In episode 10, the crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get back to work on the 19-foot Cuda Craft. First, Austin was tasked with installing new rod holders throughout the gunnel. The catch? Because of the boat’s design and the location of the new rod holders, great care was needed to ensure the holders were angled correctly to protect the hull.
Up next, the Cuda Craft was sent to Steve for some custom rigging on two live wells. To properly rig the live wells, Steve had to ensure he drilled the correctly sized hole for the high speed pickup for each live well. These are designed to flow fresh water into the live well without continually running a pump.
Steve then attached a ball valve on top of the pickup, which provides added protection against water leaks if a pump breaks.
Steve then plumbs a spray head and overflow drain for each live well. He has some great tips to consider for boaters installing their own live wells. After the plumbing is complete, Steve installs aerators into each live well, which help keep bait alive and healthy.
Watch the exclusive clip below.
In this episode, we also learn about one man’s dreamboat – a 25-foot Mako – and watch as Steve rigs a pair of self-leveling trim tabs on a classic Boston Whaler. We also see the amazing conclusion to the 19-foot Cuda Craft!
Captain Mark Henderson from the Liquid Fire Fishing Team, and our Strategic Product Category Manager, will be on site in our booth for product demos and questions all three days of the show.
Learn more about our Trident Rod Holders with a Tool Caddy in the FISH TACO TV video below.
You can also find step-by-step instructions for outrigger rigging in the FISH TACO TV video below.
As a leader in the marine industry for nearly 60 years, we take great pride in manufacturing the highest-quality products for boating and fishing enthusiasts around the world. Our products are backed by industry-leading warranties for years of trouble-free use. Discover more about us at tacomarine.com.
Cancer survivor, sailor and second-generation boat builder Johannes “Jopie” Helsen plans to embark on a $1 million around-the-world fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Born in Holland and now living in St. Petersburg, Fla., Helsen, the owner of Sailor’s Wharf Yacht Yard, was diagnosed with throat cancer five years ago after experiencing pain and soreness during a sailing trip in the Mediterranean.
“We’re so grateful for what he’s done to support and increase awareness of our organization,” said Siederer, who’s been with the LLS for nearly 40 years. “People like Jopie are just incredible ambassadors, whether you’re into the sailing community or not, to help cure cancer. That’s a very high quality and we’re so grateful for his help.”
With Siederer’s support, the first step toward such an adventure meant that Helsen, alongside his girlfriend Heidi Trilsch, needed a boat – a hearty, seaworthy vessel built to withstand the 15-month voyage known as the World Arc.
Hosted by the World Cruising Club, World Arc is a 26,000 nautical-mile trade wind circumnavigation that departs Jan. 12, 2019 from Saint Lucia island in the Caribbean to sail around the globe – most of which in the southern hemisphere.
While Helsen and Trilsch, whose stepmother is a Lymphoma survivor, will have long stretches at sea (the longest leg is 2,980 miles across the Pacific), World Arc includes opportunities for on-shore exploration – with close to 30 stops around the world at destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora and Cape Town, South Africa.
Finding the right boat for such a venture was no easy task. For Helsen, it not only had to be strong and capable for the harsh conditions at sea, but also comfortable and spacious enough for he and Trilsch, a videographer and an occasional crew member.
“We actually made an offer on two different boats that we did not get,” said Helsen, aged 71. “And now, looking back on it, we realize how impressive this boat is.”
With its sky-blue hull and matching spinnaker, Helsen purchased the aptly named and visually stunning SKY – a 57-foot dual-helm Vaudrey Miller monohull built in New Zealand and designed by Simonis Voogdin 2004.
While originally built for the extremes of circumnavigation, Helsen said SKY had taken a beating over the years and needed some remodeling and upgrades ahead of the 2019 voyage.
Over the course of nearly one year, Helsen and his 13-person crew at his yacht yard worked on renovating SKY– outfitting the boat with a self-furling boom, enlarging the cockpit and making it possible for Helsen to sail single-handedly, should the need arise.
Because 100 percent of donations go to the LLS, Helsen said he needs sponsors to help offset the costs and supply parts and equipment.
“He’s one of these guys who’s very passionate and very active in the boating industry,” said Kushner, who first met Helsen more than 30 years ago. “Having done the TACO Marine Project Boat fundraiser myself, I have a better sense of appreciation for what he’s trying to do. It’s a really cool project.”
Another fan of Helsen’s fundraiser and someone with many friends and relatives diagnosed with Lymphoma is National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich, who’s known the sailor for several years because of his participation in the marine industry.
“I admire his adventurous spirit,” said Dammrich, who also has an endorsement published on Helsen’s website. “This is a life adventure and for a great cause. I wish them a safe voyage and return.”
With six months to go before he sets sail, Helsen said there’s still plenty to do on SKY to prep for departure, including installing new satellite equipment, rigging new electronics and conducting sea trials. He also hopes to recruit a few more sponsors to help fund the expenses while also raising awareness for the cause.
To donate to Helsen’s SV SKY 57 fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit svsky57.com and its donation page.
One hundred percent of every donation toward Helsen’s round-the-world fundraiser goes to the LLS, which is the largest nonprofit dedicated to curing blood cancers. Since 1949, LLS has donated more than $1.2 billion toward cancer research. The charity also provides patient support and has a grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers advocating at state and local levels for policy change and program funding.
In the coming months, we’ll be writing more about Helsen and following his journey around the globe. For more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand YouTube.
The MCU team asked the professionals at TNT Customs Boat Works to make a custom pulpit for a windlass, which was installed on the bow of the Sea Cat by climbing inside to secure the pulpit in place. Once secured, the team then mounted an electronic drum-style retrieval system to help stop the line from tangling. After the work was complete, Brian water tested the new windlass.
Here’s an exclusive clip.
One of the first things the owner of the Cuda Craft did was remove the T-top. As a professional fishing guide in the Florida Keys, the owner wanted no obstructions, but rather a simple, clean boat.
After all the work to the deck and hull in episode 8, the crew needed to get back to the original task, which was renovating the center console.
The center console had a lot of holes and unnecessary areas for electronics the owner did not want. The team at MCU sanded downed the edges before patching the center console with fiberglass and resin.
After the center console was patched up, it was painted and reinstalled on the Cuda Craft.
Instead of drilling the center console back into the deck, the crew at MCU cut off the flange where it was previously screwed down and choose to glass the console to the deck – enhancing the boat’s performance and appearance.
The next step in the Contender remodeling project was rigging the engines. The prior rigging had a lot of spliced areas, with which the team at MCU did away.
Instead, they installed new 2-gauge wire from Pacer Group with no splices, after which they crimped on new battery cable ends that were secured with a heat gun. The new wiring will ensure a good power supply directly to the engines.
Steve then updated the electronics for the trim tabs. Previously, the old trim tab electronics were not auto contracting. To resolve this issue, they installed a new system by Bennett Electric.
The final step in this episode for the Contender was incorporating new upholstery. They chose a carbon fiber-finished material that matched the hull and center console – streamlining the boat’s appearance.
Here’s an exclusive clip.
Check out the other episodes of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat below.
Originally, the Cuda Craft was brought to MCU because the fuel tank was leaking. But as the team inspected the deck, some major problems began to surface.
The team at MCU discovered a deck full of poured foam that wasn’t attached or evenly filled. The foam not only added float to the Cuda Craft, but also caused the boat to become saturated with water.
The team carefully chipped and scraped away the foam all the way down to the stringers. Once finished removing the foam, they discovered the stringers weren’t properly bonded to the boat, which presented even more trouble for the 12-year-old Cuda Craft.
Before bonding the stringers, the crew sanded all around the boat and then applied new FGCI fiberglass and resin to properly bond the stringers. Once complete, the Cuda Craft was ready for new bilges, limber holes and a new deck.
Watch the exclusive clip of the boat deck removal below.
The team at MCU is now ready to install a new deck on the 19-foot Cuda Craft.
To make a new deck for the boat, the team chose to use a kiln-dried laminate for marine plywood, which is not only strong but will add an appropriate amount of weight to the boat to even out the ride and improve the boat’s overall performance on the water.
The first step to building the new deck was to create a frame – a template of the deck. After matching the laminate gelcoat to the boat’s interior, the team then began the careful process of layering the deck with fiberglass.
After covering the fiberglass material with resin and dried, a bonding agent is evenly spread to create a watertight seal. Then the core material – in this case it’s perforated marine plywood – is laid in place and then covered with an airtight layer of plastic.
Using a suction hose, the air is removed to create a vacuum-sealed hold between the plywood and bonding agent.
After removing the plastic, the plywood is then sanded down to create a smooth, even surface. After which, another layer of fiberglass material and resin is applied to the deck.
The boat is now ready for its new tank – a powder-coated fuel tank from TNT Custom Boat Works. To secure the tank into the boat, a small amount of foam is poured around the edges of the tank, which is then sanded down and prepped for a fiberglass sealant.
When the tank installation is finished, the new custom deck is installed and secured in place.
Watch the exclusive clip of the new deck being made below.
And watch the entire Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat episode 8 below for more exciting boat renovations.
TACO fans, we have some exciting news! We’re debuting our new sport fishing Deluxe Hybrid Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles at the ICAST showNew Product Showcase July 11 – 13 in Orlando, FL!
Designed for offshore trolling in search of bigger fish, these poles have a thicker wall for enhanced durability and feature patent-pending 360-degree swivel rollers for better natural bait presentation and reduced halyard friction.
The Hybrid Poles telescope below eight feet for trailering, storage and bridge clearance and extend to 18 feet – increasing the strike zone when fishing. They pair with TACO Grand Slam 280, 380 and 400 mounts and will be available in silver/silver and black/silver.
3-piece telescopic pole
Easily collapsed and stowed
Patent-pending 360-degree swivel collars
Roller bearing halyard pulleys
Increased aluminum wall thickness for durability
Additional swivel collar to separate halyard lines
Fits all GS-280, GS-380 and GS-400 outrigger bases
Come see these poles and more great TACO products in booth 3706! Stay up to date on all things TACO Marine by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and by subscribing to this blog.
Time is running out! During the month of June, receive $100 back with the purchase either a Neptune Premium Leaning Post and Universal Backrest, a Neptune II Leaning Post and Universal Backrest or a Neptune III Leaning Post with a Backrest, Grab Rail and Aluminum Rod Holders.
Ideal for boats up to 30-feet long, the Neptune Premium Leaning Postmaximizes space and storage. Easily store and transport fishing supplies using the removable fiberglass storage tray. Made from only the finest materials, including mildew-, fungus- and UV-resistant vinyl fabric.
Upgrade your Neptune Premium Leaning Post with our Universal Leaning Post Backrest. While this unit is designed to fit our Neptune Premium and Neptune II Leaning Posts, the adjustable arms make the unit adaptable to most standard leaning posts on the market.
NEPTUNE II LEANING POST & BACKREST
Perfect for smaller center console boats where space is at a premium, the Neptune II Leaning Post is ideal because of its storage features. In addition to offering enough under-seat storage for a 72-quart cooler, it includes a Tackle Storage Bag, which is a removable accessory to be used for island hopping or long excursions on the water.
Upgrade your Neptune II Leaning Post with our Universal Leaning Post Backrest. While this unit is designed to fit our Neptune Premium and Neptune II Leaning Posts, the adjustable arms make the unit adaptable to most standard leaning posts on the market.
NEPTUNE III LEANING POST WITH BACKREST, GRAB RAIL & ALUMINUM ROD HOLDERS
Our Neptune III Leaning Post is designed for hard-core fishing enthusiasts needing additional features, such as the full backrest and rear-facing grab rail. The four rod holders are the perfect helm support for carrying multiple rods in center console boats under 25-feet long. It’s practical smooth upholstery design features an anodized aluminum frame, a folding footrest and a large under-seat storage space for coolers or tackle boxes.
View the complete TACO Marine catalog for FREE here.
This Father’s Day, surprise dad with a TACO Tumbler Poly Holder – perfect for boating and fishing enthusiasts who spend time on the water and need a secure drink holder. Find these at your favorite marine retailer today!
Our 2-Tumbler Poly Holders secure beverages in place so dad can spend more time cruising and having fun. Our Tumbler Poly Holders are made of UV-stabilized, high-density black or white polymer that is built to last in the harsh marine environment.
Available in black or white, the tumbler holders also have a slot for a cell phone – complete with a charging port hole. Each holder is equipped with suction cups for easy and secure installation to various boat surfaces, including hatches, tabletops and fiberglass.
Our 1-Tumbler Poly Holder is a great addition to small spaces on the boat – providing more storage options for dad. The strong suction cup mounts ensure the Tumbler Poly Holder won’t slip, even when a hatch is opened or while the boat is traveling at a high rate of speed.
The 1-Tumbler Poly Holder is available in both white and black to match boat decks, helms and other recreational sporting vehicles. Both the single and double Tumbler Poly Holders come equipped to hold large beverages up to 30 ounces and a cell phone.