Winning the lottery will be tough, especially since I haven't bought a ticket since the mid 1980s, but if it ever happens I'll be placing a call to Weaver Boatworks. Of all the big sportfishers I've tested - and there have been a lot of them - few stand out in my mind like the Weaver 63, Salty.
Weaver is a custom builder in Maryland that uses cold-molded epoxy-over-wood construction. Salty was built with triple-planked Okoume plywood in the hull and stringers made from Douglass fir. The hull bottom and structural components are beefed up with a layer of Kevlar.
How does that compare to a molded fiberglass boat? The 63 is every bit as strong, yet it weighs significantly less at 72,000 pounds. Most molded glass boats in this class weigh in at or over 100,000 pounds. That weight savings doesn't mean much when it comes to fuel consumption - put 3,100 diesel horses into anything and you're going to burn as much fuel as a freight-train - but it does boost speed and give the boat a seakeeping advantage. Top-end is 45.4 mph, and this boat feels like it wants to leap over waves, instead of bulling its way through them.
The construction is awesome (truth be told, cold-molds almost always feel better underfoot than similar designs built of molded glass), but what really sets the Weaver apartfor me is its fishing abilities. If you're a live-bait angler, this boat is hands-down the best in its class. For starters, there's a set of tuna tubes built into the cockpit gunwales that are fed by a manifold system with individual valves. That means you can adjust water flow up to 1,800-gph in each individual tube. The same plumbing system, which is powered by a pair of 1.5-hp Hayward Jacuzzi pumps, also feeds a 250-gallon cockpit livewell, a 100-gallon transom livewell, and a 90-gallon in-deck livewell. Most boats of this size have a single well in the 50-gallon range, a few have a secondary well that holds another 30 or 40. The fact of the matter is that you can keep more baits alive aboard Salty than your average tackle shop sells in a month.
Now, let's add a few more fishy perks into the mix: CH 20 sweeping "spotlight" sonar with a retractable dome transducer, underwater through-hull cameras that feed MFD screens at the helm, and 15 flybridge rocket launchers, just to name a few. Can you say "wow"?
First I gotta go buy me some tickets, and then I'm heading for Weaver Boatworks to place my order.
Got a boat you love? Send us a photo and we might feature yours in our Saturday blog.