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Some tweaking involved the addition of a ballast tank forward to replace the three crewmembers (much safer) and adding some cutaway and bevel to the stern to improve hydrodynamics.
“We eventually made the stern lighter and the bow a little heavier,” he tells me, noting that all G&S boats are made with Airex composite foam core, CoreCell, and NidaCore. They are light. In fact, that 66-footer comes in at 73,000 pounds wet, which is a few tons lighter than several comparably sized custom build and as much a 15 tons lighter than some same-size production vessels.
These days that forward ballast tank is a fuel tank, which means it functions beyond being a counterweight. In addition, shallow tunnels—about ten inches—were added to help drive clean water to the running gear while also providing lift when the boat’s in reverse. The shape is critical because, Gentry explains, if the tunnels are too deep then they restrict maneuverability and the boat won’t be able to spin on the dime like it needs to for chasing fish.
Carter’s Silver-Rod-O is powered by 585-hp Cummins diesel inboards and she can rotate 360 degrees in 15 seconds with 550 gallons of diesel and eight people onboard, claims Gentry. Does that mean she’s underpowered? No, he claims, because you don’t get the low-end torque required to make these boats do what they’re designed to with higher-horsepower electronic motors. “They won’t spool up [fast enough],” he adds. The trade-off is midrange and top-end speed, but G&S clients are willing to make that choice.
And it’s a choice that this builder’s owners continue to make as G&S has a consistent stream of repeat customers. There’s a brand loyalty among these anglers that keeps them coming back…and backwards.
“I don’t know how we got here,” Gentry says laughingly, “but we’re here.”
G&S Boats (850) 835-7700.
This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.