'll be so close. I can't believe what started as ideas on a piece of paper a little over a year ago, is ready for me to R&R on after Daytona. Really in awe of everyone's teamwork here. I'd have them on my pit crew any day. - Jeff Burton



Time Lapse Video #3


Jeff Burton: All Efforts Coming Together

Well, it's been a while since I've been over to the shop to actually lay my hands on my new Jarrett Bay, but that doesn't mean I haven't seen it! With today's technology, we've been able to make a lot of decisions based on pictures and video. The web cam ( also helps us follow the progress. The guys building the boat are real good about calling and giving me options on how to fix a certain problem, and after looking at a couple of pictures in an email, I can get a better idea of what I'm actually deciding on!

Of course you need to be there for some things, but a lot of times you don't. We did the whole flybridge area from pictures, and we actually put a lot of time into the entire look and layout of the helm station. Even though we've got a lot going on up there - you put just as much electronics on a 45 as you do a 65 - I went with a smooth look. I decided against the whole pop-up helm - even though it would have looked nice, I thought that in this case simpler would be better.

 A lot of the big decisions are past me now, so it's mostly down to small details like how wide we should make the wood border on the granite countertops, and stuff like that. But that's what's cool about a custom boat. I really enjoy the entire building process.
I like to think...and not always about racing. I like to build and design things, so this project gives me something to worry about that I don't really have to worry about. And it's not solving world hunger; if my dash panel is an inch higher than it needs to be when it's all said and done, it's not a big deal. So this build is actually a good diversion for me.   
They've got a lot of the woodwork done in the staterooms, head and gallery; just about all the cabinetry work has been completed. The helm is glassed in as well. They are trying to get as much done as they can before matting the salon to the hull. When you look at the hull itself on the camera, it looks like they haven't done anything. But then when you look around and see all the parts ready to go in once they put it together, you realize that they've been pretty busy.

When I do get back there I'm continually amazed at the level of craftsmanship that goes into building a custom boat. Everything on there is handmade. This molding or that piece of railing looks and feels like it does because somebody had their hands on it -- it wasn't spit out by a machine. My whole boat is a hand-built piece of furniture.

The boys at Jarrett Bay sweat over everything. Sometimes I want to ask them -  why are you calling me about this? But then you realize that all the little stuff, all the small decisions, really impact the final result. They called me the other day to ask about the way the painter locker hinges. I had no idea, so I told them I wanted the hinges as big as I could get and that I wanted the door to open when I pull it open, and to stay shut when I close it.

It's starting to get real exciting, because I can see the results of all the efforts coming together. And I'm still psyched about the pod drives - I think they are going to take over the marine industry. More speed, less fuel, same price, quieter - what's not to like?