Boat Review: Jarrett Bay 61

Like the previous Reel Quick boats, this 61-footer is designed to travel.

3_1_1_8342_Seq1925bg.jpg

In the small town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Jarrett Bay Boatworks has quietly been making a name for itself for quick, clean sport-fishermen that are built completely to owners' specifications. No two Jarrett Bay boats are alike, and the company will tackle virtually any project - from a custom flats boat to the company's newest and largest boat to date, the 61-foot Reel Quick.

Built with wood and West System epoxy/composite throughout, Jarrett Bay boats feature a cold-molded hull and an extensive egg crate system that provides a solid, lightweight package. This translates into an efficient hull that produces blistering speeds. With the pair of 1,350-hp Detroit Diesel 12V2000s, the Reel Quick lived up to its name, hitting a top speed that even surpassed its builder's expectations - 41 knots. At her cruise of 2,050 rpm, she runs an easy 36 knots.

Finished in teak, the 144-square-foot cockpit is comfortably wide and big enough for the chair to turn in any direction with room to easily maneuver around it. A deep fish box (that is plumbed to convert into a livewell on demand) is built into the transom, and drink box, freezer, stainless-lined tackle-prep box and tackle storage cabinets can be found in the forward cockpit lockers. A vertical access ladder leads to the bridge, which features seating for 10, a wet bar, hydraulically raised electronics console, pod-style helm with single-lever controls, recessed teaser reels that feed the line through the hard top, spreader lights and radar box. A large molded overhang provides lots of shade in the cockpit and room to work behind the helm chairs.

Inside, Jarrett Bay has created its finest interior to date, with top-notch inlay work and a teak-and-holly finish throughout. A rod locker cased into the counter on the starboard side holds eight 80-pound outfits, and additional storage is framed in under the couches. Rather than the tiny stacked washer/dryer arrangement tucked into the companionway that's typical of boats this size, Reel Quick features a dedicated laundry room with separate washer and dryer units.

Like the previous Reel Quick boats, this 61-footer is designed to travel. For its annual trip to the Yucatan for sailfish season, Jarrett Bay installed a unique water pump system that will literally suck water from the marina when faced with poor water pressure, as can often happen in that part of the world. The boat is self-sufficient in the water and ice department, thanks to a 600-gpd watermaker, which is plumbed to an Eskimo 600 ice shaver that empties into a dedicated ice bin in the cockpit floor. Five separate units cool the Reel Quick for redundancy of systems and because of the excessive heat found in the tropics during the summer. The engine room, with its "comfortable crouch" headroom, is also air conditioned.

Certainly the range on the boat will help its aggressive travel schedule. Considering the boat cruises at 27 knots at a relaxed 1,600 rpm, the 1,450 gallons of fuel will be enough to run from North Carolina to Bermuda with no drums strapped to the cockpit deck.