In gearing up for the summer of 2013 fishing season, Bluewater’s Hampton, Virginia Yacht Yard welcomed long-time customer and friend Bubba Brizendine and his 2000 57’ Taylor Made sportfishing boat Game Time. The project goal was to refresh her and incorporate some upgrades that would add to her “fish-ability”.

After being put up in one half of the giant paint shed, Game Time received a complete hull and topside paint job with gleaming results. After consultation with Earle Hall, and under the supervision of twenty-four year veteran Yard Manager Craig Messick, the cockpit renovation began and the playing field underwent a remarkable transformation. The end result has become a popular upgrade, but can seem extreme to the uninitiated. Fortunately, Bluewater’s seasoned fabrication crew makes it look easy and with the incorporation of pre-fabricated elements, the installation is not nearly as complex as one would imagine. Though the original cabinetry is cut down, little to no storage space is lost and access is often improved. This new mezzanine included a new teak deck and room for the crew to lounge during long hours of trolling.

The proud owner wasted no time in showing off his new cockpit and gave his fishing buddy and long-time Bluewater friend Jimmy Bayne the full tour—during the install—which apparently sparked an idea or two. Already up on the hard at the Hampton facility, the 1998 56’ Mann Custom Boats, Sniper owned by Jim Bayne was undergoing a few projects of her own. Once assured that no fishing would be missed, a full cockpit make-over was added including mezzanine seating. Best described in a phrase coined by Clyde Bailey, a full “restoration of dock-pride” ensued. The make-over included a painted black mask, which has become the latest retro-new eye-catcher, updating the overall look and enhancing the sleek lines of the Carolina design.

In addition to the painted black mask, the refit and upgrade of the Sniper included new paint and fresh teak on the flybridge, along with new paint in the cockpit and custom built mezzanine seating. She also received new aluminum and a new custom hard top with modernized lighting and built-in electric teaser reels. Other upgrades included new radar pods, Ocean LED underwater lights and an Eskimo ice machine.

The entire project was completed before Sniper hit the 2013 tournament trail in which they took first place in the Virginia Beach Invitational Marlin Tournament, where they caught and released a total of eight white marlin to score 800 points. Captain Jimmy Bayne and the Sniper team also included the top youth angler for the Virginia Beach Invitational – 14 year old Bryce St.Clair – who caught two white marlin.

Two weeks later, Sniper dominates both the Alice Kelly and the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments taking the Top Boat title in the Alice Kelly Ladies Memorial Billfish Tournament out of the fifty-nine boats that participated. With several ladies aboard Sniper releasing a Blue Marlin along with multiple White Marlins, the team scored a total of 330 points, giving them the win by a comfortable margin. Captain Jimmy Bayne and the crew aboard the Sniper also took the win at the Priate’s Cove Billfish Tournament with a total of 18 billfish releases for a total of 1400 points and a purse exceeding $200,000.

Always ready to accept a renovation challenge and strict deadline, our Bluewater Yacht Yards continue to amaze boat owners and captains from a simple topside re-paint to complete re-powers and renovations. Bring your boat with all your creativity and wishes to Bluewater Yacht Yards, and we can make it a reality!