Beginning in the fall of 2011, Susan McCart and John Gudelsky’s Absolut Joy, a 59′ Ritchie Howell previously known as Press Time, made its way to the Jarrett Bay service yard for an extensive winter makeover. While here, our service team executed a great deal of basic mechanical upgrades, along with some necessary structural repairs and reconstruction, while trying to maintain her original builder’s intentions.

Mechanically, we were able to remedy some standard maintenance issues in her engine room and beyond, including upgrading wiring to ABYC standards, sound barrier installation and upgraded fire suppression. Our neighbors at Gregory Poole Marine Power also performed thorough engine inspections and we performed upgrades and re-positioning of a number of systems including exhaust, fuel system, batteries and chargers, and all water systems (raw, fresh and gray). We also performed a fuel polishing service, troubleshot some leaks in the oil and genset fuel systems, and rebuilt both upper and lower helm stations.

Structurally, we made hull modifications and fiberglass repairs for improved hull performance and repainted the entire exterior – the hull with John’s signature color blue.

Throughout the boat, we upgraded wiring and troubleshot a few areas like AC flow to specific cabins. Partners IMS American Electronics and Crystal Coast Interiors worked on new electronics & soft goods (upholstery) throughout the boat, respectively. Our partner Bausch American Towers installed an all new custom tower and hardtop.

Below the water line, we repaired several fiberglass issues and inspected the keel along with all running gear, including prop, shaft, rudder and all related seals and hardware, as well as the trim tab system. The props (and spares) were tested and adjusted to maximize engine performance after Gregory Poole’s tune-up. Bilge pumps and transducers were renewed and underwater lights installed on the transom.

In the cockpit, we retrofit the cabinetry and created a mezzanine area to include seating, a larger freezer area and reworked the air boxes & demister system. Our team installed an all new teak deck and covering boards, renewed rod holders, installed cockpit outlets for electric reels and repaired the transom door & anchor hatch lid.

Overall, this was one of our most thorough refits of another custom boat in recent years, and we greatly appreciated the opportunity to renew her. She’s a totally new boat, and we hope you have the time to check out some of the before and after photos to see for yourself.

We sincerely thank Susan and John for their trust, and giving us the opportunity to work on the Absolut Joy. We look forward to seeing her again soon, as she journeys between her two homes in Florida and Maryland, for many years to come.

To top it all off, the Absolut Joy and her owners are already in Costa Rica enjoying the sailfish season and showing off all of this hard work!

Absolut Joy in Costa Rica
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