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27 Ocean Master Complete Refit (LONG and PIC Heavy)

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27 Ocean Master Complete Refit (LONG and PIC Heavy)

Old 04-30-2019, 05:03 PM
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Default 27 Ocean Master Complete Refit (LONG and PIC Heavy)

This is essentially a diary of my 27 Ocean Master purchase and refit from Dec 2018 until it's conclusion this week. It's REALLY long but the vendors I used were all AMAZING and they deserve to be recognized for going above and beyond for me during this build. I could not have hoped to have as many great shops all treat me as well as this group did. I can't speak highly enough about everyone listed.

The Reason and the Search

This is what went into searching for a new boat for Riptide Charters.

The search for a new boat has been a very difficult one. Replacing the 33T Contender was no small task, the boat was arguably one of the best fishing platforms ever, PERIOD!

With that said, many things have changed in my life and I needed to adapt in order to continue to grow Riptide Charters.

Since my retirement, I have been able to travel extensively to southern destinations. This is not only enjoyable for me and my sports, but it allows me to extend the charter season and make for more of a year-round opportunity to help my sponsors and maintain an even income flow. For example, I was testing a new pre-production Raymarine Elements the entire time I was in North Carolina fishing albies. A year-round business just makes more sense, plus I HATE the cold.

Also, Riptideís headquarters aka The Warehouse was sold recently creating a bit of a storage issue.

These changes required a change in boat for me. While I love the Riptide 22 Bay and it did many of the things I require amazingly well, it could not take larger charter groups and was weather limited at times.

With these things in mind I needed to find a boat with the following attributes:

MUST have a smooth, dry ride

Must fish 4 people (plus me) comfortably

Must have offshore range to at least the shipping lanes (Canyons are such a small portion of my charters I can compromise on that)

Must be a fishable layout, no forward seating or miscellaneous creature comforts that just get in the way or break.

Must trailer interstate without issue (8í6Ē)

Prefer twins for performance and reliability

MUST be Mercury powered and have Raymarine electronics
(Electronics being an easier swap) I didnít want a factory
Yamaha only brand so a repower makes it a bastard.

Must have moderate draft for southern fishing

Must have TONS of storage for charter safety gear for up to 6 people

Prefer a head of some sort for the ladies

Must cruise 35 mph or better with a 2.0 mpg fuel burn and a top speed in the 50s or above.

Must be priced where it makes sense to own and operate. I canít drop 350K on a ďcharter boatĒ with trips or quads. Itís fun but makes ZERO business sense.

Must store well for its size. (I donít want a 23-foot boat with a 2-foot bracket and 2 feet of motor making it a 27-foot storage size but only a 23-foot running surface)

Must be something that will last. My Contender served 12 years for me without any major issues.

As you can see the list is long and though many boats tick allot of the boxes, VERY few will tick them all. I think the 27 Ocean Master met every requirement, in addition to being a boat Iíve always had a feeling I would eventually own.

The Buy

In mid-December I found a new listing for a 27 Ocean Master Ocean Skiff with a notched transom and Mercury Power. The boat looked clean and the price was great, so I planned to fly down and have the boat surveyed later that week.

I called Suncoast Marine Surveying and they met me at the Marina in North Reddington Beach, FL. It was immediately obvious this boat was very lightly used. It had minimal equipment on it. Which was appealing to me as I wanted to outfit the boat my way and a clean slate is always easier.

The survey went well, and it came out that the boat had lived most of its life on the Great Lakes on a boat lift, fully covered. It had only been in Florida about two years and it was also lift kept and covered.

The sale went through Sterling Associates here in Massachusetts and everything went reasonably smooth.



The Build

With the boat already in Florida and snow flying at home, it only made sense to have all the work I needed and wanted done down south.

AMERATRAIL

The first stop was to Ameratrail Trailer in St Cloud, FL. Andy Dormis and the crew helped me spec out the perfect trailer for the new ride. Custom welded bunks, C-Channel frame, 16Ē Tire and wheel upgrade, wishbone front stand, electric over hydraulic stainless brakes and a diamond plate toolbox. This trailer is over built to ensure safe travel up and down the east coast for years to come.


BIRDSALL MARINE

Once the boat was on the new trailer, I dragged it south to Birdsall Marine in West Palm Beach. Bobby Birdsall and his team were a blast to deal with. I planned to fly home during this portion of the build, so communication was critical. Bobby went out of his way to give me updates every day or two including pictures of the progress. His timeline was SPOT ON and the boat was done in three weeks. Here is the massive list of work done by the Birdsall Team.

ALUMINUM WORK

2 Finger grooved grab handles on Rear T-top legs

9 Rods / 2 cup holders & grab rail on leaning post

Fabricate 2 Splash well latch receivers

Weld in Outrigger and Antenna / FLIR plates

Reinforce radar mount

Weld in plates and install new Rupp Revolution outrigger bases.

New LED tube light

Flush mount and run cables for VHF, GPS and SIRIUS antennas.

Run all new T-top wires for lights

CANVAS WORK

R&R T-top and T-bag

R&R leaning post & backrest cushions

R&R front seat & backrest cushions

Fabricate Rear Coaming bolsters

3 Side Enclosure EZ2CY

FIBERGLASS

Remove Foot rest fill holes
Remove Windshield fill holes
Fill washdown valve hole in splash well

I am blown away by the quality and detail these guys provide. They got everything done right on schedule, to the day. I could not be happier with this aspect of the build. These guys are the BEST!










STRATEGY MARINE

The third stop on the tour was back over to the west coast to see Chad Stevens at Strategy Marine. I had been referred here by several people in the industry I had great respect for. I had no idea how helpful Chad would end up being.

The plan was to have Chad fabricate a custom dash panel that would countersink the new Raymarine Axiom 16XL screens. This required removing the factory Ocean Master switch panel, so we opted to replace the entire assembly with Bocatech switches. We finally decided to just do a complete rewire on the entire boat, since Birdsall had already done all the T-Top wires for us.

Here is where things got a little sideways. Both the Axiom units and the Bocatech switches were backordered for a few weeks. I was staying in a hotel and still had a massive amount of work to do to the boat.

Chad was beyond kind and generous to allow me to keep my boat in his shop. He allowed me to work on the boat, removing the old wires and installing the new wiring and the entire Raymarine system. He gave me access to his tools and equipment, supplies and at times left me alone in his shop to toil away when he had to run off site. When he was in the shop, he was always there to answer any questions or help when Iíd hit a sticking point. His time and knowledge were invaluable.

I canít begin to tell you how generous and helpful Chad was, he didnít know me. Though after several weeks of working side by side I feel we have become great friends.

Once we had everything, we needed off backorder Chad got to fabricating. The only thing that exceeds his generosity is his skill and attention to detail when it comes to fabrication.

The custom dash came out amazing, I ended up adding his custom recessed speaker mounts into my build giving the stereo install the clean and sleek look I wanted.

RAYMARINE

The wiring job at Strategy included all new Blue Seas panels, Anchor wire and connectors. The Raymarine electronics package is as follows:

(2) Axiom 16XL displays

12Kw Magnum 4-foot Array

FLIR M232 Thermal Camera

CP570 2Kw CHIRP

RVX1000 CHIRP/ SideVision/ DownVision/ 3D RealVision

Ray90 Modular VHF with Wireless 2nd station Mic and powered remote speaker

Fusion BB300 Black Box Stereo

Also, all new pumps including

(2) Rule 2000 GPH Bilge

Shurflo 2000 GPH High Flow Live well

Shurflo Blaster 4.0 GPM / 80 PSI washdown










BIRDSALL AGAIN

After stripping all the wiring out of the boat there was some additional fiberglass work that needed to be done. Several transducer and underwater lighting holes on the transom needed attention. After the results I had the first time, the only option was to drag the boat back east for a quick turn around with Bobby and his crew. The guys knew I was pressed for time on this visit and absolutely killed it with all hands-on deck. The work came out amazing and while they were at it, they even touched up a couple tiny chips and nicks I was going to leave alone.

With all the work that needed to be done down south complete I dragged the rig back to Cape Cod where my new Mercury 150 Four Strokes were waiting at my local dealer. My intention was to put on a new pair of Mercury 225 V6 Four strokes with DTS, but availability forced the 150 repower for this round. The next repower with see the 225ís and DTS for the perfect package.



CAPE COD BOATWORKS

The final touch was having Mike and the crew at Cape Cod Boatworks give the boat a puff and buff to rid it of the road grime and dirty footprints it acquired along the trip home. These guys are the best I've found on Cape Cod and new fail to impress me with the work they do.





THE END RESULTS

Iím sure by now you are asking ďWhy the hell didnít you just buy new?Ē Valid question Iíve been asked numerous times. By doing allot of the wiring work myself and finding the great subcontractors listed above I figure I saved about 35-40% over building this boat new. I have everything I could possibly want, done to my exact specs.

The boat now ticks all the boxes I had listed in the beginning.

The boat is a true 27 foot boat with no bracket or euro transom to add length. Itís 8í6Ē wide for legal interstate trailering.

After my initial sea trials and while still doing prop testing, Iíve seen the following results:

38.5 MPH @ 4000 RPM @ 3.07 MPG

51.5 MPH @ 5450 RPM @ 1.8 MPG

I expect an impressive increase in performance after the first repower when the Mercury 225ís are installed.














Gmack, bpevans, floffshore and 7 others like this.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:10 PM
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Very cool and good luck with your endeavors
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:37 PM
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Beautiful boat with great performance out of those Mercury 150's!!
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:09 PM
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Nice rig! Chad is the man, I've got several items from him including the recessed speaker rings.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:21 PM
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Beautiful work and 3mpg's is incredible!
Do you think you'll need 225's or is a "want"?
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by skillet64 View Post
Beautiful work and 3mpg's is incredible!
Do you think you'll need 225's or is a "want"?
It's definitely a want, not a need. I'm pretty sure I can squeeze another 2 or 3 mph out of the 150 . The 3 MPG was a great result. A buddy's 27 Conch is seeing 2.85 MPG with his Mercury 150s so I'm right in line.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:25 PM
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Nice write up and good luck with the new rig Terry.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:35 PM
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Very nice! What props are you running?
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:36 AM
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Thanks for posting this. Keep us updated on how she does over time. OM 27' is on my short list.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:21 AM
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Looking forward to seeing another OM burning around the cape, looks great!
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by itzsyd View Post
Very nice! What props are you running?
I started with old Mirage (not plus ) 21s. Speeds were ok but it was skittish on top end and rpms were around 5100 wot

Swapped to 21 Tempest Plus for the quoted numbers. Much better handling.

Next props I try will be 20 or 21 Bravo FS. Tho it runs so well now and a repower is in the next year or so I dont know how much more effort I want to expend dialing in the 150s for an extra 1 or.2 mph.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:47 AM
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those are impressive numbers for 150s.
The boat came out amazing!
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:16 AM
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just curious if you tried spinning the props in instead of out

I believe in lifts the bow more on most boats

great project that is a unique grab rail on the tower I like it
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Insider View Post
just curious if you tried spinning the props in instead of out

I believe in lifts the bow more on most boats

great project that is a unique grab rail on the tower I like it
I have not, it seems to like riding flat / bow down for the smoothest ride.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mstyle8517 View Post
Nice rig! Chad is the man, I've got several items from him including the recessed speaker rings.
whete do I get the recessed speakers rings?
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Macdaddy1 View Post


whete do I get the recessed speakers rings?
Ask for Chad
https://www.strategymarine.com
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:17 PM
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wow truly impressive rebuild...nice rig...too nice to charter fish on!....
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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Why the switch from the Optis?
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:27 PM
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Just a quick update.

In less than ideal.conditions today with 3 people and 100 gallons of fuel I was able to get the boat on plane and run 29 mph on a single Merc 150. Turning a 21p Tempest prop. It took a bit of doing, tabs moving people around but it got there. Turned just over 4000 rpm. These 150 Mercs just continue to impress!

Edit: it was just a test. No issue with the other motor, just wanted to see if it would/could.
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:43 PM
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Default Dash Panel?

Is that dash panel MDF? Boat looks great
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