“Every day I’m just thankful to have been a part of it, and to have that trust from the owner,” says
Wrightsville Beach’s John Riggs, who was the boats owner’s agent/project manager. That first ride “was
somewhat emotional,” he says.
Riggs, a boat broker now with his own brokerage is a third-generation fisherman who helped his father
and grandfather on their commercial boats in coastal North Carolina as far back as he can remember.
“Growing up on old single-screw charter boats and commercial boats, I wanted to get into building boats,
and designing boats,” he says. “I lived in Harkers Island beside a boatbuilder … and told him I was going to
go to school to draw and design ’em, and come back
and we were going to change the world.”
That plan changed and evolved, but Riggs did stay
involved with boating and fishing, eventually helping
launch a brokerage in Wrightsville Beach in 1998. He’s
helped countless owners buy, sell, upgrade and fish their
boats — and even helped with a few builds.
And then he took a new client, a referral, who ended up buy-ing
a boat that had a famous former owner.
“We bought the old Day Money, which was built for (country
music singer, songwriter) George Strait, a 78 Garlington, and did a
massive refit on that boat,” Riggs says.
He and the buyer worked on the boat, they fished it. But deep
down, it was still someone else’s boat. Riggs suggested a custom build.
“And he says, ‘No, I’m not building a boat,’ ” explains Riggs.
But time passed, and a vision took form.
The client, now a friend, dreamed big — of building something special,
something that could run fast and far, efficiently and comfortably, and still
maneuver on a fish like the smaller boats that were once the norm in the
sportfishing fleet. They started talking to boatbuilders, telling them about
the idea and asking them if they were interested in doing the project. Asking
them whether they could do the project and what the timeframe would be.
“And it came back to doing it right here in North Carolina with Randy
(Ramsey, owner of Jarrett Bay Boatworks),” Riggs says. “We had a conver-sation
JARRETT BAY 90 SPECS
Beam 22’ 6”
Draft 5’ 8”
Cockpit Area (sq. ft.) 310
Dry Weight (lbs.) 150,700
Fuel Capacity (gal.) 4,400
Horsepower 2,600 hp x 2
Propulsion Conventional Shaft,
Gensets Northern Lights,
40 kw x 2
during the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and explained to him face-to-face
what we were trying to build. And he said, ‘I’d love to do it.’ ”
At her size and available power — MTU’s 2600-horsepower M96L diesels
were the most powerful marine units on the market — she’d have to be light
to achieve the speed the team was looking for. Light, as in 25 percent lighter
than Jarrett Bay’s weight estimates for its usual construction materials and
methods, but still strong to withstand the pounding a boat can take at sea.
“We were looking to pull about 40,000 pounds out compared to our
typical build, which is pretty dramatic,” Ramsey says. The hull itself is cold-molded — wood sheathed inside fiberglass and Kevlar
But nearly everything else is carbon fiber.
Using carbon fiber, says Jim Gardiner of Washington, N.C.’s Compmillennia, can reduce the weight of a component by 30 to 50
percent. Compmillennia created molds and laid up parts for the boat including deck soles, the cabin house and hardtop, and the
inboard 86-foot-long stringers that run from bow to stern, tabbed inside the hull for strength and structure.
Riggs gestures at the flybridge. “The helm chairs, the mezzanine seating, basically everything on the bridge deck besides those
cushions is carbon fiber.”
The boat has hydraulically deployed 55-foot carbon fiber outriggers.
“I was joking one day and said I’d heard about these carbon fiber toilets,” Riggs says. They made it into the build, along with car-bon
composite sinks, bulkheads and stringers. Some wood furniture, the hull bottom, and teak decking in the cockpit accounts for
almost all the wood in the boat. “If you start stacking lumber on it, that’s just adding weight.”
COURTESY OF JARRETT BAY BOATWORKS
Left, the 310-square foot cockpit. Everything on the flybridge is carbon fiber except the cushions. Even the 55-foot hydrauli-cally
deployed outriggers on Jaruco are carbon fiber. Above, The Jaruco in the travel lift at Jarrett Bay Boatworks 2015.