Anglers Journal - - CONTENTS -

A plat­form for tech­nol­ogy, the Jar­rett Bay 90 Jaruco pushes the en­ve­lope in nearly ev­ery way, from her car­bon fiber con­struc­tion to the hy­dro­foil be­neath the hull.


The sun is just ris­ing over the horizon. The air is damp and heavy. I walk down the bustling dock of the Abaco Beach Re­sort with my col­leagues Bill Sisson and dig­i­tal di­rec­tor John Turner. Crews are busy prep­ping baits and boats for day one of the Cus­tom Boat Shootout, an in­vi­ta­tion-only tour­na­ment staged this past May. A 30-knot breeze has been build­ing for days, kick­ing up 6- to 8-foot seas with some 10-foot­ers thrown into the mix.

“It’s good to be go­ing out on the big­gest boat in the fleet,” Sisson says, to which I mum­ble in agree­ment. We meet the owner of the new Jar­rett Bay 90 Jaruco (pro­nounced ha-roo-ko) in the cock­pit. “What’s the plan for this morn­ing?” I ask.

“Sur­vive,” is his not-so-com­fort­ing re­ply. As the young crew hus­tles about the boat, I take a mo­ment to ad­mire the crafts­man­ship. Jaruco is stun­ning. Her bro­ken sheer slopes up to a flared bow; like a south­ern drawl, it in­stantly speaks to her Carolina her­itage. The wood­work is a sig­na­ture Jar­rett Bay fea­ture. Randy Ramsey, the founder and pres­i­dent of

the com­pany, which em­ploys nearly 150 crafts­men at its boat­build­ing divi­sion in Beau­fort, North Carolina, is on board for the day.

Jaruco’s owner walks through the boat with an air of con­fi­dence. A for­mer heart sur­geon with de­grees in medicine and en­gi­neer­ing, he’s now a driven en­tre­pre­neur. He has a calm de­meanor but speaks with ex­cite­ment about Jaruco (named for the town in Cuba where his fa­ther was born).

“The goal was to make Jaruco to­tally state of the art from an en­gi­neer­ing per­spec­tive,” he says. “It’s fast, but it’s also strong and sturdy. A lot of peo­ple build fast boats, but they ac­com­plish that by cut­ting down on the con­struc­tion.”

To en­sure his boat would be as strong as his re­solve, he had Jaruco built to ABS spec­i­fi­ca­tions, rated to with­stand 8-foot seas at 50 knots. Think about the forces at play when an 84-ton boat hits a boisterous ocean at that speed.

Jar­rett Bay used ma­te­ri­als such as ti­ta­nium and car­bon fiber to achieve that level of strength while keep­ing weight down. Jaruco is filled with car­bon fiber, from the bulk­heads and rud­ders to the heads and the hy­dro­foil (more on that in a bit).

The hull is one place the yard in­cor­po­rated tra­di­tional Carolina boat­build­ing tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als. It con­sists of three lay­ers: a mid­dle layer of cold-molded wood sand­wiched be­tween an outer layer of Kevlar and fiber­glass and an in­ner layer of car­bon fiber. There’s more car­bon in the stringers and fore­deck, which is strength­ened for touch-and-go heli­copter land­ings.

We see Jaruco hit close to 44 knots in rough seas with her twin 2,600-hp MTU 16V2000 M96L diesels run­ning at wide-open throt­tle. It’s im­pres­sive that a boat this big can run this fast in these con­di­tions. Ramsey es­ti­mates that they re­duced her weight by 40,000 pounds us­ing car­bon fiber and Kevlar, but she’s not a 50-knot boat. Yet.

Jaruco was de­signed to be easily (rel­a­tively speak­ing) re­pow­ered with big­ger en­gines

at some point, so Jar­rett Bay and the owner re­searched foil­ing tech­nol­ogy to boost her speed. “It’s a lit­tle bit in­tim­i­dat­ing bolt­ing a foil to the bot­tom of a boat you put this much work into,” Ramsey says, “but I will tell you the tech­nol­ogy works. We put a ton of sen­sors all over the pro­to­type foil and ran it through the rpm range. We could see how much lift it was pro­duc­ing and how much force was be­ing pushed down on the blades.”

Ramsey wasn’t the only one who was anx­ious for the foil­ing test. “It was nerve-rack­ing be­cause no one has ever done it. You can do all the tank-test­ing in the world,” says John Riggs, the owner’s agent and project man­ager. “It makes a cou­ple of knots dif­fer­ence, but it’s amaz­ing to feel the en­gine load drop and speed pick up. You can feel the whole boat lift up. Twenty years ago if some­one said we’d build a boat with a hy­dro­foil, I’d say they were crazy.”

The first foil was a 14-foot fixed unit made from aerospace alu­minum and car­bon fiber and at­tached to the hull un­der the master state­room. A new foil is be­ing tested this sum­mer. The goal is to be able to de­ploy and re­tract it at the push of a but­ton, which the builder says will only be a mat­ter of time. For the Cus­tom Boat Shootout, Jaruco is run­ning with­out a foil.

Like a pro­tec­tive older brother, Ramsey sits atop the mez­za­nine watch­ing baits and over­look­ing the 310-square-foot cock­pit. Be­neath

his feet is per­haps the most tech­no­log­i­cally so­phis­ti­cated sport­fish­er­man ever built. It’s been an im­pres­sive jour­ney for the man who 31 years ago set out with a small team to see if they “could build a bet­ter mouse­trap.” They ac­com­plished that and a whole lot more. “We’re the Amer­i­can dream,” he says. But Ramsey isn’t one to sit on his lau­rels.

“It’s crit­i­cally im­por­tant that we chal­lenge our­selves ev­ery day and try to build some­thing bet­ter,” he says, eyes still trained on the baits. “The owner of this boat re­ally pushed us to our lim­its. He chal­lenged us to re­ally chal­lenge our­selves ev­ery sin­gle day.”

The fish­ing fea­tures on the owner’s musthave list for Jaruco were in­spired by a Weaver he had owned. “I wanted a fish­ing ma­chine. You’ll see that in the cock­pit,” the owner says, from the 250-gal­lon fish­boxes, which can hold fuel blad­ders for added range, to the winch for haul­ing large fish on board to the bait trays. “We wanted it to be a to­tal fish­ing ma­chine.”

The owner was also in­spired by a Gar­ling­ton he owned and had re­built. He says it taught him what he wanted out of Jaruco in terms of liv­abil­ity. “It had to have an in­te­rior that would make Fead­ship jeal­ous,” he says with­out a hint of sar­casm. “I think we ac­com­plished this. If you’re go­ing to do some­thing, do it right.”

Day one of the tour­na­ment turns out to be slow. After eight hours we only have a few dol­phin in the cooler. At 4:30 p.m. we hear the call for lines in. Rac­ing back to the Abaco Beach Re­sort, I watch from the fly­bridge as dozens of other cus­tom boats fall in be­hind Jaruco.

I think about all of her tech­nol­ogy, the $20-plus mil­lion price tag, the hy­dro­foil, the car­bon fiber heads. Is it too much, or is Jaruco ahead of her time?

I re­mem­ber an­other Carolina-built boat peo­ple thought was over the top. A white and turquoise 40-foot Hat­teras sport­fish­er­man built in 1960 named Knit Wits. It was the first pro­duc­tion boat to be made with a revolutionary new ma­te­rial called fiber­glass. Its owner was a driven in­di­vid­ual who wanted a boat that was fast and strong, that could fish hard and cruise easy. That boat, which was con­sid­ered ahead of its time, would go on to be­come one of the most rec­og­niz­able sport­fish­er­men in the world, one that ush­ered in a new era of de­sign and con­struc­tion.

Might Jaruco do the same? Time will tell, but as her owner and the Jar­rett Bay folks know well, for­tune fa­vors the bold.

The new Jar­rett Bay 90 is tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced — it’s de­signed to run on a hy­dro­foil.

Jaruco was con­ceived to fish far-flung lo­ca­tions around the world. It was built to ABS spec­i­fi­ca­tions, us­ing weight-sav­ing tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als, such as car­bon fiber, Kevlar and ti­ta­nium.

Jaruco’s owner turned to Jar­rett Bay Boat­works to build his vi­sion of the most ad­vanced fish­ing ma­chine in the world.

The goal was to make Jaruco cut­ting-edge from an en­gi­neer­ing per­spec­tive — fast and very strong. LOA: 90 feet Beam: 22 feet, 6 inches Draft: 5 feet, 8 inches Dis­place­ment: 167,000 pounds Tank­age: 4,400 gal­lons fuel, 400 gal­lons wa­ter Power: twin 2,600-hp MTU 16V2000 M96L diesels

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