Read the story of the custom build required to craft a high performing dive tender for our of the southern hemisphere's most luxurious superyachts.
THE LOG BOOK - FEATURE ARTICLE
How Rayglass brought a tired, old 11m RIB back to life
Posted By Rayglass Boats | September 12, 2023
The vast majority of vessels that our premium restoration department work on are obviously Rayglass boats. But did you know we refurbish boats from other brands too?
In fact, just recently Tim Tsoumas, head of the Rayglass premium restoration department, finished work on an 11 metre Aquapro RIB that came in looking a little worse for wear.
What are we getting into?
The vessel was a 2002 NZ-designed Aquapro, around the same length and size as a Protector 380 Chase. Before it came into Rayglass it'd had a long life with plenty of heavy use. When it came in Tim explains that him and his team were flabbergasted at first:
“We just gawked at it. We thought ‘What are we getting into, it’s a bit of a wreck’. But we could see it was a seriously solid boat underneath all that damage.”
The owner of the vessel used it to commute, dive and explore around a private island in the Bay of Islands, so he needed something high performing.
Success and victory
The vessel is called ‘Nicoli’, which is the name of the owner’s wife and daughter combined and also a Greek name which means ‘victory and success’. But initially she was looking like the opposite of victory:
“The boat was never booked in as we were way overbooked for months. But I told the owner we’ll fit it in as soon as we can. So I bought a trailer and picked it up from Whangamata - a big 40 foot triple axle thing,”Tim says.
“To save the owner money instead of storing her in the marina I left her in the corner of a workshop and we worked on it whenever we had a gap. We pulled her into the shop in December 2022 and we got started and we realised we had a huge job on our hands.”
Seeing in the dark
After chatting with the owner, Tim and his team got started and quickly realised almost everything in the vessel, bar the hull and the cabin, needed to be replaced. Throughout the build Tim kept the owner in the loop with photos and texts and he was super involved.
To get started the team stripped it then fully rewired her, added all new Simrad electronics, additional floodlights, a fusion sound system and a sunlounger on the bow:
“The floodlights we added were so strong you could melt the building next to you. She even has a FLIR (forward looking infrared) camera which enables the owner to see in the dark when he’s approaching his dock at night,” Tim added.
Next the team repowered her with two Mercury Verado 350s, replaced her tubes, added all new upholstery, custom transom seating and a transom sunshade with fully enclosable clears. Then, of course, a new BBQ station and bait board:
“A big highlight of the build for me was having the owner come in when he had time and to see he was keen to be involved. I loved giving him ideas and seeing his excitement.”
Built custom for purpose
After months in the corner of the Rayglass workshop Nicoli was finally done:
“The afternoon we got it going I rang him and said ‘where are you?’ He was on the other side of Manukau so I told him ‘your boat’s done I’ll get it in the water for you and we’ll have a go’,” Tim says.
“He parked up and walked over with a spring in his step. We went up and down the river and he was being a bit shy. So I said ‘go on mate push the throttle down’.”
After the drive Tim agreed to hang onto the vessel until it had done its first 20 hours because if anything was going to go wrong that would be the time. Once the 20 hours is up, Rayglass will service it then hand it over to her proud new owner. Tim says the owner was stoked with the result, even if his reaction was a little unique:
“He loved it mate. But he kept asking me - ‘Tim are you happy with it? I’m happy that you’re happy’. He knows I’m passionate about it.”
“At the end of the day I was very happy. You can spend millions on an 11 metre boat and none of them would have what you need. This one was built custom for his exact purpose and requirements. Him and his family are going to have an absolute blast on it.”
Have you got an old vessel that you'd like to bring back to life? Get in touch with the Rayglass Premium Restoration Department here.
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