42 Express Walkaround — By Capt. Bill Pike —
Back to Margaritaville
|A Pirate Builds His Ship|
An avid fly fisherman and nook-and-cranny cruiser, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett told me he was looking for a new boat to “get lost” on, and he had a definite idea of what the boat had to accomplish. Buffett, who likes to flats fish from kayaks, wanted a vessel that could get into shallow water (Margaritaviches have a 2'9" draft) so he could launch his two kayaks, which are stowed up top. “I love the kayak for fishing and exercise,” he says, adding, “I had a 33-foot L&H walkaround, and it was an all-around boat, not some macho fishing machine with wasted space forward.”
On the L&H, he’d stuff the kayaks up the side decks, but the tradeoff was losing his walkaround room. Buffett had heard that Rybovich was looking into building an express boat, and being a fan of Rybovich’s craftsmanship and styling, he asked the builder to construct a boat like his beloved L&H. “I was looking for something for me. I call it a Bahama boat,” he adds. From there, the idea germinated into a semiproduction 42-footer, with Buffett buying the first one. The proud owner says the walkaround is great because it’s the “maximum use of minimum space.”
But it isn’t just kayak racks that personalize this boat for Buffett. He’s quite proud of the below-decks look and layout. The inviting and relaxing bamboo-decked interior comes courtesy of his lifelong love affair with the tiki bar. “I’m a bamboo freak, a tiki bar guy,” Buffett says enthusiastically, adding that “A lot of boats are dark [below decks], and most feel constricted and claustrophobic. I wanted a lighter interior, which helps give the appearance of more space.” The interior cabinetry is done using Koa, a Hawaiian wood Buffett chose after employing it for a custom guitar project.
Even though he’s an avid fisherman, this angler releases a majority of fish he catches (except the ones for lunch), so he eliminated the standard cockpit fishbox and opted for a big gas grill. “I’ve scalded my fingers trying to attach barbecues. I wanted a [built-in] gas grill,” he says, noting that there’s a gas cooktop below decks, too. “You can’t regulate heat with an electric cooktop,” Buffett adds authoritatively.
Although he took delivery some weeks back, there are a few more pieces of this boat’s puzzle Buffett plans to add before she’s finished. “I think we’re going to put a flat-screen TV in the V-berth and add an underwater camera and light system. With a camera feed to the flat-screen, it’s like having an aquarium behind your boat,” he concludes. “Cool,” I thought. I just hope his fishy friends don’t show up behind the boat around lunchtime, or they could go from the silver screen to that big gas grill. —Capt. Patrick Sciacca
This article originally appeared in the February 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.