Tag Archives: Contender

We’re Back with Episode 9 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited has been busy!

In episode 9 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat, the MCU team installs a custom bow pulpit and windlass on a 25-foot Sea Cat, while continuing renovations on the 19-foot Cuda Craft and 31-foot Contender.


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.

The crew at TNT Custom Boat Works making the custom bow pulpit.
Austin from MCU was the only person able to fit in the bow of the Sea Cat to secure the pulpit.
Steve mounting a drum-style electronic retrieval system that helps eliminate any line from tangling.
Brian from MCU water testing the new windlass.
The end result of 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.

Before the team could reattach the console, they had to fill most of those holes.

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.

Sanding down the edges to prep for new fiberglass.
New fiberglass was sealed in place with resin.

After the center console was patched up, it was painted and reinstalled on the Cuda Craft.

The console was then painted and glass-secured to the Cuda Craft deck.

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.

Steve had his rigging work cut out for him.

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.

New 2-gauge wire was attached to the engines from the console.
Steve crimped new battery cable ends to the wire, which was sealed in place with a heat gun.

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 trim tab brain by Bennett Electric.
A simple, clean system for moving the trim tabs.

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.

New gray and black upholstery being made for the Contender, which matches the hull and center console.

Here’s an exclusive clip.

Check out the other episodes of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat below.

Episode 8

Episode 7

Episode 6

Episode 5

Episode 4

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Watch the full episode below.

Stay up to date on all things TACO Marine by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Florida Sportsman Episode 4 Revisits Contender Remodeling Project and More

Our partnership with Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat continues in episode 4.

The professionals at Marine Customs Unlimited continue their work on a 31-foot Contender called “Better Dayz,” which needed new fuel tanks and a host of other upgrades after being damaged in a hurricane.

Once the tanks were removed, they were taken to TNT Custom Boat Works to be cleaned and powder coated.

They begin by taking the fuel tanks to TNT Custom Boat Works to have the tanks cleaned and powder coated. To powder coat the tanks, the team at TNT use a process called Electrostatic Spray Disposition, which evenly coats the tanks in a chemical powder.

The tanks are being covered in a chemical powder during the powder-coating process.
The tanks are then baked for 12 minutes, which causes the powder to melt and form a hardened surface. Here are the results.

After the powder is applied, the tanks are placed into an oven for 12 minutes, where the powder is melted to form a hardened surface. The tanks are then reinstalled and sealed into the boat using a unique hardened foam.

Here’s an exclusive clip.

The Florida Sportsman team then meets with Jeff, Dalton and Mason Toole to discuss their completely remodeled 1987 16-foot Alumacraft.

Jeff Toole with sons Mason, front, and Dalton. Together, the Toole family remodeled the 1987 Alumacraft in honor of Dustin Toole, who passed away in a car accident.

More than just a dreamboat, dad Jeff tells how his oldest son, Dustin, purchased the Alumacraft when he was 18 years old with the goal of remodeling the boat. Sadly, Dustin passed away in a car accident before he got to complete his dreamboat.

In honor of Dustin, Jeff, alongside sons Dalton and Mason, remodeled the boat over the course of 10 months – turning the craft into what Dustin had ultimately envisioned.

The 1987 Alumacraft before being completely remodeled.

The Toole family extended the front deck, added gunnels on each side, extended the rear deck, replaced the transom, replaced the outboard motor, remodeled the mini tower and helm, replaced the fuel tank and batteries, incorporated brand new SeaDek throughout and added an array of other custom touches in memory of Dustin and his vision for the boat.

After completing renovations, the 1987 Alumacraft looked like an entirely new boat.
The Toole family remodeled the boat in memory of Dustin Toole. The fish seen here was a sketch Dustin drew and had tattooed on his shoulder.
In memory of Dustin Wayne Toole.

Watch an exclusive clip with the Toole family below.

Watch the full episode below and visit YouTube.com/tacomarine for Project Dreamboat episodes 1 through 3.