Destin’s charter boats get a makeover for the upcoming season
FREEPORT — Some are in for a total makeover while others are there just for a splash of makeup — a little blue rouge on the bottom.
“We’re going to clean her up, put a little makeup on her and put her back in the water,” said Capt. Steve Hauesler as he watched the crew at the Fisherman’s Boatyard in Freeport pull his charter boat, First Light out of the water around noon Monday.
Since November, 56 boats have checked in at the Boatyard in Freeport for a paint job, Coast Guard inspection or a total makeover, according to Boatyard Manager Mike Snell.
“Most are here for yearly maintenance, waxing and painting. It’s like changing the oil in the car,” Snell said.
For the most part, “The boats are in great shape,” Snell said.
“We’re going to be painting the bottom and waxing the sides,” said Capt. Tony Davis of the Anastasia, a 65-footer that was just hauled out of the water on Monday.
“We’re light weight this year,” Davis added, noting they did a major overhaul a couple of years ago.
While most of the boats are just getting a splash of paint here and there, there are a few that are in for a major makeover.
Once such boat is the 46-foot Silver Lining, a 50-year old wooden boat captained by Joe Quaranto.
“We’ve been up here four months,” Quaranto said. “We’re getting a whole new top, deck and doing lots of framing.”
Scott Morrison of Freeport was there helping Quaranto with the woodwork and said they hope to be done by April.
Capt. Stan Phillips of the Destination and his crew have been at the boatyard since Dec. 9.
“I hope to be done this week,” Phillips said.
Over the last few months, Phillips and crew have redone the back deck, fuel tanks, and reworked the water tank.
“I dug a deep hole of things to do ... but it’s going to be nice,” Phillips said.
On Monday they were sanding and painting and getting ready to put the boot stripe on the Destination, a the 55-foot boat.
Capt. Jason Mikel of the Finest Kind and his crew have been at drydock since Jan. 7. On Monday they were taping off the bottom of the hull in preparation for painting the boot stripe. After that, they have plans to paint the rest of the boat and get the logo on the back and they’ll be ready to go, hopefully by the middle of next week.
Capt. Tom Schmitz of the dive boat Under Pressure was covered in dust on Monday as he was sanding down the hull of the boat and adding a spray rail. Schmitz, part owner of Emerald Coast Scuba, said he had the dive boat Aquanaut at the boatyard in early January and got it Coast Guard ready and painted the bottom. He hopes to be done with the Under Pressure by the end of March.
As for the crews aboard the Tropical Winds, Full Draw and Great Escape, their plans are to do a little bottom work, splash on some and paint and be back in Destin next week.
“I’ve got a few trips coming up,” said Capt Jason Rogers of the Great Escape.
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