From the Jeff Burton 46′ Jarrett Bay Project presented by Marlin Magazine:

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve been over to the shop to actually lay my hands on my new Jarrett Bay, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen it! With today’s technology, we’ve been able to make a lot of decisions from pictures and video. The time lapse camera has also helps us follow the progress as well.

The guys building the boat are real good about calling and giving me options on how to address each custom decision, and after looking at a couple of pictures in an email, I can get a better idea of what I’m actually deciding on!

Of course you need to be there for some things, but a lot of times you don’t. We did the whole flybridge area from pictures and we actually put a lot of time into the entire look and layout of the helm station. Even though we’re keeping things clean looking up there, you put just as much electronics on a 46 as you do a 65. I decided against the whole pop-up helm — even though it would have looked nice. I thought that in this case, simpler would be better.

A lot of the big decisions are past me now, so it’s mostly details like: how wide should we make the wood border on the granite counter tops, and stuff like that. But that’s what’s cool about a custom boat. I really enjoy the entire building process. I like to think, – and not always about racing. I like to build and design things, so this project gives me something to worry about that I don’t really have to worry about. And it’s not solving world hunger; if my dash panel is an inch higher than it needs to be when it’s all said and done, it’s not a big deal. So this build is actually a good diversion for me.

They’ve got a lot of the woodwork done in the staterooms, head and gallery, and just about all the cabinetry work has been completed. The helm is glassed in as well. They are trying to get as much done as they can before mating the salon to the hull. When you look at the hull itself on the camera, it looks like they haven’t done anything. But then when you look around and see all the parts ready to go in once they put it together, you realize that they’ve been pretty busy.

When I do get back there, I’m continually amazed at the level of craftsmanship that goes into building a custom boat. Everything on there is handmade.

This molding or that piece of railing looks and feels like it does because somebody hand their hands on it – it wasn’t spit out by a machine. My whole boat is a hand-built piece of furniture.

The boys at Jarrett Bay sweat over everything. Sometimes I want to ask them, “why are you calling me about this?” But then you realize that all the little stuff – small decisions actually – really impact the final result. They called me the other day about the way the painter locker hinges. I had no idea. So, I told them I wanted them as big as I could get and that I wanted the door to open when I pulled it open, and to stay shut when I closed it.

It’s starting to get real exciting, because I can see the results off all the efforts coming together. And I’m still psyched about the pod drives – I think they are going to take over the marine industry. More speed, less fuel, same money, quieter; what’s not to like?

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