I will not be writing any more articles for Marlin Magazine. I will continue to be an instructor for Marlin University.
I will, from time to time, write articles for other magazines and I am starting my own personal blog.
Right now, I am in Atlantic, North Carolina. It's one of my most favorite places. We have good hunting, fishing, clay target shooting and excellent clamming that is almost in our back yard but it happens to be in our "front yard". Best of all we have some great friends.
Mark Smith may well be the most skilled and handiest man I know. He is definitely one of the smartest! A couple of days ago we were discussing sport-fishing boats. No surprises there!
The sign on the road into Atlantic reads "ATLANTIC Living from The sea" and almost all the adult males here are good boat men.
Mark told me he had asked a friend, Capt. Frank Brock, what he considered to be the perfect off shore sport fishing boat. Mark told me that Capt. Brock ran both flats and offshore charters in the keys for over 35 years. Unfortunately, he passed away recently because I would have liked to meet him. Mark, Frank, and I all held many similar points of view. I learned this when Mark handed me several sheets of lined yellow paper filled with hand printed information for me to read.
The title page said "BOAT SPECS, SPORT FISH-Convertible"
Capt. Brock chose a cold molded wooden boat from 42 to 47 feet length over all, with twin diesels, preferably Cats or Detroit for "service and dependability." He wanted a sharp entry with "a rather flat dead rise aft."
He wanted a cockpit freeboard no higher than mid thigh of a 6 foot tall angler or mate and wrote ‘you should be able to put your hand in the water without being on your toes. He specified tumble home in the transom and a fighting chair positioned to allow an angler to clear both corners when fighting a big fish from the chair. Brock also wanted the transom rounded at the corners of the water line to enhance reversing and spinning when fighting a big one and to avoid flooding the cockpit.
Brock wanted a "simple uncluttered" bridge. The captain had to be able to see both the bow and the FULL Fighting Chair. His Capitals! He wanted "redundant" electronics.
Brock emphasized "simplicity and ease of maintenance" in the engine room and in the galley. I loved it when he wrote "Galley, Simple and functional!"
"If you want all the bells and whistles get a cruiser or a trawler!"
He said the accommodations would depend on the owner’s family and what their TRUE usage plans would be!
My only real disagreement with Brock would be his statement that "towers are not worth the expense and they are a maintenance nightmare. You seldom see anyone in one."
I live in the tower when fishing and would not take a job doing serious big game fishing on any boat that did not have a tower.
Other than no tower his choice of boats sounded like something I would like A LOT and describes several of my favorite boats. For example, a 43 Merritt is a great boat, highly regarded worldwide.
If long runs are required on your home grounds, a larger boat may be both faster, and more comfortable.
It can also have sufficient agility for seriously seeking the biggest and strongest fish in the ocean, IF it has followed "Brock's Rules"!
Many boat builders think they build the very best boat in whatever class of boat they specialize. Their customers buy their boats because they prefer them to the other brands.
Price is usually a major factor in the selection of a boat. Bells and whistles and fancy paint and varnish can make a boat more pleasing to the eye but some owners do not want that extra annual cost. Painted transoms are quicker, easier, and cheaper to maintain and repair when a marlin messes them up!
The Offshore Fishing League, for which I am to be the commissioner, intends to find out what is the best fishing boat, who is the best angler, top captain and hottest crew in the WORLD. This will be done in a series of competitions in some of the world’s best billfish areas.
The OFL is definitely not for every one. BUT..... If you think you have what is one of the very best big game sport fishing boats and if you have a team who both loves to fish and is VERY VERY good at catching billfish on multiple line classes it may be just what YOU have been looking for.
I think we will all learn a lot and may have to change our minds about many things (from tackle to boats to lures and baits, even how to best handle a boat, to the angler’s advantage) while fighting a fish.
As my step dad Bixby told me many many times, "count that day LOST in which you learn nothing". I plan to learn more when the OFL hits the water
Contact Peter B. or Carlos Suito for more information on the Offshore Fishing League
Peter B. Wright Cell: (772) 486-0492 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Suito Cell: (954) 673-6963 | Email: cs@Ofl.com