Winter Custom Yachts 65-Foot Express Heads for the Coast

The latest from Winter Custom Yachts was sent to the North Carolina coast for completion

First Light, one of the biggest projects ever for Winter Custom Yachts, is loaded onto a trailer and hauled to the North Carolina coast. When completed, the 65-foot express boat will be one of the custom builder's finest to date.Tom Spencer

Winter Custom Yachts announced in 2015 it would begin building a 65-foot express boat, which the boatbuilder says will be the largest of the style ever built in North Carolina. Two years later, the boat has left Winter's yard in Apex, North Carolina, to be completed and making its debut soon.

According to the Winter Custom Yachts website, First Light is being built for a Florida family with two sons who love to fish. The owner currently has a 52-foot Cabo but needs a larger boat to accommodate the entire family for long trips offshore.

Most boats eclipsing 60 feet are convertibles, but the owner wanted something different for Hull W-23. He insisted on something other than a convertible because, he says, that style of boat makes him feel like he's on a charter. “Everybody else is having fun down below, and I’m by myself up on the flybridge," he says. The express-style checks all the boxes for the owner's family-oriented dreams, while not sacrificing the details that define the custom boatbuilder's style.

Below are some of the close-up looks at the boat as its loaded and moved to the coast for completion and launch.

First Light has come a long way since she began in 2015.Tom Spencer
It takes a big truck to transport a boat this size from Apex, North Carolina — where Winter Custom Yachts is based — to the Atlantic coast.Tom Spencer
The staff watches carefully as the boat is loaded onto the trailer.Tom Spencer
First Light is designed to accommodate family fishing trips, and the owner wanted an express boat rather than a convertible to keep the entire family together when enjoying the time on the water.Tom Spencer
Winter's 65-foot express is ready for delivery, a 200-plus-mile trip to the North Carolina coast.Tom Spencer
This beautiful shot of First Light's transom shows the builder's attention to detail.Tom Spencer
Moving First Light into the daylight.Tom Spencer
She will finish her rigging and will splash on the Carolina coast in the coming months.Tom Spencer