A Personal Matter
Always taking its custom work seriously, Jarrett Bay brings it to a new level with this 64-foot Carolina beauty.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
Photos courtesy of Jarrett Bay
“If I felt any better about this boat, I’d be triplets,” remarked Jarrett Bay president Randy Ramsey, his words flavored and seasoned with that most appealing and special North Carolinian cadence. “You see, this is the fourth boat we built for the Huddle family and well, when you have established that kind of relationship, it not just about the job.”
Indeed, Builder’s Choice, one of the latest to splash at the company’s sprawling 175-acre marine park right off the Intracoastal Waterway in Beaufort, North Carolina, is more than another beautiful custom build from Mr. Ramsey and his veteran crew of designers, fabricators, technicians, workers, support staff and all the others that have helped put Jarrett Bay in the rarified air of this particular sector of the industry.
With this particular boat, and given the Huddle’s involvement as their exclusive contractor in the early days of Jarrett Bay’s growth, the project was all very personal. “This was about family,” said Ramsey. “And we set out to deliver a beautiful and functional boat.”
That personal touch is quite evident inside Builder’s Choice and the attention to detail and excellent fit and finish shown by Jarrett Bay’s on-site Crystal Coast Interiors that was provided here is exceptional.
No matter where one looks, the hand picked black walnut motif stands out and is in beautiful contrast with the light colored couches, each with plenty of storage space beneath, found to either side. And a beautifully crafted Release table, not only expands for additional surface area, but also opens up for extra storage below. With the Huddles, that most likely will be used for fishing related items.
The island galley is forward and to port with a dinette just opposite. The veneer work found throughout and well, the eyes don’t lie; everything matches perfectly. For weight saving, honeycombed Nomex is used with all the doors and cabinets.
In the living accommodations, reached via a centerline stairs from the salon and galley area, there is a three stateroom, three head layout. Surrounding both the Huddles and their guests in elegant and comfortable quarters, the staterooms also provide plenty of storage space for those times Builder’s Choice will be traveling to far-flung ports in search of the boat’s prime directive. In addition, there are full-length tackle closets on both sides of the hallway with dedicated space allotted to rods and reels and makes for a very impressive showing.
“While we always look to make our boats lighter and more efficient, we never sacrifice quality, safety, and the kind of outstanding build we have become known for,” said Ramsey. To that end and instead of a molded house, Builder’s Choice features closed cell foam throughout the entire topsides.
As far as Jarrett Bay’s cold mold process, the boat is triple planked with significant amounts of fiberglass and extra planking in high impact areas. This same beefy technique is used in sections like the struts and rudders.
“Unlike some builders we not only glass the exterior of the hull but instead, encase its entire interior as well including the stinger system, grid, bottom and side planking,” continued Ramsey on this topic. “The end product is an encapsulated wooden hull that should last indefinitely.” And finally, to get that beautiful Atlantic Blue paint job on Builder’s Choice, Jarrett Bay uses Alexseal coatings on all its boats.
For all her beauty and obvious boat builder’s artistic quality, this is a hard-core fishing boat and one that fulfills all the needs of the Huddle family’s legacy of claiming their place in this particular, and highly competitive arena.
As they usually fish with a large group of anglers, she offers 140 square feet of effective space. The teak work underfoot, and that on both upper and lower mezzanine areas, including the coamings, is exceptional. One would be hard pressed to find a line in the sole that does not demonstrate the definition of straight.
As expected, there are the requisite ice and chill boxes, storage areas, transom door and baitwell, stunning Release chair, and easy access to the engine room.
For any hands-on owner or skipper, the engine room aboard Builder’s Choice is as functional as it is a spacious. With a pair of big CAT C32’s at 1,925-hp each sharing the space with a duo of 29.5-kW CAT gensets, I found getting to all critical maintenance areas as well as all pumps, switches, hoses, systems, and just about anything else that needs tending to, to be not only easy but provides all the working space in which to swing any tool without getting a knuckle busted or an elbow bruised.
Also of note was finding the pump room aft, this to alleviate any noise, whether it is harmonic vibration or the actual sound of the various pumps and systems cycling off and on, enabling the owner and guests to not be disturbed when settling in for the evening. And as with the engine room space, with many of these systems under cover and in cabinets, I found everything also had easy access for not only checking but for any necessary maintenance work or clean up.
The bridge totally reflects the boat’s fishing profile and is truly worthy of admiration. With its Bausch American hardtop, this deck presents a thoughtfully planned layout and easily places the captain and any guests watching the action from up on high, right in the bite. For the skipper and co-pilot there is a pair of Release pedestal helm seats with additional seating along the starboard side. A comfortable L-shape couch is forward and to port of the helm. Freezer and refrigerated storage areas are also found here as well there being further cargo space beneath the seating.
Using the expertise of Offshore Marine Electronics, Builder’s Choice has an extensive array of Icom, Northstar, SiTex, Garmin, FLIR, Simrad, and JL Audio systems resulting in a helm design affording maximum control with ease of use.
The analogy of driving Builder’s Choice across the waters off of Palm Beach, Florida, as being like taking the wheel of a finely tuned sports car is spot on.
This boat is power personified and due to the balance between those high horsepower, twin CAT diesels and that spectacular fine entry with its sharp attack angle that transitions to abundant planning surfaces, she easily jumped out of the hole, spooled up to 2000 rpm and reached a cruise speed of 35.6 knots. When hooked up, we flirted with 41 knots. I found her to bank easily into turns at speed, track straight and true, back down with all the expected nimbleness she was designed for, and was as compliant and responsive to the most finite of helm commands during the close quarters docking maneuvers at the Sailfish Marina.
How do you balance the art of custom boat building with power and performance and the right amount of Carolina Flare? As with Builder’s Choice, you get Jarrett Bay to put it all together for you. It will be very personal. Just ask Randy Ramsey.
Length Overall: 64’
Beam: 18’ 6”
Draft: 5’ 10”
Cockpit: 140 sq. ft.
Mezzanine: 65 sq. ft.
Freshwater Capacity: 275 gal.
Holding Tank Capacity: 125 gal.
Fuel Capacity: 1800 gal. plus 425 gal. auxiliary tank
Power: Twin Cat C32s @ 1925 hp each
Generators: Twin Cat 2.2t @ 29.5 kW each
RPM GPH SPEED(kt)
1000 36 11.9
1250 66 20.0
1500 88 24.4
1750 124 31.9
2000 152 35.6
2325 200 40.8