After growing up on Floridaâ€™s Merritt Island, offshore fishing is second nature to Barry Schiedel. His enthusiasm and skill led to a successful offshore charter-fishing business. His wife Beth, daughter Brandie, and sons Ryan, Kyle and Cory joined in and, with the Gulf Stream waters east of Cape Canaveral teeming with yellowfin tuna for much of the year, the Schiedel family was always on the hunt for their next boat.
Having owned various production models, it was obvious to Barry that what they needed to best serve their customers was a custom boat finely tuned to their specific needs. It could be a 100-mile run to the east side of the Gulf Stream and beyond; and day trips are rigorous jaunts. The boat needed to offer fish capacity, plenty of refrigeration, speed and comfort.
When they werenâ€™t fishing or working on other boats as professional captains and crew, Barry had his sons out looking for the familyâ€™s next boat. The Schiedels found their answer when they approached Chip King, president of Shearline Boatworks in Morehead City, North Carolina. King simply said, â€śTell us what you want, and weâ€™ll build it.â€ť The result is Good Vibes, a beautiful custom 58-footer.
Approaching the boat in Port Canaveral, Florida, was an epiphany of sorts, with the brilliance of her Alexseal Tiffany Blue hull, Cloud White topsides, and a cockpit of glowing teak. The boatâ€™s profile merged an aggressively raked stem with just the right amount of Carolina flare, melding seamlessly with a gorgeous sheer that complemented the foredeck, deckhouse and cockpit in razor-sharp proportions. But her good looks are really just the beginning.
The first thing you notice about the cockpit, aside from the artful craftsmanship of the teak joinery, is the transom fish box. Long and deep, itâ€™s designed to serve double duty as a livewell. Centerline forward of the Release Marine rocket launcher is an enormous fish box â€” 6 feet long by 31 inches wide and more than 2 feet deep â€” with a recessed stainless-steel chill plate. Instead of chipped ice, a frigid saltwater brine keeps tuna in pristine shape.
Built into the mezzanine to port is a freezer, with additional refrigeration in the step. This serves as a convenient bait-tray location, which eliminates the need for a separate cooler on deck.
Adjacent to the salon door is a refrigerated drink box with a clever split hatch, so the lid can be opened without blocking the passageway into the salon. Throughout the cockpit, the absence of clutter demonstrates attention to detail. Serious stuff to be sure, but on the fun side, the teak steps on the flybridge ladder have LED inserts that flash color to keep the beat with music from the stereo.
The flybridge is equipped with a teak helm pod, single-lever electronic controls with built-in bow thruster buttons, and an electronics display that ascends from within the console.
Shearline handles its own electronics installations, and the result is an easy-to-read package of equipment, including the Caterpillar engine instrumentation directly below the eyesight of the operator. Good Vibes has three 17-inch Simrad multifunction displays, plus a Simrad autopilot. A pair of Icom 506 VHF radios covers communications, while a Fusion Marine receiver tunes in the entertainment. The design and fabrication of the hardtop is from Carolina Custom Towers, a subsidiary of Shearline Boatworks.
In the salon, the cherry joinery is exceptional, with a combination of satin and gloss finishes and unique walnut inlays. The spacious galley offers Corian counter space, Sub-Zero refrigeration, an electric cook top, microwave, and good stowage for dinnerware and staples. Opposite the galley is a four-place dinette; nearby is a 40-inch flat screen television. The two-stateroom, two-head layout includes a master suite to port with private head and shower. Forward, the guest stateroom has upper V-berths and a lower double berth.
In the companionway, wide upper and lower Pullman berths measure 8 feet long. Because of the familyâ€™s previous experience, Beth specified Sunbrella mattress covers in lieu of typical bed spreads. Instead of making up berths each morning, sheets or blankets can go over the mattress covers at night, and in the morning be tossed into a nearby locker, reducing clutter and the workload of maintaining the boatâ€™s interior. Between the Pullman berths and the second head is a sizeable rod locker, another savvy use of available space.
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The bright, well-lit engine compartment has 5 feet of headroom on the centerline. The aluminum engine-mount saddles are through-bolted into the massive Douglas fir stringers encapsulated in fiberglass and West System epoxy. A platform forward at the bulkhead is home to a Cummins Onan 21.5 kW genset. To port are the Dometic air conditioning and refrigeration units. The narrow profile of the inline six-cylinder Caterpillar C18s leaves room to access the outboard sides of the engines. Both the electrical and plumbing runs are neat and secure, with generous chafe protection throughout.
The Shearline 58 hull is built on a jig and cold molded. The bottom laminates, Âstringers and framing are Douglas Â fir. Above the waterline, Joubert okoume plywood is used. Grown on the equatorial west coast of Africa, this particular grade has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and is recognized by Lloydâ€™s of London for its substance and quality. The wood also absorbs epoxy especially well. Taking the effort one step further, the inner hull also receives a 1-inch layer of Divinycell composite material, which not only serves as an insulator to counter noise but also serves as a smooth foundation for the epoxy and fiberglass. The result? The surfaces on the inside of the boat, including the bilge, lazarette and engine room, are every bit as smooth as the boatâ€™s exterior surfaces.
A 15-knot southeast breeze formed an army of tightly-spaced 3- to 4-footers just offshore of Cape Canaveral, and Good Vibes ate it up. Propeller pockets, which reduce draft and shaft angle, also provided a lifting motion when accelerating.
Bow rise is minimal and the running angle is constant around 3 degrees; I saw no need for trim tabs. Running effortlessly through the slop, the bow charged through the head sea, ignoring the waves. Several times I held on to the wheel waiting to come off a wave with a bang, but instead was greeted with a soft thud. The Seastar hydraulic steering is light and with five turns lock-to-lock, the boat is obedient and responsive.
The Caterpillar C18s are an ideal match, with a 30-knot cruise at 1,900 rpm, burning 80 gph. Backing down, the boat tracks quickly; modest transom curvature helps direct water away, to the sides.
With the Shearline 58, Barry Schiedel and his family have finally found the boat they have always wanted. Those yellowfin tuna had better watch out â€” Good Vibes is headed your way.
|POWER:||Twin 1,150 HP Caterpillar C18|