History of Sea Boots
Over some fifty years of fishing, Captain Jim has built and fished more than forty boats. In 1990 Capt Jim met with Claude Torres in Key West. Claude was building a 43-foot fiberglass hull with a wheelhouse and flying bridge. Rumor has it that the hull was designed after the Norseman Hull built in Miami for many years. The Norsemen was made of wood a hard chime-planning hull planked with mahogany. It was known for speed and seaworthiness for many years. Claude Torres fiberglass boats were built for the commercial fisherman in Key West and the Lower Keys. They stood the test of time and the ruff sea's encountered in the winter cold fronts west of Key West and Dry Tortugas. In time the Torres Boats became popular as sport fishing boats with more than 200 boats fishing from New York to Texas.
The Sea Boots is Born
In 1988 Capt. Jim had Claude build one of the Torres 43 Foot hulls with wheelhouse and flying bridge. This was a shell only, no floor, bulkheads, etc. Capt Jim and his son Jim began the task of finishing the boat. Capt. Jim's vision was to have no wood in the boat; this would eliminate weight and keep the boat as light as possible. This was accomplished by laminating sheets of ½ inch closed-cell foam with fiberglass for all bulkheads, walls, and floors. Even the keel was foam and fiberglass. Capt. Jim knew from past experience that his new boat must be lightweight for speed and economy but more importantly, it must draft no more than 39 inches of water. This is a tall order considering that the Sea Boots is carrying 700 gallons of fuel, 200 gallons of water, two crew and six anglers. Not to mention a 900-horse power cat diesel, northern light generator, air conditioners, and equipment. And let's not forget a twenty-six-foot high tuna tower with controls. Well after two years of careful planning and a lot of work Capt. Jim's vision came to reality. A big thank you to my son for all his hard work helping to make the Sea boots a reality.
The Finished Product
The Sea Boots is truly a remarkable vessel. She cruises at 21 knots burning 20 gallons of fuel per hour and only drawing 30 inches of water while planning. The shallow draft was accomplished with a tunnel built into the hull; it also reduced the shaft angle to 6 degrees. Most boats have a shaft angle of 10 to 12 degrees. The lower shaft angle results in a more foreword thrust. Front windows were eliminated to remove the risk of sudden bad weather and ruff seas entering the wheelhouse area and flooding causing the center of gravity to suddenly raise. A self-bailing cockpit with 14-inch scuppers was designed to shed water quickly in the event of a wave breaking into the cockpit. Seven watertight bulkheads with automatic pumps guard against hull breach. Low profile tuna tower with extra strong bracing guards against sudden microburst of wind around bad weather. These design features come from Capt. Jim's more than fifty years of experience in the Florida Straights were 80 to 100 mile-an-hour wind bursts around thunderstorms are common at certain times of the year. An 8.5 KW Northern Lights generator powers all the comforts of home including air conditioning, microwave, refrigerator, etc. The spacious flying bridge will seat comfortably all six anglers under a large shade top this is important to catch those cool summer breezes and to watch the action in the baits. The tuna tower extending some twenty-six feet above the water (employees only) enables the captain to spot game fish swimming near the surface for sight casting with live bait. Big dolphin, sailfish and cobia are the targets at certain times of the year. In summary, the Sea Boots offers anglers the maximum in creature comforts with lots of cool and comfortable seating, the best offshore light tackle from spin to trolling rods and reels. The captain and mate are friendly, knowledgeable, and professional with 130 years of experience between the two.
Come and experience the difference.
Sea Boots Charters, Capt. Jim Sharpe
P.O. Box 421203
Summerland Key, FL 33042-1203