My Boat My Life

Anglers Journal - - MY BOAT MY LIFE - By Reid Bandy

I’ve never been a per­son who en­joys an out-of-the-box power­boat. I typ­i­cally pick up junkers, rip them apart and turn them into what I want. Af­ter years of fix­ing up ev­ery­thing from small cen­ter con­soles to a Jer­sey 40, I bought my Jar­rett Bay 53,

Reel Flare. She’s hull No. 6 from Jar­rett Bay Boat­works in Beau­fort, North Carolina.

What I like about Carolina boats is their “bow-high” ori­en­ta­tion, deep fore­foot and pronounced rocker, which give them flat­ter­ing fol­low­ing-sea char­ac­ter­is­tics. I learned from my Jer­sey 40 that some New Jer­sey-built boats tend to roll and ride on their chines in a heavy fol­low­ing sea, which can lead to a broach and ly­ing beam-to. Not good when you’re run­ning an an­gry in­let.

I was mak­ing trips to Wanch­ese and Ore­gon In­let to look for a North Carolina boat when I stum­bled upon my Jar­rett Bay 53. It was a “That’s it!” mo­ment. The boat had been used hard and char­tered heav­ily, but she was ex­actly what I wanted. I’ve made all sorts of mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the in­te­rior and done ex­ten­sive work to the ex­te­rior, in­clud­ing a com­plete paint job. She’s had three power plants: her orig­i­nal 735-hp Detroit Diesel 8v92, a 1,200-hp MAN LZ and the 1,015-hp Cater­pil­lar C18 she has now. She cruises at 25 knots, and she’ll do 30 knots in the cor­ner.

What I love is her abil­ity to trudge where I need her to go and get me back safely — with­out feel­ing as if I am go­ing to get my ass handed to me if the weather turns. It’s a three-hour trip out to the canyons from Ocean City, Mary­land, where I fish for white mar­lin, tuna and mahi-mahi.

And it doesn’t hurt that she’s great at rais­ing fish. I en­joy ev­ery sec­ond I use her.

Reid Bandy is the owner of Bandy Boats and Elite Auto Body in Annapolis, Mary­land. In ad­di­tion to his Jar­rett Bay 53, Bandy fishes a 35-foot ex­press that he built. He’s also restor­ing a 1955 Ry­bovich 36 (hull No. 18).

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