65 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
Building a Legacy
|A second-generation boatbuilder and a customer collaborate, just as their fathers did, to create a one-of-a-kind sportfisherman.|
Thirty-six-plus years ago, a man was searching for a boat on which he and his son could fish blue water. The man, who did most of his fishing out of Florida, talked to three custom boatbuilding brothers named Rybovich about constructing his dreamboat. After some discussion the man commissioned a 53-footer dubbed Castabar. The sportfisherman was launched in 1968, and father and son enjoyed untold boating adventures onboard her.
The son, who wishes to remain anonymous, inherited this nautical heirloom and used her often. Now grown up and an experienced angler, he enjoyed Castabar’s build, ride, and layout. But after four decades of faithful service, the boat was tired, and the owner realized it was time for a change. Having liked Castabar so much, he turned to custom builder Ryco Marine and Michael Rybovich, son of the late Emil Rybovich, one of the three brothers who built Castabar, to craft him a 65-footer.
“I knew Michael Rybovich still possessed the same family traits that his dad and uncles had,” the owner explained to me. One of those traits is building a sturdy, cold-molded boat without excessive weight, and the new boat, also called Castabar, is no exception. Her bottom is comprised of three layers of 5/16-inch mahogany planks glued in opposing directions with epoxy resin to add strength. Two layers of 18.5-ounce fiberglass cloth encapsulate the exterior of the hull, adding rigidity and providing a moisture barrier, atop which is 1/16-inch of solid epoxy, which was faired out before being painted. The interior of the hull is also fiberglass-encapsulated, which stiffens and strengthens the entire structure. Engine beds and stringers are clear fir and mahogany, laminated into place; the engine beds are skinned with one-inch AB marine fir plywood and 3/8-inch-thick aluminum caps to support the boat’s 1,400-hp Caterpillar 3412 diesels.
As a result of her construction, Castabar comes in at 67,000 pounds (dry), 15,000 to 20,000 pounds less than comparably sized, conventionally laminated boats. Nevertheless, she’s built to chase horizons, as I learned on test day. The 10- to 20-mph northwest breeze cutting across Key Largo, Florida, didn’t whip up any seas that could challenge her hull form, which has a bell shape forward that modifies to a convex shape amidships, where deadrise is about 18 degrees. In fact, she made mincemeat of the two- to three-foot chop. Spray rails running her entire length prevented any of the squashed chop from riding up the hull. Castabar was dry the whole day; not even a sneeze of spray worked its way to the flying bridge. And she was stable, too, thanks to aft sections that flatten to nine degrees at the transom.
Seeing how that design translates into performance out of the water was almost as impressive to me as learning about her build. Castabar’s Cats are coupled to Twin Disc transmissions and 33x43 four-blade Veem wheels, all of which helped propel her to a top average speed of 45.5 mph (2320 rpm) while burning 138 gph. Castabar’s captain, Dominic Ullom, Jr., told me that he usually runs the boat at about 1800 rpm, where she burns around 80 gph (can you say fuel miserly?) at 35 mph. It’s here that you can best see how hull design, power, and weight savings come together.
This article originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.