Hatteras Renovation- New Boat!
Flying around the country
About a year ago I began the search for a new boat. With careful consideration I decided the right boat would be a 43 Hatteras but I needed one that was already repowered. Finding a Hatteras from the 1970s that is still in good shape isn't an easy task. After looking all over Florida and even flying to Texas and New Jersey, I finally found the right boat. Located in WIldwood, New Jersey was my diamond in the rough. The boat was already repowered with Cummins 450c engines which is a modern 6 cylinder engine. In addition, most of the boat was rewired and the interior was in good shape. She seemed like a great boat to refurbish so I pulled the trigger. I bought a boat over 1,000 miles away that needed some work. I knew it would be a long year.
Boy did this part suck. About a month after purchasing the boat we finally had a weather window to bring the boat down. The plan was to bring the boat down on the outside (not the Intercostal Waterway). We plotted the trip and figured it would take about a week running 24 hours a day. We would make 1 stop for fuel in the Carolinas. I put together a 3 person crew with myself included. We had decent weather until we got off Georgia. From Georgia to West Palm Beach (about a 2 day stretch) the seas were 6-8 foot. I had the night shift which was no fun at all. We finally got back to Miami but relieved wouldn't be the right word. I had an ambitious project ahead of me. Below is a picture of us coming into Government Cut after the 6 day trip.
Work Work and more Work
I put together a to-do list that might have been a little too ambitious. We planned on painting the boat top to bottom, installing a tuna tower, fiberglassing a custom fish box and live-well. This was just scratching the surface... We spent the first few months stripping the boat and sanding her down in addition to glassing all the holes shut. It was definitely discouraging, for a while it seemed like the project was headed in the wrong direction. From October - January, I didn't get to visualize much progress.
Fiberglassing the Cockpit
Painting the boat was a ton of work. We took 90% of the boat down to the fiberglass with out prep. This involved sanding through years of paint. When we finished it was worth it though. We did a majority of the work ourselves but we did subcontract the tuna tower, the live-well, and the fish box. A major project was fiberglassing the entire bulkhead which you can see below. The old bulkhead was wood but we sanded it down, dug out the dry rot, fiberglassed, and painted it. This took about 3 weeks.
Tuna Tower Installation
Once we painted the boat it was time to install the tower. We helped Dave Fleary, the welder with this process.
Once we painted the boat, rewired the bridge, and installed the tower, it was time to hit the yard. We painted the hull, installed the electronics, redid the alignment, and more during this phase of the project. We were on the hard for about a month. We also slapped on the boat name in the yard which was relieving. Once we splashed the boat we finally got to the interior. With a little help from my fiancé we were able to find the right carpet, redo the couches, and print some of our favorite photos.
The Finishing Touches
Almost a year later she was finally ready. I'm proud to say I have my dream boat at the young age of 24. I always appreciated old Hatteras's. With classic lines and extra thick fiberglass. these old boats make for a great charter boat if you restore them properly. We think the new "Double Threat" came out pretty good.