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Restoring an old boat from scratch ... 'FAR-CANAL'

For most of us, the idea of restoring an old boat would fill us with excitement and enthusiasm ... but it would soon be followed with a pessimistic lul, knowing the reality of expenses and time.

Here's a story of boatie 'Jeremy Beange', who took on this very project and didn't look back...

"It all started when I decided I wanted a centre console under 6 meters that could handle crossing my local west-coast bar (known to be one of the worst in NZ) but small enough to sneak into my remote spearfishing spots.

I went out on a few factory built aluminium centre consoles but I wasn’t convinced that they had enough freeboard or stability to safely cross the bar and handle the often treacherous conditions, not to mention the price tag!

Being a marine engineer by trade I started drawing and designing a centre console that I was planning on scratch building myself, I then had a brain wave:

... 'why not convert an already tried and tested hull into the vessel I desire'.


This was about the half way point, its sitting in the paint booth about to be sprayed


This was checking the pod height and motor fitment before heading to the paint shop


The final filler stages before the primer went on

I started looking around and managed to find an old Marksply fibreglass hull which I knew were built like a tank. The cabin had already been cut off as it was past the point of repair and I managed to pick it up for a great price. I ended up gutting the whole thing and stripping it right back so all that was left was the hull skin. I then built it back up with a new top, new floor layout and a complete rebuild of the transom to give me more fishing room and easy diving access. I ended up scratch building the helm pod and managed to source the T-Top locally. There was a lot of shaping before heading down to the paint shop, where we gave the boat a custom paint job, we also sprayed speed liner across the top of the hull to enable me to walk around the outside when laying a fish without slipping. The boat's name comes from the day we pulled it out of the paint oven and as soon as the sun shone on the new paint job the first words to come out of our mouths were ... F***en Hell!


Then came all the fit-out's - with the engine, carpet, and electrics. The whole build took me 6 months, as I wasn’t going without a boat for the summer.

Since being launched it has proven to be the perfect vessel for what I do and it seems to catch plenty of decent fish which is what it’s all about!


This was the console being built and dummy-fitting the steering etc. … before glassing it to the hull


Final paintjob complete just before we put it back on the trailer


Still in the pre-paint stage, the new floor and transom are complete and just finished glassing the console in

Of course, the boat will never be 100% finished as I am always adding improvements here and there, the addition of the new Simrad gear has made it a fishing dream".


She’s set-up and ready to see the water


We wouldn’t go to all the effort with this boat without getting the best unit for her … TeamSimrad … the perfect unit for the boat

One of Jeremy’s first fishing trips out on the Far-CANAL involved one of his mates nearly getting thrown over-board.

While everyone was fishing away the sound of a big bang worried Jeremy … and he instantly thought that one of the boys had smashed their sinker into his fresh paint job. Jeremy’s Rule on the boat is that if you scratch the paint he throws you over-board … firm but fair. Jeremy prepared himself to throw one of the boys overboard, but then realised the bang was a large shark … the shark was having a go at the outboard motor! He decided against throwing one of his mates in the water.


The boat works, check out this beauty!


This boat will always be a work-in-progress, many boat owners will tell you that they are a full time job … and well worth it too.

They say the higher the cliff to climb the greater the view, and accomplishing a full boat restoration in just six months is an outstanding achievement. Well done and enjoy the numerous sea adventures with friends and family Jeremy…