From the East Coast to the West Coast, we had the pleasure of showing off our new Yachtline 33 with Alfred Montaner!
You may be scratching your heads here wondering if the title is a ploy to just get your attention or if this is actually true! Well believe it, it is! Last year this project was proposed to us, and when asked if we could put a hot tub in the boat we said “sure thing” and then with the opportunity to add the new diesel outboards on the transom we jumped with excitement. You don’t get many of opportunities like this!
What did we think about the new OXE diesel outboards! In a nutshell we were impressed. They alter the expectation of what a diesel should look, sound, and perform like. If the cowling didn’t have the word diesel on the side, a novice boat owner might not even think to question what type of fuel to put in the tank.
Our 31’ GT Coupe would of paired better with the larger 300HP Diesel Outboards coming to market over the next year but due to the timeliness of the project the 200’s were the biggest we had to work with. The overall weight of the boat came to 10,200 lbs which is normal for our other GT Coupe builds, but those vessels normally also have a pair of 300HP Outboards at a minimum. The top end speed definitely suffered from the 200HP delta on this hull. We topped the boat out around 36 mph, which still allowed for a comfortable 28mph cruise speed. That cruise speed is comparable to other vessels we build in this category.
The vibration of the 4 cylinder diesel block is noticeable. To most at idle it will be apparent this is not a normal 4 cycle gas engine. Almost similar to that of the older two-stroke engines. But it quickly goes away with a little throttle. Once you reach 2,000 rpms the engine smooths out to a quiet purr. It rivals that of any other outboard on the market with little to no vibration at speed.
Throttle response was also a two sided situation. If idling and looking for a quick punch of acceleration, you find a fairly long period of throttle lag (2-3 seconds), due to the turbo spooling up. But once it get spooled up, it is on point. Throttle response goes from melancholy to exhilarating. You can really feel the punch from the turbo at speeds over 2,500 rpms. Even with a big heavy boat like ours.
The overall integration of the engine rigging was quite similar to that of other outboard brands as well. The digital throttle allowed for us to mount it on the Shockwave Seats armrest. We do this so that it moves in suspension with the main operator. The engine display is shown here in the top right of the dash. It is a nice 7” display that gives all the engine data you will need.
We found the best fuel efficiency to be around 1.7 MPG on this boat. We obviously know the engines were a little under powered on this size vessel so they were not at the most fuel efficient RPM when we did reach our 28mph cruise speed. On a smaller 8000-9000lb vessel I think we would find a real fuel savings over other traditional gas outboards. But with all that said the recorded 1.7 mpg is still on par with the larger HP gas motors.
These OXE diesels are right there knocking on the door of the large gas outboard market. They have proven you can take a diesel engine, and apply the technology in an outboard application with success. For a lot of users this is what they have been waiting for. It now can eliminate the necessity of having gasoline on a larger yacht or fuel depot. Hats off to OXE for showing us that a diesel can be quiet, smooth, and responsive. It will be fun to see how the shoot out continues with the larger 300HP variants coming out from both OXE and competitor COX.
NOW THE FUN PART - THE HOT TUB
With two diesel boilers circulating hot water through a heat exchanger we were able to create a replica model of your at home system. With temperature able to reach 100+ degrees you can relax all evening after a long day out on the water. And with enough space for 4 adults you can invites your friends over as well!
The primary principle of the system works due to the amount of flotation we generate with our collar systems. In fact even with the hot tub full you will see how flat and stable the boat looks in the water.
This boat really was complete and ready for any adventure. We incorporated our drop bow door, in deck fish boxes, two top of the line suspension seats, seating in the main cabin for 7, a full electric flushing head, and of course the hot tub!
We will continue to offer this option for clients on a case by case basis. Overall this option will add an additional $19,000 to the bill. But it all depends on what else is incorporated into the build and if we need to account for any other unique options.
LAUNCH OF GT COUPE SERIES
May 2018, brought the completion of LIFE PROOF BOATS first ever GT COUPE. A sleek stylish 31’ vessel designed to compete heavy in the pleasure craft market. With a 3/4 cabin style (optional canvas bulkhead) the cabin space of the boat is open and inviting. The interior space is smart in its ability to be reconfigured for entertaining under the shade of the roof or open to the outdoors on the rear deck of the boat. Its fundamental features allow this boat to fit a wide range of boating lifestyle choices.
There are 3 optional configurations of the space behind the driver seat which allow the design of the boat to fit a galley, a 3rd suspension seat, or 2 additional bench seats. With the 2 additional bench seats there is room for 8 in the main cabin, and an additional 4 outside on the rear bench seat.
The cuddy interior offers opposing bench’s giving 6’7” of lay down length and with the center drop in filler panels the cuddy space is transformed into a single large berthing space. When nature calls there is also a full electric macerating toilet located on the port side of the cuddy.
Other key features that make this boat stand out, is the optional drop bow door, in deck fish boxes, optional FLIR camera, and designed to incorporate the very best in suspension seating. And for the fisherman out there, two Burnewiin universal accessory mounts are included in the base boat. They work great for grilling out as well since they double as a BBQ mount.
The GT Coupe Model starts at $300,000 and with options like paint, synthetic teak decking, and joystick piloting pricing can reach over $400,000.
Model Name ------------------- GT COUPE
Length --------------------------- 31’
Beam ---------------------------- 10’
Weight -------------------------- 10,500 lbs
Speed --------------------------- 55+ MPH with twin 350HP Outboards
HP Rating ---------------------- 1,250 HP (twin or triple configuration available)
Fuel Tank ---------------------- 200 Gallons
Water Tank ------------------- 40 Gallons
Black Water ------------------ 40 Gallons
Diesel for Heat -------------- 3 Gallons
Design Features of Note:
Self-Bailing Decks (even while static)
Optional Diesel Heat
Optional AC (with reduced holding tanks)
Galley Arrangement (sink, fridge, Microwave)
Drop Bow Door
Large Holding Tanks
Gyro Stabilized Trim Assist System
CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION
Micah Bowers – Sales
(360) 674 -7019 ext. 200
Jenson Charnell – Sales
(360) 674 -7019 ext. 201
Two years ago at the Seattle Boat Show we were approached by a wonderful group passing our boats and they stopped to take an in depth look. Getting to know more about where they were from, we came to find out they were from Blind Channel Resort! A beautiful spot north of Desolation Sound, Blind Channel Resort is an oasis for travelers making their way on the inside passage passed Vancouver Island.
Well they purchased a Life Proof Boat and we have had a great relationship ever since! They group of people that are warm and welcome to guests passing by. Make sure plan a trip to explore all it has to offer. There isn’t a better way to do it than with your Life Proof Boat!
Here is a brief description of Blind Channel Resort and what services they offer.
“Blind Channel is a multi-generational, family-owned marina and resort on West Thurlow Island in heart of British Columbia’s wild coast. The Richter family has owned and operated Blind Channel Resort since 1970. In the early days, the small government dock and coastal community boasted a cannery, shingle mill, and two large dance halls with the population peaking in the 1940s. By 1969, when Edgar and Annemarie were cruising by, Blind Channel had little left to offer but they were captivated. The for sale sign was taken down and Blind Channel Resort was built from the ground up with love and hard labor.
Today the Richter family invites you to explore tidal waterways and ancient forests rich in wildlife and coastal history. Enjoy fresh coastal and German cuisine, cruise into the full-service marina or stay in a comfortable private cabin. Whether it’s a stop as you cruise North or an all-inclusive package you’ll find yourself enjoying comforts on the wild coast.”
Full-service marina for vessels up to 150 ft with 15, 30 and 50 amp power as well as clear spring water hook-ups at every finger.
Fuel dock with Marine Gas, Diesel, and propane
Restaurant Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
Live music and wine tasting events held throughout the summer
General store well stocked with groceries, liquor, gifts, clothing, and more. As well as a post office.
Laundry and Showers
In house water taxi service, a float plane dock with regularly scheduled flights
Onshore accommodation, fully self-sufficient cabins with two bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
Tours and all-inclusive packages
See everything they have to offer at www.blindchannel.com/
October means fall is upon us, for the north of the country winterizing is on the minds of most boaters while in the south, the falls cooler temps give more enjoyment for long days on the water. Falls is also the time of two of the biggest industry shows in North America; IBEX & FLIBS.
IBEX, stands for the industrial boating exhibitors exposition. If it can be mounted on a boat or used to produce boats you will find it at IBEX. Companies bring their latest and greatest products and technologies to IBEX to display for boating enthusiasts, boat builders, and designers. It is a must attend for builders. Almost every single product we purchase will have a representing booth on display. Giving us a single location to find answers to questions and establish new visions for the upcoming year.
This year at IBEX we found one underlying theme among many of the vendors: digital switching. With the technology age of boating still playing catch up to the automotive industry, the demand for improved switching and vessel interface controls is ever growing. Digital switching leads to many ooo’s and ahhhhh’s as the ability to control almost unlimited devices can be achieved through a single interface display. This display can even be simply your chart plotter or engine management screen. We even saw in a lighting display booth you now can preset different light configurations depending on your activity or mood. Seamlessly each light on the vessel can be adjusted with a single preset selection. While more of a show piece than a necessary option, it can offer convenience for larger vessels where you will want to adjust multiple zones at once throughout the boat.
This technology it’s just focused at lights, it can also be used for other equipment as well. Inverters, battery chargers, stereo systems, wipers, and sunshades can all be adapted to run on digital switching. Even the new electric seat swivel and sliders can be configured to operate through your main helm display. Obviously many of you are asking what do you do if the system fails, or the screen you use to control the switching locks up. It is just a computer after all, and we all have experienced frustration at one point or another with electronics. But have no fear, companies do offer traditional toggle or push button switching to supplement the digital switch panel. This second “fail safe” panel can be hidden out of the way for emergency use. Always a short recommendation to have, because boating is adventurous enough as is.
Outside of digital switching we have really taken a liking to automatically re-settable push button dash face breakers. With their modern and high end finish these switches can turn any traditional looking dash to a pleasant, professional helm. And the functionality of them being reset able breakers makes them easier to use for the clients as well. With many amp rated options and multiple back lit color choices they are wonderful.
Some other great ideas we took away from the show are CNC machined acrylic panels which can machined in a way to resemble tile. We have already ordered our first batch of panels to install in the bathroom space of a 31’ Full Cabin. Results will be shared around Christmas time. For those of you who have also been following our latest 2018 builds you would of seen our commitment to incorporating more direct glazed glass panels. The look has been superb, and the water tight integrity is the best for spotter windows. Taking this commitment to the next level, we focused in on slider windows systems incorporated into the direct glazing glass. They provide a frameless finishing to the boats, and provide a true yacht level finish. While not a practical solution for all clients, we are extremely excited to integrate this system first into our Yachtline of vessels.
Speaking of Yachtline, this month on our website we unveiled a new line of vessels we are featuring as our Yachtline of products. These vessels are distinguished for their look, form, and function. It will compliment our traditional and professional series models.
29FT Full Cabin XLT
There has never been a more exciting time to be a boat builder. The technology gap between the automotive industry and marine industry is shrinking. We are seeing huge improvements in all aspects. But don’t we fooled with all the glitz and glam as the new shinny gizmos, boats need to perform in extreme conditions. Our safety depends on it. There is something to be said for dependability and proven products. So if you adventure to be the first on the pier with the latest tech, just have the expectation that you may find unexpected issues.
September is a memorable time of the year for us. It was 3 years ago that we launched LIFE PROOF BOATS at Seattle’s annual end of season, Boats Afloat Show. On display at that first boat show we showcased 6 very distinct models; including a 20’ Cuddy Cabin, 21’ Runabout, and most notably our 30’ Convertible.
Here we are 3 years later, with an ever growing brand following and continuing the trend of using this show to spring board some of our latest models out in the open for public consumption.
At this years show we brought over 5 boats for display with a full array of unique features. Our most popular feature being, you guessed it, our drop bow door!
Starting from left to right at this years show you would of seen: a 33’ Full Cabin with a 500HP Cummins Diesel Engine coupled to a Hamilton 292 waterjet, a 23’ 300HP Volvo D4 Sterndrive Hardtop, a 18’ RIB Tender, a 31’ GT Coupe with Mercury’s latest 300HP Verado’s, and a 27’ Full Cabin with a pair of Honda 250 IST engines.
The show was a huge success. We got to meet a lot of great people, both in the industry and potential new clients. From now through the Miami show is really the hottest time for our sales team, with, ironically, the summer months being the slow time of the year. I guess everyone is busy out on the water!
29FT Full Cabin
-Stand Up Head/Shower
-Twin 350HP Outboards with Joystick
31FT GT COUPE
-Twin 300HP Outboards
-In Deck Fish Boxes
-Toilet in Cuddy
21FT Hardtop Pro
-Twin 115HP Outboards
-Drop bow door
18FT RIB (still available for sale)
This month we are going to talk about our outboards since they really are the heart of the boat. Outboards are quickly growing to be the choice for the mainstream of boaters under 45FT. With even some of the larger 45-50ft center consoles putting quintuplets on the transom! Now boats are much more unique than cars, one of the main examples of this is just in how diverse the power plant options can be. Even on the same boat model you can have 10 or more available engine configurations. Of those options, they may come from all over the world. Our 31’ length hull models are a perfect example of this. A client can choose to go with a set of 250HP outboards from Japan or a set of 400HP outboards from the US. Of course these will have dramatic impacts on the boats characteristics so we help guide the client to the best fit for their application. And just to make it interesting with the lower weight of Mercury’s new 300R motors, you can now put three of them on the back of most boats originally rated for twin 350’s. The other reason you should look at these new 300’s is because unlike most of the other engine’s in this HP class, they are recommended for 87 octane. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, we are limited to 87 octane due to supply on the water. It’s rare to find a location that supply’s a higher octane on the water unless you pull out your boat and take it to a local gas station.
One of the most asked question we get is what is the best outboard on the market. That’s a great question but it requires a politically correct, complex answer. At Life Proof Boats, we can supply your boat with just about any major OEM brand.
Strong points for each brand:
Mercury engines in the 250-400HP range are so quiet you can often forget they are even on. They also deliver the power smoothly and offer a wide range of factory options. They do make the boating experience more comfortable, and fun.
Honda engines are known as dependable and affordable. Built on the foundation of the historically dependable car engines, the marine line follows suit with proven dependable engines that also tend to lead the pack with fuel efficiency. They also have not changed much in the last decade so they have a very good database of information on how the engines are performing. It’s exciting to see what’s going to come out next from Honda as they begin development of the larger HP models. Last year a team of six engineers from Japan sat down with us to pick our brains on what design features & characteristics are the most important to us.
Suzuki’s are also a great option in looking for a dependable, affordable engine. While their market share is not as large as Mercury or Yamaha, clients that have them seem to speak highly of them. I have seen repeat clients, so they are proving to be a great alternative for a lot of people. Unveiled last year, the dual prop outboards from Suzuki are great candidates to heavier boats since the dual prop configuration will allow for less “slip”, and more of that HP being put to use. But with dual propellers the gear case is not as slim as some of the single prop faster lower units.
Last but not forgotten BRP has bucked the trend of the 4 stroke engine and continues to refine the 2 stroke. They have shown it can go toe to toe with the other 4 stroke models. They do have a following of clients who want nothing but Evinrudes on their transoms. One of their latest advancements has been their incredibly affordable outboard joystick system. At a 1/3 or less the cost of the other brands joystick system, the I-Dock system from BRP offers a lot of the same features. Making it incredibly popular with clients.
Whether you burn oil or change it, today’s outboards are all really competitive and similar when it comes to dependability and features. The first step in choosing your engine brand is what does your local service center maintain. With growing part counts and electronic components on these sophisticated engines, buy one that you know can be diagnosed and serviced by your trusted, local service center. And don’t forget to check with your local marinas first to see what octane level you have access to, because your 350 may only be producing 315 due to low octane ratings.
WHATS IN THE SHOP RIGHT NOW
The weld shop is busy this month as we continue to gear up with personnel and equipment. With the continued growth we decided it was time to purchase a press brake, so we found a 130TN 12’ Accurpress which fit the bill nicely.
Currently in the shop are four full cabins, two 31FT model’s and two 33FT model’s.
In the rigging shop we were busy working on a 40FT Snorkel Boat heading to Maui, a 29FT Full Cabin, an 18FT RIB Tender, and a couple 21-22FT Law Enforcement Boats.
September is always a fun month. With the end of the season brings reflection on the summer, and new ideas as clients think about the possibilities of next summer. We also ran a national campaign with Passengermaker and Power and Motor Yacht magazine. This sparked the new design at the top of this newsletter. Shown here as a 41FT length we also have it drawn as a 35FT length. And we feel we can be competitive in pricing to any of the larger fiberglass T-Tops.
August was a hot one! So hot in fact we ordered a pair of the top of the line evaporative coolers to help the crews battle the heat while still keeping pace for busiest month to date. All of us in the Pacific Northwest also faced a continuing summer tread, weeks of forest fire generated smoke filling the air. The smoke not only created a stifling atmosphere but out on the water the visibility was so poor at times that you couldn’t see more than a mile! Challenging the smaller fishing boats on the water. For us, it gave us more of an opportunity to test the new radar units and chart plotters.
One of the great new features we are sharing with our clients are the “auto guidance / routing” features now available in US waterways. Offered by both our OEM brands, Simrad & Garmin, with two simple clicks on the screen, your chartplotter can now provide you with a calculated, safe navigable route. Much like your cars navigation system. For those that also add autopiloting or Mercury’s JPO system, once the route has been generated, you can simply engage your autopilot and away you go. Now I know what you are thinking, while similar to the Tesla auto driving principle, boats do not have the sophisticated sensors to warn you and steer you around obstacles in the water, including other boats! So while it will generate a course, following the waypoints and warn you of AIS collision targets you will still have to be vigilant at the helm. The larger summer tides pull a lot of wood from the beaches, and they often get stuck current rips that form due to our ever changing underwater landscape.
So why use these new features if they still require attention at the helm, well because they can also offer some safety features and they generate important information about your journey. Like your time to arrive, distance to your destination, and thus fuel consumption. As far as safety features, because they are auto-routing, they are generating waypoints that are located away from shallow water or underwater obstacles. When waypoints are manually entered we often enter fewer points because it takes too long. Well the auto-routing generates as many points as it needs to keep your route away from the dangerous underwater features. It will even notify you of hazards you may pass on our journey. Like channel buoys or harbors.
To add auto-routing for either charting brands, all you need is the latest software updates and Platinum charts.
WHATS IN THE SHOP RIGHT NOW
Boats that moved out of the weld shop this month included: 40FT Dive Boat for Maui, Custom 33FT Full Cabin with flush deck and luxurious amenities, 18FT RIB
While we were continuing to weld on: 31FT Full Cabin & 22FT RIB
At the rigging shop we finished the second 31FT GT Coupe and continued work on a 29FT Full Cabin, 18FT RIB, 21FT Center Console, and the 40FT Dive Boat for Maui.
In August we attended the Maritime Security conference in San Diego. This conference is held twice a year. In the late summer/ fall on the west coast and in the spring on the east coast. We were asked to present at the show on innovative technologies we are working on and what trends we are seeing in the industry.
CUSTOMER FOLLOW UPS
With so many clients out on the water this year we had lots of great stories to share. The Falcon Patrol become a fishing catching machine in the Puget sound. This first time boat owner, absolutely loved the control and usability the Mercury JPO system gave him. He can back his boat into his narrow slip with ease!
We also heard from a few boats that headed north seeking adventure. At only a 3.5hr run we had client go from Roache to Cortez Island. He loves the speed at which he can travel comfortably, making day trips out of slower weekend trips in his old boat. In “Flirtn’ with Disaster” a 29FT Hardtop, our client shared from Lund it only took then 1:45 to get all the way up to Chatterbox Falls. Something we could never had done before. Even the recently delivered Side Targa blew the clients away for how comfortable the boat was. They adventured all summer and spent 11 overnight trips up in Desolation Sound.
Our boats are designed for safety, versatility, and adventure. Our clients are out on them and finding out exactly what we talk about. Come see us at the Lake Union Boats - Afloat in September and learn more!
LEARN WHAT TOOK PLACE IN JULY 2018
July is the pinnacle of summer fun. With the month kicking off with one of the best reasons to get out on the water for the 4th, and followed up with the start to crabbing and salmon fishing season in the Pacific NW, boating season is in full swing. Life Proof Boats is also in full swing, with the weld shop busy wrapping up welding on a new 29FT Full Cabin, and 21FT Center Console while continuing progress on a sleek looking new 33FT Full Cabin, 31FT Full Cabin, 40FT Passenger RIB for Maui, and a 18FT RIB.
In the rigging facility we are currently working on our second GT coupe, a 33FT Full Cabin with Diesel Inboard, a 23FT Runabout, and starting work on the new 29FT Full Cabin and 21FT Center Console.
New Boats Launched this month include our new 33FT Full Cabin "Orcin Whales" and the 23FT Runabout that we currently have for sale as a spec boat.
BOAT SHOWS ATTENDED
We had a great time attending our first Kirkland Uncorked Event, exhibiting with the NMTA who also is the group that puts on the Seattle Boat Show. It was a weekend full of sun which brought a lot of new people out who got too see the two boats we brought over for the event: a 23FT Runabout and 23FT Diesel Center Console.
We also flew to Baltimore to exhibit at the MACC (Multi Agency Craft Conference) Show. It is sponsored by the American Society of Naval Engineers. At this show most exhibitors bring some of the latest and great boats and equipment to show the USCG, ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, and other attending agencies. It is also a great event for us as a boat builder to learn about the future contracts and goals the Federal Government wants to achieve over the next couple of years. Diesel Outboard technology continues to be one of the biggest focal points at the show. We were able to ride on a boat fitted with the OXE diesel outboards, and BRP's new multi fuel engine which will hopefully also be capable of running on diesel. Currently it is approved for JP, gasoline, and kerosene.
We extended job offers to a handful of skilled boat builders this month with focuses on expanding all departments in the company. Very excited about our new team members. Some of which are travel here from other states around the US.
CUSTOMER FOLLOW UPS
We received a great email this month from a client. There was an accident that took place with a pair of jet skiers over the weekend. He wanted to thank us because it was due to the "great boats" that we was able to rescue them and he wanted us to pass that along to our employees.
Also had a great opportunity to go out fishing with one of our clients on BOLT. I can report our boats catch fish! And Crab! It was a fun outing!
We hope everyone has a safe month on the water, and we look forward to sharing more in our August Shop Talk!
SAFE BOATING EVERYONE!