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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New guy here, refereed by THT crowd.

Just wondering if anyone has an knowledge on this old flats boat.

Sort of a barn find, I just picked this up a couple weeks ago, its a 1997 by Florida Laminators and Spirit Bay Boat Company. From what the seller told me It was a prototype / second off the line, purchased new by him at the 1998 Miami boat show. They went out of business right after and may have only made 1 or 2 total.

Doing a search I found where Florida Laminators operated out of 5916 Sandphil rd, SARASOTA FL.
Some more searching showed that FLATS & BAY (EJW) (mentioned in this thread here) also manufacturing at this location and K.D.A. BOATS (KDA) also manufacturing at this location and about the same time frame 97-2003ish

So from the info above it looks like flats and bay sold to famous craft then sold out to Bluewater

My question is what do I have here? Is my boat one of the first boats to come out of the mold that is now bluewater? Can anyone tell me anything about my setup from 1997? Was their a company using this mold before this boat was popped? My HIN ends in 999 if that means anything. The seller and the title says my boat is a 19ft but flats and bay produced an 18ft?

Boat has not been touched in a few years and spent its entire life fishing the inshore skinny water of New Jersey. Is this a decent setup or something that is shunned by the florida / texas guys?
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Cant offer much assistance with the history, but damn that is a very interesting setup in the back. Appears to be trolling motor heads mounted to the tabs? Huh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think they are old Lenco trolling motor tabs. In fact the seller told me I am best off to rip them off and throw them away. Some threads on the forums seem to agree they were pretty worthless. I love the open bow but I guess its best to install a bow mount trolling motor to replace those. I dont even have the remote for them. I am looking forward to fixing this thing up over the winter. It was sitting for years untouched, I hooked up a gas tank and a new battery and that old suzuki fired right up!
 

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I think they are old Lenco trolling motor tabs. In fact the seller told me I am best off to rip them off and throw them away. Some threads on the forums seem to agree they were pretty worthless. I love the open bow but I guess its best to install a bow mount trolling motor to replace those. I dont even have the remote for them. I am looking forward to fixing this thing up over the winter. It was sitting for years untouched, I hooked up a gas tank and a new battery and that old suzuki fired right up!
Good luck! I think from a surface level you found a worthy vessel. now go FISH!:rolleyes:
 

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That setup was hot 25 years ago - with those tab mounted trolling motors for folks chasing tarpon or working in ocean inlets with lots of current... These days a good 24 or36 volt bow mount single is far superior. A new Minn Kota Terrova is a good starting point...
 

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New guy here, refereed by THT crowd.

Just wondering if anyone has an knowledge on this old flats boat.

Sort of a barn find, I just picked this up a couple weeks ago, its a 1997 by Florida Laminators and Spirit Bay Boat Company. From what the seller told me It was a prototype / second off the line, purchased new by him at the 1998 Miami boat show. They went out of business right after and may have only made 1 or 2 total.

Doing a search I found where Florida Laminators operated out of 5916 Sandphil rd, SARASOTA FL.
Some more searching showed that FLATS & BAY (EJW) (mentioned in this thread here) also manufacturing at this location and K.D.A. BOATS (KDA) also manufacturing at this location and about the same time frame 97-2003ish

So from the info above it looks like flats and bay sold to famous craft then sold out to Bluewater

My question is what do I have here? Is my boat one of the first boats to come out of the mold that is now bluewater? Can anyone tell me anything about my setup from 1997? Was their a company using this mold before this boat was popped? My HIN ends in 999 if that means anything. The seller and the title says my boat is a 19ft but flats and bay produced an 18ft?

Boat has not been touched in a few years and spent its entire life fishing the inshore skinny water of New Jersey. Is this a decent setup or something that is shunned by the florida / texas guys? View attachment 85918 View attachment 85920 View attachment 85922 View attachment 85924 View attachment 85926
Im 99% sure i have the same boat! I live here in Sarasota. I was told my boat was built in that facility, a guy stopped me at the gas station the other day and told me he built my boat. Very few built. Mine is a 17' custom cut down from your model i understand.
 

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There have been a ton of boat companies that have come and gone in the Sarasota area. Several (not just flats) still in operation and a lot of intermingling among help/ownership groups. The Flats & Bay origin sounds plausible but don't know for certain. You might give Paul a call at Bluewater. He's been around for awhile and may know more on the history.

Looks like an aggressive keel and tons of storage. Should work very well for your back bay waters up there with the ability to handle the slop. Agree with the others re: the Lenco tabs. Submerged electrical motors in salt water was never a good idea. A 24-volt bow TM would be the ticket.
 

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2007 Gordon Waterman , plus beat up J16 and unfinished Gheenoe project sitting in the "boneyard"
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That's a cool looking hull. Wish I could find cool stuff like that in "barns".
 

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New guy here, refereed by THT crowd.

Just wondering if anyone has an knowledge on this old flats boat.

Sort of a barn find, I just picked this up a couple weeks ago, its a 1997 by Florida Laminators and Spirit Bay Boat Company. From what the seller told me It was a prototype / second off the line, purchased new by him at the 1998 Miami boat show. They went out of business right after and may have only made 1 or 2 total.

Doing a search I found where Florida Laminators operated out of 5916 Sandphil rd, SARASOTA FL.
Some more searching showed that FLATS & BAY (EJW) (mentioned in this thread here) also manufacturing at this location and K.D.A. BOATS (KDA) also manufacturing at this location and about the same time frame 97-2003ish

So from the info above it looks like flats and bay sold to famous craft then sold out to Bluewater

My question is what do I have here? Is my boat one of the first boats to come out of the mold that is now bluewater? Can anyone tell me anything about my setup from 1997? Was their a company using this mold before this boat was popped? My HIN ends in 999 if that means anything. The seller and the title says my boat is a 19ft but flats and bay produced an 18ft?

Boat has not been touched in a few years and spent its entire life fishing the inshore skinny water of New Jersey. Is this a decent setup or something that is shunned by the florida / texas guys? View attachment 85918 View attachment 85920 View attachment 85922 View attachment 85924 View attachment 85926
This is mine (23'), apparently built a month before yours. I heard only 5 of this model were built. I love the design but I have found flaws, including the builders leaving lots of junk inside before topping it. I found this out when replacing the gas tank. And n ow the bait well plumbing needs replacing, and we can't figure out how to access it.
170787
 

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That is a cool boat. Looks from the front like a Maverick and a Hewes from the back. I would look under the floor to see where to start. Wiring should be your first concern. Get a big roll of 14 gauge tinned/copper and start replacing. Copper wire will degrade over years.
 
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Im 99% sure i have the same boat! I live here in Sarasota. I was told my boat was built in that facility, a guy stopped me at the gas station the other day and told me he built my boat. Very few built. Mine is a 17' custom cut down from your model i understand.
Wachob73, I live in Sarasota too, and have the 16x6 Flats and Bay 1999. Same thing, I’ve been stopped at a few red lights and had some buys say similar stuff to me. Also ran into a guy on FB marketplace that built them, and wanted me to come over and learn more about the boat. He has a video of one being blown to smithereens and every bit of it still floating! Great little boats!
 
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