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Paul Mann | Garlington | Mark Willis | Scarborough | F&S | Jarrett Bay Rybovich | Hines-Farley | Sculley | C&S | Knowles | Dean Johnson | Jim Smith American | Caison | Release | Alex Willis | Holton | Shearline | Gamefisherman Merritt | Island Boat Works | Forbes | Jamie Chadwick | Bayliss | Spencer Cover art by Adrian Gray

GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY Innovative satellite communication solutions for business and private aviation, maritime and land mobile operations. For more details, contact us: +1 321.777.3000

2 | The Custom Shootout

A Stewart & Stevenson Company

PROUDLY SUPPORTING THE CUSTOM SHOOTOUT SINCE THE BEGINNING! Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison has been a proud sponsor since the beginning supporting the sportfish and custom sportfish industry with engines, re-powers, parts and service. FDDA offers a complete engine horsepower range from our business partners MTU and Volvo Penta. • MTU Marine Engines: 825 – 10,000 hp • Volvo Penta Marine Engines: 10 – 1,350 hp • OEM parts in stock

• Factory trained technicians • Daily service throughout Florida and the Bahamas • Emergency service on call 24/7/365

Contact us today! Fort Lauderdale 4141 S.W. 30th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 Phone: 954-327-4440 Fax: 954-327-4489

Fort Pierce 3885 Selvitz Road Fort Pierce, FL 34981 Phone: 772-464-6006 Fax: 772-465-2163

Miami 2277 N.W. 14th Street Miami, FL 33125 Phone: 305-638-5300 Fax: 305-637-1592

Orlando 6850 Presidents Drive Orlando, FL 32809 Phone: 407-888-1700 Fax: 407-888-0100

Tampa 8411 Adamo Drive Tampa, FL 33619 Phone: 813-621-5651 Fax: 813-620-1172

Fort Myers 2305 Rockfill Road Fort Myers, FL 33916 Phone: 239-332-3100 Fax: 239-332-4857

Jacksonville 5040 University Blvd. West Jacksonville, FL 32216 Phone: 904-737-7330 Fax: 904-733-5871

Ocala 224 S.W. 52nd Avenue Ocala, FL 34474 Phone: 352-237-7977 Fax: 352-237-4566

Panama City 1128 Chestnut Avenue Panama City, FL 32401 Phone: 850-763-7656 Fax: 850-784-0265

West Palm Beach 5725 Columbia Circle West Palm Beach, FL 33407 Phone: 561-842-2113

17-02-07 ©2017 Stewart & Stevenson The information in this publication, including text, images, and links, which may change at any time, is provided “AS IS” by Stewart & Stevenson without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. Stewart & Stevenson is a registered trademark of Stewart & Stevenson LLC.

The Custom Shootout | 3



Choosing to repower your boat with a Cat Marine Engine does wonders for your bottom line. Immediately you’ll notice a dramatic decline in your operating expense thanks to lower fuel costs and fewer maintenance bills. Whether it’s a yacht, commercial fishing vessel, an ore carrier or a tugboat, Fabick Cat has the marine power products for your hardworking fleet. With locations in four major Great Lakes ports as well as the Mississippi River, Fabick Cat is well positioned to serve you. As the exclusive Caterpillar dealer in our region, we carry the latest and most advanced marine engines, generators and auxiliary engines. © 2017 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow”, the “Power Edge” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

4 | The Custom Shootout

A THANK YOU Letter from Tournament Director Captain Skip Smith

Dear Custom Boat Builders, Boat Owners, Captains, Crews and Sponsors: What can I say about this 2017 Custom Shootout event? I started receiving emails and phone calls asking, “How do we get in?” The word got out about the great fishing we had and the great food in the air conditioned tent provided by the ABACO BEACH RESORT. I reached out to the boat builders and the committee asking them, “What do you want to do?” We were sold out after the first week the invitations were sent out and had close to 30 boats on the waiting list. I received a few emails back from the builders asking for the “builder exemption” so they could get their boats in and some others leaving it up to my best judgment. Then, I got the best email ever from one of the committee members and it read as follows: “Keeping in mind it is a charity/cause driven tournament I would do everything I could to accommodate as many as possible. I agree it is a blessing to have such a strong turnout for the tournament year after year. I know it’s a lot of work on you and your staff but I wouldn’t worry about inconveniences it may create for participants as far as room in the tent etc. The majority of the participants understand the purpose and would welcome as many contributors/participants as you can accommodate. I’m sure the sponsors and the boat builders would appreciate all the exposure they can get as I know they contribute a lot toward making this a great event.” After I received that response, I immediately called Kevie and we started measuring every slip in the marina while also trying to make the tent BIGGER! It was not long afterwards that we came to the conclusion that we could hold all of these boats and put on the biggest tournament in the Bahamas in many years! With the quality of these boats, it's doubtful that the 2017 Custom Shootout will ever be rivaled! As I told the builders and owners, this is not MY tournament this is YOUR tournament because these are YOUR boats and YOUR customers and you both take valuable time off from work to attend this event. This is also YOUR tournament, because if you did not support this tournament, it would not happen. So, I thank all of you and especially the sponsors, as they are not only supporting the tournament, but they are supporting all of YOU! You have already bought their products, now they can be there for you and they value your input as you use these products. In return, they hope you refer your friends to purchase their products and services. We are so blessed to all be together enjoying the comradery of great people FISHING in the Bahamas!!!

Good luck everyone!

Capt.Skip Smith A special thank you to all the 2017 volunteers and assistants! Copyright 2017 • The Custom Shootout • • All Rights Reserved Program produced by Savvy Graphics - • Photography by Debra Todd Photography -

Dometic Marine • 2000 N. Andrews Ave. Ext. • Pompano Beach, FL 33069 USA • 954-973-2477 •

Anytime, anywhere, anyplace ...

is always there for you.

Photo Jim Raycroft

Sportfishing Boats Yachts • Center Consoles Charter Boats • Mega Yachts • Guides • Triple & Quad Outboards

(954) 784-1807


Ring Power’s Preventive Maintenance Service gives you the peace of mind to enjoy it. Our highly skilled, factory-trained technicians are equipped to perform a variety of PM services onboard that will keep your pleasure craft in optimum operating condition: • Replace zincs in engine and gear cooler • Change auxiliary water pump impeller • Clean/inspect air filter(s) • Inspect aftercooler drain if applicable • Inspect crankcase breather • Inspect/adjust belts, hoses and clamps • Inspect battery voltage, electrolyte level and cables • Take oil samples on engines and marine gears • Change engine oil and filter(s) • Change fuel filter(s) • Change racor elements • Install latest flash file and obtain downloads if applicable



8 | The Custom Shootout



Following a comprehensive inspection of your vessel, the technician will provide you a copy of Ring Power’s Marine PM Checklist. Additional services available at discounted rates if performed at time of PM: • Valve adjustments, aftercooler cleanings and heat exchanger cleanings. • Customized Service Agreements (CSA) to minimize repairs and maximize time on the water WE DO ANYTHING FROM ANNUAL SERVICE TO COMPLETE OVERHAULS. CALL FOR PRICING TODAY!

Schedule of Events TUESDAY, MAY 2 PRE-KICKOFF PARTY! 6pm Dinner and cocktails Sponsors will be there to display their products

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3 3pm-5pm Registration and boat bag pickup KICKOFF PARTY 7pm cocktails 7:30pm Captain’s meeting & dinner

THURSDAY, MAY 4 6:30am Breakfast sandwiches delivered 8:30am-4:30pm 1st day of fishing 4:30pm Rum punch dock greeting GRILL NIGHT! 7pm Cocktails 7:30pm Dinner 7-9pm Bring your meat, fish, chicken, etc. and our chef will grill it for you. We will have side dishes available. Our burgers and hotdogs are available too.

FRIDAY, MAY 5 6:30am Breakfast sandwiches delivered 8:30am-4:30pm 2nd day of fishing 4:30pm Rum punch dock greeting HONOR THE CUSTOM BOAT BUILDERS 7pm Cocktails 7:30pm Dinner

SATURDAY, MAY 6 6:30am Breakfast sandwiches delivered 8:30am-4:30pm 3rd and last day of fishing AWARDS DINNER 7pm Cocktails 7:30 Dinner 7-9pm Silent Auction The Custom Shootout | 9

G P S M A P 8 6 00 se r ie s ®

Available in 17”, 22” and 24”

TIME TO reel it all in. “Let’s catch fish,” they say. Great. Only it’s up to me to find them. Good thing I can see everything from up here on my fully integrated glass helm. I control radar, sonar, charts, engines, music, video and more – all on beautiful, large format, full HD LCD touchscreens with the highest resolution on the water. Find fish? Indeed.


© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

10 | The Custom Shootout

Time to see what’s moving. Looks like a storm coming on…or is it? Nope, moving away. And what about that boat? Good, moving off my course, too. But that guy? Hmmm. He could be an issue. I may need to make a move. Better keep an eye on his movements. Good thing I have Fantom™ radar with MotionScope™ technology to do just that.


G MR fa n t o m ™ s e r i e s

© 2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries

Custom Shootout| | 11 11 TheThe Custom Shootout


there’s never been

a better time to

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Tournament Rules The Captain’s Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7pm in the Tournament Tent at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas for all registered teams. A team representative must be in attendance, as rules are subject to change. All boats must stay at Boat Harbour Marina or enter & depart each day, with permission from the committee. 1. PERMITS & LICENSES All teams must possess a Bahamas Fishing Permit and a Tournament Sticker. The Tournament Stickers will be located in your team package which you receive at registration. The Tournament Sticker is required to be adhered to your Bahamian fishing license. 2. FISHING HOURS The Tournament will begin with the call of “lines in” at 8:30am and continue until 4:30pm on May 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2017. All boats must be inside the marina before 7pm each evening, as the Committee must have your catch affidavits and video by then. Any gamefish requiring a weigh-in must at the scales prior to closing at 7pm. There are no lay days or weather days, unless determined by the Committee. Fish at your own risk. 3. BOUNDARIES: There is a 60-mile boundary rule - radius from the marina. 4. ANGLING & EQUIPMENT a. International Billfish Tournament Regulations apply. b. Four anglers per team per day are permitted, with no restrictions. Professional crew members (paid within last three years) are not permitted to be registered anglers. The term professional shall be defined as any individual who, within the previous three years of the custom shootout tournament, derives their principal income from and/or actively engages in the act of sportfishing on a regular basis for profit, such as a full or part time captain, mate, boat owner or charter operator who continuously runs and operates a sportfishing vessel c. Professional crew members (paid within last three years) are not permitted to be registered anglers. d. A maximum of six lines (with hooks) are permitted at any one time. An unlimited amount of hookless baits or teasers are allowed. “J” hooks may be used on lures only. Natural baits must be deployed with non-offset circle hooks. 5. TOURNAMENT SPECIES: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish are eligible for catch and release. 6. REPORTING OF BILLFISH A billfish hook-up must be called in to the “Committee Boat” within the first minute on VHF channel 71. The “Committee Boat” will validate your hook-up by announcement. A billfish release must be called in to the “Committee Boat” with the following information: species released, boat name, angler name, and type of tag, if applicable. The “Committee Boat” will then verify your information by announcement and give you a release time, which must be recorded on your daily catch affidavit and turned in at the end of the fishing day, with your video evidence. If you lose your fish prior to release (i.e. jump-off, pulled hook, etc.) please inform the “Committee Boat” as soon as possible. 7. CATCH & RELEASE RULES All billfish must be released to qualify. A billfish is considered released when: a) the swivel between the mainline or double line and leader hits the rod tip b) the mate grabs the leader or c) the wind-on leader comes through the rod tip. Please release the fish in good condition by either removing the hook-set or

cutting the leader as close to the hook-set as possible. “Popping” the leader is not a good method of healthy release, and we ask that you refrain from doing so. 8. CATCH & RELEASE POINTS a. Blue Marlin: 400 points b. White Marlin: 150 points c. Spearfish: 150 points d. Sailfish: 50 points e. Unidentifiable Billfish: 50 points f. A “Hatchet Marlin” will be considered a White Marlin in this tournament and therefore is categorized as such. g. One-day Grand Slam: 400 points. Only 1 Grand Slam per boat per day. h. All ties will be broken on time. 9. CATCH & RELEASE VERIFICATION Identification Markers - each team will obtain a marker prior to the day’s fishing. This marker must be displayed during the fight and recorded. Failure to show the marker in your video proof will disqualify your catch, even if it is time-stamped. Release Verification Recordings - each team is required to show video evidence of billfish catch and release. This recording shall be time and date stamped in accordance with the “official time” as stated by the “Committee Boat” prior to each day’s fishing. Your video proof shall include: 1) registered angler fighting the fish 2) proper identification marker 3) sufficient footage of the fish in order to accurately determine the species 4) proper release evidence - see Rule 7 above. All recordings submitted must be easily viewed by the Committee. It is the team’s responsibility to have these items and the video cued up for immediate viewing. Failure to do so will delay the verification process. We highly recommend you have at least two recordings on different cameras, and underwater shots are the best way to accurately identify the species. Billfish Release Affidavit - each billfish release is required to be noted on the day’s Affidavit and submitted with your video to the Committee each fishing day. Failure to turn in your Affidavit will disqualify that day’s catch(es). Affidavits are supplied with your registration package. If you do not have one for each day, please see the Committee for a replacement. Submission of Recordings - Verification recordings must be submitted to the Committee between 4:30pm and 7pm each day of fishing. All recordings, images, sounds, etc. may become property of the Tournament and may be used at any time. Recordings and/or images will be downloaded from the team’s device(s), if needed. INSTRUCTIONS & SUGGESTIONS Dispute & Polygraph - In the unlikely event a dispute or protest is filed with the Committee, it is possible a polygraph test may be required should the dispute not resolve. Members must be available within 24 hours of the dispute and must not consume alcohol or any controlled substance eight hours prior to testing. Failure to report for a polygraph test or refusal to answer any questions satisfactory to the Committee may result in disqualification. All disputes or protests must be submitted to the Committee in writing prior to 5 pm on the last day of the tournament.

The Custom Shootout | 13

14 | The Custom Shootout

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Awards & Prizes

MANUFACTURER PERPETUAL TROPHY: Carey Chen Glass Sculpture Courtesy of The Tournament TOP BOAT: Kent Ulburg Sculpture Courtesy of Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison MTU 2ND PLACE BOAT: Original Crystal Trophy Courtesy of Dex Imaging 3RD PLACE BOAT: Original Crystal Trophy Courtesy of Garmin TOP ANGLER: Kent Ulburg Sculpture Courtesy of Sunset Marina TOP LADY ANGLER (CHERYL ROY MEMORIAL): David Wirth Circle Hook Trophy Courtesy of SATCOM Direct

TOP CAPTAIN & CREW: Glass Engraved Tower (3) Courtesy of Smith-Merritt Insurance TOP TAGGING BOAT: Dennis Friel Giclees (3) Courtesy of Costa LARGEST RELEASED MARLIN: Glass Engraved Tower Courtesy of Pipewelders LARGEST MAHI: Global Fish Mount Courtesy of CAT Fabick LARGEST TUNA: Global Fish Mount Courtesy of Gregory Poole CAT & Pantropic CAT LARGEST WAHOO: Global Fish Mount Courtesy of CAT Ring Power

The Custom Shootout | 17

MORE YACHTS LISTED. MORE YACHTS SOLD. For Sale: “Nimbus� | 1994 70' Merritt Boat Works Sportfish

As one of the oldest and largest yacht dealers in the world, we bring unparalleled insight, industry expertise, and uncompromising service to our clients. Contact us today to learn how HMY can assist you with all of your yachting needs. We proudly offer new Viking, Princess, and Cruisers Yachts, and are the leaders in yacht brokerage and luxury charters.

5 61 . 2 6 2 . 413 2 18 | The Custom Shootout


H M Y. C O M

BLACK SHADOW | $3,495,000 2007 81' Sea Force IX Enclosed Bridge Sportfish

BOOMER | $3,750,000 2005 76' Whiticar Enclosed Bridge

CONQUEST | $5,195,000 2014 70' Viking Enclosed


LISA K | $3,790,000 2014 67' Paul Mann Custom Boats Convertible

NEENAH | CONTACT FOR PRICING 2015 66' Viking Convertible

BONNIE T | $1,995,000 2004 62' Rybovich Convertible

CR AZY BLUE | $3,875,000 2015 62' Viking Convertible

PIR ACY | $1,699,000 2008 61' Shearline Boat Works Convertible

OFF SEASON | $599,000 1986 60' Jim Smith Custom Sportfish

PLE ASE CO NTAC T FO R SALE IN QUIR IES: DAVE M E YE R 561.722.1047 | SCOT T LE VIN 772.263.1208 | TIM G R E DICK 843.607.7256

H M Y. C O M The Custom Shootout | 19


Top Builder

Spencer - 4 wins Tribute - 3 wins • Rybovich - 2 wins • Garlington - 2 wins • Merritt - 1 win • American - 1 win • Willis- 1 win • Paul Mann- 1 win • •

Top Engine Mfg CAT - 8 wins Detroit/MTU - 6 wins • Cummins- 1 win

Race From The Edge

Revenge - 4 wins Hines-Farley - 3 wins • Jim Smith - 2 wins • American - 1 win • Spencer - 1 win • Jarrett Bay - 1 win (No race in 2016)





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Past Winners 2016 BOAT HARBOR, ABACO, BAHAMAS • 1st Place: Lo Que Sea • 2nd Place: Two Cats • 3rd Place: Bear Trap • Top Angler: Tony Huerta • Top Captain: Kevin Paul • Manufacturer Award: Paul Mann 2015 BOAT HARBOR, ABACO, BAHAMAS • 1st Place: Vintage • 2nd Place: Reel Pushy • 3rd Place: Sweet Thing • Top Angler: Tony Huerta • Top Captain: Kevin Paul • Manufacturer Award: Willis Marine 2014 BOAT HARBOR, ABACO, BAHAMAS • 1st Place: Plane Simple • 2nd Place: Escapade • 3rd Place: Uno Mas • Top Angler: Jim Jensen • Manufacturer Award: Spencer 2013 BOAT HARBOR, ABACO, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Reel Pushy • 2nd Place: Jichi • 3rd Place: Arc Strike • Top Angler: Wally Whitley • Manufacturer Award: Spencer • Fastest Boat: Ravaganza, Jarrett Bay

2009 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: HT Hook • 2nd Place: Owls Nest • 3rd Place: Sandman • Top Angler: Al Eldridge • Manufacturer Award: Tribute • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge •

2008 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS • 1st Place: Que Mas • 2nd Place: MIMI • 3rd Place: Reel Joy • Top Angler: Paul Spencer • Manufacturer Award: American • Fastest Boat: MIMI, Spencer

2003 CHUB CAY, BAHAMAS • 1st Place: Salem Wolf • 2nd Place: Miss Allied • 3rd Place: China Girl • Top Angler: Roger Hammond • Manufacturer Award: Rybovich • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley 2002 CHUB CAY, BAHAMAS 1st Place: HT Hook • 2nd Place: Jack O Hearts • 3rd Place: ARC Strike • Top Angler: Harry Schufflebarger • Manufacturer Award: Tribute • Fastest Boat: Freedom, American •

2007 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Alican • 2nd Place: Jack O’ Hearts • 3rd Place: Meant 2 Be • Top Angler: Scott Frohman • Manufacturer Award: Tribute • Fastest Boat: Jack O’ Hearts, Jim Smith •

2012 BOAT HARBOR, ABACO, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Wave Paver • 2nd Place: Plane Simple • 3rd Place: Bear Trap • Top Angler: Jr Davis • Manufacturer Award: Garlington • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge

2006 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Wave Paver • 2nd Place: Cutnail • 3rd Place: Blank Check • Top Angler: JR Davis • Manufacturer Award: Garlington • Fastest Boat: Jack O’ Hearts, Jim Smith •

2011 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Chasin • 2nd Place: Double Dog • 3rd Place: Ravaganza • Top Angler: Don McKinney • Manufacturer Award: Spencer • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge •

2010 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Sandman • 2nd Place: Brier Patch • 3rd Place: Svengali • Top Angler: Lester Petracca • Manufacturer Award: Spencer • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge •

2005 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Black Out • 2nd Place: NUCO2 • 3rd Place: Frantastic • Top Angler: Jim Black • Manufacturer Award: Merritt • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley •

2004 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS 1st Place: Rosemary • 2nd Place: Miss Allied • 3rd Place: Double Dog • Top Angler: Terry Sherman • Manufacturer Award: Rybovich • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley •

The Custom Shootout | 21

SUPERIOR QUALITY FOR THE SUPERIOR FISHERMAN Northern Lights is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Custom Shootout

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John Vance And Jim Smith Boats By Jan Fogt

The last few years John Vance has completed his biggest boat to date – a 105-foot sport fishing yacht – an 86 and two 60-foot and 48-foot walkarounds. If that seems a little incongruous, well, it’s all comes with the territory of being a custom boat builder. The Stuart, Fla. builder of Jim Smith Boats, Inc. is located at the corner of Slater St. and Commerce in the SPS Industrial Center. Next door is Garlingon-Landeweer Marine and down the street - Gamefishermen, Willis Marine, L&H and Whiticar Boats. But Jim Smith Boats did it first, building large sportfishing yachts from this landlocked location just south of Stuart. It all started with a maverick named Jim Smith and a homemade boat that did 50 mph. The son of a North Georgia poker player, Smith was forced to quit school to support the family after his father abandoned them. By the time he was 10 he was selling moonshine and delivering Western Union messages by bike. At 13 he masterminded a land clearing project that put the teenager in the lumber business. Four years later he left the business world to pursue his passion for racing motorcycles, taking a job with the factory sponsored Indian Motorcycle team. He was winning races and generating lots of press until he was sidelined by an accident that claimed a leg. Not one to let a wooden leg slow him down, he next tried barnstorming but by the time Charles Lindbergh made his historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight Smith was experiencing his first rush from fast boats. The Custom Shootout | 23

Smith’s arrival in boat racing could not have been timed more perfectly. His ability to sketch and design complemented his mechanical and driving skills and before long, he not only was winning races but helping to pioneer construction of early performance engines and hydroplanes. Over the next 24 years of competitive boat racing he racked up hundreds of wins including four national championships. In 1950 at the age of 44, Jim Smith retired from the sport and a successful if not multi-faceted career running a chain of liquor stores and the largest Chris-Craft and Johnson outboard dealership in the South. He moved to South Florida, ready to embark on his next challenge - big game fishing. For that, he needed boat. He started visiting boat yards and admired the beauty and craftsmanship of Rybovich boats in West Palm Beach but at 20 knots top speed it was not fast enough for Jim Smith. He wanted a boat that as he put it “would get out of the pack” so he decided to build one for himself. His first boat was a collaborative effort between himself and fellow boat racer Mabry Edwards of Jacksonville. A young career officer in the U.S. Air Force, Edwards was also a boat builder like Smith. The resulting boat was a 38-footer he sold on the shakedown cruise north with Mary, his new bride. Back to the drawing board, the next boat Smith and Edwards built was a 35-footer called the Boca Jima. It was styled more like a 1957 Chevy than a sport fishermen, recalled Edwards. “The most radical thing about it in 1959 was its horsepower to weight ratio. Compared to everything else that was fishing it was overpowered and lightweight.” Powered by a pair of soupedup custom 409-cid Daytona engines, the boat was one of the first to utilize epoxy resins in the construction, which we know today as traditional cold molded double diagonal cedar planking. “Jim also designed the interiors, replacing the heavy wood appointments that marked a Rybovich. In their place he used veneers and epoxy resins to keep the boat light. Even then he understood the importance of keeping weight to a minimum,” said Edwards. The boat had two staterooms, a salon and galley and a “pod” tower with an elevator and retractable top, a unique feature that reduced drag that was designed by Smith. Most important at shotgun starts at early Cat Cay tournaments and the 1960 Miamito-Nassau race where Smith beat Dick 24 | The Custom Shootout

Bertram and co-driver Sam Griffith in an early 31-foot Moppie, it ran a jaw-dropping 44-knots even with the tower. Before his death in 1994, Smith said, “Dick Bertram and Sam Griffith couldn’t figure out how I was beating them in a conventional sportfishermen with two staterooms and a tower when they were running a stripped down 31-foot deep Vee ocean racer. Bertram thought it was the power but it was really a combination of construction, design and power. The philosophy was, keep it light and strong.” Speed is no longer the deciding factor at Jim Smith Boats, said John Vance. The goal is to make the boats as efficient as possible, explains the builder who went to work for Smith in 1982 as a finish carpenter. A student majoring in marine biology at the Florida Institute of Technology, he started working partime at Lydia Yachts in Stuart. “My mentor was Tom Wilkening. We built plank on frame headboats – the Rolls Royce of headboats I might add.” But business got slow and they were forced to lay off their partime help. That’s when Tom mentioned Jim Smith needed help. “I started out wanting to be either Jacques Cousteau or a professional sailor and boat builder. The trend in sailboat construction then was to composite glass and I wanted to stay in wood. It’s more organic, more rewarding; it’s like there’s a romance to it. So 25 years ago I made a decision. I followed my passion into building wooden sportfishermen for Jim and have never looked back.”

“My mentor was Tom Wilkening. We built plank on frame headboats – the Rolls Royce of headboats, I might add.”

At the time Jim Smith was 76 years old and up to his ears in orders. Starting out as a carpenter, eventually he made Vance a project head with his own crew and named fellow New Yorker Rich Scheffler project manager of the second line. “It was a great way to learn how to take a project from start to finish and to work with owners, just like you would if you were the boat builder,” said Vance. It also led to experimentation which Jim Smith thought was a great idea. They built two boats at a time to keep up with demand for the 40-knot, 60-footers he specialized in. Names like Speed Merchant, Jack O’Hearts, Knightlines, Tracker, Ms Broadbill, Captivator, Jack-ofDiamonds, Bushwhacker – were all based on Smith’s philosophy of keeping them light as possible – and fast. Being a boat racer had a lot to do with Jim Smith being an early innovator. It’s standard practice now, but he was one of The Custom Shootout | 25

the first to build boats from a standing jig fabricated to position the stringers, keel, sheer strakes and chines along with the bulkhead and transom. With the framing complete, it was a simple matter to plank the hull. He also was the first to use custom propellers on sportfishing boats. Eventually Vance was named the defacto boat builder when Jim started exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in 1989. By this time Rich had moved on to start his own boat building business which he called Tribute to honor Jim. As for Vance, well he is still building Jim Smith Tournament Boats according to the tried and proven cold molded epoxy process

“You’ve got to engineer the hull forms to make sure the boats run as efficiently as possible.”

or what he calls Okume wood composite technique. And in fact he designed and built the largest sportfishermen ever built – the 105-foot Marlena – using the process. “Cold molded construction has been used successfully since the early 1900s. As a construction material wood has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than many other available materials. Using our modern variation we are able to deliver an extremely strong, lightweight boat that reduces vibration and hull noise. Best of all, it allows us to construct complex shapes and designs that are not possible with fiberglass methods,” he says.

26 | The Custom Shootout

Things definitely have evolved since Jim’s time. The available horsepower was a fraction of what is today. “Jim’s first builds were powered with a pair of 903 Cummins with 450 HP and did 40 mph. My first boat, the Ms Broadbill, had a pair of 8V-92s Detroit Diesels with 700 HP each. By the 90s we started putting a thousand horsepower 12 cylinder Mans in the 60-footers we were building. A decade later engine innovation led to our building 105-footer with 2600 horsepower MTUs. The availability of higher horsepower engines is what is driving the size of the boats up to 86, 95 and 105-feet,” said Vance.

In the 70s boat design and engineering was a seat-of-the-pants affair. Jim had an eye for hull forms and what made for a good looking boat that ran fast. He had a rule that we still use today: never use more than you need, but always use enough, said Vance. While Vance does the lines, styling and interiors in house with the help of Kevin Hutchinson, a Stuart-based boat designer and landscape architect, he recognizes the seat-ofyour-pants approach is not good enough anymore. “You’ve got to engineer the hull forms to make sure the boats run as efficiently as possible,” he says. That’s where Donald L. Blount and Associates comes in. The Virginia-based firm has been engineering Vance’s structures, creating the hull dynamics and sorting out the hydrostatics since 1990’s. The foremost designer of high-speed yacht hulls today, a Blount design set the world speed record in the 222-foot Destriero which ran from New York’s Ambrose Light to Portsmouth, England averaging 53-knots. “When we began our working relationship I explained to Donald that I was already building boats that ran fast. What I needed him to do was to improve our ride quality; to make the boats more fuel efficient. I am happy to save he delivered on both counts.” Propeller tunnels are another of Blount’s specialties that Jim, Smith’s larger vessels have really benefited from, delivering drafts of just over five feet in the three largest boats completed in the past ten years.

The Custom Shootout | 27

We hold onto them here, through the good times and bad. It’s important to empower these guys much as Jim did when I first came to work here. Between the builders and owners this is a small industry. What binds us all together is the love for the boats.”

People used to come to Jim Smith Boats when they wanted a fast boat but today the reason most often cited is the overall quality of the product. “We don’t discuss speed as much as we do ride quality, performance, fuel efficiency, durability and finish quality. All I need to say when people ask about our warranty is that I’ll give them a list of owners to talk to. We do very little advertising. In fact most of our builds are for previous boat owners or people who have fished on one of our boats. The owner of the 105-footer was the same owner of the 95. And owners of the 86, we built a smaller boat for several years prior. Our owners appreciate that we do a good job estimating what boats will cost. We in fact offer a fixed price for our boats.” Vance has built 30 boats in the past 25 years at Jim Smith Boats, until recently all of them were flybridge sportfishermen. Trend or not the last three builds have all been walkaround sportfishers in the 48- to 60-foot class. “In this business if you put your money in the juke box you get to pick the song or what the boat will look like. Lately that has been walkaround or express sportfishers, which for a lot of people make sense.” We’re dealing with a different customer today, he said. “He’s younger and more active and these walkaround models offer 360 degree fishability. Based in a place like Costa Rica they don’t need or want the live aboard possibilities because they own a condominium or a house. But performance is something they aren’t willing to do without. Take this 48-footer we are building. It’s powered by four 350 HP outboards. The other 60-footer has conventional diesel power.” It says a lot about John Vance as a builder that many of the 25 people that work for him started decades before. “We hold onto them here, through the good times and bad. It’s important to empower these guys much as Jim did when I first came to work here. Between the builders and owners this is a small industry. What binds us all together is the love for the boats.”

28 | The Custom Shootout


Photo courtesy of Debra Todd Photography

The Tower That Tops Them All

PipeWelders Marine



Integrated Marine Electronics & Audio Video Solutions 2965 W State Road 84, Marina Mile, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312 954-584-6000 954-587-8400 The Custom Shootout |


“Tight Lines, Not Tan Lines” Doctors have long known that fisherman who spend a lot of time in the sun are at increased risk for skin cancer. Recently, a “Call to Action” was declared by the US Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alerting citizens to become educated regarding sun protection and practice. Not surprising to us, the RDK Melanoma Foundation, has been the boots on the ground for over twenty-three years, teaching sun safety education and providing essential resources to the public. To that end, we urge our Anglers to become informed and make critical sun safe choices for healthier lives. One person dies from melanoma every fifty minutes, one in every fifty people will be at-risk for developing melanoma, and Florida is the state with the second highest incidence of melanoma nationwide. Getting just one sunburn, before the age of eighteen, doubles your chances of developing this incurable disease as we advance in age. Always remember that eighty percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass right through clouds and penetrate your skin, so be diligent, no matter what the weather. Here is some SunSmart™ advice for Anglers; it can be a real “life preserver”! Slip on Sun Protection Clothing with an SPF/UPF Rating – Keep covered up while in the sun whenever possible.

Style with a Pair of Shades – Your eyes are just as susceptible to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays as the rest of your body. Make sure your sunglasses block both UVA and UVB rays. Seek Shade – Avoiding excessive sun exposure, especially during the hours between 10am – 4pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Prevention is obviously the most desirable defense against melanoma, however, both an exam from a dermatologist and skin self-checks are critical in skin cancer’s early detection. Any change in a “spot” you might notice, requires the immediate attention of a physician. Regular visits can be life-saving, especially for those who are higher at-risk. With education and sun safety protocol, melanoma is almost one hundred percent preventable. Remember, “Tight Lines, Not Tan Lines”! In good health, RDK Melanoma Foundation

Slap on a Hat – A hat with a wide brim will not only shade your face, ears and neck from the sun’s harmful rays, but will keep the rays from penetrating your hair and causing harm to your scalp. Slop on Sunscreen – Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and protective lip balm. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50+. Be sure to apply it 20 minutes before you are going to be in the sun and reapply it at least every two hours, especially if you are swimming or sweating.

For more information and resources, please visit our website at


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Chosen as one of the

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The Custom Shootout | 33

BUILDER SPONSORS Jim Floyd 302-838-5500 Roy Merritt 954-941-5207 Peter Landeweer 772-283-7124 Paul Spencer 252-473-6567 John Vance 772-286-1172 Mark Willis 772-283-7189 Michael Rybovich 561-627-9168 Rich Scheffer 561-775-6060 John Bayliss 252-473-9797 Randy Ramsey 252-728-2690 John Whiticar 772-287-2883 Ricky Scarborough 252-473-3646 Dominick LaCombe 772-221-9100 Robin A. Mann 252-473-1716

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34 | The Custom Shootout

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David Benke/Joe Dieffenbach 561-951-8997 John Drouet • Tabby Watt • 207-688-6420 Skip Smith • 954-784-1807 • Rick Salway




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The Custom Shootout | 35

XL Group Insurance

DREAM BIGGER. FISH HARDER. From bamboo outriggers to the latest dredge, innovation is key to success. As a proud sponsor of the Custom Shootout Tournament, XL Group recognizes that DREAMS are the heart of innovation. They open doors to new possibilities and move the world forward. As a leading recreational marine insurer, we DREAMELJJHUWRnjQGSOLUTIONS. We enable our clients to set sail wherever their DREAMS take them. Introducing ShipShape Yacht Coverage Solutions from XL Group.

MAKE YOUR WORLD GO , MAKE YOUR WORLD GO and ShipShape are trademarks of XL Group plc companies. Coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company, an XL Group plc company, and Lloyd’s Syndicate #1209. Coverages placed with Lloyd’s Syndicate #1209 are managed by XL London Market Ltd. and supported by XL corporate members at Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of the XL Group. Coverages not available in all jurisdictions. XL Group is the global brand used by XL Group plc’s insurance subsidiaries.

36 | The Custom Shootout

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38 | The Custom Shootout

The Custom Shootout | 39

IT’S TIME TO GO AGAINST THE CURRENT. Positioning your boat over that perfect spot is key to a successful day on the water. Off the mark by just a few feet, miss the bite. ZF’s iDrift™ technology takes control of your sportfishing yacht to the next level, allowing you to set the optimal drift plan. iDrift™ can control your drift speed and direction in windy conditions and/or active current – all while maintaining the bow’s heading. ZF gives you superior control whether you’re kite fishing or bottom fishing in the current, if you catch our drift.


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The Custom Shootout | 41

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44 | The Custom Shootout




Ultra High Speed 60” Per Crank 3 lbs. Minimum Drag at Strike The Custom Shootout | 45

2017 BOAT LIST Thanks to everyone fishing! BOAT NAME










Bear Trap



John Stout

Ed Dwyer




Randy Newcomer

Joel McLeod

Bid Time



Tim Phillips

Mark Rogers

My Love



Mike Bozzuto

Billy Elliott

Black Out

Mark Willis


Jim Black

Jose Montero

Never Say Never



Jim Carr

Eddie Herbert

Blank Check



Dan Doyle, Jr.

Danny Hearn




Ed Burr

Eddie Wheeler

Blue Sky



Greg W. Smith

Jay Weaver

Plane Simple



Jim Jensen

Jimmy Werling




Randy Ringhaver

Kyle Liane

Que Mas



Wally Whitley

Robert Helms


Dean Johnson


Paul Crampton Jr

Luke Blume

Rain Maker



Ari Haseotes

BJ Haseotes

Chasin Tail



James Takats

Rob Day

Reel Joy



John Guledsky

Andy Helms

Chips Ahoy



Greg Yancey

Chip Sheehan

Reel Lax



Lester Petracca

James Barnes




John Coe

Mark Shunk

Reel Pushy



Robert Baker

Chris Workmon




John Lee

Sean Young

Reel Rodeo

Jarrett Bay


Rich Van Camp

John Logan


Island Boat Works


Cruiser Crews

Mike Brady

Reel Steel

Hines Farley


Michael Verzaleno

Jason Parker

DA Sea

Paul Mann


Ed Dunn

Butch Cox

Reel Tight



Jimmy Lambert

Joe Figiel

Della Ann



Gardner Britt

Craig Baldwin

Salt Mine



Doug Weible

Michael Sempier

El Cazador



Sail Ricks

Mike Kennedy

Sea Boots



Brian Baugher

Alex Adler

Electric Bill

Jarrett Bay


Chad Sanders

Phillip Fender

Sempre Duro



William Stavola

Michael Murphy


Island Boat Works


Thomas D. Arnot

William Chapman




Fred Hardwick

Wink Daerzbacher




William Holekamp

Patrick O'Connell

Sweet Thing



Keith Beaty

Mike Murray

Geno V



Gene Pratt

Geno Pratt

Teaser II



Brad Abell

Alex Holden

Gina Lisa

Jim Smith


Gina Addeo

Danny Scotti

Texas Tea



Michael Savino

Pat Brogan

Grand Slam



Wallis Higginbotham

David Grubbs

The Chaser

Mark Willis


Todd Burbage

Dale Gurgo




Jay Archbell

Daniel Spencer


Jose Garcia

Barry Moore




Rey Acosta

JC Cleare


Dean Johnson


Ron Martin

Newt Cagle

Hit & Run



Byron Russell

Dave Fields

Two Cats



Doug Fabick

Nate Benz

Horse Play



Ted Keany

Ryan Keany

Uno Mas



Brooks Smith

Tommy Lynsky




John Imbesi

Rhett Roberts

Wave Paver



Jr. Davis

Russell Sinclair

Inlet Magic



Howard Paul

Jeremy Miles

Weez in the Keys



Scott Robins

Chris Zielinski




Edward Becker

Rick Ramsdell

Wrapped Up



Chris Lazzara

Andy Ford

J Seas

Alex Willis


Jim O'Brien

Roland Beamish




Kickin' Tires



Philip Weikert

Ian Wichers

Two Cats



Doug Fabick

Nate Benz

Lai Day



Mike Rendina

Cory Gillespie

Uno Mas



Brooks Smith

Tommy Lynsky

Lauren J



Tim Magee


Wave Paver



Jr. Davis

Russell Sinclair

Lo Que Sea

Paul Mann


Tony Huerta

Kevin Paul

Weez in the Keys



Scott Robins

Chris Zielinski

Ma Sheila

Paul Mann


Will Tomlinson

Mike Deighan

Wrapped Up



Chris Lazzara

Andy Ford

Mama Who

Jarrett Bay


Elaine Jones

Wil Thornhill





Ben Brownlee

Marlin Darlin



Bobby Jacobsen

Chris Kaulen

Three Times L Jamie Chadwick

Aldridge Forrester


The Custom Shootout | 47





48 | The Custom Shootout

NEW SUNRISE SILVER MIRR OR S This advancement of our color-enhancing 580 lens technology allows you to see more with less light. The yellow-based polarized lenses allow high light transmission while still providing maximum protection and deliver sharper contrast for sunrise, sunset, and a sun that wants to hide behind the clouds all day. Find your pair by using the dealer locator at

Custom Shooutout 2017 Program  

Custom Shootout Tournament is an all charity, invitation only, sportfishing tournament limited to 60 custom inboard boat teams - 32' or lar...

Custom Shooutout 2017 Program  

Custom Shootout Tournament is an all charity, invitation only, sportfishing tournament limited to 60 custom inboard boat teams - 32' or lar...