Paul Scopinich has been manufacturing top-notch fighting chairs for the past 18 years, but long before he took to the boating accessory business, his family had toiled in the boatbuilding industry for five generations. At the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in October 1997, Scopinich reentered the boating fray with his version of the perfect boat – a highly customized express built on top of a seaworthy hull bottom (designed by uncle Joe Scopinich).
Scopinich builds the 35 using hand-laid fiberglass below the waterline and Divinycell core above. The stringers are high-density foam encapsulated in fiberglass, providing a good ratio of strength to weight.
Powered by 350-hp Caterpillar 3116s, the Scopinich reaches a top speed of 35 knots and a cruise of 30, and in her first tournament after leaving the factory achieved extremely conservative fuel consumption figures.
“We ran 30 knots each morning and evening and trolled all day for three days, and only used 150 gallons of fuel,” Scopinich says. “That even surprised me.”
With her 360-gallon fuel capacity, she offers a range of 500 miles at cruise.
Scopinich’s standard arrangement calls for a double berth in the vee, along with a dinette that converts to a sleeper, which can sleep three comfortably. A TV and VCR will keep you entertained on overnighters, and the galley contains the basics: microwave, refrigerator and freezer. Cabin headroom throughout is 6’5″.
The 35 offers a number of standard fishing amenities in its 100-square-foot self-bailing cockpit, including an insulated lift-out fish box that’s nothing if not huge. A set of tackle drawers with an insulated storage box sits to starboard and a circulating livewell to port. Freshwater and saltwater wash-down is also standard.
On the bridge, the standard equipment list includes a teak island-style helm that boasts recessed gauges, a stainless-steel steering wheel and single-lever controls. The helm offers good visibility of the bow and cockpit, and twin bench seats on either side feature plenty of storage underneath.
While the Scopinich features a full complement of standard equipment, the real strength of this 35 lies in its lengthy list of options and the custom nature of the project. Virtually any configuration can be accommodated, from plain vanilla to classic styling.
Scopinich’s first hull is certainly more of the latter, featuring a teak cockpit deck, bridge deck and covering boards, as well as a teak-and-holly sole in the salon and engine room. The interior includes eucalyptus veneering with oak trim and leather upholstery, along with Corian tops and sinks in the galley and head. Even the engine room is finished in Awlgrip and chrome, and is accessible via hydraulic rams.
And – no surprise – you’ll find a Scopinich fighting chair in the cockpit.