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Making Dreams Come True

September 1st, 2019

eric simmons Making Dreams Come True

Eric Simmons, owner of ES Custom Boats and Simmons Custom Rigging, builds high performance, shallow draft boats.

Eric Simmons of ES Custom Boats and Simmons Custom Rigging builds dream boats one hull at a time

By Brandon Rowan

In 2003, tournament angler and fishing guide Eric Simmons had a decision to make: continue guiding or focus on a dream of building his perfect boat. Fast forward sixteen years later, and Simmons is making others’ dreams come true with his shallow draft, ultra high performance boat, the Revolution.

“The Revolution series builds on our history of know-how,” Eric Simmons said. “We’re always evolving and building a better product.”

trophy trout trophies Making Dreams Come True

Eric’s tournament background played a role in the design of his high speed boats.

BIRDS BEFORE BOATS

Born and raised in Freeport, Eric’s first love was duck hunting and all he ever wanted to do. Needing something to do in the offseason, he later discovered a second love, fishing.

“As soon as I could, I got a boat and a truck and started fishing up and down the Texas Coast. I didn’t come from a big hunting or fishing family so I’m not sure where I got it from. But I loved it. I made a lot of good life long friends doing that,” Simmons said.

Eric was fortunate to be up-and-coming during a lot of the big Mickey Eastman Troutmasters style tournaments. These life experiences shaped his boat’s design.

“Tournament anglers like the Revolution. It’s a boat race with some fishing sprinkled in there, so we do cater to that,” Simmons said.

Through guiding and tournaments, Eric gained a lot of knowledge and insight on what he wanted to see in his perfect fishing boat. Slowly over time he realized what he was looking for didn’t exist. And despite no formal education in nautical design, he decided he was going to build his own. The rest is history.

“I am self taught, a student of the game. I had the desire and want to do it,” Simmons said.

ES Custom Boat’s Revolution is powered by Mercury Racing Outboards.

A LEAGUE APART

The Revolution is CAD designed and blends efficiency with shallow water capability. There’s a lot of shallow draft cats out there but that’s not what sets the Revolution apart.

“The handling characteristics of our boats stand alone,” Simmons said. “The performance and speed are in a different league. Our hulls have some of the best ride quality out there.”

The Revolution is made to order and a waiting list of 12-16 months is typical. But good things come to those that wait. Customers of ES Custom Boats have the privilege of truly crafting their dream boat from the ground up.

“We have a hull and deck mold, but the color, the way you lay it out, and your style of fishing has a lot to do with the end result, as well as your budget and imagination,” Simmons said. “It’s fun to do each one. They’re all a little bit different.”

Everything starts with an idea on paper. Once a plan is in place, the hull is created at the glass shop, gel coat is sprayed and the deck and fuel tanks are added. The hull then moves to the rigging shop where it stays for two to three weeks. Engines, electronics, aluminum work and any and all marine accessories are added. A Power-Pole shallow water anchor system is affixed to every boat. Eric prefers top-shelf, hand picked products from companies like Power-Pole, Simrad, Wet Sounds Audio and Mercury Racing.

The Revolution is outfitted with Simrad electronics.

“I am OEM with Mercury and Mercury Racing. I’ve always liked their product; it has given us an edge. They have a full array of factory props that work well with our boats. Sometimes with custom props you never know what you will get from one to the other,” Simmons said.

The Revolution also features high quality anodized Jack Plates from Bob’s Machine Shop in Florida. Theirs is a superior design; strong, simple and very fast. Eric prides himself on attention to detail and total control over quality.

“We do say no to certain ideas because we may have tinkered with it and realize it didn’t work. We like to keep control so there’s no oddball boats out there somebody isn’t happy with. We don’t go with who is going to give us the deal but who is going to give us the best results,” Simmons said.

The Revolution comes in two lengths, the 23 and 25. Both perform similarly and are a matter of preference. The 23 is preferred by solo anglers, smaller groups and those who don’t have the space to accommodate the 25.

THE FUN PART

Once work is completed in the rigging and aluminum shops, the boat is turned over to Eric.

“I get the fun part of water testing each one,” Eric said with a smile. “My job is to make sure she floats and quality control every little thing I can find.”

After that, the boat is detailed, another checklist is completed and she is out the door to a happy new owner. ES Custom Boats currently produces three boats a month but Eric’s goal for 2020 is to build a boat a week. And if that isn’t enough to keep them busy, Simmons Custom Rigging also outfits boats of other makes, with several aluminum or rigging jobs a year. The shop recently outfitted a bare hull Majek with a riser box, complete aluminum work and the console.

Another attractive aspect for customers of ES Custom Boats is the resale value. A lot of custom boats take a dive in value the second they leave the yard.

“Our resale value is extremely high,” Eric said. “A lot of my return customers have reported that they’ve broken even or made money when they sell. It’s not guaranteed but it seems to be the case out there.”

Eric Simmons with one of his custom coolers and “office security.”

FAMILY GUY

When Eric isn’t in the shop or tinkering with designs, he is passionate about his family.

“We like going out on the boat in the summer time,” Eric said. “We’re a boating family, that’s my biggest thing. I have three kids with my wife Candace; Hailey is 10, Cole is 12, and Olivia is 15 and has her driver’s permit.”

But with the kids back to school, Eric’s attention turns to his two favorite fishing targets, trout and redfish.

“I like winter time fishing. The bays are a lot quieter, there’s less people out there and you’re after a different caliber of fish. That’s what I really enjoy.”

For more information on building your dream boat, visit simmonscustomrigging.com or call the office at (832) 864-2331

Texas Marine Industry Bill Passing is Great News for the Boating Industry and Texas Economy

September 1st, 2019

prestige520 Texas Marine Industry Bill Passing is Great News for the Boating Industry and Texas Economy

HB 4032 caps the sales and uses tax on boats at $18,750 and makes Texas competitive with other Coastal states, like Florida.

By Rick Clapp

The recent passing of the Texas Marine Industry Bill has been approved as HB 4032. It was successfully filed and signed by Texas Govenor Abbott. The passing of this marine bill will most positively impact the Clear Lake Area and Bay Area Houston Marine Region. We will now have a strong opportunity to compete with the state of Florida and other coastal states for large yachts, sailboats, and high priced center console fishing boat sales.

“The state of Texas can now return to its place among the Nation’s leaders in yacht and boating sales, and employment related to the marine industry,” said John Preston, president of the Texas Marine Industry Coalition (TMIC) and owner of the Boater’s Directory.

This bill will take effect Sept. 1, 2019 and shall effectively make the Texas marine industry competitive with other coastal states with lower tax policies for boats. The bill sets a limit on the 6.25% sales and uses tax for all taxable recreational vessels at $18,750, effectively matching the $18,000 tax that Florida enacted in 2010. The bill contains an additional provision to allow boats for use outside of Texas to temporarily remain in the state to utilize Texas marine service companies for refit and repairs.

There is also a provision to establish a fee permit system for out-of-state registered vessels if returning to or visiting Texas waters for temporary periods of time and spend money in our coastal communities. The intent and effect of each measure of the bill is to eliminate the incentives other states have been providing for large boat buyers and keep business in Texas. The bottom line is that the boat sales tax cap and additional provisions of HB 4032 will provide more boats, more boating and more business for Texas.

The bill took a tremendous amount of time, money, effort and planning, as well as an intense lobbying effort in Austin. It was heavily supported by the members of the marine industry and local communities.

“We want to thank all our members and supporters who responded to our call for action. They wrote letters and called legislators, contributed money, and made many trips to Austin. Their efforts paid off,” said Jay Dee Jackson, Treasurer of TMIC and Sales Manager for Galati Yacht Sales. “Our well-organized grass roots effort was extremely effective and we achieved the goal we sought.”

There are so many people to thank that were instrumental in passing the bill, such as Greg and Glenda Allison, John Preston, Jay Dee Jackson, Senator Larry Taylor, Representative Greg Bonnen, Genie Morrison, Dennis Paul, Ed Thompson, Todd Hunter, and Senator Louis Kolkhorst and many other rank and file members of TMIC.

Finally we all want to thank TMIC and all the local marine service people that helped pass the Texas Marine Industry Bill as it will have a major economic impact for years to come. A celebratory party is set for Nov. 9 at Lakewood Yacht Club from 6-10 p.m. For more information call 281-474-5875.

For more bill information feel free to contact the Texas Legislative committee

John Preston 832-788-2860

John Bowen 832-226-2881

Randy Bright 713-816-2165

Jay Dee Jackson 941-720-5081

tmicolation@gmail.com

www.tmicoalition.org

South Texas Yacht Service

September 1st, 2019

stys mark South Texas Yacht Service

South Texas Yacht Service owner Mark Grinstead has close to 40 years of experience.

South Texas Yacht Service handles any and all marine issues, power or sail

By Xander Thomas

There are plenty of boat yards along the coast, and certainly in the Clear Lake Area, home to marinas and great sailing areas, but any of them offering full service seems like a thing of the past.  South Texas Yacht Service is one of few places that still does just that.

“Most of the yards now are what we call contractor yards, where you got 10, 12, 15, different contractors working out if the yard,” said owner Mark Grinstead.

He says that the convenience of a full service yard like this one can be priceless to someone who doesn’t want the hassle of going through a different professional for any problem that comes up.  So that you do not have to act as your own general contractor by yourself, South Texas Yacht Service can do almost anything you need, all at one time, right in one place.

“You got an electrical problem, you gotta find an electrical contractor, if you got a mechanical problem, you gotta find a mechanical contractor, you got a rigging problem, you gotta find a rigger, well we do all of those things in house,” Mark said.

It’s not just that these guys can do whatever you need them to, they are good at it.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years now, and most of my staff probably average about 20 years experience,” he said, “We have an experienced staff, probably the most experienced staff of any yard on the Texas coast.”

So what this means for you, is that you talk to one person about everything, you take it to one place, you get quality service, and you won’t have different people messing with someone else’s previous work – we all know how that ends up.

“We keep our employees, we don’t have a real high turn-over rate, so our work is consistent,” Mark said.

Mark says that his love of sailing and the sea started at an early age.  His family lived on a boat for a few years when he was a child, and he has been around them his whole life, so this line of work just came naturally to him.  He has earned a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation and has a Coast Guard license.

He says that there is almost nothing that they can’t do for you.  They even take on a few complete restoration cases a year, usually.

“We handle the whole deal,” he said, “I think we’re the only yard left on the Texas coast that’s a full service yard.”

South Texas Yacht Service is located at 1500 Marina Bay Dr. #3510 in Kemah. Visit them online at www.stysyacht.com

Prestige 460 Flybridge

June 29th, 2019

prestige1 Prestige 460 Flybridge

Welcome aboard the 2019 Prestige 460 Flybridge, where luxury meets relaxation.

Produced in Nantes, France she boasts an abundance of space for her passengers and storage for all of their needs. Whether you are setting sail for an extended voyage or cruising around for the afternoon, this Prestige will surpass all of your desires and expectations.

This is a two stateroom, two head vessel with a comfortable salon and functional aft galley. The full beam master stateroom is complete with an en suite, window lounger, beautiful wood finishing and ample drawer and closet space. The forward stateroom offers a sliding berth option, allowing for single bed conversion.

prestige2 Prestige 460 Flybridge

The salon and galley offer a brilliant open-floor concept, which allows for seamless entertaining. Crisp white leather sofas adorn the salon, permitting plenty of comfortable seating. A fully efficient galley is another enticing feature of this Prestige 460. It’s unique aft placement opens up to the cockpit and transom creating an inclusive realm for family and friends onboard.

This boat also includes three docking stations for the utmost convenience, combo washer and dryer, Bose loudspeakers throughout, and a popup television in the salon, just to name a few more of her exceptional features.

On top of the well-designed and functional features of this cruiser, she also has many opulent qualities including a flybridge with a sun pad lounger, as well as bench seating surrounding a flybridge table to also carry entertaining up top. A hydraulic swim platform enhances the transom, as well as a grill and more seating. This vessel truly offers its passengers a wealth of options and enjoyment. Come by Galati Yacht Sales in Galveston to climb aboard this astonishing Prestige 460 Flybridge.

HB 4032 Texas Marine Industry Bill Is Approved

June 29th, 2019

yachting HB 4032 Texas Marine Industry Bill Is Approved

Sales tax for recreational boats in Texas has been capped to $18,750.

TMIC Legislative effort backed by grassroots support proves successful

In a major victory for Texas’ struggling marine industry, a long sought measure limiting the sales-use tax on boat purchases and providing for out of state vessels to utilize Texas waters, marinas and service companies is now poised to become law. After final passage in Texas House and Senate, and final filing by the Governor on June 14, 2019, HB 4032 will take effect on Sept. 1, effectively bringing Texas marine industry competitive balance with other coastal states that have had far lower boat tax policies.

The Texas Marine Industry Coalition (TMIC) was established barely one year ago to bring the Texas marine industry together and provide a strong platform and voice to promote and protect the interest of the industry and Texas’ boating communities. TMIC built a strong and effective coalition of members from the entire Texas coast and many inland boating communities. The group set the Texas Marine Jobs bill as its No. 1 legislative priority and spearheaded the efforts to pass this vitally important legislation.

“Thanks to a strong lobbying effort in Austin and incredible support from members of the marine industry and our communities, the Texas Marine Industry Jobs Bill is about to become law. The goal of TMIC and the result of this bill is to stem the flow of larger vessels, tax revenue, jobs and economic activity now going to Florida and other states due to those states proactive tax policies. The state of Texas can now return to its place among the nation’s leaders in boat sales and employment related to the marine industry,” said John Preston, President of TMIC and owner of The Boater’s Directory.

The Texas Marine Industry Jobs Bill sets a limit on the 6.25% sales and use tax for all taxable recreational vessels at $18,750, effectively matching the $18,000 tax cap that Florida enacted in 2010. It contains an additional provision to allow boats purchased for use outside of Texas to temporarily remain in the state to utilize Texas marine service companies for refit and repairs. Also included in the bill is a provision to establish a fee permit system for out-of-state registered vessels to return to or visit Texas waters for temporary periods of time and spend money in our communities to support the marine service industry. The intent and effect of each measure of the bill is to eliminate the incentives other states have been providing large boat buyers to purchase and/or take their boats and their business out of Texas. The boat sales tax cap and the additional provisions of HB 4032 will provide more boats, more boating and more business for Texas.

“We want to especially thank Senator Larry Taylor and Representative Ryan Guillen for their strong leadership as the primary bill authors. Thanks also to Representatives Greg Bonnen, Genie Morrison, Dennis Paul and Ed Thompson all of whom signed on as co-authors in the House. Representative Todd Hunter and Senator Lois Kolkhorst recognized the benefits of this legislation to their districts that are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey and provided tremendous advocacy for the Texas Marine Industry support to help achieve final passage of the bill,” said Randy Bright, TMIC Vice-President and broker with Galati Yacht Sales. He added “A special thanks to Joey Park and Billy Phenix for their hard work and effective professional representation in Austin. Getting this bill passed was no easy task and we are grateful that our legislators and the Governor were able to recognize the positive economic impact and the importance of it to the hard working men and women in the marine industry.

“The service sector of the Texas marine industry really needs this legislation”, said John Bowen, TMIC Vice President and owner of Elite Diesel Service. He added “The boats affected by this bill spend a great deal of money everywhere they go. We see the effects of this in our business as the Texas fleet has been shrinking thru attrition with replacement boats calling other states home. I’m excited that we can begin to return this business to Texas”

“We want to thank all our members and supporters who responded to our calls for action. They wrote letters and called legislators, gave money and made trips to Austin. Their efforts paid off for sure and proved that an organized grass roots effort is effective and can achieve great results,” said Jay Dee Jackson, Treasurer of TMIC and Texas Sales Manager for Galati Yacht Sales. He added, “We got such great support from so many people and organizations and we needed every bit of it. Thanks to that great collective effort, the Texas Marine Industry faces a brighter future today.”

For additional information or comments please contact any of the following members of the TMIC Legislative Committee: * John Preston 832/788-2860 * Randy Bright 713/816-2165 * John Bowen 832/226-2881 * Jay Dee Jackson 941/720-5081 *Email – tmicoalition@gmail.com or visit the TMIC website; www.tmicoalition.org

About TMIC

The Texas Marine Industry Association (TMIC) was formed by a group marine industry professionals to bring together Texas marine businesses, their employees, vendors and customers to create a strong platform and voice to promote and protect the interests of the Texas Marine Industry. TMIC’s Mission: To build a strong, organized and effective association of Texas marine industry businesses, employees, vendors and their customers for the purpose of providing strong advocacy to protect, promote and support the recreational marine industry in Texas. To be a strong voice of representation at the federal, state and local level on issues of importance to our members and our industry. To provide value to our members as a source of information and communication on issue and events important to their businesses and our industry.

Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

April 30th, 2019

cantius50 Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

SOAK UP THE SUN: Ample cockpit seating and a hydraulic swim platform makes summer days on the water a breeze.

The state-of-the-art Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius perfectly blends luxury and function for unrivaled comfort

By Alyssa Jackson

Set sail on this 2018 50’ Cruisers Cantius that is perfect for extended-stay voyages, as well as quick day or weekend trips on the water. This one of a kind cruiser, handcrafted in the USA, is equipped with three staterooms and two heads, and plenty of space for endless entertaining. It also features easy joystick docking to ease the minds of it’s captains. With numerous lounging options, this yacht offers an abundance of comfort for your days on the water.

The master stateroom is full beam with an ensuite. It includes a luxurious and comfortable lounger and plenty of storage to bring along all of your trip’s necessities. The VIP stateroom encompasses panoramic windows for a beautiful waterfront view. The third stateroom features dual bunks for the opportunity to bring along even more family and friends. The accommodations on this vessel are abundant!

The salon’s unique open-floor concept and aft galley allows for infinite entertaining. The retractable windows create an oasis on the water by offering 360-degree ocean views. Plush seating surrounds the space to allow for plenty of relaxation and conversation. The creatively constructed galley with a retractable aft window offers an exceptional atmosphere of functionality and opens the space to create inclusivity for all onboard.

cantius salon Cruisers Yachts 50 Cantius: Infinite Entertaining

ROOM WITH A VIEW: The roomy salon and adjacent galley have everything you need to entertain family and guests.

TAKE A SEAT: The helm boasts innovative joystick and digital throttle features.

Cruise with ease with the innovative joystick controlling feature and digital throttles. Ample seating is incorporated in the cockpit for many guests, as well as a lavish bow lounge to escape reality and soak up the sun and beautiful views surrounding you. The list of amenities continues with a compact, yet efficient grill that sits within the transom, hydraulic swim-platform with convenient stairway, as well as a state-of-the-art audio system and descending blinds that transform the master stateroom into a media sanctuary. The gorgeous slate gray hull is truly picturesque as it gracefully glides along the water.

Not just known for her looks the 50 Cruisers is an efficient seaworthy vessel that will make your time on the water enjoyable while you travel to your desired destination. Cruisers Yachts reports that with the Volvo IPS 600 (435HP) at wide open throttle they reached a top speed of 32.93 knots (37.90 mph) at 2950 rpm. Best cruise came at 2500 rpm where the boat went 25.46 knots (29.30 mph), burned 42 gph for .70 statute miles per gallon, and had a calculated range of 282 statute miles at that speed.

This 50’ Cruisers Cantius is truly one of a kind. It is extremely spacious for its size and complete with many opulent amenities, bounteous accommodations and storage, and a perfect blend of comfort and extravagance for your memorable getaways. Come by Galati Yacht Sales in Galveston, Texas to take a look at the incredible Cantius.

STRETCH YOUR LEGS: Retreat to the full beam master statesroom and rest in spacious comfort after a long day of cruising.

JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

February 28th, 2019

jet surf houston open JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

Think personal watercraft crossed with a wakeboard, a skate board, add a hint of dirt-slinging, engine-buzzing motorbike, and then multiply it.

jdav 199x300 JetSurfing Comes to Clear Lake

Jordan Davlin is bringing the exciting new water sport JetSurfing to Texas.

The man behind one of America’s newest water sports in the US is the dynamic Jordan Davlin, a native from Clear Lake City, Texas. He is an army veteran who served our country overseas, including Iraq. Afterwards he attended the University of Texas at San Antonio to study Business Management with small business concentration. Davlin is an entrepreneur at heart and has realized his dream with JetSurf Houston. He owned and managed 3 promotional and marketing companies in San Antonio before coming back home to Clear Lake in 2016 to support his family’s business. Davlin discovered JetSurf a year later and got involved after investigating the prospect of a unique and exciting new water sport product. He researched the Czech company MSR engines who designed and built the two stroke engine and state of the art technology driven by precision jet propulsion. JetSurf motorized surfboards sales and events are increasing all over the world, especially in Europe and Asia. It is just beginning to increase in demand and grow rapidly in America. These awesome motorized surfboards are quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular and fun water sports products.

Davlin represents JetSurf in the Greater Houston Area, which includes Seabrook, Lake Conroe, Galveston Island, and also South Texas, including South Padre Island. Moreover, Houston is the third largest boating, yachting, and sailing community in the country. Jet surfing is a versatile sport for all types, whether you enjoy a leisure ride, a day of exploring the water, big wave surfing, jumps and tricks, or progressing in the sport of competing in motosurf races. JetSurf Houston Academy allows easy access for anyone to rent a JetSurf board and enjoy the adventurous waterfront lifestyle. Many yachtsmen, sailors and boaters use a JetSurf in lieu of a dingy or raft. It is also a great boat accessory because of its mobility and portability. It travels well and is easily transported by car, boat, or airplane. A JetSurf board weighs less than 40 pounds, is under 6 feet in length, and travels at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

JetSurfing is an absolute blast!

JetSurf Houston opens their doors on April 11 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the festivities continue throughout the weekend. Their exciting, energy packed Grand Opening and race will be held on April 11-14 at Endeavor Marina storefront location. JetSurf Houston will be hosting the first motosurf race in Texas on April 13-14. Enjoy a day of electrifying, fun-filled water sport festivities, good food, cold drinks, and live entertainment. Demonstrations, practice races, qualifications, and heats begin sharply at 10am.

The certified trainers at JetSurf Houston Academy enjoy teaching people about the newest water sport, which is rapidly growing globally. The Academy offers JetSurf boards on a lesson basis. You will receive personal instruction as well as helpful tips and coaching from highly skilled and trained personnel. JetSurf boards can become easy to ride with proper training from JetSurf instructors, so whether you are a novice water sport enthusiast, just simply enjoy a leisurely ride, or want to learn how to race, you will love the experience of riding a JetSurf board. JetSurf motorized surfboards are the newest technology in water sports that have the most vibrant, eye-catching style.

JetSurfing and leisure boating go hand-in-hand.

You can easily purchase a JetSurf board at the JetSurf Houston showroom located at Endeavor Marina on Clear Lake. Bay Area Houston and Gulf Coast Mariner are proud sponsors of JetSurf Houston. For more information call 281-JET-SURF(538-7873), email Jordan Davlin at info@jetsurfhouston.com, follow JetSurf Houston on Facebook and Instagram, or visit Jetsurfhouston.com. JetSurf Houston Academy is located at Endeavour Marina at 3101 E. Nasa Pkwy, Suite H, Seabrook TX 77586, as well as Waterpoint Marina in Lake Conroe, and Offatts Bayou in Galveston.

SEE VIDEO HERE!