You guys saw my shameless plug last week about me trying to sell my brand new IPB 16 to fund my ‘dream’ project. Well the boat sold, so it’s time to reveal what all is going on. I’m super excited about this project and it’s nothing like I’ve ever tackled before. Years ago I got my first experience with a Hell’s Bay skiff. It was a side console 2006 Whipray my buddy Todd Barker (@todl3rr) bought before we became fraternity brothers in college. This skiff has since been my favorite skiff to fish on, even more so than the Maverick HPX I was used to fishing on before that.
Fast forward to just a year or two ago, I’ve been sneaking in ‘good words’ with ‘good people’ in ‘key places’ (see how I put all those things in quotes to be sketchy?) so they can tip me off when a sub-$10,000 Hell’s Bay goes up for sale. Well the time finally came, not in the form of a sketchy phone call, but in an out of the blue phone call from Tom Gordon at Islamarine. If you need a line on a used Hell’s Bay skiff, Tom Gordon is the guy to speak with. Not only did he work at Hell’s Bay for years, he restores the skiffs for a living at his Islamorada shop and has laid eyes on hundreds of them. Tom is a stand up guy and is very professional when dealing with customers. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with him and find the pre-loved Hell’s Bay that you want.
After speaking with Tom, he said he had a 2002 Devilray sitting in his lot that had been there for weeks. As soon as he told me that, it was on. I put my current boat up for sale and we made a deal with the previous owner. The sucky part came when I had to drive down to Islamorada and back to Central Florida in the same day. What a 12-hour drive that was.
As soon as I got the skiff back, it was time to demo all of the old junk in the skiff. There were tons of holes in the console, the deck, old cushions, rust everywhere, and SeaDek all over the cockpit floor. All of that needed to be stripped out and gutted so I could get it restored. There are a few very good restore shops in Florida, such as Castaway Customs and Islamarine where I purchased the boat. A newcomer to the restore scene is Glasser Boatworks, Jonathan Glasser has worked for Hell’s Bay and then worked at Castaway Customs doing their restore work. He recently branched off to do his own company and offered me a deal I could not refuse. If you want to get in touch with him, the only way right now is to call 321-626-0061.
After the demo on the boat was complete I dropped the skiff off at Glasser Boatworks to be redfinished, and now the two-week wait begins. In the mean-time I have lots of odds and ends to finish. Some basic rigging components to order, new stainless screws for everything.