Jarrett Bay 44 Express Page 2

PMY Boat Test: Jarrett Bay 44 Express continued
Jarrett Bay 44 Express — By Capt. Ken Kreisler — August 2002

Fit to a Tee
Part 2: The real story behind this boat is what you can’t see.
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• Jarrett Bay 44 Specs
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Strange and his wife also wanted Lady Sarah to be utilitarian, although her accommodation spaces are quite adequate for day-boating or long-weekending. A V-berth offers ample stowage cabinets and drawer space and 6'5" headroom, plenty for Strange's 5'11" frame. The saloon offers a couch to starboard and a workable galley to port featuring an undercounter refrigerator, three-burner electric stovetop, sink, and adequate counterspace. The head, with a stand-up shower, is just aft of the galley. Cherry accents add a nice touch. Yet this remains a relatively Spartan vessel, with virtually no "extras." Strange wanted a boat he could take out, fish, take back home, and quickly hose down, so he could go home.

That's just as apparent outside, where Lady Sarah features a centerline teak helm station with a pair of pedestal seats. An express-style boat, she has excellent sightlines ahead, to the sides, and aft whether you're seated or standing. An electronics cabinet above houses a pair of Icom M501 VHF radios as well as the DDEC electronic readouts, while the Furuno Navnet, LCD FCV 1100L color sounder, and Northstar 952X GPS are housed in another electronics cabinet just forward of the wheel. All the units are easy to access, and an in-sole hatch just aft of the helmsman's pedestal provides equally ready access to the engine room. While this is not a stand-up space, I still found adequate elbowroom to perform all the maintenance checks.

Aft and to port of the helm is a large L-shape couch and a smaller couch to starboard. Strange opted for a pair of stainless steel overhead grabrails and Penn 50 International teaser reels mounted into the hardtop on both port and starboard sides.

Lady Sarah's cockpit is all business but again, in keeping with Strange's philosophy, simple. Occupying 144 square feet, it features teak coaming boards, a transom livewell, a fighting chair, a pair of Rupp outriggers, eight rod holders, and an athwartships livewell and tackle center forward. Above, a full tower, where Strange says he spends most of his time when the water is calm, was fabricated here at Jarrett Bay.

But the real story behind this boat is what you can't see. "Our boats are cold-molded," Forbes says. "A lot of the boys up the beach subcontract some of their work and use different people to cut their jigs out. We prefer to use the same crew all the time on every boat. We loft the boats, cut the stations out, and stand `em up." Like most Jarrett Bays, Lady Sarah has four watertight bulkheads; crash, forward and aft engine room, and one between the pump room and lazarette. The framing is fir, and there are three layers of marine-grade fir plywood on the bottom, while on the sides, it’s three layers of diagonally planked Okumme marine ply. Everything is glassed on the inside and outside with 34-ounce cloth on the bottom and 18-ounce cloth on the sides using WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. "Because boats today have more horsepower and run in all kinds of bad weather, you've got to make them stronger," Forbes explains. "We keep our unsupported panel area to a minimum by egg-crating, and we beef everything up, stringers and all."

This philosophy is followed throughout the boat, especially forward. Forbes tells me that every three or four feet, Jarrett Bay installs a half-height bulkhead to support the planking. "Basically we create a bunch of boxes within the hull," he says, and notes that they even mold a little box under the engines to catch any oil leaks.

As much as I want to hear more about the way Jarrett Bays are built, I'm hoping to catch a word with Strange before I leave. On my way out I spot him and stop to say goodbye. He's just finished hosing down Lady Sarah and getting her ready for the weekend trip. "Dock boy was supposed to do this," he says. "No big deal though." As I walk away I look back and see him taking a chamois to Lady Sarah's tower. He seems contented, and why shouldn't he be? He can look back on a stellar career that has afforded him and his family many of life's better things. That certainly includes Lady Sarah, which he clearly intended to suit to his simple, laid-back life. No wonder that for him, taking care of the 44-footer is hardly more hassle than sinking a two-foot putt at the U.S. Open.

Jarrett Bay Boatworks Phone: (252) 728-2690. Fax: (252) 728-2607. www.jarrrettbay.com.

Next page > Jarrett Bay 44 Specs > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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