Off Season Maintenance 2019 – Week 5

It’s been another whirlwind off-season, and once again FishingNosara is locked and loaded for another great season of fishing.

Big changes are afoot all around the Nosara Paradise Rentals campus. The bathrooms in most houses have been completely refit with new tile and countertops throughout.

Casa Tranquilo got the upgraded bathroom and new kitchen counters.

Casa Neptune got a new set of window bars:

Special thanks are due to our world-class crew. Nothing would be possible without the teamwork and positive attitude that our staff exhibits in all of their work.

Harvester WINS Ship of Fools Tournament!

For the fifteenth straight year the Ship of Fools Tournament attracted Costa Rica’s top anglers to Playa Garza; for the second time in three years the FishingNosara team took home the hardware.

Captain Alex Moreno on the 32-foot mega panga Harvester topped the leaderboard with 1700 points (11 Sailfish releases, one Black Marlin release, and one Blue Marlin release) during the two day event.

“Alex is the dude,” exclaimed Captain Patrick Humphrey of Ft. Lauderdale. “He has the best eyes I’ve ever seen and fishes as aggressively as we do in South Florida.”

Captain Humphrey runs trips for Lady Pamela II Sportfishing in Hollywood, FL. He was joined by wife Jennifer, daughter Amelia, and angling legend Patrick Irwin.

The Ship of Fools Tournament is one of the last true billfish release tournaments in Costa Rica. Each scoring fish must be billed and photographed by hand (no snatch-leader releases) which increases the difficultly tremendously.

On the first day of the tournament, eleven boats set out from Playa Garza and set up shop twelve miles offshore in 2100 feet of water.

Captain Alex was first boat to the spot and put three Sailfish releases on the board in the opening hours of the first day. As the rest of the field lagged behind, the mega panga hooked up a Blue Marlin for a two hour fight.

After the photograph and safe release a second Marlin entered the spread, this time a big bad Black. Captain Patrick belted up for the battle of a lifetime, conquering the fish in two-plus hour fight that saw eight leader grabs before the successful release.

“I had a trip planned for Hawaii in the winter to cross Black Marlin off my list,” said Patrick, smiling. “I guess that’s off”

Their total of 1000 points is a single day record for the event, and lost in the shuffle is that they scored the ultra-difficult Billfish Grand Slam.

The second day was just like the first, with the Harvester scoring early and often. They snagged seven more Sailfish release including one at 3:59pm, one minute before lines-out.

The Harvester’s haul is an all-time best for this tournament, eclipsing the winning score of 1200 posted two years ago by FishingNosara teammate the Explorer.

For Captain Alex it is the culmination of perseverance through years of adversity in this event. In 2011 as mate on the Wanderer he recorded 14 Sailfish releases during prefishing only to get zero during the actual event. In 2016 he had the thing won until the camera with all the proof-photos fell overboard late on the second day.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Captain Alex has done with the Harvester,” beamed Craig Sutton, founder of FishingNosara and architect of the mega panga design. “He pushed himself and his boat to the edge during months before this event.” (ed. note: The Harvester ran 47 trips in February and March)

“He has honed his instincts and advanced his craft,” Sutton continued. “Captain Alex has paid the price to reach to top of the mountain.

The FishingNosara team looks forwarded to challenging the Harvester in the 2020 Ship of Fools Tournament next April and to competing with Alex in the 1st Annual FishingNosara Invitational in early August 2019.

If you and your best anglers are ready to compete, the FishingNosara US office can be reached at 9045912161 USA or FishingNosara.com

Harvester Highlights:

Wanderer Highlights:

Explorer Highlights:

August 21, 2018

The Discoverer welcomed angler Tim Seyda for an offshore trip on August 21. Mr. Seyda has fished out of Garza for almost a decade, however this was his first trip with the big battleship.

Captain Carlos delivered the goods with a multitude of Dorados on deck.

They also added this beefy Yellowfin Tuna.

Excellent work by the battleship Discoverer!

Ship of Fools Team Package

Are your ready to represent FishingNosara in Garza’s most prestigious tournament?

The 5th Annual Ship of Fools tournament will be held April 8 – 10 in Garza Bay.

In the past,  the US Office fished this tournament with multiple Top 3 finishes and a Top Angler Award for Craig Sutton.

The competition is fierce this year with all of the area boats participating, plus a few ringers are rumored to show up from nearby Playa Carillo and Playa Samara

So we are putting out the call to all you FishingNosara Hall of Famers out there (and future Hall of Famers)…we need you to drop what you are doing and get ready to represent.

This year we want to bring home the hardware!

Check out the video of Craig accepting the 2012 Top Angler Award:

We are offering slots for two teams of up to 4 anglers. Package includes:

*Three Full Days of Fishing on the 31-foot Harvester or two full days fishing on the 28-foot Explorer
*Lodging in Two Bedroom House for 5 nights (April 7 – 11)
*Entry into the Ship of Fools Tournament and all related Captain’s meetings / Fiestas
*Round Trip Liberia Airport Transfers
*Matching FishingNosara Incite Fishing Jerseys for the team

Total Cost: $3850 for Harvester, $2650 for Explorer

(does not include airfare)

We only have two more spots open, so get your crew and call Craig to get your spot!

A look back at previous Ship of Fools Tournaments:

2015:

The Ship of Fools Tournament is the annual throw-down between the local boats based out of our home port of Garza, CR.

Twelve boats entered the hotly contested tournament this year and the fish cooperated with a record number of release over the two day affair.

FishingNosara was represented by returning Three-time Hall of Famer Bob Pease and his hard-fishin’ crew from Northeast Georgia.

These guys are sharp anglers and more importantly brought a fun attitude to the competition.

April 16, 2015 – Pre-Fishing

The boys hit town just in time to get a day of pre-fishing in to get reacclimated to the fishery.

They tried to ask this Sailfish where the rest of his friends hang out.

They made it back to shore just in time to catch the Captain’s Meeting at Marlin Bill’s.

April 17, 2015 – Day 1

The Wanderer was fueled, iced, and primed for battle when Bob and the boys came aboard at 6:15am.

Late night rains swept through the area on the night of the 16th, and Captain William knows that this pushes the nutrient-rich blue water offshore. The Master Captain slammed down the throttles and wasted no time getting to the fishing grounds.

First Mate Alex was on his “A” game as the FishingNosara flagship scored 11 Sailfish releases on the first day, bringing the Wanderer‘s total to 1100 points.

April 18, 2015 – Day 2

The pressure to perform was on as the final day of the tournament found the Wanderer in a dead heat for First Place with the Mojito.

Right behind the leaders were Garza stalwarts Sportsman and High Roller.

The blue beauty kept lighting the lamp with five releases in the morning, starting bright and early at 7:45am.

The afternoon brought more good action as the Wanderer pushed the total to 20 Sailfish released.

Bob and the boys were all smiles back on the beach.

Once the scores were tabulated and the photographs verified, the results of the 2015 Ship of Fools Tournament were posted:

Mojito first place. 21 Sailfish

Wanderer second place. 20 Sailfish

High Roller third place.11 Sailfish

Sportsman fourth place. 14  Sailfish

April 19, 2015 – Fiesta

This year’s tournament was the best in recent memory with a dozen paid entrants making the trip.

Playa Garza was lit up for the Sunday night fiesta featuring food, live music, and the awards ceremony.

Great work by the mighty Wanderer to bring home the hardware, and special thanks to the ladies of Fish N Chicks to put on this excellent tournament.

We’ll be back for the 2016 Ship of Fools Tournament!

2012:

FishingNosara participated in the 2012 Ship of Fools Tournament held over the weekend of April Fools Day. A record turnout of twelve teams entered this year, each vying for cash prizes and of course bragging rights for the year.

The tournament is held in our home port of Garza, Costa Rica and this small contest among the local Captains always gets attention from some of the highest-dollar fishing teams in the Pacific.

Big boats like Safari and Kingfisher II have been known to monitor the radio and catch locations from the Ship of Fools Tournament as part of their preparation for the IGFA Billfish Cup and Presidential Challenge.

Sure enough this year we spotted the Flamingo near the 14 mile ledge scouting for the upcoming big-money tournaments.

The attention on Garza is not only focused on the water; a major portion of the proceeds from the tournament and raffle go directly to Garza to help improve the conditions of the beach community.

Everyone owes Captain Joe Chatham a big ‘thank you’ for making this tournament happen and for keeping the focus on Garza.

Last year FishingNosara chose the newly-launched Explorer as our weapon of choice and although the team performed well (read last year’s recap) it was clear that we needed to bring bigger guns to this fight.

For the 2012 event we had all hands on deck: The flagship Wanderer with clients Chris and Carolyn Dicola and the bar-room brawler Explorer with Craig, Matty and Captain Jack.

The roster from the spirited Captain’s meeting at Marlin Bill’s reads like a who’s-who of great Costa Rican Fishing: High Roller, Tek et isi, Reel Deal, Kingfisher, Endless Summer, Aimee Marie, Cowboy, Siempre Algo, and the Sportsman.

“I think we can do alright,” Matty offered after seeing the list.

“I think we’re gonna kick some ass.” Jack countered.

There was reason for the confidence; Chris DiCola had caught multiple Sailfish on two separate trips during the week on the Wanderer, and Captain David had a massive Blue Marlin within 4 feet of the boat that very day.

Day 1 – March 30, 2012

The Explorer blasted out of Garza at 6:30am sharp pumping the traditional tournament fishing anthem (‘Hells Bells’ AC/DC) at maximum volume. The Wanderer caught up around the 10 mile mark, and both slowed to a troll around 15 miles out.

As the boats settled in the radio reported a nice morning bite: The Sportsman released a Sailfish and lost two Marlins, the Reel Deal reported two Sailfish releases, plus every boat was getting bites.

Except the Wanderer and the Explorer.

The Explorer chased some free jumping Sailfish but couldn’t convince them to eat, then has a mysterious billfish whacking the teaser, but no hookup.

Over on the Wanderer it seemed that Chris DiCola’s fishing karma tapped out after the great pre-fishing because they did not get a single nibble for the first half of the day.

Tension grew. Baits were changed, the spread was adjusted. Anxiously the crews watched and waited.

ZING! At 12:30 a line popped off on the Explorer like it was hooked to an anchor. Craig belted up to fight the massive beast but shortly realized that this was no billfish…it was diving deeper instead of shooting to the surface.

After a quick fight this 47lbs. Dorado surfaced alongside the boat and Captain David was strong on the gaff shot. This monster’s head was the entire width of the fishbox and the tail was too long to close the lid.

This fish was a triple-whammy for the Explorer: It broke the ice for the team, scored 25 crucial (and potentially tie-breaking) points, and was certainly in the running for the biggest Dorado Calcutta.

At 2:30 another strike was reported on the Explorer as Craig Sutton efficiently fought this nice Sailfish.

Mate Pipio showed no fear in the billshot, even though a moment of extra time was required for the photo (with the tournament marker in the picture) this fish swam away unstressed and unharmed.

The call came on the radio for lines out of the water at 4:30 and the Explorer and Wanderer fell into formation for the 15 mile journey home. On the strength of Craig’s released Sailfish and Dorado the Explorer had 125 points; the Wanderer was one of six boats with 0 points.

Jack and Matt were thoroughly bummed, and Craig already had his mind on switching over to the Wanderer for the final day of the tourney. Chris DiCola was miserable although he had done nothing wrong; not a single fish touched a bait all day on the Wanderer.

The poor showing hung like a cloud on everyone, except for the indomitable spirits of the FishingNosara crew.

Mate Pipio was joking and jiving on the radio, and Captain David managed to convince Matty to carry the Dorado to shore rather than use the Explorer’s cooler. This created a comic scene on the beach with hombre grande slinging the beast over his back, dragging its head through the sand all the way to the scale.

Things were obviously loose on the Wanderer as Captain William buzzed the Explorer at close range while First Mate Alex faux-paddled the 31’ beast towards Garza.

We took the big Dorado back to the campus where Cumi showed that it’s not just the boat crews who know how to filet a fish. We shared the filets with the guys who were all smiles.

Craig, Matty, and Captain Jack took the cue from the crew and came back the next day in a lighthearted mood and a dedication to enjoy the day no matter the scoreboard.

With the pressure off, it was time to just go fishing.

Day 2 – March 31, 2012

Matty and Captain Jack were the first team out of Garza on the Explorer, but it was Craig Sutton over on the Wanderer who made the first big splash. The big blue beauty reported her first Sailfish release of the day (and the tournament) at 8:15am.

Craig was just getting started as another Sailfish came in hot at 9:30am. This behemoth was also no match for the Wanderer and was cleanly released after a 15 minute fight.

The bite cooled off around noon and the radio chatter told many sobering tales: lots of Sailfish spitting out the hooks and Marlins breaking the lines, also mechanical troubles befell both Reel Deal and Cowboy.

On the Explorer Matty pulled the hook from a bucking Sailfish while it’s hunting buddy was also hooked up. Both hunters escaped and this error cost the barroom brawler two 100 point fish.

Craig donned the lucky sunhat hoping to stimulate a big bite, and sure enough the fish of the tournament came calling at 12:45 over on the Explorer.

A 350lbs. Blue Marlin came tearing through the spread laterally from underneath the boat. It grabbed the short line bait and after a mighty 15 foot leap it pulled off almost 200 yards of line in a flash.

Captain David slammed the throttles down and backtracked this Marlin like a bloodhound, moving the Explorer so quickly that water began bubbling over the transom. Jack dug into the gunwales and began winning line back from the monster.

Captain Jack showed his years of angling experience as he fought this world-class creature on a TLD 30 with only 100lbs. test line. How these fish can tell which bait is on the smaller reels I will never understand.

On two occasions Mate Carlos had his hand on the leader knot and twice the mighty glowing fish pull away.

On the third attempt and with the 100lbs. monofilament leader tight as a guitar string, both Captain David and Mate Carlos seized upon the bill of the mighty beast and held on for the ride.

Mate Pipio was fearless in the handling of this leviathan and got him back in the water safely.

This is Captain Jack’s first ever Marlin (he caught his first ever sailfish in the 2011 Ship of Fools Tournament) and the 300 points that came with it propelled the Explorer back into contention.

The Wanderer was nearby and just a few minutes after Jack’s Marlin release Craig hooked up his third Sailfish of the day at 1:40pm.

Almost immediately after the release another mighty Sailfish challenged the Wanderer and was also subdued by Craig and First Mate Alex. It was released after a quick fight at 2:11pm.

Craig had put 400 points up for the Wanderer. The Explorer sat in 5th place with 425 points on the strength of Craig’s Sailfish and Dorado from day one and Jack’s Marlin release. Siempre Algo and Sportsman were in the lead with 550 points.

The Wanderer and Explorer stayed together for the final two hours of the tournament, crisscrossing a stretch of ocean in a figure-8 pattern hoping to land the fish that would put FishingNosara in the money.

Destiny came calling at 4:05 with less than a half hour to go in the tournament’s final day.

The long shotgun line on the Wanderer screamed off as a mystery billfish got hooked up. Despite the crew’s best effort this fish was too big to catch and escaped without rearing its head.

Craig and Alex agree that was certainly a Marlin and would have been the tourney-winning fish.

Simultaneously the Explorer was mugged by a high-flying Sailfish and it was up to Matty to redeem himself by not letting this one escape.

With the money on the line Matty found his footing and slowly but methodically brought her alongside for the release.

This photo is time-stamped at 4:22 pm, eight minutes before the deadline. With 525 points, the indefatigable Explorer was in the money. Also, Matty won’t have to spend the next 11 months having nightmares about losing the two Sailfish earlier in the day.

The Wanderer and Explorer returned to Garza with triumphant full-speed approaches and were the final boats to return to the bay.

The party raged on shore and everyone gathered to welcome the crews home. Garza was brimming with excitement, as evidenced by the raging fiesta the next night.

Captain David accepted the Third Place prize and Craig accepted the Top Angler award for his quintet of Sailfish releases.

In whole it was a great weekend for the whole team. We were humbled by uncharacteristically bad performances on the first day, found our stride on the second day, and ended up catching the most important fish with just minutes to spare after most of the boats had called it a day.

The team’s performance in the 2012 Ship of Fools Tournament lays a foundation for future tournament success; these guys are the hardest fishing guys in Garza and their collective experience level is fast approaching that of some of the legendary Captains in the region.

That experience combined with a ‘Never Surrender’ attitude and a true appreciation for the craft of sportfishing means there is clearly a bright future for the FishingNosara team.

2011

FishingNosara made a great splash at the Ship of Fools Tournament held in our home port of Garza, CR. This tournament focuses on Marlins and Sailfish and features some of the best captains in the area plus attracts big money fishing teams from around the world.

With bragging rights on the line, we decided to up the ante by enlisting Captain David and the Explorer which put us on the smallest boat in the field. The more conventional choice would have been Captain William and the 32′ Wanderer, but the blue beauty was already booked by clients Kenny, Woods, Morgan, and Dave.

Jumping Sailfish Costa Rica

The Explorer roared out of Garza with authority on the morning of March 26 with fresh lines, new baits, and AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” blasting from the newly-installed stereo system.

The awkward glances from the other boats turned into admiration as the 26′ Super Panga lit up the scorecard with this Sailfish release, the first of the tournament.

Sailfish Costa Rica

By midday several other boats were reporting billfish releases and the Explorer slipped down the standings a bit. However, the boat reporting the most billfish releases was not one of the other tournament boats…it was the Wanderer!

Costa Rica Fishing

We took this shot from the Explorer while Alex, William, and the boys on the Wanderer were reeling in a Marlin fresh after releasing a sailfish. By the end of the first day, the Explorer was in the middle of the pack and the Wanderer would have been winning (if they had been entered in the tournament, that is).

The second day was similar to the first. We had a nice Sailfish release early in the morning, then missed on a few nice fish. The Explorer caught a nice Roosterfish but unfortunately this tournament did not offer any points for that species.

In the end, the Explorer finished in fourth place with 200 points. The Wanderer would have unofficially come in second with 825 points over the two days.

Most importantly was that all the boats and crews came to respect a 26′ Super Panga capable of catching monster fish over 20 miles offshore. We have been saying that this boat has the capabilities of a 40+ foot craft since the beginning, and the Ship of Fools Tournament was  our chance to prove it.

Captain David

Great work by Captain David and the whole FishingNosara family.

The Harvester Project

November 13, 2014 – Day 1

After the empowering experience of The Discoverer Project, the FishingNosara Build Team has set on yet another course to redefine Costa Rica sportfishing.

The genesis of The Harvester Project was in the success of our 26-foot Super Panga Explorer.

The combination of a big-bow panga hull with a single Yamaha motor has proven unbeatable for fishing in our stretch of ocean.

As her legend grew, we began to wonder what the Explorerwould be like if it was just as big as the Wanderer and Discoverer.

We searched far and wide for the best panga hull manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere and, after a few mis-steps and dead ends we found the clear choice: Eduardono Boats based in Columbia.

The 32-foot Corvina hull is exactly what we are looking for: strong, light, and proven to last in rough conditions.

Like all panga hulls she is big-nosed, narrow in the waist, and flat on the bottom; these factors make it so that a single motor can get this boat up on plane and therefore saves a ton of fuel.

We placed our order with Eduardo a few months ago, and Craig got to work sketching out his dreams for the ultimate ‘Mega Panga”.

As the days crawled by we were left to salivate over this single picture:

Finally on November 3, 2014 she arrived to her new home in our Jacksonville, FL shops. Getting it out of the container was a little dicey:

Once settled we got her out of the box and hanging on chain hoists, we had to construct a cradle so the boat would sit level on the ground.

We won’t be getting a trailer for this boat until later in the project, so it is critical that our saddle be at perfect level so that when we start laying out the floor and consoles things don’t get off-square.

It took most of a day, but the Harvester is settled, level, and ready for us to sink our teeth into this meaty project.

The Harvester Project is officially underway and we are stoked to bring you regular updates live-as-it-happens on the Florida Sportsman Boat Build Forum.

Don’t forget that this signals the start of the 2nd Florida Sportsman Dream Boat Build Contest!

Last years winner Captain Charlie Phillips (HopeFishing.com – FSForum Handle: Blewitupsir) had a blast on his trip to Nosara and we hope that one of you out there can succeed him as the next winner of the Dream Boat Contest.

November 18, 2014 – Day 6

We’re already catching a groove here on The Harvester Project.

Craig, Brian, Alejandro, and I wasted no time to lay out the positions of the consoles, seats, and coolers. We also referenced the diagrams from Eduardono to determine the midpoint and weight bias so that the ice-filled coolers and gas tanks don’t weigh down the back end of the boat.

We are going to build a small cabin with a toilet in the nose of the boat, so the first major piece we’ve built is this cabin bulkhead:
ttachmentid=155881&d=1416348602″ border=”0″ />

We use Coosa 26lb. Bluewater ‘wood’ for this piece, 3/4 inch thick. Coosa wood is really cool stuff; lighter and stronger than wood, easy to sand/shape, and fiberglass matte grabs onto it like Velcro.

The drawback? $300+ per sheet!

So for this complicated piece we first fabricated it out of cheap press-board, then transferred the pattern over to the expensive Coosa wood.

Despite the high cost, we are going to use Coosa exclusively throughout the boat for all the major construction, including the floor. We are going to try and get away with only one motor so weight will be a big factor in the HP decision. Also, in Costa Rica the gasoline costs $8 a gallon so fuel efficiency will also be a huge concern.

We may break the bank buying Coosa now, but it will pay for itself in fuel savings over time.

Here are our consoles, also made out of Coosa:

We want split consoles (like our other panga the Explorer) because the long walkway down the center is a big boost for client comfort.

On virtually all production boats the consoles (center or split) affix to the top of the floor. On the Explorer we found that consoles created a lot of flex in the sides of the hull.

We saw the telltale cracks around the floor after the first season of fishing and had to add a piece of holding wood to tie the consoles to the side of the hull.

That repair was a real pain-in-the-ear so we are taking this opportunity to build the consoles into the boat all the way to the stringers.

Check out this force-sharing arrangement between the stringers and the consoles:

Once we glass these bad boys into place they will literally become part of the hull.

We’ll be moving on to the rear coolers and tackle boxes next week.

November 22, 2014 – Day 10

The construction rolls on as the team struggles to lay up a lot of fiberglass in the face of gusty winds and low temperatures.

We have been patient in waiting on the thermometer to climb north of 50 degrees before working, and are using 2% catalyzer to make sure this glass kicks off properly.

Meanwhile, Brian has completed both of the large cockpit boxes; these installations will function as seats, coolers, and leaning post/fighting chairs. Like the consoles they are designed to attached directly to the stringers and will be installed before the floor.

Wonder where the consoles are? Over in Matty’s gelcoat spraying booth, that’s where!

The weather should warm up this week and we hope that means more progress on The Harvester Project!

December 10. 2014 – Day 28

Two big jobs underway right now. First up are the pair of consoles:












We wrapped the final layer of chop strand with wax paper to create a nice flat surface.


Then a lot of time on the level board sander before hitting it with 3 coats of gelcoat.

<



Meanwhile, Brian has created a wicked-cool system for creating progressive curves on the faces of the coolers:












We are excited to see how this thing sets up once we lay-up some glass on it. Until then we are confident enough to start with the livewell:





December 15, 2015 – Day 32

So we’ve spent the last month building the consoles, seats, and coolers into the hull of the Harvester, and now everything has been pulled out so that we can make these pieces into permanent, water-proof, fiberglass-wrapped boat parts.


Each piece starts with 4″ wide fiberglass tape in the corners. This helps round out the 90 degree corners so that they can accept woven fabric. Also the corners will carry the most stress, so the more glass the better.





Then each piece gets a layer of biaxial/matte weave for strength.






The last layer is 1.5oz chopped strand mat (which in the old days was called finishing mat) which allows for us to sand the outer layer to a perfectly flat surface.





These pieces have a top and a bottom; that is, on side will be facing the inside of the boat where people can see it and the other will be forever out of view. We wrap the visible pieces in wax paper after the chopped strand to give us a leg-up on sanding them flat.


This work is time intensive, dirty/sticky, and quite frankly not any fun at all. The process of applying glass and resin only to sand it off reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s writing method: “I spend the morning inserting a comma, then spend the afternoon removing it”

However as these pieces take shape we get fleeting glimpses at the finished product. Check out the progress on the livewell:








We’re looking forward to good weather this week and that means more progress on The Harvester Project!

December 23, 2015 – Day 40

This weekend we are focusing on the livewell, which in addition to validating our fiberglass/gelcoating process will also be the first step in plumbing the Harvester.

Brian and Craig have drilled out holes in the lower hull for scuppers to pick up seawater.

It is crucial to wrap these holes with new fiberglass and a thin layer of epoxy, rather than rely solely on 5200 to keep the water out of the hull.


Also we have made the blow-out hole on the starboard side. Of course you need this hole to be lower that than the intake hole so that the livewell drains properly.

Cosmetically we are taking extra care in the surface prep of the livewell and the livewell lid; since this element is visible it is important to make the finish as smooth as possible so it matches the rest of the hull.

The lid will be stopped by these shelf pieces which have been epoxied into place. The lips themselves are made of 5 layers of biaxial weave, pressed together with resin between two pieces of wax paper.

Meanwhile we are continuing to prepare the rest of the large pieces for gelcoat and eventual installation into the Harvester.

We got a lot going on, but progress is in the air and we are jamming away on The Harvester Project!

December 31, 2015 – Day 48

While the rest of y’all are eating pig-in-a-blanket and watching football we are still jamming on The Harvester Project.


It was neat to mock-fit the consoles and seats…starting to get a feeling of how it will feel in the cockpit once we are finished.

For now the reason the big pieces are in place is so that we can run the two stringers that will support the floor of the boat. We are going to mate these stringers to the consoles in order to add strength to both.

Craig and Brian used a chalk line and level to establish a common depth between the two stringers. As long as they are level to each other than the irregularities of the main ribs will be eliminated.

Meanwhile, we can’t decide on a high-quality line of hatches so we are going to build our own. You can see here that several of the hatches have been cut and we are currently milling and fitting the doors so they fit snug.

It’s fun on New Years Eve to think back to the last few NYE’s and where you were/what you were doing. Here’s a peek back at what was going on in the boat shop on:

December 31, 2013

December 31, 2012

December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2015 – Day 53

Last post we got the main floor stringers in place and cut to the proper height. This week we have built all the ribs that will support the floor.

The back end was a little tricky because the braces the abut the hull wall needed to be custom cut on one edge and flat cut on the other.

Of course we will use epoxy and fiberglass to correct any minor imperfections, but according to our level and place-holder 2×4 we seem to be right on the money.

The front of the stringers attached to the cabin bulkhead, which also requires a precisely cut cap piece:

Also the slow process of building custom hatches into what we thought were already finished pieces continues. See here that we also added a shelf to each box, which means more fiberglass to tie the shelf into the piece.

Nice thing about building your own boat #37: Change orders don’t cost money, just time

January 14, 2015 – Day 62

The subfloor stringers have been our principal focus this week and we are pumped at how the progress is going.

Brian has taken the lead on this, test fitting all of the horizontal supports and creating a pathway for a 2″ PVC pipe that will carry all of the battery cables, steering lines, and other utilities from the consoles to the motors.

Also he has created a pair of custom ribs to cap the front and rear of this floor system. This took a lot of cutting and fitting to make them snug up just right.

Meanwhile, Matt has continued to prep the major pieces for gelcoat. We are ready to spray, just waiting for the cold weather and fog to pass Jacksonville.

We anticipate having these pieces sprayed by this weekend at the latest.

Kind of boring work, but these are the details that are required if you want a boat you can be proud of. We are definately looking forward to the next phase when we start final assembly of these pieces and the floor.

January 29, 2015 – Day 77

Thank god that the cold weather went back North where it belongs so we can climb the mountain of fiberglass and gelcoat on The Harvester Project.

Inside the boat the stringer system is solidly in place, so Brian and Craig are working to double-wrap all the corners in fiberglass biaxial weave.

8 compartments x 4 corners each x 8 edges each = a *****load of fiberglass

Once this is done we can start laying out our wire runs and plumbing, then start constructing the floor.

Meanwhile, the bulky console pieces have all been gelcoated on the insides.

This means we can proceed to with a final test fit of all the pieces before we secure the faces on them. Here’s one of the faces already test cut, so you can get the idea of where we are headed on these things:

Lastly, we are hand-shaping all of the opening for our custom hatches. The lids are off being milled so that they will settle snugly into the openings.

We’re plowing along, however with the boat show season about to fire up we are cautious knowing that for the next couple of months we will shorthanded here and there. Still we are feeling good about getting this thing finished before the Kingfish tournaments get started this summer.

February 5, 2015 – Day 83

Let’s take a closer look at all the nuanced fiberglass wraps needed to make the floor stringer system last forever:

Between the waterproof nature of Coosa wood and 3 full layers of fiberglass, we are fairly certain that this floor will never develop soft spots.

There isn’t much visible progress, but believe me that this is a ton of work.


The back area was especially difficult to access:

Previously we were going to go with three 22 gallon tanks however this would make for a complicate system of multiple filler necks and fuel pickups.

We will make the cuts here:

and here:

Then cap off the exposed stringers with lots of fiberglass.

February 18, 2015 – Day 96

It was an arduous couple of weeks but the stringers for the floor are finally complete.

There are 4 total layers of fiberglass holding the new ribs and stringers to the original lateral stringers. Combine with the epoxy at the core, this sandwich should be strong forever.

With this done we can test fit the big pieces and make our final adjustments so they sit level. In the meantime, Brian cut the door to our anchor locker.

Not a big piece of work, but I think that Brian is happy to something other than crouching over pouring fiberglass into tiny little corners.