Fishtastic XL

March 22, 2023

The FishingNosara Build Team has started a new project. The Fishtastic XL is a 38-foot Eduardono Corvina-style hull, and upon completion will be the only panga of this size in the US.

The hull was completed in the Eduardono factory in Medellin, Columbia and shipped to our shop in Jacksonville, FL.

 

April 11, 2023

 

We are three weeks into the build an the Fishtastic XL is already taking shape. We are building from the bottom-up, so the first task is a series of floor panels and their affiliated hatches.

 

April 22, 2023

Progress continues on the Fishtastic XL at a breakneck pace.

 

 

We have completed the fabrication of the floor pieces and coated both sides with multiple layers of fiberglass.

We invested a lot of time to perfect these stringers so that their are no high spots; a bad spot could potentially warp the deck panels if they aren’t properly flattened BEFORE installing the deck.

We gathered up all the ballast we could find around the shop to hold the panel in place while a thick bead of 610 epoxy cured.

 

We are stoked with the progress and are looking forward to installing more panels in the coming weeks.

May 9, 2023

We have finished installing the front deck panels on the Fishtastic XL, and are now plowing through the installation/perfection of the deck portals.

These are all one-offs, made of pure Coosa wood and fiberglass. Also these boxes will utilized Gem Products hinges and latches.

 

May 22, 2023

The Fishtastic XL team reached a major milestone this week; all of the major custom floor pieces are fitted and in place.

Getting here required a lot of attention to detail. The subfloor in the fish box required a lot of custom cuts and ballast to hold it in place while the epoxy cured:

All the floor hatches have three Gem Products hinges, and each required a custom-fit hinge pocket to be routed into the floor.

Each carve-out will be topped with fiberglass and gelcoat before the hinges are permanently installed.

Also the three holes for the ocean water pickups have been drilled in the floor of the hull beneath the transom. These holes will be epoxy-sleeved and sealed with fiberglass cloth.

June 1, 2023

We’ve made a bunch of progress on the Fishtastic XL Build.

The bench seat in the front V-berth is starting to take shape. We are using an old-fashioned carpentry method with this ultra-modern Coosa Wood; The curve is being achieved after removing parallel slits of material.

A big plus is that we get to wrap this single piece outside of the boat on sawhorses.

We are finishing up the foamcore board linings of the below-deck fishboxes, and the associated lids.

Also, the variety of floor hatches have been fully fiberglassed and the fits have been perfected.

 

June 21, 2023

We are into the meat and potatoes of the build on the Fishtastic XL. Here you can see the the early phase of the installation of the front seat:

Aft of this seat, we have finalized each of the below-deck fishboxes and dry lockers. The fishboxes are lined with 3/4″ thick 6lbs. foam boards.

 

 

Each hatch lid is custom fit and wrapped in fiberglass.

 

 

We have also begun permanently joining the deck panels to the stringers and the hull

We are plowing ahead with more fit-and-finish on the front seat and will continue moving aft with the deck panels.

July 19, 2023

Big milestone on the Fishtastic XL build; we can announce that the custom front seat has been fully fitted and installed.

As we have built more and more hatches for this boat the quality keeps improving. We are really pleased with the tight fit on these forward hatches.

August 3, 2023

We have had a blistering couple of weeks on the Fishtastic XL build, with our progress only being matched by the 100+ degree temperatures.

Now that the floor pieces are fully built and wrapped in fiberglass, we are doing the painstaking work of perfecting all of the edges and corners so that the floor pieces are flawlessly flat.

Some of the spaces are so tight that special tools are required; here is our brush extender:

Here is our advanced epoxy spreading tool.

It’s all smiles over here. We will finish up the floor soon and then move on to the consoles.

August 18, 2023

The Fishtastic XL build continues with lots of good progress. The rear floor panel is now permenantly secured, thanks to a lot of ballast from around the shop:

We also have perfected the hatches and lids for the boxes throughout the boat (forward seats, in-deck fishbox).

Now that we have a solid floor, it’s time to build the consoles.

 

September 21, 2023

This month has been solely focused on finished and perfecting the twin consoles for the Fishtastic XL.

 

After our last update, the basic shape of the consoles were cut, round fitted, and the edges were wrapped in fiberglass. Then we proceeded to affix lips for the hatches. Once the lips were perfected we set them in place for a test fit.

We are satisfied with the fit, so now it’s time to finish the interiors of the console shelves. They already have a layer of roven woven, biaxial, and chopped strand fiberglass. The next step is to ‘hot coat’ the pieces with activated resin; in the past we’ve used a lightweight body filler puddy for this work, but the hot coat method is more pure.

We are looking forward to the final sanding of these hot coats, and to continuing progress on the Fishtastic XL.

November 16, 2023

The Fishtastic XL‘s twin monster consoles are almost complete. It’s been a grueling couple of weeks of fiberglassing and grinding, interrupted by our annual trek to the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.

The first layer of Roven Woven gives these pieces their strength, and then subsequent layers of biaxial and chopped-strand fiberglass add more rigidity.

Each console features a whole galaxy of corners, edges, and recessed lips; everywhere you look is more corners! On the driver’s side console we have made this nifty cut-out which will function as a footrest.

The inner layers of the consoles is complete, and we are itching to finish up the outside layers.

Once this is done we will start eyeing the final installation into the Fishtastic XL.

Anyone want to build a snowman?

January 3, 2024

We rang in the New Year by settling some old business…installing the consoles into the Fishtastic XL!

 

It took most of December to get all the nooks, crannies, and crevices layered with fiberglass and sanded smooth.

The consoles were installed in concert with these forward facing seats.

The next phase of the build will be the rear-facing seats and the transom livewell. We are excited about the progress so far and are pumped up for a great 2024.

January 24, 2024

Christmas came late for the team on the Fishtastic XL build. The site was buzzing with excitement when two large boxes showed up:

Taco Metals outdid themselves with pair of custom 25″ Capri Helm Seats.

Taco Metals aka Taco Marine aka Taco Seating has been very supportive of FishingNosara over the years, and keen-eyed readers of this report will recognize their  quality rod holders, rub rails, and outriggers from our previous boat builds.

Our buddy Tom Antonelli guided us through the customizations, including incorporating the same fabric we will use for the rest of the seats. We will have more stuff from Taco coming in for the rigging process, but these seats are a great start.

Meanwhile, we need to finish up the landing pad for these seats. Check out the rapid progress on these seat pedestal/cabinets:

The seats are going into storage for a month or so until the rest of the boat is ready, but we couldn’t resist see how they will look in place:

Stay tuned for more progress on the Fishtastic XL build as we wrap up the rear seats and start eying the construction of the livewells. You can catch up on the build so far at blog.fishingnosara.com/fishtastic-xl/

 

February 15, 2024

We are moving forward (figuratively and literally) on the Fishtastic XL build. We finished the split consoles and are proceeded towards the front of the boat with a pair of bench seat/storage boxes in front of the consoles.

These will provide extra passenger space and storage; two things that are always nice to have!

We are replicating this process with a pair of cooler seats; these will get installed to the aft of the currently in-place consoles.

Notice the contour edges…these will mate directly to the hull to save space and increase strength. Inside of these consoles is a matrix of lips for the hatch lids.

Fitting the shelf in was a bit of a ‘ship is a bottle’ trick.

Right now we are in the process of finalizing the final layers of fiberglass. Once we are done it will be time to install them into their final home in the cockpit of the Fishtastic XL.

March 4, 2024

Big work continues on the Fishtastic XL build. The cockpit is starting to take shape as we install the multitude of separately-constructed elements.

You can see that the main consoles have been installed to floor, and mated to the adjacent gunwales.

The seat pedestals are affixed to the floor, and soon we will mate them to the hull in the same fashion.

Detail work continues on the installed pieces; look as this cabinet opening that we have been perfecting; hard to tell this was built by hand, not on a machine.

The next item will be the aft-facing seats. These will be the seventh and eighth pieces (also the final major piece) and we are moving at warp-speed.

You can keep up with the whole build to date here: https://blog.fishingnosara.com/fishtastic-xl/

March 8, 2024

Want to learn a magic trick? Here is how you turn a flat piece of Coosa Wood into a smooth curve:

First you score a series of parallels lines where your want the curve to be.

Then cut out the thin strips (10 in this case), and flatten the edges into a keystone shape. Use a LOT of 610 Epoxy to re-constitute the slivers into the desired shape

Sand, fiberglass, and install into the boat….simple, right?

April 3, 2024

Well we saved the toughest piece of the build for last! For the last three weeks we have been completely re-imagining the rear transom; the idea is to integrate a massive livewell within the existing dimensions of the transom.

First step was to carefully cut off the top of the transom.

Then we use cut off the ‘lower bowl’ with about 8 inches of depth. Then we attached temporary scaffolding pieces to extend the bowl by about 12 inches.

Then we carefully added layers of fiberglass to close the void.

Here you can see the gaps have been filled with a combination of fiberglass and epoxy. The scaffolding pieces have also been jettisoned.

All that’s left is to add more layers of fiberglass an smooth out the inside.

May 10, 2024

The Fishtastic XL build is rallying to the end of the construction phase. However our big transom livewell project has the be completed before we undertake the monumental task of cleaning and painting this monster.

You can see that the various seams and edges have been perfected, and we have already done a few test-fits to check for proper clearances. Epoxy is added or sanded away as needed until we achieve a perfect fit.

We are taking advantage of the livewell being out of the way to run our plumbing through the aft conduits. Also we have the floor section ready to go back in place, complete with a new access hatch and two new drain holes.

The aft-facing seat coolers are coming along brilliantly. We had to cut away some of the gunwale temporarily to allow us to affix the seats directly to the hull for stability.

Then the insides of the box were lined with 6lb. foam core board. Once they are fiberglassed into place these boxes will keep ice solid for an entire day on the water.

It requires a bit of hand-sanding to achieve good curvature in the boxes, but the result should be really nice.

Also note that a drain has been cut in each box:

We are close enough to the painting process that it is a good idea to start test-fitting some of our metal accessories. Here is the mount for our forthcoming Release Marine Rocket Launcher:

Also our pals over at Gem Products (formely GemLux) have provided a beautiful set of their boltless rod holders.

Also this super-slick collapsible cleat it a fancy touch:

The final bit of pre-fitting is the dual windshields for the consoles with the switch panels on the starboard side.

The magic marker shows the future location of the tach, the teak, and the cup holder.

Keep up with all the progress to date at blog.fishingnosara.com/fishtastic-xl/

May 23, 2024

Big progress this week as the transom livewell installation is nearly complete. It took a few tries to get everything to line up smooth, plus this piece is very heavy and cumbersome to handle.

Any gaps between the mating surfaces have been filled with an ample amount of 610 epoxy.

Mating to the portside gunwale was especially tricky, but we manage to maintain the curve and drip rail from the original hull shape.

The forword facing seam is the most visible, and we are certainly pleased with the flush fit of this piece:

Of course all these layers of fiberglass and epoxy require drying/curing time, so we’ve stayed busy in other areas of the boat; here you can see that we have re-installed the removed sections next to the the aft-facing cooler seats

We have also done a lot of sanding inside the coolers:

We are excited to wrap-up major constructions in the next few weeks and move onto the gelcoat, so we are trying to pre-fit as many pieces of hardware as we can now. Here is the pre-fit of the portside console doors:

Also we have pre-fit the mount and access port for the Rocket Launcher in the cockpit.

Keep up with all the progress to date at blog.fishingnosara.com/fishtastic-xl/

June 7, 2024

We are precariously close to final clean-up and spraying gelcoat on the Fishtastic XL.

Every surface of the livewell is getting sanded to the point of perfection, both with an array of sanding machines and with good ole’ fashioned elbow-grease-powered hand sanding.

It’s not totally clear in the photos, but seam between the original the forward-facing livewell wall  and the body of the livewell is sanded so flush that you can’t even feel the transaction with your fingers. Once gelcoat is sprayed this transition will be completely undetectable.

There are only a few more steps until final clean-up begins; we still need to install the final piece of the floor in the rear:

Then we have a final layer of chopped strand to apply to the floor and gunwales.

Keep up with all the progress to date at blog.fishingnosara.com/fishtastic-xl/