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Southport 33FE Build Thread (+Factory Tour)

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Southport 33FE Build Thread (+Factory Tour)

Old 11-21-2019, 10:53 AM
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Default Southport 33FE Build Thread (+Factory Tour)

Many of you may be familiar with the Build thread I did for my last boat, a Scout 300LXF with the (then) new 350 Mercury engines. Scout 300LXF: Verado 350s [Verado #s now in!!!]

After 5 good years with the Scout I wanted to trade up and looked at a number of competitive brands as options in the ~32-33ft range and my decision making process and testing is here MagBay 33CC Vs Vallhalla V-33 Vs Southport 33FE
Unsurprisingly given the title of this thread the Southport 33FE won out. Yes, the hull REALLY IS that good! This time I sea-trialed the boats when it was blowing 25+ and the difference was clear (for more, read the earlier thread)

For the benefit (and amusement!) of others, I thought I'd start the build process for the Southport and the decision making process as I go through picking engines, electronics, colors and canvas.
To start the build, I headed up to Gardiner Maine (about 3 hours north of Boston) to visit the factory and discuss the options and build.
I bought the boat though Crosby Yacht in Osterville, helped by Tom O'Brien there (to whom I owe great thanks for finding a Southport owner willing to seatrialing during an advisory


One thing I can say, I LIKE people from Maine ;-)
The folks at the factory were unbelievably thoughtful, patient and kind. I took a few dozen boxes of donuts up to thank them for their troubles and the workers took pains to snag me and thank me in person for that relatively small gesture on my part - nice guys.


My visit was not planned well in advance and so what you see is what you get (they didn't clean up for me ;-)

This first picture shows the cutting table for the fiberglass and you can see a mold for a 33CC to the far left Inverted

Fiberglass cutting and template storage

33DC hull being vacuum bagged

Insertion points for the resin are on the coloured strips (which are material used to allow resin flow and not part of the finished boat - think of them as channels (porous mesh)

Sniff testing! Using a highly sensitive microphone to check through the bag looking for the hissing sound that would indicate a break in the bag

The entire bag is checked for leaks before the process goes to the next step

Last edited by cymro; 11-21-2019 at 11:09 AM.
Old 11-21-2019, 10:58 AM
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Once the bag has passed the Q.C test, the resin is infused. The 33DC hull takes about 100 Gallons (two 55 gallon drums) of resin and cures overnight.

Once checked through, the resin is infused, starting at the keel. You can see resin in some tubes, others awaiting their turn (not all are active simultaneously)

You can see the resin creeping up from the keel as it's infused.

Last edited by cymro; 11-21-2019 at 08:35 PM.
Old 11-21-2019, 11:05 AM
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In parallel to the production of the hull, the smaller components are being fabricated, glassed and gelcoated

No wood in a Southport! These are hatches and other deck components

These are some of the MANY smaller components that will go onto the boat. This bright RED is a type of gel chosen for its strength.

The bright red color also makes it easier to see how thick the final gelcoat application is and ensuring good coverage

Watching these guys work was impressive, really nice, even sweeps with just the right amount of overlap

These two guys tag-teamed this component (Hard top for the 33DC and so I presume that it's hard work than it looks!)

Nearly done





More to follow.........

Last edited by cymro; 11-21-2019 at 01:09 PM.
Old 11-21-2019, 11:16 AM
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Pretty sweet looking forward to how this progress's. Sub'd
Old 11-21-2019, 12:41 PM
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Congrats, what is your delivery date? How are you going to outfit the boat?
Old 11-21-2019, 01:03 PM
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Aiming or late Feb, early March delivery from factory to provide enough time to do the Canvas and electronics.
Twin Mercury V8 300HP engines. I loved the 350HP and found them exceptionally quiet and reliable.
From what I've read from the performance bulletins (Boston Whaler has some head-to-head comparisons on the same hull) and heard anecdotally, the V8 has great hole shot and mid range power (which realistically is all you need in a boat)

I'm looking at CanvasTek in Maine for the canvas and Navtronics (which is also a Southport dealer) for the electronic install. Navtronics knows the boats well and have wired a LOT of them.
Old 11-21-2019, 01:12 PM
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Here's the deck cap of the 33DC that will mate with the hull we saw earlier. They were meticulously folding the corners of the fiber and overlapping at all the stress points. There's a ton of work and slow progress.




Old 11-21-2019, 01:58 PM
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Not only are build threads on Southports awesome, your pics are professional!!! Excited for this thread and your new build. Congrats!!!
Old 11-21-2019, 04:03 PM
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Looks like a really well built boat.
Old 11-21-2019, 04:12 PM
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You will be happy with Navtronics I used them when i got my 29 TE. Tim was a great help and i could not be happier with my Garmin's.
Old 11-21-2019, 08:58 PM
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Thanks for starting this. I am in love with the 33. Where will you be using this boat?
Old 11-22-2019, 04:07 AM
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Thanks for sharing. In for the ride.
Old 11-22-2019, 04:54 AM
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Great to see another southport build thread! Good luck with the boat!
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:15 AM
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Some actually nice camera shots too. congrats
Old 11-22-2019, 06:14 AM
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Thanks for the compliments! Taking the photos was fun although more challenging lighting than it would appear and I needed to crank the iso to 1,000.
I also didn't really have a lot of time to think through framing as they had work to do.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:44 AM
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This will be fun to see it come together. Also, the Merc V8's s/be nice power and will be interested in the #'s.
Old 11-22-2019, 07:09 AM
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Very cool! Thank you. Beautiful boats.

I do wish Tunnles was around to tell us how wrong they’re doing everything.
Old 11-22-2019, 07:20 AM
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Great looking boat. SP was on my short list for sure when I was looking at boats.
Old 11-22-2019, 07:53 AM
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Here's a few more photgraphs from this week's trip North

If you're in doubt about the beefiness of the SP Gunnel, This rod holder shows the core, I'd estimate over an inch thick

They'd just pulled the wires for this 30

This is the new Mezzanine Seat first seen at the FLIBS. These components are made in the central part of the factory (the manufacturing line runs like a circle around the plan with this area in the middle)

Here's a 30FE under construction. You can see the chases and conduits used to run lines. Southport is smart here as they allow plenty of room to run additional lines should things change down the road. In areas where they aren't using a conduit. they use shallow troughs running along the stringers (so the stringers have a somewhat 'H' shape but with the top being shallow. They tie their bundles high so it's easy to snake new lines in the trough without snagging on existing cables etc
Old 11-22-2019, 08:02 AM
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Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new boat. Really like the Southport line of boats.
I will say the factory looks very organized and clean. That would be a big selling point for me.

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