Life Proof Boat

September 2018 - Shop Talk

40HT132 - Triple/Quad, Available for Pre-Order

40HT132 - Triple/Quad, Available for Pre-Order

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.

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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!

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DELIVERIES

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)

-90HP Yamaha

TECH TALK
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.

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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.

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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.

PARTING NOTES

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.

WorkBoat Magazine Reporting on Whale Tour Boat

Life Proof Boats delivers whale watcher to Washington state

By Ken Hocke on MAY 7, 2018

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New whale watcher is working the waters around San Juan Islands in Washington state. Life Proof Boats photo

Inventech Maine Solutions — builders of Life Proof Boats in Bremerton, Wash. — has delivered a 40’x12′ whale watching tour boat to Western Prince Cruises/Orca Whale Watch, Friday Harbor, Wash.

The Subchapter T vessel has been approved for commercial coastwise service carrying 26 passengers and two crew. It is propelled by a pair of Hamiltonjet HJ292 waterjets which are powered by twin Cummins QSB 6.7 480-hp diesel engines with ZF 280 transmissions.

Capacities include 275 gals. of diesel fuel and 20 gals. of fresh water. Scantling, keel bar and plating was calculated using Lloyd’s G2 service area requirements.

During stability on-water tests, testing was considered with 200 lbs. per person simulated to cover any future increase in the Coast Guard’s recognized weight per passenger. The configuration of passengers seated, standing or moving to one side, passed the requirements with additional safety margins.

Western Prince Cruises came to Life Proof Boats for the newest addition to its fleet because they felt the boatbuilder was the best fit for this business model, Life Proof said. After understanding more about Western Prince’s operations, Life Proof drafted a conceptual model for the center console layout.

IMS designs and engineers all of its vessels in house. The new whale watcher is based on the family of Life Proof Boats 22° deadrise all 5086 aluminum construction monohull with closed cell foam collars. Final lightship weight was recorded as 15,330 lbs. During builders trials the vessel’s top speed was 43.6 knots with ¾ fuel and water, and five persons on board. During trials, which simulated a max weight load, the vessel recorded a cruise speed of 33.5 knots, burning a combined 35.4 gph, giving the vessel a 7.7 hours/258 nm range at cruising speed.

The electronics package includes a Simrad GPS/depth/radar, Standard Horizon VHF and Fusion stereo with a hydrophone connection to give clients the experience of listening to the underwater songs of whales singing. The console is set above the engine room giving crew maximum visibility with limited obstructions to seek out the waters of the San Juan Islands’ marine life. To assist with an unbalanced load, the vessel is fitted with a Zipwake automatic trim control system. The bow is configured with in-deck storage and a manual lowering drop-bow with a fold four-step ladder for beach landing.

Customers can enjoy 4″ thick cushions with durable black and red seats. Each seated position has storage inside the box, and forward facing seats include mesh pockets for storing small items during the journey. There is also a onboard fresh water plumbed flushing head in the forward trunk of the center console. In addition, the vessel carries automatic fire suppression, a brass “shark bell” warning bell, a 30-person IBA, multiple water-tight compartments and foam collars with additional buoyancy foam within the engine room and hull voids.

31FT GT Coupe to join new models for 2018

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Already announcing a handful of new models for 2018, Life Proof Boats is pleased to announce another model has finished the design phase is green lighted to start production first quarter of 2018. This project code named the "GT Coupe" is targeting a market of clients who love the feeling of a open cabin boat (no rear bulkhead) but have the option of snapping in a canvas enclosure to create a closed cabin compartment for those raining or cold days on the water. Lounging and entertaining guests is also a major focal point for this design driving a flush cabin deck and lots of seating options. This first production model will feature three suspension seats but available options for cabin layouts will offer an additional bench seat in lieu of the rear suspension seat. 

Interacting with the water is our class leading 22 degree, fine entry 31FT hull. Outfitted with twin 350HP outboards this boat will see speeds on the boarder line of 60mph. With Suzuki's new dual prop 350HP outboards and gear ratio you should easily be able to push this boat beyond the 60mph mark. 

Available with our signature drop bow door, and fold out ladder. This is sure a boat that will favor well with any boater looking to do some exploring. 

The list of amenities available is more than the fair share for the average boater. A flushing head, is standard on all models and the cuddy cabin berth is large enough to easily accommodate two adults overnight in comfort. 

 

 


Come find us at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show to find out more details.