Winter Custom Yachts 63
Built to travel and fish, this custom 63 turns up the styling to a lux level.
It’s hard not to stare when the latest from Winter Custom Yachts, a 63 sportfish, comes backing toward the dock. She’s a classic beauty, with clean lines, a smooth broken sheer, exquisite woodwork and plenty of power. But my eyes landed on the name emblazoned on the transom in an italic, cursive font. Boat names often reveal the owner’s occupation (Legal Eagle), angling passion (Reel Easy) or family tree (My Three Sons). This boat’s name tripped me up. Does that say Boujie? I thought to myself.
I’d always taken the slang, condensed version of the French word Bourgeois as a bit negative, with connotations of living above one’s means. When my wife spent her birthday with her girlfriends racking up spa treatments at the Ritz, she called herself “boujie.” It made me smile, though it made my credit card sweat. This vessel, however, isn’t trying to be something it’s not. Boujie is the real deal, a sportfishing yacht with all the accoutrements you’d expect of a hardcore tournament contender.
“We wanted to develop something a little different,” builder Tim Winters says, referring to the shape of the boat’s house. “It’s more stylish, helps contain the waterflow coming off the bridge and gives the boat a different look.”
Winter Custom Yachts 63
Many builders who offer sportfishing convertibles build the bridge separately and place it on top of the house. On the Winter 63, the cabin and bridge were built as one structure. This, Winters says, allowed for a better hand hold when walking up to the bow, which in classic Carolina form does not include a bow rail. It also let the builder add more volume to the bridge, which fits right in line with the owner’s desire to fish the Gulf of Mexico’s distant canyons that require an overnight offshore, and eventually make its way to Costa Rica to target the far-flung, billfish-rich seamounts on multi-day trips.
The bridge has a peninsula-style console with three Garmin screens at the helm. Forward of the helm is an elevated bench seat with a long, almost bunk-like lounge below it. “The idea was someone could sleep on the bridge,” says Winters. But sleeping upstairs is a tad on the spartan side compared to the boujie accommodations down below. Stashed under the brow is an air-compressor to fill poly balls and run air tools, but that racecar-like ratcheting would definitely wake you up, as will the zing of a reel with a hot fish in the middle of one of those offshore overnights.
The cockpit is rigged for serious fishing, sporting an 85-gallon livewell in the transom with eight interchangeable tuna tubes. The owner does a lot of spearfishing and diving so there’s a boarding ladder that can be used for the 35-inch-wide transom door. The builder installed plumbing for two removable 70-gallon livewells that will sit on deck when fishing with live baits for sailfish. And the fighting chair can be switched out for a rocket-launcher pedestal with 12 rod holders. There’s plenty of storage space in the lazarette and a behemoth, 11-foot-long athwartship kill box. Below the deck lies a Seakeeper 16 with its own access hatch.
The mezzanine stands a bit higher than normal, with a tall step that allows for more storage and a higher vantage point to spot fish when sitting there and looking aft at the trolling spread. The lower mezzanine has cold storage, freezer, ice dump, engine room access and to starboard, a set of drawers with a nice surprise sitting in the bottom drawer. When you pull this drawer open you find a wing station with engine controls and autopilot. The controls look a bit low, but because the drawers are raised up on the mezzanine, Winters says the station is situated perfectly when standing on the cockpit sole. “It’s right where your hands are when you’re standing there,” he says.
Boujie is powered by twin 1,925-hp Cat C32s. According to Winters, the 81,000-pound boat (91,000 pounds fully loaded) tops out at 43.8 knots at three-quarter load. She’ll cruise anywhere between 32 and 37 knots, burning 120 to 160 gph. The boat carries 1,640 gallons of fuel as well as quick-connects and pumps for an additional 400 gallons of fuel in bladders should you need it on one of those epic trips to the Caribbean or running down to Central America. And with twin Cat C2.2T generators rated at 27 kW, there should be no problem keeping the cabin cool and running all of the onboard systems.
Another big-ticket item is the Dometic watermaker with Spot Zero, which filters out any hard water to alleviate water spots. “It’s really worth it,” Winters says. “It’s one of those things that give you the best chance to keep the boat looking brand new.” It also cuts down on time spent washing and polishing, and this hull really shines with a ceramic coating to maintain that fresh, just-out-of-the-yard look.
The interior is awash in walnut woodwork with a satin finish. “It’s a little boujie,” Winter said, using that word yet again in reference to the high-end animal hide leather used throughout the salon. I’d call the mix of rich wood finishes clean and classy. There’s plenty of room to enjoy a family get-together in the salon with an L-shaped couch to port and a circular peninsula by the galley with three stools. A tackle center sits on the starboard side.
The three-stateroom, two-head layout is ideal for long weekend fishing adventures with a full crew. Both of the guest cabins have a double berth with a bunk over top. The master has a queen and private head.
The hull for this boat was built using cold-molded construction, including three layers of marine-grade Okoume plywood encased in biaxial fiberglass and epoxy. Other than the hull and stringers, the rest of the vessel is made using composite materials to keep her light and strong.
For 37-year-old Winters, this hull marks his 28th build, and he’s currently working on hull 33. He started the company when he was just 20, and he hopes to splash his 40th hull by his 40th birthday. Winters has built a reputation for being a tad on the unorthodox side, innovating and trying new things. He said he’s working on a project with Michael Peters, a 66-footer with V drives. “That boat should do 52 to 53 knots,” Winters says. It’ll be big, fast and I’m guessing very boujie as well (but in a good way).
Winter Custom Yachts 63 Specifications:
Displ.: 81,000 lbs (dry)
Fuel: 1,640 gal.
Water: 250 gal.
Power: 2/1,925-hp Cat C32-ACERTs