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Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in Boat Reviews, Convertible Boat, Powerboating, US |

Jarrett Bay 46: A Sportfishing Boat Worthy of NASCAR

Jarrett Bay Boatworks builds a custom convertible for NASCAR driver Jeff Burton.

If you were a NASCAR champ and you wanted a new sportfishing boat custom-built to your specifications, you might find Jarrett Bay Boatworks is up for the challenge. Driver Jeff Burton did, and last year they began construction on his new boat. Jarrett Bay’s hull number 57 is a 46’4” long, 15’ wide sportfishing machine (which carries 600 gallons of fuel and drafts 4’4”), powered with a pair of 575-hp Cat C9 Acerts, coupled to ZF pod drives.

Jeff Burton played a significant role, when designing Jarrett Bay's new 46 custom convertible sportfishing boat.

Jeff Burton played a significant role, when designing Jarrett Bay's new 46 custom convertible sportfishing boat.

This is Jarrett Bay’s first pod boat, and the extra belowdecks space (which would have been dedicated to the engineroom in a straight inboard arrangement) is used to form a second stateroom, with a pair of side-by-side berths. Another unusual design feature is the helm station Burton chose. “We’re taking a lot of what you see in a down-east boat that cruises and applying it to a boat that’s also ready to go hard-core fishing – and in a size that’s something I can manage myself,” Burton says.

Instead of the usual upper station, Burton decided to add an interior helm into the mix. That eliminates the usual salon wrap-around mask, in favor of actual forward-facing windows laid into a slightly higher-than-average cabin design. The rest of the salon is just as unusual, with a galley aft and to port, a small dinette forward of the galley, and a settee to starboard, behind the lower helm. “If you’re going out fishing and it’s raining, or you just want to get out of the elements, you can get down below,” Burton said. “That enables me to be with my family too, you know, and be able to spend time together. That’s really what boating is all about, is being able to spend time together.”

The bridgedeck still has a full-blown steering station, of course, and is capped off by a half-tower with a resin-infused hard top that has integrated, recessed running lights and LED courtesy and spreader lights. The electronics package is based on a Furuno system, complemented by a KVH high-def satellite dome, a Fusion Stereo and a FLIR night vision camera.

The 46 is expected to make its debut at the Miami Boat Show in February—but Burton said he hopes to take it through the inlet and catch some sailfish, before he has to leave town to climb into a land-vehicle and put the pedal to the metal in Daytona. Keep tabs on the boat’s progress via Jarrett Bay’s Jeff Burton blog.

And if you want a really cool view of this new 46, check out this time-lapse construction video of the boat. You’ll get to watch as a half-dozen guys scramble around like ants on mescaline, working at about 10,000 miles per hour to plank the hull.

For more information please visit Jarrett Bay Boatworks.

-Lenny Rudow