Well it’s detail time on the “Fresh One” after months of work that included a bait system upgrade, re-wiring of the pilothouse and panel, new bilge pump system, new custom bow pulpit and anchor winch, new rod holders, engine service and some new electronics. Today I picked up the two old and splintered bamboo gaffs to bring home and repair. While there is no way to fix broken bamboo, you can replace the poles and that is what I did. Calcutta bamboo won’t crack or splinter, but I just happen to have some fiberglass poles that are even stronger than Calcutta, so I went with it and added some custom features.
For the handles I added some seine twine for a secure grip and also so the gaffs will stay in the new custom rod holders without rocking back and forth underway. The twine is epoxied down with West Systems epoxy, and there is a plug at the business end and cap on the butt end to make the gaffs watertight and float. The ends of all the twine are secured with black heat shrink.
I personally like to use twine or cord instead of cork tape. On wet hands cork tape that is old and hard can be a little too rough. Furthermore, cork tape deteriorates quickly when left outside and these gaffs are too long to store in the salon.
A word on fiberglass poles.
Extruded fiberglass is EXTREMELY STRONG. The poles when wet are slick and allow hands to slide over them easily, which is very useful when crowding bait or choking up on the gaff to nail a barracuda or squirrely dorado. They do flex a little but that never seems to be an issue. I have a crowder with 15′ fiberglass poles and frequently rest the poles on the sides of the boat to aid in lifting. This simply cannot be done with aluminum or bamboo poles. The only downside is that they are heavier than bamboo, but in your hand as a big fish comes to color, the added weight instills confidence.
Down at the boat I installed a new 500W deck light that I customized in the shop. I replaced all the hardware on the light with stainless, and sprayed a marine corrosion inhibitor on the inside. The glass lens is no longer held in with metal clips, but actually sealed with with a bead of silicone. With a little work, an inexpensive light fixture from Home Depot will last for years and years.
Below is a photo collage of all the work that has been done so far on the “Fresh One”, making it ready to fish local and island waters for yellowtail and seabass. A far cry from it’s previous home in Puerto Vallarta. It’s not everything that was done, but you’ll get the idea.