FISH ON A LEGEND!
The “Big Ta Do” is a fishing machine. This 1976 31 Bertram is a classic “Strike Boat”. She has been designed and constructed for the open ocean. Stability, power, maneuverability and unfaltering beauty combine to make this vessel the best of the best in any conditions. Known for their unmatched performance and enduring beauty the 31 Bertram has carved out a reputation that resonates world wide. Bertram Yachts has heard the call and is bringing this legend back to life in a 35 foot model in 2017. We have taken our first machine to the max with 2000 pound custom bunk fish boxes and twin 330 HP Cummin’s engines. We added a new paint job in 2016 along with a complete renovation of every wire and fitting. New side windows from Broadus at Lookout Boat Windows in North Carolina were matched to a fully glassed front cabin. Yes she got even stronger and more beautiful. It was worth the 7 months of patience and perseverance to update our flagship vessel who carried the load year after year for the past 12 years.
“Ke Kila” is a 32 Blackfin. Low, wide and stable she offer plenty of deck and lots or rail to work. Blackfin purchased the rights to the 31 Bertram after production stopped in 1986. A year to make the design and production began in 1988. Blackfin kept the same faith a strong and purpose driven performance machine. Twin 370 HP Cat 3208’s grind up strick after strike. A full bath and extended room on the fly bridge offer a little more space to change the views. Ke Kila has a unique smoothness and the ability to part waves with authority. A sharpened keel and extended residual buoyancy above the water line crush three footers. Ke Kila is able to handle rough waters as she maneuvers the open seas like a champ in any conditions.
THE RUN DOWN
TUNA TOWER SCHMUNA TOWER: Kauai is in the middle of the Pacific and exposed to open ocean currents and weather. Tuna towers are nice eye candy but in Kauai they offer little more than something pretty to look at. These structures mounted above the cabin make boats top heavy and compromise stability of the vessel in even moderate weather conditions. You will never see your captain or crew in the crows nest nor will you experience any benefit from having one on your boat in Kauai. You will feel a bit more woozy due to the added rolling and rocking it will provide.When it’s beyond moderate the superstructure is a serious detriment to performance. Forget about it.
SIZE MATTERS: It’s nice to have a big boat don’t get me wrong but you pay for it with performance. A big boat may have room for a sofa but what can it do for you? EIGHT KNOTS! That’s it. When the fish are biting outside (say 10 miles) and you want to get there it’s going take an hour and a half out and an hour and a half back. It’s your time, why waste it? When the birds are working the bait as the Skipjack run hastily over the entire ocean a large boat limited to eight knots will get you there, eventually. Will the fish still be around? Find a boat that can get out of it’s own way and you will increase range, and the amount of time you are in the fish. You can even chase down a bird pile or two. In addition, many fish are taken baiting and working very close to island FAD”S (fish aggregation devices). A good boat can maneuver backing down while holding positions and working. Let’s remember one thing, it’s 4, 6 and 8 hours on a charter. Don’t limit your opportunity to catch fish. It’s what you came to do. If you want to take a boat ride that’s another story.
TWO SCREWS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: Most people will never know what lies below the water line and that’s fine for most people. If you are an experienced angler or just trying to stack the odds in your favor you will want to know what is down under. A single screw vessel will have trouble maneuvering. When backing down there is no control, nun, zero, nil. The captain is powerless to assist you with the vessel. So backing down is not an option. How does one compensate for this? Massive gear like 130’s on big sticks. Well, there goes the fun! It’s kind of like the whole enchilada. A fine angler with great equipment, working with a skilled captain on a vessel that is agile, maneuverable, and able to assist with positioning the angler in the right place to get it done. When it really matters, and it always matters, find two screws to enhance your chances for success. Besides maneuverability you will generally find speed, range and reliability built in. What a deal!
BEAM ME UP: Find a wide beam for stability. Kauai offers great fishing under trades of 10 to 15 MPH. A nice wide beam promotes stability and yields an impressive deck space for fighting big game. There are boats out their with deep V hulls for performance that don’t have the beam to lend stability. Instability makes baiting tough and bottom fishing impossible. Find a deep V hull for performance and a wide beam for stability.
POWER AND PERFORMANCE: Twin engines not only add to speed they extend the performance of a vessel exponentially. Matched to a true performance hull with a skilled operator you can feel confident you are getting the most of any situation. No compromises.
THE RUN DOWN: Combine a proven performance hull that is aggressively powered with twin screws, a low center of gravity, a wide beam and you will have a vessel fit for any fishing challenge. Put it all together and you will have a pretty “BIG TA DO”!
A PRETTY “BIG TA DO”
I know you are dying to ask and I am wanting to tell you about a little ta do. So sit back, relax and learn about a what it takes to make a BIG TA DO.
Overwhelmed at the purchase of this remarkable fishing machine in 2006 I set about making her mine. A 1976, 31 Bertram Sportfisher, “Ya do say!”. She was cared for by the late Julian Chappa, owner of Sportfishing Kauai. Twin 450 merc cruises complemented this speed injected performance machine. At 17 gallons an hour wide open (each) something had to be done. I scratched my head and pondered the question and along came a cowboy. “Well partner, what you gonna do now?”
I looked at the sweet lines, deep V hull and weighed the desire of this boat to go fast. I remained silent. Then a voice in pigeon/Portuguese/English filled my ear. “Why don’t you put these in your boat?”. It was a statement more than a question. I looked to where the cowboy was pointing and there on a trailer attached to his truck was a set of Cummins 250 BT diesel engines, transmissions, shafts and props.
“Going Fit?” I asked. “No problem.” answered the cowboy. The reply was too soon. “You want them?” asked the cowboy. “How much?” I responded. A great offer. Hummm, “I’ll think about it.”. “Ok boss, you got three seconds. One, two thr-“. “Ok. I’ll take them.” Whew that was a pressure sale if I ever had one.
Boat engines and a heck of a lot of work came together. On the trailer, she went into the PORT ALLEN FISHING CLUB yard. Grinder in one hand, saws-all in the other I jumped in and cut the deck out. The engines where gone. The hull was ground and every through hull fitting was removed. “Whew!” That was just a lot of work in the heat of the summer. I had grinder dust in my ears for the next 4 months.
I went to my neighbors house, a veteran from Florida’s Whaler boats team, and asked about fiberglass ten times a week. When he just couldn’t take it anymore he came down and saw a very clean hull and since I was doing the grinding he offered to “get her done.”. He introduced me to the term “little ta do”. I would say we need to fix that glass on the transom and he would reply “it’s just a little ta do”. The deck needs to be rebuilt, “little ta do”. The stringers need to be reinforced, “little ta do”. I need an Ika Mau (bait well), “little ta do”. I need new engine vent holes, “little ta do”. New shaft logs, “little ta do”. Gel coat, “little ta do”.
We sat back on the polished paint and looked over the reconstruction. All was good. “Brother” he said wiping some genuine sweat from his bald head “that was a PRETTY BIG TA DO!”