In his second visit to Jarrett Bay, NASCAR driver Jeff Burton talks about the progress of his 46′ custom sport fishing boat Tom O’ Connor of the Outer Banks Fishing Show. Jeff & Tom discuss the interior helm station, color choices & the decision making process as a whole:

Tom O’ Connor: Welcome back to Jarrett Bay Boatworks. We’re here to get a progress update on Jeff Burton’s new boat.

Last time we were here, the interior was mocked up. Now, the actual construction materials are being put in. Bear in mind, we’re taking a project that usually takes three years to complete, and we’re squeezing it into a one year time frame.

Jeff, good to see you again man. It’s been a few months since we’ve met up, and… wow…

Jeff Burton: Yea, there’s a lot that’s happened really. To stand right there and take the picture of where we were last time, it doesn’t look like there’s anything different. But when you get in the boat, and you start looking at what’s been built to go in the boat, there’s a lot that’s been done, and of course the bridge is being completed, so there’s a tremendous amount of work that’s happened, and it’s a lot of exciting stuff. The concept of what we’re trying to build is really starting to come into play – and all the decisions that have to be made because of the concept we’re trying to build are coming into play too – so it’s a pretty busy time.

TO: Tell me about the lower driving station, I mean for me, that’s sticks out as a huge difference…

JB: Yea I think that’s obviously the biggest thing that’s different…

If you’re going out fishing and it’s raining, or you just want to get out of the elements, you can get down below. That enables me to be with my family too, you know, and be able to spend time together. That’s really what boating is all about, is being able to spend time together.

So we’re trying to take some of the aspects that you see in a down-east boat – you know, that cruise and don’t do a lot of fishing, and apply it to a boat that’s ready to go hard-core fishing – and in a size that’s something I can manage. So it’s a different project, but I think it’s a lot of fun, and it’s made a lot of people think about a lot of different stuff. All the electronic manufacturers, the tower manufacturer, Bausch, and just everybody, has really had to think a little differently and it’s been a lot of fun for them too.

We’re trying to build something that’s easy to maintain, but still looks really good. A lot of boats have a a lot of teak on them, and it looks really, really good. We’re gonna pull a little bit of teak off the boat, just from a maintenance standpoint. It’s not going to have a full-time captain, so we’re going to have teak decks and teak cap rails around the back…

Against my better judgement, we’re going to do a light blue. The only reason I say against my better judgement is – I’m a big Duke fan. So I know all my Carolina fan friends are going to say, “aww that’s Carolina blue!” It’s not Carolina blue, it’s some other blue… we’ll call it Bahama blue, what about that?

TO: How about Burton blue?

JB: Whatever, but It’s not Carolina blue…

It’s been a lot of fun. To me, the reason I’m building a custom boat is because I want to be involved in it. I don’t know anything about marine architecture, I don’t know anything about the practical decisions that need to be made, but want to be part of how it looks, how it feels, how it works. You know, how do you get to that part… I mean every single piece, they ask me about. It’s never, “well this is how we’re going to do it.” Gary calls me, Randy calls me, “what do you think about this?” You know, they give me ideas and give me options, and so I can say to them at any point, “look, I don’t want to deal with that, you all take that,” and they do. But they ask me every single time about every single thing, and I like that. That’s how it should be when you’re building a custom boat.

It’s a big project, but it’s been a real pleasurable experience for me. I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. We’re down to picking veneers and fabrics and stuff, and it’s fun. It’s cool cuz it takes awhile, and when you first think about it, you think, “well that’s not good cuz it’ll take too long,” but there’s an anticipation… everything builds on itself, and that’s exciting.

TO: Still bringing the boat to Miami [International Boat Show]?

JB: That’s the plan!

TO: Alright, well good luck, I’ll let you get back to work… Thanks for all your time, and building a boat in North Carolina, everybody really appreciates it.

JB: Thank you… Yea, man.

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