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Coming August 26th – SCOF 52 Ascofalypse Now

Rebuild: Part Two - Metamorphosis - Winter 2015

It turns out buying a used skiff (which took about a year to find*) is a hell of a lot easier than restoring your used skiff. There is nothing quick and easy about fiberglass, wiring, paint and trailers. That is why it is especially fortuitous that we have a relationship with the fellas at Hell’s Bay (thanks, guys). I cannot say this loud enough — if you are anything like us, don’t plan on restoring a boat that must be seaworthy by yourself, unless you like sinking, which we do not. Fact: Boats look their best in the parking lot when you’re buying them surrounded by buddies full of helpful advice. It’s not until you get the boat stripped out and put under the magnifying glass of professionals do you realize what you’ve done. That kick to the nuts, my friends, is normal. Expect it. Happens to all of us.The fiberglass on our 2003 Hell’s Bay Whipray Pro was in worse shape than we had ever imagined. The electrical system looked like a rats’ nest, and the Ram-lin trailer needed new everything. What we figured out was this is pretty typical for a 12-year-old boat that actually gets fished. The fiberglass, gel coat and non-skid were the first items on the agenda. The boat got flipped, patched, sanded, gelled and buffed. Way better treatment than I get around here. The guys at Hell’s Bay were rad enough to throw our logo in the two-toned non-skid for a classy touch (may be the first ever mayfly on a flats boat, I might add). Next came wiring and rigging. We reused all the hardware (hinges, cleat, grab rails and the such) saving some serious money in the process. The console was completely rebuilt with a new throttle control, new gauges, switches, and a Raymarine touchscreen GPS, which is especially choice. (If you have the means I highly recommend picking one up.)The electrical system had its ups and downs. Most of the wire was good, it’s where those wires terminated that things went horribly awry. A monkey fonicating with a football comes to mind. The guys hacked through the crap like a hot knife through butter. Glass fuses were abandoned and electrical system lemons were transformed into Mike’s Hard Lemonade.The trim tabs, rub rail, boat cushions, poling platform with integrated back rest/step (because Steve’s old) all got swapped out, and with it the SCOF old skiff was like brand-spanking-new awesomeness. My mother taught me not to talk about money in public, but even with all the work that had to be done and without any of the favors or hook-ups that we obviously had to call in, we still came out way better than buying a brand new boat — and look what two schmoes like us get to tool around in. (Seriously.)We really appreciate the incredible experience that we had working with Hell’s Bay Boatworks on the restoration. Thank you to everyone at Hell’s Bay who helped with this project especially Todd Fuller, Paul Payne, and Dan Hunt. This skiff is far beyond what seemed possible.