at the 2015 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show
President of Jarrett Bay Boatworks
As a custom builder you probably alter your designs to meet emerging customer demand more quickly than some production builders; what are some features you’ve seen on the rise?
We’re seeing our customers demand more quality and flexibility during the build process, whether that’s in interior designs or systems. People are also demanding boats to be built quickly and we’re seeing customers looking for boats that are more capable of long-distance, worldwide travel.
Are there any new products on the market, such as CHIRP sonar, that customers are insisting be installed on their boats?
Yeah, in the past we never installed a Seakeeper on any of our builds. And at this point, three out of our four boats have Seakeepers installed aboard. It’s just something the customer base is demanding more and more of. I was just talking with someone the other day and we agreed it wouldn’t be long until the Seakeeper becomes like an Eskimo Ice Maker. At first, we thought, You’d have to make a lot of ice for $15,000. Now we don’t think about building a boat without one. It’s just expected. The price hasn’t changed much for a Seakeeper but now that customers are experiencing it more and seeing that it can make their life more comfortable, they must have it.
Look into your crystal ball, what do you think the next trend in the sportfish market will be?
More horsepower is absolutely in demand. I think the first engine manufacturer that comes out with an engine that can produce 3,000-plus horsepower will do big things. And we’re seeing people want larger and larger boats. We currently have a 90 in construction, and we’re negotiating on a few in the upper 70s, and while they have good performance they could handle even more horsepower. That’s why we’re doing a lot of research on propulsion and running gear to make sure the boats are the fastest that we can make them. We’re doing a lot of work with material science to identify lightweight building materials that are as strong or stronger than materials we used in the past so we can improve boat efficiency.
You’re currently putting the finishing touches on a 64 that will be at the show (seen at lefy), are there any new features on this boat that showgoers will want to keep an eye out for?
What we’ve changed are subtleties but the overall effect will have people saying, Man that’s a really nice Jarrett Bay; you can see the evolution. I think the average person coming aboard will be impressed by our attention to detail in even the smallest of spaces.
On this boat we paid extra attention to the fairing and paintwork to ensure there won’t be any print-though problems. The [light-blue] paint job [with Alexseal paint] is fantastic. And while that may seem mundane to some, we put a lot of effort into making sure that that finish will last for a long time.
You’ll also find hidden gaff tubes in the mezzanine, and other little things that will make time onboard convenient whether we’re talking cupholders, access to the electronics, or the layout. You’ll find the cockpit proportional but very large, to accommodate fishing with a large family. I think you’ll find an excess of stowage but more than anything you’ll find a very comfortable boat.
What do you like to do when you’re off the clock at the show?
We always find ourselves at the Bahia Cabana; what a great location that is. It’s a great spot to watch the show and get something to eat. What I would try to encourage showgoers to do is not rush through it, even if that means you don’t see everything. I really like to go see other people’s boats.
Peter Van Lancker
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.